Bunkai 2: Qualification Exam

The Red Lotus, a brothel that held the object of men’s desires, Hime Hana. Hime refuses the proposals of men, even the men who promise her treasure beyond her wildest dreams. Hime isn’t interested in any of that for she wants only one man: Megumi Yoh.

Hime brushed her long hair in front of a golden rimmed mirror given to her by a rich gentleman. Hime removed her lipstick, but the redness of her lips was still there. She then looked at her hand and traced a cherry blossom with many petals in the palm of her hand. It was a charm to help a person relax. The one who taught her that charm was none other than, Megumi Yoh.

Megumi taught her the charm when she first met him at age fifteen. Megumi was seven at the time. Hime had an issue with her height and no one would ask for her because she looked younger than what she looked. Megumi was the one to recognize her as an adult and taught her the charm to have more confidence in herself and to calm down. Hime fell in love with Megumi that day and tried her best to become the top courtesan for his sake, but Megumi, even though he knows of her love still refuses her.

Hime kissed her palm thinking of Megumi’s smile. There was suddenly a knock on her door making her groan.

“No more customers tonight,” said Hime in a harsh voice.

“I think you would want to accept this customer Hime-Sama.”

Hime groaned and allowed the handmaiden at the opposite end of the door to open the door. When the door opened, Hime’s face became a rosy pink. Next to the handmaiden, stood the object of her desire: Megumi. Hime ran to Megumi and embraced him.

“Megumi, you finally came for me.”

Hime was so happy that she immediately kissed Megumi upon the lips not caring that the handmaiden was still present. Hime pulled away and then shooed the handmaiden away. Hime shut the door with a smile upon her face. She looked back at Megumi and her smile immediately faded, when she saw Megumi’s saddened look.

“Megumi is something wrong?”

Megumi looked at Hime and said, “Mikan, mother, they are dead.” Hime gasped and fell to her bed.

“Dead, but how? What about Satoshi?”

“They were burned. Satoshi was taken.”

Hime hugged Megumi around his head and said, “Poor Megumi.” Megumi’s eyes grew serious and said, “I decided to become an official in order to figure out who those murderers are.”

“An official?”

Megumi nodded and said, “Someone has offered to sponsor me, so I don’t have to worry about the payment.” Megumi looked at Hime seriously.

“The qualification exam in Go Province isn’t until three days, so please allow me to stay here with you for now.”

Hime frowned and asked, “So you only requested me in order to have a place to stay?” Megumi nodded. Megumi bowed deeply to Hime.

“I know this is rude of me, but I have nowhere to go until the time, so please,” begged Megumi. Hime sighed and agreed. She hugged Megumi and said, “Just promise to accept my letters when you become an official.” Megumi nodded. Hime hugged Megumi tighter as if he were going to disappear at any moment. Hime loved Megumi so much that she was willing to wait.

Hime led Megumi down the hall of Red Lotus with customers glaring daggers at Megumi. Hime noticed the glares and giggled. All the customers wanted to spend a night with her, but because she only wanted Megumi, she rejected them. It was no wonder that Megumi was the target of their hate.

Hime and Megumi stopped in front of Mikan’s old room. Hime opened the door revealing a bed surrounded by antiques. Hime directed her hand into the room and insisted that Megumi stay in the room for the three days.

“Is this so I won’t disturb you when you do have a paying customer?”

Hime nodded and hugged Megumi.

“Of course it would be great to have you as my only customer,” said Hime in a mesmerizing voice. Hime withdrew and pushed Megumi into the room gently.

“I’ll let the others know, so don’t worry my darling Megumi,” stated Hime as she shut the door behind her.

Megumi explored the room, examining every detail of the room. He traced his fingers on the bed envisioning Mikan sitting upon it as she drew pictures in her notepad. Megumi withdrew his hand and then traced his fingers on a black patterned Zither. He flicked one string on the Zither creating a soft note. Megumi was drawn to that one sound. He sat on the bed, placing the Zither onto his lap. Megumi ran his fingers upon the strings creating a song never heard before. The sound of the Zither echoed through the Red Lotus like it was being carried by the wind. Customers and courtesans stopped what they were doing just to listen to the beautiful tune emitting from the room. Tears ran down Megumi’s eyes as he played because he could see the faces of his mother, Mikan, and Satoshi encouraging him to play.

