The Reign of Courage

Chapter One: The Summer of the Airdramon

***

Remember: Only the plot is mine…. don't steal it!

***

The sun was beginning to show its strength, and the mid summer day was fairly warm. Miyako Inoue and her partner, Hawkmon, were enjoying the pleasant weather to the best of their ability. Miyako was wearing an old dress and picking berries and fruits from the trees and plants that surrounded her family's manor. Barefoot, the youngest daughter of the Lord and Lady Inoue reveled in the freedom of the summer as she walked through the grounds. The freedom of the summer and the freedom of being sixteen and therefore still young enough to do things like enjoy the summer.  Hawkmon soared overhead, keeping a lookout for danger and enjoying the cool breezes blow through his wings.

She was perched in the higher branches of an tall tree around midday, munching some fruit, when she spotted the carriage lumbering up from the village near her family's estate. Hawkmon spotted it before her, but as soon as she saw it, Miyako nearly jumped right out of the tree.

Luckily, Hawkmon managed to calm her down, otherwise the girl would have fallen right out of the tree. By the time she managed to recover herself, the carriage had stopped. Miyako watched in eager anticipation as the door opened.

"Hello Miyako!" the girl who exited the carriage called up into the tree, and Miyako nearly fell out of the tree in surprise.

"Momoe! What are you doing here?" Miyako questioned.

Her older sister, who looked quite a bit like Miyako, only with shorter hair, waved up into the tree with a grin. She carried a small, sleeping Terriermon in her arms. She was, after all, only eighteen years of age, even though she had been married for the past two years. "Visiting!" she replied cheerfully.

Miyako made her way safely and carefully down the tree. "I didn't know you were coming," she confessed once she had reached the bottom.

Momoe shrugged complacently. "I guess Mama didn't tell you then. I wrote home about a month ago in planning."

"Oh," Miyako realized then. "I wasn't home."

Now it was Momoe's turn to look surprised. "Where were you?"

"At the palace," the younger sister replied complacently. She turned to walk back to the manor.

"You?" Momoe repeated. She hurried after her sister. "Miyako, you haven't been to the palace since you were very young!

Not since -." She broke off and shrugged.

"Not since what?"

The elder sister pretended not to have heard. "Why did you go to the palace?" she asked instead.

"Princess Hikari's birthday party," Miyako replied, brushing off the question. "Since what, Momoe?"

"How was it?" Momoe again ignored the question.

"It was cancelled. What happened? Why did we stop going when I was little? What did Mama and Papa do to anger the King?"

Momoe paused in her walking. "Who told you that?"

Miyako shrugged, stopping as well and turning back to her sister. "Nobody. I just assumed."

"How could you assume something like that?"

"Well, if the King is after your head, you assume that your parents can't been in great standing. I know I didn't anger him personally, so I figured Mama or Papa must have." The younger sister took a bite of the fruit she carried and chewed casually.

Momoe could only blink in surprise. "The King is after your head?"

"Was," Hawkmon corrected from beside his partner. "He can't be after anyone now, I'm afraid."

"It's a long story," Miyako brushed her sister's surprise aside as easily as she tossed the fruit seeds aside. "Can you tell me what happened between our parents and the King?"

"I'm not sure exactly," Momoe confessed. "I was pretty young then, too, remember."

"You know more than I do," Miyako reminded her.

"Yes, that's true. Well, it seems that when we were very young our parents and the King and Queen were close friends. There was always some – tension between them, however."

"What sort of tension?"

"Well, Papa suspected nothing, but it seems the King was in love with our Mama."

"Mama?" Miyako was glad she had stopped eating, because she might have chocked on the fruit.

Momoe nodded, continuing: "The King was able to hold off his affections for a period of time, but eventually, it seems, he was so frustrated that he finally told Mother."

"What happened?"

"The Queen and Papa knew nothing of this, of course. But it seems that the King – well – he made a proposal to Mama. Told her that if she would leave Papa and live with him, he'd make her Queen. He said that he would find a way to deal with his own wife."

Miyako could only stare at her sister, eyes wide in interest and suspense.

"Mama refused, of course, because she had four children and a life with Papa and wasn't really interested in becoming Queen. She had a friendship with the Queen, and didn't want to ruin their relationship at any rate."

"Was the King mad?" Miyako wondered, although she assumed he must have been.

