I don't own Love Hina. Love Hina belongs to Ken Akamatsu. The story though is just a work of fiction. For all spelling and grammar mistakes I apologize in advance.
There is a myth that the power of the heart called love can move mountains; that it is stronger than the fiercest winds; and the harsh strength of nature can be summoned at its whim. This is a story of such love, of courage and of fellowship.
A young girl was trying her best not to cry. She held on to the boy's hand like her life depended on it. Her long white robe was swaying with the cool night breeze mixed with blustering heat of destruction. The noise of panicking people around her did not bother her only the beating of her heart. Red flames around her were engulfing everything on its path like an unstoppable wave.
The castle has fallen.
"Promise me…" the little girl started, pleading with her eyes, searching for an answer only he could provide, "Promise me that you'll come for me…"
A boy, no older than five, stood silent before her, looking at her with grimness unnatural for his tender age. He stood there the way his ancestors had stood in times of great crisis; calm and brave. But deep within him he felt at a lost for everything he knew was burning right in front of him.
"Promise me that you'll look for me…" the little girl drew closer, her voice clear and soothing, "Promise me…"
Sounds of trampling hooves. Their enemies were closing in. They have to move quickly.
The boy tightened his hold. He nodded at the girl with purpose and whispered, "I promise you… I will take everything back… everything that we have lost… and I will find you,"
Suddenly, the little girl was grabbed by a woman with similar clothing and carried her to a waiting carriage behind the cluster of trees. She never left her gaze on the boy as the carriage hurried deep into the forest guided only by a hidden road away from chaos and devastation.
"We shall meet again…" the boy nodded for the last time as he watched her disappear in the dark.
Then he turned around and drew his short sword. He faced the enemy with odd ferocity. He has now resigned his life to Buddha. Whatever happens tonight, he would die with honour. The last of his kind would never bow down even in front of imminent defeat.
The cavalry appeared from the flames like demons. Their horses breathing with ferocious fire like dragons in heat. The riders' heavy armours, a mixture of metal and wood, glistened in the dark. Their faces, covered with painted masks, a picture of odd raging emotions screamed with utter violence to dishearten or scare their prey. But this particular prey, a boy, could not easily be shaken.
Then the head of the raiding party approached the lone warrior. The boy's bravery has caught his attention. Such attitude and fire at a very young age were rare even in this peaceful reign of the Kamakura bakufu. He made a decision.
The leader spoke with powerful authority, "I want him alive…"
Then the boy screamed and charged.
15 years later
Japan, the land of the Gods was in great peril.
There was a disturbing rumour that spread through out the whole of Asia from their neighbouring land, China. A barbarian host of thousands of men were amassing at the smaller islands of Korea. Hundreds of ships were being constructed and massive conscripts of advanced artillery were being collected. And the most alarming affirmation of such outlandish and yet unsettling reports were the arrival of two envoys claiming to bear an important message to the Japanese authorities from the emperor of the barbaric horde, the Mongolian empire.
Japan was under a threat of a great naval invasion.
Tsuruko Aoyoma hissed with disdain. The stupidity of her own countrymen has once again both amazed and infuriated her. Fools, she thought, as the news of cruel fate the two envoys from China received from the shogun of the Kamakura bakufu, spread like wildfire all over the village. When will they ever learn? We can achieve more with peaceful diplomacy than brutal expression of arrogance!
She turned towards the window and watched the empty stretch of the China Sea.
The ancient and honourable line of Aoyoma clan has guarded the harbour that faces China and Korean Peninsula for hundred of years. The clan, mostly consisted of women, has met years of neighbouring clans' attempts at overtaking the much coveted land and severe scrutiny by higher shogunate officials who openly badger the villagers that it was very unwise to let a group of weak women govern them. The Aoyomas have repulsed countless invasions coming from inland than what the open sea has ever given them since the establishment of their village.
But such leadership and confident control did not go unnoticed. The Royal family of Japan has taken to the Aoyoma's cause. And indeed, the Aoyoma clan has been given proper protection and distinction in the Japanese society after years of scorn.
And apart from bravery, strength and control; the Aoyomas carried a secret sword arts that proved to be an effective weapon against any form of swordsmanship, a power that has kept the villagers and neighbouring clans at awe and at bay.
We don't have much time, Tsuruko shook her head, we are simply not prepared for this… we need help.
A knock on the door.
Then a younger woman appeared behind Tsuruko.
