|A Little Prince in the Darkness
Author: DragonRiderNinja PM
A ten year old boy with a imagination as big as his heart and a mothers eternal love in the beginings of WWII left at a british country boarding school he must find the courage and the spirit that would never surrender within him to face uncommon trialsRated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 15 - Words: 49,220 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 05-21-13 - Published: 12-30-07 - id: 3979199
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Things seem very… wet here" Jake Tanaka said looking out the window of the carriage to the rainy Nottingham night missing the land of his birth as the lit lamp posts went by.
Jake was taller than his friends back home with lighter skin like his mother then the common oval skin. He had long black hair like his father that he had tied back and he also had his father's narrow eyes but instead of dark they were a deep ocean green.
He sighed in remembering his and his mother's house in the mountainous region of Japan. It had been a small house that his father had built for them just before he and his mother had gotten married.
His mother had come to Japan on an English trade mission with her wealthy family of a lord when she was a young lady. His father had been the head of the Emperors body guards and his teacher. His mother had fallen in love with Japan so much that she married his father after two years of a secret relationship.
His father died when he was a small child defending his mother's honor. Just before the other guards came to help Jake and his mother they watched as his father was stabbed to death. That was a sad time for both of them but his mother always said that if it wasn't for him she wouldn't have made it.
Then not too long ago they had gotten word of Japan's invasion into China, Germany's taking over Poland and Austria so his mother volunteered for duty as an Army nurse. Before they had left Jake had gone to his Shidoshi to talk to him about his teaching. He closed his eyes remembering.
"Shidoshi when I go to England how am I going to continue with your teachings," Jake had said sitting on his knees at his Shidoshi's table.
His Shidoshi poured them both tea. "Jake-san you are my best student and I wish half of my pupils push themselves as hard as you do," he had said.
Jake had looked away. "Maybe it's my English side," he had said.
Shidoshi chuckled a little. "Perhaps it is but know this there is very little I have left to teach you," he said pouring their tea.
Jake looked up at him. "Then I am shinobi?" Jake asked.
Shidoshi looked at him. "Almost, but you have one final test it will have to be something you have to do on your own," he said then raised his cup of tea and Jake followed suit.
"Until we meet again and remember follow the Bushisido," Shidoshi said.
"I will honor the code," Jake said and they drank their tea.
They had left Tokyo harbor by steam boat with Jake earning many stares in the city and on the ship. He had enjoyed the trip across the ocean and had earned many friends in the crew and with the ship's captain. Each night for a few hours he practiced on deck after making sure that no prying eyes were watching him. Then he would return to his and his mother's quarters until they had landed in London harbor then boarded a train for Nottingham.
As the memories faded he turned to look at his mother her army uniform gleaming in the lamp light and he fidgeted in his over coat. "It certainly is different here the day seems almost like night and I miss the Bonsai Trees around the house" he said.
She nodded. "So do I, my little Prince" she said.
Jake lowered his eyes and looked out the window again. "What's wrong Jake?" his mother asked.
He looked at her. "Do you really think that I'm, a Prince?" he asked.
She smiled down at him then held him in her arms. "No matter where each of us are you will always be to me my little Prince," she said and kissed his forehead.
He smiled up at her as the carriage came to a stop he looked out at the wrought iron gates with a coat of arms. He heard the coach man say a few words to someone he couldn't see, then the gates on metal hinges slowly started to open with squeaks and clangs. When the gates were fully open the carriage jutted forward and circled with the drive until it came to a stop next to a set of marbles steps.
The foot men climbed down from the back of the carriage opened the door and put the steps down.
One held his hand out for his mother and she took it and he helped her down and she thanked him, and Jake followed her as he put his hat on. After thanking the footman Jake turned to look up at the giant stone old fashioned building that would be his school.
It was about four stories tall with multiple chimneys like the two buildings on either side of it with a coned shaped roofed tower that jutted closest to one of the buildings to the right. All in all it look somewhat like a old gothic church that half way through construction they decided to turn into a school. At the base was an iron fence on either side of the stairs that stopped at the base of the next set of stairs and right next to the door bell was a faded brass plaque.
A shiver ran up Jake's spine and he shook a little. "I don't like it here but I guess a Shinobi must make the best of things" he said looking at his mother.
She smiled own at him as they mounted the steps to the school and Jake read the words on the Plaque 'Mr. Abraham's School for Young Gentlemen' and his mother rang the doorbell. After a moment the door opened and a kind faced man appeared and after first smiling he stood aside to the room behind him which was lit by candle and gas lamps.
"Hello you must be the Tenakas? Welcome, welcome," he said then stepped aside bowing them in.
His mother smiled and the two stepped inside and Jake took off his hat. "Actually sir it's Ta-naka," his mother corrected in an undertone.
Jake looked around the entrance hall as the grandfather clock to his right chimed the hour. It was quite large with an ornate rug in the center, a small table with flowers in a fancy vase sat in the center of the rug. Surrounding the rug was highly polished ebony wood and against the wall was a staircase with a rug down the middle and a mahogany railing. Above the stairs was pictures of previous students. Beside the staircase was a hall that led to other rooms of the building.