Megumi was absorbed in his playing that he didn’t hear the door open behind him. The one who stood before the open door was Keiki. Keiki had returned to the Red Lotus to convince the owner of Red Lotus to force Mikan to quit to be his wife, but was instead drawn to the room where Megumi played the Zither. Keiki couldn’t see Megumi’s face and thought that he was Mikan. Keiki embraced Megumi from behind saying Mikan’s name.

Megumi stopped playing abruptly and flung Keiki off his back. Keiki slammed into a gold statue of Buddha. Keiki’s vision was blurry at first, but as it began to clear, he saw that it wasn’t Mikan, but Megumi glaring down at him.

Keiki shot up demanding why Megumi was in Mikan’s room.

“I would like to know why you’re in here yourself, slime ball,” stated Megumi with harshness behind his voice. Keiki crossed his arms refusing to answer his question. Keiki then looked around the room and asked, “Where’s Mikan?” Megumi closed his eyes clenching his fist.

“Dead.”

Keiki’s eyes widen.

“What do you mean dead?”

“She was killed during a fire at my house not too long ago with my mother.”

Keiki shook his head, not believing Megumi’s words. He yelled that Megumi must be lying to keep him away from Mikan. Megumi grabbed Keiki by the front of his shirt and screamed, “Why would I lie about something like that?” Keiki saw the traces of tears on Megumi’s cheeks. Keiki considered Megumi a true man, even if he disliked him to the point of wanting to kill him, so it was hard for him to believe that Megumi would cry about a lie. Keiki was trembling.

“Is she really dead?”

Megumi nodded, loosening his grip on Keiki’s shirt.

“Who did it? Who killed her?”

“I don’t know. I wasn’t there at the time and they also took Satoshi.”

“Then how are you going to find them?” demanded Keiki as hot tears began to escape from his eyes.

“I’m going to become an official. As an official I will be able to find them and exact my revenge.”

Keiki saw the seriousness in Megumi’s eyes and smirked. He placed a hand on Megumi’s shoulder and said, “I’ll support you then. I’ll help you find those bastards with my connections.” Megumi nodded. Keiki headed to the door, but stopped in his tracks to look back at Megumi.

“Your playing was just as beautiful as Mikan’s.”

Keiki left the room. Megumi traced his fingers on the Zither again remembering the smiles of his family.

The three days seemed to just appear in a flash to Megumi. Megumi walked down the path toward the testing area that was located in an official’s extra mansion. Megumi surprisingly wasn’t walking alone. Keiki walked by his side. Megumi glanced at him.

“Why are you coming with me?”

Keiki crossed his arms showing a cocky smile.

“I’m acting as your guard. You know that people related to the mafia and thieves harass the scholars trying to become officials and that harassment increases during the qualification exams. With me around, they won’t even approach you.”

Megumi clicked his tongue and added, “And this comes from the guy I always beat up.” Keiki flinched, clenching his fist.

“I only lost to you because you were lucky,” said Keiki trying to recover his broken pride as a man.

As they walked, Megumi did see some scholars returning from the assigned testing area covered in bruises and blood. Keiki and Megumi heard a scream of a man in the distance. Just ahead of them was a man around the age of twenty being beaten by gruff men in tattered clothes. They yelled insults at him as they kicked and punched him.

Keiki clicked his tongue at the sight and said, “Let’s just go.” Keiki’s eyes widen when he noticed that Megumi was no longer beside him, but racing toward the bully scene. Megumi swung his leg in the air and slammed it against one of the man’s attackers. The attacker slammed into the ground sending dust flying. The other attackers looked at Megumi, who was in a fighting stance with sharp eyes.

“Get lost kid!” screamed one of the attackers as he threw his fist at Megumi. Megumi blocked his fist and then punched him in the nose. The attacker fell backwards gritting his teeth and blood flying from his now broken nose. The other attackers cursed and began to attack Megumi. Megumi disarmed them easily with his unique fighting style. The wind seemed to be in his command as he moved. Each of the attackers fell before his strength. By passers watched in amazement. When the last had fallen, Megumi warned them all to leave the scholars be with eyes that could kill. The attackers immediately took off in fear for their lives.

Keiki ran to Megumi’s side demanding what he was doing. Megumi ignored Keiki and helped the scholar to his feet.

“Are you all right?”

The scholar nodded and added, “Thank you for your help, young man.” Megumi nodded back at him and began to walk off with Keiki calling from behind. The scholar reached out to Megumi asking for his name. Megumi stopped in his tracks and looked back at the scholar.

“Megumi Yoh.”

