Reiko returned home early in the morning. All was quiet in the small apartment. Sashiki slept on a small cot in the living quarters. Reiko quietly slipped by and entered the small bedroom adjacent. Reiko quietly sat down at the small desk in the corner in the room and observed Omori quietly snoring in the bed. Not a surprise he was asleep, his illness tended to fatigue him very easily. Right?
Reiko sighed heavily, closed her eyes, and began to reach out to the spirits around her. She focused on the image of her husband in the bed. This would probably give her the answer to the gnawing question. A soft, curious, breeze drifted through the room, awaiting the mischief Reiko had in store. What would this information do for her? If she was wrong, then she no longer had to worry, and nothing would change. If she was right, her life as she knew it ended today. The wind spirit impatiently darted around Reiko’s head, tussling her hair. Was it worth it? Could she even accept it if she was right?
Reiko opened her eyes and sent the spirit away. The disappointed spirit whipped past her head one last time ripping away her veil and blowing it out the window. Removing her robes, she collapsed next to her husband in the bed. She listened to his slow breathing and closed her eyes, quickly forgetting her problems.
Masaru packed his armor, favoring the bandages the medical squad had applied to him. He would be perfectly well by the next morning, he knew. This was barely an inconvenience. Sitting on his cot in the barracks he looked over at Kyril’s cot, which would soon enough be reassigned. He would have to go through his things and send them to the Mantis territory with a letter explaining Kyril’s deeds and death. Fumio’s death had hit him hard, most likely because he hadn’t expected it, nor seen it happen. This death, he found, was far less profound to him, which was odd because he honestly liked Kyril better.
He pulled out a tablet, charcoal and paper and began writing. He would complete the first draft tonight before his thought games then finish it and the packing up tomorrow morning when he was stronger. He thought it was the natural state to be in command. He was the brashest and most willing to put himself forward, it inevitably made him the face of the squad, but he realized now, for the first time, that there was more to it. A man under his command was dead, and if he had been a better tactician he might have been able to prevent it. There was more than just himself and the fight, the other end of his sword and the opponent. He would have to attempt to do better in the future.