As Kenta opened his eyes, he was welcomed by sheer darkness. It felt as though he woke up in nothingness—all by himself. He stood up and walked aimlessly, groping for his way out of this horrid place. After walking for quite some time, which seemed like eternity, a blinding light at the end of the path flashed before his eyes. The light was so bright that he narrowed his eyes and blocked the light with his hand. He squinted until his eyes became tiny slits, then craned his head to make out what was at the end of the path. To his surprise, he saw a person’s silhouette, of which appeared to be headed toward him.
Kenta absentmindedly headed for the blinding light, as if he was gravitating toward that silhouette. When they were only a few feet apart, he saw them extend both of their arms, then Kenta immediately felt like something or someone was tugging his little finger. He looked at his right hand and saw a red thread that was tied around his little finger. His gaze followed the thread to see what it was connected to.
As he continuously followed the thread, he realized that it was entangled with another one, making it difficult for him to see which one was the right thread. In the end, he gave up and looked back again at the person before him. His eyes opened wide when he noticed another silhouette appear out of nowhere beside the first one—and now, both of them were extending their hands toward him.
In unison, he heard them both gently utter his name “Kenta” and a blue butterfly suddenly flew toward him.
“Kenta? Kenta, are you awake?” Kenta immediately opened his eyes upon hearing this familiar and gentle voice. He felt a bit groggy, so he could only groan in response.
While he was rubbing his eyes, he asked, “What time is it?”
The other person paused for a few seconds then gently responded, “It’s a quarter past ten.”
Kenta’s eyes opened wide. “Shish! I’m late for work,” he exclaimed. Finally, wide awake, he looked around and was shocked by what he saw. “Where are we?”
“We’re in your old farmhouse, silly,” the other person responded. “Can’t you recognize your own room?”
Kenta could not believe what he heard. He could see those several lines that were made by him and his mother on the door’s frame in the past to measure his height as years went on. He also saw the familiar window on the right side where he used to sit and gaze into the distance, as he waited for his father’s return from work. Everything looked exactly like it was before they vacated this place. This place where time seems to have frozen, it made him feel like he went back in time. However, what made him feel more surprised was seeing the person who woke him up from his sleep. “Yuu?”
“Good morning, Kenta,” Yuu greeted. His blue hair was a bit lighter now as compared to when they met for the first time again in Shinjuku. The sunlight that shone from outside the window made the room glimmer, the light in Yuu’s dark brown eyes made them sparkle like the morning star, and his smile was as bright as this pleasant morning.
Kenta could not help but be awestruck. He shook his head and touched his chest. When he realized he was not wearing anything, he immediately responded, “Morning. Wait. Wait. What am I doing here? What are you doing here? Why are we here!? Why am I naked?!”
“Whoa…wait, one question at a time. Don’t you remember what happened last night?” Yuu gently smiled and looked like he was teasing the other. He sat down beside Kenta’s futon.
“What do you mean?” Kenta asked, puzzled.
Yuu sighed then answered nonchalantly, “I brought you back to this house, which I am now the owner of, oh, and we slept together.”
Kenta could not digest this information that he heard from Yuu. He mulled over it for a bit then sluggishly responded, “You mean…you mean we actually did it?”
With his brows knitted, Yuu responded, “I don’t get what you mean by ‘we actually did it.’ Did what?”
Kenta’s cheeks blushed. His ears were slightly red, too. “You know…that thing couples do when they’re alone. Make lo, lo—“ He puckered up his lips and formed an ‘O’ shape, then he stuttered and looked away.
“Have sex you mean?” Yuu bluntly clarified.
“Dammit, why do you have to be so straightforward!” Kenta yelled as he lightly slapped Yuu’s forearm.
“Ouch, you weren’t clear, so I was only clarifying.” Yuu grinned, then continued, “To put your mind at ease, this is what happened…”
Yuu explained that he saw Kenta unconscious in an alley. He thought he was drunk, so Yuu tried to carry him on his back to send him back to the brothel, but they said that Kenta was already kicked out of that place. In the end, he brought Kenta back to their hometown. His clothes were soaked with vomit, so he had to undress the man. Yuu tried getting him dressed in new clothes but Kenta was so resistant, he was left with no choice but to let Kenta stay naked as he slept in the room. Kenta’s old room was now Yuu’s room. They could not occupy the other rooms at the moment because Yuu had just bought the house and they had to renovate the place. The only livable one was Kenta’s room, so they both shared the same room for the night. Of course, majority of these words were made up by Yuu to put Kenta’s mind at ease.
