It was a long journey, by day and by night, but soon enough they started to get closer to their destination.
The horse was puffing, tail held high as he carried the men along to the last rise before the Nekoma kingdom came into view.
“This is where I drop you,” Tanaka said as he pulled back on the reins and the horse dug its hooves into the soft sand to decrease speed quickly, propping a few times as it came to a stop.
“Thank you, Tanaka,” Hinata said gratefully as he slipped off the side of the horse and reached into the skin bag for the head covering to put in on- lest he be spotted without it.
“Around this same time, 5 suns from today I will come back to this spot.” Tanaka reached into a satchel on the side of the saddle and handed something to Hinata, “blow this whistle,” he said, placing it in the orangette’s hand, it is a low sound but the horses can hear it and will direct me to your location should we not be within eyesight of each other.”
“I will keep this safe,” Hinata said as he turned to walk away, “I will return in 5 suns.”
Tanaka nodded and pulled on the horses reins to get it to back up a little and turn around.
“I will see you then,” called before bringing his hand down hard on the horses flank and making it jump into a gallop, heading straight back to Karasuno.
Hinata watched the disappearing pair, sand being kicked up by the high tailing horse as he and rider sped off lightly over the dunes.
“Now… to find out more about Y/N,” the orangette thought excitedly as he turned to face the direction of Nekoma.
Knowing roughly where the kingdom lay, he walked around it in an arch and approached from the other side in the hopes that he wouldn’t be immediately tagged as suspicious should the guards see him approaching from the sands.
As he traversed the final rise in the dunes, he saw the kingdom below and a grateful smile tugged at his lips.
What lay beyond, just outside the walls of the kingdom, was the local river, and alongside it were the women of the city, doing their washing while the children played alongside the banks.
He headed down the dunes, opposite the women, and picked a smaller section of the river to cross then slowly approached the group, pretending to be collecting reeds for something that he may need them for.
“Eulanda?” one of the women called and Hinata looked up at her, “oh! It is you!” the woman cried, dropping her belongings and rushing over to him.
Hinata nodded a little.
“Oh! Praise life! I have not seen you in many suns and moons, are you well?” she got to him and embraced him in a warm hug- obviously confusing him for a friend of hers that she had not seen in ages.
Hinata touched his throat and made a gurgling sound and the woman gasped then tutted unhappily.
“Curses to hell, those dogs, many women lost their voices after the attack,” this woman seethed, “Gamnia’s voice had forever changed after the hellish Karasunites decimated our kingdom.”
Hinata nodded sadly, trying to play along as best he could.
“I prefer not to speak,” he said in a forced raspy voice.
The woman wailed loudly and clutched him to her chest.
“Your beautiful voice and been marred! Rotting dogs meat! Maggots of the earth!” she cursed loudly, “please, if you have no where to go Eulanda, find refuge in my house. We are still rebuilding, but the land has supplied our needs.”
Hinata nodded and touched his throat again.
“Appreciated,” he rasped.
She embraced him once more then led him back to her washing- which she had just finished, then took him by the hand to lead him to her place.
Inside the walls, houses and stalls were being rebuilt but there was a lot to be done still.
“Did you flee when war broke out?” the woman asked Hinata.
“Where did you seek refuge?”
“My memory is hazy,” Hinata replied in a mumbled voice.
“It must have been the Kingdom of Shiratorizawa, as they are the closest to here and you came from that direction.
“Yes, you must be right,” he rasped in reply.
She got to her house and opened the door to let him in.
“Please, rest here.”
“Did many people flee?” Hinata asked in his, still pretend, raspy voice.
“Yes,” she said as she went about setting the wood stove up to make some tea and food.
“What of Y/N? Do you know what happened to her and her family?” he asked, choosing a bold way to pose his question.
The women stopped what she was doing and walked back over to Hinata and took his hand in hers.
“Eulanda, I need you to remain calm as I tell the story,” she said seriously, “if you start wailing I fear it will set me off.”
He swallowed nervously but nodded for her to continue.
“You, myself and that family were all so very close. And to this day my heart bleeds…”
“It is bad news?” Hinata rasped with faux worry in his voice.
“Eulanda. Please. Listen to my story. I saw with my own eyes, beautiful Y/N was taken by those vile creatures. To a place I do not know,” she said, her voice starting to break, “and as for the mother…” tears welled in her eyes, bottom lip quivering.
Hinata was filled with such concern – on behalf of you and how you would feel in this situation, that he reached out and embraced her.
“She did not want to be separated from her daughter. You know how close they were. And she ran, she ran from the house, screaming for her daughter to be bought back. They slaughtered her. They took her life in the streets.” She broke down and Hinata’s eyes welled with tears, “I ran to her aid but she had been taken swiftly. While I was by her side, her husband came running out. He saw and dropped to his knees. The sight of his beloved wife slain took his sanity.”
Hinata started crying.
Not of his own accord, but because he knew you personally and hearing about the death of your mother was something that he never wanted to have to repeat to you- let alone anyone else.
“Where is he? Where is the father?” he rasped out.
“The man went mad and ran. Cursing and claiming it was his fault, some other males fault.”
“His? Fault?” Hinata asked, wiping his tears.
“Yes? No one understands what devil has taken control of his mind but he claimed that there is someone of male origin that lived in the house and because of his existence, all these cursed things happened,” she said.
Hinata looked confused.
“Does Y/N have a brother? Or even a male cousin?”