Alright, last time there was a whole bunch of humor and Hijikata x Chizuru fluff, this chapter is when the girls get outed as Oni. Also, if you guys have any questions concerning this story, please feel free to ask.
Reina: Reika does not own Hakuouki. Enjoy.
Chapter 10: The Truth
The group bowed before the Lord of the Aizu Clan, they had received word that the New Government army was planning to attack the Aizu Clan and had decided to assist them.
"Please rise." The lord said. The group did as told; the girls were seated at the back while the captains and commander were seated in the front.
"I am very thankful for your assistance." The lord said.
"It is an honor to be working with you." Hijikata said as he bowed his head lower. The lord smiled.
"I would like you to work with one of my commanding officers; you will find him at the training dojo." Hijikata bowed.
"Of course." He said as he and the others left the room after bowing once again.
"These fifty men form the Masaki Guard, under the orders of Lord Katamori we are to work alongside the Bakumatsu!" A young man yelled as he and the other fifty men bowed before Hijikata, standing beside him were the other captains while the girls were off to the side.
"It is a pleasure to meet you." Hijikata said. The men looked up and gasped, their eyes widened as they took in the Bakumatsu's attire, Saito's swords on the right side and the six females. Hijikata looked at the men, his eyes narrowing as he took in their looks of unhappiness, realization hitting him.
They dislike us already….
Hijikata slid open the door to the training dojo with Chizuru behind him, the Masaki Guard were training hard with Masaki standing up front, their voices echoed throughout the room.
"Masaki-kun!" Hijikata yelled. The men continued their training, Hijikata's brows furrowed.
"Masaki-kun!" He yelled again. Masaki stopped and lowered his sword.
"We'll stop there everyone…attention!" He called out. The men rushed forward and formed a neat line. Chizuru looked up at Hijikata.
"They're quick to obey his orders, aren't they?" She inquired. Hijikata nodded.
"They will not follow orders from outsiders such as ourselves, is what you're saying correct?" He asked as he walked in, Chizuru close by his side.
"It would seem I have already made you unhappy." The men stayed stoic, not responding. Hijikata looked at Masaki.
"Well Masaki-kun?" He asked. Masaki looked down.
"I would be appreciative if you didn't address me as Masaki-kun." He said.
"Hijikata-dono, a warrior does not use kun as an honorific." Hijikata closed his eyes.
"Is there anything else?" Masaki blinked and looked off to side before facing Hijikata in the eyes and straightening up.
"Allow me to be frank, it's your clothing." Hijikata gave him an amused look.
"You have an issue with the way I dress?" He asked.
"A warrior should wear armor in battle, not flimsy clothing like that, plus…."
"Plus what?" Masaki glared.
"That man, one of your captains, wears his swords on the right when everyone is supposed to wear them on the left, what does he think of his swords which are where his warrior soul is!" Masaki yelled.
"And you allow women, including a young child, to accompany you!" He yelled, narrowing his eyes at Chizuru, who narrowed her eyes back at him as she moved slightly behind Hijikata. Her hair was done in a low ponytail with a purple bow; she wore a light pink kimono with a purple obi, rice straw sandals and white tabi socks.
"We shall work with you as those were Lord Katamori's orders, but no one in Aizu will obey you as long as you continue these un-warrior like aspects. The Aizu soldiers will protect Aizu!" He finished as his men glared. Chizuru looked ready to protest, but Hijikata held out his arm in front of her as he looked at Masaki, purple orbs staring at grey ones.
"Our enemy is dressed even lighter than I am in battle, so it is only natural we wear light clothing in order to be their equal."
"But-" Masaki protested as Hijikata cut him off.
"Also, as there are almost no left-handed warriors there are no known ways to counter their attacks giving us an edge over them in battle. Just because Saito does not wear his swords on the left does not mean he has no warrior soul, he in fact has a strong one." Hijikata explained his purple eyes cold.
"And as for Chizuru and the other girls, all of them are skilled in medicine and act as medics and messengers, all of them are also trained to protect themselves, Chizuru here managed to beat me in combat easily." Hijikata said. The men gasped, a mere girl able to beat the fearsome Demon Commander?
"That is a lie, you are known as the Demon, no mere girl could defeat you!" Masaki exclaimed.
"If you doubt my abilities, then you may fight me for proof." Chizuru said her brown eyes fierce as she looked at Masaki. The men gasped, a mere girl challenging their leader? Masaki and Hijikata were also taken aback.
"Chizuru…." Hijikata said in a worried voice.