The scholar held a hand to his chest and said, “My name is Nakago Gurada and I look forward to seeing you again.” Megumi nodded. He looked to the sun and told Nakago to hurry up or he will be late. Nakago gasped and began to pick up his pace. He noticed that Megumi was going the same way and asked, “Are you going to the market around the testing area?” Megumi shook his head.

“I’m taking the test.”

“What?” exclaimed Nakago in disbelief. He examined Megumi closely and asked for Megumi’s age.

“Twelve.”

“Twelve, but that’s too young and you need to be at least in your teens to take the Imperial Exams if you pass the Qualification Exam.”

“Megumi has no problem there,” said Keiki simply. Nakago looked at Keiki asking what he meant and who he was.

“The name’s Keiki Nue, Megumi’s temporary bodyguard, as for the first part of your question: Megumi’s birthday is exactly on the day of the Imperial Examinations.”

Nakago couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Megumi was so young and yet wanted to start his career as an official early.

“How are you paying for this?”

“I have a sponsor.”

“Who?”

Megumi smirked and told him that he would tell him later on if he passed. Nakago groaned now finding Megumi to be a cocky little brat.

They arrived at the testing area, which had scholars flooding through the gates. Nakago rolled up his sleeve and pushed through the crowd. Megumi looked at Keiki telling him to leave. Megumi then ran through the crowd without much of a struggle with Keiki calling to him.

When he was inside, he collided into one of the scholars. Megumi maintained his balance, but the other scholar wasn’t lucky as he crashed into the ground. Megumi held his hand to the groaning scholar apologizing for the accident. The scholar shoved Megumi’s hand away with a growl.

“I don’t need your sympathy,” muttered the scholar as he got up and marched away. Megumi crossed his arms thinking that he was extremely rude. He saw the unique crest of a falcon on his sleeve when he left and realized that he was the son of the leader of the Sai clan, Mannen Sai, age twenty-three. He heard that only the heir would wear the falcon crest on his sleeve, while the leader would wear the symbol on a headband against his forehead. He only met him once when Mannen’s father came to his stand to buy an ink stone. Mannen was by his father at the time with the same sour look he just showed Megumi not too long ago. It didn’t seem that Mannen recognized Megumi.

Megumi shook his head and continued deeper into the building. As Megumi walked he didn’t notice the stares he was receiving from the other scholars within the building. The scholars couldn’t believe that someone so young could be taking the qualification test. One of the scholars, Toshio Hibiki, age seventeen, recognized Megumi as the one who sold him a Kimono for his mother a few months back. Toshio was going to call to Megumi to ask why he was in the building, but his close friend, Seto Kumi, age twenty-five, prevented him from doing so.

“You shouldn’t bother that young boy,” insisted Seto.

“Why?”

“That boy seems so focused right now and if you distract him, he might fail the test.”

Toshio watched Megumi from a distance and asked, “So he’s taking the test?”

“Of course, why else would he be here?”

Toshio scratched the back of his head sheepishly and admitted that he thought that Megumi was in the building to sell his goods. Seto seemed excited when he heard that Megumi sold goods. He asked what Megumi sold. Toshio told everything he saw in Megumi’s stand and how popular the items were. Seto nodded.

“If he is here to sell his goods then I am willing to buy,” said Seto rubbing hands. Toshio sighed at his friend. Seto loved to collect unique goods since he was young that it made people wonder if he should be a merchant instead of an official. Toshio looked in the direction Megumi went wondering if it was to sell his goods or take a test.

Megumi entered the courtyard of the mansion, which had tatami mats made from straw aligned in a row with ink stones and brushes on the side and a pure white parchment at the head. A servant of an official went to Megumi and asked for his name and age. Megumi stated it. The servant found Megumi’s name and age on the parchment in his hands, but was bewildered. Megumi was still too young for the Imperial Exams that would follow the Qualification Exam.

“Can I go in?” asked Megumi sternly. The servant nodded telling Megumi his sitting arrangement. Megumi walked pass the servant, who was still looking at the parchment looking for any errors.

Megumi kneeled on a tatami mat tracing his fingers on the blank parchment before him.

“So you are an examinee?”

Megumi looked to his side to the source of the voice. A scholar around his twenties smirked at Megumi. Megumi nodded and admitted that he was indeed an examinee. The scholar grabbed Megumi by the chin forcing him to look at him more closely.

“You’re just a kid,” mocked the scholar. Megumi pushed his hand away demanding who he was with harshness behind his voice.

