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Rated: 13+ · Serial · Action/Adventure · #1034076
gone r the days of culture, poetry and candycorn
Tatsuki, Kagami, Kitchwa the sound sleeping Rio'ho and Alphonze were all back at Kagami and Rio'ho's house. Kitchwa sat at the knee high table eating a bowl of potato soup with a pair of chopsticks (just as Rio’ho had done earlier) with Alphonze who sat with his horned rimmed reading spectacles behind a mountain of leather bound books reading through a section of ‘Advanced rune magic.’
“ARGH!” grunted Kagami from behind another screen that sat next to a very large mahogany book case, as Tatsuki worked on removing the shards of glass, then bandaging up the cuts. “Cant you just use that ghost power to get them out?” asked Kagami almost pleadingly, her voice laden with pain as Tatsuki picked glass out of Kagami’s side with a pair of tweezers.
“Yeah right.” scoffed Kitchwa coldly as he munched on some pieces of potato. “Useless over there still doesn’t have even the foggiest of how the hell that bracelet works.” he continued as he swallowed his food. The room was quiet for a moment after Kitchwa said this. Tatsuki continued to fix up Kagami and Alphonze continued to read as Kitchwa put his bowl up to his mouth and drank what remained of that bowl of soup. KLUNK! Kitchwa set his bowl down on the table after a moment than said, “Any way, what’s with this facially impaired chick spiriting everyone away?”
“Not everyone.” said Tatsuki as she removed a large shard from Kagami, her hands already covered in Kagami’s blood. “How would you know!” demanded Kitchwa as he poured himself another bowl of soup. “You don’t know jack shit about anything but stories.”
“KITCHWA!” Snapped Kagami “How rude!” “That’s how I know it.” scowled Tatsuki offended, glaring at Kitchwa’s shadow on the screen.

“Haven’t you ever read ’the tale of the faceless maiden’?” Kitchwa began eating his soup and said “of course not. Why the hell would I waste my time with those stupid fairy tales!?”
“Evidently it’s not just a fairy tale if she is actually causing all of this.” added Alphonze as he closed the book he was reading. “Did you figure out how she might be getting through the unbreakable barrier.” asked Kagami as Tatsuki removed the last of the glass.

Alphonze was silent as he removed his reading spectacles and set them down on top of ’Advanced rune magic.’ Then he said “From the looks of the spells and the diagrams in the book, the barrier is air tight, there’s no way that she, or even a demonic flea for that matter should be able to penetrate it. Tatsuki stepped out from behind the screen her hands covered in blood and recited the verse,
“Hunters useless and barriers un yielding
Truly this specters was no matter of demon.”

Kitchwa sat confused with his chopsticks hanging out of his mouth. “It means she’s not a demon then?” asked Kagami as she wrapped her green sash around her maroon kimono. Tatsuki paused as she washed her hands in a pan of water that sat just behind the screen. “I don’t know for sure, it says she isn’t but she certainly seems like one.” said Tatsuki after the pause. “Do you have a copy of ‘Legends of the Westlands’ here?”
“Yeah, I think so” started Kagami, “if we do its on that shelf over there with Rio’ho’s books.” she finished pointing to the large book case next to the screen she was still kneeling behind.

“I’ll help you look.” said Alphonze as he stood up. Alphonze crossed the room nearly tripping over his own feet once or twice, stopping when he stood next to Tatsuki in front of the book case. There were hundreds of books at the very least , some looked fairly new, most looked as though they’d been kicking around well since before anyone there had been born, but they all must have gotten good use, as not one of them had so much as one spec of dust on it.
"Lets see" thought Alphonze as be looked at the vast collection of books.

Kagami had taken a seat next to Kitchwa at the table while Tatsuki and Alphonze looked feverishly for ‘Legends of the Westlands.’ She looked from the neatly staked books at the spot where Alphonze had been sitting, to the half eaten pot of soup. “Kitchwa.” thought Kagami as she got a bowl of soup for herself. “you were gone for a long time this time, almost 7 months.”

