Claim of Ownership: All characters and situations presented in this story are copyrighted (©) as of February 17, 2005 by Lauren Kollett, AKA the Dragon Mistress. All characters and situations are entirely fictional and exist wholly in the author's imagination; any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Warnings: Mild language, yaoi (m/m) content. Nothing graphic.
Note: All full names are written in the traditional Japanese format of Family Name-First Name.
Mayumi was awakened quite suddenly in the middle of the night. She sat up, looking wildly around her dimly-lit bedroom. She hadn't been awakened by a noise, precisely, but something wasn't right. She could sense someone - or something - quite nearby. She swallowed nervously. Maybe the demons Kurai and Mirei had talked about were coming.
She didn't know what to do. She didn't know much magic that could help her in case someone did attack. Her best bet would be to go and alert Hikari and Kurai.
Mayumi slid out of bed and into her slippers. She felt a prickly, watched sensation creep up her spine the instant she turned her back to the windows. Quickly, she whirled around, hoping to catch a glimpse of something, but saw nothing. She backed out of the room, and didn't turn away from the windows until she was safely in the hall. She ran down the hall to her brother's old room, and hammered on the door. "Hikari! Kurai! Wake up!" she hissed in a loud whisper. "Please wake up!"
There was no response, so she opened the door and let herself in.
She stopped dead for a second, the sight before her captivating her and driving all her worries from her mind momentairily.
Both her guardians were sound asleep. They lay on their sides, facing each other. Hikari's long curls fanned across the mattress and spilled to the floor, highlighted silver by the moonlight filtering in through the blinds. Kurai's hair was braided and coiled behind him, looking very much like a dozing snake in the semi-darkness. Both creatures were nearly nude, covered only by the sheet; their skin was snow-white against the darkness of the bedclothes. Kurai had one arm around Hikari's chest, holding him close; the angel held the end of Kurai's braid to his face, as if it was a beloved teddy bear.
Mayumi felt hot and realised she was blushing. She looked away from the bed guiltily. She hadn't meant to walk in on them like this, invading their privacy. If she had come any sooner, she might have walked in on them making love. She blushed even more furiously, but she couldn't leave now. She was afraid to return to her room alone. Instead, she crept to the edge of the bed and reached out to shake Hikari.
"Hikari... wake up, please..." she shook him a little harder. "Wake up..."
His stunning blue eyes finally opened. "Mayumi-sama?" he said sleepily. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know," she answered, biting her lip.
He sat up. "Are you okay?"
"Just scared," she admitted. "I don't know what's wrong, but... I woke up with the feeling someone was watching me..."
"Okay," Hikari said. "I'll come see what's wrong... if anything, that is," he added hastily.
Mayumi turned her back considerately as he slipped out of bed and pulled on his pajamas. He led the way back to her bedroom, and paused in the doorway.
"Do you want the light on?" Mayumi whispered to him.
"No." he was suddenly wide awake, alert. "It will scare off whomever is there."
Her heart sank. "So there is someone there?"
"I'm afraid so," he said softly. "The only question is who it could be."
"I know who it is," Kurai's voice issued from behind Mayumi, making her jump. His violet eyes were narrowed, and he was staring straight at the tree outside Mayumi's window. "I can sense her aura. It's Chinmoku."
"Who -" Mayumi started, but didn't get any further. The widow burst inward as someone leapt through it, showering glass across the floor. At the same instant, Hikari flung a hand out to hit the light switch.
The woman before them froze, her malicious hazel eyes fixed on them. She was tall and slender, with a curvy figure. She wore a purple-and-black ninja outfit, and a purple half-mask covered her mouth and nose. A purple marking much like Kurai's stood out on her pale forehead, and her long, black hair was similar to his.
"My brother sent you," Kurai said flatly. His face showed great dislike.
"Naturally." the woman replied. She reached into her obi, drawing out two sai with long, glistening blades. "He wants you dead. He wants your lover dead. And, I'm sorry to say, he wants your princess dead, too!"
"Who are you?" Mayumi demanded.