"He was," Momoe replied with a vicious nod. "He was so angry he prepared to have Papa sent off to war. This was when he was still young and could afford to do that. The kingdom was at war then, and could always use new soldiers. He figured, I suppose, that if Papa was sent to war and killed Mama would have no way to refuse him."

"Oh my!"

"Mama caught wind of the plan. She told Papa what had happened. He was nervous, worried, afraid, but what could he do against a King's orders? Finally, Mama confronted him. She told him she would not, under any circumstances, abandon her husband and family, and that sending him off to war would be pointless. The King finally was made to see reason. He agreed to let Papa live, if only they would promise to not be seen in his court ever again."

"So they moved here and never went back," Miyako finished. "Wow."

"Precisely. But – what's this you tell me about the Princess' birthday party being cancelled?"

"That's an exciting story, Momoe. I'll tell you all of it after we've gone in to see Papa and Mama. I'm sure they'll be very excited to see you. And where is Nouka?"

Nouka was the name of Momoe's young husband. "Busy, I'm afraid," Momoe replied. "But I have exciting news for you and our parents, too. I'll tell you all at dinner." The two sisters began to walk towards the house.

"I was hoping you would be Sora," Miyako confessed. "She's supposed to return any day now."

"Don't tell me – she's at the palace, isn't she?" Momoe asked with a wink. When Miyako confirmed it, she smiled knowingly. "I wouldn't be surprised if she and that Prince of hers ended up married some day."

Miyako blinked. "Sora? As a Queen?" she chuckled slightly. "I can't imagine it."

She's attached to him, isn't she?"

"Oh yes," Miyako had to agree with that. "Very attached. I don't know if their friendship runs that deep, though." She frowned in thought for a moment.

"Speaking of marriage, when do you plan on getting hitched, little sister?" Momoe joked, sending another mischievous wink at her sister.

"I'm only sixteen!" Miyako reminded her, even though Momoe had been married at that age. "I think I'll wait a bit."

"Any one in mind?" Momoe questioned, lowering her voice and whispering in her sister's ear.

"Oh – one or two," Miyako replied with a  mysterious smile, but refused to say more on the subject.

***

As it turned out, Sora returned home a few hours later, and, as a welcome – home  celebration for both her and Momoe, a large dinner was served in the dining hall of the manor. Miyako, her parents, Momoe, Sora, and Lady Takenouchi sat around the large table, eagerly talking about the upcoming coronation.

"It's all coming along fabulously," Sora reported, having just returned from the palace. "Taichi's nervous as anything, of course, and everyone there is worked to the bone with all they have to do, but I really think it'll all go over well. Mimi's working very hard and she's driving everyone else crazy."

"I can't wait," Momoe agreed. "I haven't seen a coronation since – oh , who am I kidding, I've never seen one. It sounds like a fabulous party."

"They usually are," Miyako's mother agreed. "I was at one many years ago, but I hardly remember it. I'm sure Taichi will make a wonderful King."

"I'll be glad to go, too," Momoe stated. "A good chance to go to the palace. I haven't been there in a many years. I could use a vacation."

"Momoe, didn't you say you had some exciting news, didn't you?" Miyako questioned.

Momoe nodded eagerly and set her food aside. "Mother, Father, I have an important announcement to make. It's why I came all the way out here. I wanted to give it to you in person."

"What's the big news?" Miyako's father questioned.

"I'm going to have a baby."

***

"I can't believe I'm going to be an Aunt," Miyako commented to Sora as they rode the carriage a few days later to the palace.

Sora laughed. "You've only told me that about seventeen times since the announcement," she reminded her friend.

"I know, and I still can't get used to it," Miyako answered. "I mean, Momoe's the youngest to be married, but the first to have a baby!"

"So many exciting things happening," Piyomon agreed.

"I know," Miyako nodded. "I can't believe I'm going to a real coronation. And that Mother and Father are coming, too!"

"It's going to be really fabulous," Sora agreed. She spoke calmly, but Miyako knew that she was really jumping up and down in eager anticipation.

Miyako was about to comment when suddenly the carriage came to a sudden stop. Piyomon and Hawkmon rose to the air, but were violently tossed into the walls. The two human passengers were tossed to the floor.

Sora picked herself up and managed to open the door. "What's going on?" Miyako heard her shout to the driver of the cart. A few seconds later, she cried out in surprise.

Miyako and the two digimon climbed out of the carriage to see what had astonished her. No explanation was necessary.

