Part 48: To choose between two pains
©2005 Kitty Ocean
Drip, drip, drip. The morning dew dripped from the leaves, into a streaming river. The usual circles those drops usually create, were now invisible amidst the current. Nobody cared about the river. It had always been there. Just like the rain. Endless Rain; the only thing the people in the valley could be certain off. It would never stop.
For centuries, nobody cared where the water would go. It just vanished, and would fall out of the skies again. An eternal circle.
The hand reached into the water, and carefully collected its prize. The prize was bigger than a fish, and a lot more unhandy to carry. But it was not something you would let drift around. At least not those who had a heart.
The young man walked away from the river, with a cold body in his arms. Water dripped from her blue hair, onto the dirty soil. The young man was the only one who knew if the girl was still alive.
Uncertain, Zesshou walked around in circles. Men had been looking for Hitori for hours now, but she was nowhere to be found. ‘They found something that looked like tracks near the river, but the rain washed it away. The rain again washed it away… Hitori…’ Zesshou sat down on a stone, trying not to cry. It was hard for him not to. But he had no choice. He was now a warrior, despite his age, and warriors do not cry.
“ZESSHOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!” The voice that called out his name made Zesshou almost not only deaf, but also very eager to kick an innocent tree. “Are you hiding from me?!” Siren grabbed Zesshou’s ear, and cuddled it.
‘I am doing this for the tribe…’ Zesshou tried to encourage himself. ‘I am doing this for the tribe.’
“Zesshou, are you crying?” Siren noticed. “Awe, you POOOOOOOOOR…”
“I am not crying!” Zesshou slapped the little pixie/ fairy/ whatever that annoying bug may be, away. “…it’s just… it’s the morning dew that dripped from the leaves.”
Zesshou walked away, and at first Siren looked angry. But then, all of a sudden… her face softened down. “Zesshou….” She said with a face filled with sadness.
Hitori looked around, trying to find out who said that. The young man that looked at her, was someone she didn’t know yet. “Where did you come from?” Hitori asked with a soft voice.
The young man didn’t stand up. He just looked at Hitori with a firm face. “Why did you let this all happen to you?” He only asked.
Hitori sat up confused. “Excuse me?” She asked herself.
“I know what a burden the Hikari Crystals can be…” The young man with yellow eyes said. “But you don’t even fight it any more.”
Hitori stood up, but dizziness took over. She wobbled a bit, and helped keeping her balance by grabbing the bed. “How do you know about the Hikari Crystals?” Hitori thought.
The young man now stood up as well. “There is only one person who can gather the Hikari Crystals. Even though others touch it, only one can be the key. I know you are the key Hitori. You started the search. But instead of ending the search, you let the search end you.”
Hitori looked at the ground. “I don’t understand what you mean.” Hitori admitted. “Half of the world around me doesn’t make sense any more. I’m a murderer, and I don’t think the others even know that.”
“Hitori, I’m not meant to guide you.” The young man said. “I’m already stretching the rules by taking you out of the river. But you have to discover the truth.”
“What is there to know?” Hitori started sobbing. “I killed the man I love!”
“That is nonsense!” The young man called out. “Of course you didn’t kill Shuhan! If you did, the others would never have accepted you as a leader. Look, truth is not my thing, but I will let you learn the truth.”
Hitori looked up with watery eyes. The moment her pink eyes met his yellow eyes, a bright flash went through her mind. Hitori sank to the ground, with her eyes closed. ‘Remember the truth…’
"Hitori?" He asked, not moving so as he wouldn't reopen his stitched up wounds.
"Yes, my Lord?" was Hitori's answer.
"You know I love you ... right?" He asked, still quiet and unmoving.
"Yes ..." came the response after a period of silence.
"I'm proud of you too. Do you know that as well?" Shuhan inquired.
There was a sniffle before Hitori answered, "Yes, I know." There was a long silence.
"My Lord?" Hitori finally spoke up.
"Yes?" He responded.
Her voice was shaky as she continued, "Would you have ... will you ever ask me to marry you?"
There was a weak laugh from Shuhan. "I was going to wait until you were a few years older. Can I ask now? Will you marry me?" He inquired, smiling as he stared at the ceiling, watching as his vision blurred slightly.
"Of course." Hitori retorted sassily, "I was just waiting for you to ask, stupid."
They both laughed lightly.
"Good." Shuhan responded, closing his eyes. Another long silence ensued.
"My Lord ... Shuhan-sama? SHUHAN?" Hitori spoke his name numerous times, but there came no response. She wept openly and rubbed her eyes with her hand as her quivering voice whispered, "Goodbye ... Shuhan."
Hitori’s eyes snapped open. She quickly crawled up, and it took her a while before she realized she was not in her bed. As if it had happened that moment, tears streamed out of her eyes. “Shuhan-sama…” She cried. “I miss you so much…”
With a surprising strength and violent force, Hitori was pulled up by the young man, but in his eyes she could see he didn’t mean no harm. “Fight the influence of the Hikari Crystals Hitori.” He ordered her. “The closer they get to each other, the harder the pressure on you will become. But you can’t let it control you. You are the key. You started it, now finish it!”
Hitori nodded. Even though with all her heart she wanted to just call off the search and mourn about her beloved, she knew this was the best for the tribe. “I need to go and find the others…” Hitori decided.
“Yes you should.” The young man smiled. “Just one more thing. When you found all the Hikari Crystals, and opened the Passage of the Rainbow, you must take refuge until the Passage is created. The energy used to create the Passage does not make difference between good and evil. Everyone who gets too close, will be absorbed and die.”
Shocked by this fact, Hitori nodded. “I won’t endanger anyone.” Hitori decided. “Even if it means staying behind myself; I will protect the others.”
“And fight the influence!” The young man added.
Hitori nodded. “I’ll try.”
“No, you will.” The man ordered. “Now, I can tell you one last thing. You need to help your tribe.”
“I know.” Hitori bit on her lips. She tried to look confident, but inside she was still shaken up and mixed up. Even though she looked all right, she was not. Far from it.
“You need to chose who you will help Hitori.” The young man said. “You can either help your tribe freeing Baku… or help the others, who shall be attacked.”
“Hana and the others are in danger?!” Hitori gasped. “I need to go!!!”
“Lana suspects the others trying to free Baku at the Mikomi village.” The young man ended. “But he is no longer there. They are walking into a trap!!”
Hearing this, Hitori did no longer know what to do. Both needed her help, and both needed warning, but she couldn’t reach both in time. “I can’t stay here any longer.” Hitori decided. “I thank you for your help.” The young man nodded. “Will I see you again?”
The man smiled. “Yes you will.” He promised her.
“How can I call you?” She then liked to know.
The man hesitated for a moment. “For now... you can call me Ty.”
Hitori smiled. “Thank you… Ty.” She bowed and rushed off, into the forest, and into another moment of Endless Rain…
To be continued