1735 Words
Reina felt like time stopped when she saw drops of blood pooling out of Mitsuei’s hand. The crashing sound caught her by surprise as she has been occupied by regrets and worse decisions that she made in the past few years of her life. She searched her pockets but she didn’t have anything to cover his wound nor stop the bleeding. She is in a state of panic and torn about whether she should run back to the carriage or continuously bang the front door to let them in. She knows she cannot leave Mitsuei alone. Nonetheless, she has to do something to at least stop the bleeding. Then she remembers the cloth binding her hair. She pulls the fabric off her head and grabs Mitsuei by the hand. She tightly wraps the fabric in his hand, tying it by the end. Contrary to Reina’s frantic behavior, Mitsuei doesn’t show any signs of pain on his face. The sting coming from his bloody hand is being overridden by the surge of anger inside of him. He feels like he is going to erupt any time now if not for the panic in Reina’s voice. Not long after Mitsuei's attempts at breaking in, heavy approaching steps echo from inside the house. Whoever it is, must be completely pissed off. “Damn you! Whoever you are I’m going to kill ----.” Tomohisa’s voice trails off once he finally opens the front door. He is half-naked with his hair tousled in the wildest way. The woman whom Reina saw following behind him isn’t one from the brothels. She is standing a few meters away covered with only thin sheets from his bedroom. He seems to have found a different one to entertain him for tonight. “What a surprise to see my brother and … my woman together at this time of the night. What’s so rare about today for both of you to be standing here at my door? Hmm?” Reina can’t help but notice Tomohisa giving her the sharp eye. He makes her feel like she is doing something indecent in front of him. He glares at her like she is the one that’s been caught cheating. Well, he may have witnessed them in a compromising way, but she is only taking care of the wound of an injured man. It could be worse since there are shards of glass left on his cut. “Don’t you try to stray from the real issue here, Tomohisa,” Mitsuei barks at the tone of his brother. He starts to feel frustrated since Reina is only lowering her head not brave enough to face her cheating fiance. Mitsuei is trying to keep his calm. He is the oldest among them and as much as possible, he wants to fix everything peacefully. He’s over with war and battle already. But then, after hearing Tomohisa acting jealous and altering the topic once he got caught is getting to his nerves. “You have the audacity acting like that when you are the one caught sleeping with another woman? What do you take Reina for? Have you no shame, Tomohisa?” Mitsuei continues, still fuming with anger. He can’t hold on to his emotions. This is a clear insult. Despite Mitsuei’s efforts in making his brother understand, Tomohisa only snickers and turns his head towards Reina, purposely ignoring his words. Then he holds out his hand in front of her. “Darling, you know in my line of business I should keep my clients entertained, right?” Tomohisa today runs a prominent tavern in the market, considering the number of officials and foreigners coming to the town just to visit his establishment. He finds working in a hot spring plain and boring. Working at a hot spring is uninteresting to him. He would rather go out at night and be surrounded by people who are having a good time. Not with elders and kids. Mitsuei wastes no time slapping away Tomohisa’s hand. He can feel himself breathing heavily out of rage. He is getting angrier and angrier with every word that comes out of Tomohisa’s mouth. He knows his brother could be pathetic at times but he never expected him to be this cruel even to the woman he loves. “Are you taking her for a fool? Do you actually understand what you’re trying to say, Tomohisa? You’ve been contradicting yourself since the beginning.” Tomohisa purposely ignores his brother and takes small steps toward Reina. An innocent smile is still plastered on his face. “Come on, darling. You understand me, right? It’s not like I adore them as much as I do to you.” “Tomohisa! Until when are you going to be like this? Do you know that you’ll be having ----.” Mitsuei comes to a halt in the middle of a statement, noticing Reina's tug at his clothes. He was on the verge of disclosing an extremely sensitive matter, which he had no right to do. Even though he's worked up, he still wants to honor Reina's desires about the pregnancy, especially now that Tomohisa has been found unfit to be a father. He didn't want it to end the same way his previous marriage had. One of them would be hurt eventually. And, based on appearances, it