When Megumi was three-years-old, she visited her long time doctor’s home, but instead of seeing her usual doctor, she saw a man there that she had never seen before. This man was Dr. Jogoun, her doctor’s teacher, who was just visiting. Their first meeting was filled with silence and then Dr. Jogoun heard her voice for the first time: “THIEF!”
Megumi, now thirteen, was now facing Dr. Jogoun once again in Eva Province.
Megumi was silent staring at Jogoun. Keiki looked at Megumi and then at Jogoun filled with confusion.
“Do you guys know each other?” asked Keiki. Megumi nodded clearing her throat.
“I met him when I was three back in Go Province.”
Keiki looked back at Jogoun and said, “I swear we are just meeting all the people from your childhood.” Megumi nodded in agreement. Jogoun chuckled and said, “Coincidence or not, it is nice to see you again and I am also glad that you didn’t yell out thief this time.” Megumi turned red, while Keiki grew confused again.
“What is he talking ab…?”
Keiki was interrupted when Yumi suddenly exclaimed, “Megumi!” Megumi looked at Yumi and stated, “It took you long enough to notice me.” Yumi giggled and stated, “Well Dr. Jogoun was treating my ankle, so it was hard to focus around me.” Yumi suddenly noticed Ju-Long on Megumi’s back and asked, “Is that man OK?” Megumi gasped remembering that Ju-Long was still in her grasp. She approached Jogoun and said, “I need you to treat this man as well.” Jogoun saw the blood on Ju-Long and nodded.
“Lay him on the bed for now,” instructed Jogoun. Megumi nodded heading to the bed.
As she headed to the bed, Naohito popped his head from behind a shelf and smiled at the sight of Megumi with a white bandage covering the top half of his head.
“Welcome back Megumi my friend,” greeted Naohito. Megumi nodded at him and then placed Ju-Long on the bed. Naohito approached Megumi looking at Ju-Long.
“Who is this man?”
“Ju-Long, I met him today. He got on the bad side of someone and ended up like this.”
“That’s terrible,” whimpered Naohito. Naohito looked toward Jogoun, who was placing Yumi’s wrapped ankle down gently, and said, “You can heal him right?” Jogoun nodded heading toward the bed. He placed his hand on Ju-Long’s pants and then paused. He looked toward Keiki and said, “Please bring Lady Yumi to a different room.”
Keiki scoffed and said, “No way. I am not leaving Megumi’s side this time.” Megumi groaned, while Jogoun sighed. Jogoun looked at Naohito and said, “Then can you please lead her out.” Naohito nodded and began to head toward Yumi. Naohito suddenly tripped over a book and hit his head against the arm of the chair making Yumi give out a quick scream and Keiki groan. Naohito sat up as blood began to seep from under the bandages.
“Bad luck my friend,” stated Naohito. Yumi screamed at the sight of Naohito’s blood. Keiki groaned and said, “Fine, I’ll take Yumi to another room.” Keiki carried Yumi out of the chair and stormed out of the room.
Naohito looked at Jogoun and Megumi with blood running down the bridge of his nose and said, “I think I need a new bandage.” Jogoun shook his head saying, “You really are cursed young man.” Jogoun sat Naohito on the chair wiping the blood from his face and looked toward Megumi.
“I’m going to redo the stitches on Naohito’s forehead, so can you please remove that young man’s clothes?”
Megumi nodded and leaned toward Ju-Long’s unconscious form. As Megumi removed Ju-Long’s clothes, Jogoun began to unravel the bandaging on Naohito’s head. Jogoun glanced at Megumi as he did this and asked, “So why are you in Eva Province, little Megumi?”
“I’m here for my training as a future official and don’t call me little Megumi,” answered Megumi.
“Is that so?” asked Jogoun happily. Megumi nodded. Naohito smiled and added, “My friend Megumi is very talented at what he does.” Jogoun smiled at Naohito finally removing the bandaging.
“I see that you admire Megumi.”
Naohito nodded. Jogoun pulled out a needle and thread and said, “Now keep still while I sew the wound shut again.” Naohito nodded remaining still as Jogoun pressed the needle through Naohito’s skin.
Megumi, on the other hand, finally removed all of Ju-Long’s clothes showing the many needle wounds over his body and the blood that escaped. Megumi frowned and glanced back at Jogoun.
“I’m going to start cleaning his wounds before they get infected,” stated Megumi.
Jogoun nodded and added, “I trust you.” Megumi smiled as she grabbed a cloth and the bowl of water that Jogoun was most likely using before. She dipped the cloth into the water until it became dark from the wetness. After straining the cloth she began to wipe the blood off Ju-Long’s body. Ju-Long cringed in his sleep.
Megumi frowned and said, “I need more water to clean off all the blood.” Megumi noticed Jogoun’s medical bag near a table and opened it up. Megumi smiled when she saw a wooden bottle. She yanked it out and then glanced at Jogoun.
“This bottle still carries water, right?” asked Megumi. Jogoun nodded as he sewed Naohito’s forehead.
