/this story takes place during Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow and under the idea that Soma and Mina are 16. This Chapter happens in Mina's side. Sorry this chapter is mostly flash back for an added character/
Chapter 1 Goodbyes and Snowy Days
"Mina, Don't worry it'd be fine. Arikado said he'd have friends come and keep you safe." Soma said putting his hand on her arm. Snow started falling in thick fluffy clumps. "I have to do this, I'm the one they're after. I'm not just going to stand by and let other people fight my battles"
"I know but I still wish you'd stay here. Arikado might get mad if he finds outs you left." Mina said looking away, her red hair blowing in the November breeze some of the snowflakes sticking to her hair while sun's reddish light casting long shadows of the shine and trees and making the snowflakes glow like monster eyes.
"I have to go now." His voice strong, but his crystal blue eyes giving his worry away. They stood there for a moment of silence before Soma turned and started to walk away, he'd only gotten a few feet away before Mina cried out.
"Promise me you'll come back." The snow was hard to see in his white hair but it was easier than looking in his eyes, Soma stopped and turned around and Mina's breath caught in her chest. Soma's eyes were cold with determination and something else she couldn't place. "Please come back. Okay?" her voice breaking a little.
Soma nods and closes his eyes before speaking. "Okay. I promise as soon as this is all over I'll come back until then stay inside and stay safe, okay?." Then he turns and disappears into the shadows of dusk, so fast that she doesn't even know if he heard her promise to be waiting for him.
"Soma, be careful" she whispered to the fading sun fear setting in her heart. "What if I never" Mina cut herself off she couldn't let herself even consider that he'd not come back or worst. "That's enough!" she chastised herself "He hasn't even been gone five minutes"
"Mina is every all right" Her grandpa called from the door, His blue green night gown sifting in the breeze. "Hurry inside or you'll catch a cold."
"Okay! Coming Grandpa." Mina called but stood for a minute watching the full moon fight vainly against the darkest of thick clouds oppressing its light hiding it away. "Soma be safe" she said one more time before turning and running inside.
"What were you doing outside in this cold weather?" Her grandpa asked as she hurried inside. The pale tan walls of the shrine seemed to emit warmth in powerful waves, and until that point she hadn't noticed how cold she really was and began shivering in the hallway. "So who was the Romeo that called you out on such a cold night?"
"What?! NO IT WASN'T LIKE THAT!" She said startled and the brushed the snow off her hair. "Soma wanted to tell me something." She continued more calmly staring at the floor "by the way is it okay if I stay at a friend's house this weekend?" The snow that had stuck to her clothes started to melt and drip on the light oak wood.
"A friend's like a girlfriends, right." Her grandpa fixed her with a serious look before running a hand through his thin but long white hair.
"Of course Grandpa" Mina said still shivering and now in soaking wet clothes. The howl of the wind the only sound for a minute as her grandpa studied her deciding whether or not she was telling the truth.
"Well if isn't only the weekend that's fine. Now go take a hot bath and put some dry clothes on." He said before walking down the hall and around the corner.
"Well that was easy enough" She said and started walking down the hall to the bath room when she remembered she didn't have a change of clothes. The distance from the bathroom to her bedroom wasn't long but she still ran. She opened the door slightly out of breath and walked over to the old dresser in the corner by window and pull out a fresh pair of clothes, and pulled a suitcase out from underneath and packed it, then put it to the side of the dresser. She stood up with a pair of fresh pajamas in hand, then dropped them in a start. "Was that a wolf?" she asked herself. It was gone now but she'd almost certainly seen a wolf, blinked and it was gone.
She walked to the bathroom in confused silence. She started filling the tube before looking in the mirror and telling the girl looking in the mirror. "That wasn't a wolf. Wolves don't even live in this area, so there is no way that there was a wolf outside my window.
"Yeah cause a wolf in the wrong spot is the craziest thing that's going to happen" the girl in the mirror said. "It could be a monster here to take advantage of your unprotected status."
"No, No, No, that's not it." Mina said shaking her head, causing droplets of water to hit the mirror.
