She was the epitome of a young woman any man would desire. Small face with doe-like expressive eyes. Long hair that seemed to befriend the gentle breeze of all seasons. Fragrance so pleasant that intoxicates. Delicate body soft to touch.
This seemingly gift from the heavens was expected to submit only to one man alone. She had no say even though her husband has other tens of lovers at his beck.
Even though she loved her husband deeply, she could only look away as if she sees nothing. Seal her lips as if she had nothing in her mind.
Who could blame this fragile young woman if she tried to seek warmth from another's arms?
She committed the gravest crime for a concubine only once. And what luck could she have for being caught right into the act, spread-eagled under a dirty servant?
Her husband turned around in disgust, sealing her fate the next morning.
No begging reached the husband's heart. His heart had no mercy for his Ninth Concubine. At the break of dawn, Lady Misaki, before the eyes of the community, was burned alive.
Till the last of her breath, rage, vengeance and hatred seeped through her bones. Even when she turned to ashes and the wind started blowing her away, the rain scattering her to dirt, her hatred and anguish to the Daimyo she loved remained.
The Ninth Concubine
There was a hissing sound. A sound of fire licking on wood could only make. She woke with a jolt, eyes wide, breathing labored. The shadows danced around the room as the fire continued crackling. When she looked at her feet, she screamed.
An old man gasped. He was currently stoking the fire for more heat that winter. The villa a serene haven in the mountains, still lacked the modern heaters and relied on these kind of heating. He hurriedly turned around to check on their guest.
"I see you're awake. How are you feeling?"
She pulled the blanket over her protectively, blushing from her cheeks to her ears.
"How despicable! How dare you come near me?!" she hissed. "Who are you?!"
The old man creased his brows. He looked composed as he walked away towards the door.
"Forgive me if you find it rude," the old man said. "But I have to tend to your raging fever the whole day and wipe your sweating body...just as my master said."
"Huh? Wipe my body? How dare you?!"
There was a little chuckle the old man gave. "I see you must still be confused from being severely sick. But I really don't see anything wrong for an old man like me to look after a young man."
"Y-young man...?" she stammered, glaring at the old man walking out the door with amusement on his profile. "Have you lost your mind?"
Left alone, she continued with her fits on the bed. And then she suddenly grew silent. As if freezing water splashed over her, she instantly grew in a frozen stature.
"Wait...my voice..." she whispered, running her fingers on her throat. As she did, she slowly slid her hand down to the blanket covering her.
Nothing. There was nothing at all. The ample curves on her chest was nowhere, but a flat, smooth skin until her belly. Scared and confused, she instantly removed the blanket over her and ran towards the full-sized mirror by the corner of the room. She was stark naked. Through the tantalizing shadows, through the silence of nothing but the calming fire and the silent winter outside, she almost fainted.
She had the same face, had the same height, had almost the same built. But her voice sounded so strange, her long hair gone and what was down there between her pale thighs, it was speaking nothing of being a female.
Slow little steps she did away from the brown framed mirror. Her fear-streaken eyes wandered about the room. She was all too busy realizing the changes in her body. She only then just realized that even her surroundings have changed.
"What's going on?" she whispered. Flashbacks of the last agonizing heat ravishing her skin coming to her in fast successions. "I am supposed to be dead...I was being burned...I was...I was..." she touched her cheek at a loss. "...why on Earth have I become a man?"
"Oh you're finally awake?"
At hearing a new, yet familiar voice, the she before who turned to a he whirled around. He thought that someone had strangled him as his green eyes got fixed towards the face highlighted by the yellowish fire in between them.
There on the door was a man standing, tall and the presence commanding.
The boy was shocked. He was confused that nothing registered on his face. The blankness slowly turned to disgust, towards rage that he lunged forward the man who just arrived.
"You bastard!" he screamed. "How dare you?! How could you?!"
He shouted and shouted, forgetting all the etiquette engraved in his brain as he pounded on the man's chest with all his might.
