Beifong estate
Welcome to the Beifong Estate
Chapter information

The Haunting Burden



Written by




Release date

June 20, 2014

Last chapter

Chapter 9 - Understandings

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Chapter 11 - Uninvited Guest

I grab for my book inside the shelf next to my bag. I grab a hold of it, along with the thin stick I use to write my entries. I open the bottle of ink, and dip my stick in the ink. The ink is not quite as dark black as the last bottle, but it does the job just the same. I flip my book to the entry I was trying to write yesterday:

Day 208,
Well, I'd say these past few days have been very shaken up for not just my brother and I, but also the Shimabukuro family. Hayao and Ishi have been recovering rapidly well, but they're both far from being completely healed back up. I still can't believe Ryoma's parents are letting me call them by their first names. It's weird, but they said I earned the right to after helping them out. Wakato earned that right as well, but it's hard f

I take another little dip in the ink bottle with my wooden stick and start to place it along the paper. The 'f' in what's supposed to become the word 'for' is almost nonexsistant, so I go over the letter again.

--for him to transition to calling people by different names. Speaking of Wakato, last night was a great night between us. It started off a bit boring, but he openly expressed how he feels about our father's death. I'm glad he figured out how he felt and didn't hold back and even if it brought out his bad side, it made us closer. Oh, and Ryoma told me that the whole family is headed over the the Beifong family's house for a dinner party in a couple days. I hope Hayao and Ishi are healed up enough to want to go. No matter the case, I have a good feeling about how it will go.

I really haven't noticed this, but the book has a written entry on almost every page. Although, I have been writing for six months, and it's been on and off since then. I guess I should've thought about getting a book along with the ink while I was out with Wakato last night. Oh well, I can buy another one some other time.

I walk out of my bedroom, and notice Hayao and Ishi sitting together on the couch. Hayao has his arm wrapped around Ishi in an attempt to feel comforted by each other's company. I admire their relationship and how well balanced it is. With all that has happened to them recently, not just their multiple injuries, but also losing their emergency savings, I would have thought that they'd be upset over this whole situation. I thought they'd be arguing over it all and possibly hurting themselves mentally as well, but here they are intertwining each other in their arms. They seem so happy. So calm and tranquil. It's like the incident never happened for them.

"How are you two this morning?" I ask them across the hall.

The couple turn their heads to me, startled looking at first, but eyes lower and smiles form once they see me.

"We're doing fine, and yourself?" Ishi replies.

"Good. Where's Ryoma?" Ryoma is usually up at this hour to make himself breakfast before he goes to work.

"Well he's got the day off and since we're all going to the Beifong dinner party tomorrow evening, he decided to take your brother out for clothes shopping."

So, Ryoma left me here alone with his still recovering parents without telling me? I'm glad that he trusts me with this task, but it would've been nice to have a little heads up. Although, I can't really be all that mad at him. He is taking my brother clothes shopping and that is something that even I can't help him with. I know Wakato better than I know anyone else, but when it comes to shopping or weaponry, I have a hard time digging in to his desires. This trip is meant to be a guy thing and I'm glad that Ryoma is able to help out.

"Oh, and if you want, you can borrow that fancy dress I let you choose from," Ishi states.

"The one that I wore?" She surely can't mean that dress. It's beautiful, but since this is a dinner party with another rich family, I think she's referring to the much more classy dresses she allowed me to borrow.

"No, the one with the golden outlines. I know that it would look gorgeous on you."

I have some doubts on that, but it is a pretty dress. Maybe just wearing it will make me look decent enough to show myself to complete strangers. Who are rich. And who might not be as nice as the Shimabukuro family has been to Wakato and I. This party may not be as good of an idea to go to as I thought it would be. Wait, no, I could be wrong again. I almost turned my back on Gaoling as a whole because of all the nasty rumors I heard about the people here, but Ryoma and his parents have proved themselves to be a model family. The things I've been told shouldn't affect what I will soon see of this other family. They could be just as nice as the Shimabukuro's and if not, Ryoma will understand if I never want to show myself to them ever again.

An hour or so passes before Wakato and Ryoma return home from their outing. Wakato is holding a brown bag with some forest green fabric showing from inside. I wonder how his new sense of style will look on him.

"Morning, Naomi. Sorry I didn't tell you that I was leaving this morning with your brother, but you were just sleeping so peacefully. I didn't want to wake you."

I'm not sure what it is about Ryoma; his sweet comments full of flattery, the reassuring gestures, or maybe even just his heartfelt smiles, but he always knows how to put a smile on my face. Sometimes, my emotions can't help, but react by making me blush, and I'd wish that I could control that part of my system, but sadly I can't hide it. Especially right now for whatever reason. He didn't want to wake me because my sleeping pattern was peaceful? What a gem he can be.

What a gem he can be?