"Chinmoku, soldier of silence! Prepare to die, my princess!" The woman lunged forward with amazing speed and agility. Mayumi shrieked, and was pushed away by Hikari.
"Magic Shield!" Apparently the spell worked just as well on manual attacks as it did on magic; Chinmoku was thrown backwards in a hissing mass of yellow sparks. She landed on her feet like a cat, her fierce eyes glinting in the fluorescent lights of the room. The wind was beginning to pick up outside, turning a mild breeze into a strong wind.
"Mayumi-sama, run!" Hikari pushed the girl towards the door, but she clutched at him, refusing to move.
"No! What if this crazy woman kills you?" Mayumi clung to his arm. "I'm not leaving!"
Chinmoku leapt at them, her sai held high. She prepared to drive the blades down through Hikari's shoulders, but the angel moved swiftly out of her range, dragging Mayumi with him. The wind howled outside, sending Mayumi's curtains fluttering. Papers and magazines were blown to the floor.
Chinmoku spat an angry curse in a language Mayumi had never heard before. She wrenched her sai out of the floorboards and stood. Her eyes focused on Mayumi. "Die!"
"Magic Shield!" Mayumi cried. Sparks rained down around her and there was a shriek as Chinmoku was thrown backwards. Her sai flew out of her hands and embedded themselves, quivering, in the wall opposite Mayumi's bed.
"Cursed whelp!" the demon leaped forward, her long fingernails hooked in front of her face like claws. They dug into Mayumi's arm, drawing blood. Kurai rammed Chinmoku with his shoulder, landing squarely on top of her. She hissed like a cat and fought to get out from under him.
Thunder boomed outside. A streak of lightning split Tokyo in two. Chinmoku managed to squirm out from underneath Kurai. She grappled with him, murderous hate in her face. "Die, traitor!" she screamed above the noise of the thunder and rain.
"Let him go!" Mayumi jumped on the ninja the very same instant Hikari did. For a few moments, everything was a confused tangle of arms, legs, and hair. There was a flash of lightning and a feeling of being pushed; Mayumi was thrown against the wall. She moaned and clutched at her shoulder, and opened her eyes. A bare foot came down just inches from her nose, and a hand was thrust in her face.
"Kawanami! Get up!" It was Mirei, soaked to the skin and wearing a dripping blue nightgown. She seized Mayumi's hand and hauled her to her feet.
"Mirei! How did you know -"
"I'm an Oracle, you idiot! I'm supposed to see these things!" Mirei shook her hard. "Get your act together! Those creatures of yours are in danger!"
Mayumi gasped and turned on her heel. It was true; the fall had apparently knocked Hikari unconscious, and Kurai was struggling to shield his fallen lover as he and Chinmoku sent spells back and forth.
"Will you do something?" Mirei yelled in her ear. "You're the one with magic, so use it, dammit!"
"But I don't..." Mayumi couldn't admit that she had no idea of how to use attack magic.
"Do you want them to die?" Mirei screamed over the racket of the storm.
"No!" Mayumi wept.
"I said, NO!" Mayumi shouted. "Flame Spear!"
She cried the words without even knowing what they meant or where they had come from. Her fingertips burned for a mere second, before expelling a bright burst of flame that lit the room and heated it to hellish proportions before twisting itself into a spear. The fire hit Chinmoku dead-on. Her shrill, outraged scream rang out, making Mayumi wince and cover her ears. A sweetish, burning smell, something like roasting pork, filled the room. The light faded, leaving the two girls momentairily blind. But when they could see again, Chinmoku was gone. Her sai had vanished from the wall, leaving only two small holes to indicate their presence.
"She's gone," Mayumi whispered, unbelieving. She crawled across the damp carpet over to where Kurai was slumped, panting. "Are you okay?" she asked him in concern. His arm was bleeding where the demon had slashed him, but he was smiling. He touched her cheek.
"I'm fine," he said softly. "Thanks to you, Mayumi-sama. You saved our lives just now."
