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Author Topic: Re: The mask of soul//chapter 48/ 10/31  (Read 23864 times)

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 17/ 02/03
« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2013, 08:50:24 PM »
As expected, Risa's first time in the field is hard. I hope she will get better and fast!

Ai-chan~! Snap out of it! We need you back too!

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 18/ 07/03
« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2013, 03:13:08 PM »
Kurosawa87: I know it is, but it always bothers me if I write something "against true history".... XD

darkacex99: Animals which are very devoted to something/someone are hilarious~  :lol:

rndmnwierd: What if I don't make her do that?  :twisted:

Thank you everyone for your interest and comments~
I am off to some training again in few days, so I decided to update this chapter a bit earlier than I had planned to.

The next chapter, here we go~

Chapter 18 – She wasn't sure about her feelings anymore

That night, Risa spent at Ai's place. The older woman seemed to calm down for some reason, when Risa was holding her hand. Every time she moved away, Ai would start tossing around and only a hand in her own, calmed the leader down. All the girls decided to stay, for they could not leave Risa alone with this and also, they wanted to help too. They took turns, everyone keeping an eye over their leader. There had to be someone all the time beside the Ai, or she would not sleep at all. They did not know if she slept well even if someone was holding her hand, but at least she was not moving around as wildly.

It was almost morning and it was Risa's turn to watch after Ai now. The leader had a lot more peaceful expression now and it seemed, she finally got those nightmares away. Risa watched outside, where the morning sun was raising slowly, making everything with the colorful leaves seem like in a dream. Sighing a bit, Risa turned her head back towards Ai. She had thought a lot of things during this night. Even, when it had not been her turn to stay awake, the bean could not have fallen asleep, because she had kept on thinking all the things that happened earlier. They just could not leave her mind, though she tried to think all kind of other things.

Small creak was heard and Risa spun around to find Reina entering the room. They smiled at each others as the younger girl came to check her leader. A bit sad smile crept on her lips as she noticed her leader finally sleeping without pain. Though it seemed Ai was quite okay now, the kitten knew that she still had a lot of pain she would have to endure.

“Yokatta... Any bad dreams?”

Risa shook her head, smiling at her friend. Ai indeed had slept like a baby, not moving an inch. Only when the hand disappeared from hers, the leader would start to squirm almost immediately.

“It's my turn, you can go to sleep.”

Reina said, as she gently pried Risa's fingers away from Ai's and put her hand in there instead. Even the small loss of contact made the samurai in bed twitch a bit, but she calmed as soon as Reina gave a gentle squeeze to her hand.

“Thanks, but I think I wont get any sleep tonight...”

“Too many thoughts in your mind?”

Risa could only nod and smile at Reina. The Team Alfa knew the relationship between their friend and leader and now, that everything had turned around, Risa must have had a lot to think.
Reina placed a hand on Risa's shoulder and smiled at her.

“Go get some rest. You will solve things better if you have had a good sleep well.”

Again, Risa just nodded. She got up and watched the two woman for the last time before she went downstairs, where Eri and Sayu were sleeping soundly together, leaning on each other as they were on a couch. Risa chuckled a bit and went to put a blanket over them. They were just too cute together.
After that, she sat on a pillow on the floor and in a while found herself on her back, staring at the ceiling. Thinks were still running in her head, but the tiredness got Risa this time and slowly, she drifted to sleep. But even in her dreams, the past evenings kept on appearing. The most odd thing however was, that no matter what dream Risa was having, Ai was always there and even if the bean could not see her, she somehow felt her presence or just knew that the other warrior was nearby. The last thing she remembered before waking up, was Ai's stern face staring straight into her eyes, but there had not been any pain or hatred in her look. She had just came closer and closer, her face only inches away from Risa's and then...

The bean jumped up in panic, hitting her head with Eri when doing that. She was sent immediately back down, some flashbacks from the nurse's place returning in her mind.


Eri's whining was heard nearby as the turtle tried to ease the pain in her head.

"Eri... what on earth were you doing?"

Risa growled as she held her head between her hands.

"You were mumbling something and I wanted to listen what you said... That's why I leaned over you in order to hear better your mumbling, ouch..."

Suddenly, the bean remembered her last dream and as she but two and two together in her head, she suddenly jumped up and stared the whining turtle in front of her.

"What did I say Eri?"

"I don't know... That's why I leaned closer to listen..."

Satisfied, that she had not said anything improper, Risa sighed in relief and fell backwards on the pillows. But quite soon, a frown appeared on her face as she recalled all the dreams she had seen last night. Why did they all had included Ai? Why was she in her mind all the time? And what the heck was the last dream she had seen?



Ai was ordered to bed rest and would not take part in training for at least for one week. She was moved to Lin Lin's place, for it was easier to watch her there and also, the nurse got something to do. She had already treated all the wounded ones, but they did not need 24/7 attention from her, so the nurse had enough time to watch after Ai too. Risa was a bit unsure of this for she was not very comfortable yet, if the leader was so close to her. But she recalled the evening in her head again and again, remembering, how Ai had acted. If she wanted to help her friends, she should let go of those bad memories she had with Ai and focus on getting the leader in better condition. Risa had no idea what living under the same roof with Ai would bring with it, but at least she got Lin Lin with her in this. The nurse was so good with people that she would help if Risa and Ai would start fighting again.

Risa was walking in the town, doing some shopping for Lin Lin, for she had to stay and watch after Ai. She could now sleep without someone holding her hand, but from time to time, she would have those nightmares and the only way to stop them was to be with her. Also, Lin Lin had said that some examination was needed to do after what had happened to Ai. This was just in case, cause the nurse knew that sometimes after this kind of fit, there could be something even worse to come. That's why she wanted to check Ai and make sure that nothing like this would happen, cause the sooner she found something alarming, the better she could prevent it.

Just when Risa was about to enter a shop, someone tapped her shoulder, startling her. As she spun around, she found Reina smirking at her. As she looked more around, Risa could notice Eri and Sayu nearby, holding hands and waving at her.

“We thought you would want to spent some quality time with us.”

Reina said, offering her hand to Risa. Chuckling, Risa punched Reina gently, causing the younger one to frown.

“I have shopping to do, so if you could wait a bit. This is my last shop and this wont take very long.”

Reina's pout disappeared and was replaced with a smile as she heard Risa's words. With a nod, she let the bean go and waited outside the shop as Risa took care of her chores. When she emerged from the shop, she was immediately greeted by Reina's arm, which was offered to her.

“Shall we then?”

The warrior smirked at her playfully, while Risa just laughed, taking the arm.

“You're silly.”

They walked back to Sayu and Eri, who were now cuddling and kissing with each others. They all had their casual clothes, the black pants and coats with their sword belt around their waist. Risa carried only one, while the other girls carried two.

“Hey, get a room!”

Reina said waving her hand, as they got to the cuddling love birds. Eri got a bit panicked, while Sayu just proudly hugged her tighter against her.

“Oh, no we wont.”

The bunny laughed as she continued kissing Eri, causing her to stop prying and just enjoy the attention she got from Sayu.
Reina huffed a bit and suddenly, took Risa in her arms, surprising the older one totally.

“Then we will start to cuddle up too, ne, Risa?”

Once again, Reina got a hit in her ribs from the bean. This time however, the punch was a bit harder than normally, for Risa was very surprised and foremost, embarrassed by Reina's words an action.

“N-no! We wont...”

Her cheeks were like tomatoes, as she pried away from the kitten's hold. Eri just chuckled at the scene, but Sayu was frowning. She watched Reina with a weird look on her face, as if she didn't understand at all what the kitten had done a while ago.

“Well... Well how about we just hold our hands then?”

Reina suggested, which Risa answered only with a huff as she started to walk away briskly. Eri pried herself off from Sayu and ran after Risa. When she reached her, she spun around and yelled at the two younger girl's left behind.

“Come on you two! Lets go!”

Both Sayu and Reina stayed where they were, as Risa and Eri kept on walking away. After their friends were enough far away, both turned their faces towards each others, Sayu having the same expression as she had had all the time, while Reina watched her with a blank face.

'Why did you do that... Aren't you supposed to...'

Sayu thought as she tried to understand what had just happened a while ago.

'I don't know what has gotten into me... Maybe, maybe I just trying to forget...'

Reina thought, as she straightened her back and started to walk after her friends, Sayu following after her. As they walked on, they soon reached Eri and Risa, who were chatting happily about something.
Reina's look wandered at the two girls walking in front of her, her expression still blank. After a moment though, her eyes locked to on one of them and it stayed there. The kitten was not able to look away, though she tried few times.

'Maybe I am just trying to forget, but I think I am not doing it very well...'


“So, there's this festival coming!”

Eri explained enthusiastically to her friends, who were now sitting in Risa's room at the nurse's place. Lin Lin was also with them, for Risa had asked her to join. She thought that the nurse did not see other people too often outside her work, so it would be refreshing for her too to have some free time. Also, she did not have any patients now and Ai was asleep in the next room, so she did not need so close "guarding" at the moment.

“What kind of festival?”

“The red leaf festival! Don't you know it?”

Risa shook her head slowly, causing everyone else but Lin Lin to gasp in shock. Didn't they have it in that village? It was the biggest and also probably, the best known festival in this land!

“Oh my, you have missed a lot...”

Reina said in shock, as Eri and Sayu just nodded in approval.

“Well, what kind of festival is it then?”

“It's a festival of love!”

Eri exclaimed, causing Reina and Sayu to sigh deeply and roll their eyes.

“Hey! But it is!”

“No Eri, for the hundredth time, it's not a festival of love...”

“Then what is it then?”

Sayu just shook her head and hugged her girlfriend beside her. It seemed that Risa was not the only one who had missed this festival in her life...

“It's a festival of harvesting and when we welcome winter in here. It's also the time, when almost all the tree's leaves have turned red. That's where the name comes.”

“I really thought it was a festival of love...”

Eri pouted, which caused Sayu and the others to chuckle. The bunny pulled Eri a bit closer and gave a gentle kiss on top of her head.

“Honey, just that we got together during that time, doesn't make it a festival of love...”

“It should be....”

Eri kept on pouting, till she was once again pulled in Sayu's lap, the younger one hugging her tightly.

“You're so aho...”

Risa chuckled at her friends, till she turned to Reina and Lin Lin.

“What do you usually do during this festival then?”

“There are all kind of things," Reina started, as she turned towards the bean. "We decorate places with red leaves and light candles, for we are beginning the most dark season.”

“Then, the king invites everyone to the Palace, where we will celebrate. They have all kind of shows, for example dancing, singing, acting and so on. And of course, we are eating well.”

Lin Lin finished. It really sounded fun to Risa and it reminded her also of her own village's festivals. They were quite the same, though with a bit different names and dates. But one thing was still bothering the bean's mind.

“But how about the war? You can't just forget that.”

“Well, as funny as it sounds, our enemy is having a festival during that time too.”

Lin Lin said and was soon followed by Sayu.

“Yeah, even Heng rests during that time. It's a very important festival for everyone in here and though Heng is cruel and all, she obeys historical things, for example festivals. She haven't attacked us in years during this time and I think she wont do it this year either.”

“But we have to be prepared all the time.”

Eri added in suddenly, gaining everyone's attention.

“That's why, we have to keep our swords with us all the time, even when it's a festival time.”

Well, that didn't surprise Risa. War was always war and they could never know anything for sure. A festival time was very good time to attack for both sides, for people were forgetting war for a while and concentrated on celebrating, lowering their guard at the same time. Risa truly hoped that Heng whatever, would stay in her own land and would not ruin this festival. It was surely a freeing experience for warriors too, to get some free time and celebrate for once.

