Hi everyone! Hope you guys are looking forward to this chapter, I know it's a little short but the next one will be longer, promise! ^_^
Please read and review and thank you again for your comments on the story so far! =D
For a long while Mio and I talked of past things from the village, that brought up a lot of memories for not only me, but her too I'm sure. Even though I followed Sae and at times she somehow controlled me, I could still see, feel, and hear what was going on around me. I was powerless to stop the pain that Mio felt each time I left her behind. But it seemed like fighting for what I wanted was hopeless until she released me from her grasp, even then I knew she wouldn't leave me alone forever, and that we could not leave the village. At least not unless I was dead, we would still be together, when we became one. When we became a crimson butterfly.
Sae showed me things of her own past. She and Yae were so close, but after the failing of Itsuki and Mutsuki's ritual, everything was changed. All the plans, all the hopes they had, suddenly slipped from their grasps in the blink of an eye. And so, Sae had convinced herself that as long as they became one and were together forever in such a form, she would still be happy. That and knowing that her beloved sister was able to live on with her own life. But Yae left her behind.
I'm not completely sure if it was fear that drove her to leave her sister, or hope that she may one day return to get her. Either way the moment Yae let go of Sae's hand, she was doomed to become a hellish spirit seeking nothing but revenge and her sisters return.
After the small incident with Mio that morning, I was beginning to think more of the dream I had. Just knowing that she too was having it somehow made me feel less alone. I wanted to make it go away for both of us. Like writing words on a paper and tossing it into the garbage, if only it was that simple to forget. I tried shaking the thoughts from my head, as I slid close our closet door, but it only made me realize that it wasn't going to be easy. We had been chosen, that's what Sae had once whispered to me. It felt more like an inescapable curse.
As I departed from the staircase I saw Mio waiting for me in the living room. She was in a simple dark blue dress with a white ribbon at the waist, sitting before the television. It was stupid of me to think for a moment that she must be enjoying the program since she was dead set on it, but when the soft bandages around her eyes came into view I realized she was only listening to it patently.
"Mio I'm ready. I put on the black version of your dress so we could match."
She smiled slightly as she stood, something was off about her reaction but I assumed it was because of the recent news of Sae. "That's great. Mayu, where did you say we were going again?"
"Kei asked if we would get a few things for dinner tonight, he's going to cook again. Also I wanted to stop by the book store and look for something, if that's alright?" Though I knew she couldn't see my sad expression at the request I made, knowing she couldn't see to read, for some reason I still tried to hide it when she turned her head in my direction. Oddly enough she could tell my reaction in my words.
"It's OK Mayu, don't worry about me. I'll listening to something on the computer like before."
It was still quite new, but one of the three bookstores in our area had a neat row of computers that were available to the public for a limited time. You could check your email, or even listen to an audio book or music if you liked.
"Thank you Mio, shall we?" I took her hand in mine and lead her along the small entrance hallway of our home as we left. I liked that things were somewhat normal again between us. We were so in tune with one another's feelings, it always amazed me at how Mio knew exactly what to say, and made me happy to know I wasn't alone.
The walk to the grocery store was a lot nicer than I had thought. It was said that it might rain today, but as me and Mayu found, the sky was crystal clear. Even if I couldn't see it I could easily remember what it looked like in mind, and the feeling of the warm sun against my skin only made my imagination of it more exciting. Before shopping me and Mayu stopped at a small vendor on a street corner and each enjoyed a small stick of fried squid. It reminded me of the past summers together, when we would enjoy such a thing and then spend the day at the beach. Of course I knew things like this could still happen, but in all truth it wouldn't ever be the same as it had once been before.
Most of the time Mayu was shopping I sat on a bench outside the store. It was only one time that I stood for a bit to stretch my legs before I though that I might look silly standing alone instead of sitting. When she returned she revealed that the dish we were having was something simple, sukiyaki. I had always enjoyed this dish because of the sweet soy sauce broth it had.
"It's funny, I can't remember the last time we ate this. Kei is always making curry and rice when he's home late or bringing something from fast food we don't need." I laughed for the first time in a long time, as Mayu joined me. It felt good to be cheerful for the moment. Somehow having such happy emotions after what I had dreamed of oddly made me feel sort of safe.
"Yeah that's true he always seems to." Mayu agreed as we walked, she was still holding my hand firmly enough though, as if I might break away and flee like a small child would. It was hard at times in the past to believe that Mayu was in fact the elder twin, she always relied on me in so many ways, but now it was like our roles had been switched. Maybe it was fate but either way I was happy knowing I still had her by my side.
