The Solitude of Remorse
Chapter 1 - I don't I don't I don't
I stood in a beautiful green field as the sun sank in the distant horizon. My body felt weightless as I gazed across the open field. No one was there except for one man. He was wearing a hooded jacket with his back turned away from me. I didn't know why, but my heart was racing the moment I saw his broad back. My body began moving on its own as I slowly approached him. It was a feeling of weightlessness and I felt like I was in a state of perfect bliss. Who was this person... he radiates the light of someone not from this world. He radiates the light of an angel...
"Yes, I am indeed an angel..."
He slowly turns to face me and my heart begins to race faster. However, a brilliant light suddenly blinds my sight as I am taken aback by an unknown pressure.
"...the Angel of Death."
"Ms. Hayashibara, it's very unladylike to sleep in the middle of class."
AHHH!! That wrenched voice is speaking to me from above! Don't tell me that I fell asleep in Mrs. Delilah's etiquette class again! Ok, it's time to assess the situation. My eyes are closed and I have my head in my arms, I was presumably asleep just moments before. But I probably shouldn't reveal that I'm awake just yet. It pains me to realize that I don't even know where I am right now. There's only one solution to avoid a serious scolding.
"Ahhh... Cherry Blossoms..."
...and that solution is to pretend that I'm sleep talking. Genius!
"Is she dreaming of Japan?"
"That seems to be the case."
"But wait, has she even been in Japan yet? She was born here in England, right?"
"That's a good point. Maybe she's dreaming of something perverted?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, Cherry Blossom could be another word for... something naught---"
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT!?!" I spring back to life with a deafening roar. As my body rises and as my blood boils, I pick up a nearby flask filled with an unknown chemical and wave it over my head. Everybody in the laboratory cowers in fear as they all scream like children.
"Ms. Hayashibara..." Eh? That voice again? "...it's very unladylike to threaten people with hydrochloric acid."
I slowly turn my head and see a terrifying face of an undead witch who's probably a hundred thousand years old.
"...What did you just call me?"
"Oh my, did I say that out loud? Pardon my rudeness, madam." I cover my mouth as I laugh nervously. That's ladylike, right?
"Man... that was a pain..."
The school's open field is a welcome new atmosphere compared to that cramped and smelly chemistry lab. I love being attuned with nature and I hate being indoors. Perhaps it's just my thing to enjoy wide-open spaces like this because of the freedom I can feel. The green grass, the blue sky, the fresh air, the distant clouds, the subtle noises of the earth... these simple things represent my interest of the wide blue world.
Unfortunately for me, my life as a Witch contradicts the beauty that I try so hard to appreciate.
My name is Miromi Hayashibara and I am the current and only daughter of the Hayashibara bloodline of magi. We are not a powerful lineage of magi, nor are we that large. But despite our small status, we still try our hardest to become known. My mother is an English woman by the name of Meredith Ross, and my Japanese father is named Hideki Hayashibara. Japanese and English blood runs through my veins. This is evident because of my black hair and blue eyes. It probably sounds boastful, but I'm actually quite proud of this look.
It's very... dignified.
"So what were you dreaming of this time?" Chiaki asked me as she ate some ice cream.
"I don't know, I can't recall much of it."
"What do you recall then?"
"Me waking up to the voice of that witch." I let out a low growl as an image of that wrenched teacher flashes in my mind.
"Sigh... Miromi, you should learn to stay awake in class. What teacher said was right; it's very unladylike to act like that in public. If you couldn't handle your drowsiness, then you should have excused yourself to the infirmary." Chiaki keeps eating the ice cream... don't make me take a big bite out of that thing.
"Sleep in the nurse's office? What am I, a grade-schooler?" I puff my chest and pound it boastingly. "I am the proud heir to the Hayashibara bloodline, if I fall asleep in public; I fall asleep in public WITH PRIDE."
Chiaki's ice-cream falls to the ground as she looks at me with a deadpan face. We remain in that position for what felt like a minute. Then, her cell phone rings. That annoying ringtone plays and I cover my ears because of how irritatingly cute it is.
"Moshimoshi?" Ah! I know that word, that's Japanese for 'hello?'!
She speaks in my native language, which I ironically cannot understand. It seems that her dad's already here to pick her up. I wonder though, why I've never seen his face before. Chiaki stands up and excuses herself as she runs off. She seems to be in a hurry.
