Author: Carolina Martinez PM
Kojoro meets a human-kitsune Jacob Williams on her first day. The meeting goes off to a good start, but then the Elders choose to send them off to find the missing Inari- just when they had a fight. If they don't find her in time, the city might fall, along with the whole kitsune civilization.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural/Adventure - Chapters: 16 - Words: 33,860 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 05-15-13 - Published: 01-22-13 - id: 3094288
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
© 2013, Margaret Eugene Yang. Except as provided by the Copyright Act 2/25/2013. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher and author.
To my family, who supported me throughout the whole process of writing this book
To my best friends who have remained in my mind for years: Jackie Cheng, Emily Song, Rowena Ge, Kitty Zhao, Sonia Li, Isabelle Brantingham, Alice Giles, Tara Relan, Nimisha Deva, and a special mention for Kelly Chu
As a promise: To my Year 6 class (this is going to take forever): Tara, Dexter, Alice, Rudy, Ethan, Harry, Jonathan, Eric, Daniel, Anna, Simran, Ruby, Terry, Devon, Lily, Isabelle, Garance, Julia, Isaac, Kelly, Vanessa, Nimisha, Hector, Georgina, Jade, Izumi, and Amoldeep
(It's listed in seat order, people)
As a promise and thanks for support, Mrs. Orange, my Year 6 teacher
To 3(1) of 2010~2011, and 4(1) of 2011~2012, a few people get special mentions, as they inspired me-sort of- even if they don't know it (oh, boy, this is awkward, and this does not mean we're friends), Jackie Cheng, Emily Song, Rowena Ge, Kitty Zhao, Sonia Li, Dinan Wu aka Austin, Brandon Zhang, and last but not least, James Yu
"Don't worry," Mother patted my school bag. "You'll fit in just right."
"How do you know?" I questioned. Snapping at your mother was considered rude, but I was agitated.
Me, Mother, and Prim were standing on a small street in front of a bus stop. You wouldn't think that kitsune would have bus stops, when we could use our supernatural powers to transport ourselves there. But no, the principal insisted we use 'the traditional way that humans do and have a taste of what inconveniences they go through nearly every day.' In other words, she said, 'Learn that you have it good. So suck it up and do it the hard way, people.'
"I don't," Mother replied, perfectly composed.
I sighed. Mother can be so irritating sometimes, but yet so soothing. How does she do that? I wondered. As a devious fox spirit, aka kitsune, I wanted to teleport to my school right now, but I didn't want to rub it in the principal's face that I was one of those kitsune with special abilities.
"Coco will be okay, right?" my sweet little sister, Primrose Petunia (Prim for short), asked.
"Of course I will." I smiled at Prim. Prim was a small child, with dark wavy hair like mine and bright gold eyes. She was so innocent and yet very mature in dire situations. Anyone who knew me could tell that I was very protective of her in every way.
Suddenly, the bus screeched to a stop in front of the my fellow waiting schoolmates and I. The door slid open, and I waved goodbye.
"Have a good day!" Mother called.
"I will!" I shouted back.
For the last hundred years of my life, I've been practicing hiding my emotions. It was especially handy when I was in a situation like this— nervous and excited. Behind my back, out of my family's sight, I was wringing my hands like there was no tomorrow. As I entered the bus, I made a small fist. I was going to get through this year. I felt determination wash over me, and I sighed self-reassuringly. I was going to survive.
I looked around. I could tell that there were only students in this bus. Most of them were kitsune, with only one or two human-kitsune. Two human-kitsune, to be exact.
The only seat left was one next to a human-kitsune. The human-kitsune was rather handsome, even with kitsune standards. He had jet-black hair that made his pale skin look even paler. His amber eyes were close to gold, which made him seem kitsune, but his scent gave him away. His eyes were deep, fathomless, with a hint of wisdom.
I liked him immediately. I was also instantaneously disgusted with myself, as pure kitsune were not supposed to like human-kitsune. Racist, I know, but it was decided by the highest order of kitsune.
I walked towards the seat and sat down, avoiding eye contact. When I looked up, a girl was staring at me. She had straight black hair, and the features of a Japanese student. The only thing different was that she had gold eyes, which all of the kitsune have.
My name is Minori, her telepathic voice sounded in my head.
She laughed mentally. You have such a common name, Kojoro.
Don't worry; your looks will outshine my commonness.
She winced mentally. I know. I'm not particularly pretty for a kitsune.
I'm not judging you.
We stared at each other for a while.
Did you transfer? Minori asked.
Where did you come from?
Do you mean as in where was I born or where was I before I transferred?
