PART 1: L. D. ANGELS
“Six As and one B...waw Kochiro, you aced absolutely all of your subjects!!”
“Well, I try my best Yura.”
Kochiro Jinchi and Yura Yashamaru were eating an after school lunch in a little burger restaurant while flipping through their reports books that last day of school. Though they were dining on the MiddleDeck level, they were both Lower Deck residents. However, it was not unusual for Lower Deck, or Higher Deck Citizens to roam here. It was the city of this world, the hubbub of activity and the mixture of classes (which was not really a good thing).The LowerDeck citizens had Pillar pass cards that allowed them to go up one Deck but no further. The Middle Deck citizens had Pillar passes to go to Lower Deck but had to apply for limited access to High Deck for work/ tourism or any other reason. No one was allowed to relocate through Decks.
“Hey, and look here; even an 83 in Literature the subject you hate so oh-so-much. I’m so jealous.”
“Yura,” Kochiro was holding Yura’s report book as she held his, “literature is a senseless subject and there's no point in doing well in school anyway.”
“Well I flunked all my subjects so i hope you're right, hahaha.” Yura put down Kochiro’s report book, finally getting to her burger. “I don’t know what my parents are going to do to me though.” She bit in.
Kochiro put down her book too and swirled his Cola cup, jingling the ice in it. He looked out the window and rested his cheek on his hand.-
“Like i said, It doesn’t matter anyway... education gets you nowhere cause we’re all going to die on these lower decks soon.”
“Uh?” Yura looked up, “don’t be so negative Kochiro,” she bit into her burger over fiercely and then turned her glaring eyes onto Kochiro. “If you’re going to turn into one of tose ‘L.D. Angels,’ you’d better stay away from me.”
“What?” Kochiro blinked confused, “who in the world are the ‘L.D. Angels’?”
“You don’t know?” Yura half-turned on her seat, “Look there on the TV; they’re on Hightime News at this moment.”
Kochiro turned his head sideways to view the television mounted high on the ceiling.
“...and what is the situation like over there at the HighDeck Highway Su-san?” the lady reporter asked across to the reporter on scene.
“Well Wendi, I can’t say it’s looking too good,” Su-san responded, “it’s been confirmed that the fall of the Fifth Pillar is the work of the notorious L.D. Angels. The Nobles Soldiers have driven them off but the place is still afire and reinforcements are yet to arrive to stabilize the structure and guard the entrance. They say that they will commence after the structure is rebuilt and that there’s nothing to worry about.”
"Thank you Su-san,” Wendi reported back on, “The L.D. Angels are a rebellious group of MiddleDeck fighters who have tried to break into the HighDeck on many occasions. It is also possible that they are the ones responsible for killing many HighDeck citizens on the MiddleDeck along with many ruthless, rioting and destructive acts. The Noble Soldiers are said to be working on a project at the moment, but they’ll be after the so-called ‘Angels’ soon. Until then, rest well HighDeck citizens.” The HighDeck reporter signed off and a commercial came on.
“Ugh, the number of ‘HighDeck’ and ‘LowDeck’ she said...why do we even get the HighDeck TV Station. Anyway,” Yura looked back at Kochiro, “what do you think?”
Kochiro was silent for a moment. Then, he bowed his head down, closed his eyes and ‘hmph’ed. “You’re right and she’s right; they do seem a wild random bunch who could go out in a couple of months. ‘Rights'?...they’re just murderers and destroyers despite their cause. I don’t know their strategy but if they do remain active in the next few months,” Kochiro looked up at Yura, “then I guess they’re more organized than we think and might be righteous after all.”
“Mmhmm,” Yura nodded in agreement, “spoken like a true genius... hyuuu...” she stretched and yawned, “gosh I’m bored, hmm!? Look there Kochiro,” Yura lowered her voice suddenly and Kochiro looked to where she was looking. “A HighDeck guy actually coming to am little restaurant like this.”
Kochiro pursed his lips and leant down too. His stare was blank but fixed.
“Speak of the devil. Doesn’t he know he sticks out in clothes like that?”
“Well that is one of their main objectives; snobbery or bullying.”
“Nah... he doesn’t look bad.”
The HighDeck guy was about twenty years old with purple eyes and long dark hair. He had a slender face and a kindly look about him. He also had a sword at his side. He’d ordered a meal and was then looking for a place to sit, but the place was filled and the available seats were messy.
“Excuse me,” he said to the cashier at the counter, “but isn’t someone going to clean the tables?” his high class foreign accent rang through.
