Full Summary: Kaoru has fought long and hard for the peace Sevenwaters now takes for granted but what will happen when the past begins to threaten those she loves? Will Megumi be strong enough to protect her mother's tuath and the Tuatha De Danann while holding on to her own love? Story is based off of Juliet Marillier's second novel in the Sevenwaters Trilogy, Son of the Shadows. Featured couples include: Sanosuke/ Megumi, Aoshi/ Misao, and Kenji/ Chizuru.

Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or Son of the Shadows. As much as I'd love to take credit for Nobuhiro Watsuki's and Juliet Marillier's creations, I'd rather keep what little money I have.

This story is a work of fiction and should not be taken as a serious era piece. Sevenwaters, Harrowfield, Northwoods and the Three Sacred Islands are made up places.



No one seems to be interested in my Author's Notes from Daughter of the Forest RK Style so if anyone has any topics that they wish answers to I will attempt to do so in this section. There is no such thing as a stupid question and anything is fair game. Heck, I'll even go so far as to answer personal questions!

Be warned that I might inquire towards your own opinion and that all topics I answer will be up to my discretion. I'm not about to give out my credit card numbers or other such personal information. That wouldn't be all too smart of me now would it: P

Italics mean mental conversations.

Son of the Shadows RK Style

Chapter 1: Family Matters

My family is like any other family in Erin. Every morning my twin, Kenji, and the other men in the family work in the fields and help the villagers with their provisions while my sister Misao, my mother and I attend to the tasks of the house. We all have our own role to play in the grand scheme of the household and we equally contribute of our time and energy.

Misao is a decent cook and talented in pretty much all things domestic. Eriko, the head kitchen maid, noticed my sister's talent and quickly recruited her as an assistant. Eriko often laughs over the irony that my older sister would strive in all the things our mother lacks. I don't necessarily agree with Eriko's assessment; I think Misao is very similar to our mother. Not only does Misao look the most like our mother but they both share an interest in swordplay. Though my mother does not believe in using live blades Misao holds no qualms. She is extremely talented with daggers and could easily surpass my father as a spy. The only reason Misao hasn't done so is because she lacks the proper formal training. The fact that she knows so much about the art of spying and networking is in itself taboo. My father would be highly criticized if word were spread about his daughter's activities.

Father too has trained me but I am not nearly as talented as Misao and Kenji. I often tease Kenji that when we were in our mother's womb he took all the physical endurance while I stole all the mental.

Much like my mother and her long lost brother Soujiro; my brother and I can speak to each other mentally. My mother once mentioned sadly in passing that she sees a lot of my Uncle in me. I contribute our common personality traits due to the gift of the sight we both share. It's hard not to take things more seriously or become more introverted when you constantly have mental images and other people's emotions to deal with. It's hard enough to deal with the guilt that comes with the images but to have to worry over the morality of the healing properties our gift provides us is more than overwhelming. The fact that I can enter someone's mind and shift his or her memories and feelings with little to no effort is terrifying. I care for my patients thoroughly and though I haven't ever invaded their privacy I fear that in the case of extreme exhaustion I might. My family believes me stronger than that but sometimes I have my doubts. I have yet to be completely trained, so who is to say that it will never happen?

Kenji says that I worry too much and that I shouldn't be so concerned, but his words seem shallow. He can feel my fear just as I feel his. He knows just as well as I that I am not fully prepared to deal with the type of images and abilities my gift brings with it and that my mother's teachings are not enough. We also feel mother's concern and that has not at all helped calm our nerves.

I fear that I will eventually be stricken mad by the gift I possess despite the best efforts of my family. The only person that could help me learn to control my abilities is Soujiro and he has left this realm many years prior to my birth. I will continue to fight for my sanity but I know that in the end it's just a matter of time before I suffer the same insanity that plagued my Uncle.

