ADA Ninjaz — The Origin (pt. 6)

924 A.D. — Rural Ninava, Lakontey Province

924 A.D. — Rural Ninava, Lakontey Province

As he returned from the village with the supplies for the following week, Tsukuyomi saw Mizuki sitting, shifting nervously as if stressed. The moment she saw him, she began to run towards him.

“What’s wrong?!” Tsukuyomi said worriedly, dropping the supplies and hurrying toward her. He had not seen the huge smile on her face. She wrapped her arms around Tsukuyomi and kissed him.

“Tsuku, I’ve been waiting for so long, I was at the village earlier too but didn’t find you so I came running back thinking you might already be home but you weren’t. The wait felt like an eternity!”

“So you tried to stalk me all day? Is this what our marriage is going to look like? Had I known I would have thought twice before…” she slapped his arm as he laughed.

Mizuki took out a piece of paper and stuck it right in front of Tsukuyomi’s face.

“Which one do you like the most?” she said out loud, almost screaming.

Tsukuyomi looked at the Kanji characters, “you know I can’t… understand…”

“Which one looks the prettiest? Which one do you like the most?”

Tsukuyomi looked at the page again, “I’m… I don’t know. Why? What are they?”

“Baby names”, Mizuki said with a smile.

Mizuki’s words left Tsukuyomi dumbfounded for a moment as his mind tried to process the full scale of what she meant. The shock quickly passed and he picked her up in his arms and kissed every inch of her face as she giggled and tried to pull away.

He set her down, grabbed the piece of paper and randomly set his finger on one of the names, “that one!”.

Mizuki embraced him and looked up into his eyes, “then I hope it’s a girl.”

— — — — — — — —

948 A.D. — Rural Ninava, Lakontey Province

Tsukuyomi held the pincers tight as he took the melting pot out of the blazing furnace. He set it on his anvil, still holding it with his pincers, and made his way in to look at the contents. Surprised and slightly annoyed, Tsukuyomi tipped the blueish-grey metal octahedron, solid as before, onto the anvil. Metal clinked on metal. He crouched down to look at it wondering why even his massive furnace at full blast had not seemed to affect this metal in the least.

He flinched with surprise as a fly flew by his nose, then landed on the octahedron. The fly walked on the surface seemingly unscathed. The metal that had just been engulfed in fire for the better part of an hour seemed to have not changed temperature at all.

Around the fly, the octahedron shone an almost imperceptible amount more than the rest of its surface. A second fly, slightly blue and seeming translucent, flew right out of where the first fly had landed, and as they both flew away past his head, Tsukuyomi turned around to watch them leave. As he focused, however, there was only one single fly to be seen. He rubbed his eyes. He thought he must have seen wrong.

He looked back at the octahedron and crouched down again, lifting his index finger and reaching out towards the metal. The octahedron’s glow intensified and the surface seemed to move and swirl more and more as his finger neared it. He barely grazed the side of the metallic object but felt what seemed to be the smoothest, coldest surface he had ever touched.

The octahedron shone a little brighter. He heard a ruffling on the other side of his workshop. Some tools fell over, an empty bucket rolled onto the ground and the rags that were covering the entrance swayed as if having been pushed aside.

“Who’s there?! Mizuki?” silence enveloped the room. He waited for a moment or two, listening out for any sort of movement. He decided to brush it off as the wind played tricks on him and turned back to look at the octahedron. The surface seemed to be perfectly still now.

He picked up his pincers again and held them up for a moment, staring at the octahedron. He stretched out his arm and with a light flick, tapped the metal object. It tipped to one of its other sides and nothing more. Convinced that he had probably imagined what had just happened, Tsukuyomi walked over to a cabinet next to the window and opened it. Inside were a myriad of small statues and sculptures of different people, plants, animals, mountains, even creatures of his own imagination. All were made of metal, mostly dull bronzes and irons, some that looked slightly more precious but much smaller in size. He took out a sheet of paper with plans for a new sculpture. The plans for a flower, far more intricate than any he had in the cabinet.

He walked towards the octahedron with the plans and set them down next to it, “Ok, if you won’t melt, let’s see if I can do something else with you.”

Gingerly holding the octahedron with the pincers, he positioned it on the center of the anvil. He raised his hammer and took a pause and a deep breath, which he held for a moment before dropping the hammer down onto the octahedron with all his strength.

The flash of blue light that blinded him left him numb with surprise. It took Tsukuyomi a few moments to finally get his bearings and be able to focus around the room again. He turned to the metal object.