Where did that thought come from? Sure, that's an honest thought, but it sounds so...girly and loving. Lets face it, there is no way I could ever love Ryoma, or any boy for that matter. I mean, I have always pictured myself being the type of girl to get married and have children of my own, but is Ryoma that guy that I could picture my fantasy future with? No, but then again, I've never pictured it with any guy in particular. I guess Ryoma is just that kind of guy that was raised to make everyone feel special.

"Here's the dress," Ishi says whilst handing me the fancy dress. It's beautiful to look at up close. How can I possibly pull off a dress that looks this amazing? I let out a short sigh and go into my room. I undress myself from my regular clothes, and put the fancy dress on me. I walk over to the mirror in my room. Wow. I can't even process how beautiful this dress looks. It makes me look stunning. The golden edgings around the dress catch the sunlight from the window, causing a mild blind spot in my reflection. I grab my sabertooth lion comb and go through groups of strands of my hair. I actually can't believe how just a single dress can make a peasant like me look like I've lived here my whole life. Before I exit the room, I slide on the sandals I wore from the last outing with Wakato and Ryoma.

When I walk out of the room and down the hall, everyone is already in the main room, and I seem to catch everyone's sight simultaneously. I ignore their reactions because I'm just as stunned by how Wakato looks as he probably is with me. My brother rarely ever dresses up for anything. He dreads to do anything that involves being something that he's not. He looks fantastic in every way. The forest green material that caught my eye in the bag yesterday is a velvet overcoat. His top is a moss green and surprisingly tucked into his jade shaded pants that have a stripe of gold and then a thicker stripe of brown at the end of each pant leg. Lastly, his scandals are a gray color with a little bit of gold added and all together, he looks the best dressed I've ever seen him.

Ryoma is wearing a button up and sleeveless shirt, along with forest green pants that have a dark yellow, almost bronze stripe. The pants also have this extra poof to them that makes his legs look wider, but I suppose that makes them more fancy. His knee-high boots are two different shades of green, and his overall look is...well...breathtaking.
Hayao is wearing a button up shirt too, but it has more sleeve to it and the shade of green is a lot brighter. His pants seem to be pretty plain - they just look like regular pants, and his shoes are a pitch black. Ishi is wearing a light green dress that goes down to her ankles. To add onto her attire, she has golden scandals and earrings. In addition, her hair is up in a bun and she's smiling at me as if I'm to only person that exists.

"Oh Naomi, you look absolutely lovely," Ishi exclaims.

Ryoma walks over to me. His mouth is open, barely, but enough to see his lips tremble. My eyes catch the sight of a drop of sweat running down from his left temple. What has gotten into him? It surely can't be how I look.

"Mom is right. You look amazing," Ryoma adds in, choked up in his own words. "Please, allow me to escort you to the Beifong estate," he continues as he holds out his right arm for me to link my left one in.

I must admit, this is a little embarrassing to do in front of his parents, but the invitation into his arm is hard to resist after last time. But this time, it feels different as our arms meet. It's like this sudden rush of adrenaline is going all the way up to my head and my heart feels like it wants to beat out of my chest, but why?

"Okay everyone, lets go to the party," Hayao says on his way to the front door.

The walk to the Beifongs' seems like it has taken twenty minutes at most so far, but it I'm sure it's taken a shorter amount of time. There hasn't been a single word said between Ryoma, Wakato and I, but I feel like we had a conversation the entire way here. Was it all in my head? The things that we all laughed about together. The talk about the way the Beifongs' live. The way Ryoma almost burst into tears of laughter because I almost tripped. Oh wait, that one was real. Why do all these scenarios get placed inside my head if they are never meant to happen? Is a fantasy world more fun to live in even if it's not real?

My eyes widen at the sight of the Beifong estate. I know for sure that this is no fantasy, because there isn't any way that I could ever imagine a house this massive. The house is a bright white the Shimabukuro home, but the white extends out further into the city. Everywhere that surrounds you is a garden filled with freshly cut bushes. There's even a fountain--no, two fountains on each side of the front door! The edgings around the house are gold, including the handle. The rooftops are a dark green that touch the sky. I know the Shimabukuro family is rich, but these people must be loaded to the point where money is coming out of their ears!

Hayao gives three solid knocks on the door. A few seconds go by before a man dressed in green from head to toe answers.

"Ah, well if it isn't the Shimabukuro family. Good to see you again, Hayao," the man says happily as they bow to each other.

"Good to see you too. We'd like for you to meet our two guests," Hayao states as he points over to Wakato and I. "That's Naomi and her brother Wakato. They've been living with us for about two weeks now."

The man walks over towards us and bows in respect. Why is he doing this? We're not the fancy ones, they are. "It is an honor to meet you both. We heard about the way you've been taking care of Hayao and Ishi since that horrible break-in last week. Your actions are inspiring in every way."

I wouldn't go that far, but I'm glad he appreciates our acts of kindness. And how does the Beifong family know about us? I was for sure that they had no clue that we lived with them. Did they just assume the Shimabukuro family would let us come along? Whatever the case, we bow back to him and he smiles at our polite gesture.

"I am Masato Beifong, but you may call me Mr. Beifong. Welcome to the Beifong estate."

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