As a child I always admired my mother. Everyone in Sevenwaters and those close to my family speak and treat my mother in reverence. I once asked my Uncle Okubo why everyone in the alliance bows to my mother before addressing him. As a child this often baffled me. Shouldn't a guest give their regard to the ruler before his family and why would my uncle not become offended by such behavior from his guests?

I will never forget my Uncle's reaction towards my questioning. He just laughed and replied, "I might be the ruler, but your mother is the heart of Sevenwaters."

As the years have passed I have had time to truly take in my Uncle's words. I have followed my mother on her runs in the village and have even taken over her post as head healer yet she still continues to treat our people and assist the household. She is more than just a woman who championed an evil sorceress; she is the main provider of love and support in the household. Her heart is what keeps our beautiful yet unorthodox family together.

If one were to outright tell my mother that she is the embodiment of love and support she would be appalled by such a suggestion. My mother has never been one to embellish or to give credit where credit isn't due. She is also very modest and has an honest inability to put her own needs above others. Sometimes my mother's lack of confidence, selflessness and naivety aggravate me to no end. As much as I love her I wish she could show as much confidence in her personal life as she does with her healing. I'm sure my father would also agree though he too suffers from the same affliction.

My father, formerly known as Lord Shinta of Harrowfield, is often not given as much credit in our household as he should. Not only has he been the support for my mother, my siblings and I but also his experience as a Lord has often gotten Sevenwaters out of particularly difficult situations.

It has been told to me that one winter there was a terrible flood that threatened to destroy several villages in our tuath. There had never been a flood in recent history as devastating as the one they faced, so my uncles were completely unprepared for such an event. My father, being accustomed to such flooding was able to teach my uncle and the various villagers how to protect their homes and prepare for another such event. Ever since that winter my father has been a behind the scenes advisor. Because of his ties to Harrowfield, which he hasn't completely renounced, my father is not willing to take any clear-cut sides. He will help with matters of the estate but not in foreign affairs involving my uncle's campaign.

My father doesn't mind the fact that his brother-in-laws' are upset with his choice to remain neutral. My father is not willing to fight against his brother and sister-in-law even if his son will one day become the ruler of Sevenwaters. I once asked my father about his decision and he calmly replied, "If you were in my situation could you find it in your heart to fight against your siblings? I might have left them, but they are still blood."

As hyperactive and nosy as Misao can get or how self-righteous and stubborn my twin Kenji is; I could never purposely hurt them. I understand my father's position even if my uncles do not. As much as I love my uncles sometimes their view of the campaign is extremely narrow.

It often saddens me that I never saw my father as the powerful ruler he once was. From the stories my mother speaks of her days in Harrowfield I'm sure that he was an exceptional leader and his countrymen miss his guidance. Sometimes I think that Okubo could learn a lot from Iubdan (Youb' dan).

The villagers definitely cannot be mistaken as a humorless bunch. As the years went by and my father was becoming accepted as a resident of Sevenwaters; the villagers felt it would be fitting to present my father with a new name. Shinta is a name our people have come to associate with England and his old title; both of which he left behind when he married our mother. As a way to show my father that he was accepted they dubbed him with the name Iubdan.

This name is just as much as an acceptance as it is a joke. The name Iubdan derives from the highly pompous King of the Leprechauns, who went to the land of giants, Ulster, with his wife after being baited by his advisor to taste the King of Ulster's porridge. While tasting the porridge he and his wife fell into the bowl and were used as ransom to attain a magical pair of shoes. Though I doubt the people of Sevenwaters feel that my father is an arrogant man, he is no doubt short. For all the children know he could have been the ruler of the Leprechauns. He is after all one of the shortest grown men these parts have seen in a long time.

My father is a kind man and has come to care for the people of Sevenwaters so he took the name with good humor. He even jokingly replied that it was better than the name his brother Akira used to call him as a child. I never asked him what it was that my distant Uncle called him, but I have a feeling that it wouldn't bring up good memories. I know that my father would answer any question his wife or children may ask, but I respect his privacy. Typically, if he doesn't mention something up front I don't press him for an answer.

