[The following, bright, morning, the clamoring of civilians can be heard within the walls where the children slept the last night.]
[Yama wakes up to a foot in his face, surrounded by Aori and the twins as they slept in the same bed last night. Being taken in as the Sonmyō’s children, they are treated like some form of royalty. The original idea of royalty or nobility does not quite yet exist in the 5 Great Lands, not including the Land of Sword(刃の地/Kannoji). Since clan leaders rule the Shinobi, and the villagers only choose those leaders based on their physical prowess and abilities; not, their blood. The leaders dubbed "Sonmyō" meaning "Illuminated Vessel" are respected and feared across all five nations as the strongest & mightiest Shinobi on the continent.
Yawning in joy and getting up refreshed, Yama looks to the beautiful large, white bed and the thick, azure blanket they shared last night. He then makes his way to the window and gazes at the wondrous sight in from of him. In a reflection of his eyes, one can see the towering, lush, green forests in the distance. Surrounded by vast, colossal, mountains with clouds hanging near their base. Below him, he can see the just a fraction of the bustling Village in the West, in the Land of Rock. He sees a few Shinobi on patrol in their umber uniforms, and many civilians lugging around carts full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Children can be seen playing, running up and down the main street.]
The sun hits his eyes, and there’s a knock on the door.
A woman dressed in cleaning clothes walks in the room with black hair, brown eyes, and peachy skin. Yama freezes in adulation, as the loud knock woke up the other children, Ryukyuko groans.
Ryukyuka energetically nudges him.
“Come on big brother, it’s time to get up! And start our new lives!” She chirps.
Aori is also unwilling to get up, “Shut up and go away.”
Yama composes himself and goes to Aori, pushing her.
“Get up! There’s some lady here…”
After of few more seconds, Aori reluctantly lifts her head and turns towards the door. The woman presently speaks, introducing herself as the maid of the house, Ruri.
"Hello, I am one of the maids of the estate, Ruri."
“The Great Sonmyō would like to speak with you if you will, follow me please.”
[The maid bows her head and points her right hand outside the door to where they need to go. Ruri brings the children to the dining area of the Head Castle to meet with the Great Sonmyō, Tsuchiyo Itama. She opens the door and seats the children. In front of them, at the head of the long, grand, rectangular table sat Itama with a tranquil face, his eyes closed. Ruri brings in the plates of food, containing: large steamed fish, garlic potato stew with rice, and leaves of lettuce on the side. She leaves them promptly.]
Acquiring a better gaze at him in the brightened room, Yama notices the middle-age features on Itama’s face; and the reddish-mahogany hair that he wields. Itama opens his yellowed-hazel eyes, breathing in the mouth-watering aroma of the food, and speaks.
“Good morning, children. How did you sleep.” He says calmly.
[None of them reply or touch the food, they are restricted by their previous traumas at the orphanage. Having been conditioned to never eat before Mother, let alone sit at a table, the children are fuddled.]
“Well, go on. Eat.”
Hearing the command the children pick up their utensils and begin eating. After taking a few bites, Yama stops to answer the question from earlier.
“Great, we slept... great.” He says delicately as he eats.
Ryukyuko, in a slightly haughty tone, interrupts.
“We? No, you slept great, I slept horribly.”
“We all can’t fit in that one bed.”
“We need separate rooms, old man.”
Aori chokes at the comment, while Ryukyuka ignores it as she is on her third plate of food. Yama, feeling annoyed at his remark replies.
“Oh, shut up. You slept fine.”
“We’re lucky enough we didn’t die last night!”
“Show some gratitude!!” Yama gets riled up.
“We don’t even know where our friends are!!!”
He stands abruptly.
“I don’t even know if they’re ali-”
[As the spectacle was going down, Itama stares Ryukyuko and Ryukyuka's face for a moment; analyzing them in negligible recollection. He then looks to Yama and interrupts them.]
“Calm down, it is fine, Yama.”
Being next to Yama, Aori helps him sit down, to calm him.
“I never had any intention of housing you all in the same room.”
“It was just temporary for the night.”
“Now, eat your food and meet me in the garden outside.”
