A/N: Production 797 * J-Crusader presents: Companion ~Tales of the Orion~
The main characters used are from Sunrise, the anime series of Mai-Otome and Mai-Otome Zwei. The places and sub/minor characters used are from the original world of Kosarieé brought to life from the stories in Kargo.
Quick Talk from J-Crusader: This is not an introduction that gives the summary of the story or what happened before. I would like to do that, but it is not the time.
This is a piece that I have done up, with co-relation to my original written work. It is set in the world of Kosarieé, exactly similiar to the world that 'More than Fine' is set in. Just that this story happens way before 'More than Fine' actually happens. One must note that this story has no relation to 'More than fine' even though it is set in the same world and with the same characters used. Things may seem weird and unusual in the start, but I hope one can bear with it, things will be explained by themselves slowly as the story progesses.
Life here is surreal and I enjoy it. Basically, this story is written for all those who have supported me this far, I thank you and I hope you will enjoy this piece like the others you have read.
The forest was quiet, apart from the chirping of the night crickets and the soft buzzing of the other insects that lived in the undergrowth. The air was still and humid, the heavy rain had passed overhead the thick canopy and the rain water had made the soil below wet and mushy despite the break that the emergent of the forest provided.
Somewhere in the dense forest; at a deep trough that ran through, an old tree had fallen across the depression. It created a small bridge as seen in villages and cities of Kosarieé. This huge old tree had fallen long time ago; the inside was now hollow, eaten much presumably by termites that lived in abundance in the undergrowth of this particular forest. The bark of the tree was flaking off slowly, a sturdy tree it was until it realised it was no match against lighting. That was most likely the cause of why it fell.
The trunk of the tree was mostly covered in thick wet moss, little sprouts of white fungi growing out at odd angles. Ants were crawling along the curve of the fallen tree in an oddly constructed line. The colour of the bark was dark now and it did not give off a pleasant vibe either. However, though how wet and filthy it seemed, it didn't stop a girl from settling herself down on top of the fallen trunk.
She allowed her legs dangle off, her old leather coat pushed neatly under her bum, in hope to prevent her cotton bottoms from getting damp.
'Aren't you going to join me up here?'
A small grunt was heard below the trunk across the trough. Her crimson eyes moved to settle onto her life long Companion that leaned up the fallen trunk. Soon enough, she heard an answer; it was always like that after a grunt was given.
'No. I prefer to stand.'
Her high leather boot that reached just below her knee knocked softly onto the hollow trunk and she cautiously tested whether this make shift bridge was strong enough to hold her weight, it looked like it was going to collapse anytime. Even though, it was once a strong sturdy tree, it doesn't mean that it will always stay strong and sturdy.
She fingered the wet moss that was all around her and she stopped when she realised that a ray of clear white light was shone on her fingers.
A shuffle of fabric was heard from her Companion near her and she briefly looked up to see her Companion glance back at where she was pointing to on the trunk. She beamed at the emerald eyes that look impassively at her and she waited for a response, there always was a response for her.
'It's the moonlight.'
She titled her head up to look up at the emergent and pass the thick canopy. The night sky could barely be seen within the lush greenery the canopy provided, how was her Companion so sure that the moon was out tonight? There could be clouds out there that blocked the moon from its glory. They entered the forest with no light, facing what was called pitch dark. However, they were long use to such discomfort, eyes long trained to adapt to such darkness.
'How sure are you?'
Her Companion had turned back to look into the darkness and waited patiently for their energy to recharge. Crimson eyes darted to her stoic Companion and she eased out, curiosity getting the better of her.
'What makes you so sure? There could be clouds up there to block the moon.'
'The sky is clear; the heavy rain has already long stopped.'
Her Companion's monotonous voice called out from below her, calm as ever. Well, that was a valid and acceptable reason. It was further proved to be correct as crimson eyes watched more thin rays of gentle white light steam down, across the spread of the forest's undergrowth. It was beautiful sight.
'We should get going.'
Crimson eyes moved back to her Companion after scanning the dimly lit undergrowth. She managed a nod that went unseen by her Companion and gently pushed her body up to stand on top of the trunk. A soft creak was issued below her feet and she dusted her cloak down, patting down her back to ensure that clumps of dirt didn't get stuck onto her.
'Are we going to set up camp?'
Her Companion held onto her wooden staff, as she balanced her way to the other side of the trough. She questioned the emerald eyes of her Companion that seemed to glow in the dark. It was endearing, and calming in an awkward way.
'No, it is too dangerous to set up camp in this forest.'
She reached over to her Companion that had jumped up deftly onto the other end of the trough to join her on the same level, and she accepted back her wooden staff. Her Companion adjusted the rucksack that was slung over the board shoulders and reached out a hand to the girl beside. Taking it lightly, crimson eyes scanned the badly lit undergrowth path that lay before them.
It wasn't as beautiful as she would have thought. Nevertheless, her Companion caught onto her apprehension.
'Don't worry. I'll carry you on my back once you start to feel tired.'
Her Companion tightened her hold around the smaller hand and passed a small rare smile.
'Thank you Natsuki.'
With that, they continued their journey.
'Shizuru. We will be out soon.'
