A note from Yukitora-J L Wright

I’m back! I’m so sorry for the absence but thank you so much for your patience, for sticking around and I hope you continue to enjoy the Secret of the Myath series.

Long story short, 2022 has kick my butt a bit with bereavement, a big op for a close family member and lots of things taking my attention and brain juice. Updates for now may still be a bit scattered with shorted chapters, I’m just taking it as it comes. Hopefully I can keep some sort of regular schedule soon and until then I’ll do my best to get something out often enough to stay in touch. 


Look after yourselves and one another and stay safe. 💜🇺🇦

I opened my eyes to a familiar room. Slowly I let myself reorientate, trying to remember how I got here but sleep still befuddled my mind. Rubbing my eyes, I frowned in thought. This was my room in Kine’s mansion but… I wasn’t entirely sure when, or how I had come here. The last I remembered was working the the lab…


A memory sparked in the depths of my mind. Kine! He’d come to my lab. Right? Had I dreamed that? I don’t remember much, especially not coming back to the mansion. Well there was only one way to be sure. I flung the covers off and crawled out of the cushion pile, looking for something to put on, only to realise I was in a rumpled outfit already. Luckily it didn’t smell but I wasn’t sure how long I’d worn it. Shrugging, I went straight to the door, almost storming out into the corridor and immediately turned to Kine’s suit.


A brief knock, just in case he was indisposed, and I was straight through calling for him.




I perked my ears, listening intently but I needn’t have bothered. He was there, sitting in his receiving area, his attention on his personal screen. He’d just looked up, probably alerted by my knock, and his face was beaming with a smile. I couldn’t help but smile back. He looked so well.


“Hello sleepy head. You’ve been out for a good long while.” Kine commented, patting the seat next to him.


I joined him, giving him a tight hug before gently easing him back so I could get a good look at him. His colour was good, he was less drawn and gaunt and no black circles marked his eyes. I listened closely and his breathing sounded strong and regular. He’d made an amazing recovery.


“Kine. You’re looking well. Did the Healers give you the all clear?” I asked, hiding a small wince as I remembered the Healers. Roake. I shook that off and focused all my attention on Kine.


“Yes, we have the all clear. More and more are recovering but the Healers insist on monitoring us all very closely for the next orbit. Something about spore resurgence or something. Basically everyone will be checked regularly until we know for certain that this has all been dealt with.” Kine waved away the details and changed the topic. “You slept for at least a rotation.”


“Really!? That long?” I asked, a little shocked at the extent of my fatigue.


Kine watched me closely as he answered. “Mm-hmm. It seems you haven’t been getting much rest lately. Do you want to talk about it?”


I didn’t answer him, looking away and staring off as I got lost in thoughts. The last… nine? Ten rotations?- had been a steady march into blurred monotony yet constantly dogged by desperate fear. I didn’t want to think about it. But…


“Not really but I think I need to.” Kine just waited, patient and gentle. He wouldn’t push me. I couldn’t really start with the emotional stuff so I started with the details. “I didn’t have anything to do and I was… angry about the accusations and about you getting sick. Scared for Seth and the others. So I worked with the healers to make more cures, make it faster. But that didn’t take long so I threw myself into research with some others. We worked on the vaccine, comparing my antibodies to the Icanthie antibodies. It helped a little. We found that the Icanthie have fewer CARD9 molecules making it difficult to generate the signals that recognise the fungal pathogen. It gave us a starting point. We tried stimulating the production of the CARD9 molecule but also worked on a traditional vaccine as an added protective measure. It’s was a lot of testing, tweaking, waiting…”


I trailed off, realising that I was avoiding the main point. If I let myself, I’d ramble for hours about minute details and obscure microbiology. Still Kine just waited, his eyes encouraging and patient. I took a deep breath.


“I was… scared. So many were sick and I thought I might lose you, which would have been awful in itself, I can’t lose another kin. Not again so soon. But if you died, I’d lose this place too, my friends, my home and any hope for the Myath to gain some rights. You’re the glue holding my new world together and I wouldn’t be safe here if you were gone. And then I felt so selfish for thinking that and so guilty that I was glad Seth wasn’t sick when so many others were. And so angry that the moment something goes wrong, the populations first thought is to blame me, the Myath, and that Roake felt he could behave as if I mattered less than an Icanthie. I just… felt too much. So I did what I always do when it gets too much. I threw myself into a project. Normally I’d leave and explore the wilderness but I couldn’t leave you or Seth. So I distracted myself with trying to find a solution. If I could help fix it, maybe I wouldn’t lose everything that mattered to me here, in the Capital. I had to do something. I had to..”


I couldn’t finish, my torrent of words and feelings coming to an abrupt halt as the emotions I’d been suppressing bubbled over and swamped me. Kine just held my hand in his, the soft fur distancing me as I breathed heavily, trying to control myself. We stayed like that, just waiting for everything to catch up with me and subside. I struggled, swallowing repeatedly and staring off as the emotions came again and again until they finally settled into a heavy cloak on my shoulders, no longer trying to drown me. I’d held so much back it was a wonder I hadn’t broken. They stayed with me for a while but that was okay. It’s okay to feel what I’m feeling.


