The Personal Bodyguard (Chapter 17)


Before I actually gets stabbed on Twitter by someone who is constantly harassing me on Twitter to get my butt up and post my updates… Here you go! I finished this chapter, and the next one aaaaaaaages ago near the beginning of January but haven’t been able to post it for a while. Originally wrote these two chapters as one entire chapter, but found out it was WAAAAAAAAY too long, so I split them up into two different chapters. Have fun reading! (^^)b


Rena’s ears twitched at the sound of a muffled conversation outside her door. Peering out the window from her bed, she could see that it was already the evening, yet she didn’t feel like moving at all. Rena felt no energy, nor did she feel the need to move. Annoyed at the people talking outside her room, Rena threw her cover over her head and tried to block out the sound with her pillow against her ears and tried to go back to sleep.

“She haven’t eaten in a long time. If she keeps going on like this, I’m afraid her body will fail her before Jurina even comes back,” Imade spoke in a small voice, afraid of waking the princess who was still sleeping inside the room, “Airin, I wouldn’t bother you if there was another choice. I would really let you rest since you just recovered not a long time ago but if anyone can convince the princess to eat anything, it is only you. She wouldn’t even listen to Churi!”

Airi looked at the door and then looked at Akane’s worried face by her side and then nodded, “I’ll try my best.”

“Thank you,” Imade thanked the girl and handed over the tray of food which consisted of one melonpan and a plate of fruit.

Airi took the tray with one hand and patted Akane on the head with her other, “I won’t take long. Go do something you want in the free time nee? I will come find you when Rena-san finishes eating.”

Akane pouted but nodded anyway and left. She knew her sister’s health was the first priority of everyone in the castle right now. Kumi have been gone for already three weeks. The commander’s return was due back a week ago. The only reason Akane could think of for having caused the delay, was that they probably ran into some trouble that slowed down the movement of the troops… injuries perhaps, or maybe even death. Looking outside the garden, Akane found everything covered in sheets of white and guessed that it will probably still be a while before Kumi’s troops return as they will probably be slowed down by the snow as well. A cold wind blew in from the window, sending Akane shivering not just form the cold, but also from a bad feeling that something bad happened. Pushing aside her paranoid thoughts, Akane made her way back to her room to find entertainment with her bird while she waits for Airi to finish the difficult task of getting her stubborn sister to eat.

Airi gave the door a few light taps and called out to the girl inside, “Rena-san, I brought you food.” Hearing no reply from the girl within, Airi let herself into the room and closed the door behind her. Looking over to the bed, Airi saw Rena completely out of view under her blankets. Airi put down the tray of food and tapped the non-moving princess.

“I slept for so long and now that I wake up, my first encounter with Rena-san is complete ignorance. Ouch,” Airi stated outloud.

Rena immediately threw her cover away when she recognized Airi’s voice and hugged the girl, “You are finally awake!”

Airi chuckled and sat herself down on the edge of the bed, “I’ve been awake for a while now. You were just so occupied with the things on your mind you didn’t notice.”

Being reminded of Jurina, Rena’s arm excitement disappeared like smoke and her arm slid down back to her side as she threw herself back down onto her bed and pulled her blankets over her shoulder again.

“I brought you food,” Airi repeated again, hoping the girl will know what she was here for.

“I’m not hungry,” Rena replied plainly.

“Rena-san, not eating is not going to make Jurina come back faster. Eat something okay?” Airi sighed, “Everyone is getting worried about you – Mai-chan, Churi, me, not to mention your father. If you don’t eat something soon, you won’t even survive to see Jurina come back. So eat something.” When Rena didn’t say anything, making Airi feel like she was talking to herself, Airi sighed yet again, “Rena-san, Jurina hates people not eating properly. She often growl at me when we were back in Akihabara whenever I skipped meals because I was not in a good mood or something. She would force it down my throat.”

Seeing Rena looked at her with her eyes widened, Airi added for a bit of a laugh, “Literally.” She knew she achieved her goal when she caused a small smile to form on Rena’s face. Airi grinned and pointed to the princess’s smile, “Ah, there you go. There’s that smile. Now eat up, before I force it down your throat like Jurina did to me.”

“You wouldn’t,” Rena smiled weakly.

Airi reached over and grabbed the tray and placed it on her lap, “Yes I will. You should hear your voice right now, Rena-san. You sound like you’ve been living on a desert without water for months.”

“Jeez, I miss you too, Airin. I really did,” Rena rolled her eyes and said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

Airi smiled and handed the plate of fruit to the princess, “Here, no melonpan until you finish the fruit first.” Rena’s pout did nothing to affect Airi’s choice this time as the girl shook her head at the sight, “Don’t even try. My rules. This is punishment for not eating regularly. Now finish your fruit before I decide to eat your melonpan.

