Friutcake; putrid hloiday food, or government consperacy?
|It was dark out all was still and quiet in the village of Asagiri while most of the villagers lay sleeping. The moon shone brightly off of Kagami's light blond hair which draped over her right shoulder in a long braid as she stood ever vigilant out side the house of her master. “You shaln’t spirit another away on this night.” thought Kagami as she stared up at the nearly full moon.
FWOOOSRI! She had been showered with shards of glass and was completely covered in blood before she even realized what was going on. “Oh no you don’t!” Shouted Kagami as she gave chase to two shadowy figures. “Come to your senses Jack!” she shouted as they ran in to the darkness just beyond Asagiri; Neither of the figures slowed, but rather took to the air.
“Konton Aoi!” Kagami called out as she neared the Crosser river. A stream of electric blue energy sprang fourth from Kagami’s out stretched palm. By the light of the spell she had just cast she could see that they had gotten away. “Damn!” she said angrily to herself stopping in the middle of the river.
“That makes another widow in Asagiri; poor Fujiko.” SPLOSH! She went to head back to the village. TUP! “Eh?” Kagami crouched down over the surface of the water when she felt her foot hit something , and saw three masses along the bank.
KLANG! KLANG! KLANG! “What’s that sound?” thought Tatsuki as she came too. “Am I dead?” she said to her self as she opened her eyes to total darkness. KLANG! KLANG! KLANG!
“Tatsuki!” she heard Alphonze’s voice say happily as soft firelight flooded the area around her. “Your awake, I was beginning to wonder if you were still alive.” she looked around as Alphonze said this and noticed Kitchwa on the ground next to a cave wall covered in dry coagulated blood.
Tatsuki got to her feet and walked over to Kitchwa.
"He'll be fine."Tatsuki and Alphonze looked over at an old man who was wearing a tattared black robe; she could also see that he was cross eyed, only one eye was looking up and one eye was looking down.
“Who are you?” asked Tatsuki.
“I think he’s the person who saved us.” said Alphonze.
“Not quite.” answered the old man in a surprisingly clear voice. “My Grand daughter recognized Kitchwa and Garth, pulled you all out of the river and brought you here.” Tatsuki was taking in what he had just said, when Alphonze asked, “How may I ask do you know Kitchwa and Garth?” before the old man could answer his question, they were interrupted by Kitchwa grunting in his sleep.
“I don’t think even Kitchwa can survive such a massive blood loss as that.” said Tatsuki in concern. Garth ran up the old mans leg then up his arm on to his shoulder with a banana as the old man replied, “You clearly have not been with Kitchwa long; He’s been through a lot worse.”
“How does it get any worse than that?” interjected Alphonze pointing at Kitchwa. The old man calmly answered, “That Guy once cam in here from the town of Imshi (about 2 days journey from Asagiri) with 5 swords lodged in his body, and during that same visit one of the girls from the village got him in the head with a hatchet.”
“IN HIS HEAD!” exclaimed Tatsuki and Alphonze in unison.
Kagami was pacing around the spot near the river where her quarry had taken flight the previous night.
“They took flight here, so where could they have gone?” thought Kagami. She paused for a moment looking at the sky, then she turned her attention to a large boulder just on the other side of the river, with a large glowing purple mark upon it.
“The Giant Rune Berkana is still intact just like the other 23; the unbreakable spell still holds, so how is she, the eater of souls still able to get through to Asagiri?” she turned away and started towards the village.
“Aida how desperately we need you now.”
Later that Day Tatsuki and Alphonze decided to venture from the broken mountain down to the Asagiri. As they left Tatsuki could see why they called it the broken mountain; It had no peak, looking as though it had been kicked off by a gigantic foot, and the side of the mountain was gone, probably blown off long ago by massive cannon fire. The mountain its self was also old and cracked even the rocks looked like they’d had it.
They passed through a seemingly endless valley once they had cleared the mountain, the tall grass moving in graceful waves whenever even the slightest breeze touched it was not helping the vast feelings of desolateness that this place projected.
“Where is this village anyway?” asked Alphonze as he watched the ground ever vigilant for mud. “The old man said that it was just east of the valley.” answered Tatsuki.
PLOK! “EWWW, EEWW, EWW!” screamed Alphonze as he with drew his left foot from a puddle of mud. “It’s just mud.” said Tatsuki calmly when she turned and looked at Alphonze running around in circles.
“EWWW!” He continued.
“Just find the river and wash it off.” Alphonze wasn’t really paying attention at this point as he had accidentally stuck his right foot in the same puddle, while he was running around in circles like an idiot.
