Thursday, September 6, 2007

At Blade Point: A tale of the NineMoons Family

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Night fell all too soon over the city of Auch and its restless inhabitants. Behind closed doors, many adventurers stayed up long after the sun had set, discussing strategy for the return of the Dark Lord.

In their quarters at the inn called the Golden Apple, the NineMoons sisters rested after a long day of training; one by one, each said good night to the others and retired to her room.

All but one; Tuon watched them go - her youngest sister Aurana, the fraternal twins Ravashi and Chimal - and wished them sweet dreams, yet she herself remained in the sitting room as the fire died down in the soot-stained fireplace.

When only the light from the stars and the street lamps remained, Tuon crossed the room to the windows that opened out onto the city, and sat upon one of the sills.

A slight breeze flirted with the curtains and blew fine blonde hair across the eldest NineMoons girl's face, and as she brushed away the stray strands, she closed her eyes, and remembered the last time someone else's hands had made the gesture for her, back in their adopted home country of Illier.

~flashback: 10 months ago~

"En garde!"

Boots clicking on the practice court, the clash of swords. Tuon danced back several steps and raked her hair out of her eyes, all the while she pointed her blade at her opponent and waited for him to move once again.

Oliver lunged, his sword pointed straight to her heart; she riposted and pushed him back with all her strength, but found herself on the defensive yet again as he recovered - seemingly without any effort - and attacked yet again.

"No!" she cried, and spun in place to lock her sword-hilt with his.

Their blades clashed together, and now they were standing so close that as they breathed harshly, they could each feel the other's breath upon their cheeks.

Their eyes met, Tuon's green-gray and Oliver's blue. "Never...be afraid...to trust your heart," they said together, and as one, they stepped apart, circling each other at ten paces as they planned their final moves.

Tuon closed her eyes and raised her sword to vertical - she took a deep breath - she threw herself at her opponent, and opened her eyes to dodge away from his blow and swing her blade at the unprotected skin of his throat.

Oliver smiled, and turned his blade point down. "And now, you have me."

The laugh escaped Tuon before she could stop it, and she stepped away from him. She had been so precise in her final thrust that her blade had been resting on his skin, but left it unmarked as it moved away.

"I don't think there's anything else I can teach you now," Oliver said as he sheathed his sword and moved toward a low table, on which stood a pitcher and two pewter goblets. He poured a deep red wine into the goblets and brought them over to Tuon. "You've developed your own style, and that's the best that I can hope for with any student I take on." He drained his goblet. "And you've certainly been the best student I have ever taken."

"If I am the best, it is because I have been taught by the best." Tuon accepted the proffered goblet and sipped at it, glad to stand near him but also grateful for the chance to hide her face.

Silence for a few moments, and then...

"You're leaving on the Jaclina."

Tuon sighed, and crossed to the table to put down her drink. "Yes. My sisters have spoken of nothing else but the trip to the New World."

Oliver walked over to her, putting one arm around her shoulders and drawing her in close. "Can you not stay another week? I would spend those days not in sparring with you. I would simply stay by your side. Please, just a week longer."

"I...I must follow Mother's wishes." Tuon turned her face in towards him, her hair now falling to hide her face completely.

The same callused hands that had taught her how to wield a blade now brushed the offending tresses away with astonishing gentleness. "And what of your heart, my Tuon? What do you wish for?"

Tuon embraced him. "That week with you. And after, to have you let me go."

She felt him freeze for a moment; then, a long, drawn-out sigh. "You know my heart has always known this was coming," Oliver said quietly. "Knowing your family, and the troubles you have all lived through. You're of Oporutan royal blood, and Wartime Nobility as well. When the Reconquista Policy took effect I knew that sooner or later you would leave."

He held her at arm's length with one arm, and with the other, brushed at her hair once more.

Tuon felt in her pocket for the only gift she had to give him: a silver ring engraved with her name. "Give me your hand, Oliver," she murmured, and in the proffered palm she gently placed the ring. "I cannot ask you to wear that on your hand - you need them unencumbered for the fight. But I ask you to carry that with you wherever you may go. Think of it as the piece of me that I shall leave behind in the Old World as I sail to the New."

Wordlessly, Oliver placed the ring in the pocket over his heart.

~flashback ends~

Tuon touched the pocket over her own heart now, and felt for the ring she had received, the ring that bore Oliver Jarjayes's name - the part of him that had sailed to the New World.

4 comments:

Ligaya said...

Jarjayes... Is that a "Rose of Versailles (Berseiyu no Bara)" reference...?

NineMoons Family said...

@ ligaya

it is! blame it on all those takarazuka videos on youtube that i've been watching over and over again!

Takako+Hana = ♥♥♥

Ligaya said...

...I hate you. I wants me some Takarazuka darnit!!! X3 {makes grabby hands}

NineMoons Family said...

@ ligaya

ako rin naman eh.

my current faves are Takako, Hana, Zunko, Osa, and [Mizu] Natsuki.

sana pwedeng makahanap ng DVD ng Boxman, Cosmos Berubara, Cosmos Elisabeth, and...oh, a bunch of other things!