They took a different route leading to a detached house beside the inn. The moment they came in through the gates, Reina hears a shrieking voice. It was Kayomi, Mitsuei's twelve-year-old daughter. She starts leaping in excitement after seeing her.
“Oh my! I’m surprised to see you at this time, Reina. And with father, too. What happened? Did you two meet halfway here? Tell me,” she babbles with curious eyes. It is question after question. Reina sees no opportunity to respond.
“Let her relax, Kayomi,” Mitsuei tousles his daughter's hair.
Kayomi pouts in annoyance. Still, she doesn't stop. She pulls Reina’s hand to enter their house.
“Come on. It's cold outside. Do you want tea? I happen to brew one and it's still hot. We can also eat snacks."
Goodness, Kayomi is forceful as always. She might have had a wonderful day for her to be this ecstatic. But then, the young lady's always like this.
Reina is hesitant to accept the family's offer. Is it alright for her to be here? After all, this is her former fiance’s family. Perhaps she should return to her parents' house.
Before Reina can refuse, Mitsuei’s booming voice echoes from the house. His baritone voice demands her to accept.
Reina groans in panic. Heavens, this is starting to feel like a trial.
Well, she was about to commit a crime moments ago. This is a consequence of her actions. She never considered the possibility of someone passing by the bridge before midnight.
And so, with much hesitation, she sets her foot forward entering the foyer. She clasps her hands together so she can hide her nervousness. She is trembling so much. Much more than she did earlier when she attempted to end her life.
Reina anticipates the worse the moment she steps foot into his household. Mitsuei is waiting formally like an emperor sitting on his throne facing his audience.
“I don’t know what is happening but I think this is serious. The last time I’ve seen father like this was when I accidentally broke his armor.” Kayomi mumbles behind her. Then she turns to her with furrowed brows. “What have you done, Reina?”
Reina's throat went dry. She suddenly lost the ability to speak. Kayomi isn't helping her loosen up. And so, she tries to laugh hiding her growing fear.
“What shall I bring father?” Kayomi inquires with her usual cheerful voice.
“Go to your room Kayomi. Miss Asai and I have something important to discuss,” Mitsuei responds in a serious tone.
“What? Why father? Should we ask Reina for a drink first? She is our guest,” Kayomi insists.
“You should be sleeping by now, Kayomi."
“Please, father. I want to know what happened."
“Kayomi!” Mitsuei warns raising his voice. He doesn't want to do this right now since Reina is standing in front of them. Moreover, his conversation with Reina will be too sensitive of a topic for a young girl.
“I’m fine, Kayomi. Thank you,” Reina raises her hands to politely decline. She really wants Kayomi to give in since she can feel the tension building up. She doesn't either wish for a young lady to hear about her dilemma. This can cause discord in the family and she doesn't want her to get involved.
“No! What is this all about? If Reina is here it must be about Uncle Tomohisa, isn’t it?”
“Kayomi go to your room.”
“Father, why are you leaving me out of it? Is it about Uncle? What did he do this time?”
“This has nothing to do with you, Kayomi. Leave us.”
“I don’t want to. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“To your room!”
Reina screams midst of the chaos between father and daughter. Her head is getting dizzy from their loud voices. Mixed emotions urge her to speak despite her fears. The pressure she felt is immense that it drove her to spill.
Seems like her yelling does the trick. Both father and daughter fell silent. Their wide eyes stared at her with shock. It was Mitsuei who recovered first. He took an exasperated breath and closed his eyes.
“Was that why you wanted to end your life?” Mitsuei’s words are more of a statement than a question.
Kayomi flinches and abruptly turns to her father then back to Reina.
“Why would you do such a thing?” Kayomi’s voice softens as she took light steps towards her. The pain she felt hearing those words is digging deep within her. She holds Reina’s hand gripping it tightly. “Was it that bad to know you’ll be having a child?”
Reina is stunned. What Kayomi said hit her like a wave. How can she be so uncaring? She was drowning in her self-pity that she has forgotten that she would have also killed her child. Her innocent child.
Reina grits her teeth as she suppresses her tears. Her knees buckle as she starts shaking from all the stress she went through.
“I don’t know what to do anymore,” Reina whimpers as Kayomi embraces her. She falls to the floor feeling the aftermath of her wicked intentions.
She is getting her unborn child involved in the consequences of her actions. Perhaps that is why her resolve wavered. Subconsciously, she knew her life isn't only hers now.
Reina had been crying for a long time. The sound of her weeping fills the room. Kayomi never left her side. She is constantly rubbing her back trying to soothe her sorrows.
And Reina can't believe it. She is being consoled by a lady half her age. So much for being an adult.
Mitsuei remained quiet for the duration of her miserable mode. He sat across her, with a table separating them. The tea tray he brought in the room caught her attention.
The smell of freshly brewed tea is hugging her nose. She had heard a soft knock earlier. It seems like the helpers are not allowed near the room as they only left the tray outside the sliding door.
Kayomi pours Reina a cup of tea. The soothing fragrance of Sencha calms her. She can almost taste the warm sun the moment it touched her lips. Before she knew it, she regained her composure.
“Now, tell me what happened,” Mitsuei’s voice breaks the silence. His eyes are domineering that it terrified her. Enough to finally voice out her troubles.
Looking at Mitsuei right now, he surely will appreciate a straight-up answer.
“As I mentioned earlier I’m pregnant. I have no idea how long since I am scared to visit the doctor.” Reina starts while she wipes her eyes dry. She felt steady after she screamed earlier. She realized it was a first for her to burst out like that. “My family is also unaware of my situation.”
Reina lowered her head. Her actions were so shameful that she couldn’t look them in the eyes.
“Then why end your life?” Mitsuei questions. “Shouldn’t you be telling Tomohisa about this first?”
Reina glances at Mitsuei briefly before answering. Somehow the look he is showing gives her a hint that he knew what she is going to say next.
“I did.” Reina sighs. “It has been bothering me for days now that I didn’t want to waste time. So I gathered up my courage to talk to him.”
“And so you left in the middle of the night?” Mitsuei interrupts. He has this irritated look on his face.
“Yes,” Reina responds softly. She is aware of the dangers for a woman to leave at this time. “I figured he would be in his house in Moulen so I went there.”
“Well, Uncle Tomohisa was not exactly fond of the forest,” Kayomi gives her an amused smile. What she said is true. He hates the forest, mountains, or the terrain. Most especially the insects.
Reina smiles at Kayomi. She is smiling but something about her smile was sad. Like a heavy burden is pulling her lips down.
“I did visit your brother but it seems he didn’t waste time either spending the night with another woman,” Reina replies in a low voice before turning back to Mitsuei.
His face remains stiff. Not a bit of surprise is written on his face. He just sits there without a noise.
“That stupid Uncle!” Kayomi shouts out of annoyance.
Reina didn’t receive any reaction from Mitsuei. The empty expression on his face is incomprehensible. Meanwhile, Kayomi openly expresses her extreme anger at the fact. Reina tries to appease her but can't find the words to say.
The brief moment of silence in the room is deafening. Kayomi hushes after her continuous ramble. But before the ladies could speak up, Mitsuei stands up taking his coat along with a long knife in his hand.
Reina panics seeing his sudden change of behavior. What is going on? She has an idea of what is going to happen but she is too afraid to put it into words. Even Kayomi is alarmed by her father’s actions.
“He should still be in his house right now.”
Reina can hear her heart drop as soon as she hears Mitsuei’s words. She just confirmed her suspicions and something terrible is about to happen.
This is not what she had in mind when she told him.