Chapter 4 – Haruna Umi


“Yanagi, my Hime. Tell me again why am I here?” groaned Recca.

“I’ve told you before. We are here to celebrate my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. This is a good opportunity for them to get to know you better.”


“Yeah,” agreed Tokiya. “Besides, I need you so that her family will stop match making us.” He looked down at the crowd below from the balcony. Yup. Half of that crowd must be related to Yanagi one way or another. His eyes scrolled across the crowd until he noticed a young lady in pale violet evening dress sitting besides a pond.


She had long brown hair piled up on her head with a flower-shaped hairpin attached to it, revealing her fair shoulders. She looked very elegant, almost like an angel. An angel…


“There you are, Tokiya. I’ve looking everywhere for you!”

The voice snapped him out of his trance, turning around and saw Mrs Sakoshita’s similing face.

“Mrs Sakoshita.” He politely greeted, giving a slight bow.

“Oh do spare the formality.” She took his arm. “ You should be calling me Godma, remember?”

“Oh .. yeah, ah .. uh .. Godma,” said the uncomfortable Tokiya.

“Come along, the party is about to begin. I must say, you do look so handsome in a suit. ..”


~ ~ ~


“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, friends and family. Thank you for coming,” greeted Mr Sakoshita. “To start this joyous occasion, we have Miss Haruna to display her musical talents.”


The velvet curtain drawn, revealing a young lady dressed in a pale violet evening dress, holding a flute. She gave a bow to the cheering audience. When she looked up, some of the audience at the sight of her pretty face. Her crystal blue eyes, her pink lips… She looked so peaceful.  Just like an angel.


“She’s so pretty,” exclaimed Yanagi.

“Well, she better played as well as she looks, rite, Tokiya?”

“It’s her. The lady who was sitting besides a pond in the garden.”

“What lady in the garden?”

“Quiet, Recca!” hushed Yanagi.


Miss Haruna raised her flute towards her lips, took a deep breath and played. Sweet, smooth music filled the room captivating the audience especially Tokiya. Somehow, the music made him felt very peaceful. It seems like her music had calmed the waves of pain and hatred in his heart. Peace in his heart. Peace in his mind. The peace he needed so long. And this angel has just given him that…


~ ~


“Wasn’t she fanastic?” said Mrs Sakoshita. “Yanagi, you could be playing as well as her provided you spent more time practicing instead with Hanabishi.”

“Mum, Recca has nothing to do with this.”

“I’m sure he doesn’t. Even though you are admitted to study at Tokyo University. I expect you to study hard and get good results. Thank goodness, Tokiya is already studying there…”

“Now now, dearie,” interrupted Mr Sakoshita. “Let’s not spoil this joyous occasion with this. We can discuss this later. Now you run along, Yanagi and enjoy yourself for the rest of this evening.”

“Thanks dad,” She runs off.

“Are you sure our daughter will be alright with that Hanabishi?”

“I’m sure, dearie. She’s almost 20 and old enough to take care of herself. Besides, Tokiya is with Recca. I’m confident that he will make sure that Recca and Yanagi will behave themselves.”


“Besides,” He said to himself. “Tokiya loves Yanagi like she is his own sister and the same thing goes for Yanagi. I do hope that he will be able to find someone who will be able to truly love him. It’s not good for a man to be alone.”

Tokiya walked along the garden path. His mind is still filled with Miss Haruna’s sweet music. Where could she be? Moreover, why was he feeling this way? He never felt this way this before. This feeling is different from his feelings towards Yanagi. It’s more like a burning sensation. Then, he heard the sound of a flute coming from a pond.


Miss Haruna was sitting besides a pond, watching the fishes swimming by past each other. She gave a sigh and looked up at the stars. “Please let my brother be safe,” she prayed.


“They are pretty, aren’t they,” said a gentle voice.

“Hum?” She turned around and saw a young handsome man with long ashen hair. His grayish green eyes looked gentle but there was some sadness in them.


“I mean the stars. They are pretty tonight.”

“Yes. Yes, they are. Mr Mikagami.”

“Huh?” said Tokiya, who was taken back. “How do you know my name?”

