Chapter 50: Memories of a Stormy Night
Darkness…that's all there was as Yuki ran, heart racing as someone chased her. She didn't know why she was running, she just knew she had to get away! The figure was obscured by the darkness, but their words were clear.
"Revenge shall be mine little goddess! Once I get my hands on you, I'll make you suffer as I have suffered!"
"What have I done to you?"
"You'll know soon enough…and once I have you…I'll be sure to get rid of you!"
Dark tentacles then grabbed hold of Yuki's legs and arms, pulling her down until she was spread eagle on the ground. The young goddess looked over her shoulder, struggling to free herself as the figure came closer.
"You'll pay with your soul once I'm finished with you." The figure sneered as they pulled out a lance.
"No…please…I don't want to die!" Yuki cried, tears spilling from her eyes.
"It's too late to beg for mercy!"
"NO!" Yuki nearly screamed as she sat up from her bed.
It has been a few months since Yuki lost her memories, and now it is summer…and a summer storm is picking up outside.
"Oh man…what a nightmare." Yuki sighed heavily as she pushed back her sweaty bangs.
Yuki then turned to her doorway, seeing her mother looking at her.
"Yuki, is everything okay?" Urd asked worriedly as she saw her daughter's disheveled state.
"I'm fine Mom, I'll just go back to…"
Suddenly, thunder cracked loudly outside, startling Yuki.
"YAH!" She shrieked as she dove under her sheets, shivering fearfully.
Urd went over to the lump in the sheets, patting it comfortingly as it shook.
"Yuki, honey, are you okay?"
"One, that's my bum you're patting, and two…" Yuki whimpered as thunder crashed outside, making her shiver even worse, "I'm afraid of the lightning and thunder, even though I know they're nothing more than light and sound." She whispered shakily as she slowly peeked out from her sheets.
Urd smiled understandingly as she stroked her daughter's head.
"Wait right here okay?"
Yuki just ducked her head under the covers again as the thunder cracked again. Soon enough, Urd returned with two mugs of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
"How's that supposed to help?" Yuki grumbled as she sat up.
"This always did the trick when you were little." Urd smiled.
Yuki took one mug and sipped at it, enjoying it despite the weather.
"You know, this reminds me of another time you got scared by a storm." Urd grinned as she stroked her daughter's head.
"Really? When was that?"
"Let's see…right, it was when you were six, and it was shortly after you'd moved into here, your own room."
"Oh no…you said back then, and I quote, "I'm old enough to sleep by myself Mama!," and you were quite stubborn about it." Urd laughed.
"Have I always been stubborn as an ox? Or did I pick that up from somewhere?" Yuki asked suspiciously.
Urd just chuckled as she patted her daughter's head.
"Like I've told you, you have traits from both Belldandy and myself; but you do favor your traits from Belldandy I have to admit. Though you still have some of mine." Urd smiled.
Yuki nodded understandingly before taking a long drink from her mug.
"So…about this other time I got frightened during a storm?"
"How can I forget? You could be pretty stubborn when you wanted to be…" Urd sighed as she remembered that particular memory.
"Yuki, you cannot be serious." Urd sighed as her daughter picked up some of her toys.
"I am serious Mama; I'm six years old, so I should start sleeping in my own room." Yuki proclaimed as she gathered up her clothes, her angel helping out with the load.
"I know you think you're ready Yuki, but you're still too little. Besides…" Urd smiled as she snatched up her daughter, placing a kiss on her cheek, "I'll be cold without my little girl snuggled up with me during the winter."
Yuki just squirmed out of her mother's arms, moving swiftly down the hall to the empty room she'd picked for herself. She and Regal Elegance got to work putting her belongings away, humming happily.
"I'm old enough to sleep without Mama, I'm getting too big to stay in her room." Yuki said aloud as she went back to the room she shared with Urd, grabbing her pallet.
"And I say otherwise Yuki." Urd laughed as she picked up Yuki again, rubbing her cheek against her daughter's.
Yuki whined as Urd placed a kiss on her cheek.
"Mama! Put me down!" Yuki squirmed.
Urd laughed as she set Yuki down.
"Six is way too young to start sleeping alone Yuki." Urd frowned as Yuki grabbed her art supplies.
"I'll be fine Mama, how hard can it be?" Yuki huffed before toddling off.
Later that night, Yuki was all snuggled up in her bed, dreaming of all things sweet and nice. She sighed happily in her sleep until a low rumble woke her from her slumber.
"What was that?" Yuki mumbled as she pulled her covers over her face.
