Time had quietly passed. Miwa, now seventeen, quietly resigned herself to being by her mother's side. She was strong enough to help around the house, helped paint, helped tend to the flowers, and general upkeep of the household. Yukiko was happy, despite Miwa's attempts to get into the NOL failing, she was happy to still have her around. Yukiko began to cough. Miwa quickly took notice.
Miwa: Mom, are you okay?
Yukiko: I'm fine honey.
Yukiko began to cough more consistently.
Miwa: Maybe you should go lay down.
Yukiko: Maybe I will.
Yukiko quietly returned to her room.
Miwa: I think I'll head to the store and get some medicine.
Miwa quietly did that, taking the bus into town. Using some of the money for emergencies, she quietly entered into a store, purchased some medicine, and returned home. Miwa gave her mother the medicine, and she quietly returned to her own room. She laid down. She stared at the ceiling. Her eyes began to droop. She drifted off to sleep. When her eyes opened, everything around her was darkness. There was fog. Nothing could be seen. Only one thing could be heard. A voice.
???: So...you are the heir?
Miwa: Who's there?
The voice did not reply. Miwa turned around frantically looking around. She was afraid. Unaware of where she was, how she got here. The voice repeated itself.
???: You are the heir?
Miwa: Who are you?!
She turned around, frantically looking around. Her breathing became heavy, her heart began beating faster.
???: Are you ready?
Miwa sat up in a cold sweat, her eyes wide open. The darkness permeated her room like a dark blanket. Never had she ever had a dream like this one. She looked in the corner of the room and took notice that the sword had fallen. It had slid off the wall and fallen on its side. She wrapped a bed sheet around the sword and carried it with her on to the roof. She laid her head down, and stared at the sky. Watching the stars, a small wind blew by. She sat up and looked around.
Miwa: (What was that?)
Another small wind blew by.
Miwa: Who's there?
Miwa didn't understand, and was completely confused. There was no one around, but she was hearing voices. She placed the sword next to her and stood up and looked around, but there was no one there. A wind blew by, and she heard nothing. She was confused. She looked back at the sword and had a crazy thought.
Miwa: (Could the sword...?)
She picked the sword up, and the winds began to talk again. Each small blow of wind had a dream, a wish, or a story attached. She sat down and listened to the winds speak to her. She smiled as she listened. She carried the sword back inside with her and placed the sword back against the wall, and returned back to bed with a calm mind. The next morning, Miwa spent the morning spoon-feeding soup to her sick mother, who was now lying in bed with a fever. Her cough had not disappeared. It had gotten worse. Miwa sat in the chair right next to her mother.
Yukiko: I'm sorry, honey.
Miwa: Its alright mom, we all get sick...
Yukiko: I suppose you're right. I hope you can find something to entertain yourself today.
Miwa: Don't worry, mom, I'll find something.
As her mother rested, Miwa returned to her room. She grabbed the sword and went back on to the roof and listened to the wind speak once more to her. The stories she would listen to, the dreams she'd hear about. She'd enjoy each story more then the next. This is how her hours were passed during the day. Every so often, Miwa would visit her mother's room and help her. These were how her next few days proceeded, and yet it seemed like her mother's health did not improve. Miwa began to grow worried over her mother's condition. As she sat at her mother's side, she proposed a solution.
Miwa: Perhaps it time we sought out a doctor, mother. Nothing we've tried has worked.
Yukiko remains silent.
Miwa: Mom, the medicine we've used hasn't had any effect on your sickness.
Yukiko: If we must...
Her mother seemed resistant to the idea. Miwa wasn't sure why. She retrieved the number from her mother's personal contacts. Within hours, a doctor came to visit their home. As she checked up on her mother's health, her doctor turned to Miwa with an unhappy look on her face.
Doctor: I'm afraid your mother has a very grave illness.
Miwa: A grave illness?
Doctor: Your mother needs to go to the hospital.
Miwa was very nervous at that statement. This person was a medical professional, surely she must know best, or so Miwa's line of thinking went.
Miwa: We'll do whatever you say is right, doctor.
The doctor nodded.
Doctor: Tomorrow, bring your mother to the hospital, and we'll run some more tests there.
Miwa nodded. With that, the doctor quietly escorted herself out of the room and house.
Yukiko: I hate hospitals...
Yukiko smiled for her daughter's sake.
Yukiko: I know, I know, we're going to go for my health.
Miwa found her mind retreating to all sorts of different paths of thought. She wasn't sure what to make of what the doctor had said. She had never been to a hospital before, but just the thought of it made her nervous. As night came, she lay in her bed. Her mind adrift in a sea of uncertainty, she couldn't bring herself to fall asleep. She took the sword and sat on the roof and listened to the wind, and it helped her put her mind at ease. With that, she returned to her bed and quietly fell asleep.