The said girl opened her eyes weakly as she slowly readjusted her eyes to the bright light that shone onto her face. It was warm and the silver glare of the sun was directed right into her face. Why was it so bright? Turning her head slightly upon the back of her Companion, she found that the canopy of the forest wasn't as thick and dense as the previous part they travelled through.
It was already morning and her feet still ached since last night.
She remembered why she was being carried by her Companion.
'We will be out of the forest soon.'
Her Companion didn't answer, but the gesture of her being pushed up lightly on the back of her Companion allowed Shizuru to know that she was acknowledged. Her legs were on either side of her Companion, held strongly by toned arms and strong wide hands. Her own arms were slung tiredly across her Companion's shoulders and her hands loosely holding onto the latter's own leather cloak. Her wooden staff…
Her wooden staff!
Crimson eyes darted open but relaxed after she found her wooden staff neatly tied next to her, next to the rucksack that was slung, looking most uncomfortably, around the neck of her Companion. Shizuru eased back onto the strong board back of her Companion as her ears drummed with the wailing cicadas of the forest. The forest crickets were still chirping loudly; the fresh air that came along the rain from last night lifted some of Shizuru's tiredness and she kept her eyes open as her Companion walked briskly on. Showing no tiredness or discomfort that Shizuru was a burden.
Natsuki never showed such signs to Shizuru before.
A low hum was given out this time; Shizuru remembered she had been to busy finding where her wooden staff had gone to that she had forgotten to question her Companion. She pulled herself closer to the nape of her Companion's neck and breathed out slowly,
'Where are we headed to now?'
'The city of Galeria.'
She snuggled closer to the cool nature that her Companion seemingly gave out and tried her best to decrease the weight onto those strong arms and hands that held her up. Her Companion continued impassively,
'Prince Steiner would be happy to see you.'
Shizuru kept quiet as her Companion jumped slightly to get onto a higher level. The forest path seem to be bringing them up than forward and Shizuru didn't take long to realised that they were climbing instead of advancing. Pressing her face against her Companion's exposed beck, she felt the sheet of perspiration wipe her cheek. Hearing the soft panting from Natsuki, Shizuru leaned forward gently. She whispered a word or two to her Companion that stopped her ascend and lowered Shizuru down to the mossy undergrowth, the roots of the tall huge trees bulging up from the ground.
As her feet touched the ground, Shizuru reached over to carry her wooden staff as Natsuki stretched and readjusted the rucksack. Scanning her environment that was almost the same as the last night, only that now the forest carried a lighter and gentler air. The ground was still wet from the rain last night and by looking at the sun that shone brightly above their heads and the thin canopy cover, it was barely midday.
Natsuki was perspiring a lot and her tunic was drenched from all of that. The atmosphere was humid despite how cool it seemed and Shizuru knew that it was always like this in every forest they travelled through. Sitting herself down onto the ground, and tucking her cloak beneath her bum again, Shizuru watched her Companion shed her own cloak and pull her wet tunic over head to reveal a light white singlet.
Her Companion's skin glisten in sweat and Shizuru watched silently nearby as she wails of the cicada grew louder.
'Do you need to change Shizuru?'
She shook her head softly and she leaned over to rucksack that was placed next to her. She untied the strange knot that Natsuki always tied and dug inside in search of the small towel they had bought in the previous city they travelled to. Shizuru shifted closer to her Companion and wiped Natsuki's arms, revelling in the nicks and scars that her Companion had all over her limbs. There were too many to count, and Shizuru knew, they had been already there for more than a hundred years.
'Thank you Shizuru.'
Shizuru smiled as she gave the small towel a flick and proceeded to fold the partially damp cloth. Natsuki wrung her tunic and moved over to edge of the platform they had climbed up to, and turned back around to eye the path they had to walk. After a short silence they shared packing and changing, Natsuki kneeled down next to Shizuru and pulled her up smoothly onto her back.
'You don't need to carry me Natsuki.
'You cannot appear in front of Prince Steiner exhausted.'
Shizuru kept quiet and accepted the task of carrying the rucksack and her wooden staff that was handed to the back by Natsuki. Her cloak covered the both of them and Shizuru could feel the strong muscles of her Companion ripple beneath the skin. Crimson eyes looked up at the path they had to climb and hugged her Companion gently and closed her eyes.
It was pass midday and it was still somewhat hot, it was quiet a change from the cool atmosphere of the forest to the hot glare of the heat that was lay out before them. It wasn't a desert, it was just grassy fields that seem to stretch on and on, to the mountains that stood tall and wide in the background. Shizuru had gotten onto her feet the minute they had exited the forest and her Companion had reluctantly allowed her to continue the rest of the journey to the city of Galeria on foot.
'You tend to spoil me.'
There was a grunt and like always, there would a response,
'I do it unconsciously.'
Shizuru glanced up at her Companion and wandered briefly why her Companion did so. However, Shizuru kept her questions to herself for the time being, she had other chances and moments to find it out herself; her Companion won't be going anywhere. Natsuki will live an eternity by her side, despite how much her Companion disliked it; Natsuki has already long grown use to it.
Shizuru walked beside her impassive Companion as the sun started it's descent behind the mountains, and it was in the distance that they saw that a myriad of lights. They had been seeing the grassy fields for the last few hours and sometimes the rare chance of catching sight onto Hiji birds that rested their huge bodies and wings on the grassy plains, before lifting off to soar in the vast sky.