would only be Reina. Mitsuei stares back at Reina waiting for her words. Reina must have had enough, judging by the tired expression on her face. She gently shakes her head indicating that she didn’t want Tomohisa to be aware of her pregnancy. For a while, Reina remains silent completely submerged in the argument between the brothers. She only snapped back to reality when she realized that Mitsuei was about to tell Tomohisa about her condition. Looking at her fiance right now, she is sure that it won’t work out for them in the end. And that’s not how she envisions her family in the future. “Having what?!” Tomohisa raises his voice trying to intimidate Reina. Mitsuei grits his teeth and is hit by a sudden impulse of beating Tomohisa. As he is about to punch his foolish brother, Reina grips his hand to stop him. Without letting go of Mitsuei’s hand, Reina bravely meets Tomohisa’s superficial expression. Somehow, she feels secure while having Mitsuei’s hand on her grasps. It gives her the courage to speak up and put an end to the absurdity. “What Mister Mitsuei meant was having a fiance. But I guess it will be considered former fiance.” Reina sighs releasing all the worries she has inside. “I am breaking the engagement, Tomohisa. I don’t wish to meet you ever again under any circumstances. I won’t tie you to a relationship anymore. I’ll cut the shackles myself for you. Please, do continue living comfortably by your choices. After Reina’s speech, she gently tugs Mitsuei indicating she wants to leave immediately. Surprisingly, he didn’t argue any further and only followed in her footsteps. All while walking, Mitsue stares at Reina with awe. He completely underestimated her. He was already expecting her to break down in tears while asking Tomohisa the reason for his actions. But no, she kept a brave face until she turned her back to him. Not even a hint of remorse is visible on her face. "Are you mocking me, woman?  You're not even bothering to settle our differences? Is it safe to assume that you and my brother are getting along swimmingly? Aiming to be his second wife, eh.” Tomohisa continues his rambling but neither of them looked back in his direction. He is getting furious for being disregarded on purpose. The Reina, who was usually timid, just told him that they’re not together anymore. The Reina who loves him dearly wants to break up! “I know you’ll return to me like always, Reina. After all, I’m all you have. A woman like you don’t belong anywhere but to me. You hear that?!” Tomohisa yells all over again but still no signs of Reina running back to him. And he would never chase after her. He isn’t that type of person to beg someone. He only continues staring at their backs until they boarded the carriage. Meanwhile, the carriage driver frantically drives the vehicle back to Hanneau. They didn’t have the luxury to look for a doctor hours before dawn. Kayomi is crying nonstop seeing her father seriously injured. Reina tries her best to appease the girl though she can't be much help since she’s also very nervous herself. She could almost give herself an award for staying calm in front of Tomohisa. But in truth, she is close to giving in to her emotions. It didn’t take them long to travel as the driver maneuvered the vehicle swiftly. As soon as the carriage stopped, Kayomi jumps off calling for someone to help them with the treatment. Reina gently drags Mitsuei off the vehicle guiding him back to his house. They didn’t wait long before Kayomi arrived with staff from the hot springs. She immediately cleaned the wound and bandaged it well. She left right after leaving them some advice in taking care of the wound. Everybody feels relieved after hearing that it isn’t a complex case. Now that the worker has departed, Reina is back in the Sou household, sitting in the same position as before. Kayomi's tears have finally stopped. Even yet, her sniffles can still be heard. Mitsuei, on the other hand, remains silent and appears to be deep in contemplation about something. The silence is awfully painful for Reina to bear. Suddenly, she is lost. She acted rashly earlier with Tomohisa but she didn’t feel regret from that. Of course, it pains her. But at least she won’t suffer any longer by his side. “Kayomi, can you prepare the guestroom for Miss Asai?” Reina raises her head and is about to oppose but then Mitsuei was quick to catch on to her. “Don’t expect me to allow you to return home at this time. Besides, we all are in desperate need of rest. Especially you.” Reina meets Mitsuei’s similarly tired eyes. She is too drained to argue with him right now yet, she is still feeling embarrassed for imposing on them too much. She had caused them too much for one night. 
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