“I’m sorry, your highness,” the woman replied, “but no one’s available at the moment. You should check places on the HighDeck instead.”
“Oh,” he responded, not recognizing that the woman had been sarcastic. Yura giggled to Kochiro.
“He’s sweet, let’s invite him over.”
“What Yura.” Kochiro’s brows dipped, “why would we do something as silly as that?”
“Come on, aren’t you even a little bit curious? He looks like a rare, nice HighDeck citizen. Maybe we can learn something from him. He doesn’t seem dangerous anyway.”
“No, I guess the sword’s for dicing his burgers.”
“Kochiro...” Yura smiled and waved an arm despite Kochiro’s dark stare. “Hey!” She said aloud, “we’re almost done over here!”
“Mm?” The guy looked around then paused at Kochiro and Yura’s table. He walked over. Yura slid across and he sat down. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcomed,” Yura nodded, “you know... there are nicer eating places around.”
“Everyone keeps telling me to go to another diner or they get nervous and become overly polite so I go away,” he pouted, “I wonder why that is.”
“It’s because you’re from the HighDeck, that’s why. It’s discrimination and it’s not totally our fault. So, what’s your name? I’m Yura Yashamaru.”
“My name is Shimazu.”
“Ah, so Shimazu-san, enjoying your stay? Business or pleasure?”
”A little bit of both? No,” Shimazu shook his head thoughtfully, looking at the ceiling, “I guess it’s more personal business.”
“My name is Kochiro,” Kochiro, who’d been observing only silently, finally said. Shimazu looked down toward Kochiro and blinked, “and what sort of business would you have in this Deck anyway... Shimazu.” His blue eyes flashed.
The world was divided horizontally into five layers called ‘Decks.’ The LowestDeck, surrounded by toxic gases and waste, was the bottom deck and there were no people there but a spreading, highly contagious disease. The second deck up was the LowerDeck, a poor nation where the ones who couldn’t cut middle class lived, such as Yura and Kochiro.
The MiddleDeck was a mixture of classes, ranging from the LowerDeck citizens to HighDeck citizens, but it was the home of the average and well off. It was always busy, growing, sometimes crowded, and somewhat pleasant.
Going up; increasing in power, and decreasing in population, was the High class of all the rich citizens but they still weren’t as important as the first Deck ‘Nobles’. Nobles were the ones in charge; the billionaires and rulers of the planet. Kochiro and Yura had yet to meet a Noble, but it was not likely to happen.
“I didn’t want to say, but I'm curious about this whole world and how it’s run,” Shimazu answered earnestly, “I want to know what’s going on and to follow my own path, that’s all.”
“Oh, how very ambitious!” Yura clasped her hands in melodramatic admiration. Kochiro remained still as Shimazu continued.
“I think... to find out... I must start at the very bottom...” his eyes grew fierce and his mouth turned into a line of determination. “I’m going to journey to the LowerDeck everyday to know all that I can... all there is to know instead of feeling like there’s an invisible god pulling all the strings.”
“So what if there is-“
“Hey we live on the LowerDeck!” Yura pushed Kochiro aside, “we’re about ready to leave so we can show you around a bit.” She jumped up and turned to him, “so... what do you think of my idea?”
Shimazu blinked blankly and then stood too. “I think it’s a wonderful idea.” He smiled, “thank you very much.”
Kochiro glared glumly from his seat as the two smiled cheesily at each other. I guess, he thought quietly to himself, I have to go too.
Cllk cllk cllk.
Knock knock knock!
The door to the highly polished, exquisite bedroom suite opened before the permission had been give and a violet-eyed, ember-haired lady of similar gloss and shine, entered. She looked around the room before her eyes rested on the boy’s back at the veranda.
“Totomi dear,” she said, walking across the giant living room/bedroom to he by the balcony, with high heeled steps. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing mother, and just as it appears to be,” Totomi answered, “I’m looking over at the palace grounds.”
“Well my apologizes, dear,” she stopped ten feet away, by the separating burgundy curtains to the balcony. “But have you seen Shimazu? His father wants him to assist the Nobles Soldiers right away.”
“Well I’m sorry mother; I don’t know exactly where he is.”
“Uh!” his mother started. Then her face grew stern. “You’re being rude now Totomi, of course you must know where he is; you two are always talking.”
”. . .”
Totomi’s silence only seemed to further anger his mother. She took a step forward, “at a time like this with a Pillar downed . . . he’s gone down a Deck, hasn’t he?”
