For My Maiden

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Author's Notes:

Hehe... Hi ya'll!! So this all started when I can't seem to write anymore poems, then an idea hit me! Why not try my luck in writing fanfiction? This is an original one, seeing that it is in the original anime/manga section. I hope you like it. I know I really suck at writing things! ^^;;; Please don't be mean at the reviews ^_^;;; I know I'm a sucky writer! Oh well. I deserve what I get... Well, on with the story!

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Chapter One: Dreams Which Were Not So Sweet

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A young girl stood in the midst of an open area, a heavy mist pooling on the floor. The girl had raven-black hair to the middle of her back and soft blue eyes. She wore a white dress, the clothe barely warming her small body. She took a few steps, trying to find a way out of the foggy area she was in.

~Ting.~

She whirled around to where she thought the sound had come from, only to see mist.

~Ting.~

This time it came from the right. Running towards the now continuous sound, a lone figure emerged from the mist, its features steadily becoming clearer as she neared. Suddenly, the chime-like sound stopped, the mist around her clearing. Soon she saw the figure take a step, then another. As though frozen in place, the girl could only watch as the figure came near, its form becoming clearer and clearer.

'A woman?' the girl thought.

Are you afraid of me? a soft, whispery voice said.

The girl's eyes widened as she realized that the voice came from her head. The woman smiled at her, a friendly glow in her silver eyes. The girl slowly shook her head, licking her lips nervously. The woman stepped closer, causing the girl to move back.

You needn't be afraid, little maiden. I will not harm you.

Swallowing the lump in her throat, the girl nodded and straightened up. For the first time, she caught glimpse of the mysterious woman, her whole form now visible. She wore a white silken top, the cloth stopping right below her breasts, showing her slim stomach. From her hips to her ankles was a silk skirt, a long slit showing her slender legs from the thighs down. Gold bracelets were around her ankles and on her upper forearm, a matching necklace about her neck.

Narrowing her eyes, she could barely distinguish the four gossamer scarves floating about her, the transparent cloths weaving lazily about her body. She wore no shoes, and the girl could tell that she was floating on air.

Looking back up to her face, she saw that her silver eyes were accompanied by her long silver hair, the strands falling gracefully upon her shoulders and back. Suddenly, the chime resumed, the sound definitely coming from the woman.

You must be wondering what that is.

"Yes.. I am... It is what led me to you."

The woman smiled and nodded, then held out a crystal sphere to her, the orb chiming softly as it glows in her hands.

It is my heart.

"Your.. Heart?" she asked disbelievingly.

Well... This orb is what keeps us alive...

"'Us'?" she repeated.

My sisters and I. We solely depend upon these to live.

"Where are they now?"

That is what I wanted to discuss with you.

"Wait... This is just a dream!"

No, it isn't... My spirit talks to you whilst my body lay dormant in another location.

"A-alright... If you say so…"

Do you not believe me?

"I do! I promise, I do."

Very well.

The girl stiffened as the woman floated closer to her, pausing when they were just a few feet apart.

Do you know why I appear to you, Seijaku Ryne?

"Well... Wait! How did you know my name?"

I just do. she said.

"But…" she started, yet the woman raised a hand, gesturing that she should let her continue.

I need your help...

"My help?" she repeated again. "Of what use is my help to you?"

More than you will ever know, Seijaku-san.

"What can I do?"

Find me.. Find my sisters... The time draws near...

"What time? Where are they?"

Find them, Ryne... Please...

"I don't know where they are!" she exclaimed, frustrated. "How can I help if I haven't an idea of what to do?"

You will know...

"How?"

~Ting.~

The orb chimed again, this time, its glow growing dim.

~Ting.~

Help me...

~Ting.~

"How? Tell me…"

~Ting.~

You will know...

~Ting.~

Trust yourself...

~Ting.~

"Will you appear again?"

~Ting.~

Only when needed...

The place where they both stood steadily became darker, the figure of the woman receding back into the mist. The girl, now known as Ryne, frantically looked around, finding herself alone. The darkness engulfed her, mercilessly blocking out any light from her sight. Just as all hope seemed to have been impossible, a bright flash of light blinded her, pulling her back into the world of reality...

