"Good golly, is that kid tall." Moe observed as the group made their way to Jesheru's apartment from Kyouichi's hut. The Koumori had a good inch above her. He still had a lot more growing to do in the personality department. That, and hygiene. His hut stank to high heavens. And she was five yards away from the thing.
The stench bothered Joy a lot more, due to her more sensitive nose. She didn't mind it so much because she figured it was Fukurou smoking the special hops again. Kyouichi would complain about it every now and then during class. It made it all the more funny to smell it in person, knowing that was how the young bat got up in the morning.
Jesheru's apparment was in the grocery district, right along with a lot of others from farming families and the like. The Sortodai are renown for their quality produce, and sticking together through the thick and thin as a family. Now and again, Jesheru would have chores to do at his grandfather's shop. Every other week, he also had to tend the fields with his ox summon. Those would be long days of sweat and dirt; typical for a Soratodai.
As Jesheru went inside to get his headband, the rest were free to observe the surroundings. A well trimmed garden was just outside of the building. Underneath the shade of a medium sized tree, a sheathed sword rested tilted against it. Kyouichi plopped himself underneath the tree, stretching along the grass. Joy's eyes were on the sword. It looked as though it were a very special make. Picking it up, she judged it's weight. Very light. Almost too light to be a sword, if she didn't know any better. Pulling from the scabbard revealed a beautiful blade unlike any the dragoness had ever seen in her life. Upon closer inspection she spotted close to the hilt a particular bolt shape. For a moment she wondered what it was. From the corner of her eye, as Kyouichi stretched out she then noticed a bowl full of ash. After a whiff of the air, she suddenly remembered the symbol's meaning. It was the mark of ANBU Bolt ops. She immediately sheathed the sword and put it back against the tree.
"Kyouichi. Off the grass." Joy said sternly. She knew the smell of incense.
"Hey, I'm regaining inner peace here." said Kyouichi.
"You don't understand. This is-"
"My dad's memorial."
Jesheru was standing outside his door with his headband secured around his neck. Kyouichi's made a clink from around his waist as he got to his feet. When the Soratodai interrupted her, Joy fumbled the sword and it fell to the ground. Also, when Kyouichi got to his feet, his foot grazed the incense bowl spilling it on the ground.
"There just went inner peace." said Kyouichi. Joy gave him a nudge in the gut.
"We're sorry Jesheru kun. We didn't know."
"It's okay. I didn't say anything about it." he replied as he put the items back into place. "I was meaning to clean that bowl out at some point today anyway, I guess."
Moe remained quiet and distant observing the three as they interacted.
"Is that your dad's old sword?" Joy said, still curious as well as feeling guilty about touching it.
"It's the only thing they found of him when..."
For a moment Jesheru actually looked... sad. Joy would never forget that look he had on his face the day the news came about his dad. It was the only day that Jesheru didn't have a nice thing to say about everything and everybody else. All the more she wanted this feeling to go away as she noticed those light bluish eyes look so lifeless and depressed. How? How was he so nice and happy day after day since then, and every second it seemed until this moment? It was more than guilt now that put a strain on Joy's face. As soon as Jesheru met her eyes though, the look vanished.
"One of these days I'll have the guts to practice with it, heh heh!" he said with a soft smile.
Was it all a ruse, the way he dodged sadness like this? Joy adjusted her faded blue hoodie and motioned to Kyouichi as the three followed off after Moe sensei. The chuunin gossip could catch an exchange like the one between her two students from a mile away.
"Yeah. Sorry 'bout ruining your inner peace, dude. Sometimes I don't know what my own costs someone else."" the Koumori said at length, rather quite oblivious to the thoughts going on in Joy's mind.
"We have other things to worry about besides keeping a cool head. Right, Moe sensei?" said Jesheru.
"That's right," Moe confirmed. "I've got the perfect starter mission lined up for you guys. Plenty of team building opportunities with this one. Come on! Let's double-time!"
"Sir. Be a double-dick." said Kyouichi.
"Kyouichi. How would like to do pull-ups over flames...? You sure? Well then don't say the word 'dick' around me ever again."