The clouds have gathered once again together in the evening sky, and darkness tore through the sky quickly. The lights of the city of Galeria twinkled and gleamed in the distance and it was not long before there could make out the gates and the walls that created the perimeter of the city. As they near the city, they too noticed how small cottages could be seen in the grassy fields, herds of stock moving around slowly. The dirt pathway was greeted with lamps that were placed high onto metal poles and soon Shizuru found her eyes looking at the people that joined them into the city, moving in from different pathways, other than the one they had travelled from the forest.
'It is the time of the year.'
Shizuru wound her hand around Natsuki's that gently tugged her closer. Together they walked with the growing crowd that joined at the intersection of all routes and they moved along to the gates of Galeria. Keeping her wooden staff close to her, Shizuru stopped her steps as she realised that Natsuki had brought her to the side. Her Companion pulled a small purple band from the side pouch that hung low from her belt and motioned Shizuru to turn around.
Feeling her long hair being gathered in a small tail, Shizuru watched the guards inspect each and every traveller that went through the gates. It was much stricter than the other cities they had travelled to. Crimson eyes watched as a peddler was denied access since his good weren't allowed in the city. What about them? Did they carry anything that the city of Galeria did not accept and allow within the walls?
Shizuru heard a shuffle from behind her and she turned to find her Companion tie her own dark hair up and turn her cloak inside out to reveal a simple crest that Shizuru had seen so long ago. Her hand snaked with Natsuki's again as her Companion moved forward silently to the gates. They must look presentably.
A hand was put up in front of her Companion's face and she stood quietly beside, her ears picking up on the noise that the crowd at the gate was making. It wasn't a process that allowed people to stream in efficient, but it was surely a process that stopped people from going in.
'Your pass. Miss.'
'We have no pass.'
Shizuru was a head shorter than her Companion; she was after all only a girl, while her Companion was already hundred years older than her. Yet somehow, eternity made Natsuki retain the same youthful face of early adulthood. There was the sense of maturity despite anything.
'Then I cannot allow you to enter Galeria.'
Emerald eyes moved over to the worried crimson that gazed up at her and Natsuki placed a soothing hand onto Shizuru's head. Her Companion turned to face the gate guard and spoke impassively like always,
'We must enter Galeria.'
'Without a pass, I cannot let you enter.'
'We have no pass, and we need no pass.'
Natsuki pulled her cloak forward and showed the guard that stood speechless at the sight at the emblem that was embroidered onto the worn leather cloak. The guard's eyes glanced down to look at crimson that waited for an answer and the guard stumbled,
'My deepest apology, but the city of Galeria has banned your race from entering.'
'Discrimination.' Natsuki lowered her voice, much to the notice of Shizuru who tightened her grip on the big hand around hers.
'I am truly sorry, but I still cannot allow you from entering.'
'What about my company?'
Shizuru felt her body move to stand in front of Natsuki and she found those hands land onto her shoulder. Her ears picked up Natsuki's cold voice from behind her,
'Can she enter?' Shizuru felt her legs move forward with the push Natsuki gave and her crimson eyes looked into the eyes of the guards, 'She is not of my race.'
'She still needs a pass to enter.'
'She has an audience to attend, with Prince Steiner.'
The guard's face expression dropped again, and crimson eyes looked straight into the dark brown ones of the guard's. Her Companion eyed the guard that laughed with much amusement at the previous statement.
Shizuru rolled over to climb on top of her Companion and settled to the calm beat of Natsuki's heart. A small grunt was heard in the darkness of the inn that was situated outside that brightly lit gates of the city of Galeria, the buzz of the crowd was still on as travellers still wished to enter the city at such a late hour. It was this time of the year as Natsuki labelled it. It was the time the city held celebrations and festivals one after another; it caught the attention of people around Kosarieé. It didn't just happen for the city of Galeria; the whole of the Land of Arri and Merros went through this phase, and it was just that the city of Galeria started its festivals earlier.
'What is it Shizuru?'
'Will we be able to gain entry into Galeria?'
There was a brief silence that was shared between them, before a loud cheer erupted from the first floor of the two storey inn.
'Yes and no.'
Shizuru kept quiet as she pulled herself up and dragged the white sheets along with her. She looked at her Companion that had closed her eyes long time ago to try to succumb to sleep. Without hesitation, Shizuru traced the long scar that travelled across the abdomen that was left uncovered by the thin white singlet her Companion wore and remembered how she had once told Natsuki that it looked like the Orion's belt that twinkled in the night sky. It was just that all the dots were joined up. It was such a straight clean scar that glossed in the light colour of dull pink.
'Why is it a yes and a no?'
Shizuru eyed her wooden staff that she had placed safely by the bed and moved over to see the warm glow provided by the path lamps. It glowed like a light bug outside their room window and she turned back to find her Companion slumped over the pillow. Natsuki's voice muffled,
'Yes for you, no for me.'
Shizuru moved closer to her Companion and pulled a strand of stray dark hair to the side of Natsuki's turned face. Emerald eyes she had seen for the last ten years eyed her for a second or two before it was shut by heavy eye lids. A grunt was given,
'Sleep Shizuru. Tomorrow you will need as much energy.'
