Chapter 8:

Day 82: Forgive Me, For I Could Not Be Truthful to You

Death by Ex-Girlfriend: War Cloud

(Gekko electrifying woman, if you know what I mean. Especially after learning more about her background, she reminds me of Saint Olga of Kiev. She has this ability to both charm and terrify people. As brash as she is, Gekko is also very sincere. As such, she didn't let herself forget that she was indebted to Yoko for allowing her to sleep with me. I just didn't really expect their meeting to go the way it did.)Bookmark here

That morning, Tsukiakari knocked upon the door of the basement, expecting to find Yoko on the other side. Her knock received an immediate reply from the opposite side of the door.Bookmark here

"Come in!" Yoko sang.Bookmark here

"You wanted to see me?" Tsukiakari asked, stepping into the basement.Bookmark here

To Tsukiakari's surprise, the basement was actually really lovely. There was a pool table, a bar, plenty of room, and a large flatscreen TV on the wall. Yoko, as usual, was dressed in her pink negligee as she lounged on the gray sofa in front of the television, sipping from her white cup of sake.Bookmark here

"Ah, Gekko. I'm glad you remembered to come here. I was afraid I'd have to drag you by your hair, but you're not as forgetful as you look." Yoko said.Bookmark here

"I really don't understand you." Tsukiakari sighed. "You were defiant even when we fought. How can you be so carefree going up against a war goddess?"Bookmark here

"Do you think death scares me? I was about to embrace it with vigor the last time we fought."Bookmark here

The goddess held in her anger as Yoko put down the sake.Bookmark here

"Ah, but I digress." Yoko tittered. "I didn't call you down here to insult you, Gekko. Actually, I called you down here to threaten you, and then make out with you."Bookmark here

The crazy, double sided logic of that statement made Tsukiakari shiver and blush. "You really are a psycho! And that's coming from me!"Bookmark here

"Call me whatever you like, Gekko. My behavior is driven by my incomparable love for Osamu, and my disdain for those who try to take him from me." Yoko declared with a grin. "Normally, I'd wash out your mouth with sulfuric acid, or perhaps have you bound by your hands and feet and throw you in a water tank. However, due to certain circumstances, I am forbidden from exacting holy, yandere revenge on you. So, I shall say this instead."Bookmark here

Yoko stood from the sofa and marched towards Tsukiakari, who shuffled back towards the door in fear. With her back against the wall, Yoko stared daggers into Tsukiakari's eyes. Yoko's face was so close to Tsukiakari's that the war goddess could smell the alcohol on her breath.Bookmark here

"If you mate with my man again, I will sew that special orifice of your body shut and surgically render you infertile." Yoko declared.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari saw the rage and ferocious ocean in Yoko's eyes. The shine of Yoko's sapphire eyes, the heat of her breath, and her oppressive aura made Tsukiakari shiver beneath her robes.Bookmark here

"How do you even sleep at night?" Tsukiakari recoiled.Bookmark here

"Do you understand what I'm telling you? I permitted it last time because it was necessary to save Osamu's life. However, I will not allow fornication for the sake of fornication."Bookmark here

"I...I get it..." Tsukiakari said.Bookmark here

"Good. Now, look at me, darling."Bookmark here

As soon as Tsukiakari raised her head, Yoko grabbed her face and kissed her as deeply and intensely as one would kiss their husband. For a while, it actually seemed like Tsukiakari was enjoying it, as she didn't really fight back and kept kissing her. She stopped when they both fell to the ground, with Yoko on top of her. What Tsukiakari didn't know was what kind of power Yoko's kiss had.Bookmark here

"I this is the knowledge of a god." Yoko gasped.Bookmark here

"What do you mean?" Tsukiakari asked.Bookmark here

"My kiss is special, Gekko. It allows me to know almost every detail about a person. You have many years of experience in warfare, you've lost a multitude of friends, but you still want to keep living. You've fought against men and phantoms alike. Your clan almost achieved its dream of becoming a sovereign, stratocratic state, and an alternative to Japanese feudalism. Hmmm...although your love for Osamu is obvious, it seems this situation is making you question whether or not you're still attracted to women."Bookmark here

"You really do know everything! What's my favorite color?" Tsukiakari asked, taking full advantage of the situation for her own curiosity.Bookmark here

"Red, just like your eyes."Bookmark here

"Who's my favorite artist?"Bookmark here

"You greatly admire Toriyama Sekien for his work on the Hyakki Yagyo series, specifically Konjaku ezu zoku Hyaku Oni."Bookmark here

"Oh my god..." Tsukiakari gasped.Bookmark here

"I suppose now we can say that we've officially introduced ourselves to each other. Now then, what would you like to do? We can go about our day as usual if you like, as long as you remember what you were told."Bookmark here