As I have learned, answers given from my father and Uncle Shougo generally leave one either more confused or on a quest for further knowledge. Misao may enjoy spending her day scouting out answers but I do not have any such luxury. Between fulfilling the choirs of the household, assisting my mother on runs in the villages and humoring my father by attending training with my siblings I have little time to myself. Even if I did have time to myself I would rather curl in front of the fire and read a book much as I am currently. I'm not the social butterfly Misao is.

"Megumi!" an overly cheerful voice jolts me from my thoughts. "I see that you aren't busy so..."

Not bothering to look up at Misao I reply in agitation, "I'm in the middle of my studies if you haven't noticed."

With a devious smirk Misao states, "Is that so? It usually takes you two minutes to read a single page yet you've been staring at the same page for the past five minutes. Either that particular passage is extremely fascinating or you're not very enthralled in your studies." Tilting her head to the side so as to get a better view of the title Misao adds, "I don't really blame you though, Herbal Lore is extraordinarily dull. How can you even read this?"

"This coming from a girl who can't sit in one spot for longer than a few minutes. You would probably find any book unsatisfactory," I comment in amusement.

With a humph Misao retorts haughtily, "I will have you know that I too can sit for longer than a couple of minutes. For one, I have silently watched you stare at a book without your knowledge for five whole minutes. Second, who is the single most source of information in this house? There is no rumor that I, Misao, have not heard or researched thoroughly through my spy network."

With a chuckle I reply, "Spy network? I'm not sure that I would call your escapades spying on the roof or in the trees much of a spy network. Last I checked you need more than one person to qualify as a network."

"Who says that I don't have help?" Misao states proudly.

"Misao, the maids and I do not count as accomplices," I retort playfully.

With a wicked gleam Misao replies, "What if I told you that I've recruited further assistance?"

With a raised brow I inquire in disbelief, "You have tricked some poor fool in your quest for insignificant information? Does he know that the closest thing you have come to a scandal was the news that one of the chambermaids was going to be proposed to. As I recall you almost ruined Yuki's proposal when Keina walked in the middle of your conversation with Eriko."

"And if you remember I masterly corrected my blunder with carefully placed lies," Misao states conceitedly.

"Carefully placed lies," I manage to chock out in between bouts of laughter. "Eriko told me that you changed the Keina's name to Keira and that she was a friend you made while visiting in Kerry. Last time I checked we have never visited Kerry. You were just lucky that Keina was new and that she isn't very bright. Most of the help would know better than to believe that our family would visit Kerry on a holiday. The furthest we've ever traveled is Sidhe Dubh (Shee Dove) to visit Enishi and Chizuru."

"Her name wasn't Keira, it was Kanna and I was on the spot," Misao exclaims in annoyance. "If I had more time I could have come up with a much better excuse. Besides, Keina believed me. Every time I see her in the kitchen she asks about Kanna."

With a disappointed sigh I reply, "You could tell her that the Fae Court like to take the shape of apples and congregate around a round of cheese and she would believe you."

Rubbing her chin in deep thought Misao comments, "You're probably right." With a giggle she adds, "I probably could talk her out of eating apples with that story. For once I'll be able to eat an apple for breakfast."

"Only you would joke about doing something so horrible. Sometimes I wonder how the two of us are related," I state in mock anger.

Smiling brightly Misao playfully retorts, "What can I say, I'm just special."

I reply under my breath, "Special doesn't even begin to describe you."

"Since I'm older and far more mature I will ignore your comment." I laugh loudly at Misao's comment as she adds with a mischievous grin, "And because you love your older sister so much and wish nothing more than to spend time with her you will help me practice."

"Oh no, not again," I state warily. "You know how much I hate practicing. I have no potential with a sword. Ask Kenji, there's nothing he likes more than to train."

