"Karino, you realize, neither of us know how to fight, only you do." Said Yuki. "Well the truth is, I only know what to do, and I’ve never actually fought, so basically, we are relying on a mere chance." I said seriously. "We knew as much, you've always been the tough but good girl kinda person, but you're also the type that is over protective sometimes." Said Ro. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or an insult. And that worries me, the fact that they have faith, because what if I.... What if I let them down? I put on my best smile, you know, to convince them it's alright, but it's not enough to convince myself. We kept walking.
This world looks a lot like our own. It's very lush here. Well at least in the forest next to me; right now we are walking in a field towards the direction the sun sets. The clue was pretty obvious, so we all agreed to go this way. I could see a small village ahead. It had some modern parts, like running water I could see from a distance, and it had a lot of details that look like the futile era too. "Come on!" I said as I ran towards it.
This village was average size, with not to many people, some inside their homes. We kept walking and that's how I realized how tired I was. Wow... I'm really tired, and so Yuki and Ro must be too. "Hey, you guys, I think we should find somewhere to stay for the night, we've been up almost all night." I said. "Yeah, you're right, but where?" Said Yuki. "I don't know, let's just ask around. Come on." I said. "Try not to run into any psycho's." Muttered Yuki.
We walked around for a little while and to our surprise to village was quite big. We came across an old woman. I bumped into her and she dropped her groceries. "Oh I'm so sorry, ma'am!" I said. I tried to help her pick up her things but then she slapped me across the face and an amazingly hard too. "You little hooligan! Why are you trying to steal my.... No... It couldn't be... Young miss, does your name happen to be Karino?" Said the woman. So first she slaps me across the face and then she asks who I am... Well, then again, we are in a strange world, so robbery may be more common here, so this might be normal. "Yes ma'am, my name is Karino." I said politely. "Why did you tell her that?!" Asked Yuki. "Because, there has to be someone here who understands our situation, so if someone knows our name, it's more likely that the might help us, is kind of a cliché, but we can hope." I stated. "Very smart, young lady, I see you have great potential, and yes, I do know your situation, I am here to help you. Oh, and summer.” I cut the woman off. "How did you know my real name?" I asked. The woman sighed. "Karino, dear, do you remember bunny Grammy?" Said the woman. "Yes but how do you...? Unless... No... You can't be... She... She died 8 years ago." I said. "Ah my child, that is but a false rumor. Your mother didn't tell you what happened, did she? Well, the truth is, I went missing and was never found, well at least that's what they know, but really, I was transported here, and was told everything that was to happen, and to await your arrival, intact, this entire village knows of your existence, as well as your two friends, you three are the chosen saviors of our universe. As well as that, when I came here I was also given a chance to age back a few years." Said the woman as she smiled. "So... So you’re really my great grandmother..?" I stuttered. She smiled. I ran to hug her. "Great grandma!" I shouted. "Just call me gran." She said kindly. I turned around to see my friends looking awestruck. "What, having a bit of trouble reacting to my nice side?" I asked. "Actually, yes..." Said Yuki and Ro. "You two as well, call me gran." She said again with her warm smile. "Alright." They said. “Follow me, you three, I will show you to a place to stay, and I will fill you in on what your journey is truly about. “She said.
She led us to the gate of the village. "Why are we here, Gran? I thought you lived in the village." Asked Ro. "Well, yes and no, I live outside of the village boundaries along with a few other people, but we're still considered part of the village." Gran explained. Makes enough sense to me. We walked a bit farther until we reached a small cluster of houses about a quarter mile from the village. We followed her until we reached three small houses very close to each other. "The one on the far right is mine, the middle one is you three's, and the one on the far left is the house of a few people you will meet soon. Come to my house first to have some tea, then we'll you to your house to get you guys settled in." Said gran. "Ok, come on you two!" I said to Yuki and Ro. We followed her into her house. It was small, but cozy. It had a kitchen and a living room in one room, and then two other rooms, a bedroom and a bathroom with running water. In the living room had a large couch and a fireplace along with floor mats. “Nice place, gran.” I said. “Why thank you, Karino.” She said. Yuki and Ro nodded their heads in agreement.