Totomi still didn’t answer or turn around.
Lady Hamasaki exasperated. “This, this infatuation,” she spat, “this senseless attraction to the Lower Decks!”
“I wouldn’t say it’s an ‘infatuation’ mother,” Totomi responded, “Shimazu just seeks to understand the world . . . to see that he’s not just a puppet in a ritualized world. He wants to know . . . as do I . . . as should we all.”
Silence. Totomi’s mother stepped forward again. “Totomi, look at me.”
Totomi turned around to look at his mother.
“What your brother is doing right now, is dangerous.”
“I don’t see how it’s any more dangerous than fighting with the Soldiers against the L.D., N.C. or whoever Angels.”
“Totomi . . . tell me where your older brother is.”
“That I cannot do mother. I am not a scum.”
“So you approve of what he’s doing?”
“It’s not for me to approve, it’s what Shimazu believes in and I see no reason to stop him. Who are we to do so, to control others’ lives . . . mother-“
“Enough Totomi.” She turned her back on him sternly, “I’m going to have to let his father speak to him about this,” she looked over her shoulder, “you better fall into line and sign up for Nobles Soldiers soon.” Then she turned, and was out.
Totomi’s tried expression steeled again and he turned back to the balcony. I am just a useless pawn at this moment while Shimazu is changing things. I should-
“Totomi?” a girl with big beautiful eyes popped her head timidly into the doorway. Totomi spun around instantly.
“Totomi,” she tiptoed across in her custom barefooted manner to him. She was a cute, pink-eyed girl and also Shimazu and Totomi’s little sister. “Totomi, Shimazu’s in the MiddleDeck, isn’t he?”
“Totomi, I hate to say this, but mom’s right,” her eyes sparkled, “I don’t know why you both question everything, why can’t you follow the rules like everyone else and be happy.”
“Totomi, I don’t know what I’ll do if either of you got hurt.”
“No one’s getting hurt Mika-”
“Then promise me this,” she wasn’t giving him a chance to speak, irrefutable face mere inches from his, promise me you won’t run off and do something stupid like Shimazu… promise me!”
“Come ooooon, just promise!”
“I can’t Mika.” Totomi put his hands on Mikaza’s shoulders. She raised her hand feebly to her mouth.
Mikaza looked down saddened and Totomi couldn’t ignore it. He pat her on the head, “okay, I promise I won’t do anything for a week. Is that alright?”
“Mm! For now.” Mikaza nodded delighted and then stepped out of from beneath his hand. “Come on, let’s go for a walk.”
“What great fun!” Yura exclaimed, hands thrown in the air in exalted proclamation, “isn’t today just going ecstatic Kochiro?”
“Hmph,” Kochiro pouted darkly at Yura as she turned around to grin at him. Shimazu was smiling back at him innocently too. He didn’t mind carrying around shopping bags because those were his souvenirs but Kochiro hadn’t counted on being Yura’s personal bagboy… following the ‘couple’ around, boxes toted up to his eyes and only being able to fume quietly to himself. He glared at her again and she giggled.
“Really Shimazu-san, this is most kind of you,” she turned back to the tourist, “I feel a little bad letting you buy all these things for me.”
“Oh it’s okay actually. I have enough money, I don’t mind at all.”
“Okay!” You could tell she didn’t mind either. “You guys must be living pretty large up on the higher decks, huh.”
“Yeah… pretty much.”
Haha ha ha ha.
“Well, it’s starting to get late,” Yura said finally, “we should begin our tour of the LowerDeck before it get’s dark.”
“Mmhm. I agree.”
The mood in am Pillar was always the same. It was like stepping into a heavy-duty a prison with drugs strapped on you. If it wasn’t a Lower class being eyed down by a Middle class in reserved caution, it was a Middle class being eyed down by a Lower class in hopes of gaining goods. You felt as though you were always being watched. Kochiro had gotten used to this feeling after years of using the Pillar transport, but now, the paranoia feeling was creeping into him as fresh as the first time. He leant his forehead against a clear glass pane wall, watching his reflection, as the other two stepped in, talking behind him.
Pillars were the energy source, the power plants of the world designed structures like grand elevators, holding up and separating all the Decks. Upon entering with your Pillat Pass, you were searched then allowed to the other door to be searched again before passing through the titanium door to the masses of ‘elevators’ to different locations/ areas (also known as jurisdictions) up or down. It was a long process to change Decks, expensive and limited annually. One had to apply for a Deck Pass and be granted permission after being interviewed months prior. It was a hassle, the world they lived in, atleast for Lower Deck citizens who wanted to see the sun from a nearer distance once in their life. LowerDeck was almost blocked from the light with the structures and earth of Middle Deck above them, whilst Highest Deck floated just above the clouds.
