I really really can not stop thanking you guys for your support! I'm so sorry that my updating schedule is very inconsistent. It's just that time isn't very nice with me, and always seems to fly away when I don't want it to! Spare me! This chapter is, again, a short one (sorry D:).
Next chapter I will try my best to make it better and longer! I promise!
Disclaimer: I still do not know why people would think I try to claim the manga as my own...I'm not good enough!
The more we went deeper into the forest, the more the mob of yokais increased. There were all of different shapes and sizes. Feathered yokais fluttered above; gleaming multicolored feathers softly floated down from the sky, glittering as they disappeared into the air. The grass quivered gently as the vividly mass of youkais drifted upon them. Yet the alluring sight was not noticed by the young brunette, who had his eyes focused the dirt path under his feet. With him behind me, we trudged more and more into the depths of the woods, until the already scarce sunlight were but rare dull scatters of rays finding its way through the maze of dark green leaves. However, even without the sunlight to light the path, the glow from the many fireflies and youkais combined were enough to light even the darkest cave. Slowly yet surely, Natsume rose his eyes to gentle glimmer of light, his fear gradually melting away. Soon after, Natsume himself started to glow, not in the ways like the youkais, but with happiness as he danced around merrily, although still with a cautious eye, with the spiritual beings. Although my abhoration for youkais runs deep in my veins, I, truth be told, must give credit to the youkais for completing something that was almost impossible to me.
The trailed ended at a shrine, complete with protective borders and unlit lanterns. Though quite small, the shrine omitted power. As we entered the premises, the crowd of youkais came to a halt in front of the entrance. Sad sighs could be heard from the mob as one by one, they disappeared.
It was quite fortunate that the forest was cleared of any malicious beings before the visit, for I certainly doubt Natsume would have even dared to enter. The layers of dead leaves that piled upon the shrine floor made soft crushing sounds as we neared the entrance. Once we reached the doorsteps, a light flickered on from within and gradually got lighter. Gnarly fingers slid opened the creaking door and a short ancient female youkai came walking out.
"Reiko?" It exclaimed, "is that you Reiko?" It sniffed the air. Natsume flinched at the name.
"Why! You're nose seems to be getting worse every day I see you! Juni!" I laughed, "Just a few weeks ago, you mistaken me for my father!"
It cringed at my voice. "What are you doing here? I've already told you I can't help your mother. It's impossible!"
There was a long pause of silence.
"That wasn't really a good welcome was that?"
The youkai stayed silent.
"I'm not here for my mother. It's this little boy here. He supposedly crashed into a tree." I explained as I set my hand on Natsume's shoulder.
"Oh," Juni regained her posture and with a kind smile beckoned Natsume forth.
When Natsume didn't move, the aged youkai looked miffed, "I won't hurt you, little boy."
Hesitantly, Natsume inched forward. I gave him a little push and he landed squealing into the youkais arms. Natsume jumped back.
"What?" I asked innocently, "I just thought you needed a little help getting to your destination."
Natsume flushed and turned back to Juni, who looked mightily amused by the current event.
Juni took it as a sign of acceptance and knelt forth to examine the boy, who flinched at every touch.
"Some tree….." Juni muttered to herself, "What type of tree can choke people? It bruises are all over! What is this? The Whomping Willow?" And after a several more minutes, she stood back up again.
"I must say! There must be a mighty tangly tree out there! I've never seen a tree choke someone before."
Natsume looked away embarrassed. "I- I- I guess it w- was a big t- t- tree"
Juni looked deep in thought and after a while reached into her long sleeves and took out a small cylinder container of the exact type of ointment she had given me quite some time ago.
"Here," she said thrusting it into Natsume's hands, "whenever you get hurt, just apply some of this onto the wound. It'll heal instantaneously!"
"Very fast" I offered.
"You can call me Juni." She smiled.
"Thanks Juni-san!" Natsume bowed at the elder youkai.
"No problem. If you ever run out, you can always come back to get more."
Natsume bowed once more and then we departed.
"She was a nice person, very different from most people." Natsume stated softly as we headed back."
"Yes, indeed, a very nice person" I added.
. Sowwy you guys! Please, I promise it'll be better next chapter (I hope). I'll do my best to update faster! If you guys have any suggestions or comments or dissatisfactions or complaints or whatever, please review or PM!