“Well, you shouldn’t be surprised since everyone knows that you are the godson of the Sakoshita family.”

He gave a sigh and sat down beside her. “If I had known that will happen, I shouldn’t have come for Yanagi’s 19th birthday.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, you see ..”

~ ~ ~

“Hurry up, Recca!” yelled Fuko as she pressed the doorbell. “We can’t afford to be late! Some boy friend you are! Happy birthday, Yanagi!”

“Thank goodness that you are here,” said Yanagi.

“Happy birthday, Hime,” greeted Recca, hugging her. “Ah .. oh..”

“So, you’re Recca Hanabishi.” An older version of Yanagi appeared from one of the rooms. “I’ve heard much about you.”

“Mother ..”


Mrs Sakoshita examined the Hokage from head to toe.  “Hum … Hanabishi looks pretty fine expect that he should be wearing something formal instead of jeans and T-shirt. Kirisawa .. quite well dressed considering her family status. And who’s that ring-nosed Gorilla? How could Yanagi ever meet him? Kogenai .. adorable looking. Don’t have to judge him too strict since he’s a kid. Butler! Please bring Yanagi’s friends to the dressing rooms. We really do something about their clothes.”



“I’m doing this for your own good, dear, since there are other important clients coming as well as our relatives. And I’m sure that you wouldn’t want them to be,” she smirked. “Out of place. Now do hurry up, butler. We have other things to do.”

“Yes, madam.” He pointed his arm to the right. “This way, please.”

The Hokage reluctantly followed him. Fuko was cursing Mrs Sakoshits to die as an old hag. Domon grumbled by her comment as ring-nosed gorilla. Koganei kept silent.  Recca sighed and mumbled that this was much harder than he thought.


Mrs Sakoshita shook her head. Sigh! She should have spent more time at home. From the reports that the housekeeper has been giving her, ever since Yanagi met Hanabishi and his friends she had been coming home late and there were days that she didn’t return home. (You can’t really blame her since Mrs Sakoshita never knew about Kurei and Mori Kougan.) Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the doorbell.


“Who can that be?” She opened the door and gasped at the sight of a smart-looking handsome young man, holding a bunch of pink roses.


“Mrs Sakoshita, I presume?”

“Well, yes,” she replied as soon as she gained her composure. “And you are?”

“Tokiya Mikagami. I’m a friend of Yanagi’s.”

“Tokiya Mikagami. Ah, yes. I heard all about you. You are currently studying at Tokyo University and among the top 10 students. Also, you have been offered many scholarships to study overseas.” She gave him a knowing look.

“Huh um .. yes, madam. I haven’t decided which one to choose. (Man, she must have done some research on us!)”

“Well, take your time to choose, Mikagami. Oh how beautiful these flowers are? Are they for Yanagi? Maid, please put them in a vase and put it on the dinner table. It will add a finishing touch to the decoration. Tokiya. You don’t mind me calling you that, dear.” She took his arm. “If you’ll follow me, I want you to meet Yanagi’s father. I’m sure that he will enjoy your presence.”


“But but ,” stammered Tokiya who was completely taken back. (What? I’m meeting Mr Sakoshita so soon! Shouldn’t it be Recca? What’s going on? This is not what I expected!)


“No buts, Tokiya. My husband loves to play English chess and you do know how to play chess. Don’t you?” She dragged him at the staircase. (Oh my goodness! How much does she know about us? Did she hire some underground spy or something?)


“YOU DID WHAT!” yelled Recca. “Hime, how could you?”

“Come on Recca, my mother is very particular about you guys especially you, Recca. So, I asked Tokiya to try and change my parents’ opinion about you guys.” 

“However,” said Kogenai. “There are some problems. First, If you want your parents to have a good impression of Recca, shouldn’t he be the one with the suit and flowers?”

“Yeah, besides, you shouldn’t let Tokiya to hold flowers. What if they gets the wrong idea about him?” agreed Fuko.

“Considering the fact that he studies at the same university as Yanagi,” chipped in Domon.

“ I .. I didn’t thought of that!” gasped Yanagi, holding he hands to her face. “I’m so sorry, Recca. I’m sorry. Recca. Oh my, he passed out!”

