Wuxiaworld > To My Sunflower > 4 Yuri Sakamoto


Yuri suggested staying the night as it was too risky to drive through the roads in the dark, so they made themselves comfortable in the pickup truck. Hinata was impressed that his driver was prepared with a blanket and some rations to last the night.

"Here." Yuri handed Hinata an onigiri seasoned with herbs.

They ate their rice balls in an awkward silence. Hinata had so many questions circling through his head. How did he know Eiji? When did they meet? When did they realise their home villages were the same? Why was he home and Eiji wasn't?

Hinata's heart skipped a beat with guilt towards the last question. His questions were left unanswered as he drifted into sleep. He woke to the first signs of dawn filtering through the trees.

The fresh morning dew cooled his cheeks, making him alert for the journey back to the village. He turned to check on his driver and gasped when Yuri wasn't next to him. He frowned as he shuffled out of the truck and searched around the area for his whereabouts.

"Morning young man." The site's priest cordially greeted Hinata.

"Good morning." Hinata politely returned the greeting with a bow. "By chance did you see another man around here?"
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The priest nodded and pointed to the graveyard. Hinata bowed with thanks and approached the entrance. He performed his abulation and headed to his family Ohaka, suspecting it was the only place Yuri would want to go.

He paused a few meters behind Yuri who was standing in prayer. The woody, sweet smell of forgiving incense wafted through the air.

"Takaki saved my life when our aircraft carrier was fired on at Pearl Harbor. We were techs..." Yuri dropped his conversation with a sigh.

"You brought his letter to me. Thank you." Hinata softly thanked Yuri with a deep bow.

Yuri slowly turned with a jerky movement and sighed again at Hinata's bowing form.

"He entrusted it to me when I was on the carrier back home. I was assigned to Okinawa and he was given leave to await new orders." He looked to his hands as if they were still holding the letter.

Hinata straightened with a sigh. He didn't realise Yuri had been holding on to the letter for so long. Eiji never mentioned it when they had their brief time together before his last assignment.

"Back then we thought the war was over." Yuri lowered his head and faced Eiji's name on the Ohaka again.


"Let's go home, Sakamoto-san." Hinata gently prompted.

He frowned at the man's troubled expression and sigh.

"Yeah." Yuri sighed. He turned and hobbled away from the grave.

Hinata's frown deepen when he realised the unevenness of Yuri's walk back to the truck. It made him wonder about injuries, but there was no way he would ask such a question. He relaxed his features and made his own way back to the truck.

Neither spoke in the pickup truck. Yuri drove up the dirt track for their home. They travelled in silence, but Hinata sensed Yuri's disturbed thoughts from the twitch to his left eye whenever he peered at him from the corner of his eye. The twitching stopped whenever he faced him.

Hinata took sometime to take in Yuri's features. His eyes were a perfect almond shape of a rich brown, gently curving towards the crow's feet lines in the corners. His high cheekbones, thin lips and small chin were drawn out by his triangular outline. Short tufts of wavy black hair had grown through his crew cut to give his impression one of tough and rugged. His fringe wasn't long enough to hide his frown lines. He was certainly another handsome man whom Hinata could not lend his heart to. Not that Yuri would be interested in him anyway.

"I didn't know your family came from the village until we talked on the carrier. See, I left before you got here." Yuri randomly blurted. "Must be Okamisama's way of keeping us connected."

Hinata noticed the odd twitch to his hands at the wheel whenever his conversation relapsed back to his time in the war. Yuri's posture was unusually slanted toward his right side. He cursed at himself for being oblivious to those details earlier.

"What was Eiji-san like fighting?" Hinata gulped as he braved the question with a weak voice.

Did he really wanted to know what his lover was like on a field where it was kill or being killed? He gripped the hem of his kimono, bracing himself for the answer.

Yuri observed Hinata's expression and form. "He was a brave and honourable soldier."

Hinata heaved a sigh of relief and relaxed his hands.

They drove for some time in silence afterwards, the truck moving them through familiar countryside, paddocks and the colourful autumn trees.

They had passed a farm when the sound of a gunshot made the truck swerve off the road and hit a gutter. It disturbed a flight of birds and unnatural clouds of dirt into the air.

Hinata's heart raced with pumped adrenaline. His first reaction was to check on Yuri.

"Sakamoto-san!" He called out to the man who was unconscious over the wheel.

He pried Yuri's head back and gasped when he looked down and saw his right foot and lower leg was almost disconnected from his knee and some of his pants was pushed up to expose the wood. The fake leg area was made of bamboo that had slipped out of the leather straps that was connected to three bamboo pylons and struts cleverly designed to support the fake part of his leg.

His heart raced at the sight of Yuri's injury. This was the man's consequence for fighting a war for his country? He prayed that Eiji hadn't suffered such injuries. It pained his heart to think on it.

Yuri stirred back to consciousness with apologises. "Sorry, I lost control of the wheel."

"It's okay Sakamoto-san. I'm not hurt and neither are you, although..." Hinata's voice trailed off when he looked to Yuri's fake foot.

Yuri hurriedly reattached his fake leg and pulled his pants down over it . He inhaled and tested the ignition, exhaling when the truck purred to life. He carefully reversed the vehicle and resumed the drive down the dirt road.

The way home was filled with silent tension and awkwardness. Hinata wanted to reassure Yuri that he was okay with the fake part of his body, but he didn't want to stir up anymore trauma. So, he held his silence.

Yuri managed to drive him to his front door without further incident. Their parting was brief with Hinata watching Yuri's pickup truck trailing clouds of dirt down the road.

"NYA NYA!" Tama-chan bellowed out a fierce cry as he raced for Hinata with his belly bouncing near the ground.

"You're late for dinner," Akira coolly stated as he came up behind the cat to stand before Hinata with arms folded over his chest. "By twelve hours."

"Very sorry," Hinata apologised with a bow. "It was too late to drive home, so we waited for morning."

"You spent a night with that man." Akira's eyes narrowed.

Hinata frowned with a thought that Akira was being too cocky for his liking.

"He was my driver."

Akira sighed, offering Hinata a small smile.

"Do you have time for breakfast?" Hinata said, to offer Akira a compensation for keeping him waiting on dinner.

Akira and Tama-chan followed Hinata inside.