Episode 52: Unlike other girls
© 10th of November 2005 Kitty Ocean
visit www.projectendlessrain.tk for more stories!
Hitori looked at the bubble. Through it, she managed to see some shades on the shore, but they were too vague to see who they belonged to. And maybe it was only her imagination. Maybe it was the influence of the Hikari Crystals. After all, Ty did tell her they were affecting her.
Hitori sank down on the ground and sighed relieved when she thought she saw the shades vanishing. “Hitori!” Hana walked at her and embraced her best friend. “It all went so fast! What happened?”
Hitori looked at Hana. Hana was still the same. She had always been the same. Yet Hitori felt like something between them had changed. Hitori had changed. Did Hana not see that? Or maybe Hana didn’t want to see it.
“Hana.” Hitori only said. “I think I need some time alone.” With those words, Hitori turned away from Hana, and walked to a rock far away from her.
“What… why did she…?” Hana pointed astounded.
Kino joined her. “The pressure of the Hikari Crystals.” He told her. “Such great magic… it was to be expected.”
“But I don’t feel a thing!” Hana tried to reason.
Kino nodded. “Yes, but Hitori has started this search. She is the center of the 5 crystals. It only influences her. It’s her burden.”
Hana felt sorry. “How could I have not seen that? What kind of a friend am I?!”
“Hitori is a strong girl.” Kino smiled. “She’ll find a way. Just leave her alone, so she can think of a way to get us out of here, before we run out of oxygen. And stop talking. That will only cost more oxygen. HEY YOU THERE!” Kino quickly walked away. “What do you think you are doing?! We only have LIMITED oxygen in here! Do you want us to suffocate because you youngsters want to kiss??!”
Hitori sat down on the rock. “Oh Shuhan…” She prayed. “If I could only get you back… but my own personal pain is not important. The welfare of the Mikomi is what matters. I must find the last 2 Hikari Crystals. And then… then we can finally escape this cursed valley! No more war; finally peace… true peace…”
Hitori sighed, and looked at the ground with her eyes closed. Suddenly she spread her arms and looked at the ceiling of the bubble. “But WHY did you send Chounin on my path?! What did I ever do wrong to you?!”
Hitori’s memory floated back to a couple of years ago. Hitori was only 16 years old, but already different from the other Mikomi girls.
“Well done Hitori!” Shuhan laughed. He looked at a young girl with loose blue hair and pink eyes, wielding a long sword. Her opponent was a young man, who was clearly her superior. “Go to the right!”
“Good morning Shuhan.” Chounin walked at him. “Can I interest you in this brand new sword?”
Shuhan didn’t look at him. “I’m busy Chounin.” He growled. “Block him Hitori, BLOCK!” Shuhan slapped himself for the face when he saw Hitori falling over. “It’s all right.” He tried to encourage her. “Just try again.”
Chounin joined him. “Who is that boy?” He wondered. “A new member?”
Shuhan looked aside. “Boy?!” He gasped. “Chounin, that is Hitori!”
“Hitori?!” Chounin gasped. “That little girl? The one who always follows you around?”
Shuhan blushed. “Yes, that one.” He smiled. “She said she wanted to learn how to fight.”
“Women aren’t meant to fight.” Chounin laughed. “They are meant to cook and clean!”
“Hitori said she couldn’t protect the village cooking dinner.” Shuhan walked down. “That’s enough for today Hitori. You did wonderful.”
Chounin watched as the girl stripped herself from her protective clothing. Curves that were hidden by the padding, were now obviously visible! Chounin looked at Hitori’s simple clothes, and noticed her hearty laughter.
Unwilling, Chounin walked at the group. Shuhan ruffled his hand through Hitori’s hair and laughed, as if she was his little sister. “Well done Hitori.” Chounin noticed himself saying.
Hitori looked up surprised. “Oh, Chounin-sama.” She smiled. “Thank you. I still have a lot to learn though.”
That smile… it still followed him that night. Haunting him. That 16 year old girl… Chounin stood up and dug through his bag.
The next morning, Hitori was up quite early. She greeted the young women who were off to gather some food. “Will you practice today again Hitori?” A girl teased her.
“You just wait Hana.” Hitori smiled back. “I will be able to protect Shuhan-sama!”
“Only him?” Hana teased again. “What about the rest of us? You are crazy Hitori.”
“So are you!” Hitori giggled, and turned around. Her heart skipped a beat. “Chounin-sama! You startled me.”
Chounin smiled. “Good morning Hitori!” He smiled and showed his teeth. “I was thinking, if you want to be a warrior, you must have your own sword! Let me show you this one, a brand new sparkling sword from the mountains south.” He handed Hitori the sword. “Normally I would ask 5000 for a sword like this, but for you I’ll make a nice price. How about 1000?”
“Wow!” Hitori gasped. “That is cheap! Thank you! I just wished I had the money…”
Chounin was stunned for a moment. The way she smiled and said ‘thank you’… “Well… you do need a sword.” Chounin mumbled. “Maybe, if you invite me for a pick nick or so…”
Hitori smiled. “All right.” She cheerfully agreed.
“Good morning Hitori!” Chounin smiled.
Hitori yawned. “Good morning.”
“Will you practice today? With your new sword?”
“Chounin, the sun has just risen. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Well, when we had our pick nick yesterday, I thought about something.” He pushed himself inside Hitori’s small house. “You know, something that would fit with your beautiful pink eyes. How about these beads?”
“Chounin…” Hitori yawned. “It’s early. You’ll wake up my parents.”
Chounin showed the beads to her. “What do you say? Won’t they match your eyes?”
“A tough customer!” Chounin smiled. “All right, I’ll lower the price!”
“I didn’t even know the price in the first place!”
Chounin took out a piece of fabric. “How about that I throw this in? Beautiful fabric, that would match your hair.”
“ALL RIGHT I’LL TAKE IT!” Hitori sighed. “But then just leave me alone!”
“Good morning Hitori!”
“Chounin!” Hitori gasped. “What a surprise!”
“You expected me?” Chounin asked surprised.
Hitori sighed. “You’ve come here every morning for the past two weeks. Please… I’m broke! Whatever you have for sale, I can’t afford it! No matter how greatly it would match my beautiful eyes, hair, soft skin, lips or even ears!”
Chounin showed a dress. “What do you think about this dress?” He asked. “A special discount, just for you!”
“Chounin, what in Afrian’s name do you want from me?!” Hitori pled.
Chounin ignored her. “Don’t you think your curves would come out unique in this dress? I’m certain you would look beautiful in it on our wedding. Only 600…”
“Hold it!” Hitori stopped him. “WEDDING?!”
“And if you agree on the dress, I’ll throw in this beautiful ring that would look like a pearl on your finger, for only 500…”
Hitori gasped at the dress, and then the ring. Chounin was having his ‘only for you I’ll make this special discount smile’. A sudden rage took over Hitori, as she lashed out and slammed Chounin right in the face. Hitori slammed the door shut behind her.
“All right!” Chounin called. “Both for only 1000! But that is my final offer!!!”
End of this episode