Death by Ex-Girlfriend: War Cloud
(And so, I told her about my encounter with Bishamon, and the compromise he proposed to me...)
Izanami hung her head in despair as Osamu rubbed her back. “I see. So, Bishamon is back to kill her.”
“Isabella and Yoko could be in danger if we resist. He's using them as further leverage against me.” Osamu said.
“I'd rather kill her myself than hand her over to that monster.” Izanami declared. “Do you have any idea what we all went through because of him? After all of these years, he’s still trying to erase the proof of his power grab.”
“He knows that I know about the Senkumo clan. I don't think it's much of a problem for him as long as the details about it don't spread outside of this household.” Osamu assumed.
“I can't give her up, Osamu.”
(There it is again...I hate seeing Izanami so heartbroken.)
“Bishamon isn’t doing this to fulfill some duty to Heaven. Gekko is a loose end to him, one he failed to tie up centuries ago. These days, he’s considered to be Amaterasu’s right hand man. He can’t have any proof that his rise to power was illegitimate just lying around. The thing is, Osa, he can’t just kill her. It’s not that simple anymore, because I’m here. I’m the deterrent he has to deal with. Everything he said about my reputation is all just an excuse to hide the fact that I’m the one with the most leverage. I’m already hated by all of Heaven. He knows that if he faces me, he’ll surely lose. It’s been this way for hundreds of years. He could never reach her because I had always sworn to protect her.”
“Even when she killed Raijin and Fujin?” Osamu asked.
“I understood that it wasn't completely her fault. It was mostly through Bishamon's cruelty that those gods fought that day. He sent those boys to their deaths because he saw them as loose ends as well. I saw her as more of a victim than my own sons. Of all the things she could have been, she was abandoned and forced to live the life of a warrior. I couldn't hate her for that. Seeing her suffering so much, dying over and over in the span of a century, it only made me feel compassion for her. My heart wants to protect and nurture her, and I'm willing to die to make that happen.”
(The more I got involved in this conflict between gods, the more I felt as though I was seeing sides of Izanami that she didn’t want me to. She called herself a deterrent, as if she were a weapon of mass destruction. She said her fellow gods already hated for, and I don’t know for what. Whereas Gekko didn’t hesitate to be open with me about her past, Izanami was unable to be that forthcoming. Thinking about it for the rest of the night really cast a pall over my head.)
The next morning, Osamu awoke before anyone else, his body unable to get a proper rest since last night. He tip-toed down to the kitchen at six o’clock and made himself a small bowl of eggs on rice.
(New Year's. That's not very far away. It's only the beginning of November right now. Tsukiakari has less than two months to live in that case, and it's not like I can just go up against a god of war. What the hell am I supposed to do? It feels so wrong to just sit here and wait for that day to come, but I don't know what else can possibly be done!)
Suddenly, Osamu felt a pair of hands travel up his shirt. He stood paralyzed as the hands slithered up his stomach and across his chest and a pair of breasts squeezed upon his back.
“You smell so good, Osamu.” Yoko whispered.
Osamu snapped his body around. Oh! Yoko! Geez, you scared the piss out of me!
Something was wrong. Yoko's face was all blushed over, and she could hardly keep her legs from wobbling.
“Yoko, are you okay?”
“Okay? No, I'm actually not.”
A lusty grin adorned Yoko's face. “Honestly, I'm feeling so overwhelmingly concupiscent right now.”
“W-wait a minute, Yoko! We can't do this on the kitchen floor!”
Yoko groaned and laid herself on top of Osamu. “Make love to me! I don't care if the others hear or see us! You've been ignoring me lately, love! It's gotten to the point where I can't even think about hurting Gekko! I just want to be with you!”
(She can't even focus on revenge?! This is unprecedented! Wait...what's that...)
“Yoko, did you spill water on your gown or something?”
Yoko laughed gently and brought her face close to Osamu. “Nope.”
(Alarm bells! Sound the alarms!)
Yoko pinned Osamu's arms to the floor and kissed his neck, much to his agony.
“Good god, Yoko! You need to stop! Not like this!”
Yoko suddenly snapped and began choking Osamu, wrapping her hands around his throat with such force that Osamu really though she'd kill him.
“Shut up! This isn't your choice! Tsukiakari got to have you, and so did Izanami! I'm next, whether you want it or not!”
Yoko took out what looked like a bottle of perfume and sprayed it on Osamu's face. As he inhaled the fumes, he began to lose consciousness. Funnily enough, the perfume smelled of passion fruit, of all things. Realizing he was blacking out, Osamu certainly knew how passionate Yoko was about finally spending some quality time with him.
(No way...am I being drugged?!)
One begins to question his life according to the situations he wakes to find himself in, and this was one of those moments in Osamu's life. You see, as Osamu awoke, he was in the back seat of a car in the middle of nowhere, with his arms restrained by a monoglove. Yes, a monoglove. No matter how much he pulled his arms apart, they were stuck together. Looking around, Osamu noticed they were on a cliffside overlooking the ocean.
“What the hell is this?!” Osamu screamed.
Yoko was in the passenger seat with a brick in her hands, startled by Osamu's voice. “Goodness! Awake already, darling?”
“Who's car is this!? And why the hell are my arms bound?”
“I borrowed this from a former classmate of mine. Her dad is rich so he let me borrow one of his cheaper cars for a quick spin. As for your arms, I went to the local sex shop and bought a monoglove! Uncomfortable, isn't it?” Yoko tittered.
“I feel like I've got a blood clot or something! Let me out of this, Yoko!”
