I turned swiftly, my fiery braids fanning out around me. I saw my mother calling me, my little sister beside her waving like mad. I grinned and leapt up, using a bit of fire to glide down over the field with and down to the ground beside them. Upon landing I was instantly attacked in a hug from my little sister, Takiri. She was born a few years before my return, and was now almost eight. She was truly a sweet little girl…
I shook my head of the memory that tempted to consume it. That was in the past. This is now. Live in it and embrace it.
I picked her up and placed her on my shoulders. She grinned and wrapped her arms around my head to hold on, even though I had her legs. My mother smiled at me, she was happy to see her two daughters getting along so well.
I looked up at her and grinned. She was my spitting image in every way. The only way people would be able to tell us apart later on in life was probably going to be the scar on my back…
Yes, I still had that scar. And no doubt in my mind about the fact that I would probably die with that scar just as fresh as the day I got it. Speaking of which…
“Mother? Is there anything I am needed for in the next few days other then the normal harvest?”
My village was small, almost just like a tiny human village from the old days. We lived and breathed with the land. A storm comes, we buckle down and wait it out. A drought comes, we carry water from the river two miles away and be careful not to waste any. We never fought with anyone that came to us. If they came for trouble however, we came ready to fight. A volatile combination fire attack from about 20 fire demons will send anything running…
“Not that I can think of. Why do you ask Shiku? Something you wish to do?”
My mother’s calm voice calmed my thoughts about what I was about to do.
“… Yes. I wish to go visit an old friend of mine. Someone who helped me out in a time of need…”
She seemed to smile yet sadden all at once. She knew that if I was traveling it meant I would be gone for a few days, and she didn’t want to risk losing me again as she once told me…
Her eyes slid closed for a moment and then reopened with that familiar motherly dominance showing in them as bright as ever. She grinned slightly, showing off her double fangs, and proving that I got them from her.
“You may go, but you will be back before midnight ten rises from now. Understood?”
I grinned a bit and kneeled down for my little sister to get off my back. She took the hint and did so. I stood again and bowed deeply to my mother.
“… Thank you, Mother. Truly.”
I ran as fast as my legs would carry me. I was headed toward Mukuro’s castle. Though the Demon World Tournament ensured that she had no control of the demon world as a whole, she still had her lands, and thus retained her castle. I lived nearly on the other side of the known Demon World from her, so I was three days into my ten day allowance. It would take me another half a day to get there, so I had at max of two days I could spend tracking down and thanking the Jaganshi that freed me so long ago.
It had been six years since then, and I had reigned in my fire abilities easily enough that I nearly forgot they were Fire and not Ice, as the element I had been cursed with came so easily to me. Now however, I had regained my truer abilities and could dance once again, just as I did before the curse fully fell into effect. These skills were showing through now, as I was dancing to a silent tune that only I heard as I ran. Fire engulfed me and sped my movements. I was running again as I was meant to, free and fiery.
I eventually found my way to the gates of the building. I meant no harm, so saw none in going through the proper channels to get into the castle and see him. I learned through the ‘grape-vine’ that Hiei had gone to work for Mukuro, so I knew he would be here. I walked up to the gates and was greeted rather harshly…
“Leave. Unless you have arranged to see someone inside then you have no reason to be here.”
I nearly glared at the foolish demon guard, but refrained. I didn’t want nor need trouble, so I explained calmly why I was here. Simply to see the Jaganshi by the name of Hiei. They glared at me even harder then before, and the one that I assumed to be in command of the others spoke.
“Then you really don’t need to be here, everyone knows that he is off limits to any female aside form Lady Mukuro herself. Be glad I’m in a good mood or I’d have to escort you out of this world for requesting to see him.”
This was news to me, and not a welcomed bit either. I would get inside the castle and see him if I had to fight every guard here to do so.
“Then you’re going to have to get out of that good mood, cause I am not leaving till I see him. I have my reasons, and I will not back down from my goal of seeing him again.”