"Oh well..." there's nothing else to do and the sun is pretty much setting. My own ride isn't here yet so I guess I'll hang back and lie down in the grassy field for a while. I close my legs to make sure that nobody gets to take a peek of the goodness within.
Now what do we think about... Ah, that dream. They say that if you try hard enough, you can continue a dream that you were having before. I don't think that rule applies to daydreaming though... but, what the heck. I close my eyes but immediately open them.
"No! What am I thinking? Sleeping in the middle of a field in school! Someone might... take advantage..."
I sit up and look around suspiciously. The soccer team is practicing over there, and the basketball team is practicing over there... The volleyball team is practicing behind me. Isn't it convenient that all of our sports teams can be found in the same field? Oh well, I guess I should go find somewhere else to stay for the time being. This is a pretty large school so there's a dozen or so places I can go for a nap.
"Miromi? What are you doing here, all alone beneath mid-summer's breeze?" I hear an annoying voice call out my name. I tilt my head and see a handsome blonde man with pale white skin leaning over me. He speaks in a poetic tone capable of melting a woman's heart within seconds.
"Er... I'm just here waiting for someone." Quick! Think of an excuse!
"But it's chilling out here. Come..." he offers me his hand as he kneels on one knee. "...I shall take you home with me; you'll catch a cold out here."
It feels like a hundred degrees out here, Sherlock.
"I think I'll pass for now." I slowly stand up and begin to walk away. But he stops me by grabbing my waist and pulling me towards him. His breath mixes with mine... he smells like cheap cologne.
"I shall be honest. I have always looked at you with interest, Ms. Hayashibara. Through my days in this school of ours, I have always admired your beauty from the distance. Your smile captivates me to no end... your radiant beauty captures my heart your... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..." His words are so corny I'm slowly losing the ability to comprehend them.
The man speaking 'romantically' before me right now, is famous throughout the school for his looks and his intelligence. He's pretty much the most desired male student in the campus. But I don't care about that because his actions always feel so... fake. He's pretty successful with women but at often times, his pick-up lines sound like they were taken from a Chinese Fortune Cookie.
"...I have a confession to make. It might sound too sudden..." Is he sparkling? Where are those sparkles coming from? That's rather terrifying. Does he have some kind of skin disease? "...but I believe that I love---"
His words are transformed into a loud scream as a vehicle crashes into his rear. The car must have been moving really fast, since it just threw him into the air. His screaming voice echoes in the distance as a train of sparkles is formed into a rainbow. I watch with both pity and amazement.
"Wow, that guy was sparkling uncontrollably. Does he have a skin disease?"
"I'm not too sure, but it sure looks like it."
"Ah. My family should look into his background; it might have been caused by some unknown magic." The car's driver, Adrianne Knightstein speaks to me as his hand hangs idly down the car's window. He looks really tired as he looks at me and says, "Get inside. Our parents are having one of their little meetings again."
I walk around the car and enter through the passenger seat.
"Oh alright, but why do you need me?"
"Apparently they want us to sit in. It's probably something really big. Like, they'll make a big announcement about something irrelevant." He shrugs as he puts the car into drive.
Zachariah Adrianne Knightstein, the current heir of the Knightstein Noble Family. He and I are 17 years of age; we both possess blue eyes and black hair. People often mistake us for either a couple or siblings. The truth, however, is that he's merely a childhood friend. We've grown together ever since the Hayashibara family became 'a part' of the Knightstein family.
You see, the Knightstein family is not like the other Noble Houses, who only teach their ancient magic exclusively to members of their family. The Knightsteins are different because they implore lesser clans to become 'satellite' families. These satellite families are reviewed thoroughly for imperfections and other critical factors. If your family is lucky enough to be selected, then your family is entitled to learn some of the secrets of the Knightsteins. It might not sound much, but knowledge granted directly from a Noble House is actually very sought-after in the world of magi.
"Do you have any idea what they're meeting about?"
"Nope. Not a clue."
"What's the matter with you? You sound stressed, don't tell me you're nervous about this." I teasingly poke his shoulder and he replies by rolling up a magazine and smacking me with it. How he managed to do that while driving is beyond me.