"Then maybe it was her." The mirror girl said the light of possibility shining in her eyes. "it looked white to me."
"No that's definitely not it, it's been six years since then and that was just a dream." Mina said running her hand across the mirror, turning the water off, stripping the wet clothes off and climbed in. The water would have been too hot if she hadn't been freezing cold as it was, it burned her skin red in less than a second, but she didn't get out or even run some cold water. She leaned back and thought back to that day six years ago.
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It was a cloudy day you couldn't even see the sun for them. Mina stood, in her jacket and beanie, on the end of the stone path to the forest. Grandpa had forbidden her to go into the forest alone because he didn't want her getting lost. She and Soma had planned to go hiking to day but he'd gotten a cold and had to stay home and Grandpa wouldn't take her without Soma. "Stupid Grandpa. I really wanted to hiking." Mina said she'd been looking forward to see the winter Orchid it was a flower that bloomed until the first snowfall which was supposed to be tonight, and from the look of the clouds it was going to happen soon. "Why should I miss the winter Orchid because Soma got sick, but it's not Soma's fault either why should he miss it?" Mina said thinking for a minute before an idea struck her. "I've got it! I'll pick one of the flowers and bring it to him, but I'll have to hide it from Grandpa though." Mina had heard Grandpa say it would start snowing at six this evening "that gives me gives me four hours" she said and walked down the well-worn trail into the forest.
The trail curved in and out a lot and very sharply, and the Pine trees loomed high above her blocking the view of sky and giving everything a black creepy look. After a while of walking in silence Mina stopped under a particularly large pine and rubbed her hands together shivering, she'd been walking for an hour and was hungry, thinking to herself the rest of the directions Grandpa had told her and Soma follow the trail and you'll come to a fork with a tree in the middle. On the tree were to arrows a red one and blue one the blue one led to the flower garden and red one led to a cliff that overlooked the valley and was several miles high.
Mina ran through the directions one more time and got half way through when she heard a twig snap distinctly in quiet of the woods. She looked up and all around but couldn't see anything, so she started walking slowly at first but got the feeling she was being followed and started walking faster. She heard another branch break and started walking fast the feeling got stronger and she started jogging, just when she thought she'd lost whatever had been following her a crackling laugh filled the woods and Mina screamed and ran not even paying attention to where she was going she ran blindly for a minute before running off the edge of dry river bank and hitting her head against a rock, and everything event dark.
When Mina came to it was darker in the woods but still light. "Where am I? Grandpa? Soma? Is anyone here? Please I want to go home!" She started crying, she cried because she was lost, because she scarred that she might not get home all the trees looked the same, and whatever had been chasing might come back. She cried till it got too cold to stay in the riverbank, so she climbed out of the opposite side of the river bank she'd fallen on. "Good thing it not spring or I might have drowned." She said thinking of all the stories Grandpa had told her about empty riverbeds filling into surging river full of snow melt.
On the other side of the river the trees were wilder looking, the branches seemed more curved and crooked. "They almost seem angry, don't they?" she questioned herself while picking her way through the thick thorny shrubs that covered the ground. She was quiet for a long time after that the only sound came from her uneven steps and the occasional yelp when a thorn caught her leg or went through the sole of her tennis shoes.
"The thorns were two inches long" Mina thought pulling one from her shoe, blood on the tip. Her legs were a bleeding mess and her shoes were torn to pieces as were her pants. She walked a few more steps before she notice snowflakes falling down through the branches of the trees. "Oh no I'm too late now I'll never get a winter Orchid." Mina slid down so she was still on her feet but also curled in a ball and started crying loud hard sobs that rattled her little body. "Why didn't I stay at the shrine like Grandpa told me too?" she cried a little while but it was too cold to still long and it was already so dark she could hardly see.
Mina stumbled in the growing darkness for what seemed like hours without any sign of an end to the trees or thorny brush constantly tearing at her legs and feet. She stumbled on shivering so hard she could hardly see in front of her.
