[Fanfiction-Kannaduki no Miko] The Fantasy of Last Life II—The Solitary Moon Arching over the Sky
......In the days when Gods are missing, Mikos of the sun and the moon, with their pure minds and firm beliefs in possession, always selflessly guard and protect the common world, till the eternity…….
She mumbled through the words in the book and sighed. It was not so funny to see her own predestined future written down in books.
Maybe it was because she was still too childish? Ever since she was brought to this shrine upon the emperor's order, she had become a sacred symbol for people's admiration and reliance. However, every time when she looked into the mirror, the person inside it had not changed since the day she came here. Still the same face, the same girl.
What had changed were the surroundings and people's minds.
"Are you……Miko of the moon?"
On that day, a girl in one red miko suit with a delicate and innocent voice stood gracefully in front of her, her beautiful face showing a tender smile.
"Welcome you to Otobashi shrine……." Said the petite young lady. Under the sunlight, a cool and smooth wind caressed those tea-colored long hair, which was sparkling unbelievably like the golden rice ears.
Just then, she stood rooted to the spot and could not utter a single word. She started to wonder, was the radiant source the sun, or rather, the girl in front of her?
The noise outside the hall interrupted her wandering thoughts about a peculiar girl. As she curiously opened the door, she found out its origin.
Three or four youngsters were accumulated in the shrine garden. There were both boys and girls, all obviously less than seven years old, except for the tallest boy maybe almost ten.
"----Kazujin niichan, what are we going to do? The ball is stuck on the tree!" Circling the older boy, they pleaded one after another, "Kazujin niichan, go get it, go get it please--- "
The boy hesitated to look at the crowd, and then lifted his head high to stare at the hundred-year-old holy tree.
"Um……I…….er, fine then, I will try. Just stop pulling my pants---"
As the boy swallowed his saliva a few times, fastened his sleeves and got ready to start climbing, one hand reached his shoulder and forfeited his suicide behavior.
The boy looked up at the pretty young lady in a purple miko suit. The sunshine poured like waterfalls behind her, decorating her dark long hair in a gentle radiance.
Her slightly disordered front hair could not cover those piercing blue clear eyes.
As all the children opened their mouths wide and stared at her, she couldn't help showing a bitter awkward smile. "Is your ball……stuck on the tree?"
"Tsu----Tsuki sama!" The oldest boy was the first to wake up from the stun, and the immediate response he had was to drag the crowd to kneel down together with him. "We are very, very sorry! We only wanted to play during the afternoon-nap time-----we didn't want to interrupt Tsuki sama's rest. P—Please forgive our impudence!"
Ah. She responded in a low voice, astringent sadness flashing through her eyes. About one month ago, there was her birthday, as well as that of Miko of the sun's. On that day, under the supervision of the emperor and priests, they completed the planned rite, successfully summoned the substitutes of Ame no Murakumo—two two-handed katanas, one purple, one red.
The blood-like red katana felt powerful and fierce, as if it had been used in fighting for countless times before it was summoned. Yet surprisingly enough, it would behave so quietly and peacefully together with a magnificent deep-purple katana, both stuck deeply in the sacrificial altar.
Parallel to the other blade that it belonged to, the red and purple swords were just like themselves at that time—Mikos of the Sun and the Moon.
Ever since that day, people had even more respect in their attitudes towards them, a respect mixed with deep fear. Many times she couldn't help wondering, had her image in other people's eyes become a monster-like existence?
Although her reflection in the mirror had been the same, the mirror in other people's heart was always changing unpredictably.
"Rise up. There's on one else here, you don't have to so formal." Different from her usual cold tone, she softened her voice and spoke amiably, "I will help you pick up the ball, is that all right?"
At their amazing stares, she only smiled slightly.
"No! We can't, Tsuki sama is an honorable miko, you can't do such---" The big boy didn't know what to do, just shaking his head rapidly.
"I may not know other things, but climbing trees—I won't lose even to boys." She said with a no-big-deal look, then dexterously loosened the purple satin ribbon tying her long hair, and let each black shining strand unrestrainedly and wildly spread on her shoulders.
The long ribbon was then applied to tie up the sleeves of the miko suit to facilitate her actions. She breathed deeply from above, and her face was full of pleasure and excitement that she could not conceal.
As she was climbing the tree agilely and swiftly, she found out as if her body had become lighter after training for martial arts with her master. Both the movement of her limbs and the strength from inside herself had been enhanced much more than before,
Some sort of enormous and solid power emerged like spring water, growing continuously from her own soul.
Sitting on a big brunch of the tree, she threw the ball at the children beneath. They expressed their appreciation one by one and left, turning back frequently with hesitation to look at her above.
Wondering why a miko like her would be this wild, maybe? She laughed relaxingly, lifting her head. A light breeze stroke through her long hair and smoothed her feelings.