Crimson eyes settled onto the figure that rolled back up and pulled the sheets away from Shizuru's comfort. Keeping silent for a while, Shizuru pondered on how things were going to be for them tomorrow. Soon enough, she allowed herself to fall down onto the comforts of a bed and pull herself closer to her Companion that provided her enough security for her to succumb to deep sleep.
'Meister Viola, you have to understand.'
'I do not understand.'
The prince that sat down beside her gritted his teeth in exasperation and pulled his head down to the ground. His short curled light brown hair met with the carpeted floor and Shizuru could only look down at his begging,
'Please Meister Viola. I cannot allow Kruger inside Galeria.'
'I do not understand why you could have allowed her to enter Galeria a year back and now you don't.'
His blue eyes shrank and Prince Steiner quivered. In his grand throne room that stretched for miles was graced with fine soft carpets, the endless fragrance of jasmine and the comforts of cushions and the royal seat itself. However, within his own throne room, Prince Steiner did not feel comfortable with the angered girl that sat in front of him.
'I am truly sorry, but what has been set, cannot be undone.'
Shizuru gripped her wooden staff and threw a glare with her menacing crimson eyes that made the Prince shiver. She could still remember the farce that had been made outside the gates that caused her Companion to go the extent of freezing one of guards. Shizuru had actually wanted things to be done in a more kind and appropriate way but if that had not happened, it would not have brought her inside the city of Galeria, for it was only then did Prince Steiner know who was knocking at his door.
'Allow her to enter Galeria.'
'I cannot do that, Meister Viola.'
'Then I cannot perform what you want.'
It was then, Prince Steiner lifted up his head from the floor, his eyes wide with horror and mouth agape. His hands reached out to hold the girl in front of him and he pleaded and begged, his voice trembling,
'Please Meister Viola, you must perform the ritual!'
'Without her, I cannot do anything.'
Prince Steiner caught onto the gleam that Shizuru's crimson eyes gave off and she looked at the quaking hands on her shoulders. Sliding his hands off the girl's shoulders, the prince slouched forward and cursed under his breath. He wanted his city of Galeria to be safe, but he did not want to go to the extent of inviting something unnatural and extraordinary to come within the vicinity of his vibrant city.
He knew that these things only brought along the unwanted company, yet he above all he wanted his city to be safe, that was his main priority. He was still in the losing end, but at least safety will be brought to his country. Yes, he wanted that.
'If you are afraid of her, then shouldn't you be afraid of me too?'
Prince Steiner locked his shocked blue eyes onto the red ones that looked straight into his soul. He knew she could read him like an open book. He knew that this girl was not just an ordinary girl but someone much more powerful than him. She was someone that wasn't supposed to be messed around with. Meister Viola was a Meister at the tender age of adolescence.
Kruger, the faithful Companion of Meister Viola was also someone not to be messed with. An example was given this morning at the gates; she could cast magic on anyone, yet she wasn't called a mage, a magician, or a Meister. She was someone much more than that. She carried something that all the kings and rulers of countries in Kosarieé wanted.
Kruger carried eternity in her veins.
She was a living deity.
Was that even possible?
No, that couldn't be, Prince Steiner read about it in his library that was almost as vast as those libraries in Eden. Kruger was part of a race, a race that carried eternity in their veins, they were walking immortals. No, they couldn't be called immortals for they could die too, they faced death like any other human would. It was just that their life span stretched for decades and centuries. How it was possible? Only the high priests of Eden knew, for they were allowed to read scriptures of the ancients.
This race always brought along unwanted attention, like looters and bandits. What was much worse was the evil that lurked within darkness of Kosarieé, those that came from the abyss and those who created chaos with much hate and detest without much reason. It was because they, even the devils, simply believed in all old legends that by eating or drinking the flesh or the blood of this race would too give them eternity.
How pathetic, and mindless.
Prince Steiner knew those old myths, legends and fables were a bunch of tall tales; made to show that greed would lead to the down fall of humanity, one way or another. Furthermore, to show that these things, undesirable will only bring the downfall of a village, a city, a country, a nation or even the world.
Why did even the great ancient god Kroft create such a race in the first place?
Above all, he wanted his city to be safe from any harm and danger, and the only way that was possible now was to invite such a person in his country, then he might as well do so. Safety and peace will come, that by then, Kruger will have left the city after the ritual is performed. It was a test, Prince Steiner believed it so.
'I will grant only her entry.'
'Discrimination does not equal to fairness.'
Blue eyes met with crimson eyes that had not lifted from his face. Prince Steiner gulped and straightened up uncomfortably. His had no idea how to go against that. What the girl had said was true, discrimination is not fairness, the whole city knows that, his father and his forefathers all knew that. Shizuru caught onto the tremble within those dilated pupils of the Prince and asked offhandedly, much different than her usual grace which she portrayed.
'Why did you put up such a ban?'
Prince Steiner trembled violently and he hid his face within his arms, was this his punishment for being too curious on why Meister Viola's Companion did not seem to age every year they met in Galeria to perform the ritual? For five years, Kruger never seemed to change a single bit, her face maintaining that youthful complex. Kruger…She was…
At that, Prince Steiner slipped and he buried his face into his hands, trembling,
'They are monsters.'