“’Under water basket weaving’, ‘Old Elvish for dummy’s’” Tatsuki mumbled the various titles of books to her self as she ran her fingers across their spines. “’ Cinderella’….oh cool, ’Prince of demons’, ’Koraiba’, ’The little mermaid.’” Tatsuki continued doing this for quite a while. “Wow, Rio’ho must really love to read.” thought Alphonze as he searched on a neighboring shelf.
“AHA!” exclaimed Tatsuki. “’Legends of the Westlands.’” she removed the large volume from the shelf and opened it to page 493. “See” started Tatsuki as she walked over to the table “Right here.” she finished as she set the book down in front of Kitchwa, and pointed to a sentence in the middle of the second paragraph. Kitchwa had put down his, now empty bowl and stared blankly at the words on the page as he lay his chopsticks across the top of the bowl.
Tatsuki started to say “See I…”
“See what?!” Kitchwa interrupted as Tatsuki knelt down next to Kitchwa.
“What? Didn’t You just read the verse I recited a moment ago?”

“Do I look like I can read what that says?”
Shock and disbelief fell over Tatsuki, as she said in a some what agitated shock “You don’t mean to tell me that you cant read, do you?”
“What purpose would I possibly have for being able to decipher a bunch of squiggly lines? I’m a Vagabond, not a brain surgeon.” answered Kitchwa as if this were perfectly logical.
Though she was utterly appalled, Tatsuki decided not to pursue the issue of Kitchwa’s illiteracy, at least not at that particular time.

Garth was sleeping on top of one of the cupboards in the Pitch dark kitchen, of Langdon’s lair deep within the Broken mountain, while Langdon worked on doing some, extremely grimy dishes that didn’t seem to get any cleaner, no matter how hard he scrubbed.
“I wonder if Kagami has been able to tell Kitchwa how she…” Langdon’s thought were interrupted when orange firelight from a torch flooded the room. The feel of the light burned Langdon and caused his skin to itch rather violently as he dropped a plate and the dish rag on the floor. He scrambled to draw the hood of his old, tattered black robe over his balding head of gray hair, and over his thin wrinkled face. Langdon looked over in the general direction of the light and saw Kitchwa in his blue iron chef shirt, black pants and wrapped midsection. He was standing in the door way with a torch in his right hand and a mass of black thrown over his left shoulder.

“KITCHWA!” exclaimed Langdon “What in tar nation are you trying to do to me!” Kitchwa just rolled his eyes as Langdon spoke. then out of the blue Langdon’s tone changed as he pointed one of his long bony fingers at the mass on Kitchwa’s shoulder, and said “That’s a pretty meager looking sack of potatoes you’ve got there.” Kitchwa stared at Langdon as though he were the stupidest thing Kitchwa had ever seen. Tatsuki was the one to break the brief silence by saying “I’m not a sack of potatoes!” in an indignant tone.

“AAAHHH!” Langdon jumped, then said in a frantic yet reverent voice “The potatoes are talking!” then he grabbed a shaker of some brownish colored spice and started shaking it at Tatsuki yelling, “DEMON BE GONE!”

“Will you cut that out!” snapped Kitchwa impatiently as he reached around and grabbed the back of Tatsuki’s robe with his left hand and pulled her off of his shoulder and thrust her to the ground.
“Oh…” started Langdon as he looked down at Tatsuki as she got to her feet. “I didn’t know you could store potatoes in human girls. Started Langdon in his normal vague manor.
“Will you forget about the damn potatoes you senile old bastard!” snapped Kitchwa still impatient.
“I am not senile!” retorted Langdon Kitchwa looked at him blankly and said “This id coming from somebody who just tried to use nut meg to exercise evil potato spirits out of Tatsuki’s back side!”

They argued for quite a while, though Tatsuki would ordinarily have found this to be quite hilarious. She looked down at her right wrist, her thoughts still dwelling on what Kitchwa had said about her and the bracelet. Tatsuki recalled that she was going to go inside Kagami’s house, and when she got to the door Kitchwa said, “Why do you even bother using doors? I mean, maybe I’m just lazy, but if I had the power of the Phantom Medjai I’d just save myself the time and go through the door.” Tatsuki knew that Kitchwa was trying to get at something, though she wasn’t entirely sure what his point was.
“Well I’m not you!” responded Tatsuki trying to sound indifferent as she turned to face Kitchwa. “Thank the gods that I’m not you.” she thought. “Looks like I’m striking a nerve.” sneered Kitchwa as he looked at the indignant and loathing expression on Tatsuki’s face. “Anyway, my point is that you cant even use the power, even with Koran’s soul residing within your body you cant make it work, can you?!” Tatsuki paused looking at Kitchwa coldly.