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The intense, golden light of the sun spilled into the room just as Ryne had slitted her eyes open.

She winced, and ducked back underneath her warm covers, taking shelter within the warm recesses. Soon a soft, shaking pressure was felt on her shoulder, a noticeable weight added on the bed.

"Ryne-chan…" a soft voice called. "Ryne-chan, get up now... It's morning."

"Okaasan.. I'm still sleepy.…" she mumbled, snuggling further into her blankets.

"Well, I just can't accept that answer." her mother said, tugging her blankets off her.

"OKAASAN!!!" she whined, grabbing her blankets. "It's cold! Don't do that!"

"I have to get you out of bed!"

Wrapping the covers around her, she looked up to her mother's face. "Why? It's not like anything importa---…"

"There is! Today is that day you meet your fiancé!!" she scolded. "Have you forgotten?!"

"Uhm... No?" she mumbled sheepishly.

"Ryne... you know very well that your father promised an.…"

"... arranged marriage with his best friend's son right after my sixteen birthday." she finished for her. "I know, Ma…"

"Then why do you keep acting as if it is nothing?" she pleaded.

"Because, it is nothing! To me, anyway!" she said, her fists clenching around her sheets tightly. "I don't want to marry... If I do.. I want him to love me as much as I love him…"

"Ryne-chan…" she whispered, sitting down beside her.

Ryne soon found warm arms around her, a soft kiss on the cheek following.

"I know, this isn't the best of things... but, your father wanted you to have a strong husband so that our name will live on for generations... So please, I wish there were another choice, but there aren't any... You have to do this…"

"Whatever I do, I'd still have to marry him, do I not?"

"Yes... " she said softly. "Gomen... If there were others way to prevent this without ending our family line.. I would choose that…"

"Demo... for the mean time... you'd just settle hurting me than others…"

"Ryne-chan…"

"Please leave, mother…" she whispered, her head bent, causing her bangs to cover her eyes. "I need to change…"

"I... Ryne…"

"Please…"

Sighing, she nodded her head and stood up, turning to the door. As soon as the door slid close, she threw her covers off of her, pulling herself out of bed.

'It's not fair... Why should I suffer while they reap the blessings of the family?' she thought bitterly, lifting the lid of her wooden chest open. Picking out a few, neatly folded clothes, she closed it once more and laid the articles on her bed, sitting down beside it.

'… 'tousan…' she thought sadly. 'Why'd you have to die…? Why did you have to make such an agreement with Katai-san…?'

Tossing her bed shirt aside, she wrapped the long clothe of the breast band about her entire torso, slipping a blue, short-sleeved haori over it. Pulling on a somewhat short, black skirt, she wrapped a thin, black clothe around her slim waist, using the fabric as a belt. Finishing it all off with age-worn, black boots, she headed out to the family room, where she supposed her fiancé would be waiting.

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Sighing quietly, a tall, young man turned towards the conversing adults for the millionth time, finding that they had not once changed what they discussed. Shaking his head, he looked out into the window again, taking in all the beautiful scenery the lush land had to offer. The stillness of the atmosphere made it quite easy to overhear a few pieces of the conversation.

"--- she's also beautiful---"

"--- wonderful hunter! ---- housewife for him? ---"

"--- children they would bring!--- oh--- wondrous occasion!---"

Rolling his emerald eyes heavenward in sarcasm, he ran a hand through his long, golden hair, sighing once again from boredom. Soon soft footsteps could be heard from outside the sliding, wooden door. The footsteps abruptly stopped, the swish of the doors following. He looked towards the entrance of the room, and in the next minute, all he can do is gape…

"Ah, Ryne! So good of you to come join us!" her mother, Kasumi Seijaku said.

The young girl only nodded, walking towards her mother to take a seat next to her. Glancing around, she nodded to the aged man before her, acknowledging his presence.

"You must be Katai-san." she said, a polite smile on her face. "Pleasure to meet you."

"The exact same thing goes for me, as well!" he said, a hearty laugh escaping him. Noticing the amazed look on his son's face, he inwardly grinned and cleared his throat, catching the younger man's attention.

