Kurokono was sitting at the wall of the temple. He was looking at sky, remembering all the people that he used to fight with, most of them gone now. When the reinforcement for the south came, it was already too late for most of them. He sighed.
“You don’t look like somebody that wants to be here.” he heard the voice came from above him.
He looked up into the face of a silver haired person. Must be one of the people from the other squad. He blinked. “Does anybody here looks like they want to be here?”
The silver haired man looked at the camp, thinking. “I would imagine that there are other alternatives than being here.”
Kurokono agreed with him. They were, but now for them, that were branded enemy, is there really anything else? He looked down.
He could heard the man sitting next to him, and when he glanced at his left, he noticed that the man was simply lying back, looking at the sky. There was a sort of relaxed face there. Kurokono did not imagine anybody being able to reach that state in a war.
“I am Kurokono Tasuke.” he said, looking at the silver haired person.
“Gintoki.” the person next to him said, not bothering to look at him at all. He was a little rude, but he guessed that it was not that bad.
There sat there for a couple of minutes, Kurokono allowing his mind to wander. Then he heard the stomach growled. He gripped his stomach, hopping it will go away. The food was quite scarce recently.
“Here.” Gintoki said.
He looked up and noticed Gintoki having two rice balls in his hand. His face was still looking at the sky.
He took one and started to eat it. It was quite fresh and it even had filling in it. Just a plum, but it tasted a lot better than what ever the stuff the people were cooking was called. They even had problem coming across the rice recently.
When he finished one, he noticed that Gintoki simply placed the second one on the ground, not carrying at all. He slowly took it, but then he couldn’t stop himself and asked. “But where do you get the food? Our squad could not get anything recently.”
“It is rice balls.” said Gintoki. Which did not explain anything. “Zura always have the ingredients for the rice balls.”
“That does not makes sense.” Kurokono said, then he bit into the rice ball. There is no way he is going to let it go to waste.
“Right?” Gintoki said, turning his head at him. “It would be a lot better, if he could make something sweeter, like parfait. His obsession with rice balls don’t make sense.”
Kurokono decided not to comment. Parfait in the war times? Is he one of the new recruits, that he has yet to know what it is like?
Kurokono finished the rice ball in silence. That was more food that he got for a meal in a long time. “Why did you join the war, Gintoki?”
Gintoki did not reply for a couple of seconds. “I did not want at first.” he started. “Joining war seems to be like the worst way to…” his voice trailed. “Well anyway, then insisted on going, and I am not about to let these two idiots go to war alone.”
Kurokono smiled. He was aware that most people were spouting ideals before joining, but they stayed because of either duty or people.
“I was one of the idealistic ones. If I could help at least a little, I would be satisfied.” Kurokono said. “But seeing people you work with killed every day make you wonder if your contributions are worth anything.”
Gintoki did not comment on it. When Kurokono looked at him a minute or two later, he was sleeping.
Kurokono smiled, as he looked back in the sky. Maybe being in a company and not talking about anything was also good.
Some time later he noticed a man with a short black hear walking towards him. He did not recognize him, so he figured that he was here for Gintoki. He looked annoyed. He came there, ignoring Kurokono and punched Gintoki on the head.
Gintoki yelped as he gripped his head and looked up. “What was that for?”
The man, crossed his arms. “You missed the meeting.”
Gintoki looked away. “It is boring listening to a bunch of fools arguing.”
The man just looked down at him. It looked like he agreed with Gintoki, but did not want to admit it.
“So, they are going through the mountains right?” Gintoki asked, looking at him with one eye. “Not that it will do them any good.”
“Most of them are.” was his reply. That apparently got Gintoki’s attention. “We are going to the lake. Without Zura.”
“I am surprised they went along with it.” Gintoki said, as he leaned back. “Or are these types of people?”
He signed, but did not reply. Kurokono realized that he misjudged. They seems to be in the war for quite a while. “We leave in two days. And Zura is looking for you. You still haven’t checked your wounds.”
“He worries too much.” Gintoki said. “They are nothing serious.”
The man chuckled. He than turned to the person next to Gintoki. “And you are?”
“Ah, Kurokono Tasuke. Nice to meet you.” Kurokono said.
“Hm.” Takasugi said. “Takasugi Shinsuke.” He turned and left, not spearing them another word.
Which was just good with Kurokono. Takasugi Shinsuke was a name most rebels knew by now. The leader of a Kihentai, one of the three samurais that kept the rebellion on the south line alive. But that would make the person next to him…
The said person was right now picking his nose. He then stood up. He really looked like he did not want to.
Kurokono chuckled. Gintoki looked at him is surprise. “What’s funny?”
“Nothing.” Kurokono said. “It is just, that based on the rumors, I imagined something completely different.”
He could see Gintoki close himself a little. That was not his intention. “In a bad way.”
“No.” Kurokono shook his head. “In a good way.” He stood up as well. “I better check is anybody needs anything. See you around, Gintoki?”
He looked at Gintoki in expectation, but he saw surprise on his face. He then surprise turned into smile. “If you don’t die before.”
Gintoki made his way to the medical part of the camp, and Kurokono looked at him for a couple of seconds, then turned and left for the sleeping place.