Author: Sirokos PM
Caged birds don't need keys to be set free. They can fly, they can sing. Fate has a strong grip on our lives, but we are the masters of our own destiny. The story of a half-breed showing the world what she's worth.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama - Konoka K. & Setsuna S. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,811 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 07-16-09 - Published: 07-02-08 - id: 4366513
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My life... is not my own. Each breath, not mine to take. Decisions, not mine to make. Heart beats only through allowance. My life... is the property of the Headmaster. My life was spared, and now dedicated in protecting the future heiress of the Konoe family, of the Fujiwara clan. I look back to the days I was once free.
My mother was a mortal, my father, a crow demon. And I, a mix of the two. I had the appearance of a human being, despite the color of my eyes and hair. My wings, unlike those of the crow tribe was white instead of black. This is what made me an outsider. I could not be fully human, nor fully demon. I was not accepted, but I did not care because I had the love of my parents. I loved them dearly... we lived together and that was all that mattered. We lived together in the mountains, our house was small but our hearts were large. My father was gentle despite his appearance. He was a strong and proud demon, his eyes were sharp at times but always gentle when he looked to my mother and I. Cold to enemies, warm to family, these precious eyes were given to me as a gift. I had my father's eyes... deep emerald, ones that sparked fear into others, but these very same emerald eyes were soft as well. He held me often, his eyes looked to mine, his loving expression, as a father did holding his child in his arms.
He was a courageous demon, it was nearly cruel to even call him as such. He lived with honor, pride. He was a demon of justice, his chivalry was what marked him different from the other crow demons. Justice and mutual prosperity to all, there was no segregation to this rule. His chivalry was passed down unto me as well, a gift I thank him for. His arms and torso were not packed with muscles, he was tall and his body was built. He was not quite muscular as other demons, but he was firm and fit. My mother on the other hand, she was a mortal who could have been called an angel.
She was meek, kind, caring, and very much so loving. Auburn eyes whose gentle look stopped those in their tracks. She was absolutely stunning although her frame seemed fragile. Her raw umber locks cascaded across her shoulders, and she had a smile that made hearts skip a beat. She had a small frame, but the kindness in her heart was endless. Her movements were elegant, her touches were comforting, her smiles were warm and loving. She had the face of an angel, and the heart of one too. Selfless, just like my father. We were a loving family, and it was almost too good to be true. We lived together, alone in the mountains, away from the world. During a time we lived together in the world. But it could not last... because it was too good to be true.
I was so young... their images slowly fade from my memory. I curse my pathetic memory that keeps the image of the two people that keep my sane.
Though the love my parents had for each other were true, it was considered mutiny. A full fledged crow demon in love with a mortal, and together they had a sin... they had me, a half-breed hanyo. I was considered disgusting, a sin above sins in demons' eyes. What would happen to the demons if the world found out they were turning 'soft.' We came to be hated by all, because the barrier between demon and human was broken. I was the degenerate, the despicable result of this kind of love. Demons came to hate and out of reckless ideals, they sought the bloodshed of Sakurazaki... they wanted my mother, my father and myself killed. Knowing this, we fled to the mountains to be alone, to survive, to love. We lived in peace. I was able to live in the love my parents gave to me. Our time seemed endless, each day we played, we cherished and enjoyed. Our home was a small hut made of straw, and built nearby the base of a waterfall. We didn't have the world's prized possessions and riches. We had something better, we had each other. That was enough to keep us going.
We had our fill from the land, enough to eat, enough to live, enough to be content. I look back now and pray to God for the fairytale to come back, in reality instead of my dreams. Each regular care-free day in the mountain was bliss. But I was young, and came to see the real world, too soon perhaps, but I came to see.
It was like a dream, a fairytale I got to live in. But... this dream was short-lived, as all dreams are. We were found in the mountains, the barrier that kept us from sight was broken by the ministry. The chief of the Kansai Magic Association was... Konoemon Konoe. We were placed in court. I was about four or five, the memory embedded into my skull. His eyes were a shallow grey, cold and emotionless. Under the peace preservation treaty between demons, humans and wizards, angels and all of the above, my father and mother were sentenced to death. Demons were to mate demons, humans were to mate humans, the love between the two would cause riot since many were disgusted in that kind of love and cause a war, one the ministry refused to take chances on. In turn, they decided to take the easy way out, the life of the two and the sentence of their lives, and their forbidden love. This would keep peace, as the demons would stay strictly separate and segregated from humans.