“Can I use it for now?” asked Megumi. Jogoun nodded once again, but his focus was mostly on his sewing work.
Megumi removed the lid of the bottle and poured half of the bottle into the bowl increasing the water. She strained the cloth once again after dipping it and continued to wipe the blood away. As she wiped the blood away, the needle wounds became more exposed.
Megumi glanced at Jogoun and asked, “After you’re done with Naohito, I need some help here.” Jogoun nodded just as he was finishing sewing.
Megumi wiped the last of the blood off to the best of her ability, but the exposed needle wounds began to bleed again. Megumi immediately grabbed ointment from Jogoun’s medical bag and began to spread it over the wounds.
Jogoun went to Megumi’s side after wrapping Naohito’s forehead and ordering him to stay seated, and grabbed a pure white cloth strip roll from his medical bag. He looked at Megumi and said, “Continue applying ointment, while I begin to wrap the wounds.” Megumi nodded just as she was rubbing ointment on Ju-Long’s arm.
From Naohito’s point of view, he saw Megumi applying medicine, while Jogoun wrapped the ointment covered parts of Ju-Long’s body. They looked focused on what they were doing and their movements were in perfect harmony with each other. It seemed like their forms were glowing with pride. Naohito couldn’t help, but stare in awe as they worked.
When Megumi applied ointment to the last part of Ju-Long’s body, Jogoun wrapped that last part and then heaved out a sigh.
“This young man had a lot of needle wounds,” stated Jogoun. Megumi nodded. Jogoun looked at Megumi seriously and asked, “Can you tell me exactly how this young man ended up in this state?” Megumi scratched the back of her head looking at Ju-Long’s unconscious form that was covered by the white cloth strips, except for his head and manhood.
“He got on the bad side of an acquaintance of mine in the market place. He was stabbed with a needle repeatedly, until I put a stop to it.”
Jogoun groaned and said, “It’s a good thing you stopped it. If he was stabbed anymore then he would have been paralyzed or worst dead.”
“I know,” stated Megumi as she stared at Ju-Long.
Naohito cleared his throat loudly getting Jogoun’s and Megumi’s attention.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but is there something I can do to keep myself awake. I am awfully sleepy.”
Jogoun rubbed his chin in thought and then grabbed a small pouch from his medical bag. He handed it to Naohito and said, “Put a small amount of this powder in water or tea and drink it. It should keep you up for the night.” Naohito nodded and was about to get up, but Jogoun pushed him back down and said, “In second thought, I’ll make the tea. You sit here and DON’T move.” Naohito nodded with a saddened expression.
Jogoun looked at Megumi, who was kneeling next to Ju-Long, and said, “Watch over Naohito and your friend, Ju-Long, while I make us some tea.” Megumi nodded. Jogoun left the room filling the room with silence.
Naohito glanced at Megumi with tired eyes and asked, “Are you close with the doctor?” Megumi nodded with a smile.
“He is someone I consider a teacher.”
Megumi nodded as she stood up. She sat in a nearby chair looking at Naohito.
“Back in Go Province, when I was three, I was treated at a small clinic run by Dr. Kiha. We were close and I visited almost every day just to talk. One day, I came to the clinic and met Dr. Jogoun for the first time. I thought he was a thief at first, but then Dr. Kiha explained that Dr. Jogoun was a doctor and his teacher in medicine. Dr. Jogoun and I weren’t that close at first, but when we talked about medicine we talked like we knew each other for years. He taught me what he knew about medicine practice.”
“So that’s why you did such a good job in wrapping Chiriko’s arm,” stated Naohito. Megumi nodded and added, “Dr. Jogoun’s teachings came in handy when I needed to treat my family.” Megumi suddenly remembered Mikan’s smile when she treated her hand and looked down sadly.
Naohito, who was smiling before, had a look of confusion when he noticed Megumi’s sad form.
“Is something wrong, my friend?” asked Naohito. Megumi flinched and shook her head.
“I am fine, Naohito.”
Naohito sighed in relief and then asked, “So Dr. Jogoun is basically a childhood friend, right?” Megumi nodded and added, “I was sad when he had to go.”
Naohito chuckled and stated, “It must be destiny that you get to see him again all the way in Eva Province.” Megumi smiled wondering if it really was destiny.
Megumi suddenly heard Ju-Long moan and approached his side.
“You awake, Ju-Long?” asked Megumi looking down at his face. Ju-Long opened his eyes revealing how cloudy they were.
“Who’s talking?” asked Ju-Long. Megumi frowned as she looked at his eyes.
“Is something wrong Megumi?” asked Naohito tilting his head to the side. Without saying a word, Megumi grabbed Jogoun’s medical bag and began to search through it. Megumi cursed under her breath when she couldn’t find what she was looking for. She placed Jogoun’s bag down and glanced back at Naohito.
“I know Dr. Jogoun told you to sit still, but I need you to get him right away.”