The truth was, Yuu was watching over the other man when Kenta was confronted by Mr. Yamamoto. So, when the two henchmen left Kenta and Mr. Yamamoto alone inside the office, Yuu took the opportunity to infiltrate the place. Good thing he was a spirit and had the ability to pass through walls and levitate, even with the special artificial body that Musubi had provided him. The only difference between him and other regular spirits was that, through this artificial body, the living could see him, touch him, and interact with him. When the timing was right, he kicked Mr. Yamamoto which rendered the old man unconscious. He immediately took Kenta in his embrace and fled from that place. On the first day that Musubi and Yuu had been in the mortal world, Yuu purchased the old farmhouse and registered it under Kenta’s name. He sold dozens of those valuable relics that Musubi piled up in his palace from his journeys to the mortal world to antique collectors. This earned him a huge fortune. He really wanted to save as much money as possible for Kenta before he went back to Yomi, the realm of the dead, so that he would be at ease to leave the other man behind once again.
“…so that’s what happened. But what happened to my stuff?”
Yuu smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it. I took them from those thugs at the brothel. Your luggage is on that table.” Yuu pointed to the table near the window. There was a big bag on top of it and this made Kenta heave a deep sigh of relief.
After that, Kenta smiled and thanked the man, but he suddenly felt a pain in his chest. His face immediately became pale when he remembered a fragment of what really happened last night. He pondered over it for a while and considered whether he should share what he remembered to Yuu or not. In the end, he decided to tell Yuu the truth. “To be honest with you…” After saying these few words, Kenta hesitated to continue.
“That’s okay. Carry on. I’m listening.” Yuu assured him. He already had an inkling of what Kenta was about to say.
“I…I wasn’t drunk…Mr. Yamamoto…he, that bastard…he wanted me to serve a VIP guest for him. I refused, so he drugged me. I thought he was going to take advantage of this and do something to me. At that time, I felt his henchmen undressing me…I’m not sure if they really did anything to me because I wasn’t myself during that time,” After saying this, Kenta’s eyes glimmered with tears, but he forced himself not to cry in front of Yuu and looked the other way.
“That’s okay. You can cry it out. I’m here for you.” After gently saying this, Yuu hugged Kenta. Right then and there, Kenta broke into tears and tightly hugged the other man back. Yuu patted his head and whispered in his ears, “You look and sound horrible when you cry. Don’t be like this again, yeah? I only want to see you smile.”
Kenta broke away from the other man’s embrace and sniffed as he wiped his tears away. “Yes, I won’t…Haha. Sniff. Hey, you actually look uglier when you cry from what I can remember,” Kenta sniffed and tried to laugh as he teased the other man.
While the two were laughing heartily, someone knocked on the door, then it opened wide. “Yuu, don’t you wanna eat breakfast with your friend?” The person said after walking in.
“Uncle Hitoshi, my friend and I will come out in a bit. Thank you,” Yuu politely said.
The man, who went along with the ruse by answering to “Uncle Hitoshi,” said, “Ooh…now, is this Kenta-kun? What a handsome young man! Well I’m still more handsome.” He smiled as he muttered the last sentence to himself.
“Hello, Uncle Hitoshi! I’m not sure if we’ve been acquainted before…but it’s nice to meet you.” Kenta had known Yuu for a long time, but he never knew that Yuu had an uncle named Hitoshi.
“Oh, we’ve never met before, but Yuu used to tell me about you and his hometown, so I know a lot about you. After his parents divorced, he moved into my place. I’m from Hamamatsu City. I’m his mother’s second cousin,” Uncle Hitoshi explained.
“I see. Sorry to trouble you. I’ll leave after everything has been settled. Uhm…” Kenta said.
Uncle Hitoshi grinned and raised his hands as he squinted his eyes. “Oh no, not at all. Stay for as long as you like. I’m a freeloader here actually. Haha! Anyway, I gotta go back to the kitchen. Meet you boys there in a bit.” After saying this, he left the room and closed the door.
“You don’t have to leave, Kenta. You can stay here. This is your house,” Yuu said.
“But I don’t wanna be a burden to you and to your uncle. This is now your property. And besides, I also have other jobs to deal with in Shinjuku. I can’t just abandon my jobs.” After Kenta said this, his eyes opened wide and immediately added, “By the way, what happened to Shō? You’ve met him, yeah? He’s my friend. He could be in big trouble because of me!”
Yuu clasped his hand on Kenta’s shoulder, then replied, “You don’t need to worry about that. What’s mine is yours. You can stay here with me. You’re my best friend. As for Shō, I’m gonna go back to Shinjuku after lunch to find out what happened to your friend. I’m pretty sure he’s fine.”
“But I need to see that with my own two eyes. Let me come with you.”
Yuu hesitated then thought over what to say next. He feared that if Kenta comes with him, Mr. Yamamoto and his men might see him and would do something bad to Kenta again. He felt listless at the thought of Kenta getting hurt.