“But we will be all celebrating with all our heart, no matter what kind of war is going on.”

Reina said smiling, everyone nodding their heads in approval.

“Yeah, we are not going to get some war ruin or love festival.”


“Oh my, you're so boring!”

The turtle huffed and punched her girlfriend gently, pouting at the same time. Sayu just rolled her eyes a bit, before she cuddle up again with Eri.

“It would be much more cute, if it was a festival of love. Ne, Reina?”

A silent felt in the room after Eri's words, as everyone waited for the kitten's answer. Reina however, did not answer immediately for she was busy staring off into space. Risa watched her with waiting eyes and turned her head, examining everyone else around her. Eri was also waiting for the answer, while Lin Lin and Sayu had somehow a bit darker expression on their face, which caused Risa to frown.

“Reinaaa? Earth is calling Reina.”

Eri said waiving her hand in front of the other warrior, which finally caused her to snap back on earth.


“What do you say?”

What do I say? About what?”

The kitten was like she had not listened at all and was really out of what the others were talking about.

“I asked about the festival's name. Would it be better if it was a festival of love instead of the red leaves?”

Eri asked happily, tilting her head to side a bit, waiting for her friends answer. Reina just watched Eri with wide eyes for a while, before she smiled. But it was not a happy smile. She more likely looked very sad.

“Yeah... I think... I think it would.”

Again, a silence fell in the room, not including Eri's voice saying, how even Reina agreed with her. But Sayu was not really listening to her girlfriend now, for she was frowning at Reina again, who still had that sad smile on her face. Risa could sense this too, but she was soon occupied by Eri, who asked her all kind of question about her own villages festivals and stuff. During this time, she didn't notice, how Reina turned her glance at Risa, then back to Eri and finally, she met Sayu's frowning gaze, which she answered with her own blank stare.

'You indeed are not doing very well at this....'

'I know... I know.'


After a good two hours chat, the trio left the nurse's place, leaving Lin Lin and Risa alone. But soon after they had left, Lin Lin got a message that she was needed in town. This meant that Risa would stay here and look after the leader, who was still asleep. Before the nurse left, the she checked Ai and put some pills on the table beside the bed. This was in case, if Risa would face some problems with calming Ai down. However, the leader had been so calm lately, that Lin Lin dared to leave Risa alone with her. What were the changes that she would wake up and try to get on her feet just when Risa was alone in here?

“This wont take long. I'l be back in less than two hours.”

“Yup. I'll manage in here.”

“I know you do.”

Lin Lin said, smiling that knowing smile of hers, as she waved to her friend and left for her business. Silence fell in the building as Lin Lin left, calming Risa down. Sometimes it was very good thing to get her own time and just stay alone. She of course liked her friends and enjoyed spending time with them, but alone time was good from time to time.

Risa went to her room and flopped down on her bed, taking a book from a nearby table. She started to read this adventure novel she had gotten from Lin Lin and soon, she was lost in the book. It told about brave warriors and how they saved lands and their people from the evil. But it was not all war, it was also full of love and friendship moments and from time to time, some humor was added in too.

'I wish this novel would happen here too someday...'

Just, when Risa was getting in an interesting part, she heard a loud thumb from somewhere. She was immediately up, listening carefully if the sound would occur again. Did it come from outside? Was it just some bird or something like that? After listening for a while, Risa decided to go back to her book, for nothing happened, but just when she settled down, the noise was heard again. This time, Risa was sure it came from inside the building, it was so near...

'Oh no...'

Realization washed over her as she located where the sound had come. Sighing deeply, Risa put her book away and walked to the room next to hers, which was one of the resting rooms. And as she had guessed, the only other person in the building had decided to wake up and try to get out of the bed.

Risa watched quietly, as Ai was trying to find her balance on the edge of the bed, only to fall down back on the sheets, causing a loud thumb voice. The leader tried one more time and this time, she somehow managed to stay in the sitting position. Just when she was about to get up on her feet, Risa decided this was enough, for the leader clearly did not have enough power to stand on her own.

“Don't even think about getting up.”

Ai paused immediately, turning her head towards the voice. Her actions were slow and she reminded Risa of a zombie more than a warrior.
The bean walked closer, all the time minding her actions and watching how the older woman would react. When Ai just followed her with her gaze, stopping when Risa did, the younger girl decided that this warrior would stay calm. She was not one hundred percent sure, but she just had a feeling that Ai would not try anything in this condition.

“Back to bed.”

Risa said sternly, while Ai just kept on staring her. Though her hair was still quite short, it had grown so, that Risa could not see the leader's eyes very well. It was quite hard to tell, how Ai was looking at her right now. When nothing happened in a while, Risa said her command again. This time, Ai moved her head towards the table beside her, not saying a word. Risa followed and noticed the food that was left on the table. Realizing what the leader wanted, Risa took the tray and came closer the bed.

“Sit in the bed.”

Ai looked Risa for a while, before she slowly slid back, propping her back against the head board, causing the sheets around her fall down a bit. She was wearing a very loose white shirt, which seemed even more loose, for the leader was so skinny right now. She truly had lost a lot of weight in these days.
As Ai had settled down, Risa placed the tray in her lap and sat down a nearby chair.

“Eat then.”

The leader just stared at the food, till she slowly reached for the chopsticks beside the rice bowl. Her hands were shaking and when she tried to take them in her hand, they only dropped down. Ai tried again, only gaining the same result as a while ago. But she did not give up, but reached for the chopsticks again. After the third time, Risa got enough of this and took the chopsticks from the tray. Ai turned her head towards Risa like asking, “Aren't you going to let me eat?”.
But what Risa did next shocked both women; she took some rice from the bowl and held the chopsticks in front of Ai's mouth.

“Open up.”

There was a dead silence, when both occupants in the room thought what the hell the younger one was doing.
When nothing happened, Risa moved the rice a bit in front of Ai's face, causing the older woman to turn her attention back to the food.

“Open up. You can't eat by yourself.”

When nothing happened and Ai turned her head towards Risa again, the younger girl got frustrated and stood up, still holding the chopsticks in front of Ai's mouth.

“Damn it, don't make me do it with force.”

Ai stared ahead for a while and just when Risa was about to do this the hard way, she felt how a soft hand landed on her own. Ai had raised her hand up somehow and guided the sticks in her mouth, taking the food in it.
Risa was a bit stunned, but as Ai had eaten the first bite, the bean immediately realized she probably wanted some more. When she moved to take some more rice, Ai would not let her hand go, but held it firmly. This made Risa's job a bid harder, but instead of shaking the older girl away, Risa just took the rice bowl in her other hand, raising it a bit higher. This continued, till the bowl was half eaten. Ai hadn't eaten well in times and if she now wolfed to much, she would soon vomit all she had eaten.

“This is enough for this night.”

Risa said, as she put the bowl and chopsticks away, Ai still holding her hand.

“Go back to sleep. You need to rest.”

Risa said quietly and tried to get up, only being stopped by Ai's hand holding hers firmly. When she turned to look, Risa could finally see the leader's eyes, for the moonlight outside illuminated on her face and somehow, her hair had moved away from in front of her face too. She didn't have those dark circles under her eyes anymore, making them look more bright. But the pain, it was still there.
Risa felt a bit sympathy towards the leader as she sat down and helped the warrior to lie down properly. Ai did not resist, she just did ad Risa guided her to do. When she was settled down, the younger girl could see how the leader kept on staring at her. For some reason, Risa smiled at her shortly and squeezed her hand gently.

“Sleep now.”

The bean whispered. Ai blinked few times, before her eyes fell shut and she was in the dream land again. But her hold on Risa's hand did not let go.
The younger girl watched the sleeping samurai, as she thought about things. Somehow, she did not feel irritated by this warrior now, as she usually did. Maybe it was because Ai was too weak to say anything rude to her now, but that did not explain the hand holding.
Maybe Ai still needed someone beside her when she was sleeping. Holding someone's hand might have made her feel that someone was beside her all the time and that she was not alone with her nightmares.

'You're like a baby...'

Risa muttered in her thoughts as she laid her head down on the matters and closed her eyes. She didn't intend to fall asleep but she did, for it felt somehow so good to stay in here right now.


Lin Lin came back after one hour and half, finding the house very quiet. She guessed that Risa was sleeping right now, so she did not bother to call out her friend. But she would go check everything was okay.

Lin Lin went to her friend, grabbing a blanket on her way. But instead of going straight to Risa's room, she went to the resting room. As she entered the room, Lin Lin smiled as the scene she thought would happen was in front of her; Risa was sound asleep on Ai's bed, leaning her head on the matters, while she sat on the chair. Ai was also asleep, a peaceful expression on her face. They were still holding each others hands and it seemed like they would not let go anytime soon.

The nurse smiled and walked beside Risa, putting the blanket on her which caused the girl to stir in her sleep and snuggle closer to the warm sheets.
Before she left, Lin Lin watched the two warriors, sleeping peacefully, like there were no worries in this world.

'I knew you would manage in here on your own.'

And with that Lin Lin left the room, leaving the two sleeping beauties in their own dream land, where was no war and everything was like they had always dreamed.


This might have a lot of mistakes again, cause my throat, head and eyes are killing me an I am not thinking very clearly...

Anyways, hopefully you enjoyed this chapter!!  :lol:
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 08:57:02 AM by MsSmigge »

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 18/ 07/03
« Reply #62 on: March 07, 2013, 05:21:29 PM »
Risa and Ai are getting closer, but what is up with Reina? Did I mention I like Tanagaki?

Hope you feel better!

Offline kuro_808

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 18/ 07/03
« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2013, 05:36:58 PM »
^ Pretty much what I was thinking :lol:

Reina was trying to get Risa but got ribbed.  Ai and Risa are slowly warming up to each other while Sayu and Eri are playfully raburabu-ing each other

Although the festival would be a nice setting for Ai to come out to :nervous
Random Thought:


R.I.P. Jab!  Dad/friend

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 18/ 07/03
« Reply #64 on: March 07, 2013, 09:24:47 PM »
wow risa and ai have some peace between them for the moment, i wonder wat happens next

and wat da heck is going on wit reina and sayu :? is there sumthin dat reina is not allowed to do?

thanks for another update mssmigge and i hope u survive ur training again  :grin: then u can dance :yossi:  XD
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 06:49:32 AM by darkacex99 »

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 19/ 14/03
« Reply #65 on: March 14, 2013, 07:35:47 PM »
rndmnweird: No, you have never mentioned how you like TanaGaki... XD And thanks, I felt better for few days, but now my whole body is killing me...

kurosawa87: Lets see what I will make them do when it's time for festival~  ;)

darkacex99: Weeelll.... It's not like she is not allowed to do something. You will find out soon what is going on ;) And I indeed would do my victory dance, but I am way too tired to do it now XD

Hi again everyone and thank you once again for your comments and interest!! I really appreciate it =)

I really should be sleeping right now (This week, I have slept about 10 hours, thanks to my training...), but I can't go to sleep yet because I have something to do in few hours and if I go to bed now... I will never get up XD

So once again, endure all the mistakes I have done in this chapter XD
Here we go~

Chapter 19 – She was like a whole new person

“What now?”

An annoyed voice of Heng was heard in the big hall which scared all the servants around, causing them to hide in shadows. Heng was walking through the hall, three women following behind her. When she reached her chair, the leader sat down heavily, glaring all the three in front of her. She wasn't very happy, for she had not heard anything new or useful from the battlefield and on top of all this, her subordinates were asking for her to take a break from the battle! This was ridiculous.