"Please kiss me again!"Bookmark here

"Hmm? I guess you really do like girls now. Or is it just me?" Yoko giggled.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari turned her head away as she blushed. "No comment..."Bookmark here

"Very well then. As you wish, Gekko."Bookmark here

Forbidden love blossomed in the basement, with the two rivals very suddenly becoming lovers. Needless to say, that door remained locked for a long time.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Osamu had taken Isabella with him to the abandoned bowling alley, to properly explain what was happening with Tsukiakari. They sat upon the dilapidated seats, relaxing beneath the multi-colored veils of light shining down from the row of stained glass behind them. It was by coincidence that Yoko initially brought Osamu to that bowling alley on the night of his return, but its quiet nature and colorful, church-like ambiance made it feel like a world away from the world itself. It was stained glass paradise where they could hang out, talk, or just come to think.Bookmark here

"You've really outdone yourself now, Osamu." Isabella scolded.Bookmark here

"Tell me about it..." Osamu groaned.Bookmark here

"Normally, I'd ask you a silly question like 'what will you do?' or 'how will we fix this?'. But we don't have much of a choice, huh?" Isabella asked.Bookmark here

Osamu nodded. "That about sums it up. We're all just dancing to Bishamon's tune, leading Tsukiakari into her funeral pyre. I've never felt so stupid and useless in my life. I want to help her, but I don't know how. I can only imagine what kind of reaction she'll have if she learns that Bishamon is after her again. Telling her that would be like ripping open all of those scars on her body."Bookmark here

Osamu slouched over as his mind was burdened with his thoughts. Quietude settled between them for just a moment, before Isabella wrapped her arm around his shoulder and held him close.Bookmark here

"You're maturing." Isabella said with a smile.Bookmark here

"No I'm not." Osamu scoffed.Bookmark here

"Yes you are. Even if you don't know how to help, you've learned how to read people better. You've learned how to take their feelings into consideration, to the point where you agonize over it like this. Don't be so hard on yourself. We'll overcome this, somehow. If you need any help at all, you can rely on me. I'll always be there for you, pal."Bookmark here

Osamu was able to smile again. "Thanks, Izzy, but....your breasts are in my face again."Bookmark here

Indeed, Osamu had a face full of 100% American breasts. God Bless the USA.Bookmark here

"Just the way I like it!" Isabella laughed. "Promise me you'll keep your head up high, Osamu. Me, Yoko, Izanami, even Tsu Tsu, we'll all fall apart if you give up and get overwhelmed."Bookmark here

"Promise? Does that mean I have to touch your boobs again?" Osamu asked.Bookmark here

"Sure does! Squeeze away, Osa!"Bookmark here

(Normally, I'd be reacting to such a request a lot more defiantly...)Bookmark here

Osamu squeezed both boobs with both hands like a true, harem hero.Bookmark here

"Oo! Both hands?! You must really mean it, Osa!"Bookmark here

"Don't say something so stupid! I mean, I know you're blonde and American and all..."Bookmark here

"Hey!" Isabella recoiled.Bookmark here

"And you're always armed to the teeth and get yourself in debt. Now that I think about it, I can't help but feel there's some sort of commentary going on with your entire character."Bookmark here

"Don't get too cocky, Osamu. I'll have you know I haven't laid my hands on a firearm in a long time. " Isabella said. "Anyway, let's get back to the house, alright?"Bookmark here

Osamu smiled as Isabella took the lead. "You're a great ex, Izzy."Bookmark here

(Izzy is right for once. It may only do us all more harm if I let myself get overwhelmed. I've got no idea how we'll get out of this mess with Bishamon, but I believe in the strength and cunning of this little family of ex-girlfriends. Somehow...we'll make it through this.)Bookmark here

As Osamu and Isabella came home and stepped inside, they witnessed a strangely horrific yet, sexy sight. Yoko and Tsukiakari were both on the kitchen floor, with traces of whipped cream drizzled on their naked bodies. They were both sharing a whole banana between their mouths. Yoko had one end of the banana in her mouth and Tsukiakari had the other end in hers. Tsukiakari had pink, fuzzy handcuffs restricting her arms as Yoko held a flogger in her hands. It like walking in on some sort of sexual crime scene.Bookmark here

Nosebleed? No. It was rapid exsanguination through Osamu's naval cavities. He fell over with a childish grin on his face as blood pooled around him.Bookmark here

"H-h-hold on! Stay right there! I just need to take a p-p-icture!" Isabella stuttered, invigorated with the energy of a thousand suns.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari pointed two fingers at Isabella, shooting a relatively harmless bolt of lightning at her. She was knocked against the door and fell unconscious alongside Osamu. Yoko and Tsukiakari both ate the banana towards each other so they could talk without wasting a perfectly good fruit.Bookmark here

