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Oyasumi Empty on Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:41 am

Coming back tired from Smuggler's Steps, the Joyan rouge had brought Masami into the Lobby of Goat's Beard Inn. He gently dropped the boy into taking a seat in a couch, then looked at a woman two-meters away from them, nodding as a signal to pick 'something' up. Masami, still heavy breathing from the sudden rush of adrenaline due to the events that occurred from earlier, wasn't able to sit up straight – thus he had an arm that compressed his stomach, mainly trying to hold the lowest rib as he groans in the aftershock.

The woman that was called earlier came back with bandages, a clean, white towel and a small bucket filled with cold water – the Joyan rouge took this and sent the woman off. "I didn't know what I was saying." straightforwardly, Masami admitted, but groaned as he was trying to speak. To order someone to use their lives to protect a stranger they have never met before until now... what was he thinking? Definitely, it wasn't Masami perhaps—no, it definitely was Masami; a side that has not yet ripened before, has finally committed such a crime of escaping its captor's body. Just to make up for it, Masami apologized, an act of honor. He didn't want the rouge to think that he was a far-fetched, arrogant and egotistic person, simply because the boy was well-aware that he truly is not; the fact that this rogue knew him as a performer in Joya, was already enough to raise more than one red flag. Everyone in Masami's hometown knew all too well who Masami was, and what he looks like, how he lives his daily lives... who his parents are – those people, perhaps, knew Masami's life more than he knew his own self, as self-aware he was, anyway. The man truly did not even mind, damping the towel in water to be placed on Masami's forehead, then using magic to heal Masami once more. "I heard... that you were searching for your mother's cure." replied the man instead, and Masami forcefully nodded in reaction to the changes happening to his body.

Now, he was calming down. "Mhmm." this noise was an enough answer, though he shook his head accompanied by the message. The complete answer would have been something similar to: Yes, I was, but I caught myself in lots of trouble I should not have in the first place, but there was no way that Masami could admit this. "Remind me of who you are, as you knew me so well." this was simply a request, which may sound arrogant and commanding to non-Joyan people, but because the man understood so well, he shall indeed remind the performer—ah, it's been a while since Masami has been referred to as the "performer" rather than the "boy" – in fact, Masami has slightly forgotten how he was treated back then in the... court? Why did that flash into his visions instead of the theater?

"Ah, you don't need to know." answered the man as he started to unwrap the bandages to be enveloped around the boy's body – he answered this with a chuckle on his face, then finally continued to speak when he started to help Masami undress himself so that the man may make use of the bandages. "I knew your mother, however, she was a very kind lady." The location where the bandages are being placed upon were the bottom ribs, whose flesh that covers it shone in a bright-red, slightly purplish in color. The boy bit his lip while being treated, making an effort being in silence. "Do you not remember Eiko? My daughter, she used to visit and play with ji." ah, the man was referring to the twins, Masami's younger siblings – but since Masami only ever visited home during damp days to tend his mother, he rarely saw how the twins even played in accord to the other children. Thus, he shook his head in answer, slightly humiliated for not knowing.

Once again, Masami groaned in pain when the man fastened the ends of the bandages. He finally wore the overcoat properly this time, covering Masami from the cold. "However, she got sick as well, sadly." the continuation of the man's statement left Masami in a cliffhanger. Why are so many people getting sick? Emphasizing the "so many" despite only knowing two sick people so far, but these are people acquainted with Masami and... perhaps the performer, himself, is "sick" as well. "Arm." says the man, asking for Masami's arm so that he may wrap the bandage on it after cleansing the skin. There was still some leftover, dried blood stained over that area, yikes. Masami appreciated this sort of effort, it was usually Masami who took care of people but... he didn't have to get beaten up before finally being taken cared of – he really had to get the reward in the hard way?