“Master, really. You don't have to keep on going all the time. You're just tiring our troops and...”

“We should have the strongest warriors in her which can go nonstop till I order them to stop.," Heng spat suddenly, as she interrupted the woman in front of her.

"Also, we have a lot more men than Kibo has, so we can just use the ones who haven't seen the battlefield yet.”

All the three women watched each others quietly. It seemed no one hadn't wanted to deliver the bad news to their leader.

“Master, there just is not enough men," One of them spoke very carefully, a bit afraid of how her master would react to this. "Everyone is tired and they want to rest....”

This time, Heng banged her hand on the arm rest and stood up furiously.This indeed was what they had feared...

“Everyone wants to rest! I want to rest too, but I can't do that before I have gotten what I want! My men have vowed to follow my orders till the very end and so, they are going to do in the future, too!”

She yelled, causing the big hall to echo. One of the women stepped closer and it seemed like she was not afraid of this crazy woman. She walked beside her, placing a hand on her shoulder, which Heng only glared, but did not say a word.

“My dear sister. I know, you want to get that land under your control and so does everyone else in here. But, if we keep going on like this, we just end up burning our men out and then we are a way too easy target to hit away.”

Surprisingly, Heng was listening what her sister was telling to her. Usually, she would immediately yell and call everyone around her stupid and coward, but maybe it was that it was her sister talking now. She was almost as valuable as she was and she could listen to her a little bit.

“What do you say," Heng's sister kept on talking with her calm voice. "if we rest during the festival time and recover our powers. Then, after all the festival fussing is behind, we attack again. But this time, we shall do it with more force than before.”

Heng turned to look at her sister, who had almost the same looks as she did. She only was a bit smaller and her face looked more friendly than hers, but she was no less evil than she was.

“But then they have rested well and they can take us easily. No, we are going to attack during the festival, when they expect it the least....”

“Sis, listen to me.”

This time, the younger woman took a hold of her sister's both shoulders and turned the leader to face her.

“It's true, that we lose the surprise if we attack after the festival. But, if we attack during it, our men wont go very far, for they are too tired. Let them rest over the festival and then, you'll have a well rested army, probably with some new members. Then, we are ready.”

Heng frowned a bit. She wanted to attack during the festival, for it was the best time to strike. Those kibo fools would probably be celebrating all the time, forgetting there was war going on. Besides, festivals were only bunch of some old and foolish traditions and it was highly offensive, if someone launched an attack during that time.
But what her sister had said was also true. She needed well rested men and they were tired now. When there was a festival time, it was almost one hundred percent certainty that Kibo would not attack. Those people would keep their festival and not fight.

'Stupid tradition keepers... This is war damn it!'

“Are you sure this is going to work?”

Her sister smiled very evilly, patting her shoulders. Now, her soft features were gone and her face was almost identical with her elder sister.

“Oh, I am sure of this. I can put some men to work over the festival and do some investigating. After the festival time is over, we have all the information we need and it's easier to strike.”

Heng thought this for a second, before she slowly nodded in approval. The enemy would be so focused on the festival, for it was so important to them and during that time, she would investigate the land more and find their weak points and all. Then, she would attack with a huge army and surprise them with her new information and refreshed army. The Kibo would get ready after the festival of course, but when they celebrated, Heng would make her men work and practice hard. They would be better prepared than Yoshizawa's samurais. Yes, this sounded good.


Heng said, putting her hands on her younger sister's shoulders.

“I knew I could always trust your thinking and tactics. Put the army to rest, and make some slaves do some double work if needed. Put some small groups to investigate the places in Kibo, we have no information yet. Plan our strike and this time, make one which will gain us our victory. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I do sis.”

With that, Min spun around, facing the two woman in front of her.

“Ju and Sayaka. Lets go, we have some work to do.”


“It's quite weird we got this thing through. I would have bet that Heng-sama would not lower her weapons even during the festival time.”

Sayaka only nodded her head, as the army's general kept on ranting how they got to rest during the festival time. It was true, that their men needed some rest but it was also that they leaders needed some rest as well. The festival time was also very traditional time and they wanted to spend that, though they had a war to fight at the same time.

“It's a good thing Min is her right hand woman, or we would not get so many things so easily in...”

Again, Sayaka only nodded her head in response, but didn't say a word. They were at the stables and while Ju took care of one horse, Sayaka sat on the fence, turning something in her hands.

“It's also a good thing that Min is not as crazy as Heng is. Heck, that woman would have killed us all a long time ago, if Min hadn't been there. That leader really doesn't have any kind of tactic head, she just goes forwards with a force, till she gets what she wants....”

“Why are you following her then?”


Ju looked up from behind the horse, so she could see Sayaka, who was still spinning that thing in her hands and looking like she was deep in thoughts.

“Excuse me?”

“If you think, she is not a capable leader and her sister is the one leading us, then why are you following her?”

Ju was silent for a long time, before she laughed dryly at Sayaka's words. The other woman did not respond in any way, but she stopped moving the item in her hands as she listened what Ju would say next.

“Oh, come on Sayaka! Don't take all I say so seriously. She might not be a good leader in the battle field and stuff, but I still respect her, for she finally was the one to open her eyes and tried to get kibo under her control. That land should really be vanished and put under our control.”

Again, Sayaka did not answer. Her head got a bit lower as she looked the item in her hand. It looked like a coin which had some kind of eagle wings spreading on it. It had a small hole in the middle of it, which had a black rope through it. It was some kind of necklace, which she had taken years ago from one person she had wanted to revenge, for she had betrayed her trust.

Clenching her fist shut tight, Sayaka brought it near her mouth and turned her gaze up to the darkening sky. She really hoped she would face this person someday, so they could settle all the things between them. But there was no way things would get done by talking. No, this would mean only a battle between them.

'She will never accept what I did to her. But, I wont forget her betrayal either.'



A voice boomed in a silent house, as the Team Alfa members entered the nurse's place. They had came to check their friends, but it seemed like the place was empty. But it couldn't be, for Ai was still resting here and she should not be left alone. So, there had to be at least two persons in this building right now.

“Is anyone out there?”

Sayu asked as she stepped inside after her friends. Reina was already walking to Risa's room, while Eri entered the resting room.

“Nothing here...”

Reina said as she came back to Sayu. They waited for Eri, but when the turtle did not return, they decided to go check what was she doing.

“What is that aho doing now...”

Sayu's words got cut immediately she opened the door and Reina was speechless as well. They saw Eri standing in the middle of the room, but it was not the main point. On the bed was their leader, sleeping peacefully and she was holding Risa's hand, who in turn was sleeping on the nearby chair, using the bed as a pillow. The trio watched this scene in front of them in disbelief. Okay, they knew Risa and Ai were not friends, but somehow this last incident made them both tolerate each others a bit more, but what was this hand holding thing now? Was their leader still having nightmares?

“Maybe.. Maybe we should wake them up...”

Eri mumbled as she moved forwards. Sayu realized what her girlfriend was about to do and immediately, she tried to stop her.

“Eri, no!”

The bunny hissed as she tried to reach Eri's hand, which was just landing on Risa's shoulder. This caused her to collide with Reina, who had followed just behind Eri, curious to see what would happen after these two would be waken up.

“Hey, watch out....”

Reina said in, but it was too late. She had been in front of Sayu and the bunny's sudden rush had caught her by surprise.

“Reina out of my, WOAH!”

Somehow Sayu got tangled in Reina's legs as she tried to move forwards and the kitten tried to dodge away from her friend's way. They both fell down, Sayu catching Eri's arm and dragging her down too. A loud thumb was heard as the trio fell, causing Risa to wake up immediately.


“Oh great, now she woke up....”

Sayu mumbled as they all watched upwards where they saw Risa's shocked expression.

“mmm... Hi.”

Eri said smiling nervously, Reina copying her her, while Sayu just watched Risa with a stern look. They were piled up in front of the bean, Eri on tope of the trio, while Reina was the one kissing the floor. Sayu had somehow managed to get Reina down before her, so she ended up between her two friends.
Blinking, Risa examined this friend pile of hers on the floor, not quite catching what was going on.

“Mmm... What are you doing in here?”

Eri was the first one to get up, Reina ans Sayu following soon after her.

“Well, we just came to check you guys and then we saw you and Ai....”

The talking stopped suddenly, as Eri watched in Ai's direction with wide eyes. Everyone frowned, looking the same way Eri did and having exactly the same expression as their aho friend.
Ai had awoken too and was now sitting in the bed, looking her three subordinates and friends with a blank stare, like she had seen three ghosts in stead of friends in front of her.


Eri whispered, as she slowly got closer. She made her way to the bed, climbed in and faced her leader, now straddling her legs. By now, everyone else had snapped back on the earth and realized what Eri was about to do. But no one dared to stop this, thought they had a very bad feeling what would happen next. After a moment of silence, Eri's face melted into a huge smile and she jumped forwards, hugging Ai tightly.


Everyone were shocked as Eri hugged Ai, the leader having the same blank stare, which had now some shock mixed in it. Eri kept her hold, but soon she seemed to realize what she was doing and pulled away suddenly. She stared Ai with an apologetic gaze, for she knew how much the leader liked about physical contact. But Ai did nothing. It seemed like she didn't even breath, she just stared at Eri.
After this little dead moment Eri took Ai's hands very carefully and held them, causing the older girl to turn her gaze down. They were quiet again, till Ai raised her head up and looked Eri with a frown. Slowly, the older warrior shook her head from side to side as she kept her eyes on Eri.


She asked, her voice hoarse for she had not talked in a long time. She had only cried and screamed so it was no wonder, that her throat was a bit sore. Risa was sure, that soon Ai was going to yell at her subordinates or something like, “get away I don't need your help!”.
But Ai stayed silent, waiting for Eri's answer, which the turtle soon gave. She smiled gently and held Ai's hands even firmer. She was just too happy, for she knew what this meant. Ai had not said lot, but this was enough for Eri to know, that they had finally gotten something very important back. Something, that they had lost five years ago.

“Can't I give my dear friend a hug?”

And with that she was again on Ai's neck, not caring at all, if the leader wanted this or not. Though Eri knew she would not reject this. She could see in her friend's eyes the same glistening she had seen before these long five years. She was sure that Ai was returning to them.
Reina and Sayu were a bit unsure of what to do, but the leader's next action made them throw their doubts away.
Ai was stunned and didn't move for a while, but then, she slowly raised her arms and wrapped them tightly around Eri. She buried her face in her friends shoulder and held her closer, like she didn't want to let go at all. They stayed like this for a moment, until the leader raised her head and smiled a bit at the two other warriors left. She had still her arms around Eri, for she did not want to let go of her friend.

Reina and Sayu were immediately by their leader's side, hugging her as well. It was again like it had been at the beginning, four friends together again.
Risa watched this scene in front of her with amazement but at the same time, she felt very guilty. She had indeed thought that Ai would be very bad person and she had really doubted her friend's words when they had told her that Ai was a good person. She didn't know what had happened to the leader, but she was like a reborn human and not that rude and cold she had seen at first.
Suddenly, Ai started to cough quite violently, which caused her friends to pull away and watch her with concerned look.

“Ai, everything okay?”

Suddenly, a glass was brought to the leader's lips and her head was tilted back. Ai did not resist, for she had gotten used to this by now. Risa had gotten the water glass and was now giving the liquid to the leader. Ai would probably be able to drink and eat by herself already, but this thing had just grown to be a habit for them both. The trio watched the two warriors in front of them with a surprised look. What on earth was going on between these two?

