The woman shook her head.
“She was the only child born to them. And she was beautiful. Had my son lived, I would have arranged their marriage. She was a blessing.”
Hinata nodded, but was still concerned for the well-being of your father.
“It is sweet that you talk of her in the present tense,” the woman then said, “you are right Eulanda, we must continue to include her and ma, in our living world, it will keep their souls connected with us.”
Hinata realized what he had said- speaking of you in the present, but then accepted what this woman had said, as it was ample cover for his slip up.
The woman patted Hinata’s hand then walked back to the kitchen to continue cooking while Hinata thought.
“Has the father been seen since?” he asked.
“He lives outside the gates, with the unwell and possessed,” she replied calmly, “he claims he is well… but he is very sick.”
He did want to talk with the father to see if the man could give him any useful information but going outside the gate to where the unwell lived was something you never did.
Many people who went to bring food to them never came back, or were reported to have joined them, frothing at the mouth.
Hinata stayed that evening with the woman and even rested the night there, gathering his courage to go to the father the following day.
The next morning, he was awoken early by the woman.
“Tutt!” she clicked her tongue, “Eulanda, you must not sleep with your head covering on, the brain needs to breath and you will starve it of oxygen!”
“I apologize,” Hinata rasped, bowing his head a little but keeping the covering on.
“I understand it is a force of habit, after being a refugee for many suns,” she said kindly, “do take time to bathe today, if you have not done so already?”
“Oh. Thank you kindly,” Hinata rasped as he sat down at the table to eat the simple yet delicious breakfast that was laid out for him.
She smiled and sat opposite, then the pair ate before parting ways for the morning.
Hinata claimed he wanted to meet with others since coming back to Nekoma, and she had housework to attend to, so he promised he would be back that evening to rest at her house once more- which she was most happy about.
Down the streets he walked, making his way to each gate along the wall and looking out to see if he could find where the unclean lived.
It took a good portion of the morning to locate it but as he looked out one of the gates he saw them. Deranged and growling. Two men chained to a tombstone just on the rise.
They were a fair distance out, just on top of the ridge where there were rocks and trees in which they could make their homes.
He looked around. No one was watching him, so out he slipped, unnoticed, and made his way directly towards them.
“How do I know who I’m looking for? Who do I call for? What if I get injured?” Question after question entered his mind, but he kept walking, determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of Y/N.
As he got closer he could hear the wailing of injured and deranged men, their cries making his skin prickle.
The two, chained to the tombstone screeched in an unearthly tone as he gingerly approached.
“What do you want with us?!” they cried in anguish, twisting their heads in unusual ways as they strained at the chains.
“I come looking for the father of Y/N,” Hinata called in the most feminine voice he could muster.
“We know not of whom you speak,” one cried, copious saliva dribbling down from the side of his mouth as he gouged deep gashes into the side of his neck with his long, unkept nails.
Hinata kept his distance, wondering if he should turn back.
“Who calls for me?” A man with long grey hair and a wild look in his eye asked as he stepped up from behind a rock onto the top of it and stared down at Hinata, “what business have you here?”
“I need to talk with the father of Y/N,” Hinata said again, “are you him?”
“The association of myself to that name makes me sick to my stomach. Devils dance through the veins of the dog with that name,” the old man growled with vehemence, gathering his saliva from deep in his throat and spitting it across the rock as if you clear his oral cavities of the words he had spoken.
“I do not understand,” Hinata said, being mindful to keep his distance, should any of the men try and chase him.
“A man should live as a man,” the older man said darkly, “a man who wears dresses and calls himself a woman curses everyone he comes in contact. Death follows in his wake.”
Hinata scrunched his brows in concern.
“Is he referring to me? Can he tell?”
He looked down at his outfit, then touched his head to make sure the covering was still present. It was, and he hesitantly asked for clarification.
“Of whom do you speak?” Hinata asked.
“Must you make me say it out loud?!” the older man screeched with distain, “Y/N! CURSED BE THE FRUIT OF MY LOINS. HE HAS KILLED HIS OWN MOTHER WITH HIS WICKED WAYS!” He wrenched his head back and let out a loud anguished cry that made Hinata’s hair stand on end.
Fearfully, Hinata stepped back, holding an arm up across his body when the other two men caught onto the older man’s hysteria and cried out as well, tearing at their skin and making blood spill down their fronts.
Having been thoroughly spooked, Hinata turned and fled, with the sounds of Y/N’s father screaming curses in the background.
“I don’t understand. He is calling Y/N a man?!” Hinata cried internally, bolting back to the gates, “a cross dressing man who identifies as a woman?! But that cannot be? Surely that cannot be? Surely he is insane?”
Now back safely inside the gates he stopped to catch his breath.
Citizens of Nekoma continued their daily lives around Hinata as he stayed up against the inside walls of the city and stared at the ground, wondering what to do.
“If she were male, King Kageyama would have known by now… plus, she wouldn’t have even made it past inspection if she were found to have male organs…”
He shook his head with his eyes closed.
“He must be deranged. His wife dying before him must have been his last connection to sanity and when she passed it severed him from clear judgement.”