The full moon night reminded the old Daimyo of his daughter again.
The brightness of the moon resembled the complexion of Takehime; the dark sky resembled her pupil. However, reminiscence was all over Daimyo’s mind, for Takehime had already long gone…
That was what the people said.
“Takehime!” Chikamatsu the servant put down the broom as soon as he saw Takehime down the hallway. “Did you push the mister away again,” Chikamatsu lectured.
“I didn’t! I was just giving away the hairpin gifted from him, and he stopped seeing me since then.”
“You did it on purpose, didn’t you?”
Silenced for a moment, Takehime finally spoke, “I never wanted that hairpin. He gave me that because he wanted me to be his eye candy! When I asked him what if I lost all my hair one day, he couldn’t answer a word!”
“There’s no way you’ll find your Mr. Right if you keep behaving like that…” While Chikamatsu was heaving a sigh, he also had a thought about Takehime’s question. To him, Takehime was beautiful no matter if she was bald or full of wrinkles. Yet he never had the guts to speak out. He was afraid that he would say the wrong thing at the wrong timing. For that, he decided to swallow his true feelings and returned to his work, sweeping away the dried leaves.
Earlier this spring, Takehime had fallen in love with the son of the rich. At first, the two love birds were sweet together, until Takehime suddenly raised a question. She asked the man, “will you look through the feces of swallows for me, until you find the bird nest?”
This random question had put the man into an awkward situation. Stunned to speechless, he gave a reluctant and disgusted look, which completely disappointed Takehime. Since then, Takehime had stopped seeing this shallow man.
“Everyone judges the book by its cover. Everyone does…” Leaning against the window side, Takehime stared at the moon weeping; but neither was she crying for the break-up today, nor the lecture from his father. Meanwhile, the rustles outside reminded her of Chikamatsu avoiding her question earlier today.
“Not even him...He’s just like the others…”
Few days later, another noble proposed. As soon as Chikamatsu knew it, he started vetting the noble’s background. He was relieved when he found that the noble was actually a good man, and he spoke highly for the noble to Takehime; on the contrary, Takehime was indifferent to Chikamatsu. The situation went on until the day when the noble came by…
This morning, the maids were all busy with dressing Takehime up, while Takehime was sitting in front of the dresser like a puppet. Looking outside, she saw Chikamatsu in decent attire, walking with an old lady. Takehime jumped out of her seat immediately to shout through window, “Chikamatsu! Where are you going?” Yet Chikamatsu had already gone far away from her.
Takehime was perplexed, for she had never seen Chikamatsu dressed like that. The scene had been lingering in her mind all day, distracting her from everything else. No matter how hard the noble complimented her, she remained in trance.
“What a lovely Autumn. May I invite you to my place and enjoy the beautiful scenery of maples?”
“We have maples here too, and I’m getting tired of them already,” said Takehime, shaking her head to reject.
“How about a hairpain with sakura pattern? I’m sure that you’ll…”
“I’ve already had enough hairpin. I can get you one if you want to.”
The sarcasm of Takehime had put the conversation into an awkward situation. Tilting her head, she had an idea.
“I heard that there’s an unorthodox animal, which looks like the mixture of dragon and toad. The coat made by its skin is perfect for wearing all year round. Winter is coming, and I think you can get me that.”
“Takehime! Stop your nonsense!” The old daimyo couldn’t help but yelled at her.
“I have some premium fox fur which is way better…”
“I said I only wanted that coat. Can you or can you not?”
The noble smiled awkwardly and said, “I’ll sort it out.” Then he left and never visited again.
At night, Takehime had been staying awake all night until Chikamatsu returned, who frowned as soon as he saw her.
“I’ve heard from the maids. Why are you being mean again?”
“If he truly loves me, he’ll do anything for me.”
“But that doesn’t mean you can tell others to die for you lies!”
“...All you know is lecturing me. There’s no way that you’ll get me!” Takehime pouted and continued, “where were you today?”
“Matchmaking. It didn’t go well though.”
Takehime’s heart sank; as both were grown-ups already, they must separate one day no matter how close they used to be; and they would have their own family eventually. This vision haunted her whenever it came to it.
“Takehime, you gotta treasure what you have,” said Chikamatsu, looking right at her mesmerizing eyes. Just when he was about to leave, Takehime suddenly hugged him from the back.
“Don’t you get it? You’re all I have!” Takehime sobbed.
Holding her hands tight, Chikamatsu looked at the full moon and pondered. How lovely would it be if he could just take Takehime to somewhere only they knew…
Dawn broke; meanwhile, the maids rushed to the old daimyo and said, “Takehime has gone missing!”
After a thorough search, both Takehime and Chikamatsu were nowhere to be seen.
The old daimyo was very pissed, but he ordered everyone to keep their mouths shut in order to protect his own reputation; anything about elope or suicide was forbidden to discuss. Once someone came to propose, the old daimyo would tell them that his daughter was a fairy from the moon, who had returned to where she belonged.