My breathing evened out and I noticed that Kine had been rubbing his thumb over my hand. Through our bond, I felt as he soothed my fears, commiserated with my anger and shared his hopes. I smiled and fed back my gratitude, my determination, my dreams. Kine smiled at me and finally spoke up.


“It’s okay. I understand your fear and anger. Let yourself rest now. I’m fine, I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.” He paused, making sure to catch my eyes. “But if I did die, know you will always have my brothers and sisters, our uncle, all my kin. I know you’ve not had much of a chance to grow your bonds with them, but you’re kin and they will protect you. You’re also a Royal, remember?”


“That can be taken away too.” I muttered, trying to look away but he wouldn’t let me, drawing me back in.


“Yes, they can. But they can’t take my family from you. I promise, I’ll make sure you have options if something happens to me. And I’ll make the Myath Rights Laws a priority.” He sighed. “Everything has happened so fast since I met you. I know we haven’t had much time, but once this is all over, we’ll make sure we make up for all those orbits we lost. I know you have kin and responsibilities with the Myath and I’ll support you however you need with that. You have a home with them, but I hope you can feel that you have a home here too. You don’t have to choose one or the other.”


“… Okay. Thanks Kine.” I sighed a little, letting another bit of the overwhelming feelings slip from me. I’d done enough for now and needed to change the topic. “Now, how are you? Are you really, feeling okay now?” I asked, concern shading my voice as I looked intently at Kine, still gripping his hand.


Kine smiled but this time it was a little strained. “I’m feeling much better. It was very unpleasant and I worry for those who are still struggling. I’m going to spend this rotation visiting patients and making an announcement to the city to try and reassure the population. It’s been a blow to us all. We’re not used to this sort of thing and many are shaken or afraid. It will help to explain the cause and what we’re doing to fix it and prevent another similar event. On top of all that, we need to think about the Gathering. The spores were ejected into the air from the impact of the debris. We need to solve the wider issue here. I need to make sure that the delegation is healthy enough to attend and we need this Gathering to give us answers and a plan of action. We can’t go on like this.”


“I know. It feels like too much doesn’t it? I hope we can get answers soon, but you need to go slow for now. You’re still recovering Kine.” He nodded. We both knew this was a marathon, not a sprint. Well I knew that, I’m not sure Kine was familiar with that ancient idiom. “There’s something else I want to discuss with you Kine.”


I squirmed a bit as he waited for me to elaborate. I wasn’t entirely sure this was a good idea. Oh well. “I’d like to ask for some time with my uncle… Quix.”


Kine blinked, a surprised expression flashing across his face before he frowned. I wasn’t sure if he was thinking or if he disliked the idea.


“I know he’s still under a Healers care, so I won’t take long and I don’t want to antagonise him. It’s just that, I need closure I guess and I need to see who he is without Wistra’s control over him. It might make some of mums memories of him make more sense. Or maybe not but I don’t think I can just leave it as it is now…”


I waited as patiently as I could, watching the thoughts flicker across Kine’s expression and hoping for a positive answer. This might be a disaster but I hoped for something better. I wasn’t sure what exactly but I’d learned long ago to trust my gut and it was telling me I needed to see him.


Finally, Kine came to a decision. “Give me a few rotations to sort things out but I think I can approve a short visit for you with him. We are still trying to sort out how much responsibility he can bear for the crimes of House Kuthar but that shouldn’t prevent you, as his kin, visiting him. Provided the Healer gives consent.”


I nodded my understanding. “Thanks Kine.” I flopped back, letting the furniture catch me and heaved a big sigh, eyes closed. I peeked over at Kine, who watched me with love and amusement so I smiled at him, just enjoying our friendship in this moment. “Want to join me for breakfast?”


Kine chuckled and pointed at the time piece on the wall. “I’ve already had mine long ago but I’ll joined you for a second one if you like. Healing from fungal infections makes me awfully hungry. Or should I say ‘hungy’?”


I frowned in confusion until I caught the wicked humour in his eye and suddenly memories flooded in. My eyes went wide with shock and embarrassment and I gave Kine a warning look. He ignored me as he got up and headed towards the door.


“Kine, don’t you dare.” I warned.


He grinned at me, opened the door and walk slowly out, calling back to me. “But Sierra, I weally hungy.”


I launched off the cushions and chased after him as his deep chuckle floated back to me. “Kine, don’t! Kine!”


About the author

Yukitora-J L Wright

  • Scotland

Bio: Hi!

Voracious book dragon, been writing forever but only starting posting in 2020.

I have High Functioning Autism as well as dyslexia and dyscalculia. I find random tangents both tantalisingly intriguing and (at the wrong moment) very annoying. I love sci-fi and fantasy, humour, big cats (especially leopards and snow leopards), wolves, stoats (so tiny!), two-toed sloths and pangolins...

I am an optimist and mostly try to find some good in everything. So enjoy, have fun and see you around!!

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TheSilenceOfTommorow ago

Thanks for taking the time to make another chapter. Take care of yourself too! 💚 Edit suggestions:

I flung the covers off and crawled out of the cushion pile, looking for something to put on, only to realised I was in a rumpled outfit already. Luckily is it didn’t smell but I wasn’t sure how long I’d worn it.

We found that the Icanthie have fewer CARD9 molecules, making it difficult to generate the signals that recognise the fungal pathogen.