|As the night went slowly by, Faith looked out her window and sighed. Or attempted to sigh actually, she truthful had no strength left to sigh. Exhausted to death still she could not sleep, tomorrow was going to be a big day. Her mind ran with the fear of what she was going to have to do. Her black eyes danced as she slowly put her hand out to touch the window frame. It was old and barely even kept out the wind anymore. It left her cold at night and froze her as she sat in her room. She never slept anymore, it could not be helped. It wasn’t her choice to make. She had always been fascinated with the view outside her window.
It had been a long time since she had been allowed to make a choice on her own. She looked down at herself. Her skin was almost clinging to her bones as she hadn’t eaten in so long. Her face was thin too. Her ragged clothing fell loosely on her body. She ignored, as she had always, the pains in her stomach calling out for food. It didn’t matter if it kept growling till the end of the earth, it wasn’t getting anything soon.
It had to be very early in the morning by now. She kept these thoughts inside but it didn’t really matter what day or time it was, she was a slave. Through want or passion she had no choice. Her life should have been limited. It should have stopped already. But it did not. It clung on by a thread. A hopeless miserable old thread pitiful in appearance and pseudo in reality. She held on but only by force and will and that was not her own. She longed to have something of her own but even she did not belong to herself. Her thoughts her appearance her actions were influenced by a single person that she despised. If only she had not done what she had done would things have been different? She longed for so many things. Food, clothing, love, attention, and life and yet all this was denied her for the sole reason of sadistic pleasures and dominance in mind, body, and soul.
She heard a sigh and realized it was hers. Was she still breathing? She didn’t know anymore. Thuds were then heard. Footsteps echoing on the cold stone of the castle. Someone approached her coffin or that’s what she liked to call it. She was very sure she was going to die in their some day. She just hoped it was sometime soon.
“Get up you lazy girl I’ve got a task for you.” A mans voice drawled out. She looked him up and down. He was sickingly fat and she could almost smell him even with her senses weak from hunger. Her instincts made her wake up from her daze. She did not want to be around this man unprepared. He grabbed her by her arm and hauled her up to her feet.
“Stand!” He demanded. Almost instantly Faith felt her leg muscles getting stronger. She stood straight and tall, but she felt as if she had been pulled up by some unknown force. She glared at the man. He leered back at her with hunger. He threw her some clothes and gave her directions to put them on. Faith looked at them they were nice, long, white, and blue dress. With clothes like these she could assume her mission was a diplomatic one. She slowly dressed expecting this to be like all the others. Her mission would be the assassination of a potential threat to her master’s interests.
“You look like dirt!” He yelled “Start looking nicer!” Instantly she felt herself to become a little meatier and her cheeks hollowed.
“Follow me” The man glared at her as she passed behind him. On her way to the main room she got a look of herself in a mirror. Her hair had glimmered and body had become fuller, but her eyes remained blank. She stepped into a room with a high ceiling and fancy décor all around. At the apex of the two back walls sat a man in what seemed like a throne. She approached her master and he nodded to her. He had short blonde hair and blue eyes that glittered. Despite her hate for this man, he was also admired by her. His eyes were so full, and that is what she longed. For too long she had had her evil black eyes. Lifeless and dead they existed as not a door way to the soul but as a simple mechanism for sensing the things around her to see but not understand were their fate. She looked longingly at the necklace around his neck. The hazelnut green gem glittered and mocked her telling her that she had nothing for her everything was right there in front of her within hands reach but not within her grasp.
“I have a mission for you” The man droned on. Yes it was exactly like all the others her target would be a woman named Tsunami from a very rich family in Japan. Apparently she was a beautiful woman with a nasty temper when it came to men. Her mission was to find infiltrate and kill this woman as she posed some kind of threat, but they wouldn’t tell her what it was. They never did, and so she headed out on her way to a place called Sunadori.