"Soma? Gramps? Anyone? Please I want to go home." She cried hoarsely just before her foot missed the edge of a cliff and was sent rolling down its thorny side stabbing and tearing up her arms and sides before landing on flat on her back driving some of the thorns deeper into her side and breaking others. "Ahh" she cried and laid still, letting silent tears run down her cheeks, all hope was gone she had no idea where she was, it was dark, It was freezing cold, she was hungry, and she hurt everywhere. She was about to close her eyes and give up when she heard a sound.
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Mina jumped in the now cool water of the bath tub. "I most of fallen asleep." She said then hurriedly washed herself and hopped out pulled the plug and got dressed.
She walked in her room and looked at the clock; it said 11:24 P.M. She shut the light off and walked to the window seeing nothing but the stone yard and the forest beyond it. "She isn't out there because she isn't real." Mina said to herself before turning and climbing in bed she stared at the wall for a while before turning over and whispering "it was just a dream, it never existed" but it didn't stop the dreams.
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Mina stayed silent for a minute before she heard it again the soft whine of a dog. She pushed off the ground with her hands and winced when it dug the little rocks into the cuts on her hands. Once on her knees she looked for the source of the sound and saw a clearing a few feet away "how was it so close and I didn't see It." She got on her feet and stumble into the clearing.
"Burr it's even colder out here than in the trees" she said looking around and almost missed the large white dog lying in the middle of the snow cover grass and would have if it hadn't been for the five large poles rising out of the ground around it. She walked toward the pentagon of poles and noticed that the dog was huge, easily two times bigger than herself.
"Nice doggy" she said uncertainty and reached over to pat its head when she was shock by something. Mina drew back her hand rubbing it carefully. "What was that?"
"The Crucifix little girl" a voice sounded roughly. "In order to remove it you must break the ten ruby eyes"
"Huh who said that?" Mina said looking all over for some in the shadows "is someone here, and if so did you do this to the dog." She demanded to empty woods.
"Firstly I'm a wolf not a dog and secondly you don't want to meet the one who did this to me" the white wolf said raising its head a little. "Poor thing you're in as bad a place as me." It said before a red lightning bolt shot from a pole and shocked the wolf.
Mina shrieked and backed away from the poles, forgetting her pain and her hunger, crawling backwards on all fours her hand fall into a rabbit hole jarring her whole arm. Meanwhile the wolf gritted it teeth and lay still for a while and all was quiet except the heavy breathing of the two in the clearing and for a long time no one said anything until the wolf asked a question. "Can you break the red eyes on the poles? I can't move unless the crucifix is broken."
"Yeah but how do I know you won't eat me as soon as I let you go." Mina said watching the wolf from what she thought was a safe distance. The wind and snow picked up and the temperature dropped even further. "It can't be more than 10 degrees right now." she said a loud.
"You're right" the wolf said looking at the stars "and you don't have to worry I won't hurt you little one." The wolf sounded true but there was deep sadness in its green eyes. Mina considered leaving the wolf, but a cold gust of wind sent her looking for a rock to break the red crystals on the poles.
"This isn't going to shock me to, is it?" Mina asked stone ready to crush the first the first eye of the dark wooded pole. That had strange symbols carved into it. "What do these symbols mean?"
"Some questions are better left unanswered little one, and no they won't harm you" the wolf said calmly watching Mina slam the rock against the first red stone "now move to the one to the right and always smash the right eye first .and make a circle okay?" the wolf said quietly now watching the blacken forest ears cocked for the slightest sound.
"Okay, um, is everything okay?" Mina asked while walking to the next pole and smashing the right eye moving to the next pole to smash its right eye and repeat the cycle.
"For now, but you might want to hurry or else you might end up meeting the who cast this trap." The wolf warned still pined on its side by some invisible force. Mina finished the round all the poles missing its right eye, and a red beam forming a star appeared above the wolf and it snarl "hurry it's coming, and fast." Mina Hurried and smashed the remaining stone eyes. "Free at last" the wolf cried as soon as the last eye was smashed than grabbed Mina by the collar of the shirt and tossed her to its back "hold on tight."