Tsuruko turned and studied her younger sister bowed before her, Motoko Aoyoma. Tsuruko smiled as she noticed that Motoko's hair has grown longer, almost at her waist. She felt proud to see Motoko's calm and disciplined demeanour, a mark of their blood. The mark of Aoyoma.
"You called for me, sister…" Motoko started, her head still low.
Tsuruko began to pace before her.
"These are grave times Motoko-chan…" Tsuruko spoke with a detached tone, "indeed… we are going into a darker period of this futile era…"
A cold wind breezed through.
"The emperor has been subdued on a virtual prison, the shogunate shows weak leadership and warlords are at each others throats expanding their territories… and now… Japan is under a threat of a foreign invasion…" Tsuruko sighed, "I wonder… will we last at all? We don't stand a chance…"
Tsuruko finally turned towards Motoko, "Rise my dear sister… for I have a very important mission for you…"
Motoko rose with indifference and stared Tsuruko with confidence.
"I want you to deliver a message to the emperor," Tsuruko produced a scroll from beneath the folds of her kimono, "I want you to give this message to no one else but his highness. You will be travelling in secrecy… I will give you ten men as your retinues. And as a proof of the message's urgency, I also give you charge of a visitor from a far away realm…" Tsuruko raised her hand and a cloaked figure stepped next to her.
The cloak unveiled itself and revealed a young girl with bright yellowish hair. Her face showed eternally blushing cheeks complemented with big round green eyes which seemed to be quick to smile and her skin was of silky and smooth brown complexion.
"Motoko-chan… I'd like you to meet… Kaolla Su of the Molmol kingdom,"
Motoko Aoyoma sighed.
The sun was setting and the beautiful landscape before her sat into a melancholic conclusion of the day. There were birds of different species that Motoko has not seen before flying over them as their small group appeared from the forest trees following an open path that leads to the main road. Their long journey has just begun.
Motoko settled herself more comfortably on her horse as she pondered the last parting words her elder sister gave her that morning.
"You will be confronted with great danger… so be careful who you meet along the way…" Tsuruko has told her earlier, "As you know, our clan is rather infamous, especially now that we have the imperial family's favour. Our neighbours will surely make it hard for you to accomplish such seemingly simple task…"
Motoko was quick to show her temper, "those animals will feel my wrath if they ever show even a shadow of their feet…"
Tsuruko held Motoko's hand, "I know you will do your best to fulfil your duty my dear sister… and I envy you so much… for in this journey I'm sure you will learn so much and it will enlighten your training furthermore,"
"What do you mean sister…? I have diligently accomplished everything the ancient scrolls could give…"
"I know… you are undoubtedly the most skilled of all of us… but you have to understand… the way of the Aoyoma samurai does not completely rely on the way of the sword… but one that is much more powerful than any… one power that all other samurais failed to accomplish… it is the way of the heart,"
Motoko almost burned with embarrassment and stamped her hand on the tatami floor full of indignation, "I don't need such pursuits sister! I am a warrior! I am a swordswoman! I don't care what others might think but I will follow what other samurai has… that is the perfection of self-discipline and the way of the sword…" she gripped her sword hard, "this is all I need… my sword… and glory!"
Tsuruko had smiled thinking of Motoko's naivety. She just hoped she survive long enough to see her sister's happiness complete. To be a swordswoman in this era was definitely the most tasking of all. It would be easier to die honourably than face a fate that could result to an imaginable pain.
Motoko drifted back and glanced behind her to give her small party a quick inspection.
Her retinues were of men handpicked personally by Tsuruko. They were chosen because of their loyalty to the clan and skills with the sword. They were formed five by five on each side and in the middle was the foreigner from the Molmol kingdom. Kaolla Su gave Motoko a beaming smile.
Motoko looked sternly back as if to say she does not approve of such blatant expressions. She faced forward again, on the lead and sighed, controlling her deep disappointment that this would be nothing more than an eventless quick journey back and forth.
She could not have been more wrong.
"BY KAMI I'M SOOOO HUNGRY!"
A young man jumped with joy as he fished his frog from an open fire. He has a brownish hair matching his eyes that constantly gives anybody he meets a clueless appearance. A ragged sort of clothing ripped from old rags wrapped around his body, an extra layer has been bundled on his arms, elbow to wrist, and legs, from knee to ankle. And from a quick look he could be passed as a beggar on the streets.
The young man ate with utter bliss. His pack, rolled on the same old rags that covered his few belongings he deemed precious, was on his side. He shivered and edged closer to the fire as his surrounding darkened, the sun finally settled behind the mountains, and the night breeze started to blow.