He bowed his head. "My apologizes," he muttered back.
Jake smiled at him. "No need for apologizes it can be a difficult name to pronounce Mr. Abraham" he said.
He looked at Jake. "Why you must be Jake…. Ah… pardon me if I'm wrong but I believed that you came from Japan?" he asked.
Jake looked at his clothes, which was comprised of a pair of black pants, a button up shirt, a black jacket, and black leather shoes.
He then looked up at him. "Well we thought me coming all this way in my traditional clothing would be awkward. We did a little shopping on our way here Mr. Abraham" he said.
He smiled at Jake. "Well you certainly have embraced your English heritage and I'm not…" he said.
The three of them turned to the stairs to look at a man and Jake got the same feeling that he got about the house. Cold, everything in its place, and not welcoming.
Jake gulped lightly as the man lightly descended down the stairs, his neat hair and spotless clothes barely moving. His mirror shined shoes clicked on the hard wood as he walked toward them and extended his hand to his mother with a smile.
"Welcome Lady Tanaka I am Sir Abraham I hope you found everything satisfactory so far?" he asked as his mother took his hand and he kissed it.
She smiled at him. "Everything looks wonderful" she said and he bowed, then his eyes drifted down to Jake.
Sir Abraham bent down putting his hands on his knees. "And you must be Jake. My, what a handsome young man you are" he said.
Jake blinked, handsome? Usually they just call me half-breed and I'm not handsome, besides he's lying I can see it in his eyes he thought.
Jake put on a smile and bowed "it's a pleasure it meet you Sir Abraham" he said politely.
Sir Abraham nodded. "What a fine young gentleman and I see you have met my brother Joseph" he said standing straight.
Jake shook hands with Joseph again and Sir Abraham waved his hand at a pair of double doors. "This way to my office if you please" he said and he led the way.
Once inside Sir Abraham sat behind a giant Mahogany desk with lion clawed feet. While Joseph stood by the side Jake and Lady Tanaka took seats in front of Sir Abraham's desk. Jake looked around the office with his eyes as he rested one leg on his lap and it was as neat and orderly as its owner and its occupant. He listened a little bit as Sir Abraham and Lady Tanaka went over a few details about his room and his horse in the stables.
"…So everything is in order just as you requested Lady Tanaka," Sir Abraham said leaning on his desk his finger tips together.
She nodded. "Thank you and I'm sure Jake will do splendidly in your school Sir Abraham whenever he's not studying something he's got his nose in a book and he doesn't read them he eats them word for word. He even sometimes makes up his own stories so fast its hard even for me to keep track" she said then looked at Jake.
Sir Abraham nodded. "Well I'm sure of that too, now lets go see the room" he said standing up.
They followed him up stairs to the third floor and stopped a door on the right hand side. The room was very neat and orderly with trunks of Jake's things with one long thin box and a somewhat large rectangular box that been sealed with a thin cord with a Japanese knot. Jake looked at this boxes for a second before returning to scan the room.
Like down stairs it had ebony wood floors with a rug covering most of the surface of the floor and the wall had blue wall paper with little flora-de-les. In the center of the room was a small round table with a lace cover. Off to the right was a fire place with a roaring fire in it with a brass gate and wood holder and in front of the fireplace was a sofa with birds and other things sewed into the design. In the opposite wall in front of them was a giant window with a cushioned seat.
Jake smiled a little when he saw the book cases filled with his and new books against the walls. He stepped inside and in the middle he looked to an open door to the bed room which had a wooden bed with a quilt cover. Standing straight with his hands behind his back was man servant who appeared to be of French decent.
Jake walked into the room and bowed lightly to the man servant who bowed back to him and Jake saw the surprise in his eyes.
Jake put his hand on the frame. "Does the bed look comfortable enough young master Jacob?" the man servant asked.
Jake looked at him and nodded. "Yes very comfortable just a little taller than what I'm used to and you can just call me Jake Mr.…." Jake said.
The man servant clicked his heels together in salute. "DuCaun, Alan DuCaun young master Jake" DuCaun said.
Smiling Jake walked up to him and took his hand. "Just Jake I am no man's master" he said and DuCaun just stared.
Jake turned at the sound his name and after bowing again to DuCaun turned and went back into the living room.
Sir Abraham and his mother were standing in the middle of the room and he bent down to look Jake in the eye. "Well is the room satisfactory young sir?" he asked.
Jake nodded. "Yes very satisfactory Sir Abraham" he said.
Sir Abraham stood straight then looked at Lady Tanaka. "We will give the two of you a moment alone" he said and he waved DuCaun forward and the three of them bowed themselves out.
Jake waked close to Lady Tanaka and she knelt down to hold him in her arms. "In case you weren't listening I made sure you had the very best" she said into his ear.
They broke apart and Jake went to run his finger along the sofa. "I'm just one test away from being a Shinobi I hear and see everything" he said.
Jake turned to Lady Tanaka and she smiled at him. "I know you want to know what are in those boxes. Why don't you go sit in the window seat and I'll bring them to you" she said and Jake nodded and went and sat down.