The wolf took off like a bullet, Mina watched in amazement as tree flashed by at speed fast than anything she'd seen in a car, yet she was barely jostled by wolf's break-neck pace. After a minute of the wolf's even pace Mina fell asleep, the last thing she remembered seeing was the full moon had broken through the clouds and could be seen through the gap in the trees.
Mina woke to bright sunlight and the smell of smoke, sitting up the blanket of mosses and branches fell off her. "Awake now are we. I'd thought you'd sleep till dusk." A faintly familiar but still strange voice sounded, just before a teenager with long white hair and green eyes jumped down from the top of the cave Mina was currently sitting in.
"Where am I, and where's the wolf and who are you?" Mina asked pressing her back against the wall of the cave and cringed as the pain sung across her back, and hunger ate at her stomach.
"You're the forest still, I am the wolf, and my name is White." The girls said calmly stretching her back in accompany to the loud popping of the vertebra. "There's some food by the fire." She said pointing to stick leaning towards the fire with an animal of some kind on the far end.
Mina crawled forward and grabbed the stick and bit the meat it came cleanly off and had some sort of seasoning on it. "This is really good" She said taking another bite out of the meal.
White just laughed "It only seems that good because you're starving" and came and sat beside her putting some more wood on the fire, and looking at the smoke rising to the sky.
"Okay two questions, Are you really the wolf from last night, and is your name really White like the color?" Mina said eating the last of the animal "Okay two more what was that and do you have any more?"
"Let's see yes, yes, porcupine, and no" White said with a laugh "now it's my turn to ask some questions, What's your name and what brings you this deep into the forest?"
"I'm Mina, and I was looking for a winter Orchid and I got lost. Grandpa must be worried sick" Mina said with a sob threatening to choke off any further conversation.
"Well first we should get those tiger thorns out before they get infected." White said looking at the rising bumps on Mina's arms. "It's going to hurt but it has to done." turning to face Mina. "Can you handle it?"
"It can't hurt any worse than getting them stuck in the first place." Mina said looking at her arms and feeling the burns of the bumps.
"I'm not so sure just because of how many there are, it looks like you rolled in them." White said gently taking her hand and turning palm up firmly pushed against one of the red bumps making Mina cringe. Yellowish puss popped out with a little black triangle. "One down one thousand to go" she said.
White spent the rest of the afternoon picking tiger thorns, and Mina was aching worse than ever before but the burning was gone, and she quickly fell asleep in the cave while white went to wash her hands. The breeze shifting the fresh white snow casting multiple rainbows in the cool sunlight while the few winter birds' songs filled the air "they sound so pretty" Mina thought to herself, before drifting off.
When Mina woke next it was dusk and clouds had moved in causing a massive chill that caused her shiver the fire was gone and the whole cave was in shadows "let's get going" White said in her wolf form forelegs stooped so Mina could climb on herself. "There's something I want to show you and then I'll take you home okay?" she said as Mina climb on.
"You know where the Hakuba Shrine is?" Mina asked astonished and gripping the wolf's shoulders tightly as it took off running in the forest.
"Yeah but I didn't know that's where you live." White said streaking through the trees and jumping a riverbed. "Hey could you try not to pull the fur off my shoulders?"
"Sorry, it's just you're going so fast." Mina said loosening her grip on white fur but not completely letting go.
"I can slow down if you want me to, but I was under the impression that you wanted to get home quickly." White said without a hint of being sarcastic. They were silent whilst White ran through the woods.
"Are you really from the Hakuba Shrine?" White asked after a bout of silence. The trees were coated in snow leaving the world like a black and white Christmas card, but this had a creepy feeling to it, that caused Mina to shiver.
"Yeah I am. Why do you ask?" Mina said hugging closer the wolf's massive shoulders. The silence of the forest creepy through the shadows, Mina couldn't even hear the foot fall of the speeding wolf.
"Because you're a long ways from home" White said jumping over a fallen tree that barely broke her even pace. "How long you been out here anyway?" She asked looking back at her green eyes shining.
