[Chapter 1: The Enlightenment]
Nanami woke up on a bright Saturday morning with Tomoe nowhere in sight. As she stood up, she immediately asked Onikiri and Kotetsu where Tomoe was, but they too had no idea. It had been a week since Tomoe had turned her down, but still her heart was aching. After all, he wouldn't touch her and even avoided talking to her, except when he was announcing meal.
" Nanami-sama, Tomoe-sama already prepared your breakfast " Kotetsu told her, breaking her out of her reverie.
" Ah, yes! Thank you! " Nanami cheerfully replied as she went to the dining area. She felt a little dizzy, but she could handle it.
There were shiitake mushrooms in her breakfast, and she could almost see Tomoe's smirking face right in front of her.
" I am going to make Tomoe pay for this! " Nanami shrieked as Kotetsu and Onikiri calmed her down.
After eating her breakfast, Tomoe finally arrived, looking forlorn. Onikiri and Kotetsu greeted him and asked him what was wrong, but Tomoe didn't even answer. He saw Nanami, nodded his greeting, then continued walking away to his lair/room.
Nanami had to admit, she was worried.
" Tomoe, what's wrong? " Nanami asked him, as she knocked on his door.
Tomoe just grunted in reply. And because of this, Nanami barged in, despite Tomoe's protests.
" What are you doing here, Nanami? " Tomoe asked her with a low growl.
" What happened to you? Did you go to the redlight district again? " Nanami almost whispered the last part.
Tomoe didn't answer.
" I thought so. " Nanami whispered as she stood up, grabbed a wet towel, then placed it on his forehead.
" No need for this " Tomoe told her as he threw the towel away.
" Just let me sleep " he continued as he positioned himself.
" You know what?! I give up! I don't know what to do with you anymore! I am so tired of this! " Nanami finally shouted as she let the towel fall to the floor. Tomoe suddenly sat up, looking more awake than ever, as Nanami slid the door shut behind her.
Tomoe ran after her, and eventually he caught her arm. Nanami was crying again, and it was because of him. It had always been because of him.
" Don't you dare apologize again. " Nanami managed to mutter in a low tone, as she used her free hand to cover her eyes.
" What do you want me to say then? You want me to reciprocate your feelings? Even though I would only be lying to you?! " Tomoe answered in an unusual tone.
" I-I...-" Nanami wasn't able to finish her sentence, because she already collapsed right in front of him.
Good thing Kurama was behind her.
" She has a fever, you haven't even noticed that, fox? Or were you too busy flirting with your demon girls? " Kurama told him as he carried Nanami to her room, and laid her down gently.
" I can do that. I'll take care of her. No need for you to help " Tomoe warned in his low tone.
" Then what? You'll just leave her again? "
" You don't know who you're up against, tengu "
" Please bear in mind that you shouldn't have let your feelings get the best of you " Kurama smirked at him as he placed a wet cloth on Nanami's forehead.
" And what do you mean by that? " Tomoe smirked back, a dark aura forming behind them.
" I mean, that you should not force back your feeling of love towards Nanami "
" I do not feel that way towards her "
" Then you do not know yourself "
Kurama then handed the medicine and water to Tomoe, then left.
' What was he doing here anyway? ' Tomoe thought as he watched Kurama's retreating figure.
Nanami coughed a little, and Tomoe panicked a little. Gently, he guided her to drink the medicine and the water. Nanami looked relieved and then fell asleep again.
" Tomoe-sama, you should rest too " Onikiri said, with Kotetsu by his side.
" I can't. I have to take care of Nanami " Tomoe answered, his voice faltering a little.
" But you don't look- " Kotetsu was shut up by Tomoe's death glare.
Because of this, Kotetsu and Onikiri ran away from Tomoe. Honestly, Tomoe felt tired. For a week now, starting from the day that Nanami confessed to her, he had been restless, spending night after night in the redlight district, hoping to find the distraction that he needed, but his mind kept on drifting back to Nanami, whether she was alright or not.
But also, because of his carelessness, he hadn't even noticed that Nanami had been feeling unwell, and had even placed those dreaded mushrooms in her breakfast. He felt guilty about the things that the crow tengu told him, and somewhere in his conscience, he wasn't sure about how he felt about Nanami.
Outside, Kotetsu and Onikiri were talking to Kurama, who was worried about Nanami's health.
" Will you tell me where that fox has been going to every night? " Kurama asked them, as he sat down on the ground.
Kotetsu and Onikiri looked at eachother, but soon answered, " Tomoe-sama had been restless, since last week. He started going out every night, and by the time he comes back, he would either look drunk or forlorn, just like he did a while ago. "
Kurama nodded like he understood the situation.
" I'll be back here later or tomorrow, to check on Nanami. For now, make sure that the fox won't leave Nanami's side. Though I doubt that he would at a time like this. " Kurama told them, then left.
Nighttime came, and Tomoe had just finished feeding Nanami the soup that he made for her. She was constantly fainting and coughing, probably due to the fact that she didn't take care of herself, and partly his fault for leaving her every night.
" Nanami, this is what happens when you overwork yourself " Tomoe lightly argued with her.
" But you do it too. This is nothing. I can handle this. Go and take a rest, Tomoe. You need it " Nanami answered, her voice starting to falter.
" No, I will not leave you here. End of discussion. " Tomoe told her, his tone signifying that it was the end of it.
Nanami sighed, feeling too weak to argue with him. She soon fell asleep, looking more peaceful than ever. And that was when Tomoe noticed that she had dark circles under her eyes, which were a little red, like she had been crying for several nights. Her face was pale and her hands were cold, and because of this, Tomoe looked for another blanket then draped it over her.
" Kotetsu, Onikiri? " Tomoe called out quietly, so that Nanami wouldn't wake up.
" What is it, Tomoe-sama? "
" Has Nanami been crying? "
" Yes, Tomoe-sama. Nanami-sama had been crying for every night that you left. Last night, she was crying much harder, but whenever we tried to comfort her or ask her what was wrong, she would just smile and tell us to sleep " Onikiri answered as Kotetsu nodded.
" So all along, Nanami knew that I have been leaving every night? " Tomoe asked the two.
" That is all, you may rest now " Tomoe instructed and the two left the room.
' Nanami is too good for me, and that it why I do not deserve her ' Tomoe thought as sleep overcame him.