"I'm not nervous. I'm just a little pissed." He clucks his tongue as he stops for a red light.
"You pissed? We should probably drop by a department store to get you a new pair of pants." Giggling, I raise my own rolled-up magazine in defense, successfully blocking his attack. He gets annoyed and begins to attack more viciously. Unfortunately for him, I've always been better in swordplay, and thus, am able to parry every single one of his blows.
"Gah--!! Screw this!" He throws the magazine he held in the back and drives forward.
I hit him on the head once before continuing the conversation.
"Okay, seriously though, why are you pissed?"
"Something happened... in my last mission." He sighs. "I was successfully able to get the secondary target, but when I was about to go after the primary, someone intervened and got her."
"Who do you think was responsible?"
"It was Rhys and Miara. Miara was waving at me with a big smile on her face when I went over to check things out." He lowers his head in defeat and gives an exaggerated sigh. "Damn Kill Stealers."
"Why don't you just kill them back?" I say in a serious tone, I'm kidding of course.
"Hell no! Noble Families never show hostility towards each other. Aside from that, there's no way I'm going against such Assassins. They'll probably do something and HAX their way through my magic. I can imagine it now, the both of them teasing me with something like, 'Hey! We just realized that your magic uses mana so we invented a MAANAAA VACCUUUMMMM...!! Mwahahahaha--!!"
He raises his hands into the air and tries his best to act like a mad scientist. Hey, keep your hands on the steering wheel. Heeding my telepathic message, he lowers his hands and continues to drive normally.
The both of us fell quiet after that. I could already see the Knightstein Castle in the distance. The large stone building towered the surrounding forest. The ancient structure stood in the center of the white forest, untouched by time. Its black stone was in a strange contrast with the whiteness of the surrounding landscape. This is where we live. I've long since gotten used to the ominous aura the castle possessed, but when I first came here, that aura chilled my bones to the very core.
Terrifying things have happened within that building and on the land it stands on.
The guards salute us as we pass the main gate into the winding garden. Even the plants within this garden are as white as snow. You can literally feel the magical energy seeping away from the crevices on their surface. Only experienced magi can endure the draining power of this castle.
"Come on, let's hurry up and get going. I think they already started."
Adrianne and I get out of the car after he parks it on their front door. I look back and see a valet park the car for him. Wow, that was unexpected. I haven't seen him before. His parents probably hired those valets because of his habit of never parking the car properly.
"Hey what are you laughing at?"
"Nothing, nothing, let's get going!" I push him forward with enthusiasm into his own home.
My hands feel damp.
The meeting room is found deep within the winding halls of the castle. It's dark in here, as the only source of light comes from ancient torches hanging on the walls. The entrance to the room was a pair of large wooden doors lined with metal braces. Man, those things made it look like we were entering a dungeon. But considering the circumstance, it might as well be one.
A pair of maids dressed in black greeted us at the entrance.
"Yo, dad there yet?" Adrianne pats one of the maids on the shoulder. The girl looks at him with a deadpan face.
"Sir Knightstein, please change your clothing. It is improper for you to meet your parents dressed in that." Wow, she's pretty cute.
Anyway, I look at what Adrianne's wearing. He's wearing a simple black jacket opened down to reveal a white polo underneath. Aside from that, he's also wearing a pair of brown shorts with an uncountable number of pockets. He honestly doesn't fit the image of an Emperor's son right now; he looks like a commoner.
"No! I refuse!" He protested to no avail. He was already being pulled by the collar across the floor by the cute maid lady. "Miromi! You go on ahead; I'll follow in a while!"
I watch him with a blank expression. As he disappears into the darkness, I raise my hand and take a sniff. This is indeed the smell of human blood. How depressing, he really did just come from an assassination mission. With that set aside, I now focus on the scary-looking door in front of me.
The other maid is watching me with cold eyes. I can see her from the corner of my eye. Boo.
"Alright, here we go. I hope he hurries up." I slowly nudge the door open and peek inside.
Unlike the dark hallway I'm in, the room is actually well furnished and lit. Above the room hangs a floating chandelier bathing the room with a melancholic blue light. In the center of this room were six chairs encircling a single table. Seated on these chairs were my parents, and a single white haired woman. Hold on, Adrianne's parents aren't here?
