"Well... You won. So what do you want me to do?" I asked accepting my 'defeat.'
"Eri will decide that," Fuyumi said and pushed Eri in front of me. I looked at the little girl somewhat nervous in asking.
"So what do you want?" I asked. She looked down "...I want my tablet back..." said in a low voice. "Can your repeat what you said?" I asked her, this made the little girl fidget more, but a hand reached her shoulder and patted it. She turned to look at Fuyumi, who was acting her moral support in this.
Eri with determined looked at me, "I want my tablet back." She said confidently.
"Sure. You can have it ba.." I wanted to say more but the little girl was content with this and rushed to Fuyumi to celebrate her victory. I coughed twice, "At least let me finish. You can have the tablet back but you will have to follow the time regulations on the usage of the tablet, I had set."
"But you never mentioned this.." Eri said dejectedly. "I did mention that.." I claimed.
"When?" Eri asked with confusion clear on her face.
"Just a few moments ago."
Before going to any other ride or attraction, We decided to eat lunch as it is 1:30 PM, quite late for lunch. We ate a hearty lunch and decided to just visit the attractions in the park for now and after a few hours. We visited Mirror House and Eri was quite fascinated to see her tall version (reflection) alongside my shorter version in the mirror. She accidentally tried to pat my head while looking at the reflection and could only touch my knees. It was quite funny to watch her do dumb stuff while looking at her reflection in the mirrors.
After that, it was just Fuyumi dragging us from attraction to attraction in the entire amusement park, making sure we can cover most of the amusement park in one visit.
I was watching TV and there was a show going on, in which they tell to cherish what I have now or I will only regret when the thing or the person is gone from my life. This was quite the thought-provoking thing they said. I was thinking what was the thing or person I have in my life that is very important to me. There only came two things to my mind, Tea and La Brava.
I cherish my tea every day, by giving my tea-making skills a lot of time as I have a lot of free time after I left being a 'notorious' villain. As the Chief said, I had the right dream but I chose the wrong path, I do agree with him, how could I abandon my noble dream of becoming a hero and went to become a villain. Well, I went a tangent there.
As for La Brava, I always liked and admired her. The reason for liking her was that when no one was there for me, neither my friends I used to spend time with nor my parents, she was there for me. And the reason for admiring her was, With her skills with a computer, she could've been in demand for so many Hero Agencies or Government for logistics, but yet she came to me, to help me realize my dream, which she says is her goal and will never waver from it.
I remember when I first saw her, timid and smart was the only first impression I could get. She used her computer to track the location of my apartment. I was shocked to know that someone could do that. She said she was an admirer of mine and wants to help me pursue my dream. Even If I tried to refuse, she just wanted to be with me and help me. Then, I accepted her as I couldn't shirk off her determination to help me. What wonderful memories.
I remember how it was when I was alone doing things on my own. I was persistent, even if I couldn't achieve success now, one day or another, my hard work will pay and I will achieve what I dreamed of. I worked hard with the same determination every day, but constant failure finally made a crack in my persistence.
I started having doubts about whether my work is going somewhere or not. I had shown a charismatic and charming character in my videos, shining every time but in the darkness within, I had doubts. But she came like a light to my cease my darkness. She was the first admirer I got who was living proof that my work didn't do go to waste.
When we were familiar with each other and could talk openly, she said I was the light she was searching for, which made her life more happy and warm. I just laughed at that time, but I also wanted to say that she was the light that lightened the darkness in my life.
I thought about something and went to La Brava who was working on her computer.
"What are you doing?"
"I am creating a program Chief asked for, he said he needs it when he goes for the 'talk' today." La Brava stopped working and explained to me.
"Are you busy?"
"It's almost completed, I just need a couple of hours to complete the thing? What is it Gentle?" La Brava asked
"I thought... We could go for a walk or.. something as you are spending most of your..." Before I could complete the rest of the sentence, she jumped from her seat and came closer to me.
"IS IT A DATE??!!" She asked me with expectant eyes.
"Yes.. somewhat like that," I said with some pause. I don't know where my usual confidence went when I asked her about going out.
"JUST WAIT FOR A SECOND, I AM GOING TO GET READY." She said loudly in her childish voice and went away to her room. After some time, she came out wearing normal clothes. I was wearing my usual clothes, so no need to change.
"Shall we go, La Brava?" I extended my hand towards her, which she accepted by taking my hand in hers and with a huge and genuine smile on her face.
"Yes, My Gentle."
We were just strolling down the road in the peaceful evening. There was occasional hustle and bustle of the crowd but it was not that much. I saw a crêpe stall near the public park.
"Do you want to eat crêpe?" I asked La Brava. She nodded happily. I brought two crêpes and we sat on a bench. When we were eating, the sun started setting over the horizon, forming a beautiful scenery that mesmerized us. I looked at La Brava who was watching the scene with fascination.
"La Brava.." I called her in a small voice. "What is it Gentle?" She asked, still looking at the scene.