Two days and nights she traveled with no sleep no food, and not even a rest. As that was her orders and orders did not go unobeyed. Soon she reached her destination, and she followed her way into the main palace; passed some guards on her way. She opened a huge door of the exterior of a large finely-crafted building. As she made her way inside she was mesmerized by the appearance of a wonderfully spacious and warm room. She whispered her name to an announcer on the left, and he introduced her as a princess in England. She walked along a red carpet to a throne. It was empty. She looked around looking for the woman as to familiarize herself with her target. All of a sudden she was knocked down by an incredibly beautiful and well-built woman.
“The name is Tsunami. Tsunami Hinashka. You must be the princess from England. Oh how I’d so love to go there and see all t he people! But it is so nice too meet one of theirs Hine-san. Please do make yourself at home!”
“It’s very nice to meet you Miss Hinashka. Thank you for your warm welcomes and please call me Faith.” It was the most she had said in a long time but her words were clear and precise as they were ordered to be. Tsunami personally showed her to her room and told her to unpack. Little did she know that Faith’s luggage was actually mostly weapons. Faith had always had a fetish with weapons she enjoyed having them in her hands ready to defend and protect. But they were never used for that they were always used for killing and murdering and nothing else. Tonight would be the night. She did not want to linger long here. She would get it over with quickly maybe they would even suspect her and try to kill her. It didn’t sound like a bad idea to Faith, but she decided against it as her master would not be happy.
Faith looked in her bag and pulled out a poisoned dagger this would kill the woman in one slice and Faith did not want to see much blood. She had seen too much already and she was sick of it as she remember a night bout 10 years ago. She was about 8 years old. She picked up an egg out of her family farm chicken coop. All of a sudden she heard a fierce cry as her father was struck down by an arrow. She ducked and hid and all she could hear were screams and cries as her family was killed. Her father, mother, and two sisters. Then they came for her. They almost passed her but she could not stop trembling with fear and she dropped the egg. The crash had seemed so loud. It attracted attention to a quite ordinary barn loft but the men were not fooled. They laughed at her picked her up by the scruff of her neck and threw her. The last thing she remembered was a man running to stop them. She didn’t know what happened past there but they had spared her, taken her to their master the man with the blue eyes. When she had woke he was their and a woman standing beside him. She looked old and sick and she was obviously on the verge of death. Her surroundings were dark and damp and they leaked water on her knee she tried to move but she was tied. The woman stood and took hold of her hand and bit it. Hard too and blood did not pour but it still flowed gracefully down her palm. The woman muttered a few words and dropped the blood on to a hazelnut green gem as Faith screamed in pain that had no source and no end.
The memories made her want to gag. They were too fresh and too real. She closed her eyes and took strong deep breaths. She had a mission to complete and complete it she would. Tonight was the perfect time.
Tsunami personally escorted her to the dining hall for dinner. It was delicious and filled with all sorts of Japanese cuisine. Faith and Tsunami sat down next to each other. Tsunami started the conversation.
“How long will you be staying Faith? Certainly a little while. It’s quite a long ways from England and you wouldn’t go back within a week right? It’s been so long since I had another woman to talk with and oh it’s getting to me!”
“I can promise you Tsunami I will be here long enough for you and me to get to know one another very well.”
“Sugoi! That’s wonderful. A friend for which to have many moons with!”
Faith frowned at this, guilt flooding through her. How could she take such an innocent jubilant life?
“Oh but Faith let me introduce you to someone. This is Aradiar.” Faith looked up into the brown eyes of a tall well-built man who was wearing some sort of traditional Japanese armor.
“Good Evening Hinaska-sama. Who is you guest?”
“This is Faith Hime. She is from the west! England in fact. She just arrived here and promises to be my guest for a long time!”
“It’s nice to meet you Aradiar-san.” Faith greeted what she thought was probably the most handsome man she had ever met. She had met quite a few but ended up killing them all.
The evening went smoothly from there. This ended up with Faith and Tsunami realizing that they had much more in common then Faith would have liked and that Aradiar and Faith were the same age. Faith dug into the food with haste. She was starving and she restrained herself just enough to not blow her cover. After they had all said their goodnights and parted Faith sat alone in her room.