“I can, so! I’ve used it be fore haven’t I!?” she finally retorted. “I, mean I was able to pass through that Cyclopes before he managed to squash me and Zanzibar.”
“One hell of a damn lucky fluke.” This conversation was starting to make Tatsuki loathe Kitchwa even more than she already did
“You don’t believe me.” started Kitchwa as he walked up to Tatsuki.
“WHAT THE!” Shouted Tatsuki as Kitchwa grabbed Tatsuki and threw her over his left shoulder.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” Continued Tatsuki
“Proving to you that your saving the demon hunter was a fluke” said Kitchwa tormenting as he started towards the broken mountain.
“It wasn’t!” snapped Tatsuki as she began to pound as hard as she could on the small of Kitchwa’s back, over and over again. “Stop this foolishness, PUT ME DOWN!”
“C’mon, you’re the phantom Medjai now, so passing through me should be a piece of cake, that is if you really do know how to make your power work!” sneered Kitchwa.

Tatsuki looked from the bracelet to Kitchwa who was still arguing with Langdon and thought with utter contempt, “Man I hate him!” then she thought, “Id gladly let that jerk have this stupid bracelet if he wants it so badly, but it won’t…”
Tatsuki’s thoughts were interrupted when she heard Langdon say, “By the way Kitchwa, did you manage to get that bracelet from the burial grounds, for me when you were in the Southern-provinces? I’ve already made room for it in my collection, ya’know”

Tatsuki’s fists clinched tightly, so that her knuckles went white and her hands started to shake. She looked at Kitchwa angrily, she was already mad at him for earlier, and for some reason hearing Langdon say that Kitchwa had stolen the bracelet, got it stuck on her arm, caused Mikio, Mina, and Sitoru’s deaths, and that Kitchwa had invoked the wrath of the demons that had destroyed her village Just so that Langdon could add it to a collection of nick knacks infuriated her even more.

She wanted not just to speak but to scream as loud as she could, until her lungs exploded. Before she could get any words out Kitchwa grabbed her right hand just above the wrist, jerking it so that the sleeve of her robe went up her arm and exposed the bracelet. “Here’s your freakin’ dust collector!” snapped Kitchwa completely ignoring Tatsuki’s attempts to wrench herself free.

After what seemed like an eternity Tatsuki managed to pass her arm through Kitchwa, and went to chew him out, but Langdon cut her off by saying, “I didn’t know that the bracelet of the phantom Medjai came with a girl. Those raven demons are getting pretty cookey in my old age.”
Tatsuki pointed angrily at Kitchwa and said “Blame him!!” in that same instant Kitchwa retorted “Me! You’re the one who stuck your arm clear down to the bottom of the quiver!”
“What kind of idiot hides something like that in a quiver of arrows, where any unsuspecting person could get stuck with it!!!” Kitchwa took a deep breath after Tatsuki said this, and added,
“You’re the Idiot! Not just any random person could wear that, you’re the only one who can, because you are the reincarnation of Koran!!!”
“For the zillionth time, I don’t believe in any of that reincarnation stuff!”
“Well you best start believing miss Phantom Medjai.” Kitchwa said this with emphasis on ’Medjai’ “Like it or not, the only person who can tap into Korans power is his reincarnation, which judging by your present predicament, is you!!”

“I really should stop them.” thought Langdon somewhat vacantly as he watched them yelling at each other each in the others face. They looked as though they could start exchanging blows at any moment. Tatsuki was angry, and Kitchwa was extremely irritated, Langdon could see, and that couldn’t possibly end well. “Tuna and Tomato sandwiches would be nice for lunch.” he continued while Tatsuki and Kitchwa continued their fighting.

“Even if there was such a thing as reincarnation…”
“You still wouldn’t except who the hell you are, and you still wouldn’t know how the hell to make the power work!” interrupted Kitchwa coldly. Tatsuki was about ready to cry, and wanted desperately to slap Kitchwa across the face, just as hard as she could, as she said, “Rather than telling me I can’t, why not make your self useful and tell me how to use it!?!!”