"I don't know If I have ever thanked you enough for being with me, supporting me, and for everything you did for me, so I would like to say thank you. You didn't leave me even when my situation was not right, well.. who I'm kidding I never had a.." I was not able to complete my sentence, as a hand was caressing my hand, I looked at La Brava, she was looking at me eyes filled with love and care.
"Did you forgot what I said when I first met you; I want to help you achieve your dream, I want to be at your side when you achieve the greatness you want. Besides, as long as I'm with you, Gentle... I'll be happy no matter what happens." She said and turned to look at the sunset while eating her crêpe slowly.
I had no words to reply. I looked at her, after some time she started fidgeting. "Don't stare at me.. like that Gentle, I am embarrassed." This made me turn my head quickly towards the sunset. La Brava leaned on my arm as a support and had a small smile on her face. We just stayed in the park watching the sunset.
[Iwao's (Knuckleduster) POV]
I was standing in front of a grave with various thoughts in my head. It is my wife's grave, She died due to a terminal illness that ravaged her body. Thinking about her death, still makes me feel a bit guilty. If she was able to see her family in her last moments. If I was able to save Tamao (his daughter) a bit early, she would've been able to see her lost daughter before her death. Even after all these years, I have visited her grave countless times but these thoughts always come to me whenever I visit her grave.
All these thoughts were for naught, as they are not going to make her come back. I left some carnation flowers in front of her grave, as they represent love and affection, fully describing how she was, a loving wife and an affectionate mother. I left the graveyard the graveyard without many thoughts.
I reached my apartment and found that the door is unlocked. I placed my hand on the knife hidden under the coat. I vigilantly opened the door and went inside. I found the TV on, and a person was sitting on the couch. I relaxed my vigilance when I recognized the person.
"I thought you were staying late with your 'music friends' as usual."
"I don't stay with them late; I did a part-time job to earn money for the guitar for which you refused to buy for me." Tamao rebuked me.
Her rebellious side never ceased even after years has passed when she openly expressed her wish to become a musician, which I harshly declined. At that time, 'That Man' had stolen my quirk, which led to the downfall of my pro-hero career and I was in depression. I accidentally vented my anger on to her, which led to her leaving home.
After that, things started to went downhill. My wife was hospitalized, as she fell into a catatonic state and became unable to speak. I tried to find my daughter but couldn't find her. The police were also not able to help that much. So, I took the task into my own hands and became the Vigilante Knuckleduster.
After series of investigations, I found Tamao's body is being controlled by a parasitic bee known as Kuin Hachisuka. After various events, I was able to free her from the control of that parasitic bee and killed it. Her attitude towards me got a bit better, but she still gets a kick by playing the guitar in front of me because she knows that I don't like it. But now I don't care about it.
"Then how's the 'part-time job' going for you? And why would I pay for a thing that you will use to annoy me?" I asked with folded arms
"I will not use it to annoy you... Please... Please... They fired me from the part-time job, I don't have that much savings to buy the guitar. Please.. only this time." Tamao pleaded with her hands joined in front of her face.
I remembered how Tamao used to ask for toys when she was a kid, she would do something like this. Remembering past memories sometimes makes the present me feel happier, those happy days which I can only relive in the memories. This is how I overcame most of the depressing times in my life.
Taking my silence as rejection, she dejectedly lowered her hands and plopped on the couch. I coughed to
"Okay, I will buy you the guitar but just don't play it in the house," I said and this made her expression changing from sad to shocked but after some time it turned to happiness.
"Thanks... Thanks... Dad, Love You, you're the best." She jumped happily from the couch and then started dragging me. We went to the Musical Instrument Store and she asked for her desired guitar. When the shop attendant brought the guitar and placed it in front of me, I was shocked to see the price of the guitar. It was over 100,000 Yen. I looked at Tamao to confirm if this was the one she wants and she just nodded furiously to show her desire to buy the guitar.
I sighed and paid for the guitar in cash. Money is not a problem for now as the money the 'Creepy Bastard' gave is too much. (Shido gave all of the $45k/5M. It is a bit higher than 2 Average Japanese people Annual Salary Combined i.e. 2,300,000 Yen.)
Tamao was happy and we went home. She was so excited that she started playing that goddam guitar inside the home that I forbade her to do, But I didn't stop her. Seeing her excited and playing the guitar with a genuine smile, made me smile.
I was so engrossed in finding happiness in the past that I forgot to seek happiness in the present from what I have.
'I think I was wrong the whole time.' I thought as I watched Tamao play her guitar.
Shido, Fuyumi, and Eri were in a taxi, going home. Shido was sitting in the passenger seat, while Eri and Fuyumi were sitting in the back seats and were talking about the outing. Eri was smiling and was talking to Fuyumi without shying away. Watching her smile, made a big burden lift off my chest. The little girl can live a normal life.
He looked at Fuyumi and Eri talking and looked outside the window.
Danjuro was watching the sunset with La Brava; Shido who was looking outside the taxi window; Iwao who smiling and clapping at his daughter's performance.
The three of them had the same thought,
"I wish our future will always be this simple and happy."
[Song: Mabataki (Blink) || by back number]