Thunder roared outside, and Yuki squeaked as she pulled the covers up.
"It's just thunder, it can't hurt me…" Yuki whispered to herself, pulling Shadow closer.
But when the thunder sounded once more, Yuki bolted out of bed, ran down the hall, and launched herself into Urd's bed, shivering like a leaf. The elder norn felt her daughter's shaking form before rolling over, eyes softening as her eyes fell on Yuki.
"What's the matter Yuki? Did you have a bad dream?" Urd asked as she pulled Yuki into her arms.
"Thunder…" Yuki whimpered, snuggling closer to her mother.
Urd smiled understandingly as she stroked Yuki's head, cooing all the while.
"There, there sweetie, it's all right. No need to be afraid, I'm right here." Urd whispered as Yuki snuggled closer.
Thunder roared outside the temple once again, making Yuki squeak with fright as she trembled in her mother's arms. Urd sighed as she watched her daughter, trying to think of a way to calm her down.
'Okay Urd, think, what can you do?'
The norn soon smiled as she sat up from her bed, placing a kiss on her daughter's forehead.
"Wait right here okay? I'll be right back." She grinned as she made her way out.
Yuki remained in the futon, whimpering quietly. Urd soon returned with two mugs of hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream. She passed one to Yuki, watching as Yuki's eyes sparkled happily.
"Thank you Mama."
"You're very welcome Sweetie."
Urd watched Yuki drink her cocoa contently, seeming to have forgotten the reason why she had come into Urd's room in the first place. But…
"Eek!" Yuki squealed as the thunder boomed outside, causing her to nearly spill her drink.
Her mother sighed as she saw Yuki shivering in her fear, Urd trying to think of something to settle her daughter's nerves. Then a little idea popped into her head.
"Yuki, there's no reason to be afraid of the thunder. Want to know why?" Urd smirked as she took a small sip of her own hot chocolate.
"Yuki, do you know about the four guardian beasts of Japan?"
The tiny goddess shook her head, having no clue about what her mother was talking about.
"Well, according to Japanese mythology, there are four great animals who guard and protect the continent, each of them ruling over a different region."
"Really? Tell me more Mama!" Yuki exclaimed as she crawled into Urd's lap.
"Okay, settle down. Up in the north, The great black tortoise, Genbu, lives beneath the sea, watching over the creatures of the water, holed up in his strong and sturdy shell, coming out only to defend those who cannot escape humans' unintentional destruction to their home."
"How big is he Mama?"
"As big as the main temple!"
"Is that true? What about the others?"
"Well, in the west, there lives a huge and fearsome white tiger named Byakko. He roams the land, battling anyone who threatens the peace, leaving eternal scars on his enemies with his razor sharp claws." Urd growled as she mimicked a clawing movement.
"Oh wow. Who are the other two guardians Mama? Tell me!"
"Down south, nested somewhere out of sight, lives the beautiful red phoenix known as Suzaku. He eyes humanity with a disdainful eye, thinking they are too disrespectful of nature and too materialistic for his tastes. If anyone were to anger him, Suzaku would spread open his wings and set everything within reach ablaze!"
"He's not a nice birdie is he?" Yuki laughed as she thought about it for a moment.
"Definitely not; and last but least is Seiryu, the blue dragon of the east. No one is sure how big he is, but some say he is over 500 feet long! He remains hidden in the clouds high above the earth, protecting the humans below with his mighty claws and teeth. But what some don't know is that he sometimes travels all over Japan, helping humanity unknowingly." Urd smiled as Yuki stared at her in wonder.
"Really? What do you mean Mama?" Yuki chirped.
"Well Yuki, you know the lightning and thunder going on outside?" Urd smirked as the thunder roared again.
"Uh-huh." Yuki whimpered.
"The thunder you hear is actually Seiryu himself, roaring at some evil spirits or demons who are trying to hurt people. And the lightning you see is him attacking the demons with a mighty blast of electricity. When the storm ends, it'll mean Seiryu has triumphed and he'll return to his home in the sky." Urd soothed as Yuki grinned.
"Is that really true Mama? Is there really a big blue dragon outside fighting evil spirits?" Yuki inquired as she looked outside.
"Of course there is Honey. Now are you still scared?" Urd smirked.
"Nope! I'm going to sleep better knowing Seiryu is just doing his job as a guardian beast." Yuki giggled as she finished her cocoa.
But when the thunder sounded again, Yuki squeaked as she turned to her mother.