“You said you were Germ-o phobic, Closter phobic, allergic to cats, dogs, and bacon and that your also afraid of heights, the dark, spinach, and escalators right?”
“Th- Th-That-s-s r-r-ig-ht” answered Alphonze trying to stay calm as he continued running around in circles.
“go find the river and wash it off, it cant be too far.” and after she said that Alphonze continued running in circles trying to find the river “I’ll meet you in the village.” Tatsuki called out as she resumed walking.
“That voice” Thought the unconscious Kitchwa.
“Kitchwa” He kept hearing a woman calling his name in a kind voice.
the slumbering kichwa was taken by his subconscious to his childhood where
There was a little boy of about 5 or 6 years old standing in a vast forest of snow covered Bamboos, with the same bow that Kitchwa had loaned to Tatsuki; The blue black long bow was much taller than the boy. The bow was drawn and the child with short black hair that looked like it had been bleached silver at the top, stood perfectly still aiming at a fox, who’s orange pelt made him stick out of the sea of white just as the boys green Kimono made him easy to spot. BWONG! The boy fired the arrow, and the fox took off running at the arrow missed it and lodged it’s self in a distant bamboo.
“Try again Kitchwa.” said a beautiful Elvin woman In the white kimono and red hakama of a priestess her long silver hair tied up in to two buns on the back of her head, contrasting her purple eyes. She presented the Little boy, Kitchwa with another arrow as he said
“I can’t hit it mommy, it won’t stop moving.” In her same kind voice the woman said to her son
“hitting a moving target is the same as hitting a tree, except rather than aiming for where it is, you aim for where it’s going to be.“ after she said this Kitchwa took and knocked the arrow. He drew the bow once more and tried to aim for where the fox would be.
BWONG! The arrow missed the fox by about 7 feet as the fox ran into it’s burrow and he arrow hit another bamboo.
“Don’t get frustrated Kitchwa, you’ll get it. That was better than I expected you to do the first time, so keep practicing.”
Kitchwa opened His hazel cats eyes and saw nothing but darkness in either direction. He thought that he might be lying on the ground but with how dazed and lightheaded he was still feeling Kitchwa couldn’t be entirely sure. KOMPOO! He heard a loud sound like a metal pot crashing against stone that was painful to his throbbing head. Kitchwa knew exactly where he was now.
“That you Langdon?” asked Kitchwa anemically in his usual annoyed tone. At that moment warm firelight cast it’s orange glow all around the place where Kitchwa lay. He saw Garth sitting on the shoulder of the old man that had helped Tatsuki and Alphonze, then he said as he looked at the tattered robes that covered his entire body,
“Just as allergic to light as ever I see.” The old man merely looked confused and senile. Kitchwa sat up feebly, grasping his throbbing head
“Ow, What happened to my head“ Kitchwa started “Am I Drunk or something?” Langdon paused for a second then answered “If you are it must’ve been one hell of a party.” as he pointed out the fact that Kitchwa’s body and clothing were covered in blood and cut to ribbons.
Kitchwa was silent for a bit as he took this in, then he said
“How the hell did I get here anyway? I don’t remember anything after the Southern provinces” he paused and stared up at the darkness that obscured the ceiling of the cave and added,
“except this really crazy dream about this stupid girl, and this odd yeti.” Langdon smirked looking thoughtful then said slyly
“you don’t say”
“ ‘The hanging ghost’, ‘The universe’, ‘Death’, ‘The sun’, ‘The moon’, ‘The wheel of fortune’, ‘The star’, and ‘The heavenly master’ all reversed” thought Kagami as she sat on a large rock on the western edge of Asagiri flipping around some Tarot cards. She picked up the 8 cards she had just had in front of her and slipped them back into the Tarot deck and shuffled them.
FWIP! “Again ‘The hanging ghost’ comes first”
FWIP! “Then ‘The universe’”
FWIP! FWIP! “Thirdly comes ‘death’ and fourth is ‘The sun’”
FWIP! “Fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth come ‘The moon’, ‘the wheel of fortune’, ‘The star’, and ‘The heavenly master’ once again their all in reverse.” said Kagami to her self as she drew and laid the cards on the rock in front of her.
“It’s always the exact same cards in the exact same order, and their always reversed.”
“Excuse me.” Kagami looked up from the cards to the short, scrawny, green eyed girl with long jet black hair that stood before her in red and black archers robes.
“Nice to see that you and the Yeti made it.” said Kagami in a fairly kind yet distracted tone.