Pulling the string that held her hair together in a thin tail, Natsuki felt Shizuru beside her move to sit behind her. She felt the soft touch that lingered longer than usual on her back. She heard Shizuru breath into her neck and she sat quietly at the edge of the bed that the Prince had provided them as usual. It was a room located in the far end of the palace, out from the sight of anyone and out of reach from the sharp ears that dared to listen into their conversation.
Natsuki would know if they were being watched, she could feel it, sense it, and smell it. Taste the air and Natsuki would be able to tell that there was a rat listening in. It was just that Natsuki knew, after having walked on Kosarieé for more than a hundred years. She knew the world like a voyager would know the atlas. However, what she didn't really know was the girl that sat behind and cared for her as if she would vanish from her side forever.
Natsuki was different, Shizuru knew that.
Natsuki could live for a hundred years more, but Shizuru wouldn't.
Then why was Shizuru treating her like this?
Simply because it was Shizuru Viola, wasn't it? The youngest Meister in Eden that had bothered to acknowledge her on the holy grounds.
Shizuru waited for the small grunt or even the smallest gesture that told her that she was listening. However, her Companion didn't do anything. Silence engulfed them as the clouds gathered like the night before. Lighting flashed within them and the rumbles of thunder heard, threatening to rain upon to city of Galeria that danced in coloured warm lights.
The night was getting cold and Shizuru reluctantly pulled herself away from her silent impassive Companion that sat quietly at the edge of the bed. She slipped beneath the soft covers and hugged the sheets. Her things not far away by the window, she saw her cloak hung neatly on a stand, her wooden staff nearby and her clothes folded neatly. Her pair of cotton bottoms were stripped from her legs not long ago, leaving her in only the simple loin cloth that cover her private area. Her breasts were freed from the metal breast plate that Meister's wore and her night lavender tunic the only thing keeping her upper body covered.
Shizuru moved slightly to rest her head on the pillow provided, not getting quiet use to the softness that it provided her, since she had been sleeping on the solid back of her Companion or the stiff rucksack that they carried, from endless days of travel.
She breathed in and she noticed that finally her Companion had moved under the covers with her. It the night was still early, Shizuru could tell, as the lights of the city still could be seen glowing vibrantly outside the window. Sooner than expected, she found herself moving towards Natsuki and resting her head against the soft light texture of the thin white singlet her Companion wore.
Shizuru tried again.
'What's wrong Shizuru?'
She found the emerald eyes of Natsuki look at her and she beamed under the darkness at her Companion's response. She pulled herself closer and traced another scar that lined the arm of Natsuki.
'You're not a monster.'
'If I am, I would have already been killed by you.'
Shizuru did not laugh at that, neither did Natsuki who looked impassively at crimson. Shizuru moved herself up and propped her head up with a hand. Looking down at her Companion, she blew a slow breath across Natsuki's face and watched those emerald eyes close briefly before opening back to level with crimson. Shizuru smoothed Natsuki's face with her free hand and lowered her face down to meet those dry lips of her Companion.
Upon the light kiss, Natsuki moved slightly and motioned Shizuru to stop. Crimson eyes closed for a while and rested her head next to her Companion. Emerald eyes looked at the ceiling and took in a deep breath, stuck her tongue out and tasted the air. They were not disturbed, they won't be disturbed. Before the ritual, they cannot be heard, be seen and be disturbed. That was the rules of this ritual, and rules though meant to be broken at times are too to be abided.
'It is still early.'
Shizuru kept quiet at her Companion's words and breathed out into the cold night air. She turned slightly and she could see the light drizzle outside. In the distance, lighting could be seen, the rumbles of the thunder now not heard. The storm had moved away from above the city. Yet it still drizzles.
'Natsuki. Now is never early.'
Shizuru pressed her body hard against Natsuki and motioned the latter to continue. Without her, Shizuru could do nothing. Sooner than expected, from her impassive Companion, Shizuru felt her tunic slid up her waist. A cold hand moved its way up and she could only hold dearly onto Natsuki that lay before her. Her hands reached blindly to find a support and Natsuki guided Shizuru's hands around her neck. It was choking, but pleasurable for Natsuki to say that it was comfortable.
Shizuru's lavender tunic rose above her chest and by now, she was already breathing heavily. Kisses from Natsuki trailed her face, to her neck and back to her lips. Smoothly, she could feel strong hands wound round her body and rest on her breast. It was like a lighting strike, fast and quick, Shizuru could feel her Companion's hand work her up into a state of arousal.
It wasn't long before Shizuru found her tunic beside her on the bed and her loin cloth untied from around her hips. She had made sure that Natsuki was as equally bare as her before she allowed her Companion to proceed any further. It was always the Companion's duty to please; after all they were called Companions for a reason. Another reason was for another cause. That was something Shizuru didn't like to talk about.
Natsuki lips found its way down across a well developed chest for a girl and settled comfortably on sucking the rounded peaks of Shizuru's breast. Shizuru stifled a moan and pulled Natsuki closer. It was already by this time she could feel the strong pulse from Natsuki run into her. It was like always, a strong source of power running through her, making her feel alive and at the same time making her feel powerful. It made her glow.
However, Shizuru knew she could have more, and Natsuki knew she herself wanted to give more. It was the bond between the Companion and the Meister. The mutual understanding made the two much more powerful than any other pair in Kosarieé. Yet, Shizuru wished that this could happen not just because it was a ritual or a preparation for a battle. She wanted her Companion in other aspects than what other Meister's of Eden desired.