"I'll be fine." She said with a smile. Masaki nodded to one of his men, who reluctantly tossed his wooden shinai at Chizuru, who caught it with ease. She tightened her grip on the sword and pointed it in front of her; she placed her right foot behind and kept her gaze on Masaki, who did the same to her. The men backed up, giving them some room.
"I won't go easy on you because you're a girl." Masaki said.
"I don't expect you to; I won't go easy on you either." Chizuru said. She made the first move; she moved quickly and charged forward, their swords clashed. Masaki pushed her back and she slid across the floor, she remained balanced, her eyes still on Masaki. Masaki, as were the other men, were shocked at how easily she could resist his attack and still stay standing. Masaki narrowed his eyes.
"Ha!" He yelled as he raised his sword and charged, only to hit thin air. The men gasped, Masaki froze as a sword tapped him on his shoulder, he looked behind him to see Chizuru with a smirk on her face.
"Point." She said as she lowered her sword. The men were whispering, a mere girl defeating their leader? Masaki straightened up and bowed.
"I see I underestimated you, I apologize." He said. Chizuru smiled and shook her head.
"It is fine." She handed the soldier his shinai back, thanking him. She bowed to Masaki and returned to Hijikata's side, who had a small smile on his face that vanished quickly.
"Well, we should probably head back now, I apologize for bothering you." Hijikata said as he bowed before leaving with Chizuru. The room was abuzz with chatter about how a mere girl could defeat their leader; Masaki stared at the door, a frown on his face.
That woman was able to beat me…..what is she?
"Seriously? Chizuru kicked Masaki-kun's butt? I wish I could've seen that!" Heisuke exclaimed as he and the others sat in the dining room. Chizuru blushed as she handed Hijikata his tea.
"It wasn't really that special…." Hijikata smiled at her.
"You were amazing Chizuru." Chizuru turned even redder.
"A-Arigato…." Aya sighed.
"But, many of the Aizu Clan don't really like having us here do they…? I could feel the glares on my back as Yuki-chan and I walked around." Aya said.
"It's probably because you're associated with us." Harada said.
"I don't get why people dislike you, you aren't at all bad men." Aya said. Harada grinned.
"Ah, so you DO like us?" Aya turned red.
"W-W-Well I don't like people being treated badly when they're in fact good people." She stammered. Hijikata looked at Chizuru, who seemed to be jaded.
"Are you ok Chizuru?" He asked concern in his tone. She looked at him and gave a weak smile.
"Hai, I'm just feeling tired…." Yukiko frowned.
"Maybe you should lie down…" Chizuru shook her head.
"I'm fine…" She said. Yukiko sighed.
"You're so stubborn." She said. Chizuru pouted and everyone laughed, even Hijikata, though it was a small one.
"Hey old man, give us your goods, we've been working our butts off to protect this country!" Chizuru stopped walking, groceries in hand, as she watched the three ronin threatening an old man. She frowned.
"Hey leave him alone!" A female voice yelled. The ronin turned and dropped the old man, facing the woman who had dared to challenge them. Chizuru's eyes widened as she saw a young girl her age with dark brown hair tied in two ponytails with light purple eyes and wearing an elegant yellow and green kimono with an elegant green, yellow and pink obi tied around her waist, and a purple sash was draped around her back.
"Osen-chan…." Chizuru whispered. Her childhood friend immediately moved in front of the old man.
"If you men are real warriors, then you wouldn't be threatening an old man over some goods!" The girl exclaimed.
"Miss, please don't….!" The old man exclaimed.
"I'm not about to let some ronin who claim to be warriors harm you or your business, you men need a lesson in manners!" The girl exclaimed. The leader drew his sword and raised his sword.
"NO!" Chizuru screamed as she dropped her groceries and ran in front of the girl, whose eyes widened.
"Chizuru-chan, no!" Chizuru shut her eyes, waiting for the impact of the sword against her skin, only to hear the sound of clinging metal instead. She opened her eyes and blinked, Hijikata stood in front of her, his sword having blocked the ronin's.
"Hijikata-san!" Chizuru exclaimed. Hijikata pushed the leader back, who stepped back shaking. The other ronin were also scared.
"The Demon!" One of the three ronin exclaimed. Hijikata narrowed his eyes.
"I will not tolerate unnecessary attacks on women or the elderly." The leader glared, his hands shaking as he gripped his sword.
"Boss, this isn't worth it!" The other ronin exclaimed. The leader sheathed his sword, cursing.
"Damn you!" He exclaimed as he and the other ronin ran off. Hijikata turned to Chizuru as the other girl helped the old man up.