“Huh?” Thought Tatsuki. “Oh yes, how rude of me’ Started Kagami “My name is Kagami, I’m the one who pulled you, the Yeti, Garth and Kitchwa out of the river.” Tatsuki was silent for a brief moment than she said, “We appreciate that.” then she paused again for another second then added, “My Name is Tatsuki by the way, Iarumas Tatsuki.”
Kagami had picked up the Tarot cards once more and was now shuffling the deck again. “What’s with the cards?” asked Tatsuki. “They are Tarot cards.” Answered Kagami as she laid out the exact same cards in the same order that they had been in before.
“I think I’ve heard of those” started Tatsuki “Aren’t they the cards that can tell the future?” Kagami paused for a second then said plainly “They foretell aspects of the possible future, yes, but they cannot tell the definite future.”
“This spread however is as confusing, as it is disturbing.” Added Kagami as she looked once again at the cards
“Why is that?” asked Tatsuki who was now quite intrigued. Kagami placed the cards back in the deck, then shuffled it again and placed the same cards in front of her again.
Tatsuki was fairly awed when she saw this, and said
“Aren’t those the same cards you just shuffled back into the deck?”
“Yes. ” answered Kagami “That’s the confusing part, I mean it’s mathematically impossible for the same cards to come up in the same order 87 times in a row.” She continued as she placed the cards back in the deck one final time and bound them with a rubber band.
Tatsuki started counting on her fingers, mumbling about some sort of over complicated equation she was attempting to do in her head.
“I said It’s mathematically impossible, but its not Magically impossible. The Tarot shows what could occur and those 8 cards that keep coming up in reverse are the 8 grimmest, darkest most ominous omens in the old world.” said Kagami as she stood up and hopped off of the rock. This last statement of Kagami’s made Tatsuki feel uneasy as the two of them stood there in silence, which was broken after what seemed like an eternity when Kagami said, “Any way…Tatsuki was it, You must be famished.” it was then That Tatsuki realized that she hadn’t had anything to eat since that bowl of rice she had just before the Z.Z tinfoil capsized and sank, yet she really didn’t feel all that hungry. “not really.” said Tatsuki as she and Kagami began walking into the village. I still need to make Supper for Rio’ho, and if I know Kitchwa he’ll probably be hungrier than an entire pack of ravenous wolves when he wakes up, and I know that he can’t stand Grandpa’s so-called cooking.”
“Kitchwa.” thought Tatsuki “I wonder if he’s conscious yet or if even is still alive like the old man say’s he is.”
The cold water covered much of Kitchwa’s body as he stood in the river, scrubbing the blood off of himself with an old sponge that looked as though scrubbing blood was its sole purpose as it was kind of a reddish orange rather than yellow.
Alphonze about jumped out of his fur when Kitchwa’s still torn, and bloody shirt, slapped Alphonze in the face when he went to walk under the tree branch it was hanging off of “EWW“. SPLOOSH! Kitchwa swam swiftly to the shore and grabbed his sword sheath and all when he heard Alphonze.
“Who goes!” snapped Kitchwa in a slightly perturbed manor.
“EWWW, EWWW, EWW!” Screamed Alphonze as he ran towards the river SHF! Kitchwa’s eye’s widened in surprise when he saw Alphonze flying strait towards him after tripping over Kitchwa’s pants.
SPLOOSH! A moment after Alphonze landed in the river Kitchwa had managed to swim back to the surface sword still in his hand after the force from Alphonze’s landing forced him to the bottom of the river. “ALPHONZE! What the hell… Haven’t you forest yeti’s ever heard of privacy?” snapped Kitchwa Irritated once Alphonze resurfaced himself with a relieved expression on his face.
“Ah, the mud is gone.” said Alphonze triumphantly to himself
“Hey I’m chewing you out over here!” continued Kitchwa trying to get Alphonze’s attention
“Why, What’d I do?” asked Alphonze obliviously.
Kitchwa Chucked his sword back up to the bank next to his pants and boots which lay underneath the branch where his shirt hung.
“Hand me that will ya.” snapped Kitchwa as he tried to reach around Alphonze for a towel that he left on a rock not far from his cloths and sword
“Why me?” asked Alphonze as he began to do a back float
“Do it and I wont tell ya that there are probably more germs in this river than there were in that mud you…” Kitchwa was then interrupted by Alphonze screaming as he jumped out of the river and ran into the clump of trees that separated the river from the valley.
“Stupid…” Kitchwa paused for a moment and sniffed the air around him. There was kind of a putrid, rank, damp, stale smell, that was worse than any wet dog Kitchwa had ever had the displeasure of smelling.