Clear and loud. A voice tone that proclaimed of a superior power and being in general. They knew I didn’t want a fight, but that I would take one to achieve my goal. He seemed to realize I wasn’t going to leave and lunged at me with a lance he had against pulled from against the wall. I turned slightly to avoid the blade and slammed my fist into his stomach once he was close enough. He gasped form the air being knocked out of him, and I took his lance from him as well as throwing him into a wall across from me. After a simple yet fancy spin of the lance I brought it into a defensive position and ready for their on-coming assault. And sure enough, they came…
After roughly twenty guards fell to the lance I now wielded, they backed off. They kept coming but seemed to realize I was out of their league in power and skill, and that is was best for the sake of their lives that I be allowed to pass. The most superior one there explained that I would have to have an escort to avoid them being punished for allowing me to pass. I agreed to those terms as I never wanted the trouble to begin with.
After arranging for a five person escort to accompany me, I was permitted to enter the castle and was taken straight to the Grand Hall; it was surprisingly luxurious for what the castle appeared to be from the outside. My presence was announced and after hearing a rough, but distinctly female voice call out ‘Enter’, I walked into the room alone. What I saw surprised me. Three of Mukuro’s generals were there, as well as herself and Hiei, along with about five hundred soldiers. Power display? Or just asinine waste of time and man-power? I think the latter…
“You come here, for a reason that is clearly against the local laws, and go against what you say. You wished no trouble? Then why slaughter twenty of my men with one of their own weapons?”
I knew this was about to get interesting, but I remembered a few things from my time under the seal. Interrogation tactics and avoiding them was two of those things.
“I wished no trouble, yes. But I do believe what they told to be irrational and insane. A being has their own will, and any leader of even the lowest of decency will at least allow someone to enter their grounds on fair terms, instead of turning them away at the gate in a time of peace. I wanted no trouble, but when attacked, despite a direct statement that declared I was out of their league in power, skill, and intelligence, I had no choice but to defend myself. When more came I retained the lance from the first and defended myself. The ‘slaughter’ of twenty of your men was nothing more then my defensive movements and their foolishness in getting in the range of the blade. You have no right to blame me for their deaths, as if you trained your men better, they would have easily lived. Then I would have had to take offensive and kill them, thus giving you room to talk, but this is not the case.”
She seemed to dislike my words. I merely spoke the truth, and she knew it.
That shocked me. I was in for it now…
Another shocker, I was being defended. By who? None other then my seal-breaker himself…
She too seemed shocked by his actions.
“I said ‘no’. As in you will not kill her, or have her killed. She is here on a visit, not an intention to kill.”
I almost smiled, almost being the key word in that sentence. I knew that would be a bad idea in this situation so I settled for a mental smirk. He remembered me and defended me, a fact that made me happy. And one that highly pissed off Mukuro. I felt her power surge and knew I was about to get it good…
“Hiei. You cannot and will not counter my orders,” she turned her head form him to her men. “Kill her. Now.”
I cursed and fell into a fighting stance as all five hundred and three of them attacked me at once. I defended as best I could and fought off all but the generals. They were a bit too much to handle in the state the other five hundred had left me, and in turn pinned me and placed a sword to my neck, ready to sever my head. I saw Hiei stiffen slightly, but then I grinned. My body was weakened but my fire was not. I allowed my natural demonic energy to flow freely and with it came flames. I allowed it true un-reigned freedom. And it flared, the generals were taken by surprise by this and stepped away from me. I stood and stared Mukuro down. The challenge was not there, but the statement was.
‘You can not bind a flame.’
She knew this. Hiei and I both were creatures of Fire. She could not contain either of us, not completely. She settled for a glare that made her generals stiffen, it made me chuckle. She glared even harder.
“They may fear you, I do not. I have beaten five hundred of your men and nearly three of your generals, without the use of my flames. If this is your best, then you are nothing.”
I had never seen Hiei fight since my capture six years ago, but I knew he had improved. The fact that there were two sets of warding bandages on his arms told me that he had managed to dual-wield his dragons, an achievement only attained through heavy training that no doubt made him immensely stronger. He was her best, and I wasn’t including him in the set of fools he was with.