Refusing to be taken in for no unjustifyable reason, my mother and father fled from the court, taking me with them. They fought off the guards, somehow managing to escape the court filled with wizards, demons, humans and angels. Somehow... someway we arrived back to the mountain. I remember the look of my parents. They seemed hurt, their eyes filled with tears. I could only watch and hug them in return as they held my tightly. I barely remember their last words to me, my memory of our last meeting, was the crimson trail coming from my father's lips. The sight of my mother, laying in a pool of blood, of her blood. I was given something, what I do not know. My father held onto me for dear life, blood continued to trickle from his lips as he fled from the ministry wizards who chased after us. While he flew with me in his arms, he inscribed magical insignias onto my chest, they disappeared into my skin as he inscribed. I looked to my chest to see what he was doing. He whispered an incantation... the words... I no longer remember. His lips moved, words were formed but memory only remembers the last few words that came from his lips.
"Caged birds can fly... caged birds can sing..."
I remember these words and the gift he gave to me before he was murdered by the Kansai Magic Association. I do not know what the gift was, but it was given, I'm sure of it. Somewhere deep inside of me, the gift of my father was given to me.
His wings came to a halt, his eyes turned dark, his heavy breaths no more. Tears came from my eyes as I knew my father was killed. From the sky, we began to descend. His arms still wrapped around me. Fairy tales only last in dreams, and this was not a dream. My body trembled, my mind did not come to realize what had happened nor what was happening. Somewhere deep inside of me came to be. As we ascended down to earth from the sky, from great distance, we were going to crash into the ground. My father's back to the earth, he was about to take the impact. Even in the end, with few seconds of his life, he spent them on my survival... Just before we crashed, something from within me, from my chest grew. A luminous light came to surround my deceased father and myself as we gently landed onto the ground. My hands that were trembling, tightly grasping the shirt on my father for dear life let go. I slowly opened my eyes to see my father, lying peacefully, surrounded by the bright light that saved us from impact. I was so relieved... at his expression, it looked peaceful, even though he looked disheveled. I cried from relief, and from pain. Was this real? Was this just a nightmare? If it was... please let me wake up. I rolled from his grasp, laying flat on my back onto the ground. I felt powerless, my body no longer moving. My eyes felt shallow, as were my breaths. my arms stretched out on either sides of my torso, I looked to the sky. Looking up, I found the dead grey eyes once more.
Our eyes locked. I felt his gaze but no longer cared. I lost all that was precious to me in just moments. Was he going to kill me like he did my parents? I didn't care. I've no longer a reason to live. I didn't bother to resist, I just laid on the ground prepared for my death. I closed my eyes, waiting to be killed. After moments had passed that I continued to breath, I came to realize I was not killed yet. I looked up to see those indifferent eyes gaze upon me.
His eyes looked into mine as he spoke, "I have better use for you."
Was I going to live? Why didn't he kill me right then and there. I did not know, and did not care. I continued to lay there, slowly drifting off to unconsciousness.
When I woke up I was in a bed in a home I did not know of. I sat up, looking around the area. It was a formal house, the bed underneath me was soft, the bed sheets silky against my skin. The walls were painted a peach color, the color of the room coordinated with the walls. Suddenly I realized the loss of my parents. I began to weep. What is going to happen from now on? What is going to happen to me...
The door opened as I found a man who looked human approach me. I watched as he sat onto the bed side, and flinched when he tried to touch me, trying to place his palm on my cheek.
He looked a little shocked, smiled warmly and spoke, "You have beautiful eyes... they're captivating... alluring."
I continued to look at his movements, he seemed harmless until he attempted to punch me. He aimed a punch towards me, and instantly I blocked it with my palms, my eyes closed tightly as I faced down to my lap, trying not to get hurt, my body reacting on its own. When he pulled his fist away from my palms, I slowly looked to see his smile.
