Author: ChattyCat PM
After an encounter with Poncle and his godly partner, sixteen-year-old Rio is thrust into a world filled with demons, gods, and hidden powers even she did not know rested within. Yet the question remains: Will she take on the title of Child of the Sun?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Suspense - Amaterasu & Issun - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,328 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 11-09-12 - Published: 11-08-11 - id: 7536026
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey readers! Long time no see. Welcome to the third chapter of Spring. I had a major case of writer's block for a while, but now I'm back and crankin' out chapters like there's no tomorrow! Enjoy! *And review* cough cough.
The tunnel that the trio descended into was like the children's bamboo slide in the nursery that Rio had spent so much time in as a tween. She, at the hands of her adoptive father, unwillingly helped with the babies once or twice a week. She hated children. This hatred sprouted from her own childhood, which was stolen from Rio. She didn't like to speak about it. The memories were not only just as visible, but all of the horribleness was condensed into just a few thoughts, leaving out every subtle, enjoyable moment. Rio had attempted to block all of the worst thoughts out, but to no avail. It was haunting. Every eery chill skimming up and down her spine, everything of sentimental value only brought more of the feelings.
Rio, with Issun atop her head, slid down first. It was pitch black, and even with her pupils fully dilated, nothing was visible. She could feel the moist dirt caked on the sides and bottom, and it smelled of pine. Issun clung to her hair tightly, not wanting to fall and be squished by Korudo, who had just begun to follow. Rio exited the slide with a squeal and shakily stood up. It was still impossible to see or distinguish anything, and Rio waved her hands around aimlessly. Issun loosened his grip and leapt into the darkness. Rio heard a latch being switched and within a moment, lights flickered to reveal a long, dank hallway. It was a crudely carved grotto, and there was no end in sight.
"Le's go." Issun ordered. Rio stepped tentatively, until Korudo grew impatient and pushed her lightly. If she fell, he was going to pay for it. She didn't dare lift up her feet; the slick floor was sure to split her skull.
"Take the left hallway, that leads to the main quarters." Korudo instructed.
"What's the one on the right?" Rio asked.
"We're taking the one on the left." Sheesh, fine. Rio responded mentally. Why was he suddenly so serious?
She followed his instruction and entered the hall, which had no lights to aid her. They walked for about for minutes before Issun broke the silence, leaping off of Rio's head to lead them. His aura helped a bit with the darkness situation.
"Yer mom an I made this place ourselves, back when she was still roamin' Nippon, fighting demons and what not. She 'as still in wolf form, mind yew, and…" As he was busy reminiscing, Korudo took this as a time to converse with Rio.
"You don't believe any of this, do you?" She saw his serious face in Issun's green glow. Where was the goofiness of earlier?
"It's a little far-fetched, you have to admit." She replied, careful to not let Issun overhear.
"I guess to you, it would be." He stated. It wasn't an accusation, more of an observation, "Most of us don't even meet our Heavenly Parent 'til we're nineteen, when our powers peak."
"Have you met yours?" She asked. The sadness in Korudo's eyes gave her the answer. Maybe that's why everyone here believes it so easily. She thought. Maybe they've had such awful lives that they need to believe they're special.
Korudo shook his head. They turned their attention back to the Poncle, who had just concluded his soliloquy about the adventures he shared with Rio's supposed mother.
"We're here!" Issun announced excitedly. Rio stepped forward, and felt her body warm again. They had reached the end of the cave, and before her were stone steps. Why would they have gone underground if they were just going to resurface again?
"Wow, Issun. Super exciting." Issun's aura darkened to anger.
"This isn't it, know-it-all!" He bounded up the stairs and out of sight. Korudo sighed and followed wordlessly. Was everyone in a bad mood today? Rio trailed behind them, her eyes adjusting to the light. She reached the top in a moment, and before her stood the most beautiful place she had ever seen. A mansion stood on the far edge, partially surrounded by water. The pond was filled with life, koi splashing in and out. Tall pine trees stretched above the sky. She could see a training field in the distance, with a campfire and logs adjacent to it. Birds were scattered throughout the trees, and she could spot tiny animals hiding about. There were cliffs surrounding them, but for some reason Rio wasn't afraid. It was safe here. Korudo stood beside her, hands on his hips, with Issun sitting upon his shoulder. He sighed, content.
"Nice, eh?" Issun said, and she knew he was smirking. She raised her eyebrows in defeat.
"Well, I guess I could stay here for a while. You know, until I find something better."
With a name like "Children of the Stars" Rio expected more… children. From first glance, one would assume that the three of them were the only current inhabitants of the house. But there were a lot of closed doors, so those could've been people's rooms.
Korudo escorted her to her room, which was basically an attic. The only room on the fourth floor. It was hot and dusty and cramped, but considering her past homes, it was the best she'd ever had. The walls were unprofessionally painted yellow, which just happened to be Rio's least favorite color. One bedroll rested in the corner, handwoven with seagrass, and a small candle sat beside it.
"Home, sweet home." Korudo smirked, "Now, how about getting rid of some of the tension?" He requested with a wink.
"Or I could break your nose a second time."
"Ookay. Message received." He gave a little salute before exiting the attic, where Rio was left with her thoughts. She sat on her makeshift bed and crossed her legs at the ankles.
Three weeks. How far did they take me? She wondered. There's no way they'll take me back now. So I'm stuck here with a teenage boy and a bug. Fantastic.
