The sun was still sleepily peeking through the clouds, slowly creeping through the gap in the dark plum drapes, when I opened the door noiselessly and heard his deep breathing. He was still asleep. How unusual, he'd normally have been awake at least an hour ago. But now I needed to wake him up because I couldn't leave him at home alone.
It had been just over two weeks since my amnesic younger brother had started living with me in Arata City. Everyday I was worried about him, because I knew it was my fault he'd changed this much. It hadn't been that dramatic a change – he still didn't talk much to anyone, including me – but the changes from the person he'd been before were still evident.
I approached his bed with quick strides across the thick, plush, midnight blue carpet. I almost knocked over an antique chair in my haste and restabilised it just in time. Now I could see he had been sleeping on his side, facing the wall. I nudged him gently. "Seiza, I really need you to get up now. Please. I have to go to work, it's nearly opening time."
He turned over to face me, his mahogany eyes slowly opening. He sat up with deliberate slowness, his face thoughtful. More so than usual, at least. His jet-black, normally spiky hair was untidy, locks irregularly sticking out of place.
"Seiza? What's wrong?" His face was exhausted, but maybe that had something to do with having just awoken. He tugged at my sleeve to indicate that he wanted me to sit down. I obliged, occupying the chair I'd nearly turned over. He immediately buried his face in his hands.
Maybe he wasn't feeling too well; this winter was particularly frosty and there was a high probability of becoming sick. "What's wrong, Seiza?" I asked, putting my hand on his shoulder. He lifted his head again, but he didn't look at me immediately. He gazed forward for a moment before turning to me. Then I realised what he meant and gasped.
His eyes were that eerie ice blue again. And now he was holding a vaguely familiar, dark silver orb in his palm. I was frozen to the spot, although I would very much have liked to escape. This couldn't be happening. Seiza was mortal because of me, he couldn't use aura, how could he use that silvery Anriki? What was happening?
"Hoshi-sama, you are still a fool," was the last thing I heard, before I felt that silver orb pierce my stomach and blocked out any other sound with my screams.
I jerked awake, still screaming. Then I actually realised I was awake and put a hand on my chest to calm my irregular breathing. I was coughing and wheezing uncontrollably. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the door of my room open slowly.
"Hoshi-oneesama? What's wrong?" asked Seiza's soft, tired voice. His dark hair was ruffled, he was rubbing one of his eyes and held a folded up navy blue blanket under his other arm.
"Seiza… Don't worry about me. I'm fine now. Did you sleep well?" He nodded silently, but I could tell he knew something was troubling me. "G-Good, I guess I'll get breakfast started then."
That subtle hint of concern didn't leave his face as he followed me down the stairs and to the kitchen, but I didn't say anything. I was the reason he didn't have any memory of what had happened before two weeks ago. Part of me hoped he would regain his memories and ease my guilt, while the other part hoped he'd never get his memories back, for my sake as well as his own.
Not even in my worst nightmares did I dream of the events that followed.