In the time since the disaster had started, Yamato Hotsuin had become a very busy man. Much of his time was spent within JP's headquarters doing reports, looking over battle plans, and studying their enemy. When he could get out of JP's, he was overseeing official activities or doing some kind of field study. Today, he was overseeing the clearing of rubble from a large street near the Yamanote Circle, as it had been determined that this neighborhood, while mostly ruined, would be quite useful for supply purposes.
He met up with Makoto Sato, who was supervising this area, and began to walk with her. She was a good subordinate, or at least as good as one could be when they spent half of their time questioning their chief's orders. But she would stay with JP's, Yamato was sure of that.
The two of them did not say much as they walked, Yamato because he did not want to waste more words than he needed to, and Makoto because she did not want to breach her authority here. Smoke rose from smoldering fires in the ruined buildings on the street. They passed a bent over street sign and Yamato immediately turned around to look back at it.
"You neglected to mention that this was the neighborhood Shijima and Kimura lived in," Yamato stated.
"It didn't seem important," Makoto said.
But Yamato was already moving toward the ruins of a house, because he'd managed to get a good look at the nameplate in front of it. He vaulted over the crumbled wall and landed nimbly on the tatami mat. The room had probably been a very normal looking living room at one point in time, before Dubhe's earthquakes had destroyed so much of Tokyo. The smashed television had several picture frames lying on top of it, the photographs having fallen from a shelf above. He picked up one photo frame.
The photograph portrayed what looked like the idyllic family. A man with distinctive curled hair had his arm around a long haired woman, who in turn had her hand on a smaller boy's shoulder. The boy's hair had grown out in much the same way as his father's, with the same kind of curl to it. Yamato lay the photograph face down on the television and picked up another, and another. They all appeared to depict relatives; some of them having that same distinctive curly hair, others being physically similar to the mother. Every single one of them was smiling in their photographs. Yamato couldn't recall ever being photographed for any reason other than for his JP's personnel photograph, and he had very little contact with his extended family.
A burning, distasteful feeling rose in Yamato, a mix of anger, jealousy, and oddly, pity. He grabbed the photographs from where he'd taken them and threw them to the ground before walking toward another doorway. The path was blocked by rubble, but he wasn't interested in what lay beyond the doorway anyways. Under a large piece of the ceiling, lying dead, was the woman from the photographs. She had clearly been lying here for some time, and her body had begun to decay rather severely in the heat and sun. How he had not smelled her when he walked in, he wasn't sure. Lying nearby, his head bashed in with a rock and showing evidence of demon attack, was a balding man in a suit with the same curled hair as the man from the photographs.
He wasn't sure how long he'd stood there, staring at the corpses of Itsuki's family, when Makoto spoke up, reminding Yamato that she was still there. "Are you alright?"
"I am perfectly fine. Do you doubt my ability to remain composed even in the face of death, Sato? !" Yamato spat. He took a deep breath to compose himself once more, and then found himself saying, in a voice almost too quiet to be heard, "Do not tell anyone what we saw."
"Itsuki has been a great help to us on the battlefield, and is possibly the most useful demon tamer under our command. If he were to learn of this, he would be distracted, and possibly unable to fight. We cannot afford that kind of loss," Yamato continued, his voice still very quiet. He was sure that his voice had betrayed some kind of emotion during that speech, but Makoto said nothing. Perhaps she'd finally learned when to be quiet.
He pulled his cell phone from his pocket. With a tap of his thumb and a flash of light, a lion-maned wolf had appeared before him. A stream of flames flew from the Cerberus' mouth. The bodies burst into flames at the mere touch of the demon's hellfire, hot enough to reduce even bone to cinders. Makoto took steps away from the flames, covering her nose with her hand. Yamato was sure he heard her gag once, but he chose not to reprimand her for now. Once the bodies had burnt to ash, he returned the demon to his phone.
"Let us leave here," Yamato said. "I'm sick of this smell." Without waiting for Makoto to say anything, he vaulted over the crumbled wall once more and set off down the street back toward JP's headquarters. If Itsuki learned that the way to his neighborhood had been cleared, he would simply not mention what he saw here. It was better to save him the heartbreak than to allow him to collapse now, when so much depended on him. If lying to him would help him get through this ordeal, then that was what Yamato would do.