She grinned. I grinned.
I was born in Tianshi. I transferred from Renton. The school I transferred from was called School for Kitsune and Kitsune Hybrids. I paused for a while. Don't worry; I'm going to continue the press conference. I have a sister. Her name is Primrose Petunia, but we call her Prim for short. It's an uncommon name, but my father's favorite flower is a primrose.
My mother and father are divorced. I was thirty-seven then. We had a problem about going to which school, since my father thought that the School for Kitsune and Kitsune Hybrids was racist. He thought that we should accept kitsune hybrids for the way they are and the school name sounded as if it was laughing at the kitsune hybrids. My mother agreed, but she still wanted me to go to the school.
Prim was only ten years old at the time. She didn't even get to know her father very well.
There was grim silence as that sunk in. The cheerful chatter of the bus seemed ominous, as I recounted the shouting and banging when the arguments between Mother and Father had began. I was only thirty-seven years old when they divorced, leaving me broken. However, I had accepted the truth, and it helped. A few years later, I was myself again. Changed slightly, but still me. And as close to the original me as ever.
Which clan are you in?
I'm in the time clan. I answered. The Kitsune Clan Senior Facilitator separates each kitsune into different clans, depending on their birth.
I'm in the river clan.
That's good. Sometimes time and river are put together.
Which clan is your sister?
She's in the Earth clan.
Wow, your parents divorcing must have been hard. Kitsune of the Earth Clan hated change.
She was only ten then. There wasn't much of an impact on her.
It's my turn.
Your turn for what?
"Off you go, kids!" a fat kitsune with golden hair (cases in which kitsune are fat are very rare) shouted.
We picked up our bags. I was about to walk out, when a soft voice asked, "You're new, aren't you?"
My suspicions were proven correct when I saw the human-kitsune gazing at me.
"Yeah. Yeah, I am," I answered. "Are you?"
"I'm Kojoro," I held out a hand.
"My name is Jacob Williams. Do you have a last name?"
I shook my head. "Kitsune don't have last names."
"I see. Which clan are you in?"
"I'm in the river clan. You?"
I laughed, trying to make it sound as mesmerizing as possible. "Nice to know."
His eyes showed that he was mystified by my delight. "I'll see you."
I made a sign that kitsune used commonly as a goodbye sign. It hadn't occurred to me yet that Jacob might not know the sign, since he was a human-kitsune.
"What does that mean?" he asked quizzically.
"It means goodbye, Jacob. You'll learn in school." I smiled at him.
Jacob walked out the bus door. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I whirled around.
"What are you doing talking to him?" Minori hissed. My mind instantly filled with 'blank', which always happens when I'm surprised. I hated it when people were racist, especially when the target was nice.
I shook my head. "I don't know."
"Let's just go."
We were the last ones in the bus. I hauled up my bag and slung it onto my shoulder. Minori was walking out, and I followed her.
I have a brother. His name is Di Parentela.
Why did your parents name him that?
They had a friend named Monee, and she had a son. Her son was unstable, and she suspected that he wanted to run away. One day, he did. She was heartbroken. It was only a month until his birthday, and he would have turned eighteen by then. After a month, the day before his birthday, the police came to tell her that her son died in a car crash. They didn't tell her how they knew he was her son—he never carries his ID or passport around, Monee was certain of it-and we still don't know if it was a suicide or not.
Oh. I gulped. That story was sad, maybe even more tragic than a five-year old's parents being divorced and that certain five-year old not getting to know her own father.
It's okay. Now we're even on the tragic story encounters.
Yeah. Wish we weren't. Then less sad things would have happened.
We reached the classroom for first period. Ah, teleportation. I wish that my enemy Koan was here so I could teleport (rather reminds me of Apparating in Harry Potter) into his face and kick that miserable smug smile off his face.
"So where's your star ball?" I asked, propping my head up with my hand. Minori and I were conveniently sat together-wonderful!
Minori grinned. "Ah, right here." She plucked out a round, yellow ball. Inside, the liquid was about half full-not nearly as much as me. A star ball was a ball. It contained, basically, liquid power. A kitsune puts their power into it. If you get hold of a star ball, you can control the kitsune. A kitsune could die if you pour out the liquid.
"Silence!" That shout, honestly, scared the heck out of me. A teacher limped into the room. "Now, you brats, SILENCE! SILENCE, SILENCE, SILENCE!"
I gulped. I regretted sitting at the front row, suddenly. The teacher looked around, growling.
How did he get into this school as a teacher? It's not a public school, is it?