Before Kitchwa could get any manor of insult or retort out, Langdon pushed his way between the two of them and said in his usual vacant tone, “Sheesh, you two fight like a couple of an annoyed Dog demon, and a Cat demon who’s been deprived of lettuce.” Tatsuki, though baffled as to what Langdon meant said nothing as she turned around and folded her arms; Kitchwa did the exact same thing.

Alphonze was wandering around the woods aimlessly, occasionally stopping to chat with a raccoon or a squirrel. “What a pleasant day” thought Alphonze as he stared up through the tops of the trees at the clear blue sky. It was nice and warm out, typical of a sunny spring day, yet Alphonze still felt uneasy. “I wonder where Kitchwa, and Tatsuki are anyway?” thought Alphonze as he looked away from the pale blue sky and looked back to the trees in front of him.
a chill ran down Alphonze’s spine when he heard the word spoken by an icy, cold, disembodied whisper.
“Your soul”
The whisper continued. Next thing Alphonze knew he was walking again, but not of his own accord. “Where am I going?” Thought The utterly terrified Alphonze. “HOO” Alphonze jumped when he heard the hooting of an owl. “Beware the mirror!” Hooted the owl, now that he possessed Alphonze’s attention. “The Mirror?” asked Alphonze as he tried as hard as he could to stop walking.
“Give me your soul” Whispered the whisper once more. “M-My S-S-Soul -- What mirror!” stammered Alphonze in Terror
“Give me your soul!” Continued the whisper.
“Beware the mirror in the Cherry tree that blossoms no more.” Hooted the owl it’s large yellow eyes fixed on Alphonze. Alphonze suddenly stopped his walking, as the voice stopped and the owl flew away in to the clear blue sky.
“Cherry tree that blossoms no more?” thought Alphonze, still afraid of what, thought he was not entirely sure what had just transpired.

Rio’ho was sitting next to the river against one of the great runes, attempting to fish with a stick that had a bit of string tied to it for a line, and a piece of cheese for bait. He looked from the river to the 2 ½ small wheels of cheese that lay next to him wrapped in tin foil, and said to himself “Maybe fish don’t like Swiss cheese” as he drew the make shift fishing rod out of the water. “I think I’ll try using cheddar.” he then brought the line down and removed the wet bit of cheese that was on it and reached around for the tin foil, but all he felt was the soft, warm grass. “Where the…” started Rio’ho as he turned around and saw Kitchwa sitting cross legged next to him with one wheel of cheese in either hand, both of which were half eaten.

“HEY!” Started Rio’ho in a whiney and beguiled voice, “Your eating my bait!”
“Sorry.” said Kitchwa while he ate, (though he didn’t mean it.) Rio’ho was trying in vain to retrieve what remained of the wheels of cheese while Kitchwa said as he stood up, “Hey Rio’ho, I don’t suppose you have any cracker with ya do ya?” Rio’ho was jumping up and down trying to retrieve his bait which Kitchwa was now finishing off. “So that’s a no to the crackers then?” asked Kitchwa nonchalantly as he swallowed the last of it. “Never mind the stupid crackers!” started Rio’ho angrily as he attempted to strike what he could reach of the much taller Kitchwa. “What am I supposed to use for bait now!?” he finished as Kitchwa kept dodging Rio’ho’s punches. Kitchwa then did a flip over Rio’ho’s head and landed behind him. He then Picked Rio’ho up by the back of the shirt, twisting his wrist so that he could see Rio’ho’s face.

“What in the hell are you hoping to catch with cheese?” asked Kitchwa in an annoyed yet slightly baffled tone. Rio’ho crossed his arms and looked away from Kitchwa and said, “Doy, fish. What else are you supposed to catch in this river.” as though it was both perfectly obvious and logical. Then Rio’ho snapped, “and what right do you have to eat my bait!? It took me 4 allowances to be able to afford all that cheese.” as Rio’ho said this, he began to flail around in attempt to free himself.

Kitchwa set Rio’ho down again and said “I don’t see what your so upset about,
A. I don’t think fish like cheese,
B. Your sister doesn’t know how to clean or gut a fish, and
C. your stupid cheese wasn’t even that filling, I’m still hungry!” Rio’ho’s eyes widened when Kitchwa said this. “Th-There’s no way!” Rio’ho started, as he looked at Kitchwa’s small, wrapped up stomach “How could you possibly still be hungry, you had 5 helpings of bacon and eggs for break fast, then 2 hours ago you had 7 bowls of rice for lunch!”
“So what.” started Kitchwa as he turned around and folded his arms be hind his head “Kagami made too much, and I know that there’s no way in hell any of the rest of you could have eaten all that; no sense letting it all go to waste.” He paused then added “:Besides, I’m a growing elf.”

