Chapter 4 – Abnormal Condition
Sweat pooled on Haru’s body and before long his entire body was covered in a layer of sweat due to a high fever.
It was only until Eve and Dillan were going to put Lily to bed that they noticed Haru’s abnormal condition.
“Oh my! What is happening to Haru!?” Eve soared no thought and immediately ordered the half-sleepy Lily to bring cold water and towels to soak on Haru’s head. Her yell immediately awoke the half-sleepy Lily to attention as she noticed something was wrong.
‘Mommy never yells at me’ she thought to herself as she ran off to do as she’d been told.
Dillan was next to his wife but his gaze was strange. Something like this was extremely rare and he’d never heard of such a situation before. It took him a few minutes before he came to his senses. “I’ll go get a doctor!”
Running out of the house, his concern was at an all time high.
“You’re going to be alright Ruru. Nothing is going to happen to you.” Eve dabbed his sweat away and placed cold towels on Haru’s forehead and constantly kept changing them. Lily sat off to the side with her knees up against her chest. She was far too young to understand what was happening but she could clearly tell that something was very wrong and tears glimmered in her eyes.
Before long, Dillan had come running back with a doctor in tow. His breath ragged from the running, but concern was the only thing on his mind “Please doctor! Help my son!”
He grabbed Eve and held her off to the side as the doctor got down and began examining Haru. He was careful not to move him and only touched him superficially. He was trying to be very gentle, as to not make the boy’s condition any worse. After a quick examination he was too ashamed to say that even he didn’t understand or know what was wrong with Haru. He could only sternly look to the side and tell the truth.
“What’s wrong with him?” Dillan asked.
“I’m… Not sure. This is beyond my expertise. I’ve never seen this happen.” He shook his head, and recommended they not move him or touch him for fear it might agitate Haru even further before taking his leave. He hadn’t been able to help so he didn’t ask for remuneration but that didn’t ease Dillan or Eve’s expressions in the slightest.
“What’re we going to do! Tell me Dillan!” Eve asked her voice starting to crack.
Dillan stood there quietly gazing at his child, seemingly in turmoil as he made up his mind.
“I’m going to go speak with Erith.” He finally said with a voice filled with determination.
“Erith?? Won’t they find us then?” Eve asked with concern but didn’t move or speak to dissuade him.
“It’s the only choice. Only he might be able to help. If they find us, they find us. We’ll think of a course of action then. Right now only Haru matters.”
Eve nodded in his direction and watched him leave the house before turning back to Haru and continuing to monitor his condition.
The deep red hue on Haru’s body began to darken even further as the time passed by. It turned a darker and deeper shade of red until his body was faintly red. Even with his fair skin, his blood could be seen under the surface. His heartbeat was rapidly increasing; there was faint thumping of his heart that could faintly be heard in the room. The more it increased the more Eve worried, it was clearly abnormal. Reaching at least three times a normal heartbeat.
Meanwhile, Haru’s mind was reaching an even deeper level of sleep, as his consciousness stirred in a trap of his own making.
In his dreams, Haru found himself in a river of blood so vast and wide that his sight could see nothing else. Originally he was peacefully floating above what he’d believed to be red waters, but then suddenly he’d felt as if he’d been pulled down to the depths of what he discovered to be blood. He could see nothing past in his sight, the deep red blood covered everything in his view.
He struggled desperately as he felt himself drowning, desperately clawing to get to the surface. Only finding himself sinking deeper and deeper into a hellish abyss.
A great wave of pressure crushed himself, it felt like a great beast was squeezing every part of him.
It was only as he felt himself succumbing to his fate that he realized he could still breathe. It was as if he was just fine, above the water, but he was clearly not. He could feel himself being swallowed even deeper but he’d already come to the realization that he would be fine as long as he didn’t struggle.
Instead of struggling, he gave in. Gave himself completely over to this suffocating feeling of power completely out of his control.
“Mmhmm” he felt himself losing consciousness within his own dream but he could just faintly hear the small sounds. A voice or sound of something.
He suddenly felt like ants were crawling all over his skin despite being underneath waters. It felt nonsensical but he felt it all over his body. Then a slight pinch at the base of his neck and before he could even think about it.
“Ah!” He cried out as he jumped up in his bed abruptly. The memories of his dreams evaporating almost as suddenly as his mind came back to reality. He breathed heavily. There was a faint pounding of his own heartbeat in his ears.
Fear. He felt fear. Fear… and comfort.
