Though he tried to hide it, Yui could tell Shingen was disappointed with her answer. That didn’t bother her. Many people came to the monks seeking something and having a preconceived notion of what they were going to hear; when they heard the truth, they were rarely pleased with it. It was something others had to come around to on their own time, usually. She added the last bit of flavoring to the miso and continued to stir as she listened to Shingen’s desperation. The poor soul, she could almost feel how affected he was by everything, how involved he made himself in the harsher matters of the world. As he finished talking, she finished stirring, and took a moment to pot the miso so she could focus her full attention on him.
“I want to tell you something,” she began quietly, softly, in a more serious manner than her usual jovial way of speaking, “that will bring you comfort, and sometimes it pains me to speak the truth to those I care for… as you see, there is nothing I want more than for you to be happy, Shin-kun. I know you love this life you have now, but it is finite. It is one of many before your spirit ventures to the eternal planes. There is nothing anyone in this whole world can offer you that will stop the inevitability of giving up all that you have gained. Some people will try, but all they offer are deceit and lies that will cause you more suffering.”
It was around this time that Kyon Kyon came back in from playing. The young preschooler looked an awful lot like his father, with dark hair and dark eyes and a serious face. He wandered into the kitchen and saw Shingen, and his eyes lit up. He moved to hug his cousin immediately, throwing his little arms around the boy’s legs. Yui couldn’t help but smile, watching her son. “Shin-kun!” the boy cried as he hugged him. When their greeting was done, Yui called to Kyousuke. “Kyo, mama and Shin-kun were talking about mama’s favorite topic! Can you tell Shin-kun the first noble truth?”
Kyousuke pulled back for a second and put on a serious thinking face, making a ‘hmmmm’ sound as he did so. His face lit up once more when he seemed to come to the answer, and he turned on heel and proudly said to Shingen: “Life is bad, and we die!” in a very bright and happy manner. Yui had to thrust her head into her arm to keep from bursting out laughing and to hide the expression that came over her face. Once the initial desire to cackle had passed she pulled her arm away, nodding her head with a grin. “Yes, yes baby that’s good. But it is life is suffering. Can you say suffering?”
The boy thought for a moment once more, and then said, “suff-rin”. Yui smiled, and nodded. “Close enough. Kyon Kyon, dinner will be ready shortly. Can you play in the main room until then?” The boy answered with a smile and an “okay, mama!” and was off to enjoy the simplicity of childhood. Yui watched him go, a smile on her face, her eyes lingering on the doorway for just a moment before turning back to Shingen. Her expression was bright, but her eyes were almost solemn and watery.
“Do you think I would ever give that up if I could, Shin-kun? No, of course not. I love this. I love being a mother, and having a husband and a house and cooking dinner and waiting for my family to come home. I love my job. I would never lose this moment if I could. But… this is the first thing we must accept, before we can free ourselves. It is the first of the noble truths: that life is full of suffering, and then at the end, we lose it all in death. But if we know this, in our hearts, we can move on and savor every moment of what we have while we have it. It is only once you are content that you can do everything you want to do. Otherwise your life will be wasted to despair.”