"You will be trained in the art of Kenjutsu, Shinmei-ryu to be precise. You will become a master of kendo and live to serve the family of Konoe. Your life's mission is to protect the future heiress of the Konoe family, the next in line in the Fujiwara clan. Are we clear?" He spoke sharply.
I continued to gaze upon his features, his facial expressions, his tone of voice. I heard what he said, I just didn't respond. He brought my chin up to look at him with the side of his finger.
"My name is Eishun Konoe. What's your name?" He asked with a warm smile.
"Setsuna... Sakurazaki." I murmured, as I continued to look into his auburn eyes with wonder.
His eyes were like mother's, I thought, his kindness too.
"You will be protecting my daughter. Would you like to meet her?" He asked with a smile.
I nodded silently, getting out of bed and followed him, keeping a hold of his sleeve as I followed him from behind. When we reached outside the building, I came to see a beautiful young girl, about my age at the time in a flower designed kimono, playing with a ball by herself. The young girl looked out the corner of her eye to meet with my own timid ones. As she ran toward me, I hid behind the man who had eyes like my mother.
"I'm Kono-chan, who are you?" She smiled warmly at me.
"Setsuna..." I said uncomfortably, still hiding behind the man with auburn eyes.
She grasped my wrist and tugged me from behind the man. She looked back as she continued to run with myself following suit,
"Set-chan do you want to play with me?" She questioned, her head tilted.
I looked down to the ground, feeling a bit better from all that had happened. This nice girl had asked me to play with her, and that was one thing I knew from before.
I nodded silently and replied, "Mmm."
"You can call me Kono-chan, okay, Set-chan?" She spoke in eagerness.
I smiled, looking up to see her back as we ran. "Mmm, Kono-chan." I replied.
We played with her ball. She tossed the ball into the air, and I caught it, nearly falling from being off balance. I looked to the side where the man stood, and saw his warm smile. I smiled back, looked to the sky and tossed the ball into the air. Maybe things weren't so bad... that's what I thought at the time.
"Ah!... Ooww..." I cried in pain as I felt the stick whipping against my skin.
"You belong to this family. You are worthless, dirty and filthy. The only thing keeping you alive is the fact that we've found a use for you, to protect the heir. You do not call her, 'Kono-chan,' you will call her... 'Ojou-sama!'"
The stick whipped against my skin at the last word as his voice gruntled from whipping with strength. I cried out in pain, tears trailing down my cheeks as I knelt on the ground. I remember the feeling of the first time I was whipped... clearly. It hurt, I felt so much pain. I wondered at the time was this what my parents felt.
I began to study the art of Shinmei-ryu. I was doing as any one of the people in the house bidded me to do. I was whipped and punished for each mistake, and I learned my place and saw the real world. I learned to listen and live, to never ask questions, to do as I was ordered. Why did I bother living... I felt like dying would probably be better, because then there would be a chance I would be with my parents who once loved me. I was alone in a world, without anything or anyone to live for.
A few weeks passed by and I came to meet Konoka Konoe a second time. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of her, but the wounds on my back... arms and legs reminded me where I stood in life. She leapt with joy and ran to me again, reaching for my wrist once more.
"Set-chan, come play with me!" She shouted from a distance.
Swiftly I knelt in front of her before she stepped any closer, and spoke, "I will protect Ojou-sama with my life. Your orders, Ojou-sama." I spoke coldly, saying what I was ordered to.
She looked at me a bit stunned, I remember. I knelt with dignity stripped away from me as I was made a dog.
She requested, some what nervously, "Come play with me, Set-chan."
"I'm afraid I can not play with you. My orders are to protect and serve my lady." I continued to speak coldly, still kneeling on the ground. Moments of silence passed before I finally spoke, "If you do not need anything, excuse me then, Ojou-sama." I stood up and walked away to continue Shinmei-ryu training. After training I went to my quarters, laying down on the straw mat on the ground, looking up to the ceiling. My muscles ached, my wounds were open and unattended to, my heart... heavy. I came to wonder about what father said... the caged bird... if it was what I am. I came to wonder...
What I continue to live for... I have no fucking clue.