“He’s the only one who can get the herbs I need to heal Ju-Long’s eyes.”
Megumi nodded and added, “I’m not sure how, but I think the needle pierced a nerve that effects vision. If I don’t treat him right away, he could go blind.” Naohito nodded and was about to run off, but immediately tripped. Before he touched the ground, Megumi caught him midair and sighed.
“I should go myself, but I need to watch Ju-Long for any changes in his condition, so for now…”
Megumi pulled Naohito to his feet and grabbed his right hand. Using her index finger she traced a lotus blossom in the palm of Naohito’s right hand. Naohito didn’t quite understand, but as he felt the feather like touch from Megumi’s finger, he began to feel lighter.
“What are you doing?” asked Naohito. Megumi glanced at Naohito and said, “I’m using a charm Eve showed me as a child. It’s supposed to bring good luck, so maybe it will help you.” Megumi withdrew her finger and kissed the palm of his hand making Naohito go red.
“Hopefully this will protect you on your way to Dr. Jogoun.”
Naohito gulped nodding. Naohito slipped his hand away from Megumi and ran out of the room. Megumi sighed and then looked back at Ju-Long, who was cringing as he tried to get up to no avail.
“Hopefully, Naohito will return with Dr. Jogoun in time.”
Naohito ran through the hall trying to get to the kitchen. Naohito turned a corner and saw Keiki walking down the hall.
Keiki looked at Naohito and asked, “Weren’t you still in the room with the doctor?”
“I was, but the doctor left for the kitchen, but now I need to get him for Megumi. Now that I think about it, weren’t you with Lady Yumi?”
Keiki scoffed and stated, “Yumi fell asleep in one of the rooms, so I was heading back to the room to see Megumi. Anyway, why does Megumi need the doctor?”
“He’s the only one who can help Megumi heal Ju-Long’s eyes.”
Keiki frowned and asked, “Why would that guy send you when you are so accident prone?”
“Well…I don’t have time for this. I need to get the doctor,” stated Naohito running pass Keiki. Keiki watched Naohito run off and then sighed scratching the back of his head.
“It can’t be that serious,” muttered Keiki and then continued walking down the hall.
In the meantime, Jogoun was placing the tea with the powder for Naohito in a pot. Jogoun sighed wiping the sweat off his forehead.
“I really didn’t expect little Megumi to be here,” muttered Jogoun. Jogoun closed his eyes as he smelled the aroma of the tea and began to remember when he first met Megumi.
About ten years ago, Jogoun went to Go Province to visit one of his students. Jogoun was humming a tune he heard from his travels as he walked into the small clinic of Go Province. Jogoun looked around the empty clinic and scratched the back of his head.
“I guess little Kiha is not here yet,” stated Jogoun. Jogoun picked up a bottle of medicine and then sniffed it.
“The medicine he makes truly is wonderful,” muttered Jogoun with a smile. He suddenly heard the door open behind him and turned around. He expected to see Kiha at the door, but instead saw a young boy, most likely the age of three. Before Jogoun could say anything, the small boy yelled out, “THIEF!” and then ran at him. Jogoun didn’t have time to react when the small boy head butted his stomach. Jogoun was silent as he fell to his knees trembling in pain.
“Serves you right thief,” stated the young boy with crossed arms. Jogoun glared at the young boy with gritted teeth.
“Why you little…?”
“What’s going on in here?” asked a voice familiar to Jogoun. Jogoun looked up and saw Kiha, age twenty at the time.
Kiha gasped when he saw his master on the floor with the young boy in front of him.
“What happened here?” exclaimed Kiha in shock. The young boy glanced back at Kiha with a smile. The young boy immediately embraced Kiha around his waist saying, “Dr. Kiha!” Kiha smiled at the boy saying, “Nice to see you too, Megumi, but can you explain why my teacher is on the floor shaking?” The boy’s, revealed to be Megumi, eyes widened and looked back at Jogoun, who was still glaring at her.
“You know the thief?” asked Megumi. Kiha sighed and held his hand to Jogoun.
“He’s no thief, his name is Dr. Jogoun, my teacher.”
Megumi was silent for a while and then gasped. She ran to Jogoun and bowed deeply to him.
“I’m so sorry, sir. I had no idea you were an acquaintance of Dr. Kiha,” stated Megumi. Jogoun managed to get up groaning.
“I accept your apology, but you shouldn’t head butt a person when you first meet them,” scolded Jogoun. Megumi suddenly pouted and said, “Well you shouldn’t touch Dr. Kiha’s medicines without asking either, old man.” Jogoun flinched, but then smiled, but his smile was filled with malice making Megumi flinch. Without warning, Jogoun gripped the top of Megumi’s head making Megumi flinch and kneeled to Megumi’s eye level with the malice smile still on his face.
“Now little boy, you need to call me Dr. Jogoun. Not old man.”
Megumi had fear in her eyes at first, but then she gritted her teeth and kicked Jogoun in his shin. Jogoun gasped in pain as Megumi pushed his hand away.