The two carriages, containing Miyako and Sora, and their parents and Momoe, were halted in the middle of what was seemingly an empty field. Flying overhead were a half-dozen angry-looking digimon.

"Airdramon," Piyomon squeaked in surprise.

Miyako squinted into the sky and saw that each was controlled by a human rider. "They managed to tame them?" she wondered.

"Probably," Hawkmon agreed. "They're too powerful to have for a partner."

"Why would you want to tame an Airdramon?"

"Transportation, probably," Sora explained. "But they're really difficult.  Intelligent, but bad-tempered. I've only seen a few – never this many together in one place before."

Miyako glanced around and saw that the riders of the other carriage were sticking their heads out the windows, and that her father had exited the cart, his  Muchomon following bravely behind. The brightly colored bird blinked up at the flying Airdramon for a few moments, also astonished by their presence.

It was still uncertain what had caused the jolting stop. Suddenly, one of the Airdramon flew quite close to the ground. As it zoomed past, Miyako could see its rider, positioned dangerously upon its head. 'Why is he standing?' she found herself wondering.

"Spinning Needle!" the Airdramon called out its attack as it zoomed past.  Immediately, Miyako and Hawkmon dived back into the carriage where they might be safe. Sora only stared in shock as the giant flying digimon flew over the carriage which contained her mother.

"No!" she shouted, suddenly called to action. Her mother must not be hurt. Her only  living relative. "Mother!" she shouted.

Even inside the carriage, Miyako could hear the high pitched noise that was coming from somewhere. "Piyomon evolve!"

The bright white light blocked everyone's vision for a few moments. Through the squealing from her digivice, Sora heard the familiar cry of "Birdramon!"

A moment later, the huge fiery bird was soaring overhead. "Meteor Wing!" Birdramon called, sending huge fireballs from the tips of her wings. The  Airdramon scattered.

Miyako peered out from the carriage again. "She evolved?" she whispered. "I thought –."

"-that we could only evolve if we were in danger," Sora finished. She shook her head blankly. "I don't understand either."

"Spinning Needle," another Airdramon shouted.

"Meteor Wing!"

The Airdramon's rider felt unsteady as it turned to avoid the fiery attack. It fell to the ground from a very high altitude.

"No!" Sora shouted. She shut her eyes and turned away. Miyako and Hawkmon only stared in shock.

"Sticky Net!" another voice called out. Instantaneously, a net formed underneath where the rider was about to fall. It was held in place by the strength of one small Wormmon.

Miyako repressed the cry of surprise. She had a good feeling who that Wormmon was partnered with. Before she could say or do anything, however, the rider fell harmlessly to the ground, still wrapped in the sticky netting, and the Wormmon had disappeared.

"That was strange," Sora commented, relieved that the rider had not been killed.

***

A few minutes later, most of the Airdramon and their riders had been driven away, and Birdramon had de-evolved back into Piyomon.

"How did that happen?" Sora questioned her partner. "I thought you could only evolve if I was in danger."

"Well, you were, sort of," Piyomon reminded her. Then she shrugged. "I don't know why I evolved," she explained. "I just know that I did."

"Well, it was lucky that you did," Hawkmon noted. "Otherwise the rest of us would have been in real danger."

Miyako's parents and Sora's mother were questioning the rider of the Airdramon, who was still bound in the sticky ropes that the Wormmon had released. He was also being quite uncooperative.

"I still wonder where that Wormmon came from," Momoe wondered.

"He seemed to come out of nowhere just in time. I wonder where he went," her Terriermon agreed.

"I'm just glad he did," Sora said in relief. "I don't want to be responsible for anyone dying like that."

A short period of time later, they were back on the road, with the Airdramon rider tied and bound to the roof of one of the carriages. Thanks to the delay, they would now most likely have to stop for the night and would not arrive until morning.

***

It was late. Moonlight barely filtered in through the manor windows as Daisuke climbed the stairs to his bedroom. Even his loyal digimon, V-mon, had deserted him in favor of some rest.

Daisuke had stayed up late, reading over his father's old books, and his head was now filled with ancient digimon stories. He had read until his eyes were too tired to decipher the whirling symbols on the pages into words any longer. Now, exhausted, he swung open the door to his personal bedchamber, eager to get some sleep.