Taking his food with him, Itama lazily walks out of the room, leaving the children in an awkward atmosphere. Ryukyuka continues to eat more plates of food, while Ryukyuko has lost his appetite from the argument, as Aori tends to Yama.
“Are you alright?"
"I knew you weren’t fine, what’s wrong?” She pauses.
“Talk to me.”
Yama remains silent. Aori decides not to speak as she stares at him. After a few minutes of silence, Yama breaks it with a tone a downcast in his voice. Flooded with anxiousness, worry, and regret, he cries.
“I’m afraid Ao-chan.”
Yama turns to Aori and throws himself into her arms, laying down on her chest, he starts crying.
“W-what if Naname is dead…”
“What if Kidan is dead…” He pauses as he inhales his runny mucus.
“I can’t handle it.”
Yama begins to bawl louder, causing Ryukyuka to stop eating her food, and Ryukyuko to wake up from his daydream. They turn to Yama with empathy as they walk to his side and comfort him alongside Aori. Ryukyuka places her hand on Yama’s back and calmly says.
“It’s okay Yama. You have to have more faith in them.”
“We’re all feeling what you’re feeling right now…”
Ryukyuko interrupts, placing his hand on Yama’s back as well. Shouldering a similar pain, he speaks to Yama in a lamented tone.
“Yeah, Yama. We’re all worried about them.”
“Hell, we even left Ranmari is a burning village...”
He pauses in an emotion of regret.
“I feel like shit leaving her behind like that…”
“But we have to believe in them; we know how capable they are.”
Aori cuts in, placing her hand on Yama’s head, patting it, while rubbing her fingers through his hair. With a reassuring-serene voice and an innocent smile, she utters the words.
“They have The One on their side remember?”
"Don't worry. They won't die until we see each other again!" She exclaims.
Hearing Aori speak those words flushed Yama’s body with an enormous amount of glee. The wave of emotion shocks Yama back to himself; he dries his tears, lifting his head with a hearty smile.
“As long as I’m around no one’s dying...”
“I should have more faith in their abilities.” He says reeling back from his pessimism.
Aori slightly pushes him back.
“Mhm! We’re all going to meet again someday, we promised! Remember?”
The twins nodded their heads with enthusiasm in agreement. Feeling ample amounts of gratitude, Yama gets out of his chair and prostrates himself on the floor. He slowly bows his head with severe fealty to his comrades, who are like his family.
“Thank you guys for all you do for me, seriously.”
“You guys believe in me and stand by me no matter what.”
"There's nothing more I could ask for..."
Pausing for a moment, before prostrating himself even further, he shouts.
“Please stay with me forever!”
“I love you guys!”
The children are revved up by the act and immediately jump on top of Yama, with joy. In unison with smiles on their faces, they all shout.
“We love you too!”
[The children hug it out for a few moments before returning to what amounts of food they had left. However, since the food is now too cold, to Yama and the others liking. No one else finishes their food except Ryukyuka, while Aori and Ryukyuko help Yama clean the table. But before they can finish clearing off the table, Ruri enters the room.]
“Don’t worry about cleaning, children.” She says as she walks over to the table and takes the plates from Yama and Ryukyuko’s hands.
“You don’t have to clean anymore. That’s my job.”
“Leave it to me, now run along, I believe you’re all needed in the garden.” She says with a smile.
[Without giving it a second thought Yama is the first to leave the room, followed by Ryukyuka who finally finished eating, then Ryukyuko and Aori. They run down the long-majestic, large hallway that runs past the office of the Sonmyō. They notice a harem room, a library, several other miscellaneous rooms, and at the end. The door to the stairs that lead to the first level of the 6 leveled castle. Behind the grand estate, lies the Old Stone Garden, the current Sonmyō made the garden in an attempt to feel peace. During the previous and current tumultuous events on the continent, Itama found himself needing somewhere to retreat to. The children run outside and go behind the castle into the garden; they spot Itama in the distance and run to him.]
With his back facing the children, Itama can sense their presence quickly coming closer. He dramatically turns around leisurely and greets the children with a wrathful scowl, his attention focused on Aori.