"You shouldn't be so reckless Chizuru." Hijikata scolded. Chizuru glared.
"I'm not about to sit back while innocents are being harmed." She said. The old man smiled at the girls.
"Thank you for helping me young ladies." Chizuru waved her hands.
"You can't really thank us; Hijikata-san did the real work." The old man gave a cautious look at the commander.
"I see…well, I must be heading back to my shop." The old man bowed before heading in. Chizuru looked at Hijikata.
"He was afraid of you even though you helped him?" Hijikata sighed.
"You can't change the past, no matter how much you try or wish you could." He said with a sad look, Chizuru knew that he must be thinking about Kondou-san.
"Osen-chan are you ok?" The girl smiled as she hugged Chizuru.
"Yes I'm fine; it's so nice to see you again! I haven't seen you since….well, you know." Chizuru smiled as the girl pulled back. Hijikata blinked.
"You know her Chizuru?" Chizuru nodded.
"This is Senhime, my childhood friend. Osen-chan, this is Hijikata Toshizo, the commander of the Bakumatsu." Senhime bowed.
"It's very nice to meet you." Senhime glanced at Chizuru.
"Chizuru-chan, I didn't know you were seeing someone." Chizuru turned bright red while Hijikata wasn't all that pale either. Chizuru shook her head frantically.
"N-No, it's not like that! I'm just staying with the Bakumatsu while they search for my father." Senhime's eyes widened.
"But your father….." Senhime trailed off as Chizuru sent her a frantic look. Senhime nodded her head. Hijikata frowned, did this girl know about Chizuru's father and was holding off from telling her? Or did Chizuru know and the two of them were keeping it a secret? Chizuru, as well as the other girls, seemed to have many secrets from them, but why?
"I see….well, thank you very much for looking after Chizuru-chan." Senhime said as she bowed. Hijikata bowed.
"It was nothing." He said. Chizuru's eyes widened as she realized something.
"Ah! The groceries!" She exclaimed as she ran over to collect the dropped groceries. Hijikata sighed and shook his head.
"Well, we must be going. Maybe we'll see you again Senhime-san." Senhime smiled.
"I'll be back to make sure Chizuru-chan is being taken good care of, so be warned!" Hijikata shook his head and headed over to help Chizuru. Senhime was very shocked at how easily Chizuru had allowed this man-a human no less- into her life, she seemed close with this man…closer than friends, she held something for this man in her heart that she had closed off after her mother died. Senhime glanced behind her to see a familiar pair of red eyes watching Chizuru. She narrowed her eyes.
"So you and Senhime-san knew each other when you were younger?" Hijikata asked as Chizuru handed him his tea, it was now night and Hijikata was looking over some papers. Chizuru wore her pink kimono with white around the edges, and wore a white haori over it; her hair was tied in a side braid with a white bow.
"Yes, she, I, Yukiko and Kaoru were very close." Hijikata looked at her, Chizuru breathed as she realized she had let his name slip.
"Kaoru?" Chizuru nodded.
"He's my twin brother." Hijikata's eyes widened a fraction before returning to normal.
"You never mentioned a twin brother?" Chizuru sighed.
"I haven't seen him in months; I came here also because I thought he and my father might have come here together." Hijikata frowned, if both her father and brother are working for the new government….a loud and familiar screech cut off his thoughts, both of them whipped their heads around and said the same thing.
"Rasetsu." The two ran out and headed onto the porch, Chizuru's eyes widened as she saw Saito and Okita fighting off the Rasetsu.
"Stay here." Hijikata ordered as he unsheathed his own sword and ran to help. Chizuru wanted to help, but her katana was in her room and she knew if she got injured, her wounds wouldn't be able to heal fast. Suddenly, the Rasetsu looked at her and she froze, his red eyes stared at her.
"Blood…give me your blood!" It screeched as it dashed at her, it slashed her right arm with its katana and she let out a scream of pain as she collapsed, her hand clutching the wound.
"Chizuru!" Hijikata yelled as he dashed over to hit the Rasetsu, but it did a backflip and jumped out of the way. Hijikata headed over to check out the wound but Aya, along with the other girls and captains, dashed over and began checking her over. After making sure that she was in capable hands, he dashed at the Rasetsu, who managed to block his sword. Suddenly, a sword was pierced through its heart and it let out one last scream before falling, blood pouring from its wound. A woman with dark hair, purple eyes and wearing purple shinobi clothing stood there with a katana covered in blood.