There was a scream the moment the door was fully opened. Before Daisuke had a chance to react, he found himself flung forcefully to the floor. The candle he carried went out, and he was plunged into complete darkness.

"What?" he managed to splutter. He tried to gain his feet, but something heavy was holding him down. "Hey! This is my room!" he shouted in protest.

There was a scuffling noise somewhere in the room, and a dim light flickered on the edges of his vision.

"Daisuke!" a very familiar female voice gasped. He struggled to place who it was, but before he'd had the chance, the voice continued speaking. "It's all right. That's Daisuke. He lives here."

Whoever was holding him down gave a questioning grunt. "Are you certain, Princess?"
"Hikari?" Daisuke realized. The person on top of him sharply whacked his head, and he corrected himself. "Ow! - Princess Hikari, what's going on?" he questioned in a slightly more polite voice.

"Yes, I'm certain," Hikari replied, answering the question. She held the candle close to Daisuke's face. "See? Daisuke Motomiya. Son of the Lord who owns this manor."

Somewhat reluctantly, the person on top of Daisuke conceded and released his hold on the boy. Daisuke sat up, rubbing his sore head.

"What's going on?" he repeated, somewhat grumpily.

"Sorry Daisuke," Hikari apologized. "Miha is a bit overprotective. I didn't intend for such a – violent confrontation."

Daisuke nodded complacently. Then he realized something. "Just what are you doing in my bedroom anyway, Princess?"

She blushed slightly. "I was looking for you, actually," she explained. "I've a proposal for you."

"Proposal?" he repeated blankly.

 "My brother is very busy now preparing for the coronation and recovering from his injuries and all those things. But it seems that a few weeks ago the Dark Bandit told him some – disturbing information that he just can't stop thinking about."

"Disturbing information?"

Another nod. "Something about people being wrongly imprisoned and harshly punished. He didn't tell me the whole story, exactly, but he said you would understand."

Daisuke nodded. The Dark Bandit was the alias of one of his closest friends. "So – you want me to show you things?"

The Princess nodded once more. "Taichi wishes that I see how the people really live and then report back to him on what I have seen. You're to show me these things and protect me while you show me. I'm also supposed to do these things undercover. No one can know who I am."

Daisuke frowned in the direction of the burly man who had pinned him to the floor. "What about him?"

"Miha is a good protector," Hikari conceded. "But he's not aware of the land and the people like you are. And he's a bit conspicuous."

The large man grunted as though he agreed with the Princess' statements, but said nothing. Daisuke looked doubtful.

"I've seen you fight, Daisuke. Taichi and I agree that you are capable of keeping me safe."

Daisuke took in her words and thought about what they meant. He was to protect her, lead her into the village, and show her the things he had once seen that had convinced him the former King (Hikari's father) had been doing wrong. He sighed thoughtfully and looked between the Princess and Miha the bodyguard.

"All right," he agreed, finally.

***

Early the next morning, with  most of the manor still asleep, Daisuke and the Princess Hikari set out on foot to the village. They were alone. Tailmon and V-mon had been left behind because both were rare types that would be too visible in public.

Daisuke had dressed in old, half-worn out clothes and a hat that covered most of his  head, including parts of his eyes. The hat was slightly conspicuous, but he had learned several years earlier that he would need to hide who he was if he wished to stay alive, and this was the best way to do it.

Hikari was dressed in the plainest dress she owned, with a scarf over her head to make her blend in as much as possible. She followed behind Daisuke as they walked, taking in the scenery but trying not to appear too naïve.

As the sun was  rising higher they entered the main streets of the village. People wandered around, some with digimon beside them, some alone. There were digimon wandering alone, too. The shops had just opened, and Hikari followed her protector through the streets, past a sweets smelling bakery, an inn, and several food shops.

'It's not too horrible,' she thought to herself as they walked. The people looked plain, and their clothes were  worn, but they appeared to be in good physical health despite their shabbiness. Some of the food she saw was old, but not rotten. The villagers bustled about their daily chores, and children ran in the streets, playing games.

Daisuke turned then, leading her away from the market area, and she saw the small shacks that lined the streets. Most were in dire need of repair, and very small. Children ran between the tightly packed buildings, shouting and playing. Mothers called out the window at their children while they worked inside the huts.

Hikari  barely concealed her gasp of surprise, and Daisuke noticed it. "Most of these huts house at least two families," he reported. "Would you like to see inside one?" She stared blankly at him, but nodded.

