In a small village in the middle of the country of Avalon, a young woman woke up in a small, nearly barren room. She got out of bed and pulled on her white kimono, a type of clothing that was unusual for the country, but her tanned skin made her unusual for the people of the pale skinned Avalonians. After the woman put an orange kimono on over her white kimono, and pulled her long black hair back into a topknot, she walked out of her room. Before the woman got to the stairs of the building she was staying in, she was stopped and greeted by a young man. Good morning Namiko! a man said, cheerfully.
Good morning!" Ikecha Namiko said as cheerful as the man had been. While Namiko's entire appearance seemed unusual for the village, if not the entire country, she was used to being the one who stood out from the rest, even in Yamato because of her purple eyes. What's for breakfast today, Thomas? Namiko asked.
You should know that by now. Thomas laughed. Eggs and bacon, like always.
Namiko rolled her eyes. Your father doesn't know how cook variety, does he? she asked. It's been eggs and bacon for the past four years.
Well, we all appreciate what you did for us. Thomas replied. But I don't think he feels that much appreciation to deviate from what he knows sells.
Well, since I have been staying here for free, I shouldn't complain. Namiko said.
Thomas grinned at Namiko's comment. I know what you mean, but I do wish that father would change his menu every once in a while.
Namiko walked past the young man as she yawned. Why are you up so early? Thomas asked her. You don't exactly need to work for anything around here.
Because I don't like taking advantage of the hospitality of others. Namiko replied, as she reached the stairs. But maybe it's also because I've known nothing other than a structured life that begins early in the morning. Namiko then shrugged. If even I don't know, then who does?
Good point! Thomas said, with an enthusiasm that Namiko couldn't see where it came from. Another thing that she could understand was how Thomas would often reply in a way that seemed off topic.
Well, I'm going to the forest for my morning exercises. Namiko said. I'll chop some firewood for your father on my way. As Namiko walked out the door, she felt the presence of Thomas's father, Spencer.
Chop down some wood? Spencer said gruffly, I have a son to do such work.
Namiko smiled. Yes, but I would feel bad if I were to stay on your hospitality she said. Also I need something to do to keep me active, if I were to lay around and do nothing, I would eventually be in no shape to defend anyone.
Spencer sighed. All right, I'll need at least five logs for the stockpile.
Namiko walked behind the desk, and pulled out an axe, and headed out the door. I'll be back soon.
As Namiko walked through the town, a young girl ran up to her. Hey Namiko! When's Fayre coming back? the girl asked, curious about Namiko's adopted sister.
I'm sorry, but I don't think she'll be back. Namiko answered. She's gone far away. The girl looked as though she was going to cry. But, maybe soon this town will leave for Fortress Avalon, and you'll be able to see your friend again. Namiko lied. While it wasn't a complete lie that the girl would see Fayre, because of Namiko's adoption of Fayre, should it be honored, she would be busy with learning the same things Namiko did, except at a later age.
Do you think we'll be leaving soon? The girl asked, a smile replaced the depressed look.
Namiko looked away from her towards the building on their right. It's hard to say. Namiko said, her mind thinking about the last meeting she attended with the town's officials. It was the same thing for the past four years, officials who have a power base here refuse to go anywhere that they don't have their power.
But why? the girl asked. Don't they want to protect us?
Namiko gave her a sad look. I'm sure deep down they want to, but power corrupts. she said. Should I ever take a position where I govern human life, I shall remember that I have a responsibility to lead my people to better lives.
As Namiko walked away from the girl, she couldn't help but think of her own family and wonder how they're treating Fayre. I know Seka will treat her well, might even push to see my adoption of her to be made legal, and Naganori will, but Shoichi? He'll look at the politics side and push against it. she thought.
As Namiko walked down the street, she saw a man in a black coat walk beside a guard. Hm, I wonder who that guard is, I've never seen him, or that man in the black coat. Namiko thought. It's probably because of the distance, I'll probably see him again later. As Namiko approached the exit of the village, a guard posted at the gate had thrown her a salute, which she had returned towards him. The guards opened the gate for her as she walked along.
Have a good training session! one of the guards yelled towards her.
Thanks! Namiko yelled back to him. Keep up the good work!
Namiko walked towards the forest, as she picked up some stray wood that would make good firewood. As Namiko's usual routine, she continued on to her training area. Namiko stopped in the middle of the forest, the exact spot where she saved her adopted younger sister from cultists. A good spot as always. Namiko thought. Before Namiko unsheathed her katana for the training, she took the axe and she started chopping down the tree she found to be suitable for firewood. After the tree fell, and Namiko chopped the tree into manageable logs, she lined up each of the three logs in a line, and she drew her sword to cut one of the pieces in half, and continued to do so until the she finished the third one. Namiko continued such until she had cut up five logs.
Before Namiko started on her way back to the inn, she pulled her arms from the kimono's sleeves, and allowed the top to fall. A breeze helped cool her sweat covered body, which Namiko was grateful that she was alone in the forest, otherwise she wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to cool off. I wonder if anything interesting happened in town today. she thought. Nah, ever since the cult was kicked out, no one really wants to cause problems. Namiko smiled. Besides, I trained the current guards in the way that I was trained, so there's nothing they can't handle.
Namiko pulled the top of her kimono up, and slid her arms through the sleeves. I wonder I'll see that odd guard while I'm on my way back. Namiko thought as she bundled the wood up. Or that man in black...I could have sworn I've seen him before... Namiko slung the wood over her back, and began to walk towards the village.