He smiled at the view of the city with Nottingham Castle, and The Trees of Sherwood Forest. He opened the window and the forest air brushed his nose and he breathed in deeply as he scanned the windows position from the roof and how steep it was.
He turned when he heard Lady Tanaka come close carrying the boxes in her arms and sat down next to him.
She smiled at him. "Why don't you open this one first" she said handing him the longer one.
Jake took it and broke the seal and opened the lid and gapped at the gleaming Katana tied into its black sheath. He picked it up out of the box holding it in his hands like it was made of glass.
"This was your father's, he would have wanted you to have it. He always told me that about a thousand years ago The Emperor had it made for his family. It has served his family well and has always been passed from father to son and now it's yours," she said.
Jake looked at her a tear slipped out of his eye and down his cheek. "I'll keep it safe for my father and our clan" he said.
She smiled at him as he put the Katana back and closed the lid and she handed him the other box. "This is from me" she said.
Jake took it in his lap and opened the top and looked inside and a smile spread across his face and he gapped like a fish out of water. He reached inside and pulled out a Bonsai Tree which leaned far to the right with a twist like a snake rising out of the grass and branches that stretched the length of the pot longer on one side. The leaves gave an umbrella or mushroom top look.
He looked up at Lady Tanaka lost for words and she nodded "keep it safe and healthy" she said and he nodded and went and placed it on the round table.
"Why do they do this and treat us like this?" he asked as he straightened the Bonsai Tree on the table.
"I guess it's because we're wealthy" Lady Tanaka said.
Jake frowned and looked at her "what does that mean to be wealthy and all?" he asked.
She frowned and laughed a little "that's a good question because I don't know" she said and he turned to look at her.
She knelt down again and took his upper arms in her hands "I love you my son" she said.
He smiled at her "and I love you mama now and always" he said then dropped his gaze.
She cupped his chin and raised his gaze to meet hers "what is it?" she asked.
"I fear we may never see each other again" he said.
She looked at him "come with me" she said nodded back toward the window seat.
They walked over and he sat on Lady Tanaka's lap and she pointed up at a star "you know what that star is?" she asked.
He nodded "the north star" he said.
She held him close and they looked at each other "just before your father died he told me that no matter where we were he would always be watching over us from that star. And whenever we are alone in the dark it will always be there to guide us to the light. So know this my son that I will be watching you from this star with him and each night we will both be wishing upon it and it will guide us back to each other's arms" she said looking at him.
He looked at her for a moment then held her close and she kissed the top of his head and he shifted his head to look at the door.
"What is it?" she asked.
Then a moment later there came a knock at the door "Lady Tanaka you must leave soon or you'll miss your train" came Sir Abraham's voice.
"I'll be out in a moment" she answered then looked at Jake who looked at her.
"I should have known you'd hear him coming" she muttered and Jake smiled which quickly faded and he ran his hand over her face.
Lady Tanaka closed her eyes at his touch "trying to memorize me by heart?" she asked him.
Jake shook his head "no I already know you by heart and now I know that you are there" he said pointing at the North Star.
"And here" he said placing his hand over his heart.
"As I am in here" he said and placed a hand over her heart.
Lady Tanaka cupped his face "let's not say good bye" she said then wiped a tear from her face.
"Be a strong Shinobi and don't weep for me" she said then stood and after a moment turned and walked out the door.
Outside the room…
Lady Tanaka stood outside the door for a moment then turned and walked down the hall and down the stairs to the Entrance Hall. She took her coat and hat from Sir Abraham and looked at him.
"Take good care of my son" she said.
He bowed to her "he is in the best of hands milady" he said.
Lady Tanaka nodded and opened the door and walked the stairs and stopped at the carriage and looked up at her son's room window and saw him there looking down at her.
Back in the room…
Jake sat on the window seat then he turned to walk over to the door and a second later there was a knock.
"Jake your mother is leaving you should come out to see her off" Joseph said then Jake locked the door and returned to the window seat.
He watched as his mother looked up at him then climbed into the carriage and the door was closed behind her. He watched as the carriage carried her away and through the gates, which closed behind it and she rounded the corner out of sight.
Jake blinked and a small tear ran down his cheek I failed mama I shed a tear he thought.
Back in Sir Abraham's office…
"I wonder what happened to Mr. Jake when I went to get him to see his mother off all he did was lock the door not making a sound before or after. Even when I asked him a second time I never even heard him cry unlike some of the boys here, some of which even try to tear the house down" Joseph said to his brother as he sat in a chair opposite the desk.
"It's better this way" said Sir Abraham who was standing with his back to his brother looking out the window.
Joseph looked at him "a child as spoiled as he is would usually put the house in an uproar it's actually kind of… liberating" he said.
Half an hour later…
Jake had silently crept out of the window of his room to the top of the roof with his father's sword secured to his back. For a long while he sat on the roof against one of the chimneys. He kept his gaze lowered and the sword in his hands until he heard the whistle of a train and he stood up looking at the train station and saw the steam rise into the night and it moved down the tracks.
"Until we meet again my mother come home to me alive" he muttered as it passed out of his sight