It had been several months after Kazuki recovery and new job. He worked twice as hard as the older male workers, even being the youngest in the industry. The hours may have been long, and the work may have gotten tough at times, but his workmanship was still there.
On his downtime, he began to hang out with Kuriko more and more. And not because she pulled him along this time, this time Kazuki had offered. She was even surprised by this new approach. No longer, was he the shy and timid Kazuki from before. This time he was hard-working, earnest, charismatic and even independent.
It seemed like only yesterday before he awoke from his two year coma. He even started searching for his own apartment (after saving some money) to live in. It was a new turn for him and he was even proud of himself. Never did he imagine he would grow up this much after being in high school, nor change. But as he stated before, the past is over now focus on the present.
"Thank you and please come again." An apartment rep had seen him off after collecting an ad.
He circled through town to find a nice apartment with reasonable rate. There, he could start his independent life at last, but he was in no rush.
"Hyah!" kids exclaimed launching a straight jab, and roundhouse kick.
The boy has just passed a martial arts dojo downtown. The kids ranged from eight to eleven years old. And shocking enough Sayumi Morisaki (now two years older), another one of Kazuki's former classmates, was the martial arts instructor teaching the kids. Not knowing what to say, regardless he stopped by the dojo to see her.
When she caught a glimpse of Kazuki, even her eyes widen in shock. Like everyone else, she didn't think Kazuki would ever wake up from his coma. "All right kids, take ten for now, and we'll redo our lesson later, now bow…!"
"Yes Sensai!" the kids replied in unison.
Kazuki greeted her as she approached. "Good to see you again Morisaki."
"It's been a while. I heard from the others you've woken up from your coma." Even after two years, Sayumi still held the fierce warrior face, barely did she ever smile. Guess it was the same old Morsaki, Kazuki had thought.
Out of the container, she tossed him a water bottle. And then took her place among the benches with him. It didn't take her long to ask, "So what have you been up these last few months?"
"Aside from being forced to dropout, I was been working a construction job thanks to Kuriko. With the way the economy is, going back to school was not an option for me, not at the very moment." He explained. "I went to see everyone else, and they are doing quite well including Mrs. Iba and Dr. Akai. And I got most of those 'get well' cards you guys sent me."
"Everyone else, I was not one of them." She corrected drinking her water bottle.
"So I hear your working the dojo now huh?" he says.
"Yeah full time, I teach them my own style, so it won't have to be associated with my family." She continued to take sips of water. "But like Kamishrio, I have no interest of being the next family-head. I have my own priorities. After these two years the feud between the Morsaki's and Kamishiro had dimmed down. So we are at truce for now. I even was hired one point to play as a stunt-person in some low budget martial arts film."
"That most have been really cool."
She scoffed, "No really, but the pay was worth it to cover most of my tuition fee at the university."
Kazuki could not help but smile at her. He had no reason to, whether it was her attitude, her personally or her stubborn unchanged nature. He felt like laughing deep inside, but was afraid she might take it as an offense.
Switching gears, "I see Yuna is not with you anymore. What has happened?"
"Oh her, well, we lost communication after two years. Even to this day, I don't know where she is. She left without saying a word. But I do want to see her again, even if it will be the last."
She crossed her legs. "Humph, I had a felling your happiness with her wouldn't be able to last long. I mean with your weak nature. You barely had much to offer rather than your magical power or your general niceness. And even if you were to see her again, I highly doubt she would throw herself into your arms like a long lover's reunion."
After finishing up his water, he said, "You may be right about that, it wouldn't make a difference; otherwise she would be with me right about now, ups and downs. But I do miss her and her delicious homemade cooking."
Sayumi began to chuckle. Kazuki was frozen with shock to notice her smile. Even after his days of being in Aoi Academy, Sayumi never smiled for felt lucky to be the only one. "Everyone was right about you Shikmori, you have changed. You speak so casually, and not with hesitation. I hate to admit it, but you may have out grown them."
"Wow thanks a lot."
She rose up from her seat. "That was not a compliment; anyway, we talked long enough. I have to get back to my dojo duties. Try not to get yourself killed this time." Before Kazuki went out the door, Sayuma said, "And Shikmori, despite everything that went one in the past, I have nothing, but respect for you."
Back on the road Kazuki was, he was glad to see Sayumi again. But at the very same time, it was the more than once that Yuna was mentioned. Now when he thought about, his mind did start to wonder about her.
He thought about the times Yuna would always stick up for him, when being constantly abused by others. And even saved him multiple times, when Kuriko and Rin tried to get a hold of him. Yet, he felt that he was doing less and she was doing more. It caused him both his life and his magic. However, the fact that he was powerless didn't bother him one bit.
For the final try, he decided to check his aura. He closed his eyes and concentrated his energy. Regrettably, his magic count was just as empty as his stomach. He hasn't eaten anything all day. It growled endlessly.
Submitting to his tummy's demands, he grabbed some Yakitori Chicken at nearby booth. So he continued his train of thought. He tried to focus his magic powers, but it faded faster than the wind. He sighed; he should have known that he would not have his magic power after using all his spell counts. Regardless, he had no regrets about his magic powers.
Back to Yuna, quickly he put away the dreadful memories of her going nuts. Every time he was seen with another girl, hell always went loose. Yet, she didn't have bad intentions or wasn't a more abusive wife. Or it could have been much, much worst.
He thought about the good memories Yuna when she stuck with him no matter what. And because of her, Kuriko and Rin were now friends to Kazuki. Now longer did they pursue his magical genes? Despite her insane uncontrollable jealously, she was still the kind so-called wife and friend. "I am Kazuki's wife," Yuna's voice echoed through her head.
The more she said that line, the more Kazuki laughed to himself. It was like recurring gag to a joke.
As he got home, somebody jumped into his arms unexpectedly. He saw Yuna at first, but was revealed to be Kuriko instead. "Welcome back Kazuki-dear, you've been gone for hours and I really missed you."
He inquired, "Hello Kuriko, were you waiting for me all this time?"
"You're hard to track, since you didn't answer your phone and your magic is gone, even after I left multiple messages."
"Sorry I forgot to charge my phone. Anyway, I've been doing some home searching; while I was at it I met an old classmate. We chatted for a bit, and caught up on old times."
Kuriko continued to embraced Kazuki with affection, "Well Kazuki, I want to know something. What do you think about Yuna, now that she's gone?"
Not surprised by the sudden question, he took a deep breath and answered. "Right now, my feelings for Yuna aren't the same as it was two years ago. I like her, yes, just not in the way she liked me. But I still do treasure our moments together."
"Aw, that's so sweet." She whispered with passion. Kazuki could not tell if she was teasing again or was that her actual feelings. The closer she moved, the more his heart rotated. Could it be that he was falling for her? He started to feel more relaxed around Kuriko.
She moved in towards his lips as Kazuki did the same shockingly. He didn't know what was going through his mind right at the very second. Before their lips connected, Elizabeth had busted in knocking them off their feet.
"Hey Kuriko, guess what I have…" she paused for a second. "Hey what's with you guys, did something happen?
Both Kazuki and Kuriko (beep red) faced the other direction ignoring her question. "So what is it Elizabeth?"
"Well I've been doing some searching. And I may have found the location of Yuna Miyama on where she was last spotted." Elizabeth replied.
Kazuki jaw dropped so suddenly, he didn't know if to feel joy or shock. Both personal's was going through his mind.