It was amazing how the L.D. Angels had pulled it off, but destroying the Pillars wouldn’t bring down a Deck; the Decks of the world were held up nonetheless by the vast energy at the very heart of the world emanating from the very depths of the Lowest Deck to the Nobles Deck pinnacle. No one could venture near it however because of the strong energy field. The L.D. Angels’ actions were a mystery.
“So are the Pillars like this on upper Decks too?”
“Yeah, the security has to be tight everywhere you know.”
“Oh, I see.”
Yura and Shimazu were trading idle banter behind Kochiro. He continued to stare into his reflected blue eyes. People talked around him senselessly. Yura laughed at something Shimazu had said. Kochiro blinked and continued to stare.
Vrsshh. Green cat eyes.
“...” Is that guy... looking at me? Kochiro’s eyes finally shifted beside itself to look at the differently clad guy’s reflection. He was most definitely looking toward the 3 of them, and being almost inconspicuous behind a bunch of other people.
Kochiro spun around. No one was there.
“Hmm?” Yura and Shimazu stopped talking to look at him. “What’s the matter Kochiro?”
Kochiro continued to stare for a while then drew his eyes onto Yura. “Oh, nothing. I think you should take all these boxes home first before we walk around anymore. There’re too many bandits on Lower Deck.”
“Oh, smart thinking,” Yura nodded, “I almost forgot I had anything since you’re carrying it around for me.”
Kochiro nodded absently while glaring at Shimazu. This rich guy’s getting us targeted by bandits.
Shimazu felt the dark aura aimed at him and looked at Kochiro cautiously. I, I really don’t want to be left alone with this guy. But i bet I can make him smile!
Kochiro and Shimazu were standing outside Yura’s house as she’d gone inside to put away her shopping when her mother’s yell broke out.
“Yura Yamasaki, put away that shopping, tell Kochiro off and come here right now!”
“Y, yes ma’am!”
The next second, Yura’s head popped out the door and she Chibi-smiled at the two guys there. “I’m so sorry you two. Looks like I can’t come touring with you again. I totally forgot about my report book and now my mom’s blown a fuse! I can’t come anymore so you can go ahead... I’ll try to see you tomorrow at the restaurant, okay? Sorry!” and then she was gone.
Kochiro and Shimazu walked out into the road, away from the yelling, and then stopped, eerily.
Shimazu looked up where he could see a piece of the sky in the far distance, and then turned his head down toward Kochiro, trying on a small, semi-courteous smile. “Why do I get the feeling that you don’t like me very much... Kochiro-san.”
Kochiro turned his eyes slowly from the house to rest on Shimazu’s, very coldly, very blankly. “Because I don’t. I don’t like any of you HighDeck people... Shimazu.”
“Why? Is there a ... personal reason behind that?”
“No, it doesn’t matter,” he shook his head, “nothing matters except that I have a grudge, we have no reason to fight at the moment... we’re all doomed puppets waiting to die and for the world to go on.”
Hmmm? Shimazu gaped slightly. “Well...” he was at a loss as to what to say. Kochiro’s eyes were away and stern. What... in the world..? But then he closed his eyes and Chibi-smiled at Kochiro.
“Uh?” Kochiro broke out of his reverie, startled.
“I think I know what you mean.” He still smiled.
Kochiro regained his composure. “And what is that?” he said coldly.
“My brother and I are always talking about it... the way this world is set up. I was always curious as a child and my brother looked up to me, so when he became inquisitive as well... I felt that I needed to get the answers for him,” Shimazu continued to smile at Kochiro who continued to look elsewhere cautiously. “I wanted to control my own life and be able to roam where I pleased, not be restricted, not to restrict my access to knowledge. To see the world through my eyes and thus interpret it myself and see if it’s right by my views.”
“Oh,” Kochiro said uninterestedly, “so you’re just a rebel.”
“No, that’s not it at all,” Shimazu wasn’t phased in the least, determined to make his point clear, “I’m searching for the right way to live my life despite what the rulers say.”
“You can’t change the way your life is planned, you are just one insignificant person with little power.” Kochiro was now facing Shimazu’s way, “you can’t change anything.”
“Don’t sell yourself short Kochiro-san… the only constant in life is change. We hold the world in our hands.”
