Prologue: Grave of Fireflies

Father...

Her fingers tensed on the weapon as a single tear slid down her cheek.

She had to do this….

Ayane's eyes fluttered closed as the chant left her lips. She held the cool metal over the searing flames. It warmed and then burned in her palm as she completed the ritual. The last of Genra's essence burst forth in a brilliant flare, blinding her from behind closed eyelids.

The weapon glowed purple, infused with her own life force as it had been with Genra and would be with her successor as per custom of the Hajin Mon. Her gaze traced the journey of the sparks as they floated into the night air, vanishing like dying fireflies.

Her breath misted as her hand tightened its grip. This should have taken place in a sacred ceremony. Instead his death by her hand left no time for the proper respect upon his memory. At least now his soul would rest until its rebirth rather than wander the earth as a vengeful spirit. Her jaw tightened in defiance of the tears that threatened to spill forth.

Despite her tainted blood and orphaned status, he had raised her since nine. Until that point, trust had come slow to her. In time as she learned the ways of the Hajin-Mon she came to understand him. Duty and honor transcended blood and creed. He had always spoken of her with a measure of pride.

When she found him, Genra's eyes raged with fire, yet been devoid of life. The mere sight of him had proved that the father she once knew was now nothing more than a distant memory.

There were consequences in abusing the fire of the Hajin-Mon. At the very least, the threat of corruption to one's soul. She knew the risks well. She had experienced the cost of just such an offence. The energy had burned within her body, blood pounding within her veins while she struggled to raise her limbs.

In the end she had done as fate had forced her hand. Genra had fallen, the symbol of their heritage slumped in the frozen earth.

The flames had waned. All that was left were embers…. dust to be carried on the wind.

"Blood is the driving force but honor transcends all things. What was taken is returned…"

She turned her back and strode from what was now her past; freeing Genra was only the start, there was work to be done.. Ayane remained oblivious to the chill of snow against her face as she swore to herself in silence.

When the day of reckoning arrived…. nothing would stand in her way.

---------------------------------------

Authors Note:

The characters in this story are the property of Tecmo and I'm admitting it so don't sue me. All questions and comments are welcome.

I would like to thank Kochan1 for all of his help as I made my efforts to get myself back in the writing loop. smile

It has been sometime since I posted anything and I am quite pleased to be back in action. Much more to come! smiles