“Dr. Kiha is the only doctor in Go Province, wicked old man!” yelled Megumi. Jogoun glared at Megumi and yelled, “Disrespectful Brat!”
Before Jogoun knew it, he was having a verbal battle with Megumi with Kiha watching with uneasiness in his face.
In the present time, Jogoun opened his eyes with a sigh.
“That was a horrible first meeting,” muttered Jogoun. Jogoun chuckled to himself and added, “I should have known better than to argue with a three-year-old.” He remembered Megumi’s three-year-old self giggling with him as he showed her medicines he made and smiled.
“I’m glad little Megumi and I became friends in the end.”
Jogoun suddenly heard running steps approaching and looked at the entrance of the kitchen. To his surprise he saw Naohito appear at the entrance breathing heavily.
“Didn’t I tell you not to leave the room,” stated Jogoun as he approached Naohito. Naohito looked at Jogoun with tired eyes and stated, “I needed to get you. Megumi needs you.” Jogoun’s eyes widened wondering what had happened in the room.
Megumi on the other hand sat next to Ju-Long who was going in and out of consciousness. Ju-Long glanced at Megumi, but he could barely make out her figure.
“Why are you still here?” asked Ju-Long. Megumi crossed her arms and stated, “I need to watch you to make sure your eyes don’t go completely blind.”
“What if they do?”
“Then you’ll be blind forever.”
Ju-Long chuckled managing to place a hand to his clouded eyes.
“Just great, I try to help my partner and I end up in this sorry condition: a condition that could leave me blind forever.”
Ju-Long felt tears begin to escape his eyes making him cringe.
“It even hurts to cry,” stated Ju-Long. Megumi moved his hand away from his face and wiped his tears away with a cloth.
“Naohito will bring Dr. Jogoun here soon, so stop your tears,” stated Megumi. Ju-Long chuckled trying to make out Megumi’s face.
“You really are strange. Are you this kind to all the people that try to kill you?”
“It’s hard to say.”
Ju-Long laughed and then said, “Now that I think about it, you had the chance to kill Fai, but you spared him and just did an Obedience Vow on him. Why did you do that?”
Megumi sighed closing her eyes.
“My master taught me that you only kill when you are defending yourself, but if the choice to spare a life is open then take it.”
“Then your master is strange too.”
Megumi frowned and said, “I can’t deny that. You wouldn’t believe the training he put me through just to get me better at fighting.”
“Try me,” stated Ju-Long with a smirk. Megumi scratched the back of her head before speaking.
“When I was four, my master threw me into an abandoned well and ordered me to climb up by myself. To make matters worse he tossed in two poisonous snakes. It was a miracle that I wasn’t bitten. Afterwards, he made me fight a wild bear with a rock tied to my back. The worst one was when he started shooting endless arrows at me, while making me step on hot rocks.”
Ju-Long’s eyes were wide and then chuckled.
“That’s nothing to my training as an assassin. I was forced to stay in a swamp for months until I could kill ten alligators with my bare hands. It’s hard to believe that gators are such tough creatures and finding food was almost impossible.”
“Oh really, well my master forced me to swim in an ice cold lake for one whole day with no food.”
“That was only one day though. Well another Hellish training was when I had to push a boulder up a hill by myself.”
“My master did that training with me too, but that one was easy for me.”
“Nope, I was pretty strong as a kid and pushed the boulder up within three hours.”
“No way that’s true! It took me almost the whole day to push that boulder up.”
“Weakling,” teased Megumi. Ju-Long smirked and pointed a finger at Megumi.
“We’ll see who is the weakling after I recover,” stated Ju-Long. Megumi chuckled smiling. Ju-Long smiled as well as he looked at Megumi.
“What the Hell is this?”
Megumi looked to the doorway and saw Keiki standing at the doorway with a scowl on his face.
Keiki frowned looking away from Megumi with crossed arms.
“It looks like you are having so much fun with the patient. It’s hard to believe that he is in dire need of treatment,” stated Keiki with spite behind his voice.
“Why do you sound so angry?” asked Megumi with a raised eyebrow. Keiki groaned sitting on a nearby chair.
“I’m not angry. I’m not angry that you are having a friendly conversation with that Ju-Long guy or that you are actually smiling without me. Absolutely not angry,” stated Keiki, but each word he spoke was filled with venom making Megumi bewildered. Ju-Long smirked.
“If that voice I’m hearing wasn’t a guy, I would think that I am hearing a jealous girlfriend,” mocked Ju-Long. Keiki glared at Ju-Long yelling, “I dare you to say that again, you jerk!” Megumi shook her head with a sigh.
“So noisy,” muttered Megumi. Ju-Long chuckled, while Keiki groaned.
Megumi looked back at Ju-Long and gasped when she saw that his eyes were nearly white. Megumi held two fingers up in front of Ju-Long and asked, “Can you tell me how many fingers you see?” Ju-Long squinted his eyes and groaned.