When Ai had drank enough, Risa took the glass away and put it on a nearby table. When she turned back, she faced the leader who was staring at her blankly. There was another silent moment, as they stared each others, their friends waiting for something to happen.

“I think you guys got some kind of a deal already?”

Eri asked after a while, causing Risa and Ai to turn their attention to her. She was smiling like the sun at her friends, for she really thought these two had made peace with each others now.

But it was not like that. Risa and Ai had had these staring competitions quite a lot and it started every time Risa helped Ai out with something. The older woman would just start to stare at her with that blank look, which Risa could not read at all. Sometimes, she thought she had seen some kind of pain flash in Ai's eyes, but usually when that happened, the leader would turn away and start to sleep or at least pretend that.

“Oi, we got to get going now...”

Reina said suddenly, breaking the awkward silence which had once again fallen into the room. Risa thanked the kitten in her mind for she had broken the awkward silence. It was always very hard to get these staring competitions to stop  but now thanks to Eri, the two warriors had been able to escape this quite easily.

“So soon? Is there somewhere you need to be?” Risa asked as she looked at her friends who had gotten up by now and were about to leave.

“Yeah, we have to do some shopping and Eri here wants to do some festival preparing...”

Sayu said a bit bored, which caused Eri to pout.

“You know you didn't have to come with me, if this is boring in your opinion...”

“Okay now you too, let's go and let these people here rest.”

Reina interrupted her friends and pushed the turtle and bunny out of the room. But soon, she peeked back, smiling at Ai and Risa.

“And it was nice to meet you and see, that you are all right, Ai. Mata nee.”

The leader smiled a bit and nodded her head, like she had not had that staring competition with Risa at all. When Reina disappeared from the door, Risa dashed immediately after them. She wanted to say proper farewell to her friends, but she also wanted to get away from that room. Being in the same space with Ai when she was awake was just something very awkward. They could not talk to each others at all and every time their eyes met, those staring competitions would break free.

“Hey, nice that you came to visit." Risa said at the front door, as she looked after her departing friends.

“Un, it was nice to see you healthy and okay, too. Pity, you have to stay here. It would have been fun to go shopping together.”

Eri said at the door. Reina and Sayu were already a bit further away waiting for her. Eri smiled at Risa and patted her shoulder friendly.

“Take care of Ai, but foremost, take care of yourself. It's so great that you guys can stay in the same room without arguing now.”

Risa forced a smile on her face and nodded at Eri's words. Things were not quite like the turtle thought but it was better to pretend that everything was quite okay, than reveal this awkward situation where these two now were...

“See you and next time, we will all go all together to shopping. See you.”

And with that, Eri exited the house, leaving Risa alone at the door. The fake smile on her face faded away immediately after Eri had turned her back to her. Somehow, she just felt so empty and lonely right now. Of course, she was happy how their friends got their leader back, but at the same time, some kind of fear rose in Risa's mind. What if, she was left alone after these girls got their friend back? What if Ai would still not accept her? What if she was left alone again?


After Risa had watched her friends leaving, she headed back to Ai's room to check everything was okay. She took a deep breath as she approached the room. Every step she took closer was heavier than the former and all the time, an unpleasant feeling made it way up in Risa's mind. The door had somehow got closed and Risa went to open it Slowly, she moved the door away from her way, only to be scared to the dead.


Risa screamed a bit as she took a hold of the wall, when she almost fell. Ai was standing few feet away from her, taking some stance from a wall. She watched Risa with surprised eyes, for she did not intend to scare the younger one and she did not expect her to return anytime soon. They just stared at each others again, The bean trying to catch her breath. She knew Ai was awake, but she did not expect her to get up quite yet.

“Geez, I got scared...”

She huffed and turned to the older woman, who was still staring at her. By now, Risa noticed the glass in her hand which was now empty.

“You need more water?”

Risa asked, which the leader answered quietly by a nod of her head. They had not talked at all, and if they did, it was only Risa who spoke. Ai was using only her body language and sometimes, she would only make some sounds if her message was not clear by her actions. But she would not talk at all, she just couldn't...

“Go back to bed and I'll bring you some water.

Ai didn't say a word, she just stood there. Risa decided to ignore this and went to take the glass from the leader's hand. But just when she was about to leave, Ai took a hold of her arm, causing Risa to gasp a bit in surprise. Immediately, Ai let go and held her hands in air, like she was showing that she had not done anything. At the same time, she took few steps backwards, as she took some distance to Risa. Too bad, her condition was not the very best yet and she almost ended up falling down. Noticing this, Risa put the glass quickly away and went to help the warrior.

“Easy there. Lets get you back to bed.”

She said as she put her arm around the older woman's waist, causing Ai to tense immediately. Risa felt this, but she did not care. Slowly but surely, she got the leader in the bed, laying her gently down. Again, Ai was staring at her but now, she had that damn pained expression on her face again. What was the matter now?

Suddenly, the leader turned her head away, laid on her side and hid her head in the sheets. Risa was a bit stunned by this, but she decided to leave it to be once again. This was not the first time this happened and nothing serious had happened after these moments, so it would probably go as it had gone earlier. Ai would fall asleep and wake up next time when it was the dinner time. But this time as Risa got up and was about to leave the room, she heard something that did not fit with the former events. It was quiet sobbing and when she turned to look, Risa saw the leader's body shivering. She went back immediately to check, if everything was okay. But there was really nothing she could do and she also didn't know what the heck she should do. After Risa had sat there for a while, The bean decided to go get the water, so Ai would have something to drink. But Ai would not leave her mind. Risa was all the time thinking what the hell was behind that pained look she wore always when she was interacting with Risa. Why was it so painful to her to look at her and interact with her?

'I don't understand this at all... What's going on in your mind?

At the same time, the said leader was curled into a fetal position, crying quietly. She was not asleep, but she was not quite awake either. She was just crying, for she had gotten some memories back after seeing Risa's face. Some were her own memories but some were still fresh in her mind. Those thoughts would cut Ai's like a knife every time they flashed in her head. And every single time, when she saw Risa's face, something cut even deeper inside of her.

'I'm sorry... So sorry, for all the pain I have caused to you...'

I brought the bad guys back!!! XD I haven't forgotten them, but they are not so important at the beginning~

I am so freaking tired.....  :dizzy: I should not have written this, but damn it I already wrote it.... Hope you get some sense from this chapter, because at some parts I was like: "......................What the hell did I want to happen in here??"

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this unclear chapter! XD

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 19/ 14/03
« Reply #66 on: March 14, 2013, 08:02:14 PM »
oh yessss an update :cathappy:

omg i 100% know how risa feels in an ackward silence situation XD these situations r hard to get out of if ur not good at talking ur way outta stuff O0

in my heart im hoping dat risa n ai dont  :deco: each other cuz dat would b sooo ackward  :O

glad u survived again and i hope u can get some rest :thumbup sleep is a beautiful thang :wub:
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 10:22:20 PM by darkacex99 »

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 19/ 14/03
« Reply #67 on: March 14, 2013, 08:32:01 PM »
At least we know that the festival will be safe. But so much awkwardness! @.@

Offline kuro_808

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Re: Re: The mask of soul//chapter 19/ 14/03
« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2013, 02:30:48 AM »
Well they are safe for now but after the war will continue

Ai and Risa are becoming close but not fully sure for the bean to trust her

Posted by the mento Hawaiian

Random Thought:


R.I.P. Jab!  Dad/friend

Offline alwaysYou

  • Aigaki<3 and AiReina<3
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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 19/ 14/03
« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2013, 05:27:31 PM »
“Oh, I am sure of this. I can put some men to work over the festival and do some investigating. After the festival time is over, we have all the information we need and it's easier to strike.”]
don't feel good about this line.. :banghead:
How come i have a feeling, if they know the current situation of the enemy leader, which is Ai, is in such state, they will make use of this weak point and attack them :banghead:
Kidnap her and torture her..sadistic part of me appearing  :lol:

i wonder who sayaka hates..seem like its one of gorokkies :?
And if its Ai..more drama  :lol: :lol: :lol:
Will this festival period be safe, i think its hard to say..Maybe you will surprise us with a surprise war.. :lol:

Awkward AiGaki is awkward..cant wait to see how their relationship will become..
Aichan should stop feeling that its her fault for Gakisan's pain!

Next chp pls.. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 20/ 17/03
« Reply #70 on: March 17, 2013, 09:58:17 PM »
darkacex99: Awkward silence situations are horrible and it does not help, that I am very bad with them... XD

rndmnwierd: Unless I cheated you all to think that it will be safe  :twisted: lol, no, I can tell that the festival will be safe  :lol:

kurosawa87 They will grow closer bit by bit~ :oops:

alwaysYou You just gave me a bunch of ideas and I am very tempted to change this story a bit now... XD But only a bit, cause I already have an image where this story is going~

Again, thank you everyone so much for your interest.  :wub: You make me happy~

A fast update, cause there's going to be one week without computer once again. Why? Yes, another training incoming  :fainted: And I should read for my entrance examination... Yup, I am going to die.

Anyways, here's the next chapter.
Here we go~

Chapter 20 – A new home and a surprise

The next days in the nurse's place were spent in a quite awkward atmosphere. Both Ai and Risa kept on avoiding each others and after Ai was very capable of doing all things by herself, the two would only avoid each others even more. They didn't look at each others, they didn't talk to each others and they even avoided staying in the same room for too long time. This, at them same time made Risa relieved but a bit bothered, too. The good thing was, that Ai had not acted rude nor violent. She would just glance Risa with her blank stare from time to time and then leave the room or just ignore the other girl completely. Risa was the same, but this thing kept on haunting her mind all the time. Okay, it was a good thing they didn't fight with each others but damn, they could at least act casually even when the other one was in the same room. But every time, it seemed like everything would freeze around them, even when their friends were with them, and the awkward atmosphere would not end till either Ai or Risa left the room.

Risa wanted to be normal around Ai, though they were not friends and both probably harbored some kind of bad feelings towards each others, but they could at least try.
LinLin didn't seem to notice this situation at all and she was always acting like they had been roommates for years when they all were in the same space. Or well, Risa knew LinLin had noticed this all, but just didn't want to make the situation even worse by saying it out loud to the other girls.

It was once again a normall day and Risa was preparing for her training. She had her black warrior's uniform on and her long brown hair was in a loose ponytail.

'Okay, do I have everything...'

She thought as she was examining all kind small equipment on the table nearby the resting room's door. She was just putting all the things in her training bag, when she noticed something was missing. Her hairpin was nowhere in sight. It was probably forgotten on the resting room's table. Just when Risa was about to enter the said room, the door opened suddenly and Ai came into view. Both women got surprised by each others as they almost collided. They stared each others with wide eyes, but neither moved away. Again, the time and the whole place froze and Risa was sure she could even feel how the temperature got lower, moment by moment.

'Why doesn't she do anything?'

'Why is she just standing there and staring at me?'

Both women ran all kind of thoughts in their heads as they were having their staring competition. Finally Ai was the one to snap back on earth as she opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She just moved her lips like she was a fish, causing Risa to frown a bit. Risa either didn't know what to say, though she could just say something like “Hey, could you move away, so I can get my items” or at least something like that. But no, nothing came out. Just when the moment was going to get even more awkward a knock was heard on the front door.