Such pleasant wind, she thought contentedly. This was the cool breeze in October, the month without Gods. Even if the world did not have the
protection from Gods now, such breeze still stayed loyally with human beings.
After all, there was something that would not change. She closed her eyes, enjoying the valuable peaceful moment.
"------Sleeping on a tree? You may fall down like this, Tsuki sama." A gentle, slightly playful voice recalled her attention, .
Looking down at the figure underneath the tree, she smiled.
"I was not sleeping, Hi Sama."
The young lady called "Hi sama" owned tea-colored long hair, most splendid and bright-golden as if it had been cleansed by sunlight; her eyes were very pretty, deep and calm, her face gentle yet enigmatic.
What might not have matched Hi sama's wise and mysterious eyes was her tender and delicate, almost sticky young voice. However, she liked
listening to Hi sama's voice very much. Every time it would remind her of her favorite candied fruits in her childhood.
"Kazujin rushed to my place, saying that Tsuki sama was hurting herself……So I hurried here to have a look, well I didn't expect that----" Hi sama chuckled. "Do you usually hurt yourself in this way?"
"That little Kazujin was exaggerating too much." A shy smile appeared on her face as she was feeling quite embarrassed. "It is only tree-climbing…… I did this often when I was small."
"It is hard for me to imagine a tomboyish Tsuki sama." Hi sama still maintained her teasing smile.
As if to counter her words, she said, "Me too……I can't imagine how Hi sama was like as a child."
As soon as she ended the sentence, she regretted how straightforward and inconsiderate she had been. She noticed that the curve at Hi sama's lips gradually disappeared, replaced by her usual profound looking.
"……Tsuki sama, do you like climbing trees?"
Both of them were very conscious of the way that Hi sama switched the topic of conversation. After a silent sigh, she turned around to lookat the far, high distance.
"What I like is not the tree-climbing, but rather the scenery I can see on trees."
"What is the scenery that you see?" Hi sama asked softly, her deep eyes filled with a peculiar expectation.
"I see the vast land that the sun is shedding its light on."
She lowered her head and sincerely looked at Hi sama, who was a little surprised by her words. " The sunshine in October is the warmest and
brightest light I have ever seen." After a brief pause, she sent an invitation hesitantly, "Hi sama……do you want to come up here to see for yourself?"
Her wishful tone was so obvious that she felt quite uneasy.
A slight smile showed up on Hi sama's face. Her shallow-colored hair, lifted by a light wind, covered some of her pretty appearance. "Even if I climbed on the tree, even if I were at the same height as you are, I don't think I can see the scenery in your eyes."
"Because I am not you."
Simple answers often had profound inside stories, and this was especially true about Hi sama. She thought it over and decided not to continue persuading her on it.
"I don't mean to interrupt your fun, but I do hope that you can come down here soon."
At Hi sama's word, she just stared at her eyes under the sunlight, which was shining more brilliantly than any jewels in this world.
"Since I am unable to reach the same height as you can, I hope that you can come down to be at the same place as me……"
Hi sama extended her arms, as if she was waiting for her to hold her hands.
"Having such thoughts…… am I too selfish, Juuiki?"
/No, because you called my name./ She smiled with satisfaction and climbed down the tree promptly. She could hardly wait for her feet to land on the ground before she reached for Hi sama's helping hands.
Smaller than hers, those hands were warm and tender. Hi sama read books and wrote scrolls every day—if she were to have those hands close to her own nose, would she be able to smell the vague scent of sandalwood from her fingertips?
This disrespectful idea made her blush scarlet all of a sudden.
"Your hands……they are wounded……" The whisper from the girl turned her attention to her own hands wrapped in the other's palms.
"Only scratches, a common outcome for climbing trees."
"Then don't climb trees anymore." That delicate voice contained an unquestionable authority. "I don't want to see Juuiki being hurt."
Her hands were still gently enclosed in those of Hi sama's. If she were to be treated so for such inconsiderable wounds, maybe she would no longer pay much attention to her own safety.
"Aye, I promise." She nodded without hesitation, not regretting at all to give up her only hobby for this girl in front of her.
"Let's go, allow me to treat you and dress your wounds before your martial art practices." Hi sama's calm and profound eyes sparkled with smiling curves, which affected her own face and warmed up her entire body.
During everyone's life, there must exist one special being that was far more important than their beliefs or likings. So she believed, and she was also certain that Hi sama was that "only existence" in her own.
Simple. God had arranged this even before the moment she was born. "Juuiki" was her common name—born in October, mere as that. However,
it was just this plain name that represented her most primitive self and values as a human being.
Now hearing this word from Hi sama, hearing the most truthful herself being called, was the best thing she could wish for, the most priceless gift for her sixteenth birthday.
For that, she thanked God Ame no Murakumo from the bottom of her heart.
============End of Chapter One=============