“I can’t see. I only see the color of your fingers.”
“This is bad,” stated Megumi. Megumi glanced at Keiki making him flinch and said, “Can you see out the door if Naohito and Dr. Jogoun are close?” Keiki nodded with seriousness in his eyes and opened the door behind him only to see Jogoun and Naohito about to enter with a variety of herbs in their arms.
“Dr. Jogoun!” exclaimed Megumi. Jogoun ran to Megumi’s side with Naohito behind him. He forced Ju-Long to look at him and frowned.
“He’ll be blind soon,” stated Jogoun. Jogoun yanked the herbs from Naohito’s grasp and then glanced back at Keiki.
“Get me a bowl from the counter,” ordered Jogoun. Keiki nodded as he ran to the counter in the room. He looked at Megumi next and ordered, “Put pressure on the side of his head to keep his eyes open.” Megumi nodded going to the edge of the bed closes to Ju-Long’s head and pressed certain points on the side of Ju-Long’s head. The pressure points forced Ju-Long’s eyes wider. Ju-Long cringed at the pressure from Megumi.
“Please withstand this pain for now,” whispered Megumi. Ju-Long gritted his teeth.
Keiki handed Jogoun a bowl and Jogoun immediately tossed the herbs from Naohito into the bowl and began to smash them with a wooden round object from the bowl. The herbs were smashed until they became a powder of crimson red. Jogoun then grabbed the bottle of water and poured water into the bowl making a red liquid. He Looked at Jogoun with seriousness in his eyes.
“This will hurt, but please bear with it,” warned Jogoun. Ju-Long was only able to make a grunt before Jogoun began to poor a drop of the liquid three times into his clouded eyes. Ju-Long gasped in pain and seemed ready to bite his tongue, but Jogoun shoved his arm into Ju-Long’s mouth forcing Ju-Long to bite down on his arm.
“Dr. Jogoun!” exclaimed Megumi in concern. Jogoun cringed and said, “This is nothing.” When the liquid was gone, Jogoun looked at Megumi and said, “You can let go now.” Megumi nodded withdrawing her hands. Ju-Long’s eyes shut with tears at the corners of his eyes. Jogoun managed to pull his bleeding arm away as he looked at Megumi.
“Please bandage his eyes,” ordered Jogoun. Megumi nodded pulling out a roll of white cloth from the medical bag. Jogoun then looked at Naohito and Keiki.
“I need Naohito to sit down and drink the tea and as for Keiki I need him to get extra blankets.”
“Why should I?” exclaimed Keiki as Naohito headed to a seat for the tea. Jogoun gestured toward Ju-Long and said, “The blankets here are too thin for Ju-Long.” Keiki groaned and said, “I still don’t understand why I have to listen to you.”
Megumi glared at Keiki after bandaging Ju-Long’s eyes and stated, “Dr. Jogoun is your elder so listen to what he said or do you want me to send you flying?” Keiki flinched and then groaned turning away yelling, “Fine!” Keiki marched out of the room fuming.
Jogoun looked at Megumi with a smile and said, “Your friend Keiki sure is obedient toward you.”
Megumi frowned and said, “He’s not my friend.” Jogoun chuckled. Jogoun then looked at Ju-Long and asked, “Has the pain subsided?” Ju-Long frowned.
“A little, but now I can’t see,” complained Ju-Long. Jogoun chuckled and said, “Well those bandages on your eyes can’t be removed until after three days.”
“Are you kidding me?” exclaimed Ju-Long, only to whimper when a pain radiated throughout his body.
“I am quite serious and you are forbidden from leaving the bed as well for those three days.”
Naohito sipped the tea feeling more awake and asked, “So Ju-Long is going to be staying here for three days?” Jogoun nodded and added, “I’ll inform Lord Chiriko of this so don’t worry.” Naohito nodded taking another sip of the tea.
Megumi smiled and asked, “Does that mean you are staying for the night?” Jogoun nodded and added, “I’ll stay in this room with the patients.” Megumi nodded with a smile, but her smile faded when she saw the blood on Jogoun’s arm. She took the bandage she used to wrap Ju-Long’s eyes and went to Jogoun’s side. Pulling his wounded arm to her, she began to bandage his arm.
Jogoun smiled as Megumi wrapped his arm and said, “This isn’t really necessary, little Megumi.” Megumi glanced at Jogoun with seriousness in her eyes.
“Your arm is bleeding, so it is necessary. Please think of your health too Dr. Jogoun,” scolded Megumi. Jogoun’s eyes widened and then chuckled.
“Still the same,” muttered Jogoun in a tone that made it difficult for Megumi to hear.
Ju-Long frowned from the bed and stated, “Sorry for biting your arm.” Jogoun glanced at Ju-Long and said, “No need. If you didn’t bite my arm, you would have bitten off your tongue.” Ju-Long groaned.
