Like the breeze skimming over the lake.

The young woman danced before the assembly, her movements gentle, graceful, light. She let herself be carried away by the music, letting it dictate her instead of the other way around. Ah! Here was an unexpected dip, and she went with it, her body moving easily and naturally. Her body expressed a longing but not a desire. She could do without this need being fulfilled, but it would be nice to have it done.

Still, she was a servant to higher forces, a destiny she carved out for herself. This was something that she had chosen to do, something no one could force her. As the music came to a stop, so did her dance, and it ended with her trademark bow before the Head of the court she was dancing.

There was a silent moment of appreciation when she stopped, and soon the musicians began to play again, a song of falling flowers, a song of innocent love. A song of melancholic tunes. She began dancing again, but this time her dance had a heavier step. This time, she dictated the tunes. The winter had been cold and harsh, but there was still beauty to be found. There was still a bit of hope left, found in the white, almost invisible flowers that populated the hillside.

Snow flowers were rare, but they were the symbol of hope. They were the representations of dreams left unspoken, dreams to be born into reality when the time came…


He walked briskly into the hallway, his red robes flaring out behind him. His stance was arrogant, demanding, and definately haughty. There was something about him that would irritate you, but at the same time there was also an aura of power and control. The little sprite looked very uncomfortable on his shoulder, almost hiding behind her master.

It wa a small little thing, about the length of the tip of her master’s ear to his shoulder. She was dressed in an elaborate red kimono, the short kind that dictated either a lady of the night, or a trained assassin. Either way, she seemed more like a novice rather than a threat.

He stood in the center of the room, right on the flameburst. Against a backdrop of black obsidian, he looked like a bloodstain. One that might not go away.


The young woman finally stopped her dance when the musicians left, leaving her alone with the Council. They were an unusual bunch, at least by human standards. Some had taken on the humanoid forms so that she wouldn’t be too afraid, the others had remained as they were; two were very much dragon-shaped, one was a Chimera, still a fourth almost as tall as a tree. He dwarfed over the others, dozing. He was her favourite, as he kept her amused, whether intentionally or not.

The one who held the power this time around was a Dog-like creature that reminded her of the Oriental Fu Dog. Under one of her paws, a cub suckled, and sometimes it would leave the nipple and walk forward on shaky legs to its mother’s large claw, and play. The mother let her child played as she conducted the meeting, but it was clear that she would brook no nonsense.

“Your time is running out, Child. You have not fulfilled your end of the bargain,” the matron spoke in a heavy voice.

“It is not yet near it’s end. As I promised, I will hold up my end of the bargain or pay the consequences.”

“You will, will you? Very well. By tomorrow you must have the Crook of the Alin’sa for us,” the creature began, but the young woman looked defiant.

“I never said I would give you the Crook. It is only the Jewel you requested, and the Jewel you shall have,” she was almost haughty.

“And then the original contract applies. If you succeed, we shall let you keep ONLY your family Shikigami,” the Fu Dog seemed intent for her to take the other offer.

“Understood,” and she walked away.

“I do not think she will succeed in getting the Jewel,” the Tree murmured once the girl had left their world.

“It is how she will handle Celeste that is the decider. All of them have been told the same thing, but generation after generation they still do the same thing,” a snake faintly purred at the thought.

“This one is no different than her mothers and ancestors except that she is stubborn. She did not even ask for an extension,” the angelic Sprite floated from where she had been eavesdropping.

“That might be her downfall, Lady Arielle,” the Fu inclined a respectful head to the girl’s mother.

“It may not be. She’s plotting something,” the sprite bowed before the Council and left. Her daughter had never seen her, and she would not tell her that she was now a Shikigami.

Some things were better left unsaid.


More tomorrow, I promise.