Risa thanked the person whoever was out there, for now she got a great reason to break this deadly and awkward silence. She spun around and ran to the door, leaving Ai to watch after her. The leader was also very relieved and thankful to this person who had knocked the door a moment ago. She just froze every time she faced the bean and at the same time, she lost her verbal abilities. It was awkward and annoying, but there just was nothing she could do to it. Sighing, Ai listened who had entered the house a while ago and immediately she heard the visitor's voice, the leader's head shot up.

“Well hello there Risa.”

A familiar voice of the king's councilor was heard as Risa opened the front door.

“Jun Jun? Hi, what brings you here?”

Risa asked a nit confused as she let the woman inside. Immediately, Jun Jun spotted Ai, who was still standing at the door where Risa had left her. Both women had a surprised look on their face, for they had not seen each others in times. Of course, Jun Jun knew where Ai had stayed during this time and sometimes had seen her in the training area, but now she was meeting a whole different Ai. Or more likely, the Ai she had first learnt to know
Soon, Jun Jun made a polite smile and warm smile and bowed a bit towards Ai.

“Ohisashiburi desu. It's very goot to see you, Ai.”

The leader answered the bow immediately with her own and when she raised her head, she had a small smile on her face, too. Risa's eyes widened as she saw hoe the leader acted. She was smiling and she was polite!

“You too, Jun Jun.”

Again, Ai was like a whole different person, smiling and acting nice. But when her gaze turned to Risa, the smile vanished immediately and that blank stare was there again. Quickly, she turned her gaze away from Risa, who was still staring at the leader with a very surprised look.

“If... If you excuse me, I have some things to do. See you again.” Ai said to the councilor and went back to her room, giving Jun Jun one more smile till she disappeared in her room.
Jun Jun just smiled while Risa was again very bothered. Okay, she knew she was “a new person” here but still, why could not Ai act casually around her? Just some kind of nod or small words would have been enough, but this damn silence and those staring competitions just started to irritate Risa. They didn't need to be friends at all, but they could at least be humans to each others. Why was this so damn hard...


Jun Jun's gentle voice got Risa's attention, as the councilor was about to leave the building.

“The king wants to meet you again. She has some news for you.”

News for her? What could that mean?

“Oh, okay. I'll just take my training things and I'll be after you.” Risa said as she rushed to the small table where her equipment were. Her hairpin was still missing, but Risa would not go fetch it now, or she would probably freeze the time with Ai again. Glancing the closed door once more, Risa left the house after Jun Jun. Lin Lin had said that it was okay to leave Ai alone now, for she had healed quite well by now. Risa locked the front door after her and followed Jun Jun on the street, wondering what kind of news did the king have for her.


The Palace was just like last time Risa visited it, but now, there were all kind of decorations around. Everything was under red as the servants put all kind of decorations around places. Risa had heard that the festival was held at the Palace, for it had so large yard so it would be easy to fit everyone in there. Also, Yoshizawa wanted that her people would be able to see how the Palace looked from inside. Citizens never went there unless they had some kind of business with the king or some kind of urgent information. However, Yoshizawa had thought that she could change this law too, but Jun Jun and Rika had gotten her to keep them that way they were. Not that they didn't want to be with the citizens, but it was also a security thing. The main reason, that everyone was not allowed to enter the Palace was that in that way, they could control who comes in and so they could get rid of all kind of threats towards the king and her family. At first, Yoshizawa had protested, but a firm look and few threats from her wife had made her shut up.

Jun Jun and Risa stopped at in the big hall, where Yoshizawa was talking with one servant, planning where the decoration should be put. When she was finished she headed towards her councilor who snapped in attention, Risa following suit. This caused Yoshizawa to frown and before Jun Jun could open her mouth, the king was speaking already:

“You even dare to think about bowing towards me and I will cancel these good news immediately and fire you Jun Jun.”

Both women watched the king with fear, for Yoshizawa had talked with a quite serious tone, so they ended up just nodding their head, which caused a broad smile to lid on the king's face.

“Great! Jun Jun, the papers.”

Quickly, the councilor took some papers from under her coat and handed them to Yoshizawa, who checked them. After being sure that everything was okay and she had the right documents, the king handed the papers to the bean.

“Here you go. I found a home for you.”


Risa gasped as she took the papers. There was her name, the name of the place which was going to be her home, the king and the queen's signature and kibo's seal. These papers were formal and they said that Risa would indeed have a home in here. Risa was sure that she was dreaming. This just couldn't be true...

“This... I... I have... I have an own home now?” Risa asked quietly, Yoshizawa nodding her head in approval. Tears rose in Risa's eyes as she read the papers over and over again. This just could not be true. She had a home now. After all she had experienced and lost, she had a new place to stay. A new place, where she could have a new start.

“It's a bit old house, but it's at least nearby your friend.”

Risa raised her head up and looked the king with wide eyes. Her friend? Who? She didn't know that one of her friends had had free house's or apartments nearby them.

“Actually, it's in the same building as Eri's home is. Yours, is in the upstairs of that building.”

“Nearby Eri?”

Eri had never mentioned Risa that no one lived in her neighbor and that there was actually an empty place for someone to stay. Or then that aho turtle just didn't notice when one day her neighborhoods stopped passing by every morning. That would not surprise Risa at all.

“Yes. I thought it would be a very good place for you.”

Well it indeed was! Risa could see Eri more often and if she needed help, she just walked down the stairs and knocked on Eri's door. This was great! Soon, Yoshizawa motioned Risa to follow, as she dismissed Jun Jun. The councilor was just about to bow, but when the king send a very deadly look towards her, Jun Jun only nodded her head a bit and dashed away. Yoshizawa only shook her head and started to walk forwards, Risa putting the papers under her coat and following after her. It did not take long before the king started to talk happily with the bean. If someone who did not know these two had watched them from a side, the person would never guess that the older one was actually a king of this land. But that was Yoshizawa's goal; she wanted to be like anyone in her village and she did not want to stand out too much. It was much more nice to be casual.

“So, how have you been?” Yoshizawa asked casually as she walked on.

“Quite fine thank you. How about you?” Risa spoke in a bit nervous tone. It was not everyday that you spoke with your king like this. But the bean also knew that if she acted like she acted with her friends, she would save herself from the king's lecture, how he was too formal with her. nonetheless, she was still very nervous though she looked relaxed.

“That's good to hear. And I am great. I love the festival time! We can celebrate and be with each others and even the war is forgotten for a while. Thought these festivals were better when this tension of war would not disturb us, but maybe in the future, I can have back the festival I had in my childhood.”

The king said as she stopped to examine some decorations, Risa parking beside her. The servants really had done great work with these things! There were red flowers and ribbons hanging everywhere. Someone had also made all kind of figures from the flowers, which were quite cute in Risa's opinion. Just when they were about to continue their way, someone interrupted the silence which had landed in the hall.


Yoshizawa spun around in no time to face a small boy, probably around 10-years-old. A huge smile lit on her face as the kid ran towards her, the king opening her arms to the boy,

“Hey, rascal!” Yoshizawa said playfully, scooping the boy in her arms. The kid was wearing black pants and a deep red dress shirt, which had black dragon around it. She was not wearing any shoes and now that Risa examined the boys clothing more, she noticed how her shirt was a bit unbuttoned and ruffled.

“Akira! Get back here!”

A sharp command was heard in the hall as a woman with a long dark brown hair dashed out from one room. All the servants got away from this lady's way as she stormed towards her family. Even Risa got chills running down her spine as she watched the approaching female. Damn, she was scary...

“Oi, what have you done now, for mama is so angry?” Yoshizawa questioned her son, who only smirked at her, mirroring the king's own smirk perfectly.
“Young man, get immediately back to your room and get dressed properly! A young prince should not move around in that kind of clothing.”

The woman said to her son firmly, but she didn't raise her voice too much. The boy just buried her head in the king's shoulder, which caused Yoshizawa's heart to melt immediately.

“Aww, come on Rika. It wont kill anyone if his clothing is not always so perfect.”

Rika stared her spouse with a dark gaze, which caused the king to chuckle nervously.

“Or well... Maybe it is. Come on Akira, lets go get you dressed properly...." And with that, Yoshizawa put her son down who immediately ran to her mother and took a hold of her hand.

“Oh, I almost forgot," The king said suddenly, as she turned to face Risa. "meet my family Risa. My wife Rika and my son Akira.”

Only now did Rika notice Risa. She smiled politely but quite sternly at her and as Risa bowed towards her, she did the same.

“Hai, I have heard of you. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” Risa said as politely as she could. Though Yoshizawa might not like formalities, the bean could tell immediately, that the queen was totally a different story

“Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” Rika answered and after a while, tapped her son's shoulder gently. Akira watched her mother for a while, before she realized what he had to do. She stepped a bit forwards and bowed towards Risa, saying the same thing her mother had said a while ago.

“And this is Risa. She's the new citizen in here, who comes from the village which was attacked some time ago.” The king explained to her family.

Rika nodded again towards Risa, keeping her polite and formal smile up.

“I hope you will settle down well in here.”

Smiling back, Risa bowed a bit again. "Thank you." After that, she turned back to Yoshizawa and bowed towards her too, forgetting for a while how the king hated bowing and such.

“I think I'm on my way then now. Thank you one more time. I really appreciate your generousness and help.”

Risa felt how a hand was gently laid on her shoulder. Raising her head up, she was met by the king's gentle smile.

“You're welcome child. Go make that place your home and rest well. The festival is coming and I want every single person in this land to rest before it, so they can get all joy from the festival.”
With that the king turned around and walked to her family. She took her son's hand and while they walked forward, she leaned to give a small peck on Rika's cheek, causing the queen to smile a bit. Risa watched after the family with a smile, remembering her own family again. But those memories did not hurt so much now. She was going to have a home, and it would be even more easy to start a new life here.


The four friends were standing in front of a building, which had two blocks. There was a large balcony and stairs up, which was the place Risa should make her new home. In the downstairs was a door, which had a small sign where Eri's name was engraved. Immediately Risa had gotten out of the Palace, she had informed her friends about her new home and now everyone was here to look at her new place.

“There really hasn't been anyone living in five years?”

Eri asked quietly, causing all the others to sigh deeply. As Risa had thought, Eri had not noticed how the occupants above her had moved away about five years ago. Risa had said this to her friend, but when Eri mentioned that she had been wondering why her neighbor didn't show up in the mornings anymore, the bean decided to keep her mouth shut. Eri indeed was an aho.

“No, but now there will be. I'm going to move in there.”

Risa said as she took the stairs and walked on the balcony. It was not in the best shape, but it would not collapse either. Maybe she could ask someone do some magic for it and make it look a bit better.

“I wonder how it looks from inside...”

Reina mused as the rest of the group followed after Risa. There was a door, which was unlocked and two windows. Risa walked to the door and slid it open. Everyone peeked inside and were speechless when they saw what was inside. The someone, who had lived here five years ago had indeed left in a rush, for the house had all the furniture in there. But what stunned everyone the most, was the amount of dust and cobwebs. This apartment looked more like a ghost house than a place where someone could live.

“Mou, we have a lot of cleaning....” Eri whined as they finally stepped inside. Though the place was all mess it was quite bright, thanks to the windows. After cleaning, this would be a very nice place to live in.

“Saa, lets get to work.”

Sayu said, dragging Eri with her, who had said she could go find something from her home which could help the cleaning. Too bad, everyone knew how bad the turtle was at household chores, which lead to that she simply did not have anything in her home which could help them with this. Sayu had also promised that she would keep an eye on Eri, so the turtle would not escape this.