"You're bleeding." Mirei had joined them, holding a bottle of iodine and a roll of bandages. "I took the liberty of raiding the medicine cabinet." Silence reigned as Mirei cleaned and bandaged their wounds. Outside, the storm was dying down as quickly and suddenly as it had appeared.
Hikari sat up, rubbing his head, just as Mirei finished tying the bandage around Mayumi's upper arm. He gazed around in horror at the wreck of the room before blinking rapidly and saying, "What happened? Is that woman gone?"
"For the moment, yes," Kurai answered softly. "She'll be back, count on it."
"Who was that?" Mayumi asked.
"Chinmoku, one of the finest warriors in my brother's private army." Kurai sounded bitter. "She always was one of the nastiest demons I've ever encountered. Her name means 'silence', and that is her gift. Most humans - most demons and angels, too, for that matter - cannot sense her aura and so never know she is present until it is too late." He looked at Mayumi with admiration in his eyes. "You knew she was outside your window, although you did not know who or what she was. It speaks volumes about your powers."
Mayumi swallowed hard. "I suppose. Um, what are we going to do about my room? It's a mess..."
"No matter." Hikari and Kurai murmured a few spells and waved their hands; the window repaired itself, the soggy rugs dried up; Mayumi's homework flew neatly back into place. Mayumi blinked in surprise, but Mirei seemed unimpressed. She got to her feet, tossing back her damp hair.
Mayumi looked up at her.
"You did good," Mirei said quietly, and departed.
It was quiet for a few seconds, and then Kurai stood as well, helping Mayumi to her feet. "You still have school in the morning, my lady," he said seriously. "You should get back to bed."
Mayumi winced as she looked at the clock. "You're right." She kissed her guardians and climbed into bed. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight, my lady," they said in unison. They left, Hikari turning off the light and closing the door behind him.
Mayumi realised that she was very tired. Her arm ached, and her eyelids were heavy. She closed them, snuggling deep into her pillows, her arm draped over her stuffed unicorn. She slowly slipped off to sleep, relieved that her first encounter with a demon warrior had come out all right. She dimly recalled her Fire Spear, and marveled over the power of it. Then sleep caught her entirely, and she was lost in dreams of sorcery and those strange, haunting gates.
To Be Continued.
- (A/N: The secrets of the names! I'm lazy. I'll be the first to admit it. So, when finding names for this story, I did it the easiest way I could - by using my Japanese dictionary. "Hikari" means "light". In holding with the idea of two lovers who are complete opposites, Hikari's lover was named "Kurai" - which means "dark". "Chinmoku" means "silence" - one of a ninja's best qualities. Fitting with my laziness, the hiragana for all three names are very easy to write - a good thing, considering such short words have very complicated, difficult kanji. Mayumi is named after real-life Japanese pop star Mayumi Kojima, who preforms a song named "Hatsukoi" ("First Love") that I love. (You might remember it from the commercials for "Super Mario Bros. Advance" for the Game Boy Advance.) Obviously I couldn't name her Mirei was a character from
(A/N: The secrets of the names!
I'm lazy. I'll be the first to admit it. So, when finding names for this story, I did it the easiest way I could - by using my Japanese dictionary.
"Hikari" means "light". In holding with the idea of two lovers who are complete opposites, Hikari's lover was named "Kurai" - which means "dark". "Chinmoku" means "silence" - one of a ninja's best qualities. Fitting with my laziness, the hiragana for all three names are very easy to write - a good thing, considering such short words have very complicated, difficult kanji.
Mayumi is named after real-life Japanese pop star Mayumi Kojima, who preforms a song named "Hatsukoi" ("First Love") that I love. (You might remember it from the commercials for "Super Mario Bros. Advance" for the Game Boy Advance.) Obviously I couldn't name herexactly after Mayumi Kojima, so I chose a similar last name. Well, it starts with "K", anyway.
Mirei was a character fromTenchi Universe, the ghost-girl who lives in an abandoned spaceship and is befriended by Sasami. That was one of my favourite Tenchi Universe episodes. "Nagayama" is just a cool last name, don't you agree?)