“Sasuke Harada, age twenty-six, and a future official.”

“Is that so?”

Sasuke nodded and asked, with a smug, “So what academy did you go to little boy for them to allow you to take the test?”

“None, I am self-taught,” admitted Megumi. Sasuke burst out laughing. Sasuke, at that point, thought that he would beat Megumi easily because he was more educated.

Another man sat next to Megumi and asked, “Are you really self-taught?” Megumi nodded at the newcomer.

“How interesting. Well my name is Keisuke Saotome, age twenty-five, and I don’t plan on losing to someone who hasn’t attended school young man.”

Megumi smirked and insisted that Sasuke and Keisuke call him by his name: Megumi Yoh. They both nodded agreeing to it only if Megumi makes it to the Imperial Examinations.

Megumi saw at the corner of his eye, Ichigo Goh, age nineteen, the son of the official in charge of Go Province. He knew Ichigo was a timid person who loved the stuffed animals he made. Ichigo visited his stand many times just to buy the stuffed animals. By the look of his solemn face, Ichigo was most likely forced to take the Qualification Exam. Megumi wished him a silent good luck, even though he didn’t look Megumi’s way.

The mats on the ground were filled with different scholars from Go Province. A gong rang through the courtyard as Ryuran Goh, the official in charge of Go Province, entered clothed in a rare red fabric. He sat on a throne prepared for him. Next to him stood another official, Sakuya Goh, age twenty-eight, Ryuran’s son and Ichigo’s older brother. They were to overlook the exams and present the questions. Ryuran flicked two fingers toward Sakuya, signaling for him to announce the terms.

“This exam is designed so that only the best will be able to take the Imperial Examinations. Cheating will not be permitted. If you are caught cheating, then you will be blacklisted and will never be able to take the test ever again destroying your chance of ever being an official. Take the test with the determination to pass, now…”

Sakuya pulled on a string releasing the rolled up large parchment next to him revealing the questions for the exam.

“Begin!”

The scholars immediately grabbed their brushes and began to write diligently. Megumi grabbed his brush gently and was about to dip it into the ink on the ink stone, but paused when he saw that the ink stone was one of his many creations. He eyed the other ink stones and realized that they were all the ones he made. Megumi smirked remembering that the Goh family always bought out his ink stones around this time and now he knew why. Megumi muttered a thank you and dipped the brush into the ink upon the stone. Megumi wrote his answers on the parchment gently making sure that each letter was not out of place.

Wait for me.

Megumi finished his work and stood up. He walked pass the other examinees, who were staring at him filled with bewilderment. Megumi walked to the throne of Ryuran and presented his parchment.

“I’m finished,” stated Megumi. Ryuran took it with a nod and instructed Megumi to wait in the back until the others were done. Megumi nodded and was about to head to the back, but Sakuya suddenly grabbed his wrist making him look at him.

“Aren’t you Megumi Yoh?”

Megumi nodded. Sakuya smiled and looked at his father.

“If you would permit, I would like to speak with Megumi privately.”

Ryuran nodded and warned Sakuya not to be long or the other examinees would think that he was feeding answers to Megumi. Sakuya nodded and urged Megumi into the back. The back was just a room big enough for the number of examinees that had entered the building. Sakuya looked at Megumi with a raised eyebrow as he leaned toward his face.

“So why is a merchant like you taking the Qualification Exam?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Well I did ask you before to try for the Qualification Exam and even offered to sponsor you, but you refused because of your loving family. Why the change of heart?”

Megumi crossed his arms and added, “I have my reasons.” Sakuya smirked as he crossed his arms as well.

“Well whether you pass or not, father will finally approve of you marrying Yumi.”

Megumi sighed and stated that he already refused to marry Yumi, Sakuya’s thirteen-year-old sister, many times. Sakuya placed a hand firmly on top of Megumi’s head ruffling his hair.

“You will accept the proposal in time and you know that I am willing to do anything to have you as my brother-in-law, Megumi.”

With that, Sakuya left the back room to return to the testing area. Megumi sighed wondering why Sakuya wanted Megumi to be a part of his family so badly. Megumi was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t notice the approaching presence behind him. Before he had time to react a girl just about his size wrapped her arms around his neck causing him to gasp.

“Megumi-Sama,” cheered the girl. Megumi gripped the girl’s hands with a groan.

“Don’t add Sama to my name, Yumi,” scolded Megumi. Yumi giggled admitting that she was just so happy to see Megumi. Megumi sighed, managing to slip from Yumi’s hold. Yumi eyed Megumi with a smile.

