Author: Hannah D PM
A war has developed in a once great nation. Saruka and her best friend Niaul must uncover the secrets of her fathers journal that could lead to the end. Could she lose herself along the way? Rated M for later violence. Please R&R. Better than it sounds...Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,058 - Updated: 05-30-12 - Published: 05-07-12 - id: 3020390
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Every aspect of this story is mine. No part of this story may be reproduced in any way without full consent from the author.
A.N.: Hello everybody, this Idea popped into my head and I couldn't let it not be written J I hope you enjoy it.
Rated M for future violence.
Chapter 1: Mute
Saruka shifts her weight from the right to the left as she stares out the broken window on the third story of the abandoned house where her family used to live before the revolution. What used to be bright and lively walls of all different colors were now dark, stained, faded. Wallpaper drips off the walls, and cob webs hang from the broken crystal chandelier to the places where the walls meet the ceiling. An old grand piano had been covered with white sheets which were now starting to look stained and faded as well. The back two legs from the table that stand on the right side of the room are broken off and shredded down to the last splinter. The only two chairs that remain standing are the two at each end of the table. Against the wall, is a china shelf and directly across from it on the other wall, is a grand book case. Saruka hadn't been back at this house in a few months; how could she? It brings back too many memories, too many happy memories that she couldn't bare to think about. Not at this time. She couldn't bring them back no matter how many memories she manifests in her head. She turns and lays her eyes on the glowing orb sitting on the sheeted grand piano. The prophecy. That was what she came back for. Not to reminisce. But she didn't dare pick it up. She walk over and stood in front of the book case. It was her father's, before he died with her mother in his arms that night. Otulissa and Ulva weren't with her anymore, but they died with her in their hearts.
In the days that followed her parents death, Saruka became quiet. Only speaking when spoken to by an elder who could not be ignored. She isolated herself from the others, even the leader of the revolution. Most days, she sat with Niaul, her best friend that she even had considered family, in silence. He didn't try to talk to her, he knew she wouldn't talk, but they just sat in his new home and listened to the silence. It wasn't until recently, she'd been given a special assignment: locating and bringing forth the glowing orb that was the prophecy. Not a fortune teller, no, but an insight to gaining an advantage over those who still followed the old ways. The ones on the opposing side of the revolution.
Saruka lifts her arm and looks at the hanging figure-eight hourglass that hangs from a chain. It was something Ulva invented, and it was something the others used most often now, to obligate certain lengths of time so one would not linger for too long. The sand in Saruka's is almost at the bottom; from the looks of it, she has nearly thirty minutes to gather what she requires and head back to the ship from which she arrived here. She looks back up at the book-case. She throws over her bag and begins shoving book after book into it. Encyclopedias, history books, old story tales… the last book that catches her eye has a black cover, with deep red intricate tattoos. She picks it up; it held no title. She starts to open the front cover to see what kind of book this was, when she hears footsteps from behind her. She spins around to find Niaul had come in after her. His hand lingers on the double door.
"I'm sorry, Sar. Lord Oroukeimaru says time is up. We need to head back to Hanamisel." He tells her with a grave tone. He knew how tough these last few weeks had been with Saruka. She gives him a small nod and shoves the book back in her bag. She'd look at it later, in her cabin. She begins to follow Niaul when she remembers the orb sitting on its stool atop the grand piano. She reaches for it and stuffs it too in her bag. She ties the zip and flings it over her shoulder and follows Niaul back to the docks where the ship is waiting. The leader of the armies, Lord Oroukeimaru had come this time to assure that recently mute Saruka could handle the mission of coming back to her home where her parents were killed. Even the most skilled medics couldn't diagnose Saruka's lack of speech. She just didn't speak. And that was that. Saruka checks her hour-glass once again. She had a good fifteen or twenty minutes left and she wonders why Oroukeimaru wants to leave so suddenly. But she doesn't dare ask these questions.
When Niaul and Saruka reaches the dock, Niaul ducks down and swings Saruka into his arms so they could reach the ship faster. Saruka doesn't move very fast these days and for some reason that Saruka didn't understand was the sense of urgency that courses through Niaul's adrenaline. Even to Niaul, she refuses to speak.
