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Chapter 5 - The Epiphany and the First Date

This is the story of Koizumi, a young ninja who has awoken from a long, long sleep and fallen in love with a dashing (and cute!) young rock star. :3

Chapter 5 - The Epiphany and the First Date

Chapter 5 - The Epiphany and the First Date
Day 3.....part one -0- The epiphany and the first date.

When the sun’s first rays shone through the blinds, I was numb, and my hands were covered with scars. A bloodstained piece of a sheet was tied around my left thumb, which was black and bleeding profusely. I quickly wrapped up my hands and put on a pair of fingerless gloves so that Nazo-san wouldn’t see. I liked fingerless gloves because they provided another place to hide a weapon.
Just as I slid both gloves on, the bedroom door opened.
“Ohayo, Koizumi-san,” Nazo-san yawned.
I let out a small giggle, “Just “ohayo” today?”
“Oh! I’m very sorry!”
“It doesn’t really matter to me. You’re older than I am, so, really, I would be the rude one.”
“Hmm? How old are you?” He rubbed his eyes sleepily.
“I’ll be twenty six in about two months.”
He looked as if he was meditating on just one thought. “Oh! We don’t have practice today!”
“You seem excited. Do you not like singing?”
“Oh no! I love singing! It’s just...yesterday I saw you leave our practice. You looked upset.”
My cheeks unexpectedly turned a light shade of pink. “You saw that?”
“I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. Actually, I left because I was very frustrated with one of my teammates.”
He breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s quite alright. It shouldn’t really matter to me anyway. You’re entitled to your own opinion.” He patted my shoulder and looked down at his feet....
I blushed again. “So, what are we going to do today?”
“I would say play Shogi, but that activity seems to be jinxed....”
I looked down at my watch. “Well, I do think I need to talk to Kureno-kun. Why don’t you go get dressed and invite Taiki-san to your room?”
“To play Shogi with him?”
“Yes, and so I can talk to Kureno-kun.”
“O-okay...” He seemed disappointed. It didn’t occur to me that he might only want to play Shogi so he could play Shogi with me.
“I’ll be right back.” I stood and walked into the bathroom. My hair looked fine (as opposed to looking like I stuck my finger in a light socket), but my left thumb looked a little swollen. It didn’t look bad enough that anyone just glancing would notice it though. When I walked out Kureno and Taiki-san walked in the door. Kureno seemed quite annoyed for some reason.
“Kureno-kun?” I looked at him confusedly.
He hurried over to me and glared straight into my eyes, “Do you have any idea what I was put through last night?!”
“Umm...” I blinked and backed away.
He held up his right hand which was covered by a glove. “I stood there at the sink all night, lighting my hand on fire over and over again!”
“Well, I didn’t have such a peaceful night either. Why are you blaming me?” I folded my arms across my chest.
“Master Yoshida is making me do it because of you!”
“Haven’t you already learned enough?”
“No, but he thought I had when he promoted me. I chose to stay dead anyway, so it didn’t make a difference to me.”
“So, you found a reason to start working hard again?”
“Yes...” He looked away.
“So, it’s not really my fault. Master Yoshida is just pushing you farther.”
“He wants us to be promoted together though.”
I looked away from Kureno. “What is going on at the temple?”
He sighed. “You better sit down.”
I sat on the couch next to Nazo-san, who looked a bit worried.
“Should we cover our ears?” he asked, poking his ear.
It doesn’t matter as long as you don’t tell anyone,” I answered, patting his head.
“Okay.” He smiled cutely.
I looked back at Kureno who was looking at Nazo-san.
“Just tell me what’s going on,” I sighed.
“Why so cross all of the sudden, Koizumi-chan?” he scoffed.
“Kureno-kun, I know what you’re thinking.”
“You read minds?”
“No, that’s Junichiro.”
“You probably do know what I’m thinking though.”
“Don’t tease me. You may live to regret it.”
He laughed. “Yeah, probably, but you might not want to kill me just yet. I have information you’ll want to know.”
“Do tell.”
His voice got quiet. “In the graves of the four first class ninja, each number represents one hundred ninja.”
“I knew it!” I exclaimed quietly.
He gave me a look of confusion. “You knew it?”
“It was my theory.”
“Ah, I see. Anyway, currently the individuals in grave number one are experiencing a power struggle.”