Once his fear slowly died down he could feel a comforting feeling spreading through his entire body as he looked down and saw so much sweat covering his body. It was only then that he noticed the red eyed expression of his mother sitting by his bedside. Her hair a total mess and concern and anxiety written all over her expression.
“Uhm… What’s wrong mom?” Haru’s blinking eyes showing a bit of confusion and concern.
Dillan and Eve stared at their son who seemed completely fine experiencing completely different reactions.
Eve immediately began checking his forehead and back making sure his fever was gone. Dillan on the other hand already felt like everything was fine. One look at his son and although he couldn’t be certain what was wrong, he was sure that Erith was right.
Although he was primarily just content and relieved that everything was fine… A small part of him felt helpless at the thought that everything would have resolved themselves without him jumping to conclusions. ‘It would’ve all been fine. And now…’
“*sigh* no point in thinking about it now.” Dillan couldn’t help but whisper.
Right next to him Erith couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Hah. What’s done is done brother. Let’s go talk in the living room. We have much to catch up on!”
Dillan smiled and after giving Haru one last look, followed behind Erith who had already left the room.
Haru sniffed at the air smelling something awful and then realized it was himself as his eyes widened “Oh! Mom I need to go take a bath!”
“Fine… Go ahead. Just be careful.”
“Be careful? What’re you talking about mom? Is the soap out to get me now ehehe” Haru smiled at her and ran off.
Half an hour later Eve called at Haru rebuking “Hurry up and put some clothes on. You’re going to freeze and catch a cold if you stay in there for too long!” She walked in and pinched her little man on his cute little cheeks before throwing him a towel and walking away to finish preparing food.
After walking away, she couldn’t help but think to herself that his skin seemed even more pale and fair and previously dark eyes far more clear. Instead of worrying, she thought back to his happy and clear gaze and felt comforted instead. Even she herself didn’t realize how odd she was feeling and how her worry and concern melted away far too easily.
After dressing himself and walking out into the living room Haru finally noticed how the sky had already turned dark as he wondered whether he had actually slept the entire afternoon. He also noticed the strange man in the living room jovially speaking with his father. A man he’d never seen before.
Dillan noticed him and beckoned him to come over “Come over here son, there’s someone you need to meet.”
Haru walked over and sat down beside his father as his gaze inspected the strange man sitting across from them. Before he could even greet his guest his stomach growling in greeting for him as Erith broke out into laughter “He’s got quite the appetite I bet! I would too if I’d slept 3 days haha.”
Haru instinctively nodded before thinking about the second half of that sentence.
Dillan nodded at him “You must have been really tired… You slept for 3 days after we came back from the Soul Tower.” Dillan then proceeded to explain the concern and worry they’d gone through the past three days and Haru could only sit there in a daze with a bashful expression.
“I’m sorry I made you worry” he said with his head down.
“Haha… Don’t worry. You did nothing wrong silly boy.” Dillan reassured him.
Hearing Haru’s stomach growl again he started pushing him away “Get food, and listen to us speak while you do.”
Haru went and grabbed some of the food his mother had already prepared and came back to the same seat.
“This here is your uncle Erith.”
“Haha. Not by blood, but your father and I are sworn brothers. He would do anything for me and I would do the same for him. If you are ever lucky enough to meet and form a friendship like that with someone else in your lifetime then that alone could be considered a great task.” Erith laughed.
Lily eyed him from the corner of the room, she still hadn’t said anything but she’d already been informed that Haru was fine. In fact before he’d even woke up, Erith had come up with a theory as to what was happening to him. Considering the friendship he had with Dillan, after hearing him out he came to believe him almost completely out of instinct and trust. Even so, finally Lily couldn’t help but start bawling.
“Brother you’re so bad! How could you go and make Lily worry like this!!” she said while putting her hands to her eyes and trying to stop the tears from pouring out.
Haru felt like he’d done something terrible. Even more so then he’d felt before when his parents had told him how worried they’d been. He’d already finished eating most of his food so he walked over and hugged his little sister “I’m sorry Lily. I promise you that your big brother will never make you worry like this ever again. Okay?”
Haru stared into his sister’s eyes and genuinely meant those words.
Haru pointed at the food on the table. “Why don’t you have some food?”
Lily just shook her head.
“I promise it’s really really delicious…”
Peeking from behind her hands Lily whimpered then sniffed and asked “Really delicious?”
Haru nodded and watched as his sister’s pink rosy cheeks revealed her dimples as she smiled so brightly that it made his heart warm.