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The soft rays of sunlight filters through the ranma, just enough light to awaken the sleeping occupants. Tanjirou stirred from his slumber, stretched, and rub the sleepiness off him. Looking at his bed fellow, he chuckled at the sight that greeted him. Buried underneath the blankets was Zenitsu, still asleep and only his hand was visible, outstretched as if waiting for someone to hold his warm hand.

“Zenitsu,” Tanjirou said, shaking Zenitsu ever so slightly, “it’s morning, wake up. You have a mission to do.”

Zenitsu groaned and said “Don’ wanna…” then rolled to his side.

“You really don’t have much of a choice. Now,” Tanjirou took both of Zenitsu’s hands, pulling him upright, “let’s get you ready!”

“I don’t wanna go!” Zenitsu wailed, “and why does this always happen!? Whenever the three of us go to a mission, we fight a powerful demon, get injured but somehow I’m less injured than you and Inosuke!?” Taking advantage of their position, Zenitsu grabbed Tanjirou’s wrist and pulled him down. Tanjirou’s face smacked first onto the futon.

“It’s not like we’re doing it on purpose! I know you’re having a hard time believing it but you’re powerful, Zenitsu.”

Zenitsu harrumphed, willing to ignore Tanjirou and whatever he’ll say next. But Tanjirou didn’t said anything, he only took Zenitsu’s hand and kiss his wrist. Before Zenitsu could say anything else, Tanjirou’s lips met his in a hot, languid kiss, more sensuous than any fantasy he’d ever had. 

“You can do it,” Tanjirou whispered. “I know you can.”

Zenitsu could feel his face heat up and the tips of his ears burning with embarrassment. “You can’t just do something like that!” Zenitsu shouted and punching Tanjirou on his shoulder, “kissing me then saying something so cheesy! Repent! Repent!” Tanjirou just laughed at him. With a last harrumphed, Zenitsu left Tanjirou on the floor to cool his face and start his day. 

When Tanjirou finally calmed down, he folded their futon and placing it properly inside the oshiire, he walked to a separate room to checked on his sister, and patted her head as he greeted her with a cheerful good morning. Leaving Nezuko in her peaceful slumber, he went straight to the kitchen and was greeted by the butterfly girls with Zenitsu and Inosuke. 

They ate their breakfast, did their morning routine and soon, it was time for Zenitsu to leave. Before he go he was given a bento from Kiyo, Sumi, and Naho, a promise of sparring from Inosuke and a “take care” and “see you soon” from Aoi and Tanjirou respectively. Once Zenitsu was finally out of sight, Aoi herded them back to the estate to start their training.

After a day of hard work, it was already dusk and Tanjirou was left on his own. He thought of his sister, and if she was dreaming. He thought of Zenitsu and how’s he doing. “I should sleep soon,” he said absentmindedly, he thought of Zenitsu as he made his way to their shared room. 



The soft rays of sunlight filters through the ranma, just enough light to awaken the sleeping occupant. Tanjirou stirred from his slumber, stretched, and rub the sleepiness off him. As expected, Inosuke already started his day. After folding their futon and placing it properly inside the oshiire, he walked to a separate room to checked on his sister, and patted her head as he greeted her with a cheerful good morning. Leaving Nezuko in her peaceful slumber, he went straight to the kitchen and was greeted by the butterfly girls. 

“Good morning.” Greeted Aoi, Kiyo, Sumi, and Naho.

Tanjirou greeted them with a smile and asked, “where’s Inosuke?”

“Probably playing with the herd on the mountains.” Said Aoi, “Breakfast is ready, go ahead and eat.”

Tanjirou looked at Aoi’s back, and asked, “could you help me with something?”

“Of course, what is it?” its not the first time Tanjirou asked them for something.

“I’ve been thinking. I’d like to surprise Zenitsu when he gets back. But I don’t really know where to begin, we’ve been together for a while now and I’d like to do something special for him.”

“Nothing strenuous.” Aoi glared at him, “you’re still recovering.

“Of course!” Tanjirou agreed, “I’m thinking of something more relaxing.”

“Why not bring him to a kissaten?” Aoi said.

"Kissaten?" Tanjirou asked, that was the first time he heard of it. 



The plaza was buzzing with people on the go. This was not his first or second time walking around the rural places but no matter where he look it’s still strange, and overwhelming.

Taisho was Japan’s Jazz Age. To sum it up in one phrase, it often is: ero-guro-nansensu — eroticism, grotesque, nonsense.

All three filled the air. Boys his age wore bell-bottom trousers, floppy tie, colored shirt and round-rimmed glasses. The girls have shed their shapeless kimono in favor of western clothing that accentuated their curves. Some of the boys wore their hair long while some girls cut their hair boyishly short. 

“Look.” Said Aoi, her gaze following the teens coming and going to one of the buildings. “that’s the kissaten I’ve mentioned. Let’s go inside and take a look.”

The inside of the kissaten was nothing he’d ever seen before. The two-storey western style house offered reasonably priced sweets and drinks with newspapers, leather chairs, pool tables, desks, stationary, baths and even rooms where patrons could nap. A quiet place of relaxation. 