"We managed to make a few friends here," Daisuke explained as they continued down the street. Hikari didn't ask who he meant by "we." She had learned long ago to let him have his secret.

At the end of the street was a river, and beside the river, slightly apart from the other shacks, was another small hut. It appeared as though the roof had been repaired recently. As they neared, the door burst open and  four little children rushed out each carrying a small digimon in their arms, cheering and shouting words all at once. Hikari could make out none of the words.

The children crowded around Daisuke, and he grinned at their acceptance of him. As they shouted, he responded to several of their calls, but Hikari couldn't make out a single word. Blankly, she stared at the scene, until finally, he managed to quiet them down.

He turned to Hikari with a grin, and introduced them one by one. "These  are friends I made here," he explained. "This is Shijo," he pointed to a small, thin-looking boy that held a Koromon, "this is Kodo," a slightly taller boy with a Pagumon, "this is Maigo," another, thin boy with a Motimon, "and this," pointing towards a small girl with a Pyocomon, the only one in the group, "is Onna."

Hikari nodded politely to the children, smiling as cheerfully as possible.

"This is my friend," Daisuke told the youngsters, but then paused, uncertain of how to introduce her.

She smiled again, and gave a little wave. "Call me Kari," she  introduced herself.

"Won't you come in and see Mama?" the one identified as Shijo questioned. "She's been worried about you."

Daisuke nodded. "Of course."

"Are you visiting?" Onna questioned of Hikari.

"Yes. Daisuke is showing me around," she explained.

"Do you come from a long way away?" Kodo asked.

She nodded. "Very far," she replied.

"Do you live in a house like ours?" Onna asked. She gripped Hikari's hand and led her towards the small hut.

"Ours is one of the biggest in the village," Maigo supplied . "And our friends helped Mama to fix the roof after Papa had to go away."

"Go away?" Hikari repeated blankly.

The boisterous children were suddenly silent. They had entered the house, slipping through the small doorway, and Hikari caught sight of a middle aged woman just inside the hut. She sat at a chair beside a small table, stitching what Hikari supposed must be clothes for her children.

"Mama, we have visitors!" Onna announced. The woman stood up.

"Oh, Daisuke, I was worried," she exclaimed, and a moment later engulfed the boy in a hug. "You haven't been to visit in a while. Oh! What's this? Not your girlfriend, is she?"

Daisuke blushed bright red and shook his head violently. "No, Mama, not girlfriend. Just a friend. This is Kari. She's visiting."

Hikari smiled as brightly as possible and curtsied lightly. "Hello," she greeted politely.

The woman frowned slightly. "You look strangely familiar to me. Are you sure you haven't been around here before?"

"Not since I was very young," Hikari replied, truthfully. She recalled that, when she was about five years of age, her family had gone on a tour of the land. She was fairly certain that was the last time she had been anywhere near the area. There was no way the woman could recognize her from so many years ago.

Mama shrugged slightly. "Well, any friend of Daisuke's is a friend of mine," she stated plainly. "Just call me Mama. Everyone does."

Hikari smiled. She liked this woman already. Her pleasant demeanor was enough to set aside any worries she might have had.

"Mama, isn't it time to eat?" Onna questioned, tugging lightly on her mother's skirts.

"It is," the woman replied. She turned to her guests. "Won't you stay for breakfast?"

***

Hikari ate the warm breakfast eagerly. Mama had a true talent for making even these meager rations turn into a delightful  meal, and even the breakfast stew was very tasty.

As soon as they had finished, Onna, Shijo, Maigo, and Kodo ran out of the house again, eager to return to playing and any chores they had to do, leaving Hikari and Daisuke to speak with their mother.

"Can I ask a question?" Hikari asked politely. When Mama nodded, she asked: "Maigo said that their Papa had to go away?"

Daisuke looked at his half-empty plate and swirled the meat and vegetables around.

Mama sighed and stood up, taking her empty dish with her. "Their father was taken off to war just after Onna was born. We never got any sort of remains from the battlefield, so Maigo clings to the hope that he might be alive and return someday."

"Is there really any such hope?"

"Probably not. I've told him many times that he really shouldn't say such things. He has to accept that his father isn't coming back." Mama sighed again and then turned to Daisuke. "If you're not going to eat it, boy, let me have the plate."

Daisuke turned bright red for the second time that day and continued eating his food. "Sorry, Mama," he  apologized, his mouth half full. A few seconds later he had devoured the remainder of the stew.