“A power struggle?!”
“Yes, a power struggle.”
“You mean there’s violence, I’m alive, and I’m not a part of it?!”
“They aren’t fighting each other...”
“What do you mean?”
“Master Yoshida thinks that Tsuyoshi may be involved.”
“Tsuyoshi? Isn’t he the master of the Shinigami?”
“Yes, which means that they are dealing with masters of impersonation.”
“So, the power struggle is really between ninja and Shinigami.... What happened to the ninja they are impersonating?”
“We don’t know yet…they’re probably dead.”
“Is this what we are going to have to deal with after we are promoted?”
“No, but we’ll need to stay vigilant.”
“One more question. Why are we talking so quietly?”
“For dramatic effect.”
My voice returned to its normal volume. “Wow…” I seriously considered slapping him upside the head.
“I’m sorry…so, what kind of self inflicted pain were you put through last night?”
“That’s a personal question. If I tell you, I get to ask a personal question too.”
“That’s not…how is that a personal question?!”
“You can learn a lot about a person from the element they control.”
“If you must know, I sat in the corner electrocuting myself all night.”
“Stay away from Nanami.”
I paused. “Who’s Nanami?”
“The female Shinigami…stay away from her,” he sighed, “I’m probably wasting my breath. You’re such a stubborn, trigger happy child.”
“I am not so ignorant that I can’t tell that about myself.”
“I know…”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Just ask your question.”
“Alright…hmmm…what was it that compelled you to work hard on your training again?”
“I can’t tell you that. I’ll answer any question but that one.”
“You’re hiding something, aren’t you?”
“I’m not hiding anything that would affect any of you....”
“What if we considered you a friend?”
“It still wouldn’t affect you.”
“How do I know I can trust you?”
He stopped suddenly, grasped my shoulders, and closed his eyes. “Trust me, Koizumi-chan, trust me. You would be better off if you didn’t get involved in the madness that comes after you’ve given your heart to another. If you succeed here, you may never have to.”
Every eye in the room was on Kureno. Taiki-san’s showed confusion, Nazo-san’s, realization, and mine, frustration.
“How long have you known?” I asked like a convicted criminal.
“I’ve known longer than you have…I’m sorry, Koizumi-chan, have I said too much?”
“Yes, and I think it’s high time you left.”
“I agree, but that is not my decision, is it?”
Taiki-san stood, “we can finish our game of Shogi later, Nazo-kun.”
Nazo-san almost laughed, “We hadn’t even started yet.”
“Oh, then we can start our game of Shogi. C’mon, Kureno-san.” He walked toward the door.
The room remained silent long after Kureno and Taiki-san had left. I felt as if I had been frozen to the couch. I could feel Nazo-san’s eyes gazing upon me. My body was beginning to feel numb. The dead silence caused my will to beg him to speak.
He seemed to hear my mind screaming, because he automatically began to speak.
“K-koizumi-san…what was the real purpose of your experiment?” he asked timidly.
I looked at the floor, “Nazo-san, you are much smarter than you appear to be. I was hoping you wouldn’t understand what Kureno-kun was saying.”
“Well, I may be wrong, but ti seems to me that your experiment and what Kureno-san said about giving your heart to another are closely related.”
“You’re right, they are related.”
“Which must mean that…you have fallen in love with one of the people you’ve come in contact with during this mission.”
“The thing you have to understand about this is that, for us, falling in love with a mortal human is considered a very bad thing. Originally, I knew I was going to meet my fated partner, but I was wanted to resist the strong tug of love and friendship toward disaster.”
“Meaning you don’t want to resist anymore?”
“At this point, I couldn’t resist even if I wanted to....”
“Why did you want to resist?”
“I thought it wasn’t worth the punishment…actually, I still don’t think it’s worth the punishment.”
“Ummm…I don’t mean to sound nosy, but, who’s the lucky guy?”
I grinned. “You’ll have to find out for yourself.”
“I think I already have, but I don’t want to be wrong....”
I looked straight into his eyes…an act that would surely lead to certain death. “I don’t think you’re wrong.”
He glanced down at my hand. “I’m starting to think the same thing…”
My eyes shot down to my hand, and I saw that his hand was touching mine. “Nazo-san…”
“Sorry!” he quickly brought both hands up to his face and blushed with embarrassment.
