110 – When the Moon Reaches Out to the Stars
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[Recommended BGM (and Yue's image song)

A room at the top floor of the JW Marriot hotel with two queen sized beds and an executive lounge. Late in the evening on Friday, almost midnight.

Yue sat on a chair by a table near the window overlooking the cityscape. Propping her elbows on the table, she hung her head and stared at the device that her dear husband's friend lent her. After some thought, she reached out and then rewound the video, playing it again.

It was different. Strange as well. She hadn't taken John to be one for theatrics, but he had put on quite the show to develop all of those illusory effects for a young woman.

Yes. For all that John put on to conceal that woman's presence and appearance, it was a trivial matter for Yue to divine the truth.

And because of that...

*throb*

Yue frowned and massaged her chest.

Honestly, she should have expected it. Her dear husband was a remarkable man that was bound to draw beautiful and talented young woman towards him no matter where he went.

Even so.

Even so...

"...Some reassurances would be nice..." Muttering those words, Yue spun the diamond ring around her left ring finger and looked up at the starry sky. There, the suspended moon was half-covered in darkness.

Was it a coincidence? Yue felt the same way. She was happy that she was so close to her dear husband, and yet this...

"Are you alright, Miss Yue?" A gruff male voice called out.

Yue glanced back and then smiled. "Yes. I am perfectly well, Mister Jin."

Kai rubbed the back of his neck and said, "And like I said, just Kai is fine. Your husband and I are friends, so-"

"No."

"E-Excuse me?"

Yue shook her head and said, "I'm sorry. But my husband is the only male that I will address by his first name." She bowed her head and said, "I ask for your understanding."

"That's fine. But..." Kai frowned. "Damn. Maybe I really should have punched him once before I left..."

Yue laughed. "You wouldn't be the first."

Kai pulled over a chair and sat down next to Yue, looking at the video. "You're still rewatching the stream?"

Yue nodded. "My apologies. Did you need your..." She paused, remembering the word, and then said, "Phone, was it? Yes, did you need your phone back?"

Kai waved his hand. "That's fine. I have a few spare phones in my bag anyway."

"Then I thank you."

Kai nodded, but then he frowned. "Are you worried?"

"Hm?" Yue looked at Kai and said, "What do you mean?"

Kai gestured towards the phone and said, "I mean about John and Project MirAIs." He rubbed the back of his neck and said, "It might look bad, but John hasn't done anything with those girls, you know?" He laughed and said, "I'm pretty sure if he tried, his daughters would have strangled him."

Yue carefully observed Kai and then nodded. "It's no wonder that you and my dear husband are friends."

"Pardon?"

Yue smiled and said, "You two are quite similar. Kindly lending a hand to women in need without a second thought with such sincerity... And in turn causing quite a great deal of pain for those you come across."

While it was true that opposites attracted, similar existences also resonated with each other. And the man seated near Yue was one that shared a similar existence with her dear husband.

John always mentioned something about a 'main character' aura when talking about his life. Yue wasn't sure if such a phenomenon existed, but she *was* sure that the karma Kai carried was quite similar to John's.

Kai rubbed the back of his neck. "That's... huh. Now that you mention it... Well, I suppose John's had better luck than me though." His face grew bitter and he glanced towards the closed bedroom where Tsuki and Omega were sleeping.

"Ah." Yue paused and then said, "I suppose that is true... but you also seem a great deal more sensical than my dear husband."

"Right. About that..." Kai frowned and then completely turned to face Yue. "Did that guy really just up and leave you and your young daughter without a word?"

*throb*

Yue rubbed her heart again and frowned.

"Sorry." Kai shook his head. "I didn't mean to bring up a sore topic..."

"It's fine." Yue smiled. "And it wasn't quite like that. My dear husband has always been... opportunistic? Greedy? Impatient?" She paused, trying to find a proper way to describe him. Failing that, she shook her head and said, "In any case, he had always said that he would take the first chance he got to leave."

"...And you married a guy like that?"

Yue sighed. "For all of his faults... and there are many."

Like how that war goddess was his unofficial mistress, how he always, *always* drew women towards him, and how he had a habit of acting ambiguously enough to charm them all. Also how he acted first before thinking... and then how when he actually used that mind of his, he doubted his instincts which were better tuned...

Yue shook her head. "Regardless of his faults..." She placed her hand over her heart and said, "...He is still kind. And he chose me. Not only that, but when he holds me..."

She blushed, remembering how gentle and intimate John could be and how he always listened to her wishes.

Kai's face grew dark. "...Maybe I should give a call to Takashi Aniki. And Sakura... She'd probably want to hear about John's exploits..."

Yue blinked. "Exploits?"

Kai smiled. "Nothing, Miss Yue. I'm just talking out loud."

