Written for the Goldenlake Drabble Prompts; Prompt #5, Healing.

I very much like this. I have another Shinko piece to post as well.


After Lianokami is born, there should be another baby, a brother or a sister to play with her and support her, another child in the succession, another child in case the heir dies.

The first second baby dies when Shinkokami contracts rubella, which is fatal to the fetus, the second second baby dies when she is pushed off her horse and down a hill by an ill-wishing hand.

Roald is not a violent man, yet he chooses to carry out the convict's sentence himself as is his right under ancient law: first a hand, then a head, down in the dungeon where no one will hear the screaming.

Shinko dances with Lianokami and wonders when she will be able to stop hiding her sadness behind white face-paint and bright silk fans.

It doesn't get better.

When the third second baby is born, Shinko cries for the first and final time for her unborn second children and then chooses to cry instead for the one wailing in her arms.

Roald loses the shadow in his blue eyes, though he will still not touch that particular sword and eventually has it melted down for scrap metal.

Lianokami climbs up besides her mother and father and little brother, giggling as the boy's fingers close around her fat toddler hands, and for the first time, Roald allows himself to believe that everything may actually end up alright.