Megumi finished bandaging Jogoun’s arm and went back to Ju-Long’s side. Jogoun crossed his arms at Megumi and said, “You don’t have to stay here in the room anymore, you know.” Megumi looked at Naohito, who was still drinking tea, and back at Ju-Long lying on the bed, and then stated, “My friends are under your care, so if it is not too much trouble, I would like to stay too.” Jogoun smiled and nodded just as Keiki came in with two thick blankets.
Jogoun placed the blankets over Ju-Long’s body and said, “Get some sleep.” Ju-Long nodded.
Keiki went to Megumi’s side as Jogoun headed toward Naohito to get some tea saying, “Let’s get to our room already.” Megumi shook her head and said, “I’m staying here for the night.” Keiki growled and yelled, “Why?”
Megumi glanced toward Jogoun, who was sitting next to Naohito, and stated, “I just want to stay with Dr. Jogoun for the night.” Keiki clenched his fist and yelled, “Why do you keep avoiding me?”
“You are! For the past few nights you’ve tried to come up with excuses to sleep in a different room from me. Just admit it!” yelled Keiki. Megumi groaned and glared at Keiki.
“You want me to be honest, fine. You are with me endlessly that it’s suffocating. I barely have time with myself. I want the month to end already so you can finally get off my back.”
Keiki gritted his teeth shaking. He felt something grab at his heart and then turned away from Megumi.
“Fine! I’ll get out of your sight you jerk!” yelled Keiki before running out of the room.
The room was silent for a while and then Jogoun spoke.
“You could have sugar coated your words a bit.”
“Keiki needed to hear the truth. Now I know how Mikan felt.”
“Mikan, so Keiki knew Mikan?”
Megumi nodded. Naohito looked at Megumi with a bewildered look and asked, “Who is Mikan?” Megumi glanced at Naohito and then looked away saying, “Mikan was my older twin sister.”
“You have an older sister?” asked Naohito in surprise. Megumi’s face looked saddened as she added, “I HAD an older sister.” Naohito’s eyes widened as did Jogoun’s.
“Your sister is dead?” asked Jogoun. Megumi nodded. Jogoun remembered meeting Mikan ten years ago and how sweet she looked holding Megumi’s hand. It was hard for him to believe that Mikan was dead.
“How did she die?” asked Jogoun. Megumi frowned and whispered, “I rather not say.” By the tone of Megumi’s voice, Jogoun and Naohito knew that Megumi wouldn’t speak anymore of Mikan.
Jogoun suddenly stood up and said, “I’ll get some extra blankets.” Naohito stood up and said, “I’ll come with you.”
“You really should…”
“I’ll be fine. I feel luckier since Megumi did that charm.”
Jogoun raised an eyebrow wondering what Naohito meant, but even he could tell that there was something different about Naohito. In the end, Jogoun allowed Naohito to help. He looked back at Megumi and said, “Go ahead and find someplace to rest for now, while we get the blankets.” Megumi nodded and watched Naohito and Jogoun leave the room.
When they were gone, Megumi was about to stand up, but Ju-Long suddenly grabbed her right wrist making her look at him.
“I thought you were asleep,” stated Megumi. Ju-Long frowned and said, “How could anyone sleep with you guys yelling like that?” Megumi chuckled.
“Sorry about that, but Keiki is very loud when he lets his emotions run wild.”
Ju-Long smirked and said, “I can understand that, but even I think you should have been a little nicer to the guy.” Megumi frowned.
“But he’s so annoying,” mumbled Megumi. Ju-Long chuckled and stated, “He may be annoying, but even I can tell that he is only worried about you.”
“Are you joking? Keiki has wanted me dead for years,” stated Megumi.
“Well try to listen to him next time and see what I mean,” stated Ju-Long. Megumi chuckled with a smile.
“You remind me of my friend Reiji,” stated Megumi remembering how Reiji always cheered her up during her times of sadness.
“He better not be an idiot,” stated Ju-Long making Megumi chuckle. Megumi noticed that Ju-Long was still holding her wrist and asked, “Can you let go of my wrist?” Ju-Long shook his head holding her wrist a bit tighter.
“I need to feel someone’s warmth to know that I am still alive.”
Ju-Long nodded and added, “All I see right now is darkness. It feels like death is coming for me, so please…stay by my side for now.” Ju-Long’s hand was shaking. Megumi smiled warmly and laid her head next to Ju-Long’s head.
“I’ll stay for now, Ju-Long.”
Ju-Long smiled finally falling asleep with Megumi’s wrist in his grasp.
When Jogoun and Naohito returned they saw that Megumi was fast asleep next to Ju-Long. Naohito clenched the blankets feeling a weight on his heart and looked at Jogoun.
“Should we move Megumi?” asked Naohito. Jogoun shook his head placing a thick blanket on the floor.
“If I know little Megumi, he is sleeping next to the patient because the patient asked, so leave him be, Naohito,” stated Jogoun. Naohito whimpered sitting on a chair with a blanket on his lap.
“Maybe I am sick.”
Jogoun glanced at Naohito as he sat on the floor and asked, “Why do you say that?”