"Hey! Stop that...doesn't even hurt..." the owner of the villa mumbled, taking both the thin wrists of his assaulter firmly. "Sick persons shouldn't move around hastily like this."
"Sick? You may be the sick person here!" he hissed at the handsome face with a confused look. "You turned a blind eye while I...while I was being burned alive!"
"Huh?" the man looked at the young man's nakedness from face down to his toes. The other feeling scandalized. "I don't see any burn marks..."
"Shut-up! Shut-up! I hate you! I hate you!"
The older of the two in that banter sighed and dragged the hysterical guest towards the bed. He then pushed him firmly on the bed as he grabbed the sheets to cover the young male.
"This is what I get from saving your skinny ass from the snow storm last night? I almost hit you with my car you know?"
"C-car? W-what's that?"
The man this time started chuckling. And then the virus of insanity reached him in no time that he started laughing out loud.
"What's going on here..." the young male whispered, darting his eyes from ceiling to floors. A brick house? And what was with this man's clothing? Where was the shimmering black Kimono that this Daimyo always wore? What was the circular thing on the center of the ceiling that was so showing a faint color of yellow hurting his eyes? Where exactly was he?
"Is this hell?" he asked more to himself. "I thought of something different..."
"Has your brain been stewed from fever?"
Brushing the hair that stuck on his forehead from sweat, the young male stood on the bed, still clutching his meager protection the color of floral pink.
"What year is it?! You were having some talk with the Tokugawa's...they've just started to take control...that's what you told me..."
"Let me guess what you'll be saying next..." the lavender eyes cunningly smiled. "...'I came from a different time and I'm here for revenge' or something..."
Clutching the covers tightly, the young man gave a death glare. A silent one that changed the atmosphere of the room. Sensing it, the master of the villa got away from the bed and tiredly sighed.
"Get your head cleared tomorrow and then leave. I can't believe I picked up a mentally challenged one."
"Don't make fun of me..." the green eyed boy looked hurt. "You were the only man I ever loved..."
For a very long while, the master of the house just stood with a perplexed look on his face. The mocking grin he had on his face vanished as if wiped out by the fire giving them heat.
As they deeply searched each others' eyes, one questioning and the other lost, a very soft knock broke their surging, indescribable connection.
"Usami-sama, you have a call from Aikawa-san. She says it's important."
Very slightly, the man called 'Usami' tilted his head towards the door before answering. "Got it."
They listened to the faint footsteps disappearing until it vanished from earshot completely. Raising a hand to seemingly massage the back of his neck, Usami calmly looked out the frosty windows.
"You see kiddo, I've through with history and I don't intend to go back. But the rise of the Tokugawas happened in the 1600's. It's 2014 now. And for the record, do I really look like the man who dumped you for you to come up with such a silly set-up?" Usami eyed the kid from head to waist. "Also...You swing that way?"
When the boy didn't answer, Usami decided to take his leave. He gently closed the door and disappeared into his daily routine every evening as a writer. He didn't give much thought about the kid in their guest room. He had other things to worry about than the weird presence giving him stares as if he just betrayed him.
The green eyes which were always full of life and vibrance was nowhere to be found in that room. It had taken a shade of dirty olive as the boy stared into the empty space. He didn't even know tears were already streaming down his face.
He gritted his teeth.
They weren't the tears of sadness. They were pent-up hatred seeking for an escape out of his body. She, he or whatever had become of his nature and person, he could only think of one reason why he was in this era;
Give the lavender-eyed man a taste of his own medicine a hundred times bitter than what he had made Lady Misaki, now a kid reduced to a body of a male experienced.
Chapter end notes:
*Daimyo=== these are people in Early Japan who own large pieces of lands and has their own army of samurais at their command. they were very powerful.
- so many ideas whirling in my head now. i don't intend to make this long. next and last chapter on going XD
ps...there's a cover art for this as well! please check it out in my tumblr!