It is by mere chance of luck that I stumbled on those marshes… I didn't have food with me. And I'm poorer than a beggar for I don't have any money at all… Kami's good fortune must be pleased with me today.
Then he heard it.
A rushing sound coming from what he estimated as a few miles away. He had quickly calculated the distance and he felt assured that it was of no threat to his own safety. Then another set of noise followed, screams and unmistakable sound of metals; a sword fight of some scale.
The young man chose to ignore it and so he continued eating his blessedly given food.
After a moment he heard a woman scream.
Then the young man rushed into the trees.
Towards the noise.
It was an ambush.
Motoko deflected a sword that suddenly came swaying her way. They were outnumbered and outmanoeuvred. Too many enemies were rushing into the foray as Motoko's retinue repulsed the rush and closed themselves into a tight protective screen, putting Su in the middle.
The ambushers regrouped, quickly scattered and surrounded their target.
Motoko cursed under her breath for being so careless, how can I be so stupid? Of course! We're on enemy territory… but how did they know our exact travel path. Then she raised her sword to unleash one of the secret sword arts only to be stopped as one of the ambushers came charging on her blind spot.
She swayed her sword around and deflected the sword slash.
The scream of the ambushers tore through the night as they charged down, their swords high in the air for the strike.
Then sounds of metal against metal quickly followed as two different sides attacked and defended.
Motoko turned around and found her retinues felled one after another as the ambushers bore them down on every direction. She swung her sword to the right and blocked a slash aimed at her neck by a hairline and pushed the attacker away.
This is useless! They're too many and too quick! I can't use my secret arts because they kept on attacking me without pause and room to manoeuvre, Motoko shook her head in desperation as she evaded two swords cutting her way simultaneously and rolled onto the dusty ground, they know the secret arts! Or atleast they know how to stop me from using it! Cowards! They are all cowards!
One of the ambushers screamed.
Motoko looked up and found the foreigner holding a short blade and watched her deftly dodge the swords like some sort of an eerie dance. The foreigner, as young as she was, managed to down three attackers in quick successive motions.
By Kami… she can fight! Then Motoko found herself rolling backwards as she felt something hard hit her jaw. She came crashing down on the bush.
Another scream as the rush went on.
Motoko groggily shook her head trying to focus her senses. Her strength was fading and she could not hold herself upright. She was loosing. The pain in her sword arm was becoming unbearable. She could not hold her sword any longer. I can't! I can't die right now! Why now? Why now!
Then a figure loomed before her. The gleam of the sword blade shone in the dark.
I'm sorry sister… I'm so sorry… I have failed… Motoko closed her eyes and prepared herself for the inevitable.
The sword hissed as it came slashing down.
Then another scream filled the air. One filled with pure pain like an injured child.
"WAAAAAAAA!!!! THAT HURTS YOU BASTARD!"
Huh? Motoko opened her eyes and found… somebody with its arms outstretched and blood pouring down from it. She could not make out the scene but she deduced that… this… somebody blocked the sword using its outstretched arms. Odd? That's very odd… why would you block a sword with your bare arms?
Then the image blurred followed with more ridiculous profanities.
"TAKE THAT! AND THAT! AND YOU WANT SOME MORE? HERE YOU GO! TAKE THAT! AND THAT!"
Scuffling sounds either men were rushing forward or running away.
"HEY! WHERE YOU GOING? I'M NOT DONE YET! TAKE THAT!"
Motoko could not take any more of it as her consciousness started to fade. But before the last of her strength gave out she saw a shadow rose before her. Then a face peered close to her eyes.
It was a man. A young man. His hair was of brownish colour spiked in different directions and his eyes were of the same hue. There was a very disturbing smile on his face that made Motoko wonder about the stranger's sanity.
"Okay… that'll be a few coins… wouldn't you agree?"
Motoko could not make out what the young man was asking but then she managed to croak a whisper, "Who… are… you?"
The young man smiled again and this time Motoko was truly afraid for his condition, "Keitaro… Keitaro at your service ma'am!"
Then Motoko fainted.
Hei there guys and gals! It's me again! So what do you think? Quite weird isn't it? To tell you the truth I've always wanted to write something like this for quite awhile now. And I'm not sure if anybody has done this before. And for some of the historical stuffs… well… don't bother with it. This will just be another romantic adventure stuffs aimed to confuse you. Well… anybody who has read any of my fiction should know that… I like to keep on surprising my readers.
Anyways, I hope you stick long enough… I'd appreciate it greatly if you tell me what you think on the reviews… atleast I would know how to – jump on you.
Thanks again! Cheers!