"That was rude of them. Will they be okay?" Yoko asked.Bookmark here

"Nah, they'll walk it off in a bit." Tsukiakari shrugged.Bookmark here

Because surely, you can walk off blood loss. The next time they awoke, it was in the evening, in Yoko's bed. They both woke up at around the same time, unsure of what happened before their slumber.Bookmark here

"Ow! My head is killing me!" Isabella groaned.Bookmark here

"What time is it?" Osamu asked.Bookmark here

Isabella checked her phone. "Seven already?!"Bookmark here

Their stomachs grumbled and growled, reminding them that they hadn't eaten. They staggered out of bed and slowly descended down the stairs, in desperate need of food. Down in the kitchen, Tsukiakari was helping Izanami prepare dinner. Osamu and Isabella immediately noticed that the war goddess was wearing an apron over her robes, an oddly cute addition to the violent war goddess's outfit. However, the word 'helping' can only be used loosely, as Tsukiakari was almost destroying every component of dinner.Bookmark here

"Hey guys..." Osamu yawned.Bookmark here

"Hey there!" Izanami cheered. "You guys really knocked out earlier."Bookmark here

" I don't even remember what happened. Wait...I could've sworn Tsu Tsu and Yoko were doing some really weird, food play BDSM lesbian stuff on the floor..." Isabella recounted. "No way! It was just a dream, right? That's too crazy, even for this house."Bookmark here

"I don't remember anything at all. If we don't both remember it, it probably was a dream." Osamu concluded.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari released a sigh of relief as she continued to throw an entire unpeeled onion in the pot. Spotting that gargantuan mistake, Izanami went into full panic mode.Bookmark here

"Gekko, what are you doing?! You have to peel and dice it first!" Izanami chided.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry!" Tsukiakari gasped.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari scooped out the onion with a ladle and placed it on the cutting board. Isabella couldn't help but snicker at such a pitiful sight.Bookmark here

"What are you laughing at?!" Tsukiakari sneered.Bookmark here

"Come on, Tsu Tsu. Don't tell me you've never cooked before!" Isabella tittered.Bookmark here

The snickers turned into full powered laughter as Tsukiakari puffed her cheeks in pouty embarrassment.Bookmark here

"Here! Let me help you." Isabella said.Bookmark here

"I don't need help! I've got this under control!"Bookmark here

Tsukiakari slammed her knife down upon the onion like it was a foe on the battlefield. It slipped from under the blade, bouncing off of the cabinet and rebounding right into her face, knocking her on the kitchen floor. Even Osamu couldn't contain his laughter. Izanami helped Tsukiakari off of the floor. The high-powered projectile onion left a prominent, red mark on Tsukiakari's face.Bookmark here

"Onions are so scary, Izanami!" Tsukiakari cried.Bookmark here

Izanami nodded, holding the goddess in her arms. "I know, darling. I know."Bookmark here

"It's official. You've never cooked before, huh?" Osamu asked, though the answer was confirmed before his very eyes.Bookmark here

"It's not that I've never cooked, it's just that it's been a long time." Tsukiakari explained. "I haven't cooked much of anything since my days in the Senkumo. After all of that crazy business, Izanami handled most of the meals."Bookmark here

(That actually explains why Izanami is such a natural at cooking and taking care of things around the house. She had already done so with Tsukiakari. Interesting.)Bookmark here

"Man, and you wanted to marry me? Without knowing how to cook? What a shame..." Osamu sighed, shrugging in disappointment.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari immediately ran back up to the counter next to Isabella with new-found determination "Isabella! Teach me how to conquer this spawn of the devil! What are its secrets?! Which attack formations do we use?!"Bookmark here

Isabella realized that the best way to teach a soldier was by being her sergeant. She took out two USMC helmets, plopping one on Tsukiakari's noggin.Bookmark here

(Oh, this will be entertaining.)Bookmark here

"Alright, Private Tsu Tsu! Operation Conquer the Onion is underway! Are you ready?!" Isabella said.Bookmark here

Tsukiakari had a child-like glint of hope in her eyes. "Mmhmm!"Bookmark here

Isabella grabbed the knife and cut the onion in half first. "The strategy here is divide and conquer! Now that we've split the enemy into two different forces, it's time to soften their defenses with artillery!"Bookmark here

Tsukiakari nodded. "Yes, ma'am! Wait, what's artillery?"Bookmark here

Isabella snickered as images of the greatest artillery ever invented raced through her mind. "Artillery is the magic of God himself manifested in the form of an explosive shell, fired from a great, phallic canon! It soars through the air and instantly kills off the poor bastards who dare defy you!"Bookmark here

