The Old Ways Part II
song- The Old Ways, by Loreena McKennitt
The thundering waves are calling me home, home to you
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.
It had been just another stressful day in Kasumi's life when the Chosen One had walked into it. They had started off enemies, but as time passed, they began to learn of each other.
On a dark new year's night
On the west coast of Clare
I hear your voice singing
Your eyes danced the song
Your hands played the tune
T'was a vision before me.
Kasumi had learned what love was that night when she and Satoshi had snuck away to a secret place by the Sea shore.
We left the music behind and the dance carried on
As we stole away to the seashore
We smelt the brine, felt the wind in our hair
He had proposed to her there, on the hilltop, and she with weeping eyes had accepted. He had left for his responsibilities demanded his attention. And when he returned, he carried ill-fated news.
With sadness you paused.
Suddenly I knew that you'd have to go
Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so
Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time
And I wondered why.
As we cast our gaze on the tumbling sea
A vision came o'er me
Of thundering hooves and beating wings
In clouds above.
He had come to her once more to see her, and had made his promise.
As you turned to go I heard you call my name.
You were like a bird in a cage, spreading its
Wings to fly
"The old ways are lost" you sang as you flew
And I wondered why.
And there he left, upon the back of the legendary Lugia..
The thundering waves are calling me home, home to you
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.
Kasumi stood once again as she always did at the hilltop near the Sea shore to stand and lose herself in her own thoughts. It had been nearly two months since she had last gazed into the eyes of her beloved Satoshi. The Chosen One, destined to protect all humanity and pokémon alike. She felt his pain, a dull throbbing constantly keeping her aware of her heartache, her fierce longing for something she could never have.
When he had told her he couldn't fulfill the promise he had made to her, it had been the story of her life, used to disappointment, Kasumi had accepted the pain as she always did. Wiping away a stray tear, she turned to head back to the home she feared she could never leave and a mother she could not escape. She dragged her feet on the pebble road, hoping to delay a confrontation that was inevitable. Villagers would stare at her passing form for they knew what had befallen the youngest of the Water Shaman, but no one dared to offer their sympathy, Kasumi would hear none of it.
As was predicted, Kasumi's mother was in the house, she had barely acknowledged her daughter's presence with a slight glance. Ruth was her favorite now, Kasumi knew and didn't care, Ruth was able to perform the duties Kasumi had once loathed.
Ruth was sitting at the table with scrolls sprawled before her, she looked up and sneered at her would-be rival, Kasumi didn't bother to retaliate.
"Give it up", Ruth whispered as to not have her mistress hear, "he's not coming back, you're not worth it". Ruth made it a point to taunt Kasumi on a daily basis, it was almost routine now. Kasumi ignored the taunts as usual, she really didn't care anymore. The red-head moved towards the table to clear a place for herself, Ruth stood in her spot and leaned closer to the other. "Besides..." she continued in whisper, "he's probably dead". Kasumi rose her eyes up at Ruth, who was smirking and stared, unblinkingly.
"How dare you..." Kasumi hissed dangerously. Ruth had to move back from the table, a flicker of fear crossed her features. Kasumi advanced on the younger woman with threatening menace, Ruth held up her hands and nearly called out for Kasumi's mother but Kasumi already lunged on her quickly. Blinded by tears Kasumi swung her fists, beating Ruth with anger pouring from pain built up for so long. Ruth cried out and somehow managed to escape her attacker.
"What is going on!" Kasumi's mother rushed into the room, dropping utensils onto the table and grabbed at Kasumi, trying to force her daughter to stop.
The older woman's attempts were fruitless as Kasumi violently pushed her away. Grabbing the bread knife from the table she once again advanced on Ruth, the blade pointing at the young Shaman. Kasumi's mother managed to push herself back up from the floor and tearfully protested.
"Kasumi, stop! You've gone crazy!" Kasumi turned around and bared her teeth.
"No Mother, I've put up with you too long. You may hate me and may have pushed Father away, but believe me, I hate you just as much!" Her mother stared stupidly at her, Kasumi turned to see Ruth run for the door. The red-head chased after her, still infuriated and followed Ruth outside.
"Stop running!" Kasumi screamed and lunged for Ruth again, she missed her mark as the younger woman dodged out of the way. Kasumi spun towards her but strong arms wrapped around her thin frame. Kasumi thrashed wildly to try and free herself.
"Kasumi, get a hold of yourself", Takeshi said through gritted teeth, trying to remove the knife from Kasumi's hand. After a few more moments of struggling, she finally tired out and dropped the knife. Takeshi loosened his hold, the red-head slipped to her knees, bursting into sobs. She covered her face with her hands trying to hide her shame.