"Can I sleep here tonight Mama? Seiryu is really loud." Yuki asked as she turned chibi eyes to her mother.
Urd chuckled a moment before pulling back the covers.
"Of course Yuki; if you ever need to sleep here with Mama, you just need to say so."
As soon as Yuki had settled in, the little goddess turned into her mother's side, making herself comfortable as Urd wrapped her arms securely around her daughter's body.
"Good night Mama." Yuki yawned as she shut her eyes.
"Good night Yuki, pleasant dreams." Urd smiled as she placed a small kiss on her daughter's head.
Both mother and child soon drifted off to sleep, the storm no longer audible to either.
Yuki stared at her mother, a smirk on her face.
"The great and mighty Seiryu, fighting off demons? And that actually worked?" Yuki guffawed as she held her stomach.
"Hey, I had to say something to make you calm down, and that was the only thing that came to mind." Urd huffed as she finished her cocoa.
"I'm sorry for laughing, but that has got to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard." Yuki giggled.
"Ha ha ha, go ahead and laugh; that story helped whenever a storm came up, and you even told it to your cousins when they freaked out."
"Okay, okay, whatever. But still, I can't believe that actually worked."
"You'd be surprised what I'll do in order to cheer you up."
"Somehow I believe it." Yuki frowned as she drained her mug.
Urd smiled as Yuki yawned.
"Need me to sleep here tonight Sweetie?" Urd teased as Yuki glared at her.
"Oh please, I think I'll sleep just fi…"
The thunder roared once more, causing Yuki to dive under her covers. Urd snickered at Yuki as her daughter glared at her again.
"You can sleep here if you want, not because I'm scared, just so we're clear." Yuki huffed as she pulled up her covers.
"Whatever you say Yuki, whatever you say." Urd smiled as she joined her daughter under the covers.
Before drifting off to sleep, Urd had to ask…
"By the way Yuki, did you have a nightmare earlier? It must have been really bad if it scared you that bad."
Yuki peeked open an eye, sighing as she felt herself blush in embarrassment.
"Yeah. A dark figure was chasing me in total darkness. They kept saying something about revenge on me or something." Yuki frowned as she closed her eyes again.
Urd frowned as she watched her daughter.
"Revenge? What exactly did they say Yuki?"
"They said that they would make me suffer as I'd made them suffer. Then they pulled out a lance and…I woke up screaming." Yuki sighed as she buried her face in her pillow.
"Yuki, are you sure that you heard them correctly?" Urd pushed as she shook Yuki's shoulder.
"Mom, it's late, we'll talk about it in the morning. So just close your eyes and let me sleep, okay?" Yuki groaned as she turned her back to Urd, clearly not in the mood to continue talking.
But Urd couldn't rest so easily like her daughter could. What Yuki had said troubled her deeply.
'I know that someone had targeted Yuki for a reason, and as I thought, someone from the past is out to get my daughter. But who could it be, there are too many possible suspects. Any number of our old demonic enemies could be coming for her. But more importantly…' "Will I be able to defend Yuki in her current state?"
Urd sighed sadly as she looked over her daughter, who had drifted off easily into slumber.
"Yuki, perhaps if you hadn't been granted the powers of a goddess, you wouldn't be in this mess." She frowned as she stroked Yuki's head.
Yuki mumbled sleepily before turning over, facing her mother as she buried her face in her pillows.
"But then…" She grinned as she watched her daughter snooze, "You wouldn't be my Yuki then."
Urd soon settled down herself, closing her eyes as she sought out her daughter's hand. Once she found it, she held it tight, wanting to let Yuki know she was there even though her daughter was unaware of it. But she smiled as she felt Yuki's grip tighten; her daughter knew she was there for her.
'Good night Yuki, may your dreams be peaceful now.'
Unknown to the two, Hild was watching them through a crack in the door, a small smile on her lips.
"You truly are a wonderful mother Urddy. And who knows…" She smiled as Yuki snuggled closer to her mother.
Hild chuckled softly as she saw her granddaughter unconsciously wrap her arms around Urd, smiling contently in her slumber.
"Yuki may soon regain her memories yet."
Dragonlover71491: Been a while hasn't it? Sorry, but due to work, family issues, technical issues, and other stories needing to be tended to, it took me some time to update. But here you are! Also, if any of you out there are artists, I'd be happy if you drew some fanart for this. Just draw your favorite scene from the story so far, and you get a cookie, or a hellhound pup, whichever you prefer. Just be sure to send me a link. I'd draw it myself, but I can't to save my life, bye for now :)