Rika stared at the man who she had assumed would at least be near 30/40 years old, but staring back at her with a calm smile was a man who was most likely in his 20’s. Rika, although nervous, soon was consumed by a calm feeling given off by the man’s smile. Rika nodded to her father. Kenta Matsumoto was anything but her mother’s description.
“He’s a cruel heartless, selfish, man.” “Your Father arranged for your engagement so don’t back talk me!!” “YOUR FATHER WOULD BEAT YOU WORSE THEN I HAVE IF HE KNEW YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH A BOY OTHER THEN YOUR FIANCEE” Those words filled her head. “Could he be pretending to be nice?” “What if he IS what mother says...” “Could it be...my mother is the cruel one?” These were the thoughts rushing through her mind but something snapped her out of her trance—her father’s voice.
“Rika...how would you like to walk with me??” Kenta asked calmly. Rika nodded again. Rika and Kenta laughed and talked for a while and Kenta kept smiling. “Got anyone you like yet? You’re about that age right?” Rika looked down at the ground she thought her father planned the wedding was he doing this to torture her or........did he not know? “I do care about someone, but it doesn’t matter I can’t be with him.” Kenta looked shocked. “Why not?!?!?” His voice seemed shaky as if he was worried about something. Rika looked surprised but soon the expression disappeared. “I’m...engaged.” Kenta’s face changed immediately the calm smile was obviously annoyed. He reminded Rika of taunting an animal in a cage and the expression they have when they truly get annoyed. Kenta slammed his fist in the wall “DAMMIT HOW DARE SHE GO BEHIND MY BACK AGAIN!!!!” Rika looked shocked again “behind his back??” she thought “but she said.................so it was her doing!?!?” Kenta looked at Rika then sighed. “What’s your fiancé’s name?” He asked obviously no longer calm and happy. “Soroku.”
“What is she thinking.............?” Kenta said under his breathe. Rika just barely heard it. Rika looked at him “huh?” “It’s nothing” Kenta smiled at her as he spoke. The two reached a large room and Kenta leaned over and pat Rika on the head. “This is my room so this would be the end of our walk.” Kenta smiled down at Rika. A few maids Rika had never seen before came running out with worried faces.
“LORD KENTA” “MASTER KENTA” “KENTA-SAMA!!!” They all screamed. Rika noticed a few languages she didn’t understand well. Rika soon found out one was Chinese and the other was English. The Japanese one’s words were clear to Rika something about her father’s ill health. “You’re sick??” Rika looked at her father as she spoke as if trying to see every body language he might use. Kenta’s father sighed and walked towards her. “I am, very in fact. I wasn’t even supposed to make it this far in life.” He spoke with an unchanging voice, it made Rika feel cold. “Rika-san!!!! THERE YOU ARE!!!!” a girl, a young maid, ran down the hall towards Rika. “YUUKI-SAN!!!” Rika called out as the young woman ran toward them. Her light brown hair was twice as long in the front but the back was still pulled up, her young expression was kind and she wore a white kimono as all the maids did.
“Yuuki-san? My how long has it been? How have you been?” Kenta smiled kindly as he spoke. Rika looked at both who seemed to be talking about how they’ve been. Yuuki-san (as Rika had learned) moved her arms a lot as she spoke, and her arms were moving quite quickly, Rika smiled knowing that one of the few people who were kind to her not because of her title, was happy. “Matsumoto-san, I have meant to do this for a very long time...” Yuuki-san bowed gracefully and then looked him in the eyes, “Thank you for taking me in off the streets and letting me be the one to help raise Rika!! She’s one of the few things in this world that, to me...make the world seem less dark.” Rika froze. “Father chose her to take care of me?? He gave me one of the few things that I can trust...” then Rika giggled on the inside about the compliment. Kenta smiled at her and nodded and was about to speak when one of the maids called him in.
Yuuki-san took Rika’s hand and started humming something as they headed back to Rika’s room. “Yuuki-san?” Rika look up as she spoke pausing for a second, “Those maids called the head of the family by his first name isn’t that odd?” Rika looked up at Yuuki-san as she spoke. Yuuki-san stopped humming and smiled at Rika and spoke gently, “well they have been close to Matsumoto-san for a long time.” Rika could understand that. When they reached Rika’s room they both said good night and split up for the night.