"I'm your new teacher, Hazuko. I expect high respect and absolutely no arguing. No talking back, or else I teleport you to miles away and you pathetic ants of foxes can attempt to get back."
Oh boy. I'm dead.
The registration passed quickly. It was strange that registration happened after first period. When we got our schedules, I decided to snoop a bit. I gripped my star ball tightly and searched Jacob's mind. I saw that we had eighth period together, and Minori had all her classes with me. Well, that's what you get when you're in matching clans.
I smiled, baring my teeth. It looked like eighth period was going to be very interesting.
After a week of school, you could say I was interested in Jacob Williams. He was funny, smart, and had even more positive qualities than most pure kitsune boys. He befriended me at eighth period. I couldn't forget what happened.
"Minori and Fento, Isha and Reurk, Hash and Mansur, Jacob Williams and Kojoro…" The teacher ticked off every pair he had assigned.
I was horror struck. Jacob and I were partners. Oh, no. There goes my reputation. Kojoro, shut it. You don't care whether or not you're partnered with a human-kitsune as long as he's smart. Don't be racist, my mind scolded me instantly. Guilt washed over me.
"You and I are partners, huh?" Jacob had come over to sit next to me. I tucked a lock of dark wavy hair behind my ear nervously. What is wrong with me? Why am I nervous in front of a human-kitsune?
"Yeah, I guess," I replied, my eyes still on my pencil.
"Don't look so upset. I am Jacob the Mighty, after all." I looked up to see him smile and knew that he was joking.
I grinned. "Yeah, I guess," I repeated, intending to make a joke out of this semi-awkward atmosphere.
"So, if we're partners-"
"These pairs shall be partners for the rest of the year!" The teacher announced.
Jacob grinned and resumed his sentence. "-for the rest of the year, then we might as well be friends."
"Yeah, I guess," I said for the third time.
Jacob half sighed half laughed at me. "Why do you keep saying that?"
"Nothing else to say, I guess."
"Yeah, I guess."
I laughed loudly. The bell rang, suddenly, frightening the daylights out of me. School was over.
"Walk you to your house?"
"How do you know it's not a mile away from yours?" I questioned. I noticed that I sounded slightly challenging.
"I checked. Believe me, we're neighbors."
"I'll go tell Minori."
Minori came charging over.
"Speak of the devil," I sighed.
"What-"Minori stopped when she saw Jacob. "Hi!" she smiled widely.
Smart, smart girl.
"Minori, do you mind if I walk home with Jacob?" I asked, trying to sound persuasive.
Minori studied us suspiciously, as if we were going on a road trip. "Yeah, I guess."
Jacob and I busted out laughing.
"What?" she complained in a rather whiny tone. "What?"
"Nothing," I indicated her to leave.
Minori walked away, casting one last suspicious glance over her shoulder at us.
Jacob and I looked at each other. It was one of those moments when you can't help but laugh. Jacob started chuckling again, but I knew better than to be locked inside school- yes, unfortunately, I speak from experience. I grabbed his hand and started to pull.
A tingle went through my arm as if I'd been stunned. Jacob stopped laughing instantly, and we stared at each other.
"Let's go," I whispered.
"Yeah," he muttered back.
We walked over silently, and I wondered why he wasn't talking. The silence was chilling.
"Bye," he murmured when we got to my house.
"Bye," I replied, my voice sounding louder than usual in the silence.
"So your house is really next to mine," I began, attempting to start a conversation. "Glad to know-"
"Don't," he stalked away.
I stood there, speechless. What did he want me not to do? He was being such a jerk.
I ran to my house, holding back tears, which had sprung up for no reason. In my hurry, I didn't even notice Jacob glancing back at me, a hint of regret and sadness in his eyes.
"Do we really have to do this?" Minori whined.
"Yes," I replied harshly. "Now shush." I couldn't stop thinking about Jacob and how he had treated me. I had to find out why, which is why I was ridiculously sneaking through the night, hoping that something would happen in Jacob's house that would give me a clue of why he was so distant.
Minori followed me. I walked silently, with my training from Mother. I had taken a sprig from my tree-kin to boost my power. Minori had done the same.
"I don't even know Jacob Williams!" Minori burst out.
"But I do. Now shush."
"Please, can I go home?"
"Shush. We're getting close."
I exhaled silently. We were wearing black clothes, like a ninja, with ski masks. I knew that Mother wouldn't have approved of spying on Jacob Williams. That was why I had slipped out at night when Mother though that I was asleep. Sweet little Prim wouldn't even have thought that I could go out through the window. Mother still hadn't told Prim of my unusual supernatural- if I wasn't already supernatural- abilities.
