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As Bright as the Sun

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It had been a long night. Ringo wasn't sure how it happened, but according to Smith, Mani had been out for a short walk when something seemed to spirit her away. Ringo didn't even hesitate to search for his wife, not wanting to lose someone else after Sabata had mysteriously vanished no more than two weeks after his birth. He was greeted with nothing except a heavy heart when he returned to San Miguel after being urged to.

"You still have your other son to take care of, Ringo. He'll need you more than ever right now," Otenko pointed out, hovering by the red-scarfed man as he trudged back to town.

Django was fast asleep in bed, thank whatever being that was out there that was hopefully watching him. He felt slightly guilty for not having asked anyone to keep an eye on his remaining son, all things considered. Ringo sat down in a chair, raising a hand to his head. What was he going to do now? Would he always need someone to make sure Django didn't go the way of his brother and mom? Well, at least until Ringo made sure he had gotten trained in the way of vampire-killing...

Two knocks on the front door snap him to attention. Ringo waited a few moments before a rather annoyed voice called, "Let me in, worrywart."

He sighed in relief. The Sunflower Girl, of course. He got up and walked over to the door, opening it to see her standing tall with her staff in hand, looking somewhat exhausted.

"Are you alright?" Ringo questioned.

"I'll be fine. I should be asking you that, however," she responded, walking into the home with no prompt. "To think...both your eldest son and your wife gone now. Not even my Star Reading could've predicted that..."

The vampire hunter's shoulders sagged a bit for hardly a moment as he nodded.

"...I'll have to raise Django on my own. There's not muc--"

Thwack.

Ringo held his head in pain. He forgot how much that staff hurt, magic or no magic.

"Ringo, for heaven's sake! You have an entire city of people to help you raise that boy! Pretending you are the only one who can provide for him is stupid, even for you!" the star reader pointed out, quite annoyed.

"She has a point, Ringo. You are not alone," Otenko agreed.

Ringo paused, then nodded.

"Alright, then. Thanks...I will need all the help I can get."

--

Django was growing into an active child, and often played with the children in town while Ringo was out hunting. Ringo had to admit, he was doubting he could have raised his kid on his own, considering how active his son was as he grew older.

One day, however, Ringo had gotten a star reading, and was not expecting at all what he was told.

"Your son's soul is as bright as the very sun itself. He may be a small spark now, but in the aftermath of a tragedy befalling many, he will grow into a fire that cannot be quenched easily, if at all. While at times it may seem like he will be hidden behind the light of the moon, or may not even be visible from all but his own point of view, in the end his shining spirit will come through and save many lives."

"...what does that mean, exactly?" the red-scarfed hunter asked, a bit confusedly.

"Django will become a hero. He will go through hardship, but that will only make him stronger."

The Sunflower Girl paused, then frowned.

"I could only see his future, however...no one else's. Not those of his brother or mother's, not yours...no one elses. How odd..."

Ringo sighed, shrugging.

"A tragedy, though...and you can't tell what it is?"

She shook her head.

"The most I can tell is that it's when he will start to become San Miguel's hero. However, he cannot just become a hero with a tragedy to come. You must teach him what he needs to know...the most you can do right now is at least teach him about the vampires and the like. Whether you choose now to train him with the Gun Del Sol is your own decision."

Ringo mulled over the advisory before deciding to begin teaching, walking over to his son and beginning what was to happen now. She watched him with sad eyes, sighing heavily.

"...should I have told him what will happen to him and Mani? Or...would it be better to hold off..."

--

Django was 11 now, and was learning how to shoot with the Gun Del Sol.

His father took him out often at night and helped him shoot away at the Boks that roamed just outside the town's barrier, being careful to avoid detection. It was quite fun for him.

"Be careful to avoid the Klorofolun they spit out. While it can't turn you into Undead like it does for other people, it will still sap your life away," Ringo warned. Django obediently nodded, being as careful as he could.

He often wondered where his mother had gone at times, but whenever he asked, Ringo admitted even he didn't know, and wasn't sure who would. No one in town did know, but they knew for sure she was alive, if only somewhere else.

Django didn't mind too much, though. As long as he had his family with him, he would be okay.

Right?

--

Django was 14 when he and Ringo returned from training to discover the town in chaos one night.

Django was old enough to know this was an attack done by the Count of Ground-Soaking Blood. He didn't even need a prompt to start making sure everyone evacuated safely.

"Why is the Count doing this...?! Not even he's so bold to do this..." Ringo muttered, already hurrying to clear the town of the monsters plaguing it.

Django didn't recall the night too well (or did he not want to recall it at all?), but he remembered very clearly his father laying bleeding on the ground.

"Django...guess I'm done for...please take the Gun Del Sol and the Crimson Scarf...you have to defeat the Count and make sure he pays for attacking the town..."

"W...Where's the Sunflower Girl?" Django asked, trembling in fear. No, no, no! He didn't want to lose his dad!

"She...She might be gone...Django, know that whatever may happen from here on out...I love you..."

With that, his father had passed. Django felt no tears leave his eyes for some reason as he took the Gun Del Sol and the Crimson Scarf, trembling seemingly gone, before fleeing the town. Lady and everyone else who were alive were out of the town...

Now he just had to track down the Count and kill him.

--

Django had never felt the urge to cry the entire time he pursued Sabata across Istrakan. He never brought it up to Otenko or Lita, as he saw no reason to.

However, when he had finally defeated Hel and heard Mani's voice, just before Sabata took off to do his own thing, Django finally broke down.

"D-Django?!"

Otenko's shocked voice was enough to make Sabata stop from going off immediately and walk over to his crying younger brother.

"Why is he crying?"

"Maybe...Maybe he's finally mourning Ringo's passing. I never saw him cry once the entire time after I saw Ringo die...I suppose with now the loss of the mother he never saw, he's finally crying," Otenko guessed, worried as he hovered near the Solar Boy. Sabata wasn't sure what to do. Here he was, without either mother of father either, but he didn't feel like crying.

"...Django. You will have to stop crying at some point."

"I...I know..." Django mumbled, sniffling.

"...look, I don't know how to deal with this, but...just be sure to don't cry forever," Sabata pointed out before leaving for some place Django didn't know where.

--

Django did stop crying eventually, although he re-met Lita with still-red eyes.

"M-Master Django? Are you okay?" she asked, worried.

"Y...Yeah. I just...needed time to calm down," he responded, smiling brightly.

Otenko looked worriedly at Django before deciding not to tell Lita what had happened upon hearing Mani's voice one last time.

He could say why in his own time.