Time flew by so fast and before Faith knew it she was good friends with Tsunami. They were perfect for one another, and Faith for the first time in a very long time was happy. Months passed and the constant pain in Faiths heart reminded her why she was here and what she had to do.
Faith sat clutching her bottle of poison wondering why she just didn’t take it her self. But she couldn’t she really couldn’t it was her masters orders and they did not go unobeyed. She stealthily crept along the deserted passage ways till she found Tsunami’s room when she was caught by the back of her nightgown by a very strong hand. She looked up into the face of Aradiar. She silently cursed herself for not being aware. How did he sneak up on her? She was terribly good at what she did and she was not one to be found if she did not want to be.
“What are you doing here so late?” He asked her. She turned her heard around to not look at him. She was tired; although she had been fed she had not slept for a long time. She looked him in the eye.
“I’m here to kill your mistress so had better try to stop me.” With that she tugged herself out of his grip and ran straight into Tsunami’s room all thoughts of stealth forgotten. She spun around looking for something to kill her with, the poison would no longer work. Tears leaked out of her eyes. It was orders to kill this woman and master’s orders did not go unobeyed. She darted around but by that time Aradiar had ran into the room and grabbed her by her waist. She hit him hard enough for him to let her go. Her hand stung and Tsunami had woken up with all the commotion. Killing instincts took over Faith’s mind, but they didn’t work quickly enough. Aradiar tackled her to the floor and she struggled to get free by kicking him in the stomach. It had been too long something squeezed her heart and she whimpered in pain at the sudden feeling. Her master was waiting and he wanted her back. She had to get the assassination done immediately. Her soulless eyes looked at Tsunami’s terrified betrayed face.
How could she hurt someone who had done nothing? Her heart ached with unwanted pain. Guilt consumed her. ‘No.’ She thought. The hand on her heart squeezed tighter. ‘No.’ She thought. The hand squeezed tighter. “No!” She yelled. The pain wrapped her in a cold, heartless, cruel embrace and her eyes closed, black immersing her.
Awake. She was awake. Her lungs hurt with the intensely difficult task of breathing. Her hands shook violently. Her eyes were burdened with the task of opening and her mind could not be distracted by anything else. Awake now. She looked around her with her coal black eyes. Wow what an interesting dream. She only had dreams when her master was calling her. The subconscious provided the imagination for dreams and she had no subconscious. Her master had hers. She did not own her own mind and it was time for that to stop. She was tired. Dead tired.
Two people entered the room. Faith could guess who they were by their footsteps. Aradiar’s long stride and Tsunami’s comfortable medium-sized tracks. Faith only looked at the ground in front of her. She didn’t care what they did to her. It couldn’t hurt as much as she did now. Her head burned and she forced consciousness only with tremendous effort.
“Why did you try to kill me Faith? I trusted you and you betrayed me! Why? I invited you in and you turned on me. Is that why you came in the first place? To kill me? Did you pretend to be my friend? When you met me was I so awful that you decided to kill me? Why Faith? My friend? Why did I trust you… Her words drifted off as she shifted her head shaking from side to side. Her eyes were squeezed shut to stop the tears from flowing. Futilely. They poured out making trails on her cheeks. Faith looked up. She had never met a person who tried to blame their assassination on themselves. Faith glanced at Aradiar. He refused to look at her and instead focused on Tsunami’s plight.
“You trusted me so easily. It really would have been easy to kill you at any time. You never took the time to suspect me of anything. You were weak and naïve. You thought only of becoming my friend and you never realized I was here to kill you because you trusted me, truly trusted me. You were absolutely pathetic. It would have been a waste to kill you. My master should have sent a lower servant…with a big axe. Obviously a killer. You might have just invited him in for dinner wouldn’t you? All I had to do was act a little and you were fooled. You ditzy woman. You are an easy target. Totally pathetic.