They stayed at the kissaten for a while, eating sweets and drinking tea. He thought of Zenitsu, maybe they’ll try that kouhii in the menu. The strong aroma from the beverage made him relax and it looks nice and creamy, Zenitsu would probably like it. 

Once they had enough fun at the kissaten, they walk around the plaza while Aoi gave him pointers on other places where they could have some fun and relax, Tanjirou was glad to have a friend like her. 

They ended up in the park while they walk, and Aoi ushered them at the ashiyu where they rest their wearied feet. The warm water flows, taking their fatigue with it. While they relax and enjoy their surroundings, Aoi asked. 

“I know you’re excited but you’re not going to drag him immediately on your date, are you?” 

“No, of course not.” replied Tanjirou, “it would be best to let him rest for a day and then we’ll go around the town to relax!”

“Is this your first date?”

“Yes! We don’t really have a lot of free time so I want to take this opportunity and go out with him. And thank you, Aoi.” Tanjirou said in earnest, he means it from the bottom of his heart. 

“No need.” Aoi replied, her tone dismissive but there’s unmistakable laughter in her voice. “I should he the one thanking you.” 

“What for?” curiosity coloring his voice. 

“The girls and I would also like a break from his constant whining.” Aoi replied with a friendly grin, and Tanjirou couldn’t help but laugh at that.

“But still, Thank you for helping me. To be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed.” Tanjirou’s voice became mellowed, his palms flat on the wooden bench they are seating, and his gaze followed the horizon. 

“Zenitsu grew up in the city while I was raised in the mountains, chopping woods and selling charcoal. Naturally, Zenitsu knows more about the lifestyle here.” He remembered his first time in the city with a sleeping sister in his arms, looking left and right not knowing where to start. And the faithful night they aboard the infinity train and told Inosuke that the huge lump of metal was a guardian of some sort. 

“I also want to impress Zenitsu a little.” He felt his face heat up after he said those works. 

Tanjirou heard a snicker from his companion, and then a full-blown laughter. Tanjirou laughed with her and wished they could always be like this, friends and family laughing together, enjoying each other's company.

After their little trip, it was already dusk. Tanjirou and Aoi was ready to go home. As they made their way back Tanjirou said absentmindedly, “We should buy some sweets to bring home.”

“Yeah, I think the girls would love that.” Aoi replied, her steps light and bouncy. 

Tanjirou thought of his sister, and if she was dreaming. He thought of Zenitsu and how’s he doing. 



This became their routine for a week. After Tanjirou’s morning exercises, Aoi joins him and walked around the plaza to  familiarized himself with the surroundings.

And thus, a week passed and Tanjirou is more than ready for Zenitsu to come home and spend the rest of their day together. 



The soft rays of sunlight filters through the ranma, just enough light to awaken the sleeping occupant. Tanjirou stirred from his slumber and stretched, rubbing the sleepiness off him. After folding their futon and placing it properly inside the oshiire, he walked to a separate room to checked on his sister, and patted her head as he greeted her with a cheerful good morning. Leaving Nezuko in her peaceful slumber, he went straight to the backyard and was greeted by the butterfly girls. 

“Good morning.” Greeted Aoi, Kiyo, Sumi, and Naho.

Tanjirou greeted them with a smile and asked, “where’s Inosuke?”

“Probably playing with the herd on the mountains,” said Aoi as she hangs the bed sheets. 

Tanjirou looked at Aoi’s back, and asked, “would you like some help with that?”

“No, thank you.” Replied Aoi, a beat, and then she asked. “You ready? You’ve been preparing for this date for a week.”

“Yes!” replied Tanjirou with determination. 

“Zenitsu will probably be here today or tomorrow. The girls and I will keep our mouth shut so you better not screw this up.” Aoi glared at Tanjirou, she didn’t want her efforts to be wasted. 

“I won’t.” Tanjirou met her glare, he wouldn’t let her efforts be wasted. 

The caw of the kasugai crow broke their glaring match as they follow the crow with their gaze. It’s probably for insect pillar, they thought, and continued their activities. Tanjirou went back to his training as he thought of his sister, and if she was dreaming. He thought of Zenitsu and how’s he doing.

Inside the butterfly estate, life goes on.



The forest is filled with life, tall trees rising out of the earth to brush the sky, sun-dappled leaves creating flickering shadows on the ground. Light dancing across the fern fronds and glittering off morning dew. Birds calling and squirrels chattering, the hum of insects is music to ones ears and somewhere, a grassy rustle could be heard as a deer grabs a mouthful of greenery. 

Deep in the forest, where the rays of sunlight could hardly reach, is a small cave. Bumpy stone walls with fingerlings of tree roots growing through. Dead leaves and twigs crackling underfoot, the bats flutter their wings in agitation. There’s an unmistakable stench of decaying animals and rotting vegetation and not so far away is a discarded haori.

The once pure yellow now dirtied from all the mud and dried blood. Dull golden eyes stare blankly at the mouth of the cave, its limp hand outstretched as if waiting for someone to grab its cold hand.

But non of it mattered. Throwing the chewed bones to the side, the demons laughed and dig some more. The demons are eating good this daylight.