"Don't your Mama feed you anymore?" she wondered jokingly as she took the empty plate away. "You eat like you haven't had food in days."

Daisuke nearly choked in the middle of a gulp of his drink. He coughed several times. "What's the matter?" Mama questioned once he had managed to get his breath back. 

Hikari could answer that easily enough. "His mother died a few weeks ago," she explained as politely as possible.

Mama gasped. "Oh goodness! That must be why you haven't been around! How horrible!"

Daisuke nodded and took another gulp of the drink, coughing once more. "She was sick for a long time, I think," Hikari supplied.

"Very long," Daisuke agreed, hoarsely. He cleared his throat. "She kept how sick she was away from my sister and I, though. Didn't want to worry us."

"You didn't tell me you had a sister," Mama stated reproachfully. "How's she dealing? And your father?"

Daisuke shrugged. "My sister is still upset, but she's coping. Father? He's all right I suppose. Burying himself in his work."

Mama shook her head with a sigh. "You come back at the end of the day, Daisuke. I'll give you a cake to take back home."

"Oh, no, you don't have to do that. I couldn't. You need that cake more than we do."

"You can't possibly have homemade cakes now that your mama's gone," she stated bluntly. "I'll send you with one to go back home."

Daisuke shook his head somewhat vehemently. "No, Mama, I couldn't. Trust me. My – um – my sister – she's been taking care of the cooking. We're getting by."

"You're turning down cake?"

"You need it more than we do. I couldn't possibly."

Mama looked at him curiously. "If you're sure."

"Positive."

"I can see there's no way to talk you out of this," the woman decided with a sigh. "But you come back here if you ever need something to eat."

"I will," he promised cheerfully, pleased he'd managed to appease her.

"So what are you two going to do now?" she questioned. "Take her around town, show her the sites, maybe even venture for a glimpse of the big old house?"

"Big house?" Hikari repeated blankly.

"You haven't seen it yet?" Mama questioned. "Well, then you better make sure to show her, Daisuke. The big house is the huge manor where the Lord lives with his family."

Daisuke was carefully studying his shoes.

"Oh, and you can see it from the village?" Hikari asked.

"You can see it from nearly everywhere, it's so big!" Mama exclaimed. "Would probably fit fifteen of these little huts inside it."

"More like twenty, I think, Mama," Daisuke interrupted softly, still peering at his shoes.

"Maybe more!" Mama agreed. "And if you've ever seen that boy that lives there? That's a treat. Comes down to the market all on his own sometimes, with the strangest digimon I've ever seen! What's it called again, Daisuke?"

Daisuke frowned, appearing to be in thought for a moment. "V-mon?" he questioned, as though he wasn't certain of the name.

"That's it! Haven't either of you got one?" she wondered then, as though it had just occurred to her to ask the question.

"Of course we do, Mama, but they've got their own work to do," Daisuke explained, smiling slightly.

"Right," Mama agreed. "I get so much more help with Floramon, she watches the children, goes on errands for me. She should be home any minute, won't you stay?"

"I'd love to, Mama, but we've really got to get going," Daisuke excused himself, standing up. "It was good to see you again."

"Right, right," she agreed, smiling broadly. "It was good to see you again, Daisuke." She hugged him strongly. "If you ever need anything, you come and ask Mama, all right?"

"I will, Mama," he promised.

"Good. It was good to meet you, too, Kari," she said, and hugged Hikari. "You ever need anything, feel free to ask. And you take good care of this boy, now, all right?"

"I will," Hikari replied with a smile.

***

I'm very bad at titles. Very bad. If you'd like evidence of this, just look at this one.

In case you were wondering, the names I give the minor, self-invented characters have meanings!

Nouka – (Momoe's husband) - farmer. Technically, if the Inoues are fairly well off, Momoe would not have been married to a simple farmer. I imagine her as being as bold and impulsive as Miyako herself and so fell in love with Nouka, a landowner who was slightly less wealthy then herself, at a young age.

Miha – (Hikari's bodyguard) -  short for Miharu -  which means to guard or protect.

The children –

            Shijo – child

            Kodo – (short for kodoma) also means child

            Maigo – lost or stray child (yes this is the actual definition)

            Onna – (short for onnanoko) – girl

I couldn't think of a good name for their mother, so she's simply called Mama. ^_^