Miwa quietly sat in bed. Her fever gone down, her body feeling better, and overall her physical state better. She sat in her normal attire. Akiko had still forbidden her to leave the room. In her hands, was a small book. Akiko had decided to test Miwa's knowledge of subjects. She needed to know what she knew. The book Miwa read was simple arithmetic. Akiko quietly walked into the room.
Akiko: So how're you doing with that book?
Miwa: Bored. This is nothing new, Miss Akiko. This is all stuff my own mother taught me.
Akiko: Ah, is that so?
Miwa: Miss Akiko, why do I have to read this book? Its so boring...
Akiko: (So simple math is no hurdle for her, is it? That was the last of the subjects I wanted to know about. Her mother did an extraordinary job of teaching her what she needed to know. However...)
Miwa: Miss Akiko?
Akiko: Ah, sorry for spacing out, Miwa, remind me again, why did your mother not teach you history?
Miwa: Oh. My mother didn't feel important enough to teach. She instead just gave me a basic overview of history.
Akiko: And that was?
Miwa: There are two wars in history. The dark war, and the Ikaruga civil war. The dark war resulted in the creation of ars magus. The Ikaruga civil war resulted in lives being lost. The overall feeling my mother tried to instill in me was that she wanted me to not reproduce those failings. She wanted me to kind to others. To not judge others. To be respectful of all living beings, no matter how small.
Akiko smiled softly.
Akiko: (You definitely instilled a great value inside of your child, Yukiko.)
Miwa: That's what my mother taught me.
Akiko: Miwa, I want you to keep that with you always. But you must also remember that there are people in this world who would take advantage of you.
Miwa: My mother warned me about that too, Miss Akiko. I'll be careful. I promise.
Akiko: All the same, Miwa, do you know how to protect yourself?
Miwa: Call an NOL police officer when I'm in trouble?
Akiko: Well, that's one thing, but you might be better off learning how to fight.
Miwa: Mother said violence is never the answer.
Akiko: Miwa, what do you want to do when you're well again.
Miwa: I want to go find dad...
Akiko: I figured as much, but there won't be NOL soldiers around every nook and cranny, you know?
Akiko: And you have a sword with you. You need to at least learn how to defend yourself from bad people.
Akiko: If you won't do that, then I can't allow you to leave this house.
Miwa: ...but, I...
Akiko: Ah, ah, no buts. I can't let you out into a dangerous world like this without taking my own precautions. Without learning self-defense, I will not let you out of this house.
Miwa: Yes, Miss Akiko.
Miwa resigned herself. She understood that Akiko wouldn't let her leave without passing her own tests. In the end, she believed that to be the best course of action. If she wanted to go after her father, she had to learn how to fight.
Akiko: Glad we're in agreement. Now its just finding a suitable trainer for you.
Miwa: Miss Akiko, why are you going to help me?
Akiko: Hm? I'm a doctor, I...
Miwa: No I understand that you're helping me from a medical standpoint, but why would you help me personally.
Akiko: Well, I guess you remind me a lot of myself when I was young.
Akiko: Believe it or not I was a lot like you growing up.
Miwa: You were like me?
Akiko: Indeed. I was a little girl who found herself in the same position as you.
Miwa: You lost your mom?
Akiko: I lost both of my parents growing up. I was raised by a family friend who allowed me to study my love of medical profession. For a beastkin like myself, that was unheard of.
Miwa: Unheard of?
Akiko: Miwa, I had to break through a lot of barriers. Because of my gender, my race, people wanted an excuse to knock me down a peg. But I didn't let them. And you know what? I gained the respect of the head doctor there.
Miwa: Who was that?
Akiko: That is the woman I still work with today. Doctor Mila. She saw in me what no one else saw. She gave me the opportunity. She let me work under her, and you know what, I am now one of the most well-respected doctors at where I work. Because one person took a chance on me, I was able to go where others could not before. That's what I want to do for you.
Miwa: Thank you, Miss Akiko.
Akiko: That's why I want to see you succeed. Your heart and mind will face many trials when you go into the world. You need to be ready for anything, Miwa.
Akiko: Now, you need to get some sleep.
Miwa: Okay, Miss Akiko.
Miwa hands off the book to Akiko, and snuggles herself in between the sheets. On her way out, Akiko turns off the lights and shuts the door so Miwa can sleep. As she stepped into their family room. Kiyoko was sprawled out on the couch. Akiko couldn't help but sigh.
Akiko: You are so much like your father its not even funny, Kiyoko.
Akiko went back to the hallway. She opened a nearby closet door and pulled out a blanket. She went back over to Kiyoko out cold on the couch. She whipped out the blanket and let it cover Kiyoko on its own.
Akiko: At least you had the decency to wear clothes when you fell asleep on the couch this time.
Akiko walked into the kitchen. She breathed a deep sigh. She pulled out a chair and let her body slump into it as she sat. Another long day, she thought, taking care of two young ladies that had such a bright future in front of them, or at least she hoped it would be. It was, at that moment, she heard a knock on her door. She puller herself up off the chair and walked up the long stairs to the front door. When she opened it, she was surprised to see who was standing there.
Akiko: Miss Mila.
