Return to Fiction by Mentaljosh
Chapter 1: Silence
“Ah, you’re awake! Good, you were starting to have us worried!” A matronly woman bustled around the bed, and started to ladle out soup in a bowl.
“Who… who are you? Where am I?”
“You are in one of the last human villages. The rest have been destroyed by…”
“Who am I?”
“… What type of question is that? I’m sure a girl like you should remember her own name!”
“But I don’t…”
“Well, in any case, I am Miwa, wife of Masahiro who runs this inn and the bar downstairs. Apparently, young Shou-kun found you during one of his jobs. He probably can tell you more. So, you might as well hang around for awhile until he gets back.”
“That’s a good girl. Now drink you soup before it gets cold!” The girl sipped her soup and frowned out the dark window. Everything was so hazy, only bits of her fluttered memory shifted in and out of her mind’s eye. A smiling girl with a cap, a land as white as snow, odd rabbit-like people, and… blood. She heard the door creak and tossed her soup bowl at the door.
The door swung open and a young boy walked in. “Hello, my name is Shou. Nice to meet you.” He offered his hand, completely ignoring the fact he was dripping with soup. Taken aback by his friendly attitude, the girl shyly took his hand and shook it.
“Nice to meet you too.” She said with a clear voice.
“If you didn’t know, I found you near a human village that had been destroyed by vampires, and you were the only survivor. I’m required now by the counsel to escort you to any relatives, friends, or people who might be able to take you in. If you have any questions, please ask your pilot and keep your seat belts fastened the whole ride.”
The girl looked at him with a rather spaced out expression. “What that means is I need to find a home for you and dump you there. Or if you had ‘caught’ the youkai disease, exterminate you. But seeing you look so healthy and pretty, I’ll spare you the testing and just take you home.”
“I don’t know where I live. I don’t even know who I am.” Shou digested the information in his head for a while, and then scratched the back of his head.
“I guess you could stay with Masahiro-san and his family. They have plenty of room.”
“But… where are you going?”
The boy shrugged. “Around. I’m a youkai hunter, meaning my job is to stop any dangerous or aggressive youkai threat. That takes years of training, and loads and loads of work.” He sighed. “Being human isn’t easy. The youkai magicians get it all easy. But if you’re human, you have to work for every single bit. Even getting a small spark used to be hard.” Shou fell silent and they both stared out the window for awhile.
“By the way, what is your name?”
“…I don’t know.” He grinned and reached into his bag and pulled out a black book that was chained shut.
“That’s one thing I can remedy. I was given this grimoire by my Mom. She was a strange woman, with many mysterious tendencies. But when my sister died, it pushed her mind off the deep end. She spent all her time making dolls till the end.” After saying this speech, Shou fell silent and looked out the window.
“I’m…sorry. I didn’t know.”
“What are you sorry for, baka? You did nothing to my sister. They never even found her body. She just… disappeared. Anyway, look outside the window.” The girl glanced out the window to the darkening sky. His conversation movement was rather strange, but she found it rather entertaining. The full moon was waning, but still radiated its cool light down to earth.
“Look up in the sky. You see that star? It’s the first one. I heard that if you saw the first star you would get a wish.” He slowly drew his hand towards the moon with an eloquent sweeping motion. “The blossoming night will become the most beautiful flower. That’s what I heard someone describe the night. The night can blossom under the right hands. But it can also be a symbol of terror and fear. Do you know when my mother died? When the full moon came, she died by wounds attained by a fight with a vampire. He was killed, but his spawn still live. If it’s the last thing I do, I’ll finish off every single one with my own hands.”
He glanced at the girl who seemed captivated by the night sky. “Oh, that’s right. Your name. I’ll need your attention for the next second, please. Now, I’d like to tell you something. There is more power in your name than you think. Just the knowledge of one’s name gives you the difference between the master and the slave. Knowledge is power…”
Shou frowned and scratched his head. “Someone said that to me a long time ago, but I forget who… I remember a bit of it. Coughing, smiling, always there with help.” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Please open this grimoire.”
“But it’s locked shut.”
“My mother put an annoying seal on it so it will only open when needed. I think I need it now. If you can’t open it, then there is little I can do.”
The girl placed her pale hand on the grimoire and gave it a tug. With an explosion of light, the book opened. The pages flipped by an invisible hand, and they continued moving until the rested on one page with a single word.
Shou grinned. "Perfect name. Suits you well. I dub you Tsukiko, for you came from the full moon and survived its full wrath. But let me warn you. Tell no one of this name, and do not let them change it. For if they do, they gain unimaginable power over you. Names hold power, true names hold true power. So, lets just call ya Gin, after your unique hair. And scratch the early part of finding you a home.”
“Gin, you hold a unique power. I was not expecting the grimoire to react to you; we need new people to help us slayers. You seem to have some sort of magical ability, and you apparently are a deadeye.”
“Gin, you’ve gotta talk in longer sentences. Not everyone can throw soup with that type of accuracy. So, if you say so, I’ll ask council if you can join.”
“Huh? I mean… what do I have to do?”
Shou grinned and pulled out a silver knife. “Is that a yes I hear?”
She glanced down at the floor. “But I have no talent…”
“My butt. I’ll train you. How about it, partner?”
“This is now yours. My favourite knife. It has a ability to sense vampires. Just feel when the handle is warm. I have a feeling I’ve got a top notch youkai slayer here! I’m betting on ya!”
He grinned and offered his hand to her once more. “Shake on it.”
Tsukiko glanced at his hand, and then looked up at his face. Then she gave a nod and a smile, and shook his hand.
“Great! The night truly does blossom when you smile.”
She blushed a pretty shade of pink.
Laughing, Shou started out the door. “You should smile a lot more! Ok. I’ll inform council on this and retrieve they're approval. See ya in a while, partner!”
Whistling, Shou walked out of the room. Intresting guy, but Gin liked him. Laying back down on her bed, she closed her eyes.
Return to Fiction by Mentaljosh