Tsunami looked at Faith with hurt and shock in her eyes. Brown, Faith noticed. Such a deep brown. Full of betrayal. They showed such emotion and life ‘Why can’t I have that?’ Faith wondered. ‘Eyes of life?’
“But you trusted me. You befriended me which most would think was impossible. You looked into my eyes and saw a distant spark of life. One that was nurtured and cared for by you. You were never fooled by me. I was fooled by myself. I was not judged by you, not hated by you. You saw me when all I could give you was lies. I hated you and I hated myself because the gift you gave me could never be equaled. My debt to you could not be repaid by me! I hated you because you caused such pain in me. And jealousy. You have something I have not had in such a long time. Something I have desperately yearned for, for so long and in the end you gave it to me in a way I was not expecting and now all I can do is wish I had something to give back to you, but everything I have has been taken away. I did not wish to kill you but even my will is not my own. My actions were not my own. And my heart, the one you took such good care of, in the end did not belong to me!”
Rarely did Faith say so much. But it felt good to finally speak to let out her feelings. Faith felt some liquid on her face. It was tears. She was crying. She had not cried for so long. She wiped some off her face and stared at the droplets in her hand. It was time to tell the truth, to tell someone. Never before had she trusted someone like she trusted Tsunami. She just hoped Tsunami would forgive her.
“I have a confession.” She told Tsunami about her only childhood memory of being taken away and her family killed, and about the memory of the old woman putting the curse on her.
“At the time I did not understand what the old woman did. But it soon became apparent. I looked in a nearby mirror sometime after and my eyes were black. I don’t remember what color they used to be anymore, but I know they were not born this color. They were soulless eyes that did not contain any emotion in them. When I saw them I cried. It was like everything was gone. The curse trapped my soul into and amulet that my master now wears. My will, my thoughts, my imagination, my memories, my feelings and emotions were trapped inside that amulet. That’s why my eyes are black. The eyes are a window to the soul and my body no longer had any entity. From then on I was a lapdog-a slave to my master. I was his puppet at anytime anywhere, doing whatever he said to do. I did countless assassinations and infiltrations getting information. When he told me to come here, I thought nothing of it. I thought it would all be like before. But now I know its not. You don’t have to worry anymore. I won’t kill you.
Tears poured out from Tsunami’s eyes and her mouth quivered but Faith continued.
On the night I was going to kill you I thought I was going to die from pain. That’s when I realized that it was time to embrace the pain and not fight it. I did not follow my master’s orders and no longer will I follow any orders he gives me.” She looked Tsunami in the eye and reverently whispered “There are things worth fighting for, and there are things worth dying for. You are one of them.”
All the betrayal and rage had gone out of Tsunami’s eyes. Tears continued to pour and with a sudden dash Tsunami threw herself at Faith and gave her the first embrace she had had in years. Aradiar stood, leaning on the wall watching the two women hug each other lovingly. He came to a standing decision. He would help the poor woman out of here misery if it killed him.
“Can you fight it?” Aradiar asked Faith.
“Only for a while till it kills me.” She replied. “It hurts just knowing I’ve disobeyed him.”
"Then I guess that’s not the answer. We will have to help you now. This may be hard but now you must depend on us. The only way you can do anything now is tell us where your master is. I know this must be hard for you, to depend on someone else, but you have endured for so long so please, keep fighting here and let us fight with your master.”
Faith sighed but said one phrase. “Good luck.” Aradiar Leaned up from off the wall. Tsunami was still clinging to Faith.
“Come Tsunami we will help her now.”
Aradiar wasn’t often nervous, but he was now. If they failed at this mission a girl would painfully die. He looked at the grand castle in front of him. So this was where that selfish pig lived? He grinned at the thought of himself strangling the ugly stout man he pictured as Faith’s master.
It turned out to be the exact opposite. When Aradiar and a group of men behind him entered the castle they were greeted by the sight of a handsome man sitting on a grand throne in a large eloquently furnished and spacious room. Aradiar stood and made his way to stand in front of the man.
