Chapter 2

Zagiri was relaxing out in the sunshine on the balcony from her suite when she heard a knock. The middle aged beautiful woman turned around calling, "Come in!" As she did so. The door opened tentatively and her daughter walked in holding a book in her hands.

"Hello Mother." The young girl greeted with a smile. Zagiri nodded to the nearby chair next to her.

"What have you been doing this morning, dear daughter?"

"Just out with Kai. I took a walk down the beach this morning and ended up missing breakfast." Zagiri shook her head and looked up from her book with a disapproving frown.

"Breakfast is an important meal to have at the beginning of your day. Please try to eat something nutritious at least before going about with your day, Mizuko." She advised. Mizuko nodded, sitting back in her chair comfortably and opening her book.

"Lunch should be soon. It's just about noon, Mother." Zagiri nodded in agreement, checking the small golden watch on her wrist to confirm and looked at the book her daughter was holding.

"What book do you have today?" She asked curiously. Mizuko flipped the book over to reveal the cover of the book to her guardian. The book had a maroon red cover with the shadow of a ninja girl on the front. Across the front was the title, "Shadows in the Dark."

"It's my favorite. I've already read it multiple times, but I can't ever seem to get bored of the story. I find myself falling into its spell every time I open up to the first page." Mizuko replied. Zagiri nodded and turned away, frowning slightly. She found the book to be foreboding and intimidating. Mizuko didn't notice the change in expression and began to read happily. The two women sat in content silence, enjoying the warmth of spring and the stories of which they were reading.

After lunch, Mizuko went off to her room to study and Zagiri settled in the living room to think. Her adopted daughter was a puzzling character, even to her. The young girl had grown up around older people and she always had a positive way of looking at things when the situation was dire. It had been almost fourteen years since Zagiri had taken Mizuko into her care. The dark night, a crescent moon and the bloodshed she had seen that night all had plagued the middle aged woman with nightmares for weeks. If Gautier hadn't been there for her, Zagiri would've been gone already. Turning to look out the window at the rose gardens, Zagiri wondered what else could happen to Mizuko in the coming future.