"Get her out of my sight!" Kasumi's mother stood in her doorway, villagers who had witnessed the commotion stood silently in wonderment. Takeshi kneeled to offer Kasumi some comfort, he looked towards the older woman who was looking towards them. "Stone cutter", the woman's voice was as cold as ice, "take her from the village and be sure she never returns", she turned to go back inside. Ruth rubbed away the blood from her nose and retreated as well.
"C'mon Kasumi, let's go", Takeshi encouraged while she continued to sob. She grabbed at his tunic and allowed him to help her to her feet.
"Takeshi, I'm so sorry", she forced through sobs, Takeshi hugged her with strong arms and guided her away from the temple. He allowed her into his house where she locked herself into a room and cried the whole night.
In the morning, Takeshi prepared breakfast for his family as he always did and was careful to portion a little for his new guest. He carried the small platter to her room and knocked lightly on the door, she refused to answer.
"Kasumi aren't you hungry?" He questioned softly, he heard a little movement and then breathing on the other side of the door. Again Takeshi offered the food and she responded with more silence. "Kasumi, you should eat something".
"I'm not hungry", she finally said, Takeshi remained where he was standing.
"I don't believe you, don't shut yourself away from the rest of us". His friendly words of advice merely fell on deaf ears.
"Go away, Takeshi", she said and he could hear her move again before silence. Takeshi placed the platter by the door and left to start his daily chores.
After a few days the red-head finally left her confinement and sat down outside where she continued her self-pity. Takeshi's little brothers and sisters played around her as though she hadn't suddenly come into their lives. Kasumi sat and watched their innocence play out before her and she felt a little envy. She was that innocent once and almost wished she could've been young again.
"Shaman?" The youngest of the siblings stood in front of the red-head and stared up with her wide, curious eyes. Kasumi moved her eyes down to look at the little one.
"I'm not the Shaman anymore", Kasumi said, but the little girl merely smiled and held out a small flower.
"I know", she said, "but I don't know your name", she began to giggle and Kasumi couldn't help but crack a little smile. She picked the flower from the little girl's hand and admired its simple beauty.
"It's Kasumi", she spoke softly, returning her gaze to the girl.
"I'm Tsuki", she said, "my momma named me that because I was born when the moon was full". Tsuki sniffled a little and Kasumi patted her lap in open invitation. Tsuki immediately climbed in Kasumi's arms and cuddled. "Do you know any lullabies? My momma used to sing to me before she died". Kasumi scanned her memory for a song and began to hum softly, holding the little girl gently as though she would break. Soon enough Tsuki fell asleep near the time when Takeshi returned.
"Thank you", he spoke softly and lifted Tsuki into his own arms as they went inside for dinner. Kasumi was noticeably in a better mood and helped Takeshi prepare the evening meal while the two chatted away.
As the days passed by Kasumi took on a self-appointed role of watching over the children leaving Takeshi more time for himself. Tsuki was the one who warmed up the most, clinging as though she had a new mother and Kasumi found it healing. A handful of her pokémon had found their way to Takeshi's house, Psyduck following by accident. Kasumi was surprised but in Tsuki's innocence she had insisted it was a loyalty only pokémon possessed. Kasumi had agreed with the little girl and introduced her pokémon to the rest of the family.
"Kasumi?" Tsuki wondered out loud while cuddling Togepi.
"What?" The red-head responded, not completely paying attention.
"Would you show me how to train pokémon?" Kasumi couldn't help but give a little ironic laugh.
"I'm not sure I'd be the best one to ask, Tsuki, I think I've done a bad job at it myself". Tsuki giggled.
"You're right", Ruth's voice cut in with a sharp bite, she approached the small group, staring intently towards her rival. Kasumi glared back, Tsuki stood behind her.
"What are you doing here", instead of questioning, it came out in a equally icy tone. Ruth rose her eyebrows.
"You've go something that's mine", was her answer, she bobbed her head towards the pokémon, Kasumi followed her gaze and returned her glare.
"You're wrong. Now get out of here before I finish our fight". Ruth placed her hands on her hips in mock-challenge. She took a knife from her Shaman robes and tossed it on the ground in front of her rival's feet.
"That was my intention", Ruth said, Kasumi could see she was serious, she looked down at Tsuki and sent her away. Tsuki was reluctant at first but obeyed.
"My mother got what she wanted, so why did you actually come here?" Kasumi picked up the knife as an extra precaution.