“Greetings, we hope that we find you well sir and humbly ask for a place to stay for the night while-“
“Stop speaking I know what you have come for.” Master interrupted. “So she told you did she? Stupid wench. This amulet is her soul and her thoughts are easy to decipher. She told you because she ‘trusted you’. The feelings of an eighteen year old girl are so raw its- invigorating. I have grown fond of this amulet and my servant you will not have her. Guards!”
Aradiar looked around to find himself surrounded by rough-looking, sloppish men. He was outnumbered, but it no longer mattered. Faith had endured for so long in this place, unable to cry or feel. Pictures of her ran through his mind as he fought off his attackers with vigor. Her as he met her for the first time. Her in the sunlight laughing at Tsunami’s joke. Her as Tsunami Embraced her. Her as she cried. He sliced off the last man’s head an looked around him. Two of his group were down. He wasn’t about to give up though. His inspiration had just begun and his wrath had just been unfurled.
The master was starting to look a little peaked at having his men killed so easily by an enraged man who was now glaring at him. When suddenly the sick man smiled.
“So you’re here to save here from pain but you don’t realize you have now just made it worse. You see this amulet also has control of some aspects of her body like pain.”
He smiled again as he held the amulet out in front of him towards a torch to the side of him. He held the long amulet by the strings above the fire as he let it swing in the fire.
“You see she can’t see the fire, but she can feel it. The fire can not touch her body and char it but she can feel herself being scorched by heat!” He laughed maliciously as Aradiar stood in a rage.
Tsunami suddenly became alarmed as she heard Faith’s scream echo through the castle. She flung hersef from the doorway and hurled down the hall. She ran into Faith’s temporary room and she saw Faith rolling on the floor screaming in pure agony and pain. She ran to her side and put Faith’s head on her lap and held her as she screamed and screamed and screamed.
“You think that’s all I can do to her? Even from this distance? No I can cause as much pain as I want.” He took a goblet of water from a table beside his throne. He submerged the amulet in it.
Faith was quiet. While that was relieving to Tsunami she realized that she was also not breathing. Was she dead? Tsunami started to sob. She couldn’t be dead!
Aradiar had had enough. He threw himself at the master and tackled him to the ground. The water spilled and the amulet hit the master’s chest. Aradiar grabbed the amulet and pulled without thinking. The chains broke. The amulet was in his hand. Broken. Aradiar stared at it appalled at what he had done. What had he done?
Faith lay still. Breathing. Silent. Smiling. Tsunami sighed relieved.
Aradiar made his way to the castle that held Faith and Tsunami. Would Faith still be alive. Had he broken her? He cradled the amulet against him in his breast pocket to keep it warm. Maybe she could still feel. He made his way down the long halls to Faith’s room. What would he find?
He walked in her door. Tsunami sat on a chair next to the bed dabbling with something on her lap, talking to the awake and smiling Faith. Aradiar grinned in relief. He could tell she was alright. He ran to her.
“I was afraid that when I broke the chains I had somehow hurt you!” He sounded more desperate and peeved then he would have liked to sound. Faith smiled at him.
“Don’t you understand you didn’t break anything. You only broke all the ties I had to my master and to my former life. You have saved me.” She reached up and hugged him deeply, pulling him to her.
“I think you have something to give her.” Tsunami said as she gave him a gold chain. So that’s what she had been making. A chain to put the amulet on. A chain not made of force and cruelty, but of friendship and love to tie her to her new life here with them.
Aradiar Took the chain a threaded the whole at the top. He took that time to notice how truly beautiful the amulet was. It shined like gold and in the middle was the shimmering, sparkling, stunning green gem that fluttered and dance like wind. He put the amulet around Faith’s neck. When he looked at her next he was surprised to see the beautiful green color was in fact the color of her eyes.
“Thank you.” She whispered. “You gave me the one thing I have always wanted. Thank you…”