"Hm..." Yue stared at Kai and saw a thread of ill-intent directed towards John. "Well, I would politely ask you to not do anything to my dear husband. It's something to be resolved between him and myself." She smiled. "I appreciate your sentiments, however."

Kai tensed and then he sighed. "You saw through that, huh? Well, I guess if you married that guy, you'd be at least that capable..."

Yue laughed and said, "Thank you for the praise, but it's nothing much. It's just an... intuition that I've developed as that thoughtless man's responsible wife."

Kai shook his head. "To be honest, Miss Yue, I still don't see why you insist on that... John might be powerful, handsome, and..." He paused. "...Well, I guess that's a bad rationale. Most women would indeed want to be with him... But you're one that could have the pick of the litter as well. Why did you come all this way from China to chase after him? And even going so far as to leave everything behind and only bring your young daughter?"

Yue placed down the phone and then glanced out the window, staring at the stars. "I suppose it is a bit irrational."

The Divine Beauty, the Celestial Jade Princess, the Peerless Eternal Ice Maiden, the envy of the heavens themselves... Yue had gone by many names in the past. And Kai was right. There had been myriads of suitors that came to vie for her hand. All of them peerless talents as well. But...

"...But he's the one who granted my wish."

Kai blinked. "Wish?"

"Yes. My wish." Yue shifted her gaze to the half-shadowed white disk in the sky and said, "To not see me as the unreachable moon, but as a simple girl walking the land... Out of every person that I have met, he has been the only one to do so." She paused and shifted her gaze towards Kai. "Though, I suppose since you are speaking to me like this, you would be the second... Again, it goes to show how similar you two are." She hummed and then turned to get a better look at Kai. "By any chance... is there a woman in your life who you've also recently left behind without another word?"

Kai coughed. "O-Of course not."

"Hooh?" Yue leaned over and peered into Kai's eyes.

He quickly scooted back, clutching his heart and breaking eye contact. "...Dammit. That was dangerous."

Yue laughed and waved her hand. "My apologies. I couldn't help myself... It's amusing that your reactions are similar as well."

Kai sighed. "Well, at least Miss Yue seems to be feeling better." He sat back in his chair and said, "If making a fool of myself helps, then it's fine."

Yue smiled. "Thank you."

Kai nodded... But then he frowned. "You're surprisingly calm about all of this though. I'm fairly certain that any other woman in your situation would be fuming or heartbroken."

"Oh, do not misunderstand. I am livid. If it were not for the fact that this phone is yours, I would have crushed it the moment that I realized the sort of business my husband is running. He promised to avoid other women in the future and yet here he is going out of his way to help them while I am not around..."

It was inevitable. Yue had accepted that fact. Her dear husband was going to draw beautiful women to him one way or another. But at the least she wanted to be there to set the boundaries. Otherwise, knowing her husband... No, he promised he wouldn't. Even so... even so, if there was a chance that he might accept another...

*throb*

Was it anger? Sadness? Fear?

Yue didn't know, but...

"...I will have... *words* with my dear husband later. But this is neither the time nor the place to be upset. After all..." She glanced back at the bedroom where Omega and Tsuki were already asleep.

Omega had been even more upset than Yue was at seeing the stream, and it was a miracle that she didn't charge all the way across the world searching for her father and destroying everything in her path.

Of course, Kai's sweet daughter played a large part in calming her down.

"...I can't let my daughter see me upset at her father."

Right.

While there was no helping Yue's own relationship with her father, she didn't want the cycle to repeat with Meggie and John.

Kai let out a long sigh and said, "You're a very strong woman, Miss Yue."

She smiled. "Thank you. And you are a much better father than my dear husband."

Kai laughed and said, "I'll remember to tell him you said that. Maybe it'll make him jealous enough to be a better husband."

Yue's smile widened.

"Anyway..." Kai frowned and said, "Are you sure you don't want me to arrange a plane to Japan for you and Meggie? We've already done what we planned to do here in America, so it's fine if we head back a bit earlier than usual..."

Yue shook her head. "Thank you... But I believe my husband should be panicking right about now." She giggled and said, "While he runs around like a headless chicken trying to figure out what's going on... I would like to spend some time relaxing with Meggie. This country *is* my dear husband's homeland. There are a few places that I wish to see for myself as well. That is, if you don't mind escorting us?"

"No, no." Kai waved his hands and said, "That's fine." He smiled and said, "Besides, it's about time Tsuki had a friend around her age to play with."

"Then I thank you for your hospitality, Mister Jin. And please, seek compensation for whatever expenses you incur from my dear husband when we return."

Kai narrowed his eyes. "Oh, I will. That and some interest..."

Friendly reminder that Japan is the next day from the United States because of timezones. It's still around noon back where John is.

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