"I told you, for the pokémon."
"You're quick", Ruth cut in, she pursed her lips in a mock-smile, neither woman removing their sight from the other. "I heard a rumor that the Chosen One was nearby. Thought I'd pay him a visit, but there was a little problem." Kasumi rose her eyebrows.
"Oh? And what's that?"
"You", Ruth drew her own weapon and charged towards her rival, Kasumi was ready, however and countered the attack, slashing Ruth's forearm open. Ruth screamed and clutched her bleeding wound.
"Don't make me do this", Kasumi pleaded, knowing she was easily the better fighter.
"You did it to yourself", Ruth said, she looked away when she heard someone approaching.
"What's going on?" Takeshi dropped his gear to the ground and stared at the two women.
"Nothing", Kasumi said, putting the knife in her pocket, "but she needs to get that fixed." Ruth looked at her in disbelief and numbly followed the other two inside.
Takeshi dressed Ruth's wound and the two women sat at the family table studying each other intently. Neither one said anything until Takeshi finished and allowed them some privacy.
"Why didn't you finish me off?" Ruth questioned with a confused expression. Kasumi snorted in response.
"You're not worth it, Ruth, besides, you're Mother's heiress, your life is worth something". Ruth bowed her head slightly, her face coloring with shame.
"Thank you, it's so stupid that it took me this long to learn jealousy is a waste of time." Kasumi poured herself a cup of tea and took a slow sip.
"Jealousy?" She finally questioned in skepticism, "jealous of what?"
"You of course", Ruth said and continued when she received a blank stare. "Don't you get it? I've spent my life trying to become perfect, then here you are, your own mother looks down on you and yet the most important man in the world falls in love with you. I don't get it". Kasumi began laughing at the other woman, spilling her tea in the process.
"That's what this is about? How stupid." Ruth narrowed her eyes at Kasumi who was still laughing. "Yes, but I've learned my lesson, so now I'm going home." Kasumi suddenly turned serious again.
"Wait", she said as Ruth rose from her seat, "did you mean what you said? About Satoshi?"
"Who?" Ruth gave Kasumi a funny look.
"The Chosen One", Kasumi corrected her error. Ruth smirked and nodded her head before leaving. Kasumi fell silent and poured herself another cup of tea while thinking about several things at once. Takeshi returned to the room and took Ruth's seat, looking intently at the red-head.
"I'm not going to bother", Takeshi said, helping himself to tea. Silence overtook for a few more moments before Kasumi looked up at Takeshi and studied him.
"I have to go somewhere, I'll be back later", she suddenly announced and quickly left the house and ran.
The sun was just beginning to set when she reached the cave of jewels. She could've found her way blindfolded, but she kept her hands on the cave wall to keep herself steady as she made her way to the opening. Soft blue light glowed, the walls were glittering tantalizingly at her, she slowly moved towards the water. Removing her sandals she waded through the water towards one of the glittering walls and ran her fingers over the textured surface.
Pulling the knife from her pocket she quickly washed the blood from the blade and dug the tip underneath one of the gems. Giving a good push the gem dislodged and fell out of its spot, landing in the water. Kasumi bent and took the gem, picking it out of the water and quietly admiring it's beauty.
Stuffing it in her pocket she picked the gems she desired and removed them only to stuff her pocket full. After she was satisfied, she left the cave and hurried back to Takeshi's house with only the starlight to guide her.
Takeshi was finished serving dinner by the time she returned, the children already off to bed. He acknowledged her presence and motioned for her to eat dinner left on the table for her. She ignored the food and dumped the contents of her pocket onto the table. Takeshi stared at the pile of jewels and looked at Kasumi with a questioning glance.
"How long would it take you to make a dagger?" She asked, Takeshi was speechless. "Not for a weapon. A ceremonial dagger", she insisted after the moment of silence.
"I don't know, it's been a while", Kasumi looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"Please, it's very important to me." Takeshi sighed but replied with a smile. Kasumi smiled back.
It took nearly four weeks to complete Kasumi's dagger. It turned into a piece of treasure, considering the beauty of the selected gems. Takeshi had created the handle out of the native soap-stone and a steel blade with intricate designs decorating it. He had handed it to Kasumi who had praised her friend for the work and kept the dagger hidden.
On a sunny morning, life went as routine until a stranger walked back into Takeshi's life. Takeshi had just returned from a day's work and frowned towards the visitor Kasumi didn't recognize.
"Father?" Takeshi asked in disbelief, the older man clasped his hands together.