“You’ve become a lot more radiant than before,” admired Yumi. Megumi scoffed and asked why she was in the room. Yumi giggled as she pushed a strand of her long brown hair behind her ear.

“I snuck a peek at the Examinee list and saw your name, so I waited back here for you to show up.”

Yumi placed her hands against her cheeks with a blissful smile.

“You taking the test must mean that you are finally willing to marry me,” said Yumi with a blissful sigh. Megumi sighed.

“Sorry, but I only took the test, so I can have a chance of taking the Imperial Examinations.”

Yumi’s eyes widen as she looked back at Megumi.

“Imperial Examinations, so you want to be an official?”

Megumi nodded. Yumi smirked and added, “So you want to become a greater man before you marry me?” Megumi shook his head.

“I’ll tell you once again: I will never marry you, Yumi.”

Yumi clenched her fist, her entire body trembling. Yumi ran out of the room, tears falling from her eyes. Megumi heaved out a sigh as he sat in an empty chair.

“My, my, aren’t you the heart breaker,” stated Nakago as he entered the room. Megumi glanced at him.

“So you’re finished too?” asked Megumi. Nakago nodded. He looked in the direction Yumi ran with a hand under his chin.

“That girl was Yumi Goh, correct?”

Megumi nodded.

“Many men want to marry her because of her connections with her father. I’m surprised that a young man such as yourself would refuse her proposal.”

Megumi sighed admitting that he was not ready for marriage. Nakago sat in a chair next to Megumi and asked, “So you will tell me who your sponsor is if I pass, correct?” Megumi nodded and added, “But I doubt you will believe me.”

“You better not be discussing answers or I will report it,” warned Mannen as he entered the room with a sour look. Megumi scoffed at Mannen.

“You are always in a bad mood whenever I see you.”

“Am not, wait a minute have we met before?”

Megumi smirked with crossed arms and said, “Your father bought an ink stone from my stand and we collided into each other not too long ago.” Mannen scoffed.

“I thought you looked familiar. You’re just a brat too smart for his own good,” mocked Mannen.

“And you are a spoiled brat who forgets people’s faces easily,” retaliated Megumi. Mannen was shaking in anger feeling insulted. Nakago sensed a fight coming on and stepped between them.

“Come on now you two, we can’t have anyone getting hurt during the Qualification exams or there will be trouble.”

Megumi and Mannen turned away from each other with an annoyed scoff. Nakago sighed in relief.

Seto and Toshio entered next. Toshio immediately walked pass Seto to Seto’s surprise. Toshio walked to Megumi and asked, “Are you Megumi Yoh?” Megumi nodded. Toshio smiled and shook Megumi’s hand.

“I thought it was you. No other young man could have a face as handsome as yours,” stated Toshio. Toshio pointed at himself and asked if Megumi remembered him. Megumi nodded withdrawing his hand from Toshio’s grasp.

“You didn’t say your name when you bought a kimono from my stand.”

“I did buy a kimono from your stand and I have to thank you for it. My mother loved it a lot. Anyway my name is Toshio Hibiki and I hope we both pass the test,” stated Toshio. Megumi nodded at him.

Without warning, Seto was in front of Megumi’s face with an observant look. Megumi flinched in his chair wondering how Seto got in front of him without him noticing. Seto chuckled.

“So you are a merchant?”

Megumi nodded as he pushed Seto’s face away. Seto smirked as he clenched Megumi’s hand in his. His eyes seemed to sparkle as he asked Megumi about the goods he made. Megumi sighed and began to explain with a clear detail of each good.

Ichigo saw Megumi explaining to Seto about his goods when he entered the room. Ichigo gasped and hid behind a curtain before any of them could notice that he had entered the room. Ichigo peeked at Megumi. Megumi seemed to shine as he spoke. Ichigo blushed as he clenched the curtains. Ichigo couldn’t stand beautiful people like Megumi, so he was against Yumi trying to marry Megumi. It’s true that he visited Megumi’s stand for the stuffed animals, but he still wanted to avoid Megumi by any means possible.

Keisuke saw Ichigo as he entered the room and asked what he was doing. Ichigo gave out a yelp as he looked at Keisuke with wide eyes. Ichigo stuttered trying to make his words clear. Keisuke stared at Ichigo wondering if he had lost his sanity during the test.

Sasuke pushed Keisuke into the room telling him to move forward. Sasuke also noticed the bewildered Ichigo and shoved him into the room as well. Megumi noticed them and greeted them. Sasuke looked at Megumi with a scowl.

“They should make a new rule that brats like you should not be allowed to take the test,” stated Sasuke rudely. Megumi groaned demanding what he meant by that.

“After you finished your test, the others felt intimidated and began to leave one by one. I think I was one of the last ones in the testing area. It felt embarrassing.”

Megumi scoffed and said, “I still don’t see how this is my fault.” Sasuke groaned turning away from Megumi.

Sakuya suddenly entered the room with a disappointed look. Megumi stood up asking what was wrong. Sakuya sighed and declared, “The others have withdrawn from the test.”

“Are you serious?” asked Nakago in disbelief. Sakuya nodded.

“We looked over the tests because of this and all of you passed with flying colors.”

“So what about the ranks?” asked Seto in curiosity at the turn of events. Sakuya smirked.

“The rankings for the Qualification Exam here is also very surprising.”

Sakuya urged them to follow him out of the room. When they were outside of the room, they saw how empty the testing area was. Ryuran stood from his throne and declared that he was disappointed with the results of the test because only eight remained, but was also proud because the eight proved that they could take the pressure of the test. Ryuran directed their attention to the laid out tests with their names upon them.

“I read all your answers. The answers given are all passable to take the Imperial Examinations, but the one who got the top rank gave answers that were perfect. Are you ready to hear the ranks?”

They all nodded with sweat on the side of their heads. Ryuran looked at Sakuya urging him to read out the ranks. Sakuya did as told proudly as he looked down at the eight names on a thin parchment.

“Mannen Sai, rank eight; Seto Kumi, rank seven; Sasuke Harada, rank six; Keisuke Saotome, rank five; Nakago Gurada, rank four; Toshio Hibiki, rank three; Ichigo Goh, rank two…”

Sakuya paused as a smirk formed on his lips.

“Megumi Yoh, rank one.”

All eyes fell on Megumi, who stood silent before them. Sakuya closed the parchment.

“Those are your ranks and all of you qualify for the Imperial Exams, congratulations. The Imperial Exams will happen two months from now and somewhere within those two months, you will get your Qualification exam tokens. I wish you all luck.”

Sakuya rested his eyes on Megumi with a smirk upon his lips. Megumi looked away from him already knowing what he was thinking. They were dismissed from the testing area.

As Megumi left the building, he didn’t notice Sakuya staring at his retreating back. Sakuya glanced at his father and asked, “I remember you saying that if Megumi qualified for the Imperial Exams, you would accept him marrying Yumi so is the promise still valid?” Ryuran smirked.

“Such a young man, but he already has the mind of an adult. I can see why you want him to be a part of the family.”

“So the marriage?”

“I don’t have a problem with it, but you still have to convince him to marry Yumi first,” reminded Ryuran. Sakuya nodded as he watched his father leave the testing area.

“Brother.”

Sakuya glanced at Ichigo, who was hiding behind a pillar. Sakuya smirked at his younger brother and congratulated him on making second. Ichigo clenched his fist.

“Does it have to be Megumi?”

Sakuya frowned and asked, “Are you still against my proposal of Megumi marrying into our family?” Ichigo nodded.

“But I thought you liked him. You do visit his stand often.”

“Only for the stuffed animals, not for Megumi,” admitted Ichigo. Sakuya sighed. Sakuya suddenly realized something and asked, “Do you know why Megumi wanted to take the test this time?” Ichigo frowned as he looked down.

“It may have something to do with his home burning with his family.”

Sakuya’s eyes widen and demanded why he didn’t hear anything about this. Ichigo admitted that the Qualification Exam preparation was hectic at the time, so he kept it to himself and only heard about it from a villager when Megumi wasn’t at his stand. Sakuya sighed placing a hand to his forehead.

“Is that why he wants to be an official so bad: to find the arsonists?”

Sakuya was filled with confusion, but still wanted Megumi to be a part of the Goh family, even if his life was hectic at the moment.

A few days later, Megumi received the Examination token at the Red Lotus. Megumi fingered the token examining every detail. Hime placed a hand on Megumi’s shoulder making him look at her.

“Are you going to depart soon?”

Megumi nodded. Hime hugged Megumi and said, “Remember to accept my letters, my dear Megumi.” Megumi nodded placing a hand on Hime’s.

Megumi would begin his journey with just a turn of a page.

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