"Kimigiku!" Chizuru exclaimed. Kimigiku glanced at the young girl and her eyes widened.
"Chizuru-sama!" She yelled, taking in her wound. Senhime rushed past Kimigiku and crouched beside Chizuru.
"Senhime-san?" Hijikata asked.
"You know her?" Saito inquired.
"She's Chizuru's childhood friend." He said.
"Mind explaining what you two are doing here?" Hijikata asked. Kimigiku and Senhime shared a look.
"We should head inside to talk." Kimigiku said. Hijikata nodded.
"Saito, Souji, take care of this then head into the meeting room. Yukiko, please call everyone into the meeting room." The three nodded and headed off to do their tasks. Chizuru sighed as she knew what was about to happen.
So much for keeping the secret….
"First, explain exactly who you are fully." Hijikata asked as he, the captains, their guests and the girls sat in the meeting room, the only light coming from a lamp. Senhime glanced at Chizuru, who was still clutching her shoulder. Chizuru nodded and mouthed "it's ok."
"I am Senhime, an Oni princess from the East Clan. Kimigiku here is a member of a shinobi clan that has worked for my family for centuries." Everyone, minus the girls and Hijikata who simply frowned, gasped.
"An Oni princess?!" Heisuke exclaimed. Senhime nodded.
"Hai." Heisuke looked at Chizuru, who was silent.
"Chizuru-chan, did you know about this?" Chizuru gave a weak smile.
"Hai because….I am also an Oni." The room went silent, even Hijikata was shocked, out of all the secrets he would've expected Chizuru to have, that was not one of them.
"You're a…Oni?" Harada asked. Chizuru nodded.
"Yes." She removed her hand and the captains and commander stared in shock as her wound slowly healed.
"A characteristic of an Oni, any wounds we gain will heal, however if we are injured by a silver weapon, the wounds heal more slowly." She said with a small laugh.
"Aya-chan, did you know about this?" Harada asked as he glanced at said girl, who sighed.
"Yes because I am an Oni as well, as are the other girls." She said.
"You guys are Oni….and you didn't think to tell us?" Heisuke asked, anger seeping into his voice. Chizuru flinched, she should've known this would've happened, but she kept praying it wouldn't.
"We only did this because we were unsure of whether or not you would kill us or not." Harada gaped.
"You thought…that we would kill you if we knew?!" He yelled.
"Humans fear Oni, it's a fact, and some tend to take extreme measures when they find an Oni…the New Government is a prime example of that." Aya said.
"Wait you're saying…the reason why your, Rina, Reina and Nanako's families were destroyed by them was because…because of you being Oni?" Hijikata asked, rage in his voice, not at the girls, but at the New Government. They murdered whole families because they were not human? That's just horrid and inhuman in his mind!
"You can add me to that list as well, my whole family, minus me, my brother, my father, Senhime and Kimigiku, as well as Yukiko apparently, was murdered in a few seconds, the guests and servants weren't spared any mercy either. My own mother was cut down by a soldier right before my own eyes." Chizuru said her voice low and angry as she tried to fight back tears at the memory. Hijikata felt angry at himself for suspecting her of working for the New Government Army and sympathy towards Chizuru, she saw her own mother, who she obviously loved deeply, killed in an inhuman way just because of her Oni heritage.
"I was afraid, afraid to tell you what I was because of what I had experienced. I understand if you feel any anger towards me, if you wish, I will leave and never speak to you again."
"The same with the rest of us." Reina said, voicing all of the other girls' thoughts. Hijikata was silent, which made Chizuru worry; did he honestly want her and the other girls to leave?
"You are very brave for stating that girls." Chizuru and the other girls shut their eyes, waiting for the order.
"But you are bakas for thinking that we would want you to leave." Chizuru and the other girls snapped their eyes open.
"What…after how we lied to you and knowing what are…you still want us to stay…?" Yukiko asked, voicing the other girls' thoughts.
"Hey, it doesn't matter if you girls ain't human; you're still the same girls we know." Okita said. Chizuru felt relief; they still wanted her and the other girls to stay. Hijikata coughed.
"Back on topic, why exactly did you come here Hime-sama?" Hijikata asked. Senhime sighed.
"Please just call me Senhime or Osen-chan, my reason for being here is because of Kazama Chikage." Okita scowled.
"You mean that asshole that I fought back at Utari?" Senhime blinked.
"You met a powerful Oni such as him? And fought him?"
"You've got to be kidding me, HE'S an Oni?" Heisuke exclaimed. Senhime nodded and frowned.