Rena obediently slowly chewed on the grapes, her eyes never leaving the melonpan sitting on the silver tray on Airi’s lap. Airi sighed with relief to see the princess finally eating again. She have heard from not just Imade, but also other servants around the castle that Rena have barely eaten anything for the last three weeks and it was worrying her.

“How are you feeling, Airin?” Rena finally asked after she finished the first piece of grape at a painfully slow speed.

“More refreshed than ever,” Airi replied, “Don’t feel like ever sleeping again.”

“That’s normal,” Rena nodded, “I don’t think you would even think about sleeping after doing so for an entire three months.”

“I can’t be sleeping if I wasn’t even sure if I don’t feel like I actually slept and rest,” Airi said, “It was all just black and nothing else during that time. No sound, no voice, no touch, no memory. It was like… like…”

“A hole in your memory,” Rena filled in the blanks in Airi’s words.

Airi smiled and nodded, “Something like that. But Churi filled me in with what I missed out… I’m very sorry for your loss, Rena-san. If only I had been awake at that time, perhaps I could have protected your sister.”

Rena shook her head, “It wasn’t your fault. If anyone is to be blamed, let it be Togasaki.”

“I haven’t seen him in a long time too… Perhaps I should go pay him a visit soon…” Airi said with a thoughtful smile. Airi immediately backed down on her words when she saw Rena give her a glare, “N-No! Not like now! Not like Jurina. I mean, when we actually go to take Togasaki down. I would love to be there. Don’t look at me like that!”

“Then don’t say stuff like that,” Rena said simply, “I’ve had enough of heart attacks. I don’t want another one.”

“I’m not the one who stopped eating for almost three weeks… I don’t even want to know how you survive,” Airi mumbled.

Rena ignored the girl and placed the finish plate of fruit back on the girl’s tray and picked up her melonpan and drowned herself in the light smell of her favourite food before taking a bite into the bread.

After a brief silence, Airi decided to strike up another conversation. She already had enough of silence for three months already. “So how was Jurina the last time you saw her?” Airi asked.

Rena put down her bread and gave the girl a small smile, “She was recovering. But she is always so stubborn about taking her medicines…”

Airi chuckled, “Sounds like Jurina. She doesn’t like medication. She doesn’t like the idea of relying on medication to survive.”

“But if she doesn’t then she will die!” Rena raised her voice, unable to believe that Airi could take something this big as something to laugh about.

“As crazy as it does sound,” Airi calmly said, “I am pretty sure Jurina prefers it that way.”

“She is so…”

“So…?” Airi waited for Rena to finish her sentence.

Giving up on thinking of one right word to describe the girl, Rena threw in the words that were swirling around in her mind, “Annoying. Stubborn. Stupid. Crazy. Idiotic.”

Airi smiled, “You seem to understand Jurina a lot. That pretty must sums up her entire being if you add childish and likes to be spoiled in the description as well.”

“She likes to be spoiled?” Rena asked, “What do you mean?” Rena could not imagine the silent assassin to be someone who would like to be spoiled. The girl didn’t look like anyone who would want any attention from anyone at all, almost as if she would feel the happiest if everyone else in the world was dead.

“Jurina might look so cold and independent all the time, but sometimes there are sides of her when she really becomes a cute kid,” Airi explained, “Back before everything started, on stormy days, Jurina would sometimes beg me to sleep together because she was always afraid of thunder. Sometime she can become really happy if you do as little as just giving her a piece of your favourite food or something. She is very easily satisfied when she is in that state.”

“But when she is not?”

“When she is not, she is something entirely different,” Airi continued, “You don’t know what she’s thinking, she keeps everything inside herself and opens up to nobody. She could be in pain, dying, suffering, and no one will know because she will show it to no one. That was the side she jumped into after we got this job. I just don’t see her kid side anymore.”

Rena took a bite into her bread again and spoke as she recalled one of her favourite memories with Jurina before, “I think I have seen her childish side once…”

“Oh?” Airi looked at the girl in surprise. She has not seen that side of Jurina ever since everything started, and that was a long time ago.

Rena nodded, “There was one time when I was walking around the castle just to pass the time and caught Jurina sitting on the edge of the window, humming to the music playing on the streets. When I called out to her, she gave me a really rare smile and waved for me to go and join her. I had thought that sudden change was some side effects of the medication she was taking.”