"Ha," Misao replies in amusement, "I'm bored with fighting Kenji. I would much rather practice with you. Just think of how happy father will be to know that you're practicing and all the sisterly bonding we will experience."

"Father knows that I'm not a fighter and does not mind that I put in less effort as the two of you. I'll stick with my bow and arrow," I comment with a shake of the head. "Besides, what type of sisterly bond could come about through fighting? I don't see you beating me up as a positive experience. Couldn't you just ask mother to fight you? That's what you usually do when Kenji has beaten you too thoroughly."

With a sigh Misao states, "Mother and father have been out all afternoon."

"Why don't you wait until she comes back?" I inquire in disbelief. "I'm sure you can wait long enough for mother to come back. If she wont fight you I'm sure father would be more than willing."

Appalled Misao exclaims, "If I wanted to fight father I wouldn't have asked you. The idea of my practicing is to be better prepared for father's and my next fight."

With a chuckle I retort, "If it's practice for father you need I most certainly will not improve your chances at winning. You'd best stick with Kenji or mother for such training."

"You'll never relent will you?" Misao asks with a sigh.

With a satisfied smile I reply, "I've never been one to step down in a battle of wits."

"It's less a battle of wits as it is will," Misao retorts in irritation.

"My, my Misao," I state proudly. "Such witty banter! You have been spending far too much time with Kenji and myself. I think we're wearing off on you."

With a playful laugh Misao comments, "I'm not that easy to get rid of! I know that you enjoy our little conversations. Even if you won't admit it, I know that my optimism and cheerful demeanor brighten your day. What can I say, my bubbly personality wins over the masses."

With a chuckle I retort sarcastically, "You're right Misao, your personality is far too bright to be diminished. I bet that even the coldest of hearts would thaw in your presence."

"Yep," Misao replies enthusiastically while jumping onto her feet. "They would thaw in my presence and worship the ground I stand upon." With a chuckle Misao adds, "They probably wouldn't worship the ground I stand upon but a girl can dream."

Chuckling good-naturedly I state, "Misao, you're far too much of a romantic. I'm surprised that you are even able to concentrate on your work!"

"That's only because you have no imagination," Misao retorts back playfully. "You can't tell me that you don't dream of having a man that loves you and is willing to fight the world's evils for you. Haven't you ever dreamed of a man that would sweep you off your feet and take you places you've never heard of? What I wouldn't give to see the world."

Shaking of my head 'no' I reply, "I've never wanted any of those things. I love my life in Sevenwaters. If I ever do find a man that loves me as much as I love him there is nothing I would like more than to settle down in Sevenwaters and live a comfortable life surrounded by the love of our family."

"You're just like mother," Misao remarks with a sigh. "Both of you dream of a quiet, simple life and I just don't get it. I love Sevenwaters but it's so dull! Don't you ever wonder what it's like outside the tuath?"

"My life revolves around this tuath Misao; I can't imagine a life outside it," I state simply. "If my life leads me in another direction I will not complain, but I am not going to seek out adventure. I'm perfectly content with my life. If you wish to live among those outside the tuath I would suggest taking up Enishi's proposal when the time comes."

"Enishi?" Misao replies in bewilderment. "You have got to be joking! Even if he did propose to me why would I accept?"

"Why not?" I inquire in confusion, "He's young, wealthy, attractive and nice enough. He might be a little serious and distant but that's only to be expected of such a young ruler. You and he would make a good match."

"If he is such a catch why don't you go after him?" Misao asks speculatively. "Besides, I do not consider Sidhe Dubh as an adventurous land. That's one of the few places that we have been to. I want to travel the length of Erin. Maybe one day visit Kerry. After all my stories of Kanna I figure I might as well experience the place first hand."

"I'm sure you will get many offers from tuath all over Erin and will be able to choose a tuath of your liking." With a sigh I add, "I just hope for your future suitors' sakes that your expectations aren't too high and that you don't torture them in the process."

