Chapter Four: Mono:

March 19th, 1968.

A whole year had passed. Fourteen-year-old Yasuo gritted his teeth as he grabbed the edges of the sink. Four useless kids; their parents left him in charge of them last year. Three boys and one infant girl left in his care. Shichiro could take care of himself now. Nobu, Daisuke, and Yumiko were still little kids and needy little brats at that. They always cried for food or attention. Top that with his kitsune manifesting at that age, he gave it his all not to kill them by now.

A knock came on the bathroom door. Yasuo gritted his teeth as he jerked his head upwards.

"What?!" he snapped.

"Nii-chan!" little Daisuke shouted as he pounded on the door, "Nii-chan! I have to potty!" The oldest son didn’t fight to keep calm like had down in the past.

"Go away!" Yasuo yelled.

"I have to potty!" the little boy yelled at the top of his little lungs. Yasuo’s eyes filled with a murderous rage by this point.

"Go away!" he barked again. “I want to be alone!”

"Potty!" the three-year-old shouted again. Yasuo gritted his teeth as the last bit of his patience snapped into two. He ripped open the door with such force that it shook the frame. The little boy backed away in fear as Yasuo’s shadow towered over him. His brother breathed harder.

"I said go away!" he snapped. Daisuke began down trembling as his eyes welled up with tears.

“Nii-san, you’re scaring me!” he whimpered. Yasuo glared at him like a raging bull when he happened to look down on the tatami mats. A small puddle formed at his little brother’s feet. The fresh scent made his nose burn.

"You peed on the floor?!" he shouted. "You peed on the damn floor?!" Daisuke trembled in his puddle with big eyes.

"I'm sorry!" he cried. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Too late for pleading for mercy now; the oldest son already saw blood and murder with this little kid standing before him.

"You!" Yasuo shouted. The bull inside of him wanted to charge at the red teasing him in the puddle on the floor. Little Daisuke took off running in instinct and his brother gave chase like the bull inside of him.

"Get back here!" he yelled. “I’m going to beat your tail!” He grabbed the kid by the shoulder and pulled him up to midair. Daisuke yelped aloud in his tears as he struggled in vain to get away from the angry monster holding him up.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" he sobbed. His tears dropped onto the tatami mats in the living room. Yasuo growled at him as his nails sank into his little brother’s right shoulder.

"Not as sorry as you're going to be!" he barked. He threw the kid straight down to the floor. Daisuke cried out in pain from the impact of that tatami material. He tried to get back up, but Yasuo stepped on his back. The little boy whimpered as his heel grinded into his spine. Yasuo sneered at him.

"Pathetic," he muttered. He flexed his arms for another beating for the day. He wouldn’t even let the child look up at the coming violence. Yasuo took the first smack to boy’s upper back. The three-year-old's screaming could be heard from outside.


A few minutes later, seven-year-old Nobu wandered into the living room from the back yard. He found his younger brother lying on the floor crying in pain. The color drained from his face as he raced over to him.

"Dai-kun!" he cried. "Dai-kun! What happened? What did Yasuo-nii do now?" The little boy whimpered as Nobu picked up his brother. Daisuke forehead bled profusely under his blackish-brown hair. Nobu wiped the wound with his sleeve.

"Ooo," he said. "That's not good." Daisuke's tears grew heavier. He grabbed onto his brother’s shirt.

"Hurt!" he yelped against the cotton fabric. "Hurt…" Nobu shushed him as he patted him on the head.

"It's okay. I'm here now," he whispered. "I'm here now. I'm here now." The boy cradled his younger brother. He rested his chin on his head and Daisuke slowly went quiet. He wouldn’t let go of his brother's shirt. Nobu shushed him once more.

"Good, good," he whispered. "Good…" Nobu carried him down the hall to the bathroom. Daisuke watched his brother gather up the medical supplies from the cabinet as he sat on the counter. Nobu shook his head to himself.

"I say," he murmured to himself. "He didn't have to go all out. That meanie, he’s just a bully in the end." He got out the band aids and peroxide and knelt down to the boy. "Keep still now," Nobu whispered. He dampened a small washcloth with the peroxide and dabbed it on Daisuke's wound. The boy winced as a soft whimper escaped his lips.

"Why?" he asked. Nobu paused and glanced at him.