"That sounds amazing! Show me! Show me!" Tsukiakari sang.Bookmark here

Isabella needlessly slammed her half of the onion on the cutting board and began smack talking it. "So you think you can mess with America, huh? You think you can break down our white-hot patriotic spirits?! We do not negotiate with condiments! I hope you're ready to be liberated and have Democracy forcefully pushed upon you!"Bookmark here

Tsukiakari watched as Isabella took off the onion peel with one fluid movement. It was now completely bare. "Wow! Not a wasted movement!"Bookmark here

"Wait, how did you do that? It always takes me like ten minutes to get the entire skin off!" Osamu said.Bookmark here

"That's because your little girl hands lack the strength and freedom-loving patriotism needed for the job! What are you, a commie?!" Isabella asked.Bookmark here

"Kami? No, I'm human." Osamu replied with a chuckle.Bookmark here

Though Tsukiakari struggled, she managed to strip the onion bare herself. "I did it!"Bookmark here

"Excellent job, Tsu Tsu!"Bookmark here

Of course, at this stage of preparing an onion, Tsukiakari and Isabella began to cry.Bookmark here

"Wait, why am I crying?!" Tsukiakari asked.Bookmark here

"Those are tears of the heart, Tsu Tsu! This is what true patriotism feels like!"Bookmark here

"Really?! It burns!"Bookmark here

"There is no iron that is made strong without the flames to mold it!"Bookmark here

"I'm writing that one down. That was really inspirational." Izanami said.Bookmark here

"Now then, it's time for the ground attack." Isabella ordered. "Our forces will continue to divide the enemy into sections, and then divide those sections into sub-sections!"Bookmark here

Isabella vertically scored the onion and then made horizontal cuts that created diced chunks. "Onionstan has now been liberated!"Bookmark here

"That's so cool!" Tsukiakari cheered.Bookmark here

(I've never seen someone this impressed over a basic cooking skill...)Bookmark here

Tsukiakari knew all about cuts. She was able to replicate Isabella's technique and dice the onion perfectly. "I've done it! I've won!"Bookmark here

Tsukiakari laughed and hugged Isabella. "Thank you so much, Izzy!"Bookmark here

"You're welcome, love."Bookmark here

Izanami and Osamu were both thinking the same thing. 'Thank god she has found some normalcy.'Bookmark here

Yoko came down to the kitchen with her hair tied in a ponytail, yawning as she sat down next to Osamu.Bookmark here

"Hey, Yoko. Were you resting too?" Osamu asked.Bookmark here

"Yeah, my body was feeling a little sore." Yoko replied.Bookmark here

"From what?"Bookmark here

"Nothing, dear."Bookmark here

(Hmmm....)Bookmark here

"Yoko! I learned how to conquer an onion!" Tsukiakari cheered.Bookmark here

"Dice is the proper term." Isabella corrected.Bookmark here

"That too!" Tsukiakari said.Bookmark here

"Did you? How wonderful, Gekko. I'm proud of you, taking up the reigns in the kitchen." Yoko said, as if she were talking to a baby or a cute puppy.Bookmark here

The compliment filled Tsukiakari with joy. "Thank you!"Bookmark here

"You guys sure seem close all of a sudden." Isabella said "Are you playing favorites, Tsu Tsu?"Bookmark here

Tsukiakari took off her helmet, and for once, smiled like she was still an innocent child. "Of course not, Izzy! I love you too!"Bookmark here

"I'm glad, Tsu Tsu. But how exactly did you guys go from hate to love so quickly?"Bookmark here

"I have my ways, Isabella. I'm not a complete bitch." Yoko said.Bookmark here

"Well, the less you guys try to kill each other, the better. I'm glad you could square things out, Yoko." Isabella replied.Bookmark here

In a short time, the food was ready, and everyone sat down together to eat. Laughter and joy echoed through the mostly dark house, with the kitchen and staircase being the only places with the lights turned on.Bookmark here

(Moment's like those...they blind you. Just because the sea is calm one day, it doesn't mean it won't swallow you the next. Again, being the failure I am, I was being stupid. In the end, despite how hard we all tried, despite how much joy we gave to Tsukiakari, we all knew it wouldn't end well.)Bookmark here

On a rooftop nearby, as the supermoon shined like a big, blue eye in the sky, Bishamon watched over the house with a smile.Bookmark here

( ended much worse. In a way I wish it never had to end.)Bookmark here

The moon began to turn as red as blood before it was covered by the clouds and hidden from the town.Bookmark here

(I had to make a terrible decision. The decision to kill Tsukiakari with my own hands.)Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.