"Your words wound me," Misao dramatically exclaims, "Do you have such little faith in your lovely older sister."

"Stop with the dramatics," I state in exhaustion. "I take back my prior words. I hope you do torture them while they are courting you. Maybe your normal everyday behavior will look pleasant in comparison."

Laughing joyfully Misao remarks while lifting me to my feet, "I'm happy that you agree with my methods. I was starting to worry that they were too extreme."

"Misao, there is nothing as too extreme with you," I playfully retort.

"That's always good to know," Misao replies in contemplation. "I hope that excuse will work on Kenji when he finds out that I switched his canteen of water with vinegar."

"You did what?" I shout in disbelief. "Why would you do something so horrible? Kenji is going to be furious! I'm not going to continue protecting you from him!"

"He deserved it and you know it," Misao asserts in her defense. "He destroyed all the ribbons I made. It took me a good six months to create those!"

"Only because you destroyed three of his finest shirts!" I state in agitation. "When will you two stop tormenting each other? It's starting to get out of hand."

"Oh, come on Megumi," Misao pleads. "It's all in good fun. You know that Kenji enjoys it as much as I do."

"I swear the two of you are going to kill each other one day or worse kill an innocent bystander from a prank gone astray," I state under my breath.

"Who is our mother, you or Kaoru?" Misao asks with a shake of her head. "You worry more than mother and father combined!"

"That's only because you two put me in these situations. I will act like your mother if you wish to act like a little child in my presence," I sigh out in exhaustion.

With a playful smirk Misao bows deeply before whining with childish voice, "Sorry Mother dearest, I promise I'll never do it again." Pouting she continues, "Please, don't be mad at me."

With a chuckle I reply, "Well, since you put it so nicely I accept your apology but you are still going to be punished for your behavior. I think you should apologize to Kenji and find a way to make up for your cruel prank."

With a humph Misao puts her hands on her hips before commenting, "You're a mean Mother. I pity your future children."

"I would only pity them if they acted like you and Kenji," I playfully retort.

"For that comment you will be blessed with such children," Misao deviously declares.

With a sigh I reply, "Don't punish me for your own poor choices."

"So help me if I find Misao I will be shove the remainder of my canteen down her throat without an ounce of water to quench her thirst. She may be our older sister but the girl is dead. Don't you even think of hiding her this time! I will find her, mark my words and if you get in my way you wont hear the last of me!" Kenji mentally screams in anger. "I take that back. Give her a head start so I can hunt her down and skin her alive!"

"Misao, Kenji isn't happy at the moment. I think it best that you hide and hide well," I state in irritation. "Honestly, you have gone too far with your prank. I'll try to calm him down, but don't expect him to go easy on you."

Without a word Misao sprints out of the room at a breakneck speed. The girl is fast but I've never seen her run quite so swiftly. I don't really blame her though; Kenji has all the skill as our father without the restraint. Our brother is extremely scary when angered.

Luckily it's fairly easy for me to calm him though I can't say the same of most people. The only other people I know that can calm him are our mother and Chizuru. I account Chizuru's ability to calm him with my brother's need to impress her. The sad thing is that of all the women in his company Chizuru is the most taken with him. I guess it's usually the case that the one person you don't need to impress is the one you spend the most energy on. It also could be said that those in love are generally blind towards the other's affections.

With a sigh I mentally inquire, "Kenji, is it really worth your time to hunt down Misao?"

"Yes," Kenji answers bluntly. "She's gone too far this time. I've been a good sport and have humored her, but this is too much!"

"I couldn't agree with you more," I sympathetically state. "But I don't think beating her will help get your message across. If anything it will probably intensify Misao's efforts."

With a sigh of frustration Kenji inquires, "Then what exactly do you suggest that I do?"

"I know that Misao can be difficult at times but she is harmless. What she does can be thoughtless but she is not purposely being malicious. You should do what I told you to do earlier; you need to tell her that you do not enjoy her pranks and to stop giving into the temptation to retaliate," I offer calmly.