She glared at me and disappeared, only to appear again inches from my face. I didn’t even blink, though when she popped up there I was mildly shocked. She glared at me and tried to over power my aura with hers, only to have mine catch her own ablaze. She instantly stopped. The challenge of power was over. I had won.
I looked past her to Hiei and noticed a slight smile on his face. He was pleased. And that made me proud of myself. Mukuro stalked off when she noticed this, her generals taking the hint and walking out of the room.
“Nice trick. Where did you learn it?”
I grinned and started to walk toward him, stepping over bodies as I did so.
“My mother taught me. That is how my village settles small disputes between two people. A match of auras. If one over powers the other, then they are stronger and the two go on, knowing who would have won the fight. A bit more peaceful solution to a simple problem.”
He nodded his head as an answer to the unspoken question of ‘Do you understand?’ I smiled and stopped a few steps in front of him.
“So, how have you been?”
He seemed to smile a tad bit more at the casual air of the cliché conversation starter. He shook his head slightly at it and started to speak as he also began to walk toward the wall. Upon reaching it he sat down, hands propped on his knees and motioned for me to join him.
We sat there and talked until the sun went down, and continued for a few hours after. Little bits of everything really. Learning who each other was, likes and dislikes, favorites and such. Little details that make up for a lot in the long run.
Once he noticed the slightly shadow of weariness that had settled over my eyes he grinned slightly and told me to follow him. He lead me to a room in the castle and followed me inside. I looked around and realized it was his personal chambers. I stopped and gave him a slightly alarmed look, I had no clue why he brought me here and I wanted to know. He caught on and quickly explained.
“I noticed you were tired, here you don’t have to worry if you fall asleep, and it is better then the guest rooms. Besides, even you must admit we drug that conversation on for some time?”
I nodded and a small yawn escaped me, followed by a slightly blush crossing my face. He chuckled and told me to take the bed.
“I’ll take the window seat, I sleep there more times then not anyway.”
I laughed lightly at this and hesitantly followed his suggestion. I quickly noted that his bed was very comfortable and cuddled up under the covers. I was a bit too tired to care if that bothered him or not, but upon seeing a slight smile on his face I knew it didn’t bother him at all. Though that was the last coherent thought that crossed my mind, because sleep over came my mind as soon as my eyes closed…
I had come back home last night. Mother was glad to see me, as was my little sister. I also learned that Father had come home while I was gone from a very prolonged trip to a sister village on the other side of the Makai, nearly six months travel form here at least so it seemed to be the other side to us. He noticed me instantly and beamed. He had his eldest daughter back. I was all to happy to have my father back, my real father.
Life continued on for us, only the slightest of differences with me since my return from the castle.
What little differences you ask?
Well, Hiei formed a permanent mental link with me, thanks to the scars that was easy, and kept in contact with me. He would occasionally come by for brief visits on his longer patrols, even though he wasn’t supposed to. But Mukuro couldn’t argue since our little aura episode on our first meeting. I also moved out of my Mother’s home and into my own, though it was still close by. Hiei would always stay the night with me when he visited, and relax a bit. I eventually learned that he had been slipping off, not always on patrol as he said, to see me. I questioned him on this when he returned after I found out and learned a few things. One of them being that he wanted to be far more then just my friend. He didn’t find out till about three visits after that, that I too wanted the same thing. He broke off from Mukuro and came to stay with me permanently after learning this. My mother and father seemed to like this fact, and my little sister, now almost fifteen, loved to tease me about it. It wasn’t until his second year in the village that he asked me to become his mate, however. My little sister nearly tackled me when she found out, and mother and father jokingly asked when they would become grandparents. My face became the same color as my eyes when they did that, every time they did that I might add. Though they did become grandparents, about a year after they first asked me that… Imersae was the girl, and about three years later came a boy, who we named Kiryu. And life went on like always for us. The perfect little couple. Or as we were called by most of the people of my village after learning of the scar that both me and Hiei bore…