I could tell very clearly that Nazo-san wasn’t nervous. He was holding back, because he knew I was nervous. All I had to do was make it known that I was completely confident, and Nazo-san would hold back no longer. My hand moved slowly up to hold his, but he beat me to it. He held my hand close to his face. Then he jumped and put my hand back down.
“I’m sorry. I guess being cooped up in here is making me a little crazy,” he squeaked.
“its fine, do you want to go out?” I asked with concern.
“Only if you want to.”
“Well, it was fun yesterday, but I only get a small amount of spending money for each mission.”
“We could go get some lunch.”
“I don’t know, it still costs money.”
“I’ll treat you.”
“Treat me?”
“Yeah.” He nodded.
“Nazo-san, “treat” is a ninja’s favorite word. If you ask a ninja out to eat and say you’ll treat them, they will never say no. thank you so much.”
“It’s nothing really. Hmm, you say “treat” is a ninja’s favorite word? I bet Misaki-san is very happy right now.”
“Does Yuusuke-san like to treat?”
“He does, but he treats too much and never has any money left for himself.” We both laughed.
“Yuusuke-san seems like a very sweet person.”
“That’s one way to put it.”
I stood. “What does that mean?”
He also stood and reached for his bag. “He’s a big goofball.”
“I thought he might be.”
“Are you ready to go?”
Nazo-san opened the door, and, weather he was aware of it or not, we walked, hand in hand, out of the hotel. He had put his sunglasses on and (I guess) was (kind of) trying to look cool. I couldn’t help but giggle. He looked cute!
“What are you laughing at?” he asked with a smile.
“You want the truth?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Of course I want the truth.” He giggled.
“That look on your face was so cute!”
He grinned happily. “You think I'm cute?”
“Yes...very cute.”
He hugged me, lifted me off the ground, and spun around in a circle. “You’re cute!”
“Woah! That was sudden!”
His cute grin turned to a mischievous one. “I’m still recovering.”
“I don’t mean to sound rude or anything, but I hope you don’t.”
As I walked with him, I didn’t come to the realization that this was the moment my grandfather had told me about. It seemed natural to I had been with Nazo-san my entire life. We grew closer and closer with each passing moment. Soon his arm was resting on my shoulders, and my head was resting against his neck.
He pointed out two restaurants as we walked. “That one has really good curry, but the one next to it has very good ramen. Hmmmm...What do you think?”
My stomach growled, and I laughed, “I think my stomach wants ramen, but I’ll let you decide since you’re paying.”
“Your stomach has good taste. Let’s get ramen.”
We were almost to the restaurant when I heard a voice that stopped me in my tracks. I grabbed hold of Nazo-san’s shirt and gently pulled him back.
“What’s wrong?” he asked rather loudly.
“Shhh! Misaki and Yuusuke-san are in there!” I exclaimed quietly.
“What’s wrong with that? Are we keeping this a secret?”
“Misaki and your three band mates cannot know about this. If they do find out...bad things will happen.”
“Bad things? What kind of bad things?”
“I’ll tell you while we are eating.”
“So, we’re going to have curry?”
After we had been seated, and had ordered our food, Nazo-san began his questioning.
“Now you must tell me. What will happen if they find out about us?” he asked frankly.
“I am tempted to lie, but I will tell you the truth,” I sighed, looking down at the table.
“Is it really that bad?”
“Yes...if certain requirements are not met by the end of this mission or people find out about us, then the time I am dead will be spent in hell.”
He lifted my chin gently and looked into my eyes. “If you will meet such an evil fate, please, don’t love me. I couldn’t live with myself if I was the cause for your punishment.”
“It’s too late for that now. We must be optimistic. My master is counting on me to meet the requirements.”
“And if you meet the requirements in time, you’ll get to stay with me, right?”
“Yes, but you’re not the only reason I want to stay alive now.”
He pondered my statement for a moment. “Do you want to stay with Kureno-san?”
“Actually, the reason is something that would be very hard for you to understand. Even if I told you, you would probably think I'm insane.”
“Our bassist was attacked by a Shinigami a couple of nights ago. At this point, I’ll probably believe anything you say.”
“You do have a point there, but this will be very difficult for you to grasp.”
“I think I can handle it.”
“Alright, are you ready?”