"What if it doesn't work? She isn't always the easiest person to reason with." Kenji states with little trace of his previous anger. "What do I do if she still continues?"

"She wont," I reply confidently. "Misao cares about you she just doesn't know how to properly show her affections. If you tell her that you aren't having fun she will desperately look for other ways to bond. If you give her some guidance as to what type of behavior is acceptable she should improve. She's much like a child in that regard."

"How can you remain so level headed around her?" Kenji inquires in awe. "I know that she angers you just as much as she does me."

"She can get on my last nerve but she's our sister," I state in contemplation. "For all her faults she has many more strong qualities. I try to focus on her finer points instead of the negative." After a slight pause I add, "That doesn't mean that I won't take the time to teach her a lesson here or there. Since I can sense that you've left the field in haste and are not fully calm I suggest that we go for a swim while Misao continues to hide. I wonder how long it will take her to realize that you aren't after her neck?"

"Which lake did you have in mind?" Kenji asks highly amused.

"We haven't been to Rock Lake in a long time," I reply back deviously. "I think a visit is in order."

"I'll meet you there then since it's on my way," Kenji states with a chuckle.

"And I thought my plan was cruel," Kenji exclaims in admiration while sitting upon a large rock protruding from the water. "Misao has been begging us to take her here for weeks! Your punishments are extremely cruel yet amazingly justified. You will make a wonderful mother one day. Your creativity is absolutely flabbergasting!"

"What can I say, my mind works in extraordinary ways," I state conceitedly as I start to float leisurely in the water. "I can't take all the credit though, Misao has given me far more practice than one my age ever should, especially since she's two years our senior."

Kenji begins to laugh aloud cheerfully as he mentally comments, "You sound like father. Both of you can't ever just take full credit."

"You make that sound like a bad thing," I retort playfully.

"Not at all," Kenji replies amusedly. "Someone has to take after our parents. I'm just happy that he passed one of his more admirable traits."

"Did you just compliment father?" I ask mockingly.

"Don't act so surprised," Kenji states in irritation. "I've complimented father several times in the past. You act as if I hate him."

"Well," I retort playfully. "Don't you? From the way you act in front of him you seem to detest his presence."

With a sigh Kenji seriously replies, "I've never hated father but I guess you can say that I hold some resentment towards the man. Don't get me wrong, father has been extremely fair and just in his treatment towards us but I can't help but be bitter at the fact that out of all the children I have to look the most like him. I'm the future leader of our tuath yet I have the appearance of a Britain. I'm not ashamed of our blood, but it doesn't make my job as a future leader easier. I feel like I have to distance myself as much from our father if I ever hope to successfully hold the throne."

In bewilderment toward his testimony I whisper aloud, "Kenji..."

Looking away from me Kenji begins to play with his hair nervously. I smile at the simple gesture. For someone who resents his inherited physical traits of our father he strangely has an attachment to his hair.

Letting his long hair down from his high ponytail Kenji states mentally, "I often worry about taking control of our tuath. I'm not worried so much over the thought of being under-prepared so much as proving myself. Despite everything our father has done for the tuath he's still not highly respected by our allies. I'm concerned that our allies secretly think that because I look like father that I also think like him. I don't want to be cast under his shadow; I want to become someone greater than him. Our people are also depending on me to win back the islands and I don't want to let them down just because people don't trust me due to my appearance. Mother has already lost two of her brothers in our Uncle Okubo's latest campaign; if I fail we could lose many more good men."

"Kenji, I promise you that no one that I have spoken to thinks of you in that way," I firmly declare while swimming beside the rock he is currently residing. "You do look like father but it's obvious upon speaking to you that you are nothing alike. If anyone is stupid enough to not distinguish your differences they aren't worthy of being your ally. You will be a good leader just like father and Uncle Okubo are yet at the same time different. You could never be cast in a shadow."

