Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Quest. This is the story of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies told in the point of view of a Warrior named Iniko, who is going to follow 'The Hero' through her journey. There will be improvisations on the storyline and things that don't happen in the games. This is to give the story a more emotional edge and will hopefully give the characters depth. Iniko and Katunei are mine.
My name is Iniko. I'm 15 years old, and I'm going to be 16 in just 2 days' time. I have clear blue eyes and the most bizarre pink hair, but I've never let it grow. Why? Remind me to tell you later. There are more important things to say for now. I'm a strange girl who surprises people at first glance. I'm not a priest or a mage; I'm a warrior.
People don't expect girls to be warriors. They have nothing against it; it just surprises them to see a girl get rough with monsters.
Anyway, as I was saying, in 2 days' time it is going to be my 16th year of age. Most girls would be making the preparations for their Year of Life ceremony. I'm in the middle of a forest, sleeping in the dirt.
Don't get me wrong; I love what I do. I love travelling with my companions, going wherever we want with no rules or expectations. The only thing that is expected of me here is to be myself and do what makes me happiest. And I do. Under Katunei's watchful eye we battle monsters as we travel through so many lands – and even across the seas! I train with my sword as I spar with Katunei, or Keikazu, or sometimes Machi, and watch as every swing I throw becomes stronger, faster, steadier.
It will probably be confusing for you if I start the story here, so let's go back to the beginning. Where it all started.
I've always loved being a warrior. It runs in my blood, I think. Both of my parents were warriors - my father died in battle when I was 8, and my mother had already been dead for 2 years. I was devastated, but lucky enough that a close friend of my father took me in.
While I was there I was loved, but not happy. This man was trying to shift me, shape me into somebody I didn't want to be. And anyone could tell at first glance that his wife had no interest in me. She ignored me but tolerated me, knowing that her husband's past friendship with my father prevented him from denying me a home.
He tried to teach me table manners, and how to sew, and to be a good, obedient little girl. Key word "tried". Though I was grateful to him for looking after me, I wasn't going to give up what I loved for anyone. Fighting was a part of my soul and being; why would I give that up to be somebody's quiet little housewife? Why would I give up the only thing that was mine anymore? But looking back, I think maybe he was trying to save me. Protect me, even. He could see what I was becoming in the eyes of the villagers, could see the steadily building hate. Maybe he thought if he could change me, I could be spared their rage and their doubts could be vanquished.
And so, at the age of 14 I left. I wrote a note saying goodbye, grabbed my sword and ran all through the night until I reached the next town. I had been living in Coffinwell all my life, so it took me a long time to reach Stornway, the capital city. Because I did not have the money to stay in an inn, I camped out in the forest some ways from there, trying to gather my bearings and make good of my new life. However the problem soon arose that I had no work. While I was vaguely aware of how warriors got work, whenever I enquired about a job, I was always turned away.
I saw how they stared at me, heard their whispers. They were wondering why a young child such as myself was asking for work as a warrior. They were wondering where my father's honour was, letting his daughter put herself in the hands of danger so carelessly. I always ignored it, despite my strong urge to give each one who dishonoured my father's name a black eye. After all, if I drew too much attention, rumours would spread about the warrior girl who didn't seem to live in town. And rumours can spread far. As far as another country if exciting enough.
So I kept low for as long as I could, eating fruit and animal meat to keep myself strong. This cycle continued for 3 months until one day, something changed.
I was walking through Stornway, making myself scarce, when suddenly a hand landed on my shoulder, followed by the sound of heavy panting. I quickly turned and had my hand on my sword immediately. The woman was bent over, breathing deeply in and out, trying to steady herself.
"Blimey! You sure do walk fast, dont'cha?"
She lifted her head, shooting me a wide smile. I hesitantly smiled back, unsure as to what she wanted. As I studied her closer, she seemed familiar, but I couldn't seem to place it.
"Name's Patty. I've been looking for you for a while now. You're looking for work as a warrior, right?"
She stood up straight, and when I saw her clothes I remembered that she was the woman always working at the inn. I then registered her words and gave a jerky nod.