"Sit down you three," said gran gesturing to the couch. "I'll make some mint tea, it's quite chilly out, not to mention late at night." I sat down in the corner of the couch, then Ro and Yuki sat down next to me. Gran brought in four cups of tea and set them down on a small table in front of us. We all took one. I took a sip. It was so warm, so good. My friends seemed to like it too, because I glanced over to see them chugging it down. So much for manners... I set my glass down on the table. "What time is it here?" I asked. I wanted to get right on the subject. "The time here is different, but it's midnight. In this dimension there a 36 hours, 24 of which is day time due to the fact of two suns. " said gran. It makes enough sense to me. "Who are we going to meet?" Asked Ro. "Three boys around your age. Fuko, Uma, and Hika. They are to teach you how to use weapons & magic, aswell as acompany you on your journey." Gran said. Almost as if on cue, three boys walked in through the door. "Oh, so the rumors are true, the chosen three are girls." Said one of them. "Yes, do you have a problem with that? Anyway boys, introduce your selves to these three. "I'm Fukuro. Just call me Fuko." Said one of them. He was about my height (5' 2"). He had spiky orange hair, and grey eyes. He was wearing a red t-shirt with a black jacket over it, and a pair of torn jeans. "I'm Uma." Said another. With one look at this guy I can say he's not much of a show off. He had spiky blonde hair and light blue eyes, same height as the first. "I'm Shika, but call me Hika, it's waaay more cool." He said. Douche bag. This guy's gonna be a total douche bag. He was taller than the rest (5' 6"). He had dark brown hair and light brown eyes. "Calm the hell down, hotshot, don't wanna burn a hole through that retarted ego of yours." I said. "Oh, so I see goth girl has no personallity." He said. I don't think he realized he pushed to far until after he said it. I got up and slowly walked toward him. "Karino, calm down.." Said Yuki. As I got in range, I slapped him across the face. "Don't judge me by my appearance. What I expressed just now is called 'I haven't slept for 17 fucking hours'. Learn to keep your mouth shut around people like me." I said darkly. I walked out the door, and went behind the house. It was a huge mountain. I looked down to see a beautiful plain with dew sparkling in the moonlight from hundreds of feet up. I sat down and remembered that those were the exact words my dad had told me last time we talked. I sat as I remembered how sad my life has been recently
---------------------Fuko's point of view----------------------
I elbowed Hika. "Don't be such an ass." I said. "Geez Fuko, don't hate on me too, I just got slapped by a girl half my height." He said. I can't beleive this idiot. And she's not even that much shorter than him, I mean, it's only a couple inch difference. I facepalmed. "Anyway, what your names." Said Uma, gesturing to the two girls. "Well, the girl who just walked out on us is the lovely Karino." Said the one with light blue hair. Her sarcastic tone gives me the feeling she's trying to lighten the mood. "But anyway, mine is Yuki." Again said the one with light blue hair. "Like she said, the girl who just walked out is Karino, I wouldn't push your luck with her. But anyway, my name is Ro." Said the one with short purple hair. "T-that's a nice name." Said Uma to Ro. His face was bright red. Does he like her? I started to walk out the door. "I'm going to check on the girl out there." I said. I already managed to forget her name. I think Yuki noticed that be cause she said "Her name is Karino, and unless you're suicidal, I'd stay here." "Well I can handle myself just fine." I replied. I walked out the door.
It was really cold out. I don't know how that girl is wearing a tank top and shorts in this weather without complaining. I began to walk around the side of the house when I heard singing. "...It's all so meaningless, why can't I stop it then? Stabbing my chest to run from pain. It's all so tiring, I'm so sick of this, now I think that I can take no more! It's all so meaningless, why can't I stop it then? Drowning even deeper in the pain. It's all so tiring I'm so sick of this! Only way to end is throwing me into hell." Sang the girl. As I turned the corner I realized it was Karino. She kept singing. "Ahem." I said. She jumped a little as she stopped singing. "I'm sorry if I scared you, just coming out to check on you. " I said."Um.. It's okay." She said awkwardly. "Can I sit down next to you?" I asked as I walked towards her. "Sure." She said distantly. I sat down. I looked at her face to see that she was gazing at the stars. "I have to ask, why aren't you mad anymore? Your friends warned me that you would?" I asked. "Because," she said. "Your not Hika. And yes, normally I would be mad at everyone who talked to me right now. But you... You're different than them. You're like me. I could see it in your eyes as I walked passed you out the door." She continued. I looked at her with surprise. "How can you tell by my eyes?" I asked, confused. "It's simple really, I just compared the look in your eyes to my own, and they're pretty similar. I can't really explain it better, I just know how." Said Karino. "Well anyway, to change the subject, if you had a choice of three weapons, a bow & arrow, throwing knives, and a sword, what would you choose." I asked her. Me and the rest of the guys are suppose to teach her and the other two how to use magic, so I'm just curious which one she'd choose. Hika uses the bow and arrow. Uma uses throwing weapons, like knives & needles, and other things like that. And I teach swordsmanship. She thought for a minute. "Sword. I would use a sword. I'm more of a close-combat person so yeah, I'd choose a sword." She said. This didn't really surprise me, I could tell the moment I saw her, I mean, her body moves the way a sword wielder should.