“Poor Recca,” giggled Fuko. “This is going to be his most challenging event in his life. Getting into the good books of his future in-laws.”

“Recca,” Yanagi knelt besides him. “Please forgive me, I was only trying ..”

“It’s alright, Hime,” replied Recca weakly. “We will get through this. Let’s hope Tokiya is able to carry out as you’ve planned. (Darn. This is worse than fighting Mori Kougan)”


“Checkmate,” said Tokiya, placing his queen to the right.

“My goodness, you have beaten me twice. And to think that I was the champion of the chess club when I was at my university years ago,” said Mr Sakoshita, stroking his chin. “So, what I have heard about you people are quite true after all.”


“Mr Sakoshita. I understand that you are concerned about Yanagi’s welfare. I can assure you that she is doing well at school and has been a well-behaved girl. I know that Recca isn’t what you expected but he’s good-hearted and loves Yanagi a lot. He is willing to protect her with his life. So have Fuko, Domon and Koganei. If you would try to get know them better, I’m sure that you’ll believe what I have said is true.”


“And what about you, Mikagami? How do you feel about my daughter? She must be special to you since you bought roses.”


“If you must know, sir, I’m very fond of Yanagi. But my feeling for her is different from Recca’s. I love her like she’s my own sister since I’ve lost mine years ago. So, I have agreed to be her sworn brother since she has no siblings. Besides, her heart belongs to Recca’s."


“Yes, it’s true. My wife and I always wanted to have more children but couldn’t due to some complications. I’ll believe your word for now. But I will thank you and your friends for being with Yanagi whenever we are away.” He stood up and shook Tokiya’s hand. “I think that Yanagi and the others will be in the dining room by now. Just turn right and follow the staircase.”


“Thank you, sir.”


“So, what do you think about him?” Mr Sakoshita asked his bodyguard.

“Well, sir,” said a man, who appeared from his hiding place. “I must say that he’s being truthful and honest. A true gentleman. ”

“Yes, that’s what I thought so,” said Mr Sakoshita.


“Ladies and gentlemen,” greeted Mrs Sakoshita. “Thank you for coming. As you all know Yanagi will be studying at Tokyo University (the guests clapped) since she has done well in her exams. Not only do we celebrate her 19th birthday but also to welcome an additional to our family. A fine young man, who happens to be a close friend of Yanagi’s. My husband and I have met him today and we both felt he could join as our godson.”


“Seems like you done well, Mi-chan. You even manage to convince Yanagi’s parents to let Recca be their godson. ”

“Don’t be too sure, Fuko. I have a bad feeling about this,” whispered Koganei.


 “And his name … is Tokiya Mikagami!”


Yanagi was dumbfounded. Kogenai, Domon and Fuko stared blankly at the stunned Tokiya. Recca turned white and cracked into pieces.


“Tokiya, Yanagi. Will you two please come to the front so that our guests could have a better look at you?” Tokiya and Yanagi were practically dragged by the servants. On their way, the guests began to murmur among themselves.


“He’s so handsome. They will a perfect couple.”

“I have heard that he has been offered scholarships to study overseas.”

“The Sakoshita family is blessed to have a godson like him.”

“Miss Sakoshita is so lucky.”


“Ladies and gentlemen, our daughter, Yanagi and our godson, Tokiya Mikagami.”

The guests cheered and clapped loudly. Hokage continued to stare blankly at the mismatched couple.

“Man, they look so much like couple. When will they be wedding bells?” shouted a man. Everybody laughed.


Yanagi felt embarrassed. Fuko groaned. Tokiya wished that he were somewhere else. Recca saw red. Thankfully, Domon and Kogenai were preventing him from summoning any fire dragons.


~ ~ ~


“Oh, that’s what happened,” laughed Miss Haruna. “Poor Hanabishi.”

“Yeah. Still, I guessed I wasn’t convincing enough. Miss Haruna.”


“Huh, what?”

“Umi. That’s my name. Haruna Umi.”

“Tokiya Mikagami.” He held out his arm. “Shall we return the dining room? I bet that Mrs Sakoshita will looking for us.”

“Shouldn’t you be addressing her as Godma?” giggles Umi, taking his arm.

“Oh please…”