Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin. ;-)
Chapter 1 – Same Old, Same Old
The sun rose high over the hills illuminating the neat tidy farm yard with an orange glow. Kaoru raised herself up on an elbow and surveyed her little farm with pride. Not every woman in her era their own cottage, and land to farm. Then again not every lady was like her at all. Most ladies dressed in the traditional tightly corseted dresses in bright colours where she preferred tight cotton trousers tucked into her knee high leather boots, with a loose shirt. Her hobbies and skills ranged from sword fighting to horse riding better than any soldier in the Kings army. The king, a long time acquaintance of Kaoru's was not one to be meddled with, and over the years he had become quite high handed and arrogant. Soujirou's attitude towards her had changed from considering her as a friend, to a nuisance he could well do without.
Why do I love him so much? Oh Sou, why don't you see me as your best friend?
She realised that agonising over him would not make him any more closer to her than he ever was.
First I have to get this stupid cart down to Sano's to pick him up for the daily horse run through the forest grounds…that moron better be awake.
The horse run was a part time job she took to be closer to Sou. It basically consisted of riding through the woods on the edge of Dimidius, and checking for outsiders or anything abnormal. The Arables were feared by the villagers for its eeriness and general internal anonymity. The people who worked in these areas were paid highly and it was Kaoru's favourite place. The sheer beauty and ubiquitous nature of the forest filled her with awe, and it also housed her favourite waterhole.
Rolling up outside Sano's shack, she realised that the stillness of his dwelling indicated that he was either asleep or not at home. Both options pissed her off. Jumping down from the cart she picked up a rock and pegged it at the window, which incidentally had no coverings on it. A cacophony of blasphemy ensued and she knew she'd hit her mark. Minutes later a sleepy Sano emerged from his little shack rubbing his head with a scowl on his face.
'What the hell was that for! Honestly I was awake I just hadn't realised that I was asleep Jou Chan!'
'That's the most sense I've heard from you in the whole length of our friendship' she said grinning. 'Besides, its getting late in the morning, and maybe Sou will join us for the ride like he used to'
'Hmmm and how long exactly has it been since he last joined us?'
'That's not the point. The point is that there's a possibility. And stop being so negative.'
Sano decided not to point out that the last time Soujirou had rode with them was 10 years ago when they were all carefree teenagers. He honestly hoped she'd realise soon that her love for him was being wasted.
Sano hated the Arables. He hated it more than he hated new inventions which did things he didn't understand, in ways in which he also didn't understand. He knew however, that Kaoru loved it and he disliked her going into the forest alone. With no family of her own to speak of, he felt that as a bigger brother type figure he needed to take care of her whenever it was within his means.
As they trotted towards the Arable they left the cart concealed behind some bushes and rode the horses into the forest. Increasing her speed Kaoru cantered through the forest, knowing that leaving Sano alone would scare him witless. Don't laugh at Sano, honestly he's just a silly scaredy cat and you know it she though giggling to herself. But she couldn't help herself and burst out laughing when Sano started bellowing nursery rhymes at the top of his lungs, as he normally did when he was scared.
After riding her normal course through the forest she saw nothing untoward and decided to wait for Sano near her waterhole. She knew he would find her there eventually. Although the trees and animals remain the same, something is different…like there's something else here…but where? And what is it? she mused. Oh well she thought perhaps the water will calm me. Stripping down to her underthings which consisted of a tight singlet and small cotton shorts, she stretched languorously in the sunlight. Now this is heaven she thought happily. Diving into the water she felt free and easy like all her burdens had fallen free and she was living simply for the moment unbound.
A man wearing along cloak wrapped tightly around his frame, stood next a tree near the waterhole with a hood covering his head. He watched as the girl swam and floated happily in the water. He had seen her azure eyes. His fingers itched to touch her lustrous raven locks. His mouth begged to feel those rosen lips. He had never felt overly attracted to any female, before and the moment he saw her he knew she was different. Unique. His.
Slowly he walked in the shadows and watched her as she hummed to herself and stood in the water up to her hips. The wet material clung lovingly to her curves as she combed her hair with her fingers. A glimpse of that pearly white skin of her stomach hypnotised him completely. So this is love he thought How do I love someone without ever knowing love before? The possessiveness he felt rendered him breathless, and he knew why humans loved to loved. It was this need he had never felt which drove lovers to die for one another, and he understood it unequivocally. In his eyes, she was exquisite, but her heart called to him the most. It shone of purity, and her aura was startlingly akin to that of an angel.
The mans name was Kenshin Himura. Otherwise known as the Ruler of the Otherworld, which was quaintly unknown to humans. The inhabitants of the Otherworld practiced the art of magic, and their ruler was the most powerful of them all, controlling the time, seasons and elements of both worlds. The Otherworld was kept secret for many reasons. Humans were greedy in the War of Beginning, and a contractual right sealed by the Elders only allowed the High King & High Queen of the human kingdoms to have knowledge of Kenshin and his world. Kenshin supported the High Kings diplomatic gestures over the human kings and provided consult on other matters. He also supplied aid to the High King, in essence however, the High King could never be chosen without Kenshins consent. Although he was short in stature, Kenshin's skill in magic, sword play and hand to hand combat was unrivalled. Moreover, with all the skill and power in the world, Kenshin was at a loss of how to introduce himself to the beautiful human creature he was watching so avidly. In that moment he recalled the very day his predecessor allowed him full reign over the Otherworld. He was allowed to ask one question, and one question only about the future.
'I've thought of my question shisho!'
'Really? Well, don't leave me in suspense then.'
Clearing his throat Kenshins settled himself on the bench facing his mentor and asked:
'Tell me what the woman I'll fall in love with will be like'
'That's your question?'
Nodding, Kenshin leaned forward to hear the answer carefully so he could memorise it. He'd heard all about love and seen it in others around him but never experienced it himself. He wanted to know so very badly.
'The woman you fall in love with and who will eventually become your life partner will be…Stubborn, arrogant, hard headed, proud and contrary' he said closing his eyes solemnly.
Kenshin was aghast, 'I –
'I haven't finished yet Baka Deshi! She will also be; kind, generous, understanding and fortuitous. Most of all, she will be a lover and a best friend that you will never be able to live without. Yours will be a great love indeed baka. You must take great care with her.' Sighing his mentor reached for his sake bottle and swigged a few gulps. After spying the dreamy look on Kenshins face, he felt the need to bring him down to earth again.
'One more thing deshi…you won't find your love for a couple of hundreds of years' he said laughing as he watched Kenshin's face fall.
Standing there watching her Kenshin knew in that moment that living without her for the past 1500 years was worth it. Especially if he could have her now and forever.
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