Airi laughed, “Yeah, that’s Jurina alright! Jurina really loves music. She might not seem like the type, but she can be easily calmed down with music. Especially singing! When we were little, whenever we crossed by a group of travelling bards on the street, she will always drag me with her and just sit next to the bards and listen to them all day long until they leave. Jurina was that kind of person.”

“No wonder she always urged me to sing whenever the two of us are listening to the streets outside,” Rena unlocked another piece of the puzzles into fully understanding Jurina’s nature. In doing so, she couldn’t help but notice how everything she knows about Jurina came from Airi. She could know nothing about Jurina without the help of her friend and that thought somehow troubled her. But seeing Airi’s eyes shine when she described Jurina’s personality, she could only imagine how much sisterly love the two girls must have for Airi to know so much about Jurina and to adore the girl to that extent.

“You are really lucky, Rena-san,” Airi said, “You get to see a side of Jurina that she doesn’t like to show often. Jurina must really see you as someone close to her.”

“Someone… close to her…?”

Airi nodded, “Jurina might seem cold to strangers, but if she likes you, you will see the side of her that is not usually shown to others. It will not be obvious. But if you know where to look, you will notice the different ways she treats the people she considers trustworthy and you will realize how much of a special treatment those people were getting.”

“But still, she doesn’t talk a lot though,” Rena pointed out.

“She used to,” Airi said, “But she doesn’t anymore, not even to me. She used to talk on and on to everyone and nothing will be able to shut her up. But… you know, when you are fitted into a job like ours, the killings… just cuts off our senses. In order to feel no guilt, feel no pain and feel no suffering, we isolate every part of ourselves in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. Eventually, we just block out all our emotions until we are just a boring walking killing machine.”

“That’s not true…” Rena whimpered, “Airin is different.”

Airi smiled, “That’s because I’m not normal. I was weak and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t’ cut myself off the way Jurina could. I tried, but the people I’ve hurt just comes back to haunt me every night. Eventually, I just took a completely different approach to it. While Jurina and others cuts off their connection to the terror, I just learn to endure and live with it. I accepted this murderous beast as part of me, but at the same time I rejected it.”

Rena stared at Airi for a second but then put her focus back onto the half eaten melonpan in her hand, “That is so confusing.”

Airi chuckled, “I don’t suppose you would understand the horror of killing someone up close. Their warmth, their breath, their eyes… Perhaps Yagami-san or Kizaki-san would understand.”

“Jurina did though, right?” Rena asked, “She knows and understands the horror of it.”

Airi shook her head with a painful smile on her face, “I doubt she did. If she did, she hid it well. When Jurina kills… it’s scary.”

“You don’t say…” Rena said as she still clearly remembers her first encounter with Jurina. The cold and emotionless eyes of the girl as she tried to stab her with her stupid determination.

“But then I am used to it already,” Airi continued talking, “Seeing the killing side of Jurina. She is like a sister to me and I’ve already learnt to love every side of her, even the bad sides.”

“Do you regret having taken this job?” Rena asked out of the blue.

Airi blinked and thought about the question for a while, but then shook her head and replied in a serious voice, “I can’t say I do. This job gave me a chance to travel around. It’s true I feel guilty about all the lives I’ve taken… but… if I have not taken this job, I would not have ever come to Sakae and I would not have met you, or Churi. I dare say that I am happier now than I have ever been in my whole life.”

Seeing the occasional shine again in Airi’s eyes as she talked about Akane, Rena smiled with realization, “You really like my sister don’t you, Airin?”

Airi smiled, her face slowly turning pink in response to Rena’s rhetorical question as she recalled what happened that day after she woke up from her three months slumber. Unconsciously, Airi’s fingers reached up and touched her own lips where the lingering touch of the girl’s lips was still there.

Noticing the pink face, Rena placed her hand over Airi’s and smiled, “I am glad we met you.”

After seeing Rena took her last bite, Airi held up the tray and stood up, “Are you still hungry?”

Rena shook her head, “I was never hungry in the first place remember?”

Airi chuckled, “I will come find you for lunch with Churi later. I have to make sure you are up and healthy again when Jurina comes back, else she will sure growl at me again.”

Rena looked at Airi, “You don’t seem angry at all that Jurina hurt you.”

Airi shrugged as she made her way to the door, “I love her too much. Even if she had killed me, I probably still could not have brought myself into being angry, or even hate her.”

“Jurina is very lucky…” Rena smiled.

Airi gave a returning smile and bowed to excuse herself. But before she could open the door, it flung open on its own with Imade out of breath, pointing outside,

“R-Rena-chan! J-Jurina… and K-Kuumin…”

At the mention of their names, Rena bounced up from her bed while Airi placed the tray aside and shook Imade’s shoulder, “Are they back already!? Is Jurina okay!?”