“No your not!!” snapped Rio’ho, “Your like…” Rio’ho stopped and started counting on his fingers, and mumbling some stuff. “Your like 16 or 17 I think.”
“WHAT!!” snapped Kitchwa. “What system of your damn mathematics are you using!? Your 11 and I’m eight years older than you; what’s eleven plus eight geniuses?” Rio’ho thought for a moment then said, “Uh… 19”
“Like I said I’m a growing elf.” said Kitchwa as he turned around and walked off, Rio’ho not far behind him.

“Alphonze” Tatsuki was wandering around just outside the village with Garth on her shoulder looking for Alphonze. “Alphonze” she called out again as she walked. Garth climbed up to the top of Tatsuki’s head, and started looking around and sniffing the air. “Alphonze” She called out again. Then Garth had jumped off of her head and was bounding off towards a large rock off in the distance. “Garth!” started Tatsuki as she began to run after the little monkey. “Come back here!”

Kagami was standing next to one of the large runes in the middle of the seemingly endless sea of tall grass, of the valley of the broken mountain. She held a mahogany short bow in her left hand and a spelled and blessed arrow laden with spirit wards and sutras in her right. She went to nock the arrow, but stopped when she felt something climbing up her maroon kimono. “Oh, it’s just you Garth Kagami said with a sigh of relief, as she transferred the arrow from her right hand to her left, and scratched Garth’s ears. “Is Kitchwa around here somewhere?” she asked the little monkey. “It’s not like you to wander too far away from him”

Kagami jumped when she heard a rustling in the tall grass, and she could feel her face turning red as it got closer. “Hey Kagami.” it was the voice of a young woman’s voice she heard rather than Kitchwa’s, and as Kagami turned around she saw that it was Tatsuki. “Garth” started Tatsuki as she looked at the monkey on Kagami’s shoulder. Garth ran across the back of Kagami’s neck to her right shoulder, where he hid behind her long blond braid, which she wore draped over her right shoulder. Kagami was looking at Tatsuki rather blankly, then looked away from her turning her gaze to the rune.
“I don’t suppose you’ve seen Alphonze have you?” asked Tatsuki. Kagami looked back at Tatsuki and said, “Your Yeti friend?, sorry I cant say as I have.”
“Oh.” sighed Tatsuki in dismay.
“I can help you look for him if you like, after I perform this rite.” said Kagami as she nocked the arrow.
“Rite?” asked Tatsuki “I take it that’s what the bow and the arrow are for.”
“Yes” Replied Kagami. “The purified bow and the spelled arrow, will help me find who the faceless maiden intends to go after next. Even if she doesn’t know herself, this rite will show me who it will be.”

Tatsuki was slightly confused as to how this was supposed to work, but then again Tatsuki hadn’t the slightest as to how wiccan wisdom, or magic in general worked.
Kagami pointed the bow up at the sky. As she did this, a strange feeling came over Tatsuki; It was a sensation like that of falling to certain death in a dream. As Kagami drew the bow Tatsuki could also see a strange light, almost like translucent blue fire, coming from the arrow surrounding both the bow and Kagami.

It was hard for Kagami to see through the aura of the arrow, which had been magnified by her own, and manifested as a fiery blue light. Kagami closed her eyes as the light continued to get brighter and brighter.
“Oh flame burning bright” Kagami had begun to say.
“Carry through this arrow spelled, and do thy deed fast and swift!” as Kagami finished reciting the first part of the spell she released the arrow.

Tatsuki was a wee bit surprised to see the light suddenly dissipate around Kagami as it followed the arrow when Kagami shot it in to the sky. “Over flowing blue sky” started Kagami as she set the fingers of her right hand in front of her in a spell casting gesture. “Give your blessings, so the flame may strike true!”