"I've come home, Son", the older man replied, Kasumi could only stare in confusion.
"No sense standing out here", Takeshi finally said as he headed inside the house.
They sat at the table and quietly talked. Kasumi had chosen this time to announce her plan to find her beloved as Ruth had said he was nearby. Takeshi's father announced he was here to stay and so Takeshi decided to help out by accompanying Kasumi on her trip. ( a little rushed)
Takeshi and Kasumi left early the next morning, he having packed lots of food for their trip. They had reached the village limits by noon and were suddenly in a territory neither knew. Kasumi's pokémon had remained at Takeshi's home as Tsuki had insisted on becoming a trainer.
The forest along their way was very inviting, often they'd stop just to admire native pokémon, but Kasumi always expressed an urgency to continue. Near nightfall, they had decided to make camp and Takeshi had a fire going within minutes. Supper was soon ready, the two admired the night sky while eating their supper.
"Excuse me, but would you have any to spare?" Takeshi and Kasumi looked up to see two wandering hobos standing hesitantly nearby, a small Meowth hiding behind the woman's leg.
"Certainly", Takeshi finally said, offering leftovers. The trio sat down at the fire, all were noticeably weather worn.
"How long have you been on the road?" Takeshi wondered out loud, handing the man a bowl of stew.
"Most of our lives", the woman said, taking an offered bowl.
"Meeeeowth", the small pokémon agreed, purring as he ate.
"Where are you headed?" Kasumi asked, the woman hesitated before answering.
"There's a village near here. They say the Chosen One is supposed to show up. We're going to get a glance of the legendary pokémon". Kasumi's eyes widened at the news.
"That's where we're headed, why don't we walk together?" Kasumi requested. The trio readily agreed.
"Are you going to see the Chosen One as well?" The woman asked, pushing a piece of rose-colored hair out of her face. Kasumi blushed, Takeshi nodded.
"She's the Chosen One's intended", Takeshi explained, the strangers took a moment to appreciate Kasumi's presence.
The trio remained to sleep near the fire as everyone drifted off excited for the day to come.
Kasumi twitched unconsciously as dreams flooded her mind, feeling as though they were real...
Kasumi smiled as she saw herself once again standing on the hilltop watching a breathtaking sunset. The breeze was pleasantly warm, whipping Kasumi's red hair, making her feel as though she were free, even for a moment. She heard a sound that caused her to turn and see a great shadow approaching. Lugia landed just behind her and Satoshi smiled at his intended.
"Satoshi?" She whispered, unsure of what she was seeing was real or not. Satoshi's smile turned into a wide grin as he held out his hand.
"How about that ride?" He asked, his rich tenor voice sounded like bells ringing in the temple. Kasumi smiled back and rushed towards him, reaching out to take his hand. Satoshi lifted her upon the legendary bird's back and held onto her as Lugia launched into the sky.
"I've missed you", Kasumi spoke softly, closing her eyes, enjoying the emotions welling up inside of her.
"And I want you to stay with me forever", Satoshi said, looking into Kasumi's ocean-blue eyes. Kasumi studied his face, but she remained silent as she noticed his features were absolutely perfect.
"No", she breathed all too soon. Satoshi's smile faded, and suddenly he was gone. Kasumi stood alone in the darkness and shivered as the temperature turned bitterly cold.
"Kasumi!" She heard his voice, she whipped around in hopes for some light. Mists rose up around her legs and Kasumi felt panic rise up in her stomach. "Kasumi, help!" Satoshi's own voice scared her, she turned around again and saw movement in the shadows.
"Satoshi?" She called out, the shadow began to solidify and continued to approach.
"You cannot have him", a dark, throaty voice vibrated in the air, Kasumi shivered and took a step back.
"Who are you?" She bravely questioned, but her mind screamed for her to run. The solid shadow's eyes glowed white in the darkness and Kasumi turned to run.
"Kasumi! Kasumi! Wake up!" Takeshi shook his companion, she was thrashing and shrieking wildly. Finally Takeshi slapped her face to try and wake her from her nightmare. Kasumi's tear-filled eyes blinked open as she returned to consciousness, seeing Takeshi in front of her.
"Takeshi, wha?" She sat up and took in her surroundings.
"You were having a nightmare, are you alright?" Takeshi asked softly, feeling genuinely concerned. Kasumi nodded numbly and looked around for the three guests that had joined them.
"They left while we were sleeping and took some of our things. Turns out they weren't as honest as they seemed". Kasumi felt panic again and rushed towards her things to see if her dagger was still there.