“The watch tower caught movements from the distance and has confirmed that it is Kuumin’s troop,” Imade hastily replied, still trying to catch her breath, “We are already opening up the city gate, they will be back to the castle in no time.”

“I have to go,” Rena stated and immediately climbs out of bed only to find her leg grew too weak from her lack of nutrition the last week weeks. If Airi had not been standing nearby, the princess’s head would have probably hit the wall.

“Woah,” Airi quickly grabbed onto Rena’s arm, holding her upright as the girl fell, “Are you okay? Are you sure you can go? I can go check for you if you want.”

Rena shook her head, “No… I will go… Help me, Airin.”

Airi let Rena use her as a support and helped the princess slip on a thin cloak before leaving the room. The princess was in such a rush she had been reluctant to spend the time to put on her kimono on despite of the snowy weather outside and the protest of both Airi and Imade.


Rena stood outside and waited, ignoring the fact that snow was falling and her breath was turning white. The girl watched as after what seemed like eternity, Kumi’s horse pulled up in front of the courtyard not far from Rena’s favourite sakura tree, along with the rest of her troops. Everyone’s face was filled with fatigue and frost, but relief could been seen on everyone’s face as they have finally arrived home and it was okay to say that they were safe.

The princess wanted to greet the general but was held back by Airi as a group of healers rushed forward towards the troops immediately helping the wounded soldiers inside. Rena saw Kumi’s grim face as she climbed down off her horse with someone in her arm. Looking closer, Rena saw Jurina’s unconscious face hidden under the messy hair with dried blood smeared all over her. A gasp escaped Rena’s lips and the sound of the princess caught the troops’ attention. Kumi gave a look to Yuria and the girl immediately jumped off her horse and moved over to Rena who looked like she was on the edge of collapse.

“Rena, Rena, it’s okay, we’re back,” Yuria tried to calm the girl by stroking her back.

Rena grabbed onto Yuria’s hand painfully despite the girl’s strong gauntlet, “Yuria, w-what happened? What happened to Jurina?”

Yuria looked at Kumi and the two exchanged a quick silent conversation with their eyes before Yuria turned back to Rena and explained to her the situation, “Jurina is fine. She is just hurt. She was deeply wounded when we found her but after we escaped, we patched her up as much as we could. She is better than before now, but her condition is yet to be stable. She have lost a lot of blood so we need her treated immediately.”

Rena only stared at Yuria as the girl all of a sudden gave her all the information she had on Jurina. She was unable to take everything in all at once. Rena actually expected the girl to lie to her, which she usually does, about injuries in battles, but still Rena had asked, not expecting a proper answer, the girl usually would not tell her anything. However, Yuria only did so because Kumi had told her silently that Rena deserved to know, so she spilled everything out, not missing out any big things while keeping the gruesome details to herself.

Now being in a closer distance to Rena, Yuria couldn’t help but notice the lack of colour in the girl’s skin. Rena was usually pale, but now that Yuria saw, Rena looked even paler, and thinner too. It was obvious to anyone observant that Rena was not in her best state. “Rena, have you been eating at all?” Yuria exclaimed as she looked at the girl up and down.

Rena did not respond as her attention was completely drawn to the healers, who were listening attentively while Kumi explained Jurina’s situation to them. Seeing this, Airi decided to answer Yuria’s question for her, “Rena-san haven’t been eating well ever since you guys left.”

Yuria looked up at a new voice speaking in surprise, not having noticed the person holding Rena up. She was getting too tired to notice anything but the things in front of her now. “Fu…” Yuria stared at the girl as she tried to search through her memories and look for the name that matched the person standing in front of her.

“Furukawa Airi,” Airi bowed her head.

“Ah~” Yuria smiled, “I see you are much better than I saw you last time.”
Airi nodded her head, “At least I’m not lying horizontal anymore.”

Yuria chuckled at the joke and looked at Rena again, then back up at Airi, “Let’s take the princess back to her room. She really looked like she could use some rest.”

Airi nodded in agreement and patted Rena’s arm, trying to persuade the girl, “Rena-san, let’s go back. Jurina is in safe hands now. She will be up in no time. We have to let the healers do their job.”

Suddenly, Rena grabbed onto Airi’s shoulder with the strength that Airi didn’t know Rena possessed. Rena stared at Airi without anything else said but Airi knew from the desperateness in the girl’s eyes, that the girl wanted that favour from her. Airi shook her head, “You can’t, Rena-san. You have to give both Jurina and the healers the space. You can’t stay with them. The best we ca-“

“It’s okay,” Kumi said from where she was standing, having finished her conversation with the healers, “Let her stay with Jurina. I have already discussed with the healers already. They agreed that it will be more than beneficial to have the princess by her side as a mental motivation to wake up.”