"Then follow me; I think I got some work for you." She then turned around and walked back towards the inn. As she realised I wasn't following her, she turned her head and raised her eyebrows, as if to say "Well? Are you coming or not?"
When we entered the Inn, I saw a girl at the front desk that I didn't recognise wave and call us – meaning Patty – over.
"She's right over there, Patty." The girl pointed at a table where a girl only a few years older than me was sitting. She had her chin in her hands and was gazing off in no particular direction. I realised she was thinking quite deeply about something.
We talked towards her and Patty placed her hand on her shoulder. "Hey there, Katunei! I think I found just what you're looking for."
The woman "Katunei" turned, and I found myself stunned by what I saw. While I knew little about beauty, I knew that this woman was the most gorgeous by far. Her sparkling, river-like hair flowed and curled down her back in an elegant sweep. While her clothes were nothing special – quite shabby in fact – you could see her obvious elegance and grace. It was in her every movement; the way she brushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear, how she slowly stood to turn and face Patty and me.
"Is that so? This is your final recommendation, then?" Her voice, unsurprisingly, was melodious and had a soothing yet commanding aura. It made me want to please this woman who was obviously confident with who she was, and I was suddenly aware of the fact that I hadn't had a wash in at least a week.
I had started to rub viciously at a smudge on my cheek when Katunei looked straight at me. I stopped and stared, suddenly mesmerised. How did I not realise – her eyes! They weren't the expected crystal blue, emerald green or even garnet red. They were gold. Unadulterated, blistering hot gold.
She raised a dainty eyebrow and I realised that she had asked me a question.
"I-I'm sorry, what?" I flustered. This was my possible employer, right? So why was I making such a fool of myself?
"I just asked for your name." Her eyes were amused, and I mentally smacked myself. She probably thought I was an idiot!
"Iniko, miss!" I stood a little straighter, regaining my senses somewhat.
She gave a small chuckle, and I felt myself flush.
"So, you think she's right for the job?" questioned Patty at my side. That was when I realised that I had no clue what the job was.
"Does she have any experience?" Katunei asked, her eyes appraising me.
"Not that I know of." Patty looked at me. "Do you, chickie?"
This was my chance. Even if I didn't know what the job was, when was something like this going to happen again? It was time to be the warrior I was and follow my heart.
"No but…I'll do my very best! Whatever your job is, I can do it, so please hire me!" I remembered how my father used to stand in front of his employers. In front of everyone, really. Strong, proud, never doubting himself. I wanted to be like that. I want to be able to look someone like Katunei in the eye and say "I can do it".
Would it be hard? Of course it would. But that just meant I'd try harder.
I waited in anticipation for her response, hoping against all hope that she would give me a chance.
The silence continued for what seemed like hours, though in reality that was exaggerated. Her eyes were burning through me, as if searching my soul, seeking if my words were the truth. I held my head a little higher in response.
"Alright. I believe you. You're hired."
Hello everyone! Katunei999 here, but with something a little different.
Hi there, everyone reading this for the first time! I'm deeply grateful that you are reading my story, and I hope you will continue to over the period its being written. Slight warning first: I'm not a very good updater. You can ask my betareader that. But I do put in a lot of effort to make sure the story is worthwhile reading, so I hope you will chose to read on.
Who knows? Maybe you'll be captivated, or maybe you'll be disgusted. But either way, I hope you'll leave a review or two on your way out. It doesn't have to be big; it could be just a small 'good job!' or something like that. But every small comment makes my heart a little happier, critical or not. And I genuinely like hearing what my reader have to say. If you like it, if you don't, your opinions, your questions. These are all pretty important to me.
So I'll sign out for now. I hope to hear from you soon!
Love Katunei999 ^_^ XOIXOIOXI
P.S. (For my older readers)
I've been writing for a while now, and though I'm not the best updater, I do put everything I've got into every chapter that is posted. So reading through my story, I was quite disappointed in myself for this first chapter. And so, here we go folks. Updation! I hope this improves it just a little bit. ^_^