Shizuru drew in a sharp breath and bucked her hips against the leg that was pressed tightly up against the apex of her thighs. She took no notice that a hand had wandered down to her core until she felt a probing finger tickling the centre of her pleasure. In response, she passed a series of butterfly kisses to Natsuki who busied herself in keeping the same rhythmic movements to the girl moving above her. A sheet of sweat glistened over their skin and Shizuru realised how understanding and concern Natsuki was to kiss away the fatigue that showed within her eyes.
'I can continue later.'
It was tiring, to have sex, even though how her Companion's spiritual energy flowed and poured itself into the same pool off powers. It made her feel alive and awake, but it somehow made her seem weak and fragile. It was weird, this process of building up energy before a ritual. However, it was the fastest way that allowed a Meister to gain energy, recover and become powerful. Yet, there was a difference between having a real spiritual energy up than becoming described as powerful.
Shizuru knew that well.
'Shizuru, I do not want…'
'I will feel even more exhausted if we continued on later.'
Shizuru's breathing was laboured, and quick. She didn't want Natsuki to waste their joined efforts just because she showed signs of tiredness.
'I will be alright Natsuki.'
With that simple sentence, Shizuru received a chaste kiss on the forehead before Natsuki built up Shizuru's arousal with her ministrations. Their rhythmic movement came back quickly and Shizuru was throbbing in pleasure as bolts of energy could be felt surging throughout her. She held her moan to the pillows and yelped and screamed into the mouth of Natsuki's. Swallowing any sound that would attract attention, Natsuki held on to keep on providing energy to Shizuru, before she took notice that those crimson eyes wanted to shut and rest from all the energy that was building within the small frame of the girl.
Natsuki had to end it soon.
Shizuru caught onto the thought that her Companion had and lowered herself down to be closer to Natsuki. It wasn't long before she felt the strong wave of energy burst in her body. Natsuki had brought her to her climax and she could feel the strong throbbing sensation of energy pulsate throughout her. Her chest was burning, and her legs tired. Shizuru braced herself against her Companion and gripped hard on the shoulders that leaned over to her. Their rocking and buckling soon became a smooth sway and slowly died into breaths of heavy breathing.
Crimson eyes kept closed as she relished in the sensation of feeling alive, awake, strong, yet tired and weak at the same time. She felt the strong hand that had pleasured her smooth her hair and pull her closer. The long drizzle had stopped and the atmosphere once again humid like in the forest. The city warm city lights of Galeria had toned down, it wasn't as bright, and Shizuru knew it was now late.
Natsuki knew it too.
Emerald eyes looked up at the high ceiling and allowed the girl beside her to move even closer. It was not long before she heard the soft slumber breathing of Shizuru and Natsuki closed her eyes.
She was tired too.
'The city has changed.'
'In what way Shizuru?'
Shizuru pointed over to the high guard towers that rose from among the houses of Galeria. She watched her Companion nod in understanding, and she turned to the west end of the flat platform that was built on the top of the palace. Shizuru pointed over to the watch towers along the city's west walls,
'There are mages in those towers.' Crimson eyes focussed onto the a specific one, 'They have been casting spells for about at least a month or two. The land outside is barren and empty.'
Her Companion kept quiet and a small breeze took them.
'What have they been fending off that needs the help of mages?'
Shizuru mused aloud as she proceeded to stand in the centre of the large square platform. Her cloaked danced lightly with the soft wind that blew in the early morning. Her hair still messed around even though it was tied up and Shizuru found it quite irritating at times. Then again, she adored her hair and the way it was. Just like how she had a liking to Natsuki's long dark hair.
'Should I ask Prince Steiner?'
Shizuru chuckled and waved her free hand to her Companion that had moved over to stand behind her. She breathed in deeply and took a step back to stand against the hands of her Companion. Lifting up her wooden staff to position it parallel to the ground, Shizuru broke in to a chant as a circle that glowed deep purple surrounded her. She shut her eyes slowly.
Natsuki pulled her hands off Shizuru as soon she realised that no energy of her was flowing to Shizuru and moved quickly to the side of the platform. Her emerald eyes watched as within the circle, ancient symbols of Kosarieé formed. The circle continued to rotate smoothly around Shizuru's lone figure, soon a soft glow formed on all around her and four other similar circles appeared in the air. Then in a click everything just stopped.
'Something is not right.'
Shizuru opened her eyes and pulled her wooden staff down to her side, the circle symbols of a Meister disappearing slowly. Natsuki glanced around and found a scene, definitely an eye opener to the young Meister.
Natsuki dropped to sit cross legged on the platform and it caught the attention of Shizuru. Gesturing to the scene that was happening in the far west, Natsuki motioned Shizuru to look at it closer.
'It's a battle!'
Her Companion pulled her own cloak around her body and fingered the tiles of the platform. Shizuru cautiously moved over to the edge and peered at the sparks of bright light, the prominent colours of fiery red and dull grey. The lights had a strong glow, a battle cry, a strong menacing aura that only a certain type of people had in Kosarieé. Meisters.
There was a dance battle happening in the west.
That was why there was so much unrest in the air!
'I cannot perform the ritual; it will only attract their attention.'
'Then you must attract attention.'
