I watched as Josh, no Marethyu opened the portal. He chanted some sort of incantation in a language long passed and suddenly a bright shimmering circle appeared. "This will take me about…" Marehtyu thought, "A minute, can you wait that long?" He finished. "I've waited centuries…a minute should not make a difference." I replied calmly. But, underneath the calm disposition that I displayed, anxiety bubbled almost to a breaking point.
I am Musashi Miyamoto, now known as Niten, one of the greatest warriors who have ever lived. I have fought in hundreds if not thousands of battles. I have fought armies of man and monster. I have dueled with gods, monsters and men and have yet to lose. Yet, I tremble now at the thought of what is soon to happen. What if she says no? What will happen to our friendship? Could we even remain friends? These questions and the like raced once more through my mind, like the many hundreds of times when I wanted to ask her.
I began to break out in a light sheen of sweat. Soon, Marethyu would appear with Aoife. At the thought, my heart beat accelerated. Could I do it? Should I do it? And just as I was deciding for the hundredth time that I couldn't and shouldn't ask her the question, I remembered something.
The Elder, Prometheus, had told me to ask her. And, he said that she would have said yes. It calmed my nerves slightly that someone had confidence in me, and that that someone was the Elder uncle of Aoife. But I still felt worse than I had before the battle of Sekigahara, the single bloodiest battle in Japanese history that ultimately ended up shaping Japan forever.
I began to focus on my breathing. Breathe in…breath out…. Focus on nothing else. Time seemed to slow down and I noticed almost every single detail around me: The portal had words shimmering around it. The words were vaguely familiar, yet still incomprehensible. It was probably written in the language of the Elders, I thought to myself. I saw birds flying gracefully through the air; I saw their wings pump up and down in slow motion, propelling the birds' forward. I noticed the purple flowers that were at my feet.
And just as I thought that I had calmed down, they appeared. Marethyu came out of the portal dragging back a tall raven haired woman who seemed like she was fighting him. As he got her back on solid ground, I noticed that she was severely injured. She had long scratches running down her back and puncture marks all over her limbs. She was bleeding quite heavily from the multiple wounds, but her eyes, they were on fire.
When I looked into them, I saw something else. A literal flame, she was just itching to get back into the fight. I was amazed, she was stuck fighting an Archon, and not just and Archon, but the mother of all Archons at that, and she still wanted to fight. I knew that stopping her would almost be impossible…or perhaps even suicidal….
I sighed, knowing that she would only stop trying to get back into the fight if her opponent was dead or incapacitated, or she was dead or incapacitated. I sighed again, knowing that I would have to do something that I loathed doing: I'd have to knock her out.
As I started walking towards them, I saw Marethyu look at me, his eyes were tinged with despair, and I could see that he could only barely restrain Aoife. Well, that's Aoife for you, not even a destroyer of worlds can hold her back….
As I reached them, I said quietly "Aoife…." She stopped fighting for a second and looked at me, uncertainty in her eyes. I took the moment and grabbed her shoulder and pressed on the nerve cluster located there. The effect was instantaneous; she lapsed into unconsciousness right there and then, leaving a very confused "death" supporting a limp body.
"Thank you, I'll take it from here" I told him, as I bent to pick up Aoife. I hesitated, how should I carry her? I sighed again, there are just some situations that life never, ever prepares you for, and this was one of them.
I decided to just get it over with, and picked up gently, as groom would pick up his bride, which is rather funny, considering my situation. As I carried her gently, "death" eyed me oddly, as if wondering why I carried such a tough and dangerous woman the way I did.
"Later" I told him. He shrugged, nodded, closed the portal then simply vanished into thin air.
I took Aoife back to my house boat which was docked nearby. I still had not finished paining it in the dark green color that I was partial too. I really must finish it already, but this is beside the point.
I brought her into my room. It was plainly painted in a dark blue color, had only one closet which held some extra clothing that I had. The room also had a small mirror, a bed and a desk and chair.
I laid Aoife down on the bed and touched her forehead. I then let my aura seep into her to heal her since she probably used most of hers healing other wounds when she was fighting the Archon.
As my aura flowed down my arm and onto Aoife, her cuts and punctures began to heal. Slowly at first, and then with increasing speed as more and more of my aura flowed into her.
After a few aura draining minutes, all of her injuries were healed. She slept quietly…of course she did…I'd forgotten that she didn't need to breath.
I watched her as she slept. She was so, so beautiful. At first, I resisted the temptation to brush her hair. But, after mere seconds, I gave in to the temptation and brushed her hair with my fingers. They felt as soft as silk. But, seconds after I brushed it, a hand reached out and grabbed my wrist. With inhuman strength, it tossed me onto the bed. Seconds later, I was surprised to find myself under Aoife, her hand poised above me, curled into a fist.
We just stared at each other for the next few, but anxious moments….