“Damn Yeti” scowled Kitchwa as he clambered out of the river and went to get dressed.
It was just about dark out by the time Kagami finished with a potato and onion soup she had been cooking. Tatsuki was looking at a middle aged woman with brown graying hair laying on a futon in the next room. She looked to be vary ill, he face was pale and she was sweating despite the freezing cold washcloth that rest on her forehead.
KLATTA! KLAT! Tatsuki stood up when she heard the door open. There stood a little boy of about twelveish with blond hair and blue eyes just like Kagami, in a red Kimono and brown short pants. “He must be Kagami’s brother.” thought Tatsuki as she watched the boy wipe his bear, grimy feet on the rug in front of the door.
“I’m Home sis’” he said as he closed the door behind him.
“Rio’ho its about Dark out side!” said Kagami in the same tone a mother scolds her child in after they pelt the mail man with rancid pickles and mushrooms.
“I’m sorry sis’” started Rio’ho Meekly, “Our game of Hackie sack went into overtime.”
“How does Hackie sack go in to over time?” thought Tatsuki as she knelt on a cushion in front of a knee high table that was quite similar to the one that her and her brothers family had had before Copri was destroyed.
“It’s not like I’m mad or any thing,” started Kagami as she walked with the pot of soup past the covered altar and around a beautifully painted but obviously old screen with images of Cranes and snake like dragons painted on it. “It’s just dangerous for you, the other boys and…” She paused for a moment as she set the pot down on the table next to a wooden cup of chopsticks. “William.” she stood up straight, with her hands in fists to her sides. Not a second later Kagami crossed the tiny house and said “I’ll be right back!” as she opened the door and left the house.
“Dangerous?” thought Tatsuki.
Kitchwa was stared aimlessly at the silvery full moon as he and Alphonze walked through Asagiri. “Damn it reeks.” Thought Kitchwa dragging his soaking wet blood stained shirt across the ground as they walked, “What’s wrong?” asked Alphonze nonchalantly. “What do you think!” snapped Kitchwa “Thanks to you my bad ass iron chef shirt smells…. I don’t even know what the hell it smells like but it’s horrible!” “Ol Otneis.” said Alphonze still nonchalantly.
“I don’t speak Yeti!” Said Kitchwa even more annoyed than usual. “It’s not Yeti , it’s ’I’m sorry’ in Old Elvish.” answered Alphonze.
“Do I look like I speak Old Elvish!”
“Well you should, I mean you are an elf.”
as Alphonze said this Kitchwa saw Kagami Standing outside the house of some young bearded guy and his wife.
“Please Claudia if William stays here tonight he’ll…” Before Kagami could finish Claudia interrupted by yelling “AND YOU WILL PROTECT HIM FROM THAT… THAT THING?” She calmed down a bit as she continued by saying, “Your not even a real witch yet, so how do you wish to defend William? The same way you protected poor Jack!”
Kagami was very hurt by what Claudia had just said, as she stood there on the verge of tears, trying to think of some way to retort. “I think I’ll be just fine Kagami.” started William (the bearded guy) coldly. “Please do Asagiri a favor and stop trying to do Aida‘s job.
“Shut up!” Sneered Kitchwa at William as he and Alphonze came up to the three of them, Kitchwa still dragging his shirt along the ground. Alphonze stopped Just be hind Kagami who now had tears rolling down her face, Kitchwa however brushed right past Kagami and stopped right in front of William. They all just stood there for what seemed like a long while as Kitchwa and William just stood there glaring at one another.
“What!” sneered William. POW! Rather than giving any type of answer Kitchwa Hauled off and punched William in the face with his right fist, making Williams nose bleed profusely. William feel to the ground as the blood oozed out of his nose, soaking his face and staining his blue kimono; Claudia knelt next to her husband using her once white apron to mop up as much of the blood as she could.
Kagami had an astonished yet slightly amused expression on her face now as Kitchwa turned around and began making his way towards Aida, and Kagami’s house once again.
Rio’ho was Sitting on a cushion in front of the table eating a bowel of soup using what looked to Tatsuki Like two roundish, bamboo sticks that tapered down from the top ends to the bottom ends. He’d eat a few chunks of potato then he’d drink some of the liquid directly from the bowel.
There was a lumpy looking purple ceramic jar in the center of the table that held several sets of these bamboo sticks; Tatsuki was sitting across from Rio’ho fiddling with a set of them trying to figure how she was supposed to hold them, thinking as she’d look from the sticks to Rio’ho’s fingers and back again, “Don’t they have any spoons.”