Shizuru whirled around in bewilderment at the remark that was thrown impassively at her by her Companion. What on the high heavens was her Companion talking about. There was not single cell in Shizuru that wanted her to take part in a Meister's dance battle, especially at such a young tender age, furthermore…
'Natsuki, I am too…'
'You are never too young to take part in a Meister battle.'
Emerald eyes were closed and crimson could only widen at how relaxed her Companion was talking at the moment. Her duty every year in this city was to perform a ritual to create a barrier strong enough to ensure safety and protection to the people from the forces that planned on invasion, or the darkness that still loomed within the abyss of Kosarieé. It was part of a tri-pact treaty held between Vernia Falls, Central and Eden. That was her duty; her duty never stated that she was to take part in Meister dance battles, putting up barriers was only her job as a graduated Meister from Eden.
Shizuru did not want to die just yet.
She walked up, trying to be as calm and relaxed as ever, to her Companion that sat perfectly languid on the platform. The breeze had been replaced by slightly stronger winds. Shizuru tightened her cloak around her shoulders and held firmly on her wooden staff. She stood gracefully as her title was given to her and looked down at Natsuki.
'My duty is to just perform the ritual. I have not yet been promoted to a rank to take part in dance battles.'
Emerald eyes remained closed.
'Then perform the ritual as told.'
Shizuru realised that she had been shot back down to square one. If she performed the ritual, her Meister energy waves will alert and inform those neighbouring Meisters that she was near, she, someone powerful enough to set up a barrier strong and lasting. That also meant someone powerful enough to take part in a dance battle.
However, she was not at an age to take part in dance battles. One more year was all she needed to be promoted and be legalised to take part in such activities.
Shizuru stopped her protest; she knew that her Companion would win in the end. Her Companion knew knowledge that came from a hundred years of living, she knew how everything worked. She especially knew how Meisters worked and went along with everything.
'I will inform Prince Steiner.'
Crimson eyes watched emerald eyes open and get up from her sit on the platform. Natsuki was about to turn as she felt a hand reach out to hold her back. She turned back to find crimson eyes, pleading to stop her actions.
'No. Natsuki.' She hesitated, 'I will perform the ritual now.'
A cold gleam was sent to Shizuru and she actually allowed herself to shiver. Natsuki halted her actions and turned back fully to look at Shizuru, at that point, she passed a brief smile.
'I will stand by you.'
She could here the loud sirens as she felt being readjusted on the strong back that carried her down the hallways of the palace. What had exactly happened? Shizuru could hear the worried voice of Prince Steiner beside her and she peeled her eye lids apart to find concern blue eyes glancing back at her from time to time.
'Will Meister Viola be alright?'
'She will be Prince Steiner.' She could hear the smooth cold voice of her Companion and she moved slightly on Natsuki's back, 'She is just exhausted from the ritual.'
'I am confused, isn't Meister Viola always more alive after the ritual.'
Then it struck Shizuru like a bat and she jerked up from her slump onto Natsuki's back. She allowed herself to perform the ritual for the good of Galeria and duty as a Meister, whether the consequences involved her taking part in a dance battle with other Meisters. She remembered having a difficult time casting the spells as the strong disturbance within the air made by the conflicting Meisters caused her energy to spread across the city unevenly. She had to do it twice, with twice the much of energy to safely say that the ritual was completed and the barrier set up for good.
With that, Shizuru had collapsed exhausted onto the ground after using so much of her spiritual energy. She knew that her own Meister energy waves would have caught the attention of the Meisters that were fighting along the border of the mountains of Merros by then. She struggled slightly from the hold Natsuki had on her and landed hard on the floor of the hallway.
Prince Steiner was alarmed and rushed towards Shizuru as her Companion walked calmly over. However, all Shizuru could hear within her ears was the loud sirens that informed all to get ready for battle. Crimson eyes widened as she stumbled forward to the shock prince that had kneeled down onto the floor beside the tired Meister.
'Why have the sirens been turned on?'
'A Meister is coming towards Galeria at full force.'
Shizuru looked up shocked at the emerald eyes that had answered her question. A Meister? That meant, the other before had been defeated? Prince Steiner forced out a smile and tried in vain to calm his trembling voice,
'Do not worry, Meister Viola…'
'Do not worry? I don't want to die!'
Prince Steiner was taken aback and fell back onto his hands as the Meister shot back at him. He could see the worry wracked on her smooth face. Yes, she was young, a young tender age that had so much more years to live to see the world. She was not at an age to die just yet, but…
Wasn't she the one that had caused the Meister to take notice of her?
That only happened because she was performing her duties as a Meister.
'I will take care of the Meister.' Shizuru and the Prince jerked their heads to face the impassive Natsuki that stood beside them. Her voice cut the sirens like a knife and Shizuru realised that her Companion was serious all the time. Natsuki was always like that.
A cold stare was sent to Prince Steiner that fumbled onto his feet and helped a pale looking Meister. Shizuru said nothing as she looked on weakly at her Companion that tugged at her cloak, spun on her boots and walked down the hallways that lead to the west entrance of the city walls. Crimson imagined the worse that could come out from a dance battle between her Companion and a Meister.
She knew that Natsuki was strong, but was she that strong, tough and powerful to take on a Meister? Was living through a hundred years enough her to make that strong to take on a Meister worthy of a dance battle? Shizuru didn't want her Companion to fall defeated and come back injured from head to toe. She did not want that.