Naohito glanced at Megumi and then clenched the blankets with redness in his cheeks.
“Well ever since I met Megumi, I would feel like butterflies are in my stomach. When I see Megumi getting friendly with another person I lose my appetite and feel like something is heavy in my heart. Doesn’t that mean I am sick?”
Jogoun stared at Naohito with wide eyes and then looked away smiling saying, “I’m sure those feelings will pass in time, so don’t worry.” Naohito nodded and began to drink the tea again as he reached for a book from a shelf.
Jogoun grabbed a pillow as he laid his head back on the floor. The day was long for him, so he was already exhausted. Before falling asleep, he glanced at Naohito and then at Megumi’s sleeping form. He knew what Naohito was feeling, but hoped it would pass for Naohito’s and Megumi’s sake.
In his dream, he was in ten years ago back in Go Province once again, a few days after he met Megumi. Jogoun was walking through the market of Go Province looking over different herbs. Jogoun picked up a red leaf herb and examined it closely. He shook his head placing the herb down. He found it very difficult to find decent herbs to make medicine in a market, so he was about to head to the forest in the outskirts of Go Province, but was suddenly tackled in the stomach by a seven-year-old boy. Jogoun groaned in pain as the boy pushed him aside and ran pass him toward an older man with a mafia symbol. Jogoun groaned cradling his stomach.
“Seriously, why do young boys tackle me in the stomach?” mumbled Jogoun in annoyance. He suddenly saw Megumi, three-years-old, carrying a bag of rice on her back. Jogoun frowned remembering that Megumi was the first person to attack him since getting into Go Province. He would have walked pass Megumi, but someone suddenly grabbed Megumi’s bag of rice and ran off. Megumi gasped and ran after the person. Once again, Jogoun would have walked off, but he saw the unknown person and Megumi run out of the market toward the forest in the outskirts. Jogoun groaned placing a hand on his forehead.
“That kid is going to get lost,” muttered Jogoun. Jogoun thought it through and finally decided to enter the forest and if he ran into Megumi then he would return “him” to Megumi’s home.
Jogoun entered the forest and began to gather different herbs with a smile. As he searched around, he realized that the unknown man and Megumi were nowhere in sight. He would have thought that Megumi and the unknown man returned to Go Province after a long chase, but that thought was short lived when he fell through an almost concealed well.
Jogoun landed on the bottom of the well groaning in pain and to his confusion he heard groans that didn’t come from him. He adjusted his eyes to the small light within the well and saw Megumi sitting in front of him with her legs clutched close to her chest.
“Megumi, right?” asked Jogoun with a raised eyebrow. Megumi nodded and pointed to Jogoun’s bottom saying, “The guy you are sitting on is the rice thief.” Jogoun looked to his bottom and gasped when he saw the unknown person under him unconscious. Jogoun got off him pressing his back against the well wall.
“Sorry about that.”
Megumi frowned and said, “He’s fine as long as you didn’t break any more bones.” Jogoun stared at Megumi and then back at the man and gasped when he realized that the man’s leg was broken. Jogoun kneeled next to the man placing a hand on the broken leg.
“We need to get this treated fast,” stated Jogoun. He suddenly realized that a piece of wood was wrapped around the man’s broken leg and looked at Megumi.
“Did you try to treat his leg?” asked Jogoun. Megumi nodded.
“I’m surprised you did that since he stole your rice.”
Megumi clutched her legs with a pout on her face.
“He did steal from me and made us fall into this hole, but he’s hurt and needs to be treated. Dr. Kiha would have done the same.”
Jogoun was silent and then chuckled.
“He would, but…”
Jogoun pointed at the poor wrapping and said, “He would have done a better job of wrapping the leg.” Megumi glared at Jogoun and said, “I tried.” Jogoun laughed in response and urged Megumi closer. Megumi seemed uneasy as she crawled to Jogoun’s side. Jogoun unwrapped the man’s leg and said, “Let me show you how to wrap a wound correctly.” Megumi nodded and watched as Jogoun wrapped the man’s broken leg with expert technique.
When Jogoun was finished, he looked at Megumi and said, “That’s the right way to wrap a wound.” To Jogoun’s surprise, he saw that Megumi’s eyes were wide with awe. Megumi looked at Jogoun and asked, “Can you show me more of your techniques?”
“I thought you didn’t consider me a doctor?” stated Jogoun with a smirk. Megumi shook her head and added, “I was wrong, so please show me Dr. Jogoun.” Jogoun smiled and began to explain all his techniques and medicines to a curious Megumi.
Jogoun was so absorbed, he didn’t even notice when people from above were starting to call out to them. In a matter of moments, Megumi, Jogoun, and the thief were helped out of the well. The thief was taken into custody, while Megumi and Jogoun headed to the clinic.
As they walked, Jogoun looked at Megumi, who had a few scratches and asked, “So do you need me to buy you new rice?” Megumi shook her head and said, “I can do it on my own just like father.” Jogoun smiled patting Megumi’s head.