“You’re so wrong,” Kochiro now glared, “and gay.”
“Being optimistic is not being gay.”
"Kochiro-san… you and my brother would get along so great.” Shimazu nodded his head, still smiling earnestly. “He can be so negative at times and when I tell him about it, he says ‘pessimism is the closer to realism,” Shimazu chuckled to himself, “or something like that”
“You both sound stupid,” ice layered Kochiro’s words. Shimazu blinked, startled.
Thinking about the world and broadening its ideals is not-”
Kochiro turned his back curtly, “I’ll drop you off at the Pillar.” A quiet breeze passed between them and played with their hair gently. Shimazu stared at Kochiro back, smiling gone. “And…” Kochiro added tonelessly, “keep your opinions to yourself.”
"…” a pause of stillness and then Kochiro started to walk off. Shimazu followed in silence although he felt he had more to say to the black jerseyed boy but he’d already promised to keep his mouth shut (not that he’d had a say in the matter.) He looked at the back of the short black hair and realized his earlier feelings of dread was gone. He couldn’t hate someone who reminded him so much of his little brother.
As for Kochiro, he was just contented that he was getting rid of the High Class scum… already erased the ‘Shimazu’ from his mind, following his slowly emerging shadow down the road. Though… Kochiro found himself glancing across at unaware Shimazu furtively; this guy’s philosophy has disgruntled me.
Five or so minutes later, Shimazu was smiling softly again. Kochiro glanced at the expreesion and rolled his eyes.
“You know,” Shimazu began once more, “he’s been much more settled now that he’s our sister is in the picture. He see’s what it’s like to have to guard and protect someone else… my brother, that is.”
“Can you please be quiet already,” Kochiro hissed. Shimazu found Kochiro’s dialectal edginess and even lack of respect to higher deck persons refreshing… and inspiring.
“Seriously… I think if you had an older friend to help guide you, we’d be on the same page… “
Kochiro sighed tiredly. I give up.
“…right… Kochiro?-” bright Chibi smile.
Kochiro spun around snappily, “geez you’re so ann… uh?”
They both stopped talking abruptly when a long dark silhouette fell over their heads and covered them. Shimazu looked up. Kochiro turned from Shimazu to face the dark figure as well, his expression tightening. The darkness connecting to their own shadows trailed across the dark road and ran up an almost equally black figure that could have blended right in with the night except for those…
Green cat eyes.
The self same guy who’d been looking at them in the Pillar was now crouching before them, on a wall. And not only that, but by the black flowing cloak and ninja mask, anyone could see that this was one of the L. D. Angels. Kochiro could feel the stillness in the air around him as even Shimazu paused.
The sly L. D. Angel uncrouched and straightened his black length in front the moon like a beautiful grim reaper. The masked lips moved finally and broke the silence, “at last.”
He’s not here just to rob us; he wants to kill, to kill the Higher Deck… Shimazu. Kochiro unconsciously ground his teeth. Thank God Yura’s home. Self-preservation took over. He took a step back and Shimazu looked across at him.
“Take him then… I’m no High Decker… leave me out of this!”
“Kochiro-kun…” Shimazu said gently despite the harshness in Kochiro’s voice, Kochiro ignored him, studying the black angel for a while more. I’m not letting a bastard Higher Deck drag me or anyone I know into this craziness.
“I don’t know him… I don’t care what happens!” he finished off. The L. D. Angel didn’t move so that Kochiro’s attention was forced to notice Shimazu’s hand reaching to him. It was what he needed to move. He slapped the hand away, disgusted now that he realized this gesture of Shimazu’s was one to sympathize rather than accuse. He spun around and took off.
Those green eyes… Kochiro hadn’t had time to see whether those eyes had been locked on him or not but it didn’t matter… he wasn’t the target anyway.
He ran straight on down the road, not looking back once, taking a right at the very last intersection. He kept running, the sound of his sneakers hard on the unpaved stony streets and his huffs of breath the only audible sounds. He stopped only when his breathing began coming in huge gulps and his chest was too tight to keep going..
Hands on knees, then he straightened up after a short while, leaning his head back to look at the visible portion of the moon. The ground of the deck above were just black shadows that obscured the rest of the night sky- it really had gotten late. He should be home… in bed… as usual… not being chased around by L. D. Angels and the likes of them. Damn Shimazu. That didn’t belong in his world. His hands clenched.