With a smile Kenji replies, "Thank you Megumi. I just hope I live up to your standards."

"You will and with little effort," I state confidently. "Both father and Uncle Okubo admire you for your strength. You have been trained by two great leaders and have family who will stand beside you. You have little to fear."

"Now you sound like mother," Kenji asserts with a sigh. "Can't you just pick a side and stick with it?"

"Why ever would I do such a thing?" I inquire gaily. "Variety is the spice of life, plus confusing you is far too much fun."

"So that is your reasoning, eh?" Kenji remarks with a wicked gleam in his eye.

"Maybe it is; maybe it isn't," I slyly retort.

With a smirk that speaks of retribution to come Kenji demands, "Which one is it? You have better come up with an answer or I'll be forced to take drastic measures."

Staring my brother straight in the eye I challenge, "Am I supposed to be afraid right now?"

"I think that is a challenge," Kenji grins maniacally.

Before I can get a word in edgewise Kenji leaps into the water and begins to dunk me under. After a couple of moments under the water in an all out battle Kenji finally relents and allows me to break the surface. As I desperately gasp for air Kenji treads the water beside while laughing in amusement.

Finally able to breath properly I exclaim aloud in anger, "What exactly did that prove? What were you trying to do, kill me?"

Laughing uncontrollably Kenji replies, "Only giving you what you deserved. You may be my twin but that doesn't mean that you can get away with speaking to me thus. I am the future ruler of these lands."

"As long as you keep such an arrogant mentality I'll treat you far worse," I retort angrily. "I don't care what status you hold, if I feel you need a slap to the head I will be so inclined to do so."

"Life would be far more amusing if more women were so open. No one can claim that you don't know how to put a man in his place," Kenji states lively.

"Between you and Misao I think I can deal with most difficult personality traits," I respond coltishly.

"Fair enough," Kenji remarks dejectedly. "I admit that I kind of deserved that, but you better not let anyone know that I said that. Next thing you know everyone in the kingdom will be harassing me over it."

"You and Misao have a flare for the dramatic. I'm happy that I got the more level headed attributes," I sigh in exhaustion.

"The Queen of the overly emphasized 'sighs' dares to pass judgment?" Kenji playfully retorts.

With a humph, "It's only because the two of you are so exasperating. I don't sigh nearly as often nor do I forcefully when you two aren't around."

With a shake of his head Kenji states calmly, "It's starting to get late. We probably should make our way home. I wonder if Misao is still hiding in the forest?"

"What makes you so sure that she hid in the forest?" I ask in puzzlement.

"I've been following her during her rounds spying on the residents of the household," Kenji explains flatly. "She is pretty decent though she is somewhat predictable. Every month like clockwork she changes her headquarters. For the past few weeks she has been hiding in the western portion of the forest from atop the trees. I have had a mind to helping her with her scouting schedule but I have too much fun watching her."

I stare at my twin incredulously. I must admit that I am wrong; my brother is the better spy than Misao yet for once he hasn't attempted to upstage her like he often does with a sword. Could it possibly be that Kenji is beginning to show his compassionate side more openly? One can only hope.

I'm back! I have finally produced the first chapter of Son of the Shadows RK Style and I'm really happy with the results. I admit that it took me a while to switch out of Kaoru's viewpoint. I feel that I'm more like Megumi but after writing as a single character for a year it can be quite difficult to change perspectives. I have gotten out of my little funk and should hopefully begin updating more regularly. School is in and I am now editing my fraternity newspaper so I will not set any date. Deadlines generally slow down the creative process.

Thank you for all the kind reviews. I am really proud that my story has been so well received. I especially have come to enjoy some of my more creative reviewers. I'm not quite sure how Weezer comes to play with my story, but I found the review highly amusing.

I genuinely hope that this story will live up to your expectations. I will try to make the next chapter longer. Ciao!