Human Emotions

Mako walked towards the training field, where she knew Chiaki was heading. As she approached, she heard Kotoha tell Chiaki,

"Maybe it would be a good idea for Mako-chan to head out for some fresh air and a change in environment before her meditation training that Tono-sama recommends."

Chiaki agreed with her, and it made sense to Mako. She headed out after informing Jii. She walked along the streets and took in a lot of the sights and sounds of the city for a change of pace, but still the huge emotional upheaval following the previous Gedoushuu confrontation had not settled in her mind, and so she eased herself onto a nearby bench to mull over it.

"Even with all the difficult things Takeru has gone through in his life, perhaps he might not understand... I can't blame him for that... But still..." her thoughts began to trail away, but then her thoughts were interrupted by a small voice saying,

" Mother... I wish you'd never leave me again..."

From where she was seated, Mako looked across the street and saw a mother embracing her child, promising that she would try her best not to leave on long trips without him. That reunion brought a small smile to Mako's face and lifted her spirits. She could relate to it, and it seemed to help put her mind at ease for a bit.

Back at the Shiba Mansion, the gloomy silence still hung in the air, but it was broken by the ringing of the Gap Sensor. The Shinkengers rushed to the scene. Mako watched as the Gedoushuu tried to kill the mother whom she had seen to drive the child into a prolonged state of despair, and immediately charged forward to fight the monster.

But suddenly, she was stopped by a huge, red protect Kanji that Takeru had drawn as he charged past her.

"Stay back. I'm saying this for the good of all six of us. The way you are now, makes you more of a burden than an asset to this team in battle" he told her sternly. Takeru ordered the Kuroko to escort Mako back to the mansion and headed forward to join his vassals in battle. Mako stood rooted and watched her comrades handle the threat, but saw the Gedoushuu attempt to kill the mother again. And the loss of a mother was a loss that Mako wished no child should suffer at that age. She tried to join the fray, but Takeru's barrier stopped her.

Suddenly there was a powerful gust of wind that caused the battle to come to an abrupt stop. The weakened Gedoushuu took this opportunity to retreat to the Sanzu River while the Shinkengers were distracted. Mako collapsed as Takeru scrambled to his feet, and understood that he had just sensed an overwhelming outburst of Heaven Mojikara. The Shinkengers rushed to where the knew Mako had fallen unconscious, and rushed back home. The Kuroko began to treat Mako's internal damage using herbal ointment. Chiaki once again approached Takeru.

"Takeru, I'm sure none of this would have happened if you hadn't ordered Neesan out of battle. Give us an explanation. NOW!" he yelled, but Takeru simply said

"You'll realise that I did not do anything wrong later. Call me when Mako's awake," before heading back to his room.

A few hours later, Jii informed him that Mako had regained consciousness and was having a light soup for dinner at the medical treatment room. Takeru immediately headed there. He knew the Kuroko was in there and hesitated, staying outside the room until the Kuroko left with the plates. Then he knocked on the door.

"Come in," came Mako's voice.

Takeru entered the room and sat down by the side of her bed, where she was sitting. He didn't know where to begin. It was true that he had done the right thing, but perhaps, he wondered, it was also true that he had been a little too harsh on her? He remained silent. Mako pushed everything else into the corner of her mind and tried to remain as objective as she could. She took a deep breath, and told him,

"Takeru, I've told you before. You don't have to hide everything from us. The more you explain to us, the better we can help you in this war. That's what we're here for. "

He nodded, swallowed, and slowly began. "I ordered you out of battle to protect you from this. I guess I wasn't able to. This sort of damage is caused by a loss of control over Mojikara, which happens when someone loses control over their emotions. I wanted to prevent you from being consumed by your Mojikara. If I hadn't intervened, a much more worse case of this phenomenon could have happened and killed you on the day I ordered you out." Mako fell silent, and he continued, "But when you chose to defy me, I understood that you had some deep reason for doing this. You've asked me this same question many times during the last war led by Doukoku: do you mind telling me what you've hidden from us until now? What is your reason?"

At this, Mako began to sob softly as she answered him with a single word.

"Revenge."

Takeru was stunned, and he asked her to elaborate. Tearing further, Mako said,

"You've seen my mother. She's waist-down paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. This separated me from her and my father at the tender age of five. All this was caused in our parents' confrontation with Doukoku. And that very Ayakashi was the one that attacked my mother in that battle and injured her gravely. Wouldn't the natural instinct be a desire for revenge?"

Takeru remained silent to allow the magnitude of what he had just heard to sink in. Then finding his voice, he told her,

"I've not told this to anyone before, but do you know why I wasn't able to defeat Doukoku the first time I stabbed him after I was adopted by Mother? It was because I wanted to do it alone for revenge. And so I failed. The second time, I reminded myself that I had to do it so that no one else should have to suffer because of him. Revenge is destructive. And I don't want to lose you to vengeance."

So saying he pulled her into an embrace, and promised that he would do all he could to defeat the Ayakashi and stayed by her side the entire night, watching her sleeping form.

The next day, Takeru declared that Mako would rejoin them in battle. No sooner than he had said that, the Gap Sensor alerted them to the appearance of the Ayakashi. The team rushed to the scene and this time, Takeru and Mako tackled the beast together, and executed the same move they used on the image of Akumaro while training, using the Shishi Disc, Kame Disc, and Ten Kaen Disc to destroy it, and later defeated the second life with Daikai-ShinkenOh.

As the team headed home, Genta and Chiaki asked Takeru,

"So how did you to make up?"

"We just had to come to terms with certain things about human emotions, that's all..." replied Takeru and Mako simultaneously, leaving the team speechless on the way home.