“Aah!” Kochiro did a double take and fell on his butt. Shimazu was smiling down on him, in a polite, yet not overly bright way. Kochiro glared after getting over his initial shock. “Why in the world did you follow me???”
“Ha ha,” Shimazu scratched his cheek guiltily, “I was kind of worried about you.”
“You should be worried about yourself,” Kochiro ignored Shimazu’s helping hands and got up and dusted himself off, “… and your stalker.”
“That’s no big deal. Believe it or not, on Higher Decks, we’re exceptionally skilled at the arts of fighting and that L. D. Angel poses no danger to me at all.”
Deep down, Kochiro knew this might be true but he realized he was rooting, not for himself and Shimazu, but for the L. D. Angel. He shook his head swiftly.
“Fine. Then go deal with your secret admirer.”
Shimazu turned his back on Kochiro slowly, his hand reaching to his waist… the sword, “the thing is, he disappeared shortly after you left,” his hand gripped the hilt, “but now he’s back.”
Kochiro looked on. The Angel had arrived. Its eyes were crystal clear now that there was more ample light pooled in from newly lit streetlights, puttering on for the nightfall. The silver illumination highlighted the long whipped ponytail and made pools of the green emeralds where a serpent like tattoo ran down through one. The Angel walked with even strides toward them. Kochiro stepped back again.
The distance between them was closing. Kochiro could only stare in shock. So he’s not after… Shimazu? Then… why?” Shimazu walked up too. Kochiro recalmed himself and pulled his face into a blank mask. It still has nothing to do with me.
They were 20 feet away from each other.
Ten feet from each other.
...am for neither of those sides.
Clash! Shimazu’s sword met the Angel’s guard in a clink of silver and then it was pure speed and flashes of metal from then on. The Angel withdrew then charged back in like an arrow without pause and was met each time with the edge of Shimazu’s unrelenting sword. No actual attacks were going on, Shimazu plainly holding the Angel back and the Angel just trying to barge through with his guards. Then on another returning zip, he drew out a long sword; pulling it over his head and Shimazu too changed stance, putting real force into a similar death swap…
I live for myself.
Shimazu and the Angel sped to each other…
“Huhuu hu huu,”
Then he held his breath and opened the front door, bulging out of its frame due to absorbed rain and moisture.
Kochiro stepped into the living room and went to switch off the black and white flickering television. His mother was asleep on the solitary couch as the windows, with permanently, let in the blowing air. She must have been waiting up for him.
“Mommy,” Kochiro touched his mother’s shoulder softly and whispered again, “mom.”
She stirred then, automatically tuned into the only other house occupant’s voice, “Kochiro?”
“Go to bed kasan, you’ll catch a cold.”
“Mmm,” she mumbled and sat up. “How was… school?”
“I did well. You’ll see tomorrow. Bed time mommy.” Kochiro went to check on the other closed doors of the small house as his mother got to her feet, still slightly sleepy. He followed her into the single bedroom and she turned to kiss him on the forehead.
She took her to her mattress on the floor, curling up under her covers and Kochiro followed suit. The curtain to the small tidy room swayed softly in the breeze dancing around the house and Kochiro sat heavily onto his mattress, folding his arms around his legs. Night time finally. He looked out the window at the dark upper Deck silhouettes in the skyline.
“A purple rose! Waw, I’ve never seen this one before.” Mikaza plucked the rose into her hair as she walked before Totomi in their inner home garden. The moonlight here was strong, it was hard to miss filling up the sky and casting giddy swirls of placidised colours into the pools. “Here Totomi, have one in your hair too!”
“No thanks Mikaza. I’d rather not.”
“Ooohh...” Mikaza puffed and pouted at her elder brother. ‘You know, Shimazu wouldn’t have minded at all,” she sulked.
“Yeah, I know that.” Totomi nodded small.
“Well anyway,” Mikaza swirled the other rose between her finger tips, “they’re a beautiful for sure.”
“They’re called Night Glories,” Totomi replied, plucking the rose out of her fingers to rescue them from the thorns, “white during the day, and they turn purple at night. Speaking of which, I think it’s time we get inside.”
“Ohhhh! Spoilsport!” she folded her arms.
"Totomi… Mikaza sama!”
“Hm?” Totomi and Mikaza both spun to the risen voice of the Hamasaki messenger. He ran straight up to them puffing and then bowed deeply.
“What is it?”
"It’s, it’s about Master Shimazu my lord.”
“What is it? What’s happened to brother!” Mikaza perked up.
“I’m very sorry my lords, but your brother… Shimazu-sama is…”