'Meister Viola! You are to stay to recover!'
Shizuru halted her run after her Companion and lowered her eyes to her hand that clutched tight onto her wooden staff. She could feel no life in her gloved hands and no energy pulsating through her veins. Was she this drained? After a ritual that she had to perform twice in a row? Yes she was. Shizuru was exhausted, but she had made up her mind long ago when anything involved her Companion.
Her crimson eyes clashed hard with blue eyes of the Prince and she emphasized,
'Without her, I cannot do anything.'
Natsuki looked briefly at the thick grey city walls that loomed behind her and she could hear a cry from one of the towers guards that had wished her all the best at the powerful source that was heading towards the city. It was sure that the mages positioned at the west towers took notice of the huge disturbance within the air and the raging aura that was heading towards the city. Menacing and terrorising it was to make them set off the sirens. At least they did, it gave her a peace of mind that they were aware of it.
She stopped upon the barren land outside the walls and kicked up the dirt at her feet. What exactly was the city fighting that needed aid of mages? A beast from the lairs of the mountains? No, such beast did not need magic to be tamed and killed. A devil perhaps? No, the barrier had not waned yet when they arrived in Galeria. What were they fending off?
The breeze was cut abruptly and the air became still. Natsuki took notice how dry her surroundings became and hot it seem to prickle with heat. Strong heat enough to set a field on fire. Who exactly was coming, a Meister so menacing that it can make miles in front scorch and burn?
Natsuki breathed calmly and like always produced a small mist that cooled her off instantly. She took of her cloak and folded it neatly, realising that it made her feel hotter and uncomfortable. It was not long before Natsuki could feel her feet burn despite the hard boots she wore. The area around her turned blazing hot and it seemed as if a fire was spreading towards her.
Emerald eyes closed and Natsuki breathed out slowly. The heat was lessened, but Natsuki knew it would only become even hotter when this Meister arrived. So this was this Meister's element? So much different than what Shizuru possessed and controlled. It looked as if it was fuelled by anger and hate that it seem to be able to spread so far.
Natsuki spun around upon hearing a guard's cry. She caught onto a tired and exhausted girl that carried her wooden staff with two hands and ran to her that her life depended on her running. She was not to be here, not when she was in a state so vulnerable. What is she thinking off in a time like this!? Natsuki ran a few options in her head and realised how dangerous it would be if the Meister coming met up with Shizuru.
Shizuru is strong, a powerful Meister of her age. However, a little young and inexperienced to deal with things that Natsuki finally realised was too much for a young Meister like Shizuru to handle. Natsuki regretted; she shouldn't have pushed the girl too far. Clenching her teeth, she would take care of things. It was she that brought about this.
Those crimson eyes search for Natsuki's eyes and the moment they met, a strong blaze ripped the atmosphere.
Rolling forward to pull Shizuru to the ground, Natsuki found that her tunic had been scarred by a flame, leaving a badly burnt black hole on her back. She picked Shizuru up and realised the heat was getting more and more intense. Emerald eyes sought out the heavy crimson eyes that stared tiredly at her and Natsuki skidded to the side to dodge another jet that was shot out to her.
She was holding the Meister that is why.
Natsuki had to get Shizuru back within the walls, if she would want this mess to lessen. She had to get things sorted out.
'Why did you come out!?'
Reaching the walls of the city, Natsuki jumped up into the air and pushed up the cobbled walls like a skilled acrobat and landed quite exhaustedly on the ledge of the top of the watch tower.
One of guards pulled back at the sight that landed in front of him and his fellow colleagues pulled forward as Natsuki eased Shizuru into the arms of a mage. The grey eyes of the young mage glance at Natsuki for a moment before Natsuki jumped back onto the ledge shouting,
'She needs a Companion. She needs to recover; do not allow her outside!'
The mage stumbled forward with the Meister in his arms and called out to Natsuki who was reluctant to stay due to the intense heat that was rose a notch every second. Her tunic was already drenched like in the forest and she had to end this heat that was coming from the incoming Meister.
'Master Kruger! Who is her Companion?'
Natsuki gritted her teeth; it was a question she didn't want to answer at this point of time either. That meant Shizuru had to wait for now and she was sorry. However as she was ready to jump back down to face the advancing Meister, a strong tug pulled her back to the watch tower and her lips pulled into a soft kiss.
That last emerald saw and heard was the faint gleam in those crimson eyes and a soft murmur of her name before she leaped in the air and glided down along the cobbled walls of Galeria. She fingered her lips as she landed onto the hot ground.
'I am her Companion.'
A/N: This is the first chapter, there is more to come, do not worry. I hope that everyone that has read until here has enjoyed it so far.
For the Info: The word Companion is a title, it is also the same for the word Meister; the word Meister is used as a honourific title for a certain type of people in Kosarieé. Shizuru is one of them, hence she is referred to as Meister Viola. Natsuki however it not a Meister, she is a Companion. The place mentioned as Eden is a country in Kosarieé, it is where Meisters are trained.
If there is any more questions that one would like to ask, feel free to do so, pop in a message if needed. There were a few sketches done of Shizuru and Natsuki before I even wrote this, it is posted up at my hompage, titled 'Companion.'