"Look, if Jacob's asleep, then we go back. If the lights are still on and we can qualify as not peeping Tanya, then we spy on him." I explained for the third time.
"Fine." Minori crossed her arms over her chest, and she nearly fell over from the unsteady balance beam, which we had to go over to get to Jacob's yard in front of his house.
Finally, we were at the fence. I could climb easily, with so many footholds, but Minori wasn't trained as I was.
"Climb." I still hoped that she could.
I quickly devised a plan. "Put your foot in my hand."
I interlocked my fingers, creating a foothold. Minori stepped on them reluctantly.
"Put your other foot there." I pointed at a foothold.
Minori nodded. The foothold was high enough to not break her bones or pull a hamstring if she only jumped with the other foot.
I suddenly threw my arms upwards, simultaneously shouting, "Jump!"
Minori wouldn't have needed herself to jump anyway. My strength was enough to heave her onto the fence. She dangled awkwardly, but I could tell that she would be strong enough to hold on.
We were almost there.
Strange, I thought. I can almost swear that I just heard Kojoro's voice out there. She was shouting something that sounded like, "Jump!" but why would she be saying that?
I couldn't sleep. Not after I had upset Kojoro. Of course, I should keep her as far away as possible. I didn't want to destroy her reputation. Besides, she was a pure kitsune. I was human.
I heard a thud. That made me even more suspicious. I crept out to the window, and peered outside.
I didn't see much, but there seem to be two shadows, or two silhouettes…
"Down!" I hissed at Minori. We both dropped to the ground. I watched carefully as the dark head poked itself out of the window.
"Stay down!" I whispered harshly. Minori had begun to lift herself up.
"For what?" she complained.
"Jacob's looking out the window."
I didn't answer. Instead, I continued to stare at Jacob. Finally, after what seemed like an hour, he stopped looking around and went back to his bed.
"Okay. All clear," I told Minori.
She snorted. "You sound like a military officer."
We crept forward.
"Minori!" I complained.
"Sorry, sorry! How would I know if there's a pine leaf?"
I would. I thought. I wondered again about my supernatural abilities. Mother said that I had inherited it from my Father, but Father never mentioned him being unusually agile, stealthy, and having the ability to notice everything without being preoccupied with it. I was glad about the abilities, as it let me spy on other people very easily. Still, I had no idea why I had brought Minori along. Maybe I wouldn't be able to face it myself.
We were finally at the wall. It was brick, so there were many places where you could place your foot and climb. I positioned myself instinctively, and, like a gymnast, I sprinted forward and sprung up. My muscles bunched up and released. I found myself sitting on the ledge right next to Jacob's window. I would have preferred a higher spot, but I had to help Minori get up first. That was a task to be completed with difficulty.
I looked down at her. Minori's mouth opened. Suddenly, I sensed something coming near. Of course, it was Jacob.
"Down!" I hissed at Minori, and plastered myself against the wall. Silently, I blessed my aunt for buying me this outfit, even though she thought that I would only be using it for Halloween nights.
Jacob's head appeared for the second time. He looked left and right, and then down. Thankfully, Minori had followed my instructions and she had come up with an even more brilliant idea to hide under the ledge.
Jacob shook his head. He went back into his room, and then I relaxed. Minori walked out from under the shadow. Immediately, I sensed Jacob coming out again… but the radar was wrong because it said that he was coming from my far left.
Suddenly, the air shimmered, and I saw Jacob standing on his balcony. My mouth popped open and I realized that he used illusion to shield his balcony.
"Who's there?" he called into the night.
I resisted the urge to say, "No one."
Jacob's head snapped downwards. I had heard the tiniest but eligible rustle of the grass, but I had no idea how Jacob had heard it too. The rustle came from Minori, who had thrown herself onto the ground when she saw the balcony and was creeping towards the bottom of the ledge again.
I wanted to scream "Idiot!" when I realized Minori's intentions. If she stood up, Jacob would see her. She should be under the balcony, not the ledge. Then I realized that it was too late. Jacob had seen her.
Hello, people. I apologize about sudden scene breaks. FictionPress doesn't include those things I put in. This inconvenience is only temporary, thank you very much. And this is edited, so, thank you, eatmyawesome, Kay Iscah, alyxbee, and lookingwest for helping me edit.
And, please review. I've checked the visitors for my story... In three months, there were 86 visitors! Review, would you, 'cause I can find out where you live...
Edit: 3/29/2013 *squeals* Thank you, whoever you are! :D Now someone read all the chapters, although it's strange I have 6 visitors for my 8th chapter, while only one for most of them.