Kitchwa and Rio’ho were walking along through a thin clump of trees, Rio’ho still whining about his lost cheese. Kitchwa however wasn’t paying any attention what so ever to what Rio’ho was saying. “By the Gods!” thought Kitchwa as they walked. “I’m starving. I hope Kagami is planning on making a lot of food for supper.” They kept walking for a bit, then Kitchwa came to a sudden stop when he heard an odd sound. Rio’ho ran in to Kitchwa when he stopped, then started saying, “ Warn a guy before you…” Once again Kitchwa wasn’t listening; he was focusing on the sound.

“An arrow” thought Kitchwa as the sound got louder. Kitchwa looked back at Rio’ho, who’s human ears were incapable of hearing the arrow, then he looked up at the sky. He could actually see it now, a long, thin hunting arrow, with a narrow, but sharp head; just like the kind Kitchwa preferred to use. It was headed strait for Rio’ho’s head. “MOVE!” shouted Kitchwa, as he shoved Rio’ho out of the arrow’s path

THAK! The arrow landed in the ground right where Rio’ho had been standing . It was lodged in the earth, halfway up the shaft , only 3 ½ paces from either Kitchwa, or Rio’ho, sitting right smack dab between the two of them. Kitchwa also saw some smoke coming from the arrow, and he could smell burning paper coming from it. Rio’ho was in shock, as the realization came to him that the arrow had almost taken his life.

Kitchwa walked over to the arrow, and grasped it with his left hand. It was hot, and it burned his hand as he tried to draw it out from the earth. After a while of struggling with it, Kitchwa managed to free the arrow. He looked over it very carefully and realized that it had in fact come from his own quiver. “Tatsuki!!!!” muttered Kitchwa angrily.

The sun had already set by the time Tatsuki and Kagami had returned to the house. They never id find Alphonze though they had spent a good 2 hours looking for him, and they couldn’t find where the arrow had landed either. “I wonder what Kitchwa and Rio’ho will want for diner?” said Kagami as she looked through the cupboards. Tatsuki said nothing to Kagami’s question; she just sat there silently staring in to the flames of the cooking fire, lost in thought. “This village” thought Tatsuki, “Reminds me so much of Copri.” Tatsuki then thought back to what her life had been like back then. There had really been nothing special about it though, she had been born in Copri where she just lived the life of a normal village girl, and the farthest outside of the village Tatsuki had ever gone before she met Kitchwa was maybe a mile. “About this time of year” Tatsuki thought “Copri would still be covered in snow which since it was late spring, would probably just be starting to melt. The farmers would be getting ready to plant rice and vegetables along the terraced fields. As soon as the last of the snow would melt away, it would be early summer and the birds would come back from their northern migration.”

KLATTA, KLAT!! Tatsuki’s reminiscing was interrupted when she heard the door noisily slide open. She looked up from the flames and saw Rio’ho, and Kitchwa kicking off his boots with a rather irate look about his face. Kagami was about to greet her little brother and Kitchwa, but before she had gotten the chance to utter a single word, Kitchwa bounded over to Tatsuki, and crouched down next to her. Next thing Tatsuki knew Kitchwa had grabbed hr by the robe with one hand and produced an arrow in the other, that looked like it had been blackened by fire. Kitchwa pulled Tatsuki closer to himself and said irritated “Your aim is still crap.” Kitchwa scared her, even when he wasn’t mad, though she wasn’t really sure why, and Tatsuki had no idea what Kitchwa was talking about, and she was too afraid to say anything.
“Even if it had hit me” started Kitchwa “do you honestly think that an arrow such as this would be able to kill me?” after Kitchwa has finished Tatsuki managed to make her self say “I don’t know what your talking about!” as she said this she placed both of her hands on the hand Kitchwa was using to hold her robe, and tried to force him to let go. “Bull shit!” snapped Kitchwa
“seriously!” continued the now incredibly frightened Tatsuki “I mean yes I do still have the quiver, but I don’t even know where you hid the bow!” Kitchwa looked from Tatsuki’s face to her right arm and saw a faint glowing from underneath the sleeve. He then felt a strange sensation in the hand he was using to hold Tatsuki’s robe with; it was a lot like the feeling one gets when a foot falls asleep. Kitchwa looked to his hand and saw that he was clenching nothing but air, and that Tatsuki was now on her feet backing away from him.

