Wuxiaworld > To My Sunflower > 14 Rainfall

Humidity and rain had hit the village hard. Its downpour had been going solid for the last four days, turning the gardens and surrounding paths into muddy sludge.

Tama-chan mewed his complaints at the door in the genkan. Obviously frustrated at his outdoor activities being interrupted and being unable to hide from the excitable children that sort him for their play thing.

"Tama, Tama!" Miki and Mei had called out to the fat cat, doing their best to catch him.

Tama-chan scurried about the genkan and did a bold down the hallway and into Hinata's room, which was being used as a room for the twin boys.

"You being chased by girls again? There, there," Rei soothed the cat that had leaped onto his lap.

He was sitting on the floor with Kei. A Shogi board was laid out between them with pieces in a game.

"Tama!" The girls squealed as they entered the bedroom.

"Knock it off!" Kei growled at the girls. "Can't you see we're in a game and the cat doesn't want to be pestered!"

The girls began to snivel and cry.

Kei sighed and cooled his tone of voice. He patted the girls heads with his apologize and showed them a magic trick with one of the Shogi pieces to cheer them up.

"That's lame Kei-chan," said Miwa from the door. He had his arms crossed with a mature-man's look on his face.

"Oh really? Then how about this!" Kei tricked Miwa by making the same Shogi piece appear to have come out of the boy's ear.

Miwa huffed, doing his best not to look impressed.

"Kei-chan's magic, cool." Shouta blurted, completely convinced that Kei's magic was real.

Rei was calmly stroking Tama-chan into a deep sleep on his lap as he watched the activities. He felt happy in his heart that their life had finally taken a turn for the better. Although, he still felt unsure as to why Hinata was so kind to them. No man had ever been kind to him the way Hinata was. It kept his caution and wits still running at a high since he had his brothers and sisters to protect being the eldest. So far, kindness had always asked for a price from him. In his heart he hoped Hinata would be the first man to prove him wrong.

The younger kids eventually left the room to play another game elsewhere. Kei and Rei returned to their intense Shogi game.

"I promoted my pawn. Check." Kei smugly declared his killer move.

Rei sighed, realizing his loss. "I fold."

"Hey Rei, what'd you think about Chikafuji-san?" Kei quietly asked his brother.

Rei frowned, trying to arrive to his conclusion. "Dunno. He's kind to let us stay here. Doesn't ask for anything."

Kei let out a heavy sigh. "Yeah. Kind and not asking for anything. Don't like the fact we're owing him."

"Yeah. Keep your smarts on. When the weather's better, maybe we see about finding a place of our own," Rei said as he started up a new game.

"Having fun?" Aiyama-san cordially asked the boys as she poked her head into the room from the doorway.

"Yeah." Both boys answered with a polite smile.

"Could you help me with dinner?" She gently asked them, still concerned about their wounds on their backs being raw.

The boys didn't show it, but there would be times they felt the pain. So, she wasn't keen to push them for doing chores more than they were capable of doing.

"Yeah." Both boys answered again when their mood for Shogi had waned.

They followed Aiyama-san into the kitchen where the other kids were playing a game with stones on the floor.

Hinata entered the genkan, letting his presence known with a weary 'I'm home' greeting.

"Hina-tan!"Shouta rushed to Hinata. He slammed into him with a bear hug. "Ti-ma"

"Oomphf," Hinata groaned at the sudden ache to his stomach.

He brushed it off and cheerfully greeted the young, shaven-head boy who had seemed to taking a liking to him.

"Aiyama-tan, cooking." The boy said with a smile that was missing a few teeth.

"Okay. Let's go and see her." Hinata politely ruffled the boy's hair as he pulled away from him.

Hinata joined Aiyama-san and the older boys with meal preparations, taking over with the vegetable dishes and fish dish. Rei took a particular interest in Hinata's cooking lessons.

The other kids and Aiyama-san set the table. Hinata sighed, happily, when every sat before the full table and got stuck into their meals.

"Hey! Miki-chan has more rice than me!" Shouta grumbled.

"Here." Rei sighed when he gave half his portion to Shouta.

His sigh became a surprised gasp when Hinata instantly recompensated his loss.

"You're still healing." Hinata explained on his generosity.

Rei thanked the man with a frown.

Hinata noticed the boy's hardened expression, but brushed it aside. It wasn't the right time to probe the boy's feelings further.

"No fair. I want Hina-tan's!" Shouta pouted with his arms crossed.

"Stop being stupid. Rice is rice." Rei flicked the boy's forehead, which spurred on further complaints.

Hinata sighed. "Can I swap the bowls?"

Rei nodded and swapped his bowl with Shouta's, which solved that problem.

The meal ended without further issues. Clean up was down quickly and everyone ended up relaxing in the main room to play their games of Go or Shogi.

Rei stood before the Kamidana with his attention on Eiji's image.

"Good looking. Too bad." He thought.

He lit an incense stick from the container next to and prayed for the man's soul.

"Thank you. My family would be touched to know someone is praying for them." Hinata surprised Rei.
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"Oh, um, sure." Rei mumbled and returned to the main room where the others were.

Hinata took to the outside to fasten the panel shutters around the doors and windows.

The rain was showing no mercy, beating down on his body with fierce pitter-patters. Lightening struck the night sky with a shuddering clap and boom.

He paused when he was about to re-enter the cottage when he spied a figure standing in the middle of the muddy road between his house and the vague outline of the village shops.

"Hello?!" His eyes squinted, trying to glimpse more of the figure. It was definitely human and a man from what he could see.

Lightening struck a few times, showing the man's approach. Hinata gasped when the man slumped to the ground into a lifeless heap.

He raced for him and pulled at the unconscious body, turning him around to get a look. The unconscious man looked normal, that is there wasn't any obvious wounds to cause him to collapse. Hinata suspected otherwise. He positioned the man's limbs around his body, so he could carry him back to the cottage.