"Son, introduce yourself instead of just staring at the young lady." he teased. "It is rude, you know."

Ryne turned to looked behind her, seeing the now flustered blonde. He had a fair complexion, his body lean and most probably muscular behind the white tunic and brown vest he wore. His long legs were covered in brown pants, the ends tucked into black boots. His blonde hair was tied into a somewhat loose ponytail hanging on his back.

"Good morning, Katai-san." Ryne said most politely, trying her best to smile.

Nodding to her, he smiled back. "Call me Rikuyo, and a good morning to you as well."

Smiling again, Ryne straightened herself, turning back to the older man before her, noticing the wide grin plastered on his face. Kasumi, herself, looked pleased as well.

"Well, I suppose we should start the wedding plans already!" Kasumi exclaimed, clasping her hands together.

"I completely agree with you, Kasumi." the man said, nodding in agreement.

"Ryne, why don't you show Rikuyo-kun around the village?" her mother suggested. "Get to know each other while you two are out."

A frown was a tempting expression for Ryne to show, yet she held it back, forcing another smile. She nodded slightly, then stood up, heading towards the sliding doors. Looking over her shoulder, she turned to Rikuyo.

"Coming?"

Nodding quickly, he walked outside, Ryne leading the way.

'Maybe this engagement thing won't be so bad after all.' Rikuyo thought, a smile on his lips.

"Ryne-san?"

"Yes?" she asked, turning to meet his gaze.

"Are you angry at your mother?"

"Uhm…" she started, unsure on how to tell him.

"You are, huh?" he replied, chuckling slightly. "I can't blame you. I mean, they did push us into this."

"You too, huh?"

"Yeah. But, after meeting you, I don't think I can be mad at my old man anymore."

"Huh?" she asked, a small blush on her cheeks.

He laughed softly, his voice deep. "You're cute."

Ryne blinked a few times before turning away, a scarlet blush covering her face.

'He's being nice… He's being polite… But why can't I feel anything towards him!' she thought angrily. 'He's being everything any girl would want for a husband! I thought I could just grow even the tiniest bit infatuated with him, but why won't I? He's perfect, handsome, funny…---'

But not the one destined for you… a familiar voice whispered in her mind.

"What?" she asked out loud, catching Rikuyo's attention.

"What do you mean, 'what'?"

"Oh, uhm…" she mumbled, trying to find a good excuse. "I… uhm… thought you… uh… said something…"

"Oh, alright." he said. "Hey, is there a sword shop here?"

"Oh, yeah! We have many of those." she said. "Would you like to visit one?"

"If it isn't too much trouble."

"Alright, then." she said, turning left. "Follow me. Oh yeah, try to keep sight of me. The villagers here are workaholics. Wagons and carts are abundant this time of day, watch out."

He chuckled and nodded to her, following her lead.

What have you been wondering about, little maiden? the voice asked again.

'How come you're here?! I thought you were only in my dreams!'

Have I not told you last night that I were real? That was not just a dream.

'Well… Now I believe it.'

Last night you had said that you truly believed in what I had told you.

'I was skeptical… Anyways… What did you mean by 'not destined for me'?'

It means what it sounds like…

'That makes sense…' she thought sarcastically.

Do you doubt me again, little one?

'I'm sorry… It's just that…' she trailed off, not knowing how to continue.

You are stressed by the engagement, aren't you?

'Yeah…' she replied. 'And… If Rikuyo-kun isn't the one for me… then who is?'

You will know… He's already out there… Looking for you…

'He… is?'

Most definitely…

'But… how can we be together if I'm to be married?'

You won't be married… Fate has something far more important for you…

'I may be repeating myself… but, how?' she began bitterly. 'I can't do anything… My will is held back to mine own self… and my fate is decided not by me, but my elders! I am merely a puppet or them to use!'

You must not think so low of yourself… she said kindly. Wait for tonight, I will speak with you once more…

'Alright…' she thought, then the voice ceased.

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To Be Continued…

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Author's End Notes:

Well, that is the first chapter. I hope you like it. Please send reviews! And if you wanna flame me.... **sniffles** that is quite understandable... **sniffles and hides behind her pillow wishing that she has nice reviews** ^^;;

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03.02.02