“It’s true Kitchwa” started Kagami “I had borrowed one of your arrows to perform a searching rite and…” Kagami froze as she realized what was happening. “Kitchwa you say that the arrow almost hit you?!” added Kagami frantically. “No sis” started Rio’ho “the arrow about hit me in the head and would have had Kitchwa not pushed me out of the way.” This last sentence horrified Kagami, and she could feel tears welling up in her eyes. Kitchwa saw the look of horror on Kagami’s face and said surprisingly gently “What was the purpose of the searching rite?” Kagami paused for a moment as she knelt down next to her very confused brother, and hugged him tightly “It” started Kagami “it was supposed to show me who the faceless maiden would spirit away next.”

It had grown eerily cold in the past hour, and it had also grown extremely dark. There was virtually no light any where in Asagiri not even from fire places, or candles, or lanterns. All that rendered any kind of illumination was the full moon which was now at it’s peak. Rio’ho was sitting behind the screen in the pitch darkness of their makeshift dining room with a wood carving knife in his hand. Kitchwa sat next to Rio’ho ready to draw his sword and attack at any second. Meanwhile Tatsuki and Kagami stood shivering outside of the house waiting for the Faceless maiden to strike.

Tatsuki gazed up at the full moon she felt sad and almost empty from thinking back to Copri, but she couldn’t help it Asagiri reminded her so much of her own village. Then she thought about Kitchwa and why she was stuck traveling with him. “Why dose he hate me so much” she thought as she stared at the moon “I mean, I really don’t care much for that jerk either, but… still” Tatsuki was thinking about how Kitchwa had chewed her out for the arrow then.

“Once we get to Shingden port” thought Kitchwa “I’m ditchin’ Alphonze and That stupid girl.” Kitchwa could feel the temperature dropping even more. He went to look through the screen, but it had grown so dark that he couldn’t even see his left hand on the hilt of his sword.

“She’s here!” shouted Tatsuki as the wind began to pick up. “where!” asked Kagami as she looked around for the Faceless maiden.

“Here we go!” sneered Kitchwa enthusiastically as he drew his sword. “stay behind me Rio’ho.” said Kitchwa as the room suddenly started to get brighter and brighter. Kitchwa could see the Faceless maiden’s silhouette through the screen. Kitchwa wanted to charge over the screen and draw her in half, and he had the perfect opportunity to do it too, but for some inexplicable reason he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

“C’mon Kitchwa” he thought to himself as he tried but failed to move. “Wha- what’s wrong Kitchwa!!?” stammered Rio’ho fearfully. “Why….. Can’t move!” Kitchwa went to open his mouth to tell Rio’ho to run away, but he found that he couldn’t even speak. “That woman!” he thought “What is she?!!” Kitchwa’s vision was beginning to blur, and his Odo felt incredibly heavy in his hand. Try as hard as he might Kitchwa couldn’t get his eyes to focus and he could hardly manage to breathe.

“Come with me” said the Faceless maiden in her icy tone. After she spoke Kitchwa dropped his sword, stood up, and clumsily walked forward towards the maiden, knocking the screen over as he did so. All Rio’ho could do was sit shaking and watching in terror.

CRASH! Tatsuki and Kagami looked up when they heard a loud crashing. They could hardly see any thing through the seemingly endless rain of debris. They both stood coughing and gasping for air for what seemed like an eternity. As the dust settled Tatsuki could see that the maiden had busted through the roof of the house, and as she landed Kagami and Tatsuki ran after her; There was also some body following her. “No! Rio’ho!” thought Tatsuki at first. But then as her eyes started to adjust she could see that it was too tall to be Rio’ho.

“It’s not Rio’ho!?” she thought in surprise “was the rite wrong.?” Tatsuki then found herself running through Kagami, who had stopped dead in her tracks. Tatsuki was still running though and she didn’t stop un till she felt a pain in her stomach. Tatsuki coughed and fell to the ground grasping her stomach. “Tatsuki!” started Kagami as Tatsuki looked up at what Kagami was looking at. Tatsuki wanted to scream when she saw who it was who had just elbowed her in the stomach; The guy following the Faceless maiden was Kitchwa. He looked totally different now than he normally did, his slit pupils were gone from his hazel eyes and his face was completely expressionless

“Kitchwa” said Kagami sadly, her heart sinking, and tears welling up. Next thing either of them knew the wind had come back and both the Faceless maiden and Kitchwa were gone, vanished in to thin air.

© Copyright 2005 Fergison Gromit VanRoson 3rd (gilthelizard at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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