Author Notes: Haisai, every-nyan, to my next epic fanfic: Ryukyu no Hime: Kagura! (A.K.A Princess of Ryukyu: Kagura for the dummies) Usually, a shoutout will be given out at the end of the story, but I'll make the shoutout in the first chapter.
It was the night before the school trip to Okinawa and Kagura's done packing her luggage. She then grabs her diary, opens it, lies down on her bed, and starts jotting down the next entry:
Every since Yukari-sensei announced our class trip to Okinawa, I had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, returning to Okinawa made me happy, since Japan has reclaimed it from those American soldiers and Shuri Castle is still just as beautiful as I remember back in '92, but on the other hand, I may not be able to see my father and sister due to the limited time we're spending there. I may never get a chance to see my mother's grave. I know that I rarely write in this diary nowadays, but recent events have forced me to do it anyway.
Yours Truly, Kagura
After one crazy plane trip (in which Osaka wished that should've worn pigtails for the trip), The third-year students finally made it to Naha, the capital of the former Ryukyu Kingdom. Tears formed in Kagura's eyes, as 3 years have turned the city from a dilapidated town ran by the American military to a pristine, tropical city. Perhaps the Japanese government has been working with the local Okinawan government to repair the damage imperialism has done to the island (which was ironic since Japan was once an imperialistic state itself). Nevertheless, Kagura was happy at coming back to Naha.
"Haisai, Uchina," she whispered, "Haisai."
Then the Azu-gang see Shureimon Gate, and everyone's fascinated by Chiyo's 2000 yen note, something Kagura can't even afford. As the girls approached Kankaimon, Osaka's interested in the shisa statues guarding the gate, repeating the Okinawan phrase "shisa yaibimii?" whenever she sees the lion-dog statues But when the girls enter the courtyard where the Main Hall is located, Kagura suddenly got a flashback of when she first visits the restored castle back in 1992.
Kagura was sleeping in her bed when her older sister abruptly woke her up.
"Gura! Wake up already!" Kagura's older sister, Keito, shouted, "Dad's got a surprise for you!"
Kagura jumped out of her bed and ran to the living room, where her dad is hiding a box from her.
"Kagura, I got a surprise for you!" Kagura's dad said in a sing-songy tone in his voice, "Remember the photos of Shuri Castle I used to show you before you go to bed?"
"Yes, daddy!" The 9-year-old Kagura eagerly said.
"Well, for your 9th birthday, we're going to the reopening of the castle!" Kagura's father grinned, "In fact, I got a little surprise for you." He then gives Kagura the box.
Kagura opened the box, and what was inside brought a smile to her face. It was a light purple Ryuso kimono covered in a hibiscus flower and shisa pattern and a purple sash. "Daddy," she said, "You know we can't afford a Ryuso, how you manage to get one?"
"Let's just say I have friends," he answered, "But that doesn't matter, you better get dressed!"
Then, Kagura (now fully dressed in the kimono) and her family finally arrived at the reconstructed Shuri castle.
"Wow, daddy," Kagura said, "It's more beautiful than I imagined! I wished that mommy can be here to see it."
"Kagura, your mother will always be with you," her father said.
" And she'll always watch over you, Gura," Keito added.
Back in the present day, Kagura started to cry due to the words that her father and older sister told her about her late mother, who was killed by a rogue American soldier when she was 4 years old. She then wipes the tears from her eyes, for she must stay strong for her friends.
The next day, the six girls are at the Manzamo cliffs, where Kagura reminisces about the time her father took her there, as it was one of the few locations her family can afford to go to. When she and her friend went scuba-diving, Kagura felt a strong presence, not a rogue current, but something unnatural. Something... supernatural. After that attraction, the six girls go to Kokusaidori street to buy some souvenirs. While Chiyo and Sakaki are marveling at the little shisa figurines and Tomo and Osaka are annoying Yomi by repeating the words "chinsuko" and "sata andagi" to no end, Kagura started to have another flashback.
The 9-year Kagura was helping her father out with his shop, which sells pottery and carvings of shisas. Her father fashioned himself as an artist, that how he fell in love with her mother, and when the Japanese government allowed the local Okinawans to preserve their culture by establishing a tourism industry, he was enthusiastic because he can finally pursue his passion of being a shop owner to get him and his two daughters out of poverty.
"Daddy, are you sure that your shop will bring us more money?" the little Kagura asked her father.
"Of course, Kagura!" Kagura's father said, "Thanks to the Japanese government, we're going live a better life!"
Kagura smiled as she knows that someday, she'll have a better life.
And she did have a better life, attending a prestigious high school and she's on her way to join the National All-Women Swim Team. The following day was exciting for Kagura- as not only she and her friends are going to the beach, but also to another island in the Ryukyu Islands: Iriomote Island. Kagura never went to Iriomote Island when she was 9 years old. In fact, she went to the island on a 6th-grade field trip, where she hoped to see a rare Iriomote cat, but that didn't then. Fortunately for her, one of her friends, Sakaki, was able to not only find one but also pet one without getting bitten. After a tour of Iriomote Island, it was time to hit the beaches of Okinawa, though Kagura didn't feel like jumping in the water or chasing after Tomo.
"Yukari-sensei, can I see my family tomorrow?" Kagura asked her homeroom teacher, but Yukari cracked up.
"Kagura, you know that tomorrow we're leaving!"
Yukari's words echo throughout Kagura's mind during the night. She feared that Yukari would say that in her diary entry, and now her fears are true. She was crying outside of the hotel when her P.E. teacher, Nyamo, walks up to her.
"Kagura, what's wrong?" Nyamo asked Kagura.
"Coach, Yukari-sensei told me that tomorrow we're leaving Okinawa, and, and-" Kagura paused, trying to compose her words but the sadness in her heart prevents her from doing that.
"And what, Kagura?"
"And I may not get the chance to see my father, my sister, and MY MOTHER'S GRAVE!" Kagura cried, sobbing more tears of sorrow.
"Don't cry, Kagura," Nyamo said, hugging Kagura in the process, "You'll get your chance in the future. It's just school policy that school trips must last 3 days, not a week."
Kagura then wiped the tears on her face, "You know coach, you act just like my mother when she was alive."
Nyamo smiled at Kagura's comment as the two go inside of the hotel. But what Kagura and Nyamo didn't know is that a mysterious force field started to form around Okinawa. The next day, the senior students are at the airport, buying some last-minute souvenirs (and Tomo decided to buy turmeric tea to annoy Yomi even more). And then, the PA system turned on:
"Attention, passengers: All flights to and from Naha are canceled due to mysterious circumstances. We're sorry for the inconvenience."
Everybody was shocked. The teachers, the students, everyone. What has caused this? Who done it? What mysterious force was behind the flight cancellations?
Endnotes: So you guys are asking: But Rachel! How does this fanfic come to be?! Well, this is where the shoutout comes into play. Today's shoutout goes to... (drum roll, please) NorwegianMidnight ! The fanfic's origins can be traced back to a single line in her fanfic "A Dance" (Which I recommend), where Kaorin mentions Kagura's Ryukyuan background. My review of that fanfic has caused NorwegianMidnight to write "From the Streets" (Which I also recommend), which expands on Kagura's backstory as a Ryukyuan living a poor life. And after I researched Ryukyuan culture and listen to "The Rite of Spring" for the millionth time, this fanfic was born. Yeah, the first chapter is Episode 21 of the anime with added scenes, but don't worry, the next chapters are more original. So, read and review!
Note: I do not own everything I write. They belong to their respective owners.