It was quiet from then on, we both just stared at the moon. She shivered then yawned. "Are you cold? Tired?" I asked. "Yeah, a little bit." She said while yawning again. Want me to go in and get you a jacket or blanket or something?" I asked. "Sure." She said quietly, still staring up at the giant moon.
I walked around the house and through the doorway. "Amazing, you don't look like you were scarred mentally by her, so I'm assuming she showed you her more or less calm and creepy side." Said Yuki and Ro. "Fuko, did you ask her about choice of weapon? Yuki chose bow & arrow, and Ro chose throwing knives." Said Uma. "Uh, yeah, she chose sword." I said. "Just like her." Yuki said. "Yeah I had a feeling." Ro said. "Well anyway, I came to get a blanket or something for Karino, she's practically freezing out there, and she's tired too." I said. "Oh. I forgot to mention this to you three," Gram said gesturing to Yuki and Ro. "Karino's been using her power unconsciously to protect you two, so she's completely exhausted." Said Gram. "R-really?" Yuki and Ro said in sync. Why are they so surprised? I mean... They're friends.... Right? They must have noticed the confused look on my face because Yuki began to speak. "Well, yeah, we're just surprised because Karino usually isn't that protective of us back home, that's all." She said. Ro nodded.
"Here, Fuko." Said gran, handing me a black fluffy blanket. "Thanks." I said. I walked out the door to the back of the house. "Karino, I got a blanket!" I said. No responce. I looked around for her until I saw her sprawled on the ground. She must have passed out from exhaustion. I wrapped her in the blanket and picked her up.
Her friends gave me a funny look when I walked through the for. "Uh... She had fallen asleep..." I nervously laughed. "She'll kill you when she wakes up, she hates when other people touch her." Yuki laughed. I grimaced. Wonderfull. And as peaceful as she was, if she's really like me, I won't be surprised. I layed her down on the couch. I guess I was right about her passing out from exhaustion, because I noticed she was breathing hard. Well, I won't treat her like royalty starting tomorrow, becuase that's when training starts.
"Everyone, you should go to sleep on the couch. We've all had a lot day so we should get some rest." Said gran. I agreed. Me and the guys layed down on the couch oposite of the girls. I closed my eyes, anticipating tomorrow's adventure to come. I drifted into a dreamless sleep, unlike Karino.
-----------------Karino's point of view-------------------
My cheeks were wet with warm trails of water pouring down my cheeks as I stare down upon the lifeless bodies of my friends. I saw it all in third person, yet I knew the white haired girl I was staring at was me. She slowly transformed back to what I look like now, then my vision faded and now we were one. The wall of emotion hit me like a wave from the stormy, sad seas. I felt them all. They were cold. They were dead. Yuki. Ro. Fuko. Hika. Uma. All of them. Dead. I wanted to run away. Run away and scream at god for letting them die. No. It wasn't god. It was him. I lifted my gaze to above them to see a boy about my age with pure red hair staring towards me with a sick, twisted grin. Him. He was the one who killed them. "How. Could. You." I said slowly looseing the restraint that I doubt was even there. All he did was laugh, and then, he pulled a black steel blade from the sheath on his belt. "Simple. It wasn't me. It was you. You foolish young girl lost control of your power and killed the seven of them." He said as he pointed the sword at my heart. If my face could have gotten any paler, it would've. I couldn't move as he drew back his sword as if to strike like a threatened cobra. The sword pierced my chest and came out the other side. The pain was something so excruciating that I didn't cry. I didn't move. I just sat there as a warm stream of red soaked my shirt and the ground around me. I coughed feeling the warm liquid quickly gather in my mouth and slowly drip off my lip. The true pain finaly hit me and my eyes slowly filled with the salty liquid called tears. I was in so much pain almost nothing had meaning anymore. Atleast, nothing but my pride. If I was going to die here, I was going to do it with dignity. I wiped the tears from my eyes and changed my pained face into a grimacing smile as I grabbed the dull end of the blade and pulled it from my chest. I coughed up more blood. As I kept the smile of my face, fear arose in the face of the killer standing before me, well for a moment the he grinned a smile back. This ticked me. I stood up, while with holding a scream as the pain and misery my body yearned to leave me. I held a poker face. I now, was the one holding the sword, for I had pulled it out of my chest, and the boy standing in front of me was no longer. I just realized this, but he must be Hiryu, the fire dragon spirit. As I held the sword in shaky hands, Hiryu began to back away. I knew I only had one shot at this, for I had seconds before I would drop dead, I have to make it count. I have to kill him in one blow. I pulled back the sword and lunged forward as he did. It was going to hit strait in his heart. Finaly I could avenge my friends deaths. Right before I hit him, I saw the dark and sadistic smile appear on his face. He disapeared, And so did my life. I died. At least now I'm equal to my friends. Dead and meaningless. All I remeber now is the looks of hatred on their dead and bloodied faces. I screamed.