Once they reach the deck, Niaul sets Saruka down and she reaches into her bag and pulls out the prophecy. She walks over to Lord Oroukeimaru and kneels, extending the arm holding the prophecy out to him. He takes it and she rises.
"A great amount of honor for serving your cause has been rewarded to you, Saruka, daughter of Otulissa and Ulva, former head of intelligence. You may return to your bunker, if you like. There will be a meeting discussing the matter of the foretold advantage when we arrive back at Hanamisel. We of the council would prefer it if you would attend. In the meantime, if you require anything, my servants will attend to you." he bows his head with grace and respect and turns to give the orb to his secretary of defense and planning. Saruka stands, pivots on her heel and walks back to her bunker without a word. Niaul follows her. She doesn't tell him she would prefer to be alone; she doesn't want to cry in front of him, so as long as he would be around her, she wouldn't. It was a shame because he's sharing a bunker with her as well.
She opens the door to the small room under the deck. It has two small cots pushed up against opposite walls and an end table between the two. A kerosene lantern is on top of the table and hanging on the wall is a painting of the five elements that was to shape Hanamisel as it grew into its own country. Blue for water, red for fire, green for earth, yellow for air and purple for spirit. She stands in front of her specified cot and sets her bag down. She unties the strings and searches for the mysterious black book she found on her father's book case.
"I honestly can't believe he made you go back there after all that's happened." Niaul says behind her. He stands in the doorway, wanting to give her some room to breathe. She sighs.
"Sar," he begs in a broken whisper. It kills him to know that she wouldn't even talk to him most times, that his best friend had the chance of becoming a mute for the rest of her life. She hadn't ever been like this before; Saruka was a strong, stubborn and determined girl who could do anything she set her mind to. It was a shock to Niaul when she didn't speak to anyone the first week after her parent's deaths.
Saruka lets her head droop forward and a tear spills over and runs down her cheek. She lets out a silent sob. She knows it hurts Niaul for her not to speak to him. It hurts her as well. But she'd been there that night they were killed. She saw how gruesome it was to see them whipped and hanged. She'd escaped because of a soldier from Oroukeimaru's army. She'd screamed and cried even after they were gone but it was no use. And there were no words to describe how lost she felt afterward. She remembered seeing Niaul after she escaped and running to him, crying in his chest, his arms around her, falling asleep in the cabin with him holding her because if someone didn't, she break into a million untraceable pieces, never to be put back together again. She depended on Niaul to be there always to comfort her, to talk to her, to sooth and ease her pain of loss. And here she was not being a very good friend to him in return because she knew he'd lost people he loved also. He'd lost his little sister, who was his world. And even when he needed her, she had neglected the responsibility to help comfort him. And she feels guilty.
"I-I'm sorry, Niaul." she barely whispers. She doesn't even think he heard her, but when he gasps, she knew he did.
"You used to sing, Sar. Remember? You used to be able to achieve anything. Climb the tallest tree, hike the highest mountain, speak the greatest hymn. Please do not give it all away." he tells her.
She turns and hugs him. He wraps his arms around her like a vise. She can't breathe, but she doesn't dare tell him to let go because they both are broken and they both are holding themselves together.
"It's… a shame about a war," she tells him, "The players, I mean. They play their games with swords, the ones who seem programmed to fight for the cause. And then there's us, who play the game with heavy hearts. We are not like most and because of this, we are considered the weak. But we are truly the most brave, the strongest and we will fight the longest because we have hearts and we know what we're fighting for."
"Freedom." he says, "That was beautiful, Sar."
He releases her and she steps back. She turns to the wardrobe and opens the cabinet doors and turns to look at herself in the mirror. Her cheeks are red, as is her crystal blue eyes. Her long, dark chocolate brown hair is frizzy and sticks out from her ponytail. Her shoulders are still strong and she was able to retain her slim form from the last few weeks even though she hasn't eaten much at all lately. Seems as though she didn't lose too much weight through the last few weeks. Niaul stood behind her, his eyes and cheeks were red from crying as well. It wasn't hard for Saruka to admit that Niaul was handsome. Piercing green eyes, black as night hair that was kept short, chiseled jaw with strong arms and a toned chest. At the height of six-two compared to her five-five, he is the perfect partner for any young woman to have. But this is her friend, Niaul. She doesn't think of him as anything else. She takes out the band that confines her hair and quickly grabs a brush from the wardrobe and begins running in through her hair to take out the knots. She then braids it back, like her mother used to do when she was young. Niaul stands and observes as Saruka snaps back into her usual determined self, one who focuses on the task at hand; obviously she has something on her mind and he sits on his cot and waits for her to slow down and explain. He turns away when she changes into her traditional blue and white robes. When she's finished relaxing herself, she sits on the cot and begins searching through her bag again. She pulls out a black book with red tattooing and opens the front cover.