"Almost two days now" Mina said cheerlessly gazing at the ground, and sniffing back tears.
"Have cheer Mina, you won't find hope lying on ground, besides you're almost home now." White said soothingly.
Mina's breath caught in her throat as they enter the clearing by a massive cliff that had guarded it from the falling snow. There were Anemones, Amaryllises, and Winter Orchids. The winter Orchids pinkish-purple petals almost shined in the moon light "This is so beautiful!" She exclaimed looking at all the flowers "Is this your place, or something?" Mina asked looking back to see White had changed into her human form and was picking some of the flowers.
"Only fools believe they own the wilds of nature." She said simply standing and handing the flowers to Mina. "Mina, you saved my life, and risked your own to save me from that crucifix that means I must repay you." She said a serious look on her face. "Under different circumstances I'd become your vigil-umbra, however, it's too dangerous for someone your age, I'll come back later and see if you want that kind of life, for now let's get you home I hear a rescue party just 60 meters or so off."
"Really where are they?" Mina said spinning around looking signs of people, in night the shrouded forest, but couldn't even see a single person or a flashlight.
"Get on my back, and find out" she said bending her knees so Mina could climb on, Mina stood there for a minute doing nothing but staring. "Are you getting on or what?" she said looking back at Mina.
"You mean you're not going to turn into the wolf?" Mina asked walking towards the girl, and climbing on her back.
"I find climbing easier with thumbs than with fangs." She stated simply than before Mina could say anything else she leaped into the air an easy 8 meters than grabbed a craggy out crop in the cliff, pulled herself close and jumped another 7 meter and repeated this until she alighted on the of the cliff, she than ran off parallel to the cliff for a minute before skidding to a halt a few feet from a clearing and hiding behind a tree.
"Mr. Hakuba it's been almost two days with nothing but fridge weather with no food or shelter; You realize this more of a body hunt the a rescue by this point, Right?" a rough voice said from the clearing but before Mina could move White covered her mouth and whispered in her ear.
"Don't say a thing about me got?" She looked Mina in the eyes "they'd think you lost it out here."
Mina nodded her and the conversation in clearing elevated when grandpa didn't answer but someone else did "We can't give up Mina's still out there I know it!" Soma's voice sounded still clinging to hope.
"No one said we're giving up, it's just not likely she still alive." The rough voice said trying to calm Soma.
"Mina this is goodbye for now" White said eye watching the clearing intently "I'll return for your answer later so please don't get lost in the woods while I'm gone, Okay?" letting go of Mina's hand and backing away into the shadows "See you later" and she was gone.
"We have to keep looking, we can't stop yet." Soma said angrily and throwing something against a tree with a loud thrack.
"Soma it's too dark to keep looking, it wouldn't do us any good." Grandpa's voice sounded concerned. "Let's head back and get you in some warm clothes." At the sound of Grandpa's voice Mina went running into the clearing.
"Grandpa! Soma!" Mina cried running right into her grandpa and sobbing into him, he rapped his arm around her and held her for minute before pulling her back to look at her.
"What were you doing out here by yourself?" he questioned his eyes slightly hard, as he took in mina's tattered clothes, and all her cuts and bruises. He stood there waiting for her to respond.
"I wanted to see the winter Orchid. I thought I remembered the directions so I tried to go by myself but I got scared, then I got lost. I'm so sorry Grandpa" She said then hid her face in in his shirt and cried "I thought I was lost forever"
"Mina it's okay now your home now" Soma said putting his arm on her back and rubbing it carefully "But let's get back before my cold gets worse" he then sneezed.
Grandpa laughed while the man in the Ranger uniform started talking in the radio telling everyone she'd been found. "How many people were looking for me?"
"Everyone in class and all of the family friends" Soma said looking at Mina with worried eyes "you're okay right?"
"Wow that many people, and yeah I'm just tried" Mina said whipping some tears from her eyes.
"Then let's get back to the shrine." Grandpa said with a relieved smile on his face.
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