“Stay here.” Sakaki said and start walking towards the crowd.
As Sakaki made his way through the crowd, my curiosity got the better of me. I disregarded what he said and trailed him, passing through the same crowd while carrying Iris in my arms. While moving, I could hear gossips being thrown around, thoughts and speculations of what is happening.
“Excuse me.” I said repeatedly as I try to traverse through the crowd towards the centre.
After breaking through bodies of bystanders, I was confronted by the back of Sakaki with an old man kneeling before him, facing towards Sakaki in the front is a group of three men, all wielding a sheathed katana and wearing the same white yukata, a traditional eastern attire which is the same kind of clothing as what Sakaki and I always wear.
Behind those men, a tall middle-aged gentleman stood with not only his arms crossed, but his face too. From what I can piece together listening to the bystanders’ conversations, the man kneeling before Sakaki accidentally bumped onto the tall middle-aged man and his bodyguards jumped on him, thinking that he was suspicious and almost drawing their swords. Sakaki stepped in right when the old man knelt to beg for help from everyone around him.
The middle-aged man was also identified as the financial minister for the Eastern Region.
“Stay out of our business, kid.” One of the bodyguards said in a rough and intimidating voice.
“Men, you do not know who you’re talking to.” Sakaki replied and demanded, “Stand down.”
“Hah! Learn to respect your elders, kid.” The bodyguards laughed. “Sir, permission to dispatch this lad.”
The middle-aged man heaved a sigh, shook his head as if he already knew what the outcome of their confrontation would be and said, “Go ahead. Try.”
With an overwhelming superiority complex and pride, the group of three men drew their weapon and began their charge towards Sakaki. The crowd gasped at the hostility towards the young man that stepped in to help.
“He is still young!” they thought.
“He doesn’t know better!” they whispered.
The observers were preparing to mourn the loss of a young man’s life, thinking that he could not do anything. But they were utterly shocked at what Sakaki did. Sympathies for Sakaki are now directed towards the three bodyguards.
Me? I’m not worried one bit. I’ve seen how Sakaki uses his fighting techniques to disable his opponents when we were together with our mentor. Iris is a different story as her tiny hands are covering her eyes, wishing not to witness what is to come.
As the bodyguards rush towards Sakaki with the intention to injur, Sakaki chooses not to draw his Will, his weapon that he uses to kill demons – a katana with a red-tinted glass-like material as the blade.
Instead, he elegantly used his sheathed Will to deflect strikes made by the bodyguards and followed it up with a heavy punch around the area of their jaw, knocking them out cold. The jaw is a pressure point for humans. If force is applied around that area, the receiver will temporarily lose consciousness for a few minutes.
Sakaki used his knowledge of the human weak points to win any fight that is not against a demon. In this situation, not only he disable his opponents by not injuring them, but also win a fight outnumbered three-to-one.
The only casualty in the entire confrontation are the men’s pride.
“Hmph! What a waste of coin hiring these useless men!” the middle-aged man exclaimed in disgust.
Hearing what he said, Sakaki broke character, his eyes starts glowing with anger. With speed faster than the eye can see, he drew his sword, dashed 5 meters towards the middle-aged man and pointed his katana towards him. The edge of his weapon just inches away from the man’s eyes – a feat that requires fine muscle movement and control which constitutes years of training.
Seeing what he has done, I immediately took off for him, with Iris still in my arms. As fast as I could, I put my right hand on his shoulder and called out to him to snap him out of it, “Sakaki!”
“I told you to stay back, Karen!”
Shocked that he raised his voice at me, I let go of his shoulders and attended to Iris as she starts to cry from shock as well. I have not seen him like this before, throughout the years we travelled together. Never. There is a world of difference from Sakaki a few minutes ago in the yakiniku restaurant and now.
“Hahahahaha!” the middle-aged man laughed heartily. “You’re the only son in the world who can point a weapon at his father.”
“You? A father? You were NEVER my father!”
“And I see you’ve found yourself a woman.”
Ticked at what he said, Sakaki threatened to push his katana into the man’s eye socket, but his attempt was stopped by me grabbing onto his blade.
“Sakaki! Please…” I begged as my right hand is bleeding from tightly grasping his blade.
Sakaki’s eyes loosened when he saw what I had done and withdrew his katana. Attending to my injury, Sakaki requested Iris to wake the bodyguards up. She obliges, after holding my bloody hand with concern.
“Hmph, you're still soft..” The middle-aged man said condescendingly, looking down on his son.
“She’s the adopted daughter of Fuji.” Sakaki said to the middle-aged man in an angry tone, trying to hold back his full might after realising what he had done to warrant my interference in the conflict.
With the guards awake and my right hand fully bandaged, the middle-aged man ordered them to disperse the crowd.
“Sakaki, come with me. We have much to discuss.” He ordered Sakaki.
Without a choice in any decision, Sakaki complied and I followed him with Iris in tow, holding my left hand.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“To my estate in Chisa.”