“Hai!” He saluted in a very cute way.
“Several years from now, I am going to be born.”
“What?!” The expression on his face was priceless. I had to laugh.
“Don’t try to figure it out. I don’t want you to get a headache.”
“Why are you laughing?”
“Because you’re so cute!”
“Oh!” (This is the only way to describe his face.) ^^
“Anyway, I am going to try and simplify this as much as humanly possible. After I am born, I will live normally for five years, but, after that, I will mysteriously disappear.”
“Are you from the future?” his eyes as big as dinner plates, he pointed to me with wonder.
“No, not exactly. Just allow me to explain. The five year old me will be sent to the past. That is the me you are looking at right now.”
“So, there are two of you?”
“Technically, there is only one of me, but if saying there are two of me makes it less confusing for you, there are two of me. The young me has a different birth name, but it isn’t safe for me to tell you that at this time.”
“So, Koizumi is not the name of the young you?”
“No, Koizumi isn’t the name of the older me either. It’s the name I use on missions to keep my identity safe.”
“You have three names?”
“Yes, you may never know my birth name, but the name I go by most of the time, I can tell you now.”
“Okay, tell me.”
“There is a story with it. I have to explain where my name comes from.”
“Tell me!”
“The five year old me reappeared about a thousand years earlier in the same spot I had disappeared. At that same moment, a young, five year old girl named Emi died of some sort of disease. I took her name as my own.”
“Ah, so Emi is your name?”
“I know why they chose that one.”
I paused. “Nazo-san, was that a pick up line?”
He covered his mouth. “Sorry, it just sort of slipped out.” *Emi=blessed with beauty*
“No harm done.”
“So, you must have spent your twenty six years on missions through history?”
‘Yeah, that’s pretty much right. We only age when we’re alive.”
“And you’re twenty six?!
“And you’re twenty six?! You must have had a lot of missions through the years.”
“Not all of my missions are as brief as this one. The amount of time I stay alive ranges from a week to a year.”
“Oh, I see.”
After our food came, Nazo-san changed the subject.
“So, Koizumi-san, now that we have gotten to know each other better, am I still Nazo-san?” he asked, reaching for his chopsticks..
“Itadakimasu!” I answered in the middle of a laugh.
An annoyed expression appeared on his face as soon as I spoke. It was as if the phrase ‘Itadakimasu’ had just poked his forehead..
“Itadakimasu,” he sighed, “Now answer my question.”
A grin spread across my face. “I’ve been considering Nazo-kun.”
“What do you think of just plain Nazo?”
“I want to take this slowly, if that’s alright with you.”’
“Well, I still think of you as Koizumi-san, because I don’t want you to think badly of me.”
“If you really want me to, I will call you Nazo-kun, but only when we are alone.”
“Then I will call you Koizumi-chan.” He paused for a moment. “So, who is your other reason?”
“Your other reason for wanting to stay alive.”
“That would be my grandfather. I am getting very close to the time when I am to be born, and I know he is alive somewhere in this world. This is the time period when his band became extremely famous.”
“If he’s that famous, then I should be able to find him for you. What’s his name?”
“I never really learned his real name. I always called him Chibi.”
“Chibi? Oh, that’s cute!” he laughed.
“Hey, he was a chibi. My grandfather was only five feet tall, a little chubby, and he had the cutest face.”
“Five feet? Wow, he is a chibi. Hmmm, who do I know that looks like that? So, he’s a chubby chibi, right?”
I started laughing. “I guess you could say that.”
“I do know one person like that. Is he ridiculously funny and a bit of a spaz?”
“Yeah, but he’s also quite smart.”
“Well, he could be Mitsugashi Hitomi from E.M.O.”
My eyes widened, and I gasped.
“What is it, Koizumi-chan? Did I guess right?” he asked hopefully.
“Mitsugashi is my real last name! That must be him!” I exclaimed in astonishment.
“we should go meet him. Will he recognize you?”
“You would thing that, because I have not been born yet, he would not recognize me, but he will. It’s part of the magic of future past.”
“I gotta see this.”
I held up one finger. “One moment please.”

Yomi-kun/Mitsugashi Hitomi/Chibi-kun. Yomi is so adorable! Even when he tries to look and act tough, there's no way I could ever take him seriously! He's just sooooooo adorable!


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