Yoko dangled the brick in front of Osamu's face before laying it down on the gas pedal. The whole time, she maintained unyielding eye contact as if she wasn’t inching herself towards death.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
“I drove us really far out of town for this. They say that couples who really love each other tend to have shorter, more intense sex than couples who hate each other. Of course, this depends on the couple, but you get what I'm saying. Right now, this car is inching off the edge of this hill. It's a pretty steep drop, probably several hundred meters. I'm going to test your love for me, Osamu. I need to be certain you haven't fallen for Tsukiakari or Izanami, or god forbid, that blonde idiot Isabella.”
(So this is how I'm going to die? I'll be pulled out of vehicle wreckage with my arms bound like this? Would Dad be proud? I...I almost think he would...)
Yoko climbed to the back of the seat and sat on Osamu's lap, her hands caressing his cheeks and neck. “It's just you and me, life and death. If you love me, we'll make it out of this together. If you're a backstabbing traitor, we'll die and burn together. Now then, let's begin!”
(And this is another thing I really don't want to talk about. However, I will tell you that the car stopped just mere inches away from the edge of the hill...)
Yoko's breathing was heavy as she removed the brick from the gas pedal just shy of certain death. She cracked open the windows at sat back in the passenger seat naked. Needless to say, her demands had been met.
“Oh wow! That was exciting, huh? We almost died!” Yoko laughed.
“How is that exciting in any way?! My parents almost had to bury their child!” Osamu groaned.
“I guess you still love me, huh? I'm glad. I was starting to think I was losing your gaze, Osamu.”
“Well, we're done. Can we just go home now? I've had a rough twenty-four hours.” Osamu sighed.
“Hmm? What's wrong? I didn't even notice you were stressed out.”
(You don’t say.)
“Yoko, there's something I have to tell you about Tsukiakari.”
“Oh my god, I knew it. That whore has accepted your seed, hasn't she?!” Yoko recoiled.
“No, Yoko, you're jumping to conclusions again!”
Yoko climbed in the backseat with Osamu and bowed her head. “My apologies. A good wife is gentle and level-headed, never assuming the worst. I'll remember that next time. So, what is it then?”
(Just as I did with Izanami, I told Yoko about Bishamon and the compromise. I suddenly saw that serious and worried look in Yoko's eyes again. She hadn't looked that way since the Aika crisis.)
Yoko sat back and bit the nail of her thumb. “So it's happening again, huh? Tsukiakari is going to die soon.”
“I honestly thought you'd be happy.” Osamu said.
“Personally, I really would. However, that doesn't mean I can't see why this is bad. Izanami went through a lot of trouble to make sure the girl stays alive. I don't like seeing people who are pure of heart be hurt like that.”
Osamu smiled. “So you do care, huh?”
Yoko crossed her arms and blushed. “I-I don't care about Gekko! I'm worried for Izanami's sake! The death of the god who watches over the souls of the deceased is a pretty big deal. Not to mention that Bishamon has threatened to kill me, Isabella, and you.”
“Were you just being a tsundere right there? You're breaking away from your character mold, Yoko!” Osamu chuckled.
Yoko covered her blushing face with her hair. “I…shut up! With Aika, you had one shot to bring her back. Now she has all the years she needs to live her life. Whereas Aika got a second chance, this is Tsukiakari's last chance. She won't be reincarnating after this. It’s the end for her.”
“Like the blowing out of a candle…” Osamu mumbled.
Yoko sighed and tied her hair in a low ponytail. “Exactly. Look, as much as she gets on my nerves, I'll help out. For Izanami and for you. Okay? Don't you worry about a single thing. When the time comes for her to go, we're just going to have to deal with it. There's nothing we can do about the will of some gods. I mean, I'd fight through heaven and hell for you, but this is more about Gekko.”
“I understand. Thanks, Yoko. I really needed that.”
Yoko spoke with her hair tie in her mouth. “What, the sex?”
“No! The words of dedication! Way to ruin the moment…"
With her hair tied, Yoko kissed Osamu on his lips and smiled. “Anything to ease your burdens, my love!”
(If nothing else, I can always count on Yoko's strong commitment. Her determination, no matter how crudely it may manifest sometimes, is something I just can't deny.)
Back at home, with the day coming to a close, Tsukiakari sat in the master bedroom in her black yukata. She was in the middle of doing up her hair in a traditional style, a difficult task considering just how long her hair was. One of the pins she needed fell out of her hand as she lifted a bundle of her hair.
Isabella suddenly entered the room, having just come back from the grocery store. She was dressed in a scarf and green winter coat as she ruffled snow out of her hair.
“Hey, Tsu Tsu!” Isabella sang.
“Hey, Izzy!” Tsukiakari greeted.
“Hmm? Do you need help with that?” Isabella asked, pointing at Tsukiakari’s undone hair.
“Ah! Oh! No, it's fine.”
Isabella sat down behind Tsukiakari, picking up the pin and finishing up her hair for her. “There we go! If you need help, just ask. I'm not gonna deny you.”
“I thought you were just being nice to me at first because I was a little girl. You're still like this even as I'm back to normal?”
“Well of course. All members of this household are loved equally!”
Isabella suddenly punched the wall so hard her fist was bleeding. “Unless you're me!”
“Ummm….” Tsukiakri muttered, unsure of how to respond.
Isabella went back to being smiley and cheerful. “Anyway! I got some groceries! Wanna come down so I can make you something to eat?”
There was a certain sadness in Tsukiakari's smile that went undetected by Isabella's eyes. “I'd love to! I'll be down in a minute!”
Isabella joined Izanami downstairs to unload the groceries. Putting her sandals on by the bedside window, Tsukiakari took a gander at the pall of clouds sitting in the sky, sprinkling snowflakes onto the town. Unaware of the danger closing in on her, Tsukiakari gleefully rushed downstairs, happy to share a meal with Osamu's family of ex-girlfriends.