“Un, if we never start, I might as well get used to live with spiders and other bucks...”
Risa said, as she wiped some webs away from the window corner. Sayu and Eri started to take care of the furniture, while Risa whipped the cobwebs away and Reina cleaned the floor. They had brought some old textures with them and a few buckets of water, cause they really were going to need them. Risa had wiped a windowsill once and she already had to go wash the rug, for it had turned totally black from all the dust and dirt.

They had cleaned for about one hour when they decided to take a small break. Eri crashed on one couch, which let out a lot of dust.

“Hey! I just cleaned around that!” Reina whined, while Eri just waved her hand tiredly and slouched deeper in the old furniture.

“We are going to spend our rest of lives cleaning this so you have time to wash it again. This place will never become clean!”

Risa chuckled at the desperate turtle, who described this thing more painful than the war itself.

“Don't worry, this dust will end at some point. But I can't ask you to spend your free time here helping me. I bet you want to relax and do something fun and this really isn't something like...”

“Okay stop right there. "Reina interrupted Risa as she got up from the floor. "We are here to help a friend and when it comes to that, you can screw our free time and having fun, ne?”

Reina turned to her friends, who nodded in approval. Even Eri answered immediately, though Risa was sure the girl would soon leave to her own house and never ever come back here.
A smiled appeared on Risa's lips as she watched her friends. They really were sweet persons. She bet that they wanted to spend their free time relaxing and not cleaning her house, but here they were helping her, though they should be resting.

“Thank you guys. I really appriciate this.”

“Anything for you.” Reina said, as she winked at Risa, which caused her to blush. Though she knew Reina was just kidding, somehow her words and actions made her feel a bit funny inside. It felt embarrassing, but at the same time, very nice.

“Aww, get a room...” Eri moaned as she watched her girlfriend pleadingly, who was by now sitting on the floor beside her legs.

“Honey, could you get me some water for me? I swear all this dust has made me throat so sore..."

“Anything for you~” Sayu cooed to Eri, as she patted her thigh gently. This caused everyone but the certain turtle to laugh. Eri pouted and kicked Sayu a bit, which caused the younger one to only laugh a bit more.

“Hahaa, very funny.” The turtle pouted as she crossed her arms in front of her.

“Finally it's not me, who is laughed at!” Reina rejoiced as she made some victory fanfares. Eri glared at her and was just about to get up and make Reina pay for her words, when they were all interrupted by someone at the door.


The laughter stopped and everyone turned to look at the person, who was standing just behind the threshold, watching every girl in the room till her eyes landed on Risa. There was no expression on the person's face, she was just staring blankly at the bean who had already gotten tired of that expressionless face and piercing gaze. But now, she was just too shocked to think about something like that.

“May I come in?”

The person asked quietly, forcing her words out from her mouth as she spoke. Everyone was quiet and didn't do or say a thing. Risa just stared at the woman, who had just asked politely to come inside her new home. If getting a new home in here had felt like a dream, this felt even more like a dream. This just could not be...

'What is she doing here?'


Things start to change after this chapter~  8)

Hope you enjoyed this chapter!

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 20/ 17/03
« Reply #71 on: March 18, 2013, 03:00:09 AM »
I can't believe Ai would show up on her own! Especially with everyone around and all.

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 20/ 17/03
« Reply #72 on: March 18, 2013, 03:46:31 AM »'s kinda back :catglare: im kinda missing her hardcore meanie personality :twisted: but oh well :roll:

awww reina and risa had a little moment w/o risa jabbing reina :cathappy: soo cute!

Offline kuro_808

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Re: Re: The mask of soul//chapter 20/ 17/03
« Reply #73 on: March 18, 2013, 06:20:08 PM »
The appearance at the end was a welcome sight for them

Posted by the mento Hawaiian

Random Thought:


R.I.P. Jab!  Dad/friend

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 21/ 26/03
« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2013, 01:01:30 PM »
rndmnweird: Guy-chan will do some other surprises too in the near future~ ;)

darkacex99: You like Ai-chan's "bad side" more? xD That surprising. But don't worry, Ai is a warrior in the end and every warrior has their little badass inside them, no matter what~

kurosawa87: Well, yes it kinda was  :lol:

*crawls out from the shadows* I'm dead again  :fainted: My training was a bit different than I expected and I haven't slept well in one week... Also, after the training, I didn't even get to go home, but to work... Damn it.

But luckily things have calmed down now a bit and I have a bit more free week and half now, though I have to teach my new team in here. But it's nice, for they are such a nice bunch of people~

There will probably be some fast updates again. Thank you everyone for your interest and comments  :wub:

The next chapter, here we go~

Chapter 21 – Melting ice

'Why am I here again....'

Ai mused in her mind as she was awkwardly standing behind Risa's apartment's threshold. Oh yeah, she had met Yoshizawa in the town earlier today and the king had informed her about Risa's new home. The leader had no idea why the king had told her that, but for some reason, the information had stayed in Ai's head and after the conversation with Yoshizawa, Ai had found herself in front of the Risa's apartment. At first the leader had decided to go home after meeting with the king, but in some magical way, she had found her way towards the bean's home and she even had taken a broom with her on her way here! What on earth was wrong with her? Ai knew, Risa did not like her and there was always this awkwardness with them whenever Ai saw the younger girl. She didn't even know the girl so well. All she knew, that Risa probably hated her a lot and that the leader had hurt her feelings a lot lately. So why was she here, being ready to help the younger girl out? Maybe it was her good leader inside who wanted to do the right things and pay for her mistakes she had done. In any case, here she was, asking a permission from Risa to enter her house and help and there was no backing away now.
Ai took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself down. She had noticed how her friends and Risa had stared her quite a long time now, as if asking why was the leader in here.

Inside the apartment, all the four girls were very stunned as they stared at the oldest warrior. This was something they were not prepared to...

'What is she doing here?'

Risa wondered, as she stared the leader of the Team Alfa at her door with wide eyes. Ai had sitll not entered the house, for she was waiting for the bean's permission. She was still very aware, that the younger girl might not like her very much and she was also prepared to that Risa would probably throw her away immediately. But the bean just stared her with the others. She didn't say a word, for she was too confused right now. But after a while she nodded her head very slowly, allowing the leader to enter the apartment.
Ai, nodding her head, stepped over the threshold and bowed a bit towards her friend's and Risa.


Ai said, as she took her shoes away and put them neatly beside the others on the floor. When she turned to the other warriors, she found them still at the same places as a while ago, still staring at her.

“I heard you had a home here and I thought you might need some help.” Ai spoke in a very stern tone, but she did not sound rude at all. This caused everyone to get even more confused. What was going on?

Once again, Eri was the first one to recover as she happily ran to the leader. Ai turned her attention to the turtle, who patted her shoulders gently, smiling broadly at the same time.

“This is great! Just when I thought no one would come to save me! Clean well, so Risa will have a nice place to stay! Ja ne!” Eri dashed pass Ai, which caused Sayu and Reina to snap and dash after her.

“Oh, no you wont!”

They yelled, as they ran after the aho turtle, leaving Risa and Ai alone in the apartment.

'Well great.... Just when I thought things would not get any more awkward...'

Risa thought as she got up and patted some dust away from her clothes, though she knew they would get dusted again soon. The bean could not help the fact that she was very nervous of this surprise visit. What the heck had gone to that leader, who at first was very rude towards her, then she would not talk to her and now she was standing in her home, offering her help. Risa could not understand this at all. Either the leader had something in the back of her mind or then she was completely crazy.

Soon the loud voice of her returning friends were heard, making Risa and Ai to snap out of their thoughts. The bean thought that it would be the best to start do something. It would be quite weird, if they were in the same places as when their friends had gone after Eri. For a while, Risa just turned around nervously as she tried to figure out, what the leader could do.

“Ano... You can clean the floor... No, we don't have anything for that... Well maybe then.” Risa muttered, but she was soon cut by Ai.

“The floor is fine.” Ai interrupted her and only now did Risa notice that the leader had held something behind her back all the time. As Ai started to walk to the next room, she took the small broom she had brought from behind her back and went to clean.

'She was even prepared to this??!!'

Risa thought in awe, but her attention was soon caught by her friends, who were returning back. The door was slammed open and the bean could see her three friends enter her apartment. Sayu had gotten Eri's legs, while Reina held her hands as they carried the squirming turtle back to work.

“Where did that “We will always help friends” thing?” Reina asked teasingly, when she and Sayu unleashed the turtle, being all the time aware if she tried to escape again.

“Yeah, yeah, I will go to clean....” Eri mumbled as she grabbed some rugs from a small pile on a nearby table and went to the other room in the apartment. Risa just chuckled at this and took some rugs as well.

“We better continue if we want to get this place clean.” Sayu and Reina nodded in approval and went back to work, taking their own areas and Sayu watching after Eri, that she would not escape again.
So they continued, the dust disappearing bit by bit. Everyone worked hard, so they could get this place tidied sooner so Risa could settle down in here. Everyone had promised to give her some bedclothes and stuff so she would not sleep on a hard floor. Also, Yoshizawa herself had promised to help Risa settle down; in the middle of the cleaning, Jun Jun appeared at the apartment door with some servants, who were carrying some kind of table and other furniture.

“Shitsureishimasu. Gaki-san? Immediately, when the councilor stepped inside, she was met by Eri who was just going to change the water in one of the buckets. The turtle stared at the councilor like she had seen a ghost, while Jun Jun just smiled politely at her.

“Jun Jun?” Eri whispered, which was heard by Reina and Sayu too, who had also been on their way to get some clean rugs. This caused the girls to stop in their tracks as they noticed who was at the door. The councilor smiled at them too, bowing politely.

“Hi there guys.”

The cleaning equipment in the girls hands were suddenly dropped as they all dashed to the councilor. Jun Jun did not have much time to defend herself, when she was blocked to the floor, the four warriors hugging her tightly.

“JUN JUN!!!”


The councilor tried to squirm away and get free, but the three girls who were asking all kind of questions and hugging the panda tightly, did not let her go. Alarmed by all the noise, Risa came to check what was going on. She saw the councilor on the ground, who was desperately trying to get up and away from the girls who had assaulted her. The captured woman shot a bleeding look at Risa, begging for help. There just was no way she could get away from this on her own. If these three decided to do something, they would also do it.

“A little help....” Jun Jun whined. Risa chuckled a bit as she went to help the poor councilor.

“Come on guys, let Jun Jun go.”


The trio shouted at the same time as they kept on hugging the panda. Risa had to literally pry them off the councilor and command them to stand down, for they were all the time trying to get to Jun Jun. Even Sayu was acting like a child as she tried all the time to get pass Risa and get closer to Jun Jun.

“Really guys! Calm down!”

“You don't know how hard it is to catch that woman! She disappears all the time!” Eri whined as she pointed at Jun Jun. Risa shook her head and sighed. How was it then, that she met Jun Jun once in a while and these three didn't see her at all?

“I don't disappear, it's just that, we are not in the same places at the same time. I have been busy lately, but now it is a festival time, so I have more time to move around in here too.”

“You better...” Reina mumbled as she crossed her arms in front of her, glaring the panda with Sayu and Eri.

“Well what ever....” Jun Jun said rolling her eyes, as she waved the servants in. They brought a table, cushions, some bedclothes and another table which had some kind of drawers in it.

“Here. These are from Yoshizawa. She truly hopes you will settle down well in here.”

Risa just stared all the furniture in front of her. This could not be. Had the king given her all this? This was too much...

“This is too much. I can't accept all this.”

But Jun Jun only turned to the girl and smiled knowingly at her.

“You know that Yoshizawa wont take no as an answer. Just accept them and make this place your home. Now, if you excuse me, I have other business to do.”

