So, Hotaru was saved, right? But she got unconscious because of exhaustion. So, she didn't get to see the face of her rescuer.
She woke up. It was still nighttime. But she was in her bedroom this time laid in her bed wearing her PJs. She looked around the dark
room that was brightened only by the moonlight. She saw a shadow. It came from a figure by the window. It was the samurai. But it wasn't the one who attacked her. It was the one who saved her. She was surprised to see him but couldn't see his face clearly. She can only see his silhouette. He had long black hair.
"Hey, aren't you the one who saved me earlier? What's your name?" Hotaru asked.
The samurai smirked. He replied, "Okamoto Ranmaru. I've decided to tell it to you for you to know the last person you'll ever see." He pulled out his long sword from its sheath and pointed it at her neck, "You're going to die anyway." Hotaru was shocked. Ranmaru attacked her. But she managed to dodge it. Her bed was split into half. She shouted, "MOM! ETSUYO! HELP ME!" Ranmaru continued slashing through the air. She quickly ran outside she saw her hand still holding the fan. "This must be what he's after. But why?! I can't understand!" Hotaru thought. Ranmaru's blade almost cut her shoulder. She dodged! Then she continued running for her life.
"NO! WHY DO THESE STRANGE PEOPLE WITH LONG SWORDS KEEP ON CHASING ME?! IF THEY WANT A FAN THEN WHY DON'T THEY BUY ONE AT THE MARKET FOR ONLY 150 YEN?!" Hotaru shouted while running. She suddenly remembered Ryouhei, "Senpai... where are you?" She threw something at Ranmaru and said, "THERE!" Ranmaru picked it up. "WHAT?! This is only a box!" It was the box of the fan.
She ran and ran until she again reached the forbidden forest and stopped at the same cliff. "OH WHAT?! A CLIFF AGAIN?!" Hotaru said in dismay. She turned around and she saw Ranmaru. She was shocked. "This time... no one will save you," Ranmaru said. "If you were going to kill me after saving me then why didn't you do it earlier when you had the chance?" Hotaru asked angrily. Ranmaru smirked and said, "Just stand still and this'll all be over before you know it." He readied his sword. Hotaru didn't know what to do. She looked behind her and she saw the cliff. Only one step and she will fall again. "Well... I guess... this leaves me no choice," she said in her mind. She took another step and she fell. "Oh no! What did I do? I'm not yet ready to leave mom and Etsuyo!" Hotaru thought. Ranmaru looked down the cliff and said, "Stupid."
Hotaru was falling. She was screaming for help. She fell in a stream. She was trying to get out of the water but she couldn't swim and the current was strong. The stream was connected to a lake. The lake was deep. The current brought her in the lake. She was struggling. But she was already tired and she couldn't do anything. She was again unconscious.
Another day came. Fishermen was around the lake. But the way they look was weird. Their attire was like from years ago. They felt their net getting heavy. They were surprised and happy at the same time. "THIS ONE IS BIG!" one fisherman said. "OKAY MEN! PULL!" they said. "They pulled the net up and looked at what they caught carefully. "Uhhh... what fish is this? Perhaps a malnourished whale who got lost," one fisherman said. His fellow fisherman punched his head. "OW!" he said. "A whale? In a lake?" the other fisherman said. "Miracles can happen, you know?" he answered. "No lads! Look carefully. It's a girl," the other fisherman said. It was Hotaru. She coughed. "Oh! Are you alright?" one fisherman asked. "She looks weird," another fisherman said. Hotaru looked at the fishermen. "WHAA! Where am I?! Who are you?!" Hotaru asked in panic, "and why do you... dress like that?" "What is this? Why do they dress that way? What's happening?" Hotaru thought.
"WHAA! LOOK!" one fisherman said in panic and pointed at something.
"O-Oka" another fisherman couldn't say the word in panic.
"OKAMOTO!" another fisherman finally said it.
"RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!" the fishermen ran.
"WAIT!" Hotaru shouted and tried to run. It was a good thing the boat was near the land. She saw the fan on the ground. She picked it up.