"Takeshi". Kasumi gained his attention, "they took it". Takeshi frowned at the news. Kasumi stood and began readying herself to leave.
"What are you doing?" He asked, watching her move quickly.
"I'm going to get it back", she swore quietly with venom in her voice. Takeshi quickly followed her example and followed her out of the forest.
They reached the village by the afternoon and almost right away Kasumi began inquiring about their stolen property. Nobody seemed to have recalled seeing the people in question.
A small commotion caused Kasumi to forget her problem for the moment as villagers rushed to the aid of a local farmer. Takeshi and Kasumi quickly asked to help, seeing a small child trapped from a small rock slide. Takeshi took a shovel and began digging away at the boulder which pinned the little boy's legs. He was crying quite loudly as villagers hurried to free him. Kasumi used what skills she had to try and calm the child down, but he continued to struggle. Thanks to Takeshi's quick action the boulder moved enough to pull the child free. Kasumi wiped the boy's face and made soothing noises as his mother covered him with a blanket.
"What happened 'Oni?" His mother questioned. The boy pointed behind the group.
"Someone stole my Pikachu!" He cried out, "he's my special pokémon and they took him!" The boy sniffled some more as his mother asked him further questions. "It was two people with a Meowth..." Takeshi and Kasumi looked at each other before mutually running off in the desired direction.
The couple found their targets at the bottom of the hill, admiring their stolen prize. The Pikachu was unconscious, Kasumi and Takeshi were hiding behind the trees near the clearing, furiously whispering to each other.
"How do we attack?" Kasumi wondered out loud, Takeshi looked around them to assess the situation.
"Surprise them somehow?" Kasumi shook her head.
"I have an idea", she said, picking up a rock and moving towards the clearing. With expert precision she threw the rock as hard as she could, hitting the pikachu in the back of the head. The little pokémon woke up and immediately let off a bolt of electricity, frying it's captors.
Kasumi rushed towards the loot, sifting through until she found her dagger, it was still in perfect condition. The pikachu looked up at her in question, Kasumi returned the gaze.
"Would you like to go home?" She asked.
"Pika!" It readily agreed and followed her and Takeshi back to the village where they were thanked and asked to remain for the evening meal.
"We're going to see the Chosen One", Takeshi explained between mouthfuls of supper.
"Oh, that's the Temple of Legends", the boy's mother said, "That's only a half a day's walk from here. But, there's one thing I don't understand..." She gave a puzzled look towards Takeshi. "The Chosen One is dead". She gave a start when Kasumi dropped her goblet on the floor.
"When?" Takeshi asked, the woman shook her head.
"A while ago, we received the news a few days after it happened. Didn't you know?" Takeshi shook his head; Kasumi rose from her seat and left the house with Takeshi to follow. He wrapped his arms around her as she sobbed piteously.
"We're still going", Kasumi spoke softly, early the next morning. "I just want to see the temple". She and Takeshi made the half-day journey to find an elaborate temple with pokémon all around.
The temple's head Shaman was a Sloking, gifted with human speech. Kasumi had showed him the ceremonial dagger and had explained how she was Satoshi's intended.
Broken hearted, Kasumi asked for a little time alone and climbed the steps to the holy chamber. The walls were elaborately decorated with hieroglyphs depicting the legend of the Chosen One. She spent a few moments taking in their beauty. Seeing the marble table covered with treasures, she pushed all of it off and ignored the loud clang of the falling metal. She lifted herself onto the table and gazed longingly towards the hieroglyphs.
Removing the dagger from her pocket she used the blade to cut a lock of her hair, twisting the soft strands around the same blade. It was a wedding dagger, she had wanted to marry her beloved, but he was no longer alive. She decided she would rather be with him the in spirit world instead of living bitterly alone.
She placed the tip of the blade on her chest and took one last tearful breath before plunging the dagger into her heart. She fell backwards, coughing up blood as she began to die.
"Kasumi!" Takeshi rushed to her side, having heard the noise from the falling treasures. He took her hand as she turned her blurry eyes towards him, her breath ragged. "Kasumi, why?" He asked, his own eyes tearing.
"I...have...nothing...here", she forced out in whispers, choking on her own blood. "I...love...him", she smiled at him, turning her eyes away. Takeshi blinked back tears as he let go of her hand, it fell limply to Kasumi's side. Her last tormented breath echoed throughout the chambers as her lifeforce emptied from her body. And she was gone.
Authors Notes: Right its been 8 years. Maybe I should finish this.