When we finally reached the small book store I left Mio listening to music as I had planned. Originally I was only coming here to look for some kind of light novel to read in bored times, but then I got to thinking a little more about the possibility of finding information about the village and possibly Yae. I know it was a long shot, but it was worth looking into.
My fingers grazed the tops of the books in the small folklore section of the book store. Most of the books look extremely old like the ones we saw in the village, some are even in scroll forms, but between all of them and the newer ones I don't see anything familiar. There are few stories of villages and from the ones I read nothing begins or ends like the one I had came to know.
At the point of giving up I came across one that was similar as far as the disappearance of an nameless village, that travelers and hikers got lost in if they followed the trail, but it mentioned nothing of twin maiden statues or anything that had happened to us. Of course I didn't expect to find something to detailed, considering that as far as we knew all those who had become lost were now dead. As for finding something about Yae, it seemed an impossible task.
Nearing the edge of the shelf I was glancing over I noticed a book titled, 'Famous Folklorist' in bold red letters on the binding. For some reason it made me curious enough to look at it, and come to find out it was about the lives of men who were Folklorists and such. This reminded me of the poor man who had became a kusabi in the village, though his name escaped my mind I felt just a sad for him. It was a fair price for the book and within my spending range, so I bought it quickly and returned to Mio, who was still sitting with a small smile listening to music of some kind.
"Mio I'm ready to go." I said slowly taking the headphones off of her ears.
"OK. Did you find anything interesting?"
It took me a moment to answer this, because all though I didn't want to lie to Mio I didn't want to tell her the truth, for some reason it didn't seem important to do so right now. "Yeah, I found an interesting romantic novel to buy. I'll tell you more later we should hurry home, Kei is waiting on us."
Flawlessly Mio smiled back at me and nodded without showing a hint of knowing that I had lied. I began to wonder if this was true or if she was that good an actress, either way I still felt guilty. Maybe though, this book that had somehow drawn me to itself would help in the future, and another thought crossed my mind then. Would I dream of the village tonight?
Mio's POVWhen we returned home Mayu and I started making dinner, Kei was in his study working on something related to an old tale of a haunted well, something like that. He normally told us about his work when we ate, but sometimes I wished he wouldn't considering what me and Mayu had been through. I couldn't blame him though since he had no way of knowing what happened and we promised we wouldn't tell him.
Mayu had placed me before the sink and I washed vegetables as she cut and cooked them. I could not help but feel a little useless without my sight, but I knew the house well enough that I could at least move from the kitchen to the living room while waiting. But by the time I had turned the television on for sound dinner was ready. Kei joined us soon after and before we could take a bite of our food started into the story of his work.
"You girls know about the story I'm working on right?" He asked.
"Yes of course. What's new?"
"Well, when I visited the site of the well this morning I could of sworn I saw someone standing behind it, but before I could take a photo they vanished. I have a strong feeling that this urban legend is quite true."
I heard Mayu give a small sign before she answered him, though I guess Kei didn't notice it. "Wow that's amazing! I wish we could have came with you." The enthusiasm in her voice sounded slightly fake, but close enough to real not to give her away. I couldn't help but smirk at the look I imagined on her face.
"Yeah Kei it sounds unbelievable. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself."
He thank me, and we continued on with the same conversation of the events till dinner came to an end. When Mayu and I were alone in our room changing for bed, I felt a sudden shudder run over my body when the thought of dreaming came to mind. When I was younger, I use to look forward to such a thing. Our minds creating something so magical and unreal was amazing to me, but now that I had dreamed of the village I couldn't stand the thought of what might possibly happen when I closed my eyes.
"Mayu... Do you think that..."
"We'll dream of the village again?" She finished my sentence. This didn't shock me, considering that we were so close, but it did make me worry for her. That maybe she might be the only one who would dream of that horrid place, and if she was somehow to run into Sae or worse, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.
"Mio, just for tonight maybe we could share a bed?" Mayu asked, her tone sounded frightened, but I could understand why. Unlike a good amount of most Japanese, Kei had bought us western style beds when we moved in with him, since he too had one and preferred them. They were comfortable to be honest, and though a single person size me and Mayu sometimes curled close to one another and shared a bed when scared. Being close to her made me feel safe, she was my sister no matter what happened and I loved her.
"Of course." I smiled as she lead me toward the left side of the room. Even if I couldn't see my body could remember enough that I didn't need help laying down beside her, our hands clasped together as we both silently drifted into a deep sleep. Feeling safe and secure. It wasn't until I felt a light breeze of wind against my arms, that my heart started to race and my eyes fell upon Mayu's face for the first time since I had battled Sae.