An older woman, short, with messy brown hair. She wore a white business jacket over a white collared shirt. She wore black heels, black socks, and a black skirt as she stood there staring at Akiko with her brown eyes. Her arms were folded over each other. In her right hand, a manilla-colored envelope. This was clearly a business venture.
Akiko: Mila, what...
Mila: We need to talk.
Akiko seemed startled over her sudden appearance.
Akiko: U-uh, p-please, come in...
Mila walked through the door, and Akiko closed it behind her. The two walked down the stairs single-file. They entered into the kitchen. They each pulled their own chair out, and sat down.
Akiko: What is this about?
Mila hands over the envelope to Akiko.
Mila: Something you wanted.
Akiko: This is about Miwa?
Mila solemnly nods.
Mila: I warn you. Its not going to be pretty.
Akiko: If I wanted things to be pretty, I wouldn't have become a doctor.
Akiko quickly opens the envelope and pulls out the papers. She begins to look through the papers and the information instilled within them is shocking.
Akiko: How...is this possible?
Mila: The child, Miwa, was it? She wasn't born naturally.
Akiko: But why?
Mila: Her mother, she couldn't conceive.
Akiko: Couldn't conceive?
Mila: The illness.
Akiko: The illness.
Mila: It had ravaged her body.
Akiko: Before it caused her passing?
Mila: She had another bout with it, it made it so she could no longer give birth.
Akiko: And when that couldn't happen...
Mila: They turned to the other option. Her father.
Akiko: Miwa's father is a scientist for the NOL. He performed an experiment off the records?
Mila: That would fit for why we can't find anything on Miwa's birth.
Akiko: But how? How could he create a living human being like that?
Mila: Science is strange, Akiko, do you not remember that it was science that created you?
Akiko: Sure, I understand how my kind were created, but we were initially created to be weapons, what was Miwa's purpose?
Mila: That, I don't know. There is only one person who knows that now.
Akiko: Her father.
Mila: And the NOL won't let me near him.
Akiko: There goes any hope of asking him anything.
Mila: No matter who you send the NOL's way, they're not going to let us speak with him.
Akiko: And why's that?
Mila sighs, looks down, puts one leg over the other, then looks back at Akiko.
Mila: Akiko, let me ask you a question. How do you get inside a room with no doors or windows?
Akiko: You don't.
Mila: Exactly. That is how tightly NOL is keeping Miwa's father. There is no way of seeing him, or contacting him. Give it up, Akiko.
Akiko seemed distraught. She stands up and begins to pace in front of Mila from the other side of the table.
Akiko: Mila, I can't. This little girl wants to see her father. I'm not just going to give up on her.
Akiko: I am not going to stop just because something may be impossible to do.
Akiko: I am going to make sure this girl gets back to her father!
Akiko stops and looks straight at her. Mila stands up calmly and looks Akiko straight in the eyes.
Mila: I know why you want to help this child. She reminds you of you.
Mila: You wanted so badly to see your father when you were young. But he vanished without a trace. To this day, nobody knows where your father is. So when you showed up at my family's doorstep...
Akiko: You took me in.
Mila: And you became my sister, in a sense.
Akiko sighs to herself.
Mila: This child needs a home, she needs a mother, and she needs a family. Become that family for her, Akiko.
Akiko: Just like you did for me.
Mila: Do you want to know what my mother told me about adopting you?
Mila: 'Akiko needs a loving, caring home. You always wanted a sister. As far as I'm concerned, she's my long lost daughter.'
Akiko let her body fall into the chair.
Akiko: The courts would never let a beastkin adopt a human child.
Mila: Who said anything about doing it legally?
Akiko looked back up at Mila.
Mila: Miwa is a child not recognized by law. By these documents, Miwa doesn't exist. Take Miwa in, pick up where her mother left off, and let that flower bloom in your garden.
Akiko: How did I know you were going to say something like that?
Mila: Akiko, you know better than anyone how I am. I break the rules I don't particularly care for.
Akiko: Yeah, you do. I can remember your mom getting all up in arms over how you conducted yourself at school.
Mila: I was a rebel. I won't deny that. I was an A student though.
Akiko: I don't deny you were at the top of your class. All I remember is that people wouldn't come near me for two reasons. One, I was a beastkin. Two, I was your sister.
Mila: One, I was a badass and a scholar. Two, I was your sister. Three, like hell I was going to let some pricks pick on you because of who you were. There wasn't a kid alive in that whole damn school that didn't know my name. And you know what, there wasn't a single bullying issue when I was class president.
Akiko chuckled as Mila sat back down.
Akiko: That's because people feared Mila, the authority.
Mila: Damn right.
Akiko: Been a while since you talked like that.
Mila: I'm around a hospital all day that manages people of all different kinds. Some people don't like the way I talk. I respect their view. Doesn't mean I'm going to change when I'm off the clock.
Akiko and Mila sat comfortably in their chairs now. Akiko felt more at ease with what would happen with Miwa.
Akiko: So then Mila, you want me to take her in, you surely have another motive. What else do you want me to do?
Mila: Teach the girl how to fight. You remember that old saying? Its the quiet ones you have to look out for.