"And he knows Chizuru's a full-blooded Oni." Catching the confused looks of the Bakumatsu captains and commander, Chizuru sighed.
"I met him when I was younger, because my father….thought he might be a good candidate for a husband." Hijikata felt anger, her father tried to set up an arranged marriage with HIM? Aya smirked as she saw Hijikata clench his fists, so HE did have feelings for her…
"I refused, that man was arrogant and a jerk, he acted high and mighty because he was of noble descent. I had no intention, and I still don't, of ever marrying that man." Chizuru growled.
"Well, it seems he will be trying to go after you so he can…produce a powerful full-blooded Oni spawn." Hijikata's eyes were now on fire, so much so that Harada and Heisuke retreated to behind Aya and Nanako.
"We want you to come with us Chizuru-chan, as well as the other girls." Chizuru blinked.
"I'm sorry Osen-chan, but I can't." She replied with no hesitation. Catching Senhime's look, she smiled.
"I think I found where I belong." She didn't say them out loud, but her eyes said it all. Senhime smiled.
"I understand." Senhime glanced over at Hijikata, who seemed to relax with Chizuru's words. She smiled.
You have found your happiness, haven't you Chizuru-chan?
Chizuru was sitting in her room, Harada and Heisuke, with permission from Hijikata, were off to an okiya and Aya and Nanako went with them, not because they were jealous as they stubbornly stated, but they were worried about them getting too drunk to come back. Okita and Yukiko, as well as Saito and Reina, were off somewhere to chat in peace while Rina was asleep in her bed. A voice at the door made her look up.
"Chizuru?" Chizuru smiled as she went to the door and slid it open, revealing Hijikata. She stepped out and slid the door shut behind her quietly. Hijikata raised his eyebrow.
"I don't want to wake Rina-chan." She explained.
"Chizuru about your father…do you know…?" Chizuru gave a sad smile.
"That he's working for the New Government? Unfortunely yes, I sort of….eavesdropped on your conversation the first night I was at headquarters." She admitted with a blush.
"How…?" Chizuru smirked.
"Oni are very sneaky, that and the fact we're fast helped too." Hijikata smirked.
"I….I must apologize." Chizuru blinked.
"For what?" He sighed as he ran a hand through his hair.
"I…suspected you of working for the New Government with your father and now I see I was wrong." Chizuru shook her head.
"It's understandable you would suspect me, after all, I arrived in Kyoto to find my father, so of course you would suspect I was working for them."
"But still…what they did to you and your family…" Chizuru gave a weak smile before staring up at the stars.
"You know, they don't always succeed." Hijikata looked at her, confused.
"Yukiko was my personal maid and bodyguard, similar to Kimigiku. I had thought she had died in the attack, but she didn't, and my father, brother and I managed to escape as well as Senhime and Kimigiku, so they don't always succeed which gives me hope that they won't win. The fact that…" Chizuru trailed off, a blush decorating her cheeks. Hijikata raised an eyebrow.
"The fact that….?"
"The fact that there are good men who are fighting them gives me hope as well." She said. Suddenly, Hijikata wrapped his hand around her wrist and pulled her into a hug, her eyes widened as her heart pounded in her chest.
"I promise you Chizuru, I will not allow Kazama to hurt you, I swear on my sword as a warrior…" Chizuru shut her eyes as Hijikata pulled her closer.
Hijikata-san….Unknown to the two, Okita, Yukiko, Harada, Aya, Nanako, Heisuke and Saito were watching them from around the corner.
"Damn, Hijikata's smooth." Harada whistled. Aya thwacked him.
"Do you want Hijikata-san to kill you?" She hissed.
"Who would've seen those two together?" Okita asked. Yukiko smiled as she watched the pair, she gazed up at the stars.
Masako-sama….your daughter, you don't need to worry about her. She's found someone who will protect her and care for her.
God I was either blushing writing the Hijikata and Chizuru scenes or crying when I wrote down Chizuru explaining about the attack. So the girls have been outed as Oni and Hijikata and Chizuru grew closer. Just a few quick things, the chapters will probably be longer, not as long as this one but still long. Also, there will be plot twists in the next chapter, just a little warning, and yeah…also, give me ideas of when you want Saito and Reina, Harada and Aya, Heisuke and Nanako and Okita and Yukiko to hook up and also how, they would be much appreciated :D
Also, this a question for my reviewers and readers: Do you think Chizuru is more complex? This is what I tried to accomplish and I would appreciate you guys answering this question. So, without any further interruptions, Senhime, the review request please.
Senhime: Please review! *bows*