“You’re a good kid.”
Megumi chuckled and suddenly pointed at Jogoun’s arm that had a long scratch.
“I’m glad you care for your patients, but please take care of yourself as well.”
Jogoun nodded with a chuckle. That was the day, Jogoun became friends with Megumi. Megumi understood all his techniques with just one lesson and even made a medicine that only he could perfect. It wasn’t official, but he believed that Megumi was his greatest student.
“Dr. Jogoun? Dr. Jogoun, time to get up.”
Jogoun opened his eyes and saw Megumi looking down at him. Jogoun shot up barely avoiding Megumi’s forehead. Megumi smiled at Jogoun and said, “Good morning, Dr. Jogoun.” Jogoun greeted Megumi with a smile. Jogoun saw Naohito asleep on a bed and was about to wake him up, but Megumi held Jogoun back and said, “I made sure that Naohito was fine when I woke up. He’s OK, so he can sleep now.” Jogoun sighed in relief and patted Megumi’s head.
“You’re a good kid.”
Megumi frowned and said, “I’m not a kid anymore, Dr. Jogoun.” Jogoun just laughed in reply. He looked toward Ju-Long and asked, “Is he OK?” Megumi nodded and added, “He just needs to rest a bit more, but he’ll be fine.” Jogoun nodded.
They suddenly heard the door open and saw Chiriko and Reiji enter the room.
“Good morning,” greeted Megumi with a warm smile. Chiriko and Reiji greeted her back. Reiji looked at Jogoun with wide eyes and asked, “Why are you still here Dr. Jogoun?” Jogoun smiled as he spoke.
“Well I had a late night patient,” stated Jogoun glancing back a Ju-Long’s sleeping form.
“Who is that man?” asked Chiriko rubbing his chin in thought.
“Little Megumi brought him in. He was badly injured, so I treated him. With his injuries he will have to stay in the bed for three days. Is that OK?”
Chiriko glanced at Megumi and then back at Jogoun with a nod.
“If it is necessary,” stated Chiriko. Jogoun bowed in thanks.
Reiji suddenly went to Megumi and leaned toward her ear saying, “I have today off and I got Lord Chiriko’s permission to give you another day off and made sure that Lady Yumi was still asleep, so do you want to go to the market together?” Megumi smiled and nodded.
Chiriko saw how close Megumi and Reiji were and frowned before looking away with a clenched fist. Jogoun noticed this and looked at Megumi and saw how warm her smile looked when looking at Reiji.
I guess Little Megumi made friends.
Reiji began to drag Megumi out of the room. Megumi glanced back at Jogoun and Chiriko and said, “Goodbye for now, Dr. Jogoun, Chiriko.” They both nodded as Reiji closed the door behind them.
Chiriko looked at Jogoun and asked, “Will you be staying again for this patient?” Jogoun shook his head and said, “I have to leave Eva Province today. If you remember right, I was only in the clinic teaching the true doctor of Eva Province.” Chiriko nodded and added, “Then I’ll get the doctor from the clinic to watch the patient later.” Jogoun nodded.
“Just to let you know, you can also depend on Little Megumi.”
Jogoun nodded and added, “Megumi is very gifted in the art of healing as well for he learned from me.” Chiriko’s eyes widened as Jogoun headed toward the door.
A few moments ago, outside of the door, Megumi and Reiji saw Keiki sitting next to the door with his legs held against his chest.
“Why is Keiki here?” asked Megumi.
“I’m not quite sure. Lord Chiriko and I saw him sitting here before we went into the room.”
Megumi kneeled in front of Keiki and asked, “What are you doing here, Keiki?” Keiki looked Megumi in the eye with redness in his eyes.
“I was waiting for you to get out of the room,” answered Keiki. Megumi saw how bloodshot his eyes were and asked, “Were you up all night waiting for me?” Keiki nodded placing his arms over his face.
“I waited and waited, but you weren’t coming out. Stupid, stupid, stupid Megumi,” stated Keiki. Megumi noticed the tears on Keiki’s cheeks and smiled. She patted his head and said, “I get it, Keiki, so stop crying.”
“I’m not crying!” yelled Keiki. Megumi chuckled and held her hand at Keiki saying, “Let’s go to the market together.” Keiki stared at Megumi’s hand and then took it with redness in his cheeks.
“I’m not going because I want to,” stated Keiki his gaze averted from Megumi’s.
Megumi took Reiji’s hand with her free hand and began to lead them down the hall.
When they were halfway down the hall, Jogoun left the room and saw Megumi, Keiki, and Reiji in the distance. Jogoun stared at Megumi’s back and smiled.
Ten years ago, before he left Go Province, he carried Megumi from under her arms and unknown to Megumi a mark shaped like a Lotus that emerged from Jogoun’s right hand attached itself to Megumi’s left armpit.
Jogoun clenched his hand to his chest as he thought of Megumi’s warm smile.
Continue to grow to someone kind hearted with my mark, little Megumi.