The octahedron was still on the anvil, “what the hell are you?” He neared the object. One of its edges was slightly dented, “at least now I know you’re malleable,” he chuckled.

At closer inspection, he got a glimpse of something stranger than he could explain. The section he had hammered had turned into a mirror surface. Greyish like the rest, but extremely smooth, and still glowing a soft blue. He could see himself perfectly reflected on the surface. As he slowly positioned himself more diagonal to the mirror surface, instead of disappearing, he could still see his own reflection. His mind was too confused to grasp the strangeness as his face should have been impossible to see anymore at this angle. His mind was even more befuddled when he realized his reflection didn’t really look like him anymore. It was as if his face had lost all its expression and features.

“Kajiya! Come out and greet me like you’re supposed to!”, the samurai shouted.

Tsukuyomi quickly covered the metal with a small rag and dropped his tools. Tsukuyomi ran out into the midday sun. A soft blue glow continued to flicker from below the rag… then from the anvil itself, then the hammer and pincers began to glow softly.

From the window of the workshop, on the edge of darkness of the dense vegetation, a couple of shining blue eyes watched him leave.

— — — — — — — —

924 A.D. — Rural Ninava, Lakontey Province

“I’m so sorry my love, there must be something wrong with me,” Mizuki was bawling.

“Ma’am, this is no fault of yours. From what you’ve told me, you took great care in not overextending yourself physically,” the town’s doctor stood by her bed as Tsukuyomi held her hand, “this sort of thing happens. To many women. With any luck, you’ll both bring a beautiful baby into this world before long. Trust me.”

“See love, there’s nothing to worry about. Right doctor?” Tsukuyomi turned to the doctor who smiled and nodded. Tsuku squeezed her hand, “we’ll have a family before you know it.”

— — — — — — — —

948 A.D. — Rural Ninava, Lakontey Province

“What do you mean you’re pregnant?! At this age?!” Iwaro shouted out loud.

No-one saw the spoon. Not Tsukuyomi, not Mizuki, not Iwaro nor his children or the little puppy they were playing with. It was as if it had materialized right on his forehead with a loud thump, snapping his head back as his eyes teared up.

Ida began to scream at him, “Don’t you know it’s rude to ask those questions you silly round drunkard?” She brought her decibel level down to a gentle and melodious level, “what Iwaro meant to say, my dear, is that we are so immensely happy for you and Tsukuyomi. We know you’ve been hoping for this miracle for longer than anyone should have to suffer it. You can always count on us if you need anything.” She smiled, then turned to her husband and her smile turned into a menacing glare.

“Thank you Ida, you’re always so kind,” Mizuki said softly. Iwaro chuckled. Ida’s grasp on the spoon tightened and the creaking was audible to all. Iwaro turned stern and nodded in agreement.

The silence that followed was quickly broken by Iwaro taking a big gulp of sake and changing the subject, “so how’s work on that special ore I gave you coming along?”

Tsukuyomi’s surprise was met by Mizuki’s inquisitive eyes, “special ore? Please go on Iwaro. What “special ore” are we talking about?”

Ida, curious, added, “yes, please do tell us what ore you’re talking about. This is the first time I’m hearing of this too apparently.”

“It was nothing,” Tsukuyomi came to the rescue, “just a simple piece of ore, but the light seems to shine off it strangely, that’s all. Quite beautiful but not really that special.”

“And I suppose this ore is in the stock list of the empire and has been commissioned as a weapon and all is above-board with the mine’s foreman,” Ida said, slowly gritting her teeth, “right, loooveeeee?….”

The only noise was of the children as the two men tried to avoid the women’s eyes.

“If you’ll excuse us for a minute. Iwaro, could you help me with the hot water for some tea?” Ida said.

“We have some hot water right her…AH!” he was cut off by her spoon hitting him under the table, perfectly on his knee, “of course my love…”

As they moved into the kitchen, Mizuki got closer to Tsukuyomi, “so, special ore… and you were going to tell me when exactly?”

“DID YOU STEAL ORE FROM THE MINE YOU DIRTY DRUNK BALL!” Ida’s screams startled both Tsukuyomi and Mizuki, not to mention the children, the dog, the birds, cows a mile away and some fish deep beneath the waves.

As she continued her rambling about him being a daft idiot and a thief on top of that, the neighbor next door, who was peering out of his window, slowly closed his shutters with a slight grin on his face.

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