Rika awoke the next few days to the birds chirping knowing she’d see her father’s smile. They spent a lot of time together and as they did they became closer. One thing became obvious though, her mother was a liar and a cruel heartless person. Her father was nothing like described and it seemed even the maids liked him, from the “elders” to the new comers. He knew all of the guards and he spoke to them as if they had been close friends their entire lives. He was a strong person, even though his body was weak. He had a kind smile, but serious eyes, and when need be he was intimidating.
Rika and Kenta talked about many things, from when Kenta first took over the mansion, to when Rika was born and so on, but he never mentioned his parents, not once. One day as her and Kenta sat and watched the sunset, a maid walked over, an elder. “Rika, there you are!!! The Mistress wants you to return IMMEDIATELY!!!” the elder bitched as she stomped over to Rika. Rika stood up and stared the elder straight in the eye, and spoke strongly, “HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY!!!!! YOU WERE OUT OF LINE AND IM STAYING WITH MY FATHER AND THAT’S THAT!!! DON’T EVER SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY AGAIN!!!!” The elder although insulted bowed and walked off, obviously mumbling something about how manners don’t exist anymore and what not. Kenta blinked and stared at Rika. “Something wrong?” Rika asked staring up at her father. Kenta shook his head and calmed down “you look like your grandmother used to...” he stated. “Was she a bad person?” Rika asked her red eyes staring intently. “Not at all, she was kind...she had a hard past...and many of the town’s people hated her...” Kenta looked up at the sky that had become dark and the stars were now showing through “she was...lost back then...father said...OH! Your grandfather was a priest...but he said to shun the lost and in pain makes you a bad person. Father was odd indeed.”
Kenta told Rika many stories about his parents, when he was done all was silent. For a while no one spoke, Rika was taking in all that she was told and Kenta was just enjoying the stars. Kenta broke the silence as the sun came up “Rika...I want you to know I’ve been working for a while to make it so you are no longer engaged to that boy...now let’s go to sleep its late.”
Rika lay in bed trying to fall asleep for a while...a world where she wasn’t engaged to Soroku...Rika smiled and finally fell asleep. The next morning Kenta didn’t come visit Rika. Rika ate breakfast and read a book until it became near noon. They may have stayed up late but he wouldn’t wait this long to come get her she got up and walked towards his room a heavy worry-some feeling haunting her. As she approached the room the feeling got heavier. Rika opened the door and her face turned pale. There lying on the bed, covered in blood, was her father...or his corpse at least. Before Rika could let out a scream the sound of footsteps echoed down the hall. “RIKA-SAN!!!!!!” Yuuki-san was running down the hall with a worried expression “THE MISTRESS IS DEAD I WAS SO WORRIED YOU WERE TOO!!!” as she reached the room her face turned pale too. “Oh god............” tears filled Yuuki-san’s eyes “Matsumoto-san...”
The day of the Funeral dark clouds filled the sky. Every maid and guard was to attend. Rika sat as a few maids put her hair up, as demanded by the elder maids. All the maids wore black kimonos, which made the already depressing air even more depressing. Rika wished silently that the maids would wear white like normal. Yuuki-san took Rika’s hand and lead her out to wear the bodies were. Rika noticed she wasn’t her normal happy self, even though Yuuki-san was trying to hide it as best she could. At the funeral everyone stared at the bodies from about 12 feet away. The funeral was the first time Rika had worn black. Yuuki-san looked at Rika “you’re the only one with permission to go talk to the bodies and touch them...you may go up now.” As she spoke she let go of Rika’s hand. Rika was motionless but soon ran off towards Kenta’s body she collapsed on the ground next to him and pulled her hair down. She began to tremble as she slowly gripped the body in a tight hug tears streaming down her eyes. “PAPA.................!!!!!!!!! ITS NOT REAL WAKE UP!!!!!!”
As Rika’s screams filled the air rain began to pour down endlessly. Yuuki-san looked up with a fake smile, and sorrowful eyes filled with tears, “Such fitting weather.......Even the sky cries for Matsumoto-san...”
To be continued...
Koboshi the Chaos Spirit