“You just said you have more time now!!”

Reina yelled suddenly with Sayu and Eri and again, the trio was surrounding the panda, who was helplessly trying to escape. It was not that she didn't want to be with her friends, but they had to calm down first before she could stay more than 10 seconds around them. Also, she didn't have that much free time as her friends probably thought. She still had a lot of work to do and some of them required that she had to leave the village.

“Okay, make way, I really got to go. I promise we will see more during the festival time, okay?” All the three watched the panda with a serious face, till they glanced each others. They were silent for a while, before everyone nodded and turned to face Jun Jun again.

“You better promise that or,”

“We will hunt you down,”

“And tie you down in somewhere were you wont escape."

Jun Jun watched her friends with amusement. They were just so funny when they teamed up like this and acted childish. They were a bit scary, but in the end the councilor knew that her friends would not hurt her. They only liked to threaten her a lot. But it was still good thing to keep them satisfied, for one could never be too sure of these three when they teamed up like this...

“Look guys, i really...”


“Okay, okay! I promise. Damn, calm down....”

Finally, the councilor was allowed to leave with the servants and everyone went back to their tasks. They kept small breaks once in a while but the only one who did not do so, was Ai. The leader had cleaned the floor a long time ago, but now she was cleaning other places. While others were sitting down, she just moved between the three rooms, once in a while changing the rug and going back to her task. Risa frowned at this, but her friends were very calmly spending their break, being like Ai was not there at all. It was like it was normal if the leader was not spending the break with the. Finally Risa got enough and next time Ai passed her, the girl got up in order to catch the leader's attention.


Ai stopped and turned towards Risa, while the bean tried to figure out what to say. It was always very hard to talk to Ai and though they were “in good terms” now, it was still very difficult to do.

“You can take a break too you know...” Risa mumbled as she carefully made eye contact with the leader. Ai only stared at her, just like she always had done when she and Risa were having these staring competitions. But this time, their battle was cut by Eri.

“Just sit down and relax Risa. It's easier to get Yoshizawa make us all bow in front of her than make Ai stop keeping things clean and in order.”

Risa glanced the turtle a bit stunned. What did she mean? Last time she saw Ai's apartment, it was all mess! How could she keep things in order?

“Believe me, just sit down and let Ai-chan clean. Ne?” Eri chirped, turning her smiling face towards Ai. The leader was quiet for a while, before she answered Eri's smile with her own and nodded her head slowly. But again, when she faced Risa, the smile was gone and that stern face was back.

“I'm fine.” She said and continued her cleaning. Again, Risa felt a bit irritated, but it was not as strong feeling as it had been at the first time she had interacted with Ai. The leader was much nicer and Risa could bare her now easily, but this tension between them just annoyed her. Why could she not act normally with her, even though she was not her friend?
Soon, Risa did what Eri had said and sat down on the floor, frowning at the leader, who kept on cleaning her apartment.

“What's wrong with her....” Risa mumbled out loud, though she didn't intend to.

“Nothing's wrong with her.” Reina said, as she sipped some water from a cup Jun Jun had brought.

“Well there's definitely something wrong with her. She was not that “polite” to me at first...”

“That was not Ai-chan then.” Sayu interrupted Risa, which caused her to frown even more. She turned her attention to her friends, who were now following Ai as well, smiling gently at the same time.

“This, my dear friend, is the real Ai. She is still recovering, but I can already see her coming back.” Eri whispered quietly. This indeed was their dear leader, who had been lost five years now and now it seemed, that she was on her way back.

“The fact that she is here right now helping someone who she has not liked much only makes me believe even more that our Ai-chan is coming back.” The turtle continued, all the time keeping her eyes on the cleaning leader.

“If you ask me,” Sayu said suddenly, causing Risa to turn her attention to her. “I think this is Ai's ways of asking forgiveness.”

“Eeh?” Risa yelled shortly. Forgiveness? Could Ai really do something like that?? There was just no way...

“Ai rarely uses words, but her actions speak a lot louder. And especially now, that she has not been very sociablr for years, it's very hard to come out with words. That's why, she acts instead.” Reina continued her friends and took a sip from her mug. They were in a silence for a while, before Eri shrugged a bit and looked at Risa with a grin.

“But you better get prepared to that Ai will ask your forgiveness for a long time. She is just so damn stubborn and blames herself all the time.”

Risa blinked few times, before she turned her attention back to Ai, who was now taking care of some cobwebs. It just felt so weird to see the leader this calm and doing something else than practicing or training.

'Could it really be, that all that happened in the beginning... Was just another person? That she hid her real self behind a mask? Could it be....'



A loud yell was heard in Risa's apartment as Eri punched her hands in the air at the same time as she fell on one of the cushions on the floor. They had cleaned this house for the whole day and finally, when the day was turning into an evening, they had finished. Gone were the dust and spider webs and now everything was shiny and clean. Of course, the house was quite old so not everything was so shiny, but at least it was clean now. They had also put the furniture on their own places. The first room had the table and cushions around it. The next one was Risa's room and in the last one she would keep all her training equipment and if she ever had guests it would be a guestroom as well. They had also gotten rid of the old furniture, for they were not usable anymore.

“Aaaah, I am going to die....” Eri whined, as she sat down on one of the pillows.

“And you slacked the most of us....” Sayu and Reina mumbled, but Eri just waved them off. Risa chuckled as she examined the new home she had. Though she had not spent even a night in here, it felt already very cozy. In time, she would make it more like herself, but now, this was okay like this. The bean turned slowly to her friends, smiling at them gently.

“Thank you so much guys. I could not have done this without you.” She bowed a bit towards the trio, which caused her friends to moan and wave their hands. Eri jumped up and went to hug Risa.

“Stop thanking us. We are here to help you anytime, ne.”
Risa chuckled again as she hugged Eri back. It was quite hilarious how the younger girl would at first offer her help, then whine about the work and after everything was done, she was once again telling Risa how she would always help her.

“Yeah, just call us and we will come to help you.” Reina said smiling as well. Risa smiled at her, which caused the kitten to wink at her once. Again, Risa got a bit funny feeling in her stomach after seeing Reina act like this, but she tried to ignored it for now. However, it was easier said than than, when Reina was looking at her with her broad grin all the time.

“Oi, I think we should leave now. It's quite late...” Sayu said as she looked outside. They had really lost the sense of time while cleaning and hadn't noticed how the evening had came.

“Un. I think so too...” Reina mumbled as they all went to put their shoes on.

“Hey, where's Ai?” Eri asked suddenly as they were just leaving the apartment. Risa looked behind her, only finding an empty apartment. Ai was nowhere in sight.

“Maybe she already went...” Somehow, Risa felt a bit sad after hearing Sayu's words. She had hoped she could at least thank Ai for her help. She had came here and helped her cleaning, thought Risa hadn't even thought of asking her help. But still, she had came and it made Risa feel quite happy for some reason. Maybe, they finally started to act like normal people did towards each other.

“Well Ai is a bit like that, especially when she is in the state she is now...” Eri mumbled as she turned towards Risa. Thought the bean tried to hide her disappointment, Eri caught it immediately. She placed her hand gently on Risa's shoulder, gaining the older girl's attention immediately.

“Hey, don't mind Ai. This is all quite weird for her now, for she is recovering. I am quite surprised she even came here in the first place. But that was a good sing ne?”

Risa nodded her head slowly after Eri's words as she smiled at her friend.

“Un, Thank you Eri. Good night.”

“Good night, Risa.”

And with that, the Team Alfa left, but just when Risa was about to close the door, Reina's head popped back in. The kitten did not move away as Risa looked at her questioningly.

“Reina? What now? Did you forget something?”

The kitten only smirked at her playfully and Risa felt her cheeks blush immediately she saw that smirk. Why did she have to do that all the time?

“Yup. Can I have a good night kiss?” Almost immediately after her words, Reina's head was forcefully pushed outside, As Risa slammed the door shut, leaning her back on it afterwards.

“Ouch....” The bean could hear Reina's whining from behind the door and soon, it was joined by footsteps and Eri's words;

“Come on you playboy....”

Risa could hear Eri's voice outside, which were soon followed by another footsteps, which disappeared in a moment. Feeling her cheeks with her hand, Risa felt how they had gotten a bit hotter. She was probably blushing quite nicely right now and she had no idea what was going inside her head. Could she... Could she like Reina? Like, have a crush on her? Reina always said she was just kidding with her and Risa intended to keep it that way. Reina was her friend, they would not get together. But no matter how many times Risa said to herself, that it was not a crush, she could not understand why she always blushed and got a bit nervous whenever Reina would smirk at her or do something else.

“These feelings will soon fade away. I am sure of it.” Risa mumbled as she turned to lock the door. When she had done that, something caught her attention. Turning her look down, The bean could see her shoes and beside them someone else's shoes.


“Did they already leave?”

Turning into her reaction queen mode, Risa jumped at least two meters up and screamed at the same time as she spun around to face the leader behind her. She tried to caught her breath as she leaned on the wall, Ai watching her sternly, one eyebrow raised up. What was with this her scaring that bean all the time?

“You.... scared me....” Risa huffed as she turned to look at the leader who was by now looking down at the floor and giving Risa only apologetic glances.

“I didn't mean to...” Ai said quietly, as if she was shaming what she had done. After catching her breath, Risa just waved her hand and let go of the wall sh ehad been leaning on.

“It's okay.”

There was again this awkward silence as they stood facing each other, Risa staring at Ai and Ai staring at the floor. After a while, the leader raised her gaze to meet with Risa's. The silence continued, till Ai pointed at the shoes behind the bean.

“I think I should go.”

And with that, the older woman went to put her shoes on. When she got up, she noticed that Risa was still staring at her and now she was also standing in front of the door, so that Ai could not get out.
Why couldn't Ai say anything? Heck, why could not she say anything? Risa was as well lost of words as was the leader. Nothing just came in her mind and every time she was met by those chocolate eyes, all coherent thoughts and words escaped her mind.
Finally, Ai pointed at the door and Risa understood, what she wanted.

“Oh, sorry!” She said hurriedly, almost jumping out of the way. Ai didn't move immediately, for she was still staring at Risa. Again this continued for a while, before Ai nodded her head a bit and went out of the door, leaving Risa alone in her apartment.
Risa watched after her, still loss of words

'Why can't I talk and act normally around her?”

What on earth happened between them every time their eyes met? What was this? Suddenly, Risa realized what she could say to the leader. She dashed out of the door and ran to the edge of the balcony. Ai had just made it to the end of the stairs and she could easily see and hear Risa, if the bean yelled at her.

“Ai!” Risa yelled, surprised how she had found her voice again. Ai stopped immediately and turned towards Risa, not saying a word. But Risa could clearly see, that the leader was very surprised of this and she was waiting for, what the other one had to say. Again, Risa was speechless when their eyes met, but she would not give in this time. Gaining all her will power, the younger girl forced out the words she wanted to say.

“A... Arigatou...”

And then, out of nowhere, she started to smile at the leader beneath. Now, even Ai's stern face broke, as she watched the girl on the balcony, who had just thanked her and was now smiling at her. The leader was silent for a while till she turned her gaze to the ground, Risa's smile dropping at the same time. Was this again going to be mute school? Why could not Ai say anything? What the heck was wrong this time?
Just when Risa was about to get frustrated, Ai raised her head suddenly and stared at her like she had always done. But this time, the silent didn't last very long.

“You're welcome.”

