'Amatsuotome, my title, my name and my curse.' She thought looking at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. 'I thought I could walk away from it once. I thought I could become who I was before I had ever heard of the Celestial Maiden, live a normal life. But once you become the Amatsuotome you are always Amatsuotome, until you die.' She knew she had been warned. Her natural abilities combined with those she had acquired upon becoming the Maiden combined to make her almost invincible. Forcefully she pushed away the thoughts that ate away at the small amount of peace she had made for herself.
Walking out she lifted her wrist and checked the time. Calculating the time difference she pulled the cell phone from the back pocket of her black jeans and dialed. He answered on the third ring. His voice had always grated on her last nerve. "How are my children?" She ask interrupting him. It is the only thing she allow herself to care about anymore, even though she knew she would never see them again.
"Milady, your children are healthy and strong. They want..."
"Silence Toad. I do not ask for what they want." This servant has always inserted himself into things that do not concern him. A new voice silenced whatever she was going to say next.
"My grandchildren want their mother, and I would like my daughter home." His voice, as always soft, silky and never an emotion revealed.
"Sir," She swallow and continue, "Their mother and your daughter died the day they murdered him. Now there is only Amatsuotome." She hung up. Seconds later the cell phone in her hands rang. Recognizing the number as the one she had just dialed she tossed the phone into the garbage can beside her. It was time to leave this town. They would be here tomorrow searching for her. Standing she hefted the duffel bag that holds the few things that are important anymore. Walking away, she pulled her wallet out taking a moment to check her cash, before heading out of town. International Banks are hard to find, and they know by now she's here might as well make a withdrawal.
The bank was cool, dark and quiet. The tellers worked efficiently assisting the bank customers. Still she sat waiting. You don't just walk up to the teller to withdraw the type of money she was about to. Her eyes darted around the bank studying each person until they fell on her reflection in the window. A small crossed her lips, the black jeans she wore were worn at the knees, the tee shirt was ratty too. The only thing that appeared to have any value was the leather jacket laying across her lap. Her silver white hair was pulled up in a ponytail high on her crown, yet it reached to the small of her back. Finally the International Banking Officer was free and stepped out of his office, she watched in amusement as he walked to the suits behind her, his assistant cleared her throat and indicated the woman he had passed.
Covering his embarrassment and disgust, he looked at the woman standing before him. "May I help you?" He sneered.
"Yea. I need some cash. You were the closest International Bank. So shall we go into your office." She started towards the door he had excited.
"Any of the cashiers could help you miss." He said, wanting desperately to get rid of this woman. He prided himself on being able to tell a persons worth by there appearance.
"No. I don't think they could. That is unless their International Withdrawal limit is over $100,000.00. If it is I'm sorry to have wasted your time." She hadn't turned just stopped where she was. Turning her head slightly she continued. "So do we go into your office or do I go to a teller? I don't have all day."
"My office." his strangled voice said as he followed her.
Stopping at the desk she absently tossed the leather jacket on the chair and dug through the duffel. Pulling a small box she opened it and pulled a check book. "Pen?" her hand out waited, she never met his eyes as the pen touched her hand "Arig... thank you." Her hand flew over the check filling it out signing it in Kanji, she ripped it out and handed it to him along with her identification. She listened with interest to his breathing as he typed the routing and account number to verify funds. She smirked at the change in his breathing when the computer flashed her balance.
"Yes madam. How would you like this. We could transfer the funds into an account at this bank then you wouldn't have to worry about international transfers."
"Just cash the check. Put half of it in a money order - blank. I don't want an account. And tomorrow when two men come in looking for me, tell them I said to go home."
"Of course madam." He left quickly, he vowed to never again assume a persons net worth based on clothes. Returning he handed her the money order and remaining cash. "Is there anything else I can do for you madam?"
"Where is the nearest motorcycle dealership?" Hours later she pulled the motorcycle onto the interstate and headed east.
She had pushed herself to her limits again. Exhausted she pulled into the woods off the interstate and found a secluded spot. The leather jacket landed on the ground beside the bike followed by the heavy boots and helmet. Unhooking the duffel bag she pulled the sword from it and leapt into the branches of the tree. Settling herself in she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. The dream came again, as it had every time she slept for the last four years.
~ ~ ~ ~
Running a finger down the pad in front of her she ticked of the items, satisfied that there was no unfinished business she dismissed her assistant. She had bent to pick up the ever present earphones when the pain hit her. The ripping of tissue, the shattering of bone and then nothing. The link was silent. Her scream of pain echoed through the office hallways. She spun grabbing the executive chair behind her, lifting it easily she tossed it through the window shattering the glass. From the wall behind her the sword leapt into her hand as she ran and leapt out the window. She never saw the two men who ran into the office.
The heels she was wearing caused her to land hard. A momentary pause and she was running again barefoot leaping easily from roof top to roof top. The city below her sped past as she increased her speed with each step.
Finally she reached it. The scent of his blood and their children's fear filled her. Unsheathing the blade she plunged it into the roof and knelt before it. "Desu, make me Amatsuotome again. I will never abandon my title again." She bowed her head touching her forehead to the roof awaiting the swords answer. She felt the acceptance and the change.
Standing she resheathed the sword and leapt through the sunlight. She landed lightly in front of two of the thugs, her claws made short work of them. Ignoring the gasps and the guns turning towards her she walked to where he lay. She knelt and gently lifted him to her. Bending she softly kissed his cold lips allowing his blood to seal the vow she had made. She would never forget this. The taste of his blood, the feel of his cold lifeless body. Amatsuotome rose from the depths she had been placed in. The mans sister gasped at her silver eyes. She rose to her feet, turning to face his murderer.
Seeing the small boy he held in front of him she paused. "Shinta" she spoke softly her voice barely above a whisper, "Close your eyes sweetie."
She watched as he obeyed. The instant his eyelashes touched his cheek she moved. One leap and she stood in front of the man. Desu unsheathed screamed for blood. The sword flashed severing the man's arm at the elbow. Spinning she wrapped her arm around the boys waist and leapt backward flipping in the air she landed in the same position she had started from, only now she held the boy. She placed her son on the ground and watched as he walked calmly to his aunt. Stepping forward she pulled her power around her. Then the screams started. When silence once more reigned over the mall she stood, surrounded by blood and pieces of human flesh. With a flick of her wrist she removed the blood from Desu. She looked at her children standing beside their aunt. "Be good Shinta, you too Sango. Obey your grandfather." Sheathing the sword she leapt up to the roof.
~ ~ ~ ~
She awoke the dream had released her. Looking at the sword in her lap she touched it. "Yes Desu, I remember my vow."
Amatsuotome = Celestial Maiden
Desu = Death