Masamune ran her hand along the cold steel pole as the sun's morning rays filtered through her window in her bedroom. She sighed as she put it down, standing up from her bed. She looked around the room sadly. It saddened her to leave her home, where she had grown up. She shook her head to get rid of the memories, picking up two bundles wrapped in white cloth. She looped them onto either side of the pole, placing pole on one shoulder whilst carrying it out. The smell of pancakes wafted out of the kitchen as she passed it. She stopped and sighed, placing her luggage down and walked into the kitchen.
"You're making this harder, you know," she said dully.
Miss Nanami turned with a startled look then sighed, a sad smile on her face.
"I know," she whispered "But I have to make sure your last meal will be something special."
She placed the plate of pancakes in Masamune's empty chair. Masamune swallowed, refusing to cry. She had been extremely attached to Miss Nanami since she was a baby. It hurt to think that she was leaving now to discover which rank she belonged to. She sat down in front of the pancakes, surrendering to her adopted mother's cooking. She sniffed as she took the honey and layered the pancake in a thin layer of her favourite treat.
"I will visit often," she promised, rolling the pancake into a roll after she had finished applying the honey.
Miss Nanami smiled softly and shook her head.
"You don't have to do that," she said.
Masamune gave her a meaningful look as she began eating.
"I will," she promised "I want to. I know you're lonely here and of course, I'll be missing you a lot."
Miss Nanami gave her a sad smile.
"Oh, Masamune," she whispered "You're such a good daughter, I'm glad I was the one to mother you."
Masamune bit back a sob with a hard swallow. A few moments of silence passed as Masamune bit her lip, looking at Miss Nanami after taking another bite.
"Don't smile in such a sad way," she said with a shaky voice "You should smile in a happier way more often."
Miss Nanami sighed, shrugging.
"I cannot help it," she confessed "Every time I feel happy, I remember him and my smile turns out sad."
Masamune sighed, placing her fork and knife down, her pancake finished.
"I promise," she said "Once I find the right Crystal Sword for me, I will come back."
Miss Nanami's smile seemed to brighten.
"I will be waiting," she said.
Masamune nodded once, getting up. She walked out of the kitchen and picked up her luggage.
Masamune slowly turned and her eyes widened as she saw the handmade scarf in Miss Nanami's hands.
"It's rather cold in the Garnet clan…" she said softly.
Masamune dropped her luggage. That was the last straw. She lunged forward and enveloped Miss Nanami in a hug, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"You're too nice," she sobbed "I promise, whoever the bastard was that left you will pay sincerely if I find him…"
"Oh, Masamune," whispered Miss Nanami with a quivering voice "I am not sure if you'll know if it's him if you ever meet him…"
Masamune looked up at Miss Nanami.
"Describe him. Does he have any scars? Any injuries? Birth marks? Anything I can identify him with?"
Miss Nanami sighed as she looked up.
"His wielding hand, which is his left…"
Masamune blinked as she looked at her wielding hand. She was left-handed too.
"…is completely covered in burns."
Masamune looked up at her with wide eyes.
"He was too weak for the Sapphire Clan's Crystal Sword?"
Miss Nanami nodded gravely.
"He was too ashamed to show his face to me for weeks," she said "Then he set off to find his true Crystal Sword."
"Did he find it then?"
It was easier to find a person's Crystal Sword when going down the ladder. Miss Nanami shrugged.
"He didn't tell me anything when he came back," she explained "He never spoke a word as he tried to start a family. Unfortunately…"
Her eyes brimmed with tears.
"I discovered I was infertile. And he told me…"
Masamune tilted her head to the side.
"He had gone down to the Peridot Clan, and that Crystal Sword even said he was too weak to wield it."
Masamune's eyes were as wide as saucers. The Peridot Clan's Crystal Sword was at the bottom of the ranks.
"He showed his hand to me and it had been terribly injured from all the swords that had rejected him. The next day, he had left. His note told me that he wanted to find a woman who was capable of giving him children."
Masamune's eyes narrowed.
"I will kill him when I find him," she vowed darkly.
Miss Nanami gripped her shoulders.
"The art of Crystal Sword fighting isn't to be used for killing."
Masamune's eyes widened and she bowed her head.
"Sorry," she apologized "I got carried away."
Miss Nanami smiled as she watched Masamune pick up her luggage.
"Goodbye," she whispered.
Masamune sniffed as she turned to her.
They shared a sad smile before Masamune left the house, ready for her journey to find her true Crystal Sword.