A quiet voice was heard, as Ai spoke sternly, nodding her head a bit at the same time. Risa was shocked and could not do anything else than stare the leader with wide eyes and open mouth. Had she just... Had she just accepted her thank you? Could this be?
A smile was back on Risa's face as she raised her hand and waved at Ai.

“Good night.”

This time, Ai did not answer, but she nodded her head firmly towards Risa, turning almost immediately around.
But that was enough for the bean. Finally, she had had “a normal conversation” with Ai and things hadn't been so awkward between them at least for one minute. It made Risa feel very happy inside.
She watched after Ai for a while, till she spun around and entered her new home, keeping a small smile on her face all the time. She had gotten a new home and she was going to get rid of this awkward tension between her and Ai. It was not much yet, but it was a start.


Eri closed her front door behind her and went straight to a cushion pile in the next room. She crashed down, sighing deeply at the same time. Darn, cleaning truly made her tired. Raising her head, the turtle examined her own apartment, which was as messy as hell.

“Don't mind it... Just ignore it...” The turtle mumbled as she got up and went to check if she had something to eat. Just, when she was about to enter the kitchen, she heard something outside. Usually, she would not be interested, but it had sounded like Risa.
Curious, Eri went to her front door and slid it open, careful to not make any kind of sound. Outside, she saw her beloved leader watching upwards and a moment after, she could hear Risa's voice thanking Ai.

Ai's reaction made Eri to frown. Damn, she was dense. Just answer politely! It was not so hard. Then, after a moment the reaction she had wanted was shown in front of her. Ai answered and after that she nodded to Risa and left. Ai left in the direction, which moved in front of Eri's apartment, giving the turtle a side profile of the leader's face. The aho turtle had hard time to stay unnoticed, when a loud gasp escaped her mouth.

'She's... smiling...'

And indeed, the leader was walking quite briskly away, smiling at the same time. It was not any kind of ear to ear smile, but it was smile nonetheless.
Smiling herself, Eri closed the door quietly and went to search her food like she had intended at first. This was a very good sign. Probably, her friends would soon act less awkward around each others. Yes, that would be great indeed.


I can't write anymore....  :err: I blame the lack of sleep once again XD

Hopefully you enjoyed this chapter!!  8)

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 21/ 26/03
« Reply #75 on: March 26, 2013, 06:34:25 PM »
The Tanagaki makes me melt. The Takagaki makes me melt. Dammit! >.< I still can't decide. But I'm glad that Ai is starting to come around!

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 21/ 26/03
« Reply #76 on: March 26, 2013, 08:42:09 PM »
omg the whole Junjun getting dog piled scene was soo funny and cute :cathappy:   

ok so the tenshion between ai and risa is disappearing a little, which is good cuz too much awkwardness can make a person very irritated after a while :catglare:

i really hope ur go for TanaGaki cuz something could happen there i just now it XD reina is so cute when she hits on risa XD

one my heart im hoping ai and risa just become good friends so they can high-five each other after winning a battle like dis                       (=´∀`)人(´∀`=)

once again awesome chapter, glad ur still alive :thumbsup  keep up the good work!!!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 10:46:43 PM by darkacex99 »

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 22/ 29/03
« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2013, 08:05:36 PM »
rndmnweird: I think this is not the first time I read about you having this dilemma  :lol: Go for Takagaki!! Forget Tanagaki!! No, lol  :lol: That was not me speaking... Everyone should like what ever they want to.

darkacex99: Oh no, I am going to make you disappoint...  :bleed eyes: You should just know how huge sucker I am for Takagaki  :nervous But they wont get together just yet and there's going to be something else before that, too... Can't tell everything!! XD

I intended to sent this chapter tomorrow evening, but because my nap got a bit too long today, I was late from one thing and well... Now I have some free time and I just decided to write this story again.  :doh: Lets try again tomorrow, lol. XD

Thank you everyone for your interest again!  :)

The next chapter, here we go~

Chapter 22 – Apples

It was only one week before the festival would kick in and it was shown everywhere. Red decoration everywhere, people fussing around and a feeling like the whole village is about to prepare something big. And they indeed did, for this festival thing was something everyone was always looking forwards to. That was the time everyone could relax and the war were forgotten. It was said that people were the happiest during the festival time.

Risa had also planned something with her friends. They would go to town and do some shopping. It was more like a task which was given to them by Jun Jun, for the king had so many things to do now so she could not afford everything. Risa and the others had of course accepted to help, for it was not so big a task to get some things from the town to the king. Also, they didn't need to get anything special for themselves, because the soldiers got all they needed from the nation. It was like their salary, for they sacrificed their safety for their own homeland.

Risa was putting her clothes on in her own room as the midday sun peeked into the building. She was quite exited of this shopping trip, for she got to spend some more time with her friends. They had had a lot of free time lately because it seemed like the enemy would not be attacking them during the festival. Of course, they were still prepared, but the king wanted to keep her warrior's mental state in a good shape too. The physical rest was not the only thing a warrior needed, but sometimes, they also had to get their mind refreshed.

Risa finished her black suit she had just put on and started to do her hair. She had stayed this night at Lin Lin's place, for she stil had some stuff in here and she wanted to spend just one more night with her friend. Ai was also leaving the nurse's place today, for she had recovered quite well and the nurse looked, that it was okay to leave her without someone stalking her 24/7. Thinking of Ai made Risa smile a bit. It was more like the fact that they finally seemed to get along at least on some level. This morning, when they had been eating breakfast, Ai had even said good morning to her! Risa had almost choked to her tea but somehow, she managed to answer back. Ai was not smiling yet, but at least she talked to her. It was always something like “Hi” or “Good morning”, but nothing more. It was okay for Risa, for she didn't look any kind of talking companion from the leader. It was enough if they could act like people would normally do around a person they knew somehow.

After making her hair, Risa left her room and went to the kitchen, where Ai was doing something. Risa smiled a bit as she walked past the kitchen and went to the front door. Just when she was about to open it, the door burst open and no one else than the aho turtle of this village greeted her.

“Hello there Risa!” Eri chirped happily and gave her friend a tight hug.

“Well hi there! You're in a good mood today.”

“Of course I am!" Eri almost yelled, throwing her hands up in the air at the same time. "It's soon the time for the festival of love...”

“Red leaves Eri, Red leaves...”

“Oh shut up, you're boring too!" The happy face was soon replaced by an annoyed one, as Eri crossed her arms in front of her and pouted at the bean. "Don't spend so much time around Sayu and Reina... Oh hi Ai!”

Immediately when the turtle noticed her leader, who had come to watch who was at the door, she went to her and gave her a hug too. Ai was quite caught of guard but soon, she just smiled and hugged Eri lightly back.

“Hi.” She said simply. Eri pulled away, but kept a hold of Ai's arm as she went to Risa, grabbing her arm as well.

“Sa, iku yo!”

“Chotto! Chotto Matte! Eri!”

The turtle turned to face her too friends who were dragged by her. Both had a look “what the heck do you think you're doing?”, while the turtle was quite oblivious what was wrong with these two.

“What now?”

“Ano, I am not coming...” Ai mumbled as she tried to pull away, but Eri kept a firm hold on her arm, preventing her escape.

“Nonsense! You belong in the group, so you'll join us!”

“Mmm, Eri I don't know....” Risa mumbled as she glanced at Ai, but Eri interrupted her immediately. She caught them both in her arms and hugged them closer so, that their heads were very close to each others.

“No buts! We go now as a one team! And if this is something about you being awkward around each others, grow up! I already saw how you, Ai-chan, smiled at Risa's words that evening you helped with the cleaning. And I also know how you smile at this aho leader, while she is not watching.”

Eri stated happily, causing the two person's trapped in her arms to panic a little bit. But at the same time, they were a bit shocked by what they heard.

'She... She smiled at my words that evening?'

'She smiles at me when I can't see her?'

Somehow, both Ai and Risa looked up at the same time, their eyes meeting once again. Eri was ranting about something, but they could not hear it now. They had their very own competition with their eyes once again, as they tried to figure out the reason for the other person's smile.

“......So, lets go!” Eri said happily and started to drag Ai and Risa behind her.

“Eri, let go...” Risa said as she tried to get her arm free.

“No, you will only escape.” Eri protested, while Risa rolled her eyes, as she tried to get free.

“Eri, I am not so childish as you're. Now let me go, I wont escape.” The bean said calmly. Eri glanced at her friend with a serious look, but soon she let go of Risa's arm.

“You better keep that promise.”

“Ano... Could you let me go to?” Ai said a bit awkwardly, as she was still dragged by the turtle. Eri turned to her and grinned. “Make a promise you wont run away and that you will spend this day with us.”

The leader was quiet for a long while, before she sighed in defeat and looked at the ground.

“I... I promise that...” Immediately, her arm was let go. Eri watched Ai with her “serious face”, like she had done to Risa a while ago. “You two, better keep that promise...”


Both Ai and Risa said at the same time, which caused them to look at each others once again. But this time, they didn't start a staring competition. They just glanced at each others and kept on walking after their turtle friend.
They could manage with each others this day and they would avoid all kind of awkward situations. They would do their best with it.


Sayu and Reina were found nearby the market place's edge, where they were chatting something. They both watched for a long while as Eri appeared with Risa and Ai, whom both seemed surprisingly casual about this situation. Like there was no tension at all between them and they were just going to spend some time with their friends at the town.


Eri chirped happily, as she went so Sayu, giving her a small peck. The bunny smiled at her a bit, but soon she turned her gaze back towards Ai and Risa, who were just standing in front of them. She examined the two for a while, but before she could say a thing, her girlfriend already interrupted her.

“Shall we go then?” Eri as asked and took Sayu with her.

“Oh, yeah. Lets go....” Sayu mumbled as she followed her lover. Reina took soon after them, Risa and Ai following as well. It was quite odd to see these too at the same time without them trying to bite each others heads off. Maybe they both had finally calmed down some how. Of course Ai had changed back to herself but Risa had still quite a lot of reason's to be mad at the leader but there she was, standing beside her like nothing had happened. Of course no one could not see inside their heads and only God knew what they were thinking right now.

But in truth, both Ai and Risa were surprisingly calm. They even surprised themselves by how they could tolerate the other one. Of course it was a bit awkward to just walk here like they were some kind of friends, for they were not. They just... Knew each others and had quite awkward moments from time to time? Okay, all the time, when their eyes met...

“What were we supposed to buy?” Eri asked the others as she was happily dragging Sayu behind her.

“We have to get some food. That was what we were asked to buy. I have a list here...” Reina said as she took a small paper from her pocket. But before she could do or say anything more, the turtle was already going.

“Food it is then!” Eri yelled, snatching the list from Reina's hand and starting to walk quickly. Sayu tried to protest but for some reason, the turtle had A LOT OF ENERGY now and she was taking Sayu with her, thought the bunny tried to fight back. Soon, they were leaving the other three behind them.

“Oi, wait up!!” Reina yelled and ran across the street after her friends, leaving Risa and Ai behind.

“Hey!” Risa yelled and was just about to go after her friends, when she felt herself being pulled backwards. Yelping a bit, Risa hit something soft and soon she could hear some noises behind her. Looking over her shoulder, she could see a horse carriage moving on the street in quite a high speed. She would have gotten under that if someone hadn't pulled her out of the way!


Realizing something, Risa looked up and saw that she was in Ai's arms now. The leader was holding her loosely and at the same time she was watching after the carriage with a frown.

“Damn, learn to drive slower, there are people out here...” She mumbled. Okay, if these two had had some awkward moments, this was on top of them all! Risa wanted to pull away, though she was thankful and all to the leader, but this was just a bit too close. But