KLATTA KLAT! Tatsuki peered around the painted screen that separated the make shift dining room from the other end of the house, and saw Kitchwa walk through the door, closely followed by Kagami and Alphonze. Rio’ho had gotten to his feet already and was making his way towards Kitchwa as he Kicked his large black boots off of his feet, and on to the floor next to Tatsuki’s, which sat on a mat next to the door.
“Kitchwa!” Exclaimed Rio’ho joyfully “When did you get back?” Kitchwa wasn’t really paying to close attention to Rio’ho’s question though, making his way to the table. Tatsuki’s stomach churned as she smelled the stench of old blood, and some disgusting aroma that she couldn’t name. “What’s that smell!?” asked Tatsuki in Disgust as she dropped the bamboo sticks she was holding and covered her nose. “Ask Alphonze.” said Kitchwa flatly s he walked past Tatsuki. Tatsuki watched Kitchwa step in to the thresh hold of the bed room where the sickly middle aged woman lay sleeping.
“Aida’s Very ill right now Kitchwa.” said Rio’ho darkly as he sat back down on his cushion across from Tatsuki. A some what grim look came over Kitchwa’s face as he turned around to face the rest of them. This look startled Tatsuki in a strange yet understandable way; It was the first time she’d seen any real trace of emotion on Kitchwa’s face.
“What’s wrong with her?” Kagami went to answer his question, but just then the cooking fire, and all the candles that lit the house went out as the air became very eerily cold.
“Crap!” Thought Kagami as she looked to the door. “Tatsuki, come with me. Kitchwa, Rio’ho and… yeti guy stay here!” ordered Kagami as she grabbed Tatsuki’s arm and made for the door.
Kitchwa watched them leave, his grim expression turning in to a look of suspicion and curiosity, as he reached for the bow and the quiver which sat against the book case not far from the table.
“What’s Going on!?” asked Tatsuki completely baffled as her and Kagami went at a dead run towards William and Claudia’s house.
“She’s here!” exclaimed Kagami as they ran
“Who?” CRASSHH! before Kagami could answer Tatsuki’s question, the wall of the very house they were trying to reach seemed to explode. As wood and debris fell every which way Tatsuki could see a man running away from the house not far behind a woman.
“WILLIAM!” shouted Kagami as she gave chase. Tatsuki was slightly disturbed by all this, though she couldn’t explain why. “What’s going on!?” she thought as she ran after Kagami. “It’s almost like I know all this, but how?”
“BAKUDAN KURO!” called out Kagami at the top of her lungs as she whipped her arm around an threw an ever growing mass of black energy.
KERRSHOO! It landed right in front of the woman and exploded forcing both William and the woman back towards Tatsuki.
“Wretched witch!” scowled the woman in a haunting other worldly voice that sent chills down Tatsuki’s spine. “Tatsuki, Take William and run for it!” Yelled Kagami as she got ready to cast another spell. Tatsuki positioned the now unconscious William over her right shoulder and went to leave, but hadn’t gone 3 steps when she felt something close around her ankle. “ARGH” she grunted as she fell face down on the ground. She went to get up but was immediately forced back down as William grabbed her from behind by the shoulders and shoved her to the ground.
“I see the witches little apprentice found another to aide her in her futile venture.” said the same haunting voice as before. Tatsuki managed to look up where she saw, standing right in front of her, the fabled woman in her 21 layer Kimono and blue black hair that didn’t have a face.
“It…you cant be… th- the faceless maiden” Stammered Tatsuki in awe despite her fear.
“KONTON AOI!” Shouted Kagami releasing a ball of blue energy towards the faceless maiden; It missed just as before.
“You!” sneered the maiden “DIE!”
“KAGAMI LOOK OUT!” shouted Tatsuki desperately as she got to her feet, passing right through William. The maiden moved her arm out in front of her body and pointed her fingers towards Kagami, setting forth a seemingly end less shower of glass shards. At the very last moment Kagami covered her face with her arms
As the shards imbedded themselves with in her body. The maiden then turned her attention towards Tatsuki as she passed through William, and said surprised “How are you doing that!?”
BWONG! The faceless maiden let out a blood curdling scream as an arrow hit her in the left side. She looked in the general direction of the Village, where she saw Kitchwa drawing the bow, taking aim at her once more. The maiden said nothing , but in one strong gust of wind both her and William disappeared in to thin air.
Kagami hobbled over towards Tatsuki bleeding as she walked. Kitchwa lowered the bow and put the arrow back in the quiver which he had hung over his right wrist. He looked at Tatsuki and Kagami sternly and said “What the hell was all that about?”