"Ms. Hayashibara, please take a seat."
His sister's voice surprises me and I immediately stand straight as an arrow. Her hand motions me to come. I comply and move like a machine that hasn't been oiled in days. My parents greet me with small smiles as I sit between them.
"Glad you could make it, where's my idiot brother?"
"M---Mayumi, he went off to change."
"Ah, alright then." She shrugs nonchalantly as she stares at the hovering chandelier above us. Mayumi Antoinette Knightstein is Adrianne's 22 year old sister. I don't know her that well, but she's pretty famous (and infamous) in the world of magi. She's one of the strictest people I know, second only to my mother. She's very beautiful and refined, I bet that if you saw her walking in the streets, then you'd immediately recognize her as royalty. Her snow white hair drapes over her shoulders and breasts.
"We'll wait for a few minutes, are you fine with that?" I could make out a small smile.
"Yes, of course."
"Miromi, we are so proud of you for making it this far." Dad holds my hand and squeezes it tightly…
"Yes, this is possibly the best thing that's happened to our family since we first discovered magic!" …while mom hugs me and squeezes me even tighter.
I'm completely taken in shock, and I don't know what to say. They both look so happy, evident by their genuine smiles. I hug my mother back, I don't know why but I just do it. What could possibly be this announcement? I'm so eager to hear this… I really am.
The creaking sound of the opening door brings me back to my senses. Adrianne just walked in.
"Hey, I'm in." He's now dressed in something better, an expensive looking suit to be precise.
But I pay little attention to what he's wearing because I'm really excited to hear the announcement that his sister's about to make. Adrianne himself seems to be quite curious as he's leaning rather closely to his sister.
"Stay away, you're uncomfortably close." Mayumi says with an irritated snort. That's unladylike.
"Oh don't mind me, I have a sister complex." Adrianne's teasing smile is priceless; too bad it doesn't last long since an elbow is quickly driven into his face. As he rolls around in his chair in pain, Mayumi leans forward and places her hands on the table.
"I know that the two of you are really curious about what I'm about to say. So let me just get to the point…"
"Nee-san! Nee-san! I have a question!"
"What is it!?" Mayumi snaps at her brother while pointing a finger at him.
"Uh, uh… where're mom and dad? Aren't they supposed to be here instead?"
Mayumi folds her hands and faces us. "An issue arose that needed to be attended to."
"Ah…" Adrianne nods. "…carry on then."
Their interaction entertains me. The both of them are pretty much the walking definition of quarreling siblings. Seeing them argue with each other makes me imagine what it would be like to have a brother. They just seem to have so much fun fighting like that. But then again, being an only child does have its perks.
"As I was saying…" Alright, back to Mayumi's big announcement. Yay!
"…I'll get right to the point. We here at the Knightstein household have been impressed by the 35th Satellite Family of Hayashibara. Your family, Miromi, has contributed a great deal to our investments and interests. You yourself have surpassed our expectations because of your rapid advancement in magic…"
D'awww, don't say that, I'll blush!
"…like my brother, you have reached the rank of Elite Magus in the tender age of 16. This is a very impressive feat, your knowledge and your skills are comparable to that of a magus belonging in a Noble Family. The Hayashibara's involvement in our movement, along with your impressive show of power, has prompted my father to give your family a reward you cannot refuse."
I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it!
"That reward is the inclusion of your family into ours. That is, the Hayashibara bloodline will be formally recognized as relatives of the Knightstein bloodline. Essentially, your family will be assimilated into ours, and you will receive the same benefits and rights that we Knightsteins possess."
Oh… my… God! This is the greatest day of my life! No wonder my parents were so joyously happy! This is worth writing into the annals of history; this is technically the birth of the 9th Noble Family! This is the birth of the Hayashibara Nobility! I'm so happy I think I'm going to cry!
Adrianne himself shows his respect and happiness by clapping his hands.
"And we are going to make this assimilation possible…"
How? How are we going to seal the deal? Tell meeeeee…!!
"…through the marriage of Adrianne Knightstein and Miromi Hayashibara."
Chapter 1 - End
Male Persona: Isn't it ironic how the male persona is writing from a female's perspective, while the female persona is writing from a guy's point of view? Anyway, there's a button down here that you should be pressing in order to express your support. :3