"If... what if her illness is a curse?" asked Masami, doubtfully, a part of him thinking that the question was silly and irrational... but the man didn't think the same otherwise. "I was thinking that, too." oh? As if he knew, so far as he has observed the boy, a concluded answer has come for the performer. "I believe a demon has taken over you—ah, rather, lives in you, waiting for your permission." he supported his opinion, still wrapping the bandage over Masami's lower arms, "Because of how you acted earlier, and when you mentioned the Oni." should the performer not have mentioned the word? As if unfolding a great mystery, Masami was ever so willing to discuss such story. "Then, not only it has something to do with my mother nor me, however it also included my siblings?" innocently, he asked this question with a raised brow. The bandage was fastened once more, and now he will be getting his ankles healed in the process.

Come to think of it, Masami was still barefooted. "Ah, my slipper..." with an upset tone, he uttered this. Such a waste, truly. He ended up not getting his slipper back even after all that, but he didn't want to be known as the 'masochist' as well. Everyone is getting good titles but Masami was still left with nothingness, and being the "performer" just isn't enough. "We can try looking for that by tomorrow." answered the man as he started to take a good look at Masami's twisted left ankle, this time. "My, this one looks bad." he referred to the swollen ankle, more purplish in color compared to the coloration of the skin above Masami's lower ribs; the boy groaned due to feeling bad about himself. "Well, we can fix this... however," he stopped in thought, opening his palm in front of the ankle, using magic to speed up the healing process, "did you perhaps... come in contact with a demon?"


Masami shook his head immediately after... but now that the man asked, had Masami truly created some sort of contract with a spirit? "Hmm..." Masami doesn't remember, nor was he even sure now if he indeed come in contact—in contract with a demon. 'Then the woman Tomoe-dono was referring to in the mountains–?' he started to vaguely panic in unease, trying hard to recall everything that had happened so far. "I'm afraid that I may have, but do tell the solution to such occurrence if you have." He started to contemplate... then self-deprecate, self-pity then self-blame... was he truly the reason for everything that was happening? Was this the price of all the talents he received—was he in a contract in the first place? What will be happening then, and how are these going to end? Is Masami going to become a demon?

Or perhaps the better question was... is Masami a youkai in the first place?

"Then..." the man repeated, now he was starting to wrap the bandage around the boy's ankle, which now appears less-swollen and appearing more natural in color, "ah, so many things." He halted to scratch his nape – he didn't have to do this, but it was as if his body acted on impulse just to express his feelings. The man continued to wrap the bandage, still thinking of an answer. "Perhaps it is better if you visit Hosenka." Masami has heard of this place before; the Fiorian land of Joyan refugees, is it not? 'My business with Hinoki Theater is still unfinished, ah.' Masami nodded over the thought, agreeing over the synchronicity of future choices. East Fiore, then...? How far is that, exactly?

Now that the performer is shredded towards a goal, everything became more easy and casual. "How far is that?" he asked, looming over the sight of watching the process of his healing ankle. "Not so far, may take only one or two nights of travel." answered the man, shaking his head a little. "I will take you to a vehicle tomorrow, you must rest for tonight."

Masami was being placed into a position lower because of his age, allowing him to exaggeratedly pout as he slowly drops his upper body down. He was completely laying on the couch now, and might fall asleep sooner. The way this Joyan stranger treated Masami reminded the performer of how Joya will forever be related to him, no matter how far he goes, there will still be a connection. Even if he was normal, or cursed. Ah, how he misses the land of Joya already, and the warmth of his ill mother in rainy days. Aware of how he was already starting to see things, Masami needed to ask one last thing before he starts to dream.

"Sir, are you truly that dear to our family?"

The man gently chuckled, and only now Masami had realized that the man seemed already of old age, and that he has been moving in a quick, albeit paternally gentle pace so far. "That is up to you, once you are back in Joya." when he answered this, Masami was already satisfied. He smiled before he finally slept, and by the morning he'll be on his way.



Oyasumi Untitl19
#FFD699 (Fiorian) | #A23131 (Joyan) | #B2212E (Halloween)

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