She sat up at the sound of commotion below. Happy commotion, not chaos. The mat crinkled as she readjusted. Should she join in on the festivities? Should she wait to be summoned? She felt awkward sitting alone, waiting to take orders from someone else. Her stomach growled, voicing it's opinion on whether she should stay or go. She shushed it as if it were a person, and realized how crazy she was being.
I should just sneak downstairs and grab some food, because then nobody will see me.
But how was she to accomplish that feat? The house sounded as if it would give way at any moment. Creak, creak, creak. She would have to abandon her sandals and risk a splinter or two.
She slid out of the shoes and set them neatly together, careful to be silent, and then tip-toed down the ladder to the third floor. As she turned to retrace her way back to the base floor, she was met with a familiar situation.
"Oof!" She grunted, falling onto her backside.
"Going somewhere?" The same boy with those same electric eyes. He did his signature smirk and took a bite out of the plump apple he was holding. Rio stood and regained her composure, dusting off her clothes.
"Are you always gonna sneak up on me?" She complained, embarrassed.
"I'm pretty sure you were the one sneaking." Rio glared, but her exasperation was cut off by a whine from her stomach. She blushed. Sora took another teasing bite from the fruit.
"Mm." He taunted. Rio gave in with a sigh.
"Got anything to eat?" She asked, defeated. Sora laughed.
"C'mon, we're having dinner. You can meet Neko and Suki." He replied. Finally, some girls around here.
He lead her into the dining room, where four people sat around, conversing and consuming. Issun resided at the head of the table (more like jumped about on it's surface) and two unfamiliar girls sat beside him. One had a spiky ponytail and messy bangs, white as ice, and magnificent silver eyes. Her lips were red as blood, and Rio could tell she was naturally beautiful. The other also had white hair, but hers was parted in the middle and reached her chin in waves. She had little tan freckles dotted across her nose, with eyes colored to match, and had a constant blush. The last member of the table was familiar; Tori. He smiled at her eagerly and gestured for her to sit with him. She gratefully accepted. The aroma of roasted duck and baked potatoes teased Rio's senses.
But where is Korudo?
"Heya Rio! Meet two of our fighting beauties: Suki," Issun introduced motioning to the girl with the gorgeous silver eyes, "An' Neko." The girl with the tan eyes. Neko just blushed harder, but Suki gave a little sarcastic smile.
What's her problem? Rio asked herself. It seems like everybody here has some issue with me.
Tori understood what she was thinking, and gave her an answer.
"Suki's just mad 'cause you've been hanging out with Sora." He whispered. Rio sat bewildered. Tori clarified, "They're dating."
Rio felt uneasy in not helping in the preparation of dinner, so she offered to do the dishes. That and she didn't have anything to talk about in what they called "Fire Stories." Tori, since apparently all he did during the day was monitor Sai, offered to help her.
The kitchen was massive. It was made entirely of natural elements. The sink was lined with smooth rock, and something that kept food cool rested by a trash bin. Probably something of Korudo's design, if he was telling the truth about being Itegami's child, because it was constantly frozen. Bamboo shoots brought in water, and candles were hung everywhere. Rio would have been impressed if she wasn't so afraid of being burned alive.
"So, waddya think? As crazy as you first thought?" Tori asked, taking a seat on the wooden counters and swinging his legs playfully.
"Ha! Everybody here seems to hate me."
Except Sora, but he's dating Little Miss Sunshine.
"Oh, c'mon. I like you, and Neko couldn't possibly hate you. Or anyone, for that matter." He reasoned jokingly. Rio sighed and set down the dish she had been scrubbing
"I guess it's just a little overwhelming to meet so many new people. They're hard to keep track of." Rio admitted. Tori laughed.
"You've only met the half of them. Let's see… there's Miya, Kiki-"
"No! Don't tell me!" Rio objected, giggling. She liked how outward and fun Tori was, without forcing himself to be.
"Don't let Suki get to you, she's just-"
"Ahem." Tori whipped around to find Suki, arms crossed and leaning on the side of the doorway, "No, bird, by all means, finish that thought. What am I?" Tori, as sweet as he was, said nothing, but looked down in embarrassment, "Mhm. Now if you'll excuse us, I need to speak with Princess here." Suki requested, but it was more like an order.
What's with everyone calling me Princess?
Tori hustled out of the room, and to Rio he mouthed, "Good luck." Suki approached the nervous girl.
"Havin' a fun first day, Hun?" She asked, faux sweetness laced into her words.
"Uh, I guess-"
"Look, fresh meat, Sora loves me. We've been going out for over a year, and if you think you can just swoop in here and steal him from me, then you're gonna get quite a shock."
"Uh, I didn't mean-"
"Save it for the arena." She turned dramatically, her hair nearly swatting Rio, and left. Rio rested her elbows on the sink, interlocking her fingers, and let out a breath she didn't know she was holding in.
"Well, this is going great."
Rio: Why do you always stick me with these guys? Can't you partner me up with a cute, single guy who actually likes me for my personality?
Heh. You're in for a treat, Rio. But sadly, those guys only exist in Sueland. Home of Mary's and Gary's alike.
Anyway, in case you needed a little reminder, new chapter after five reviews!
P.S. I own this story and any original characters, but not characters that originated from Okami. Also, check out my chibi picture of Rio on my DeviantArt page, where my username is ChattyKat. See ya next time!