"..... Karino! Wake up!" I woken up to the worried faces of Yuki and Ro. Releif flooded through my body. I could feel my face dripping with sweat. "What happened, why did you scream?" Asked Uma on the other side of the room. Yuki and Ro had the same questioning looks as him. "I h-had a n-nightmare. You guys were all d-dead." I studdered. "And I had w-white hair." I continued. Gran walked in the room with a worried face. "My dear, the facts are pointing to you even more, snow-white hair is a trait of the ice dragon spirit." She said as she walked over. "Ah," she smiled. "Good, your fever has broken." She said as she felt my forhead. It's just like her to be able to smile in a moments notice. I smiled too. I guess it was contagious because everyone else in the room smiled too.
"Training begins today." Fuko began. "Ah, that's right." Said gran. "I ment to mention, the three of you," she said gesturing to me, Yuki, and Ro. "You three will be seperate for 3 weeks because you're training with three different people. Yuki with Hika, Ro with Uma, and Karino with Fuko." She said. I got a bit nervous. I've never really been seperate from those two for very long. They probably feel the same, but we all kept a poker face. I know I said that we were going to get you set in your house, but change of plans, now that Karino had that dream, training needs to start as soon as possible. Now, time to leave, I'm so sorry for the rush." Said gran. Me Yuki and Ro walked over to hug eachother and whispered 'good luck' in each others ears. We walked out the door and went in three different direction. Yuki & Hika toward distant, snowy mountains. Uma & Ro toward rivers many miles away. And Fuko & I toward what looks like a desert. All of us waved to our friends and began to run towards our new goal. I smiled to myself knowing that my friends and I finaly have use in this twisted universe.
"Karino, do you want to tell me about the dream you had?" Asked Fuko. My face paled. He noticed. "Oh.. Uh, you don't have to if you don't want to." He said panicked. I quietly laughed. This guys stupidity around me is unbelievably hilarious. "No, it's fine, I'll tell you." I said. I spent the next ten minutes telling him. "Do you thing that's what will happen?" He asked quietly. "To tell the truth, I don't really know." I said quietly. "Well, let's change the subject. Training." He said. "I'm actually pretty excited to tell you the truth. I mean, I know it will be hell, but I can't help but think it will be fun." I said. "Wow, your optimistic." He laughed.
We kept walking until we reached a village. I just realized it, but we've walked for about 9 hours now, almost a 150 miles, and I wasn't even tired. "This," Fuko said pointing to the village gate. "Is where we will stay durin your training, but before the real training starts, we need to make some money." He said. "Alright, so what, ask if there's any thugs in the village they want cleared out?" I asked. "Bingo. It makes money and it perfect battle experience." He said.
We walked up to a man in a fruit stand. "If you have no money, I must ask you to leave." the man said politely. "Actually, we were jut wondering if the village is offering a reward for clearing out any thugs of something it may have." I stated. The man looked at Fuko and I and saw the sword sheath on Fuko's belt. "Ah, swordsman. Yes, there is a 10,000 dollar reward for getting rid of a gang that has recently appeared. You'll know then when you see them, they don't make an effort if hiding themselves. Go to the mayor once you've driven them out." The man said. "Alright, thanks." Said Fuko, dragging me away as I awed a the thought of holding 10,000 dollars.
"T-ten thousand dollars?! That much?!" I asked Fuko. He began laughing. "Yeah, people pay a lot to get rid of troublesome thugs, and beleive it or not, that's actually low compared to the usual." He said. My mouth gaped open. He began laughing even harder. "Well we should probably get looking." I said, trying to act serious. Fuko was still laughing. I punched him on the head. "OW! WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!" He asked. "Don't ignore me. I said, let's get going." I said. "Alright, alright, geez." He said
We began to explore the village until we turned down and ally and at the end stood to brute-looking men in leather jackets. "Those have to be them." I whispered to Fuko. He nodded. The men moved aside revealing a young man my age with pure red hair. The boy from my dream. Hiryu. "Hello Karino, I've been waiting."