As far as Tazuki could remember, he has been able to see things that other people couldn’t see under normal circumstances. Fairies, spirits, magical creatures…. He often saw them roaming around the corner. Sometimes, if he was lucky enough, he got to chat or play with them. He was happy to have this kind of special gift. But, at the same time, whenever he saw them, he felt a wave of sadness washing over him. He didn’t know why and it was making him frustrated.
Until one day, an orange-haired boy transferred to his class. The moment he set his eyes on that new boy, he knew he was the key to the answer he was searching for.
Since his parents and himself were busy with his newborn sister, Tsukiyo, he hasn't really gotten the chance to talk with the boy, whose name was Kashiwagi Sora.
But, he always saw Sora playing alone by himself in the park after school. And he seemed to be able to see the spirits and fairies as well.
Just like that guy back then. Tazuki unconsciously smiled. Ehh?
"You are truly free now. Stay alive and be happy, Keika." He gently cradled his face and wiped those tears away.
"No. Don't you dare to close your eyes, you bast*** Ki!"
"I'm....so...rry." The white haired teen just smiled as he soul slowly dissipated into thin air.
Keika tried to grab him, stopped him from disappearing, but to no avail. He stared into his empty hands. It’s empty. It’s cold. It’s hurt. It’s really hurt. This can’t be happening. Isn’t you're the greatest Youmeshi ever?! How could you just…. You promised………..
“-ki! Tazuki! Tazuki!”
Tazuki opened his eyes and try to blink away the tears. He was hyperventilating.
"Tazuki, breath. Slowly breath in and out."
He stared at the woman in front of him while catching up with his breath. It took several minutes for the name to register in his mind, Ah, that’s right. I’m Kamiya Tazuki now. Not longer You Keika.
She embraced her son and softly patted his head to calm him down. “It’s alright, dear. It was just a nightmare.”
I wish it was really just a nightmare. Tazuki hugged his mother back. They remained in that position until Tazuki slowly drifted back to sleep.
Sora was playing alone in the room like always when a blue haired boy approached him.
"Hey, you're Kashiwagi, right? I'm Kamiya Tazuki. Wanna come play with me later?"
“Eh? But, are you feeling okay? Shouldn’t you rest more?”
"You're sick, right? You didn't come to class for three days."
"Ah. I...kinda got...a fever." And a damn headache with all those memories appearing in one go. It took him three days to get a hold of himself and sort out his memories. His parents were freaking out since he kept spacing out most of the time.
"Wait a second. You noticed my absence?"
"Because Tazuki has the most beautiful hair out of so many people."
Bright red tinge began to appear on Tazuki’s cheek. This guy...
“I’m totally fine now. That’s why I can come to class today. So, are you coming? I’ll be mad if you don’t.”
"Un.” Sora nodded and smiled.
"You're not surprised to see them?" Sora asked when Tazuki stumbled upon him chatting with a little pixie.
Tazuki tilted his head slightly. "I can see them since a long time ago. Although they are not as friendly towards me as they are towards you."
Sora burst out in laughter. "Is that a pout I see on your face, Tazuki?"
"S- shut up! So, what you want to play today?"
"Let's build sandcastles again.”
“You really like sandcastles, huh?”
“It’s because you are here to build it with me.”
The way how Sora built the sandcastle was exactly the same like when he first met him in the past. You never change, Ki. Tazuki let his mind strolled down the memory lane as he helped Sora to shape the sand. The moment his teenage-self spent with little Ki was short, yet was the happiest and precious moments for the both of them.
He never really has the proof that Sora was Tanmoku Ki aside from his gut feelings and the warmth in his heart whenever they spent their time together. A small part of him wished to find a way to let Sora remembered about their past lives. To remember about Keika and Ki. There were so many things he wanted to tell him.
But, Sora was not longer a Youmeshi. No longer the one that has to carry the weight of the world on his shoulder. Despite his affinity with supernatural creatures, he was just a simple human being now. Ki deserved to have this happy life after all those pains he went through in his past. He wanted Ki to remain carefree like now. Like how he was before Shouken’s death. Like how he was before he joined the Tanmoku household. For that, he was willing to keep all these memories by himself.
Tazuki snapped out from his thought when Sora lightly knocked his head.
“Geez, Tazuki. You’re spacing out again.” Sora pouted.
“No. I was not. Was thinking about this castle. It lacks of something.”
Tazuki took a look around the park and smirked as an idea popped up in his mind.
“Give me a minute and I’ll be right back.”
“Here, now, the castle has its princess.” Tazuki came back and placed a big rose on the left side of Sora’s hair.
Sora tilted his head as he gently touched the rose. He beamed. “Tazuki, this is a nice idea. Would you be my prince, then?”
Tazuki face-palmed. He was actually hoping to see Sora blushed or something by placing the flower on his hair. All he wanted was just a tiny payback. Ki has always made him blushed by kissing him out of nowhere. Even now, as Sora, he always managed to make him feel the same by complimenting him out of nowhere. Just how hard is it to make you blush or embarrass?
He thought this world was safe. There was no evil spirits or people trying to kill Sora or him. But he was wrong. This world could be as dangerous and shi*ty as his previous one. He has totally forgotten about the ugly nature of human; greed.
It was just a normal day. He was about to go to Sora’s house when he stumbled across a baby dragon hiding between the bushes. He should have known better why the dragon was hiding in the first place. Why there were scratches all over its body? But he was too fascinated with the dragon that he didn’t take notice of those.
For all he knew, one second he was holding the dragon and the next second, someone was trying to attack him. He has never hated this body of his as much as he did now. Children’s stamina sucks. He barely ran for a few minutes and he was already out of breath. It didn’t help that his right arm was bleeding from the previous attack
F***! If only I still have the Luoyue sword with me. Tazuki looked around for anything that could be used as a weapon. He has to protect the dragon at all costs.
In the end, he didn’t manage to defeat the bad guy. A few guys came just in time to rescue him and the dragon. He soon learnt about the existence of collectors after pestering those guys who apparently worked like some sort of polices that protect the supernatural world from people like the collectors.
His conversation with them was interrupted by a phone call. Damn, how could I forget about my phone?
“Hey, Tazuki, where are you right now? Didn’t you said you want to come over here?”
Tazuki stared at his bandaged arm. Sora mustn’t know about these. Knowing him, he would try to do anything to protect those creatures. He might even do stupid things for that. I can’t lose him again.
“Sorry. I was helping a child searching for his lost mother just now and the mother invited me to have tea with her as thanks. I was unable to deny her. I’ll see you tomorrow. Really am sorry, Sora.” Really am sorry for keeping this away from you.
There was a silence over the phone before Sora began to speak. “Aah, it’s okay. See you tomorrow in class then. Enjoy the tea~”
Tazuki walked towards the window and gazed at the sky as he switched off his phone. Perhaps, God let us reborn into this world to give both of us a second chance. A second chance for you to enjoy your life without any burdens or worries. A second chance for me to protect you properly this time.
"This time, I'll protect you for sure, Ki."