"Aren't you tired of running?" Ranmaru asked while chasing Hotaru.
"NO!" Hotaru answered.
"HELP ME!" she shouted.
She was running in a village but the houses looked like the old models when Japan still wasn't modern. "Where am I really?" she thought, "this place looks so... ancient." She bumped onto someone. It was a monk. He looked old and bald like most monks look like. He saw Ranmaru behind her and he said, "Come child! Come! Quick!" Hotaru followed him. They entered a house. "Hide here," the monk told her. "Don't get out of there until I say so." Hotaru nodded.
Ranmaru was outside the house. The monk went out to meet him. "Where are you hiding her?" he asked. "What? Who are you talking about?" the monk asked. "Get out of the way!" Ranmaru said and pushed him. "No! You cannot just barge in someone's house!" the monk exclaimed. "Keep quiet old man," Ranmaru said. He searched the house. Suddenly Hotaru comes out of the room and opens the fan.
The monk and Ranmaru were shocked. The fan grew bigger. Hotaru was also shocked. "What happened? Why did it get big?!" Hotaru exclaimed.
"The new user. You are the new chosen user," the monk explained.
"It cannot be! Give me the fan!" Ranmaru said angrily and thrust his sword. In panic, Hotaru put the big fan in front of her and surprisingly, Ranmaru's attack was deflected. "WOW!" Hotaru exclaimed.
"WHY YOU!" Ranmaru shouted and tried to attack again but this time Hotaru hit him in the head so hard he feel on the ground face first.
"Oh... that was... unbelievable," the monk said staring at Ranmaru.
Hotaru closed the fan and it turned back to its normal size. He hit Ranmaru's head again. "How dare you try to kill me. huh?"
"Aw! Ouch! Stop it! Ouch! Ah!" Ranmaru exclaimed, "stop!"
"Stop now children," the monk calmly said. "Eh?" Hotaru and Ranmaru looked at him. "You child," he was referring to Hotaru. "It looks like you've got a lot to know," he said, "especially about that thing you are holding."
The monk talked to Hotaru.
"What? Chosen user? What are you talking about?" Hotaru puzzled.
"No one else can use the fan except for you," the monk explained.
Hotaru thought, "Maybe that's why the other day Etsuyo was saying it was stuck."
"But... I don't understand," Hotaru answered, "why me?"
"I don't know," the monk said, "how should I know?"
Ranmaru sat far from them with his arms crossed and looked very disappointed.
"Take care of that fan young one. It is a very powerful weapon. Many want their hands on it. You must be careful," the monk said.
"Eh! You're scaring me old man!" Hotaru said.
"It is the truth child. One of it's uses is for defending just like what you did earlier with his attack," he pointed at Ranmaru.
"HEY!" Ranmaru exclaimed.
"And... you can also you it for offense," the monk said, "but not the way you did to him earlier."
"Oh..." Hotaru said.
Ranmaru said, "Ha! You have the power but you don't have the skill."
"Hey! What's wrong with you? Why do you even want this fan anyway? If you want it, here!" Hotaru threw him the fan. "I'm going home!" Hotaru added. She stood up and was ready to leave the house.
"Wait child!" the monk said.
"Old man, I'm sorry. Tell the fan it chose the wrong person," Hotaru told the monk.
"But..." the monk tried to speak but Hotaru interrupted, "I need to go home. My family must be looking for me right now.
Ranmaru thought, "What?! She is the chosen user?!"
"Hey you!" Ranmaru stood up.
"You can't go," he added.
"Why not?! And who are you to tell me what I'm going to do?" Hotaru asked in anger.
"So you are the user, huh?" Ranmaru said.
"Yeah... so what?!" Hotaru answered.
Ranmaru looked very irritated and hesitant of what he wanted to say, "I..."
Hotaru and the monk had the and? kind of look.
"I need you!" Ranmaru said in irritation.
"What?" the monk and Hotaru surprised.
~Chapter End~ x3