“But…” Airi couldn’t brush of the worry that she would feel if she let Rena wander to places on her own but when she looked back at the girl, she saw the girl begging silently with her eyes. Airi gave a sigh and finally nodded, “Just make sure you eat from now on okay? I will go inform Churi about their return.”

“Thank you,” Rena said to both Airi and Kumi and quickly rushed after the healers. However, from the lack of energy in her legs which she have forgotten about, Rena tripped over on the thick layer of snow under her feet.

Luckily, Airi once again caught her on time, “On second thought… I will take you there first…”

“I can take her.”

Airi looked up at the familiar voice and saw the captain of Togasaki’s troop standing in front of her with a smile. The girl’s first instinct was to reach for the sword she had on her waist but before she could do anything, Rena reacted. Having heard Sakiko’s voice, the princess immediately looked up, her eyes showing sparks that Airi haven’t seen in a long time.


Sakiko welcomed the pale girl with open arms and drew the girl into a hug. Rena held onto the girl in front of her tight and couldn’t help but cry, “You are alive! I was so worried! You stopped sending letters for so long I feared for the worst!”

Sakiko patted the girl’s head, “I know I know. I’m really sorry. I ran into some trouble with Togasaki and I couldn’t find the time to send you any letters. But I’m here now.”

“Are you staying?” Rena asked, a tint of fear in her voice.

Sakiko gave the girl a reassuring nod, “I am.”

Rena smiled, “I’m glad. I can’t stand seeing any more people be sacrificed to Togasaki.”

Sakiko returned the smile and pulled back from the hug, “Let’s take you to the healers nee?” Rena nodded and allowed Sakiko, her long time no see cousin, to support her weight as she moved as fast as she could after the healers.

Airi’s head was filled with thousands of questions about the captain. However, she decided against pestering the captain for answers, perhaps now wasn’t the best time to fill her curiosity. Airi was just about to leave to go back to Akane’s room when Kumi suddenly called her back. Not expecting the commander to address her, Airi quickly made her way to the commander’s side, “Hai?”

With a serious and solemn face, Kumi broke the news of Jurina’s mother to the girl. Airi’s eyes widened, her hands covered her mouth to muffle that silent cry as she tried hard not to break down into tears on the spot.

“I’m really sorry,” Kumi said, meaning every word she said. After giving the girl a while to gather her emotion, Kumi continued, “What do you want to do with the body?”

“I… don’t know…” Airi said, “J-Jurina should be the one in making the decision… It’s her mother after all.”

“We need to sort something out soon,” Kumi said seriously, “I don’t think we can just keep the body lying around for Jurina to wake up.”

“It’s probably best to bury her,” Airi suggested, “But I don’t know what the best place would be.”

“Have a think,” Kumi said as she tightened her grip on the reins of her steed, “We can keep her down at the medical bay for a few days. With extra treatment, maximum a week. If we keep it any longer, we risk disease spreading.”

Airi nodded her thanks and watched as two soldiers carried a covered stretcher, following after where the healers had disappeared to.

“You seem to mean a lot to the two princesses,” Kumi said, bring Airi’s attention back to the commander, “I am glad you are finally awake.” Without waiting for Airi’s reply, Kumi pulled her horse behind her and made her way towards the stable with Yuria following behind.

==Chapter End==

Is it just me, or is my writing getting worse? (O_o)


~ by takoyakirabu on January 24, 2014.

5 Responses to “The Personal Bodyguard (Chapter 17)”

  1. if you think you’re getting rusty or worse in writing. just write more 😀

  2. finally! an update. XD

    really, I’m just about to sleep when I saw this post. A good bedtime story.

    well done, please update soon.

    p.s.: about your writting, i don’t think it’s your best but it’s good enough for me.:)

  3. A calm chapter this one, very different from the another ones who always keep me worried, I hope for the next one comes soon hahaha 😀
    Btw I think that your writing is good, lately I have feeling that my writing is getting worse too *sighs* I guess that is a write thing maybe ?

    • Ah~ I’m glad you didn’t find it boring. I was actually afraid of this chapter being too boring since most of my other chapters have been filled with actions… Wasn’t sure what my readers would think about it… But I’m glad it turned out okay.

      P.S. Juribait-san, if you think your writing has gotten worse, I have a quote for you. “Practice makes perfect” xDDDDD Looking forward to your upcoming updates too~

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