"Why what?" he asked. Daisuke's big brown eyes welled up with more tears.

"Why does Nii-chan hate me?" he asked. Nobu gave him a look of sympathy.

"He doesn't hate you…" he said in a low voice. Daisuke looked desperate with big teary eyes. The older boy dropped his shoulders and sighed. Why bother lying? Yasuo always took out his frustrations on the younger boys. Daisuke took the most of the abuse. He didn't understand why. Yasuo wasn’t like this when their parents first abandoned them last year. Nobu patted him on the head.

"Dai-kun…" he said. Nobu looked him in the eye. "I don't understand it myself," he said. "But, I don't hate you." Daisuke looked at him with teary eyes.

"You don't?" he asked. His brother shook his head smiling.

"No," he said. "I love you so much."

"You do?" the little boy asked with shock in his voice. Nobu nodded.

"I always will," the older boy admitted. He placed a band aid on Daisuke's forehead. He smoothed the boy's hair over it. "There," he said. "Good as new." Daisuke finally began to smile again. Nobu patted him on the head.

"There's that smile!" he cheered. The little boy chuckled.

Once he finished treating Daisuke's wounds, he dressed the boy in his pajamas and put him to bed. Around seven o'clock, Daisuke awoke to something brushing against his cheek. The little boy awoke to a stuffed bear in his face.

"Hm?" the kid asked. He looked and saw Yumiko holding up her brown teddy bear the neighbor gave her days ago. Daisuke sat up with a blank stare at his baby sister.

"For me?" he whispered. The child stared silently with the bear in her hands.

"Are you trying to cheer me up?" her brother asked. He slowly took the bear and held it to his chest. Yumiko stared at him as her older brother went to sleep. Between Nobu's care and Yumiko's attempt to cheer him up, Daisuke did have love after all.


Their parents still didn’t come home and people started asking questions. It became harder for the boys to keep up with the lies. The neighbors gave the children clothes and toys out of sympathy. Despite trying to turn down, Yasuo ended up taking the gifts reluctantly. The gossiping people at school and in town didn’t help either. However, the talk wasn’t Yasuo’s only problem.

Days before he beat Daisuke and gave him that scar on his forehead, the oldest son’s powers had just started to manifest. A kitsune-tsukai in the Eda-Kimoto clan first manifests in their teen years when they make one wish. Days ago, Yasuo wished that he had enough food just to shut those kids up for the rest of the year. To his surprise, their fringe filled up with a year supply of food and milk. It actually frightened the thirteen-year-old boy when he saw it. His mother wasn’t around to explain what was going on, so he didn’t know what to do.

Each child had their own way of coping through the emptiness that their parents had left them with. Shichiro tried to hang out with his school friends while Nobu read in the back yard. Daisuke found his way to cope through his baby sister. But what about Yasuo? He never really did get time to rest. He was the one who had to do all of the chores and take care of the children while trying to keep up in school. By this point, he stopped caring about putting on a brave face for the family. If he had to hear his younger siblings ask for their parents one more time, he thought that he would scream and kill them all. The boy just wanted to disappear to somewhere with no people around and just be free. Every night when he made sure everyone else was asleep; he would crawl into the bathroom and scream into a towel just to keep what was left of his sanity. Tonight, he huddled up into a ball in the corner. The boy broke down into silent tears and stared at the ceiling.

Mom, dad, when are you coming home? I can’t take this anymore! It’s too much for me. He happened to look and see Shichiro standing in the doorway staring at him. Yasuo tried to put on his tough, mean act.

“What do you want?” he asked. The little boy said nothing. His older brother snorted at him.

“Go back to bed and leave me alone!” he snapped. The eleven-year-boy said and walked away. The older child looked at him as he disappeared back to their room. Yasuo dropped his head in his lap. How much longer were their parents going to be gone like this?


Suddenly on March third 1969, Haruka came home. The children rushed over to greet her only to find two surprises. First, Akio wasn’t with them and second, the woman held a baby girl in her arms. The children didn’t know what to say at first. Nobu finally stepped forward.

“Mama, where’s Papa?” he asked. Haruka frowned at him.

“Never mind that,” she hissed. “Here is your baby sister, Kirika.” For some reasons that they couldn’t understand at the time, her children didn’t ask any more questions and accepted the new baby into their family.