"What's that?" Niaul asks her, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees.
She turns the page, "A book that belonged to my father. It had no title, and I was curious. I took it from his quarters when Oroukeimaru requested I search for the prophecy there. I didn't know what it was."
"Oh," Niaul doesn't know what to say. Saruka gasps, a hand comes to cover her mouth at the shock.
"Sar, what is it?" Niaul asks, reaching for the book. Saruka hands it over to him without hesitation. He settles back to his cots and opens to the page Saruka was just at. On the lines provided, in his easily legible hand: Ulva Tikaani, diary of both sides. On the second line: I fear there will be a war on our hands. We are not safe. I know both sides, and here they are.
"It's his." Saruka sobs. "Lord Oroukeimaru is wrong. The prophecy orb doesn't tell what advantage we can gain to conquer the other side, it's this book. My father must have instructed the lord to have me go back to the house and search for it. He knew I'd take more of his belongings. The orb is just a glass ball of decoration; this is the prophecy."
Niaul is in shock at this truth but he knows Saruka is right, she usually is. The glass orb was an artifice. He flips through the pages and sees Ulva has drawn in maps and invention blueprints. He has record of political conversations that he overheard discussing the idea of revolution. What used to be a powerful nation was now broken into two sections: the ones that still followed the leaders and the ones where Niaul and Saruka stood with Oroukeimaru and the others on Hanamisel. The ones fighting to save their freedom. He stops at one page and looks at the title. It's addressed to Saruka.
"Sar," he says, "Look at this page." He hands it to her. She wipes her face with her hands and takes it from him.
She glances at Niaul then begins to read:
My dearest Saruka, I know how hurt you must be feeling. Your mother and I died thinking about your safety and your heart. You are so loved, Saruka, so loved. I show you this book now because what I feared has come true. There's a revolution going on. Our freedom is on the line. Oroukeimaru is a great leader and friend of mine. Trust that he will lead your cause to victory.
Do not show anyone else this book yet. I want you to contemplate everything you've seen and read and I want you to bring the news on how to achieve that victory. Do not show them it was my book. It's you. Please, honey this is my last request to you.
If you return back to our home, I want you to take everything. All the important things that bring you memories of us. I want you to continue sharing the memories with future generations. Teach your children to play piano like I taught you. Sing to them like your mother did with you. You are so brave and so strong. Your heart is pure and you will fight for what you believe in.
Don't ever give up, honey. We love you.
-Otulissa and Ulva Tikaani. Mother and Father
"My father's last request." Saruka looks up, "I can't show this book to anybody else." She flips though the pages like Niaul had done. Why didn't Ulva wish her to show this valuable information to Oroukeimaru if she is supposed to trust him?
"Niaul," she whispers, "I'm going to need your help with this. I need to understand my father's last wish."
"Of course," Niaul tells her without hesitation.
Saruka begins to turn to the first page again when suddenly the ship rocks on the water. Niaul stands and goes to Saruka to cover her if something were to fall. There's two more blows and they can hear shuffling feet on the top deck. Niaul turns and swings the door open and runs to the top deck. Saruka shoves the books back in her bag and follows suit. The ship had been hit with cannons.
"What's going on?" Niaul questions someone. Saruka recognizes her to be Noelani Almena. She's a warrior from Oroukeimaru's army.
"The others have spotted us and we're in for an ambush." She tells Niaul while tugging on a pair of ropes that tightens the sail. "We need at least two miles out on sea before we're safe again. We're barely half a mile off of the dock. Go to the captain and ask what you can do to help us sail at a quicker speed." she instructs him and he hurries over to the captain. Saruka locks eyes with Noelani and then flees back to her bunker. What can an emotional mute do for the crew? She closes the door to the small room and lays on the bed. She finally lets the tears flow over and closes her eyes, waiting for it to be over.