Another couple of months pass. Akiko approaches Miwa as she pets Kazumi.
Akiko: Listen, Miwa. Can we talk?
Akiko motions for her to follow her. The two go to sit at the kitchen table.
Akiko: Listen, Miwa, did you know your mother had a life insurance policy?
Miwa: My mother did say something about having a plan in case she couldn’t be there.
Akiko: When you turn eighteen, you’ll have full access to that plan. I gained three thousand platinum dollars to pay for your expenses.
Akiko: Your mother wanted you to live safely and comfortably.
Miwa: I’m sure…
Akiko: Its up to you whether or not you actually go after your father or not.
Miwa: I want to go.
Akiko: I’ll keep the funds in the account for you then. You’ll be able to use them as needed.
Miwa: Can I ask you something Mrs. Akiko?
Akiko: Sure Miwa.
Miwa: Why did you want me to stay until my eighteenth birthday?
Akiko: Well for one, I owe it to your mother to make sure you see your eighteenth birthday. Secondly, if a minor goes out on his or her own, it isn’t looked too kindly upon. Unless they’re going to the NOL school, that is.
Miwa: But what about Kiyoko? I’ve seen her travel all the time by herself.
Akiko: (Disappointed) Sadly, the NOL doesn’t care as much about that. Beastkin are simply allowed to roam wherever they want whether they have a parent or not.
Akiko: I’m going to make sure you aren’t going out there by yourself. I’m going to have supplies for you.
Akiko: You really want to go see your father, don’t you?
Miwa: (Nodding) Yeah.
Akiko: Then I’ll make sure you have plenty of supplies until you need to make a pit stop. Of course, there’s still the task of teaching you how to rough it in the wild.
Miwa: (Confused) ‘Rough it in the wild’?
Akiko: Basically live when you’re not at home.
Miwa: Oh! Ok.
Akiko: I’ll have Tokori take you on a camping trip so that the both of you can learn how to survive.
Miwa: What about Kiyoko?
Akiko: She’ll be fine. She has an iron stomach after all. She also learned a lot of wilderness tips from her father since the two of them go camping a lot when she goes and visits him.
Akiko: Miwa, the other thing I wanted to know is whether or not your memory is okay.
Miwa: My memory?
Akiko: Tokori told me you couldn’t remember your father or that your earliest memory was with your mother.
Miwa: (Nodding) That’s right.
Akiko: Would you mind if we ran a couple of diagnostics on you?
Miwa: (Shakes her head) No, I want you to feel confident I’m fine.
Akiko: Alright. Tomorrow morning, we’ll run a few tests at the hospital.
The next morning, Miwa is subjected to a couple of tests on her brain. Each one determining something different about it. Mila comes in with the results as Miwa relaxes in one of the testing rooms.
Mila: (Handing her results) You’ll want to see this.
Akiko takes the results and looks at it.
Akiko: (Confused, pointing to a couple of black marks) What are these about?
Mila: Supposedly her memory has been wiped.
Akiko: (Surprised) What did you say?
Mila: Look at these markings here. (Pointing to spots in the front of the brain) It seems like parts of her brain malfunctioned or had issues at some point, because they’re smaller than they’re supposed to be.
Akiko: Why is that?
Mila: Miwa is perfectly healthy. So we know it has nothing do with stunted growth or anything of that nature. She’s had no physical injuries during her training with Tokori. So it had to have been before then. The only logistical explanation is that something had to interfere with its growth at some point.
Akiko: So you’re saying her parents could’ve intentionally wiped her memory?
Mila: But then look at the back black spots (Pointing to other black spots in the back of the brain) Her long-term memory also had some issues with growth. Almost as if they were stunted. It would have to be a particular device that would have hindered those spots.
Akiko: But they’re still functioning?
Mila: They are, fully in fact, but they’re just stunted for some reason, like they just started growing only a couple of years ago.
Akiko: (Wide-eyed) Like those were wiped out entirely?
Mila: Its possible, but what kind of machine would do that? From records, Yukiko would have no way of building such a device. The only one who could’ve is her father.
Akiko: But then why would her father create such a device?
Mila: Beats me, why would her father not want her to remember him?
Akiko: So many questions to ponder. Miwa knows she has a father, but has no idea what he looks like.
Mila: Said that sword came from him.
Akiko: Why? Why would he do it?
Mila: Perhaps there’s something more sinister at work here Akiko.
Akiko: Maybe there was a reason he wanted her to forget him, to forget her childhood, but we don’t have access to any of that information
Mila: Her father? Why?
Akiko: I don’t know.
Mila: I guess now Miwa really does have a reason to go see her father.
Akiko: If nothing else, I have a few questions for him.
Mila: We can’t tell Miwa about this.
Akiko: You want me to lie?
Mila: If we tell her this, it’ll only upset her. We don’t need that right now.
Akiko: (Sighs) You have a point.
Mila: If her father truly had a reason for not wanting her to know where he is, there has to be more of a reason behind it.
Akiko: You have another point.
Mila: He might have gone into work for the NOL against his will and he didn’t want her following or wanted to keep that secret from his daughter. Its possible that the plan was to keep her secret.
Akiko: Kinda too late for that.
Mila: Right, kinda stopped that from happening, the world is about to learn about Miwa. And she’s going to be exposed to people that will take an interest in her.
Akiko: Then I’ll make sure she won’t go alone.