Play 43: The Happy Princess

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"Please calm down..." Sen was at my side in a minute.

"I can't!" I yelled impatiently as my head began to throb painfully. What was going on now? It felt as if something inside my brain was trying to dig its way out of there.

"Oops," Yuri giggled a little guiltily. "I think I just switch on her powers permanently."

Eri sighed, for once sounding flustered. "Now you've done it." He looked at Sen. "We have to leave now."

She nodded, and tried to pull me up to my feet, but I refused to move an inch. I wanted to go home, but I didn't see any point following Sen, as much as I liked her.

"No, I won't leave." I gritted my teeth, suppressing the pain in my head. "Yuri, Eri, you should just do your job and find that portal soon."

Yuri shook her head, sighing. "What a stubborn brat. Well, whatever. We'll find that soon and get you back home."

"If she goes back, would she become human just like before?" Nagakura was the first one to speak among the captains.

Yuri and Eri nodded simultaneously and began to bring me to my feet with Sen's help. If you counted grabbing hold of my legs as support.

I was brought back to my room, and realised vaguely that it was clean and tidy. Someone must had been maintaining it, for there were some of my belongings that were not at the spots where I left them.

Eri laid out the futon quietly as Sen and Yuri made sure that I was under the warm covers. I closed my eyes, my head still aching when Sen brushed her hand against my forehead.

"She seems to be having a fever," Sen concluded, and the twins took turns touching my forehead. They agreed with her too, and both of them ran off to ask Kondou call a doctor, leaving Sen and I alone in the room.

I was falling asleep soon when Sen spoke. "Do you have a reason to stay here?" She paused for a second. "I know you have someone you like, but do you wish to stay here for him?"

Opening my eyes slowly, I cringed from the sudden brightness emitted from the candles. "I don't like him," I said stubbornly.

Sen giggled. "That side of you is adorable."

Blood immediately rushed to my face. "Shut up!" Then, realising that I had been rather rude, I apologised. "A reason to stay here?"

Sen nodded. "Yes. Do you wish to stay?"

I stared into Sen's eyes before replying truthfully. "I do. I know I might be a burden to the Shinsengumi, but I want to stay."

"Even if you may lose control?"

"Even if I may lose control."

Sen gave me a big smile. "I'm glad that you understand your own feelings."

"I feel like I'm about to do something stupid though." I wrinkled my nose despite my spinning head.

Sen laughed, a hand covering her mouth. "It is not stupid to follow your heart. Would you like to do otherwise and regret it forever?"

I shook my head--what she had said made sense. "What are you going to do?"

She looked sad. "I have to go with Kimigiku."

My heart sank. My very first girl friend would have to leave soon. "Thank you for being my friend," I said, tears stinging my eyes. "You probably don't know how much it means to me..."

Sen shook her head. "I do understand." Her hand held mine tightly, and I could see how sincere she was through her eyes. "No matter where I am, I will never forget you, even if we meet for a short while."

A tear escaped from my eyes though I tried to hold back. "Me too," I laughed, slightly embarrassed. Sen patted my hair, and I closed my eyes.

"Here's Dr. Matsumoto!"

Kondou's voice disrupted the comfortable silence, and then there were loud footsteps entering the room. Someone, who I presumed to be Matsumoto, kneeled down beside me and asked the others to leave while he performed an examination.

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Someone was stroking my hair. That hand felt so warm and nice that I couldn't help but to smile a little at that. I didn't know how long that person patted my head, but it felt really short.

When I finally opened my eyes, I felt so uncomfortable that I had to run outside to vomit. I was still giddy as if the whole world was spinning around fast.

There was a terrible sour and acidic taste left in my tongue when I was done. I wiped my mouth groggily as I straightened up slowly. My legs gave way, and I stumbled back to the ground, almost sitting on my own vomit.

Yuri and Eri had warned me about the side effects after I 'unlocked' my newfound powers. They made it sound like a good thing, but I really felt like dying. Screw those side effects--when I finally go home, they'll all disappear into thin air.

I turned around to puke somemore as my head throbbed painfully. Waking up everyday was such a torture--my head always felt like it was going to explode anytime soon, and my throat was painfully dry. No matter how much I ate and drank, I would still end up barfing out most of my stomach contents.

Suddenly, a hand started patting my back gently. I couldn't immediately turn around to see who it was for I didn't want to dirty that person. It was a long time before I didn't have anymore half-digested food left in my stomach.

"Thank you," I managed to speak with my hoarse and painful throat. Turning around, I found myself staring into Souji's eyes, and looked away in embarrassment. He was the last person I wanted him to see me in this pathetic shape.

"Can you stand?"

I nodded, and he offered me a hand. I didn't have the strength to glare or say something rude so I just gave his hand a blank stare before I took it reluctantly. He pulled me to my feet easily, and I wobbled unstably, crashing into him.

To my astonishment, I still had the energy left to blush. In my already dazed state, the blush caused my head to spin even more. I tried to push Souji away, but I ended up burying my face into his chest.

"Let me go." My vision was blurring now. If I wasn't wrong, it was a sign that I was about to go back to sleep, and I wasn't about to let Okita Souji see my sleeping face. "I'm dirtying your clothes."

Out of nowhere, I felt as if my whole world turned upside down. At first, I thought I fell back to the ground again, but I erased that thought when I came face-to-face with Souji's face.

"Huh...?"

"I'm bringing you back to your room. You are in no condition to walk now."

Oh. So Souji was carrying me, bridal carry style.

"Let me go...! I'm heavy!" I struggled, which was a futile attempt to make him put me down. Instead, it made me even more dizzy than I already was, and my head leaned against his chest, the littlest of my strength gone.

Souji didn't comment on my weigh--he just walked back to my room quietly. I was happy that he was being so nice for once--okay, maybe not once. He was nice to me all the time, in a reasonable way too, not in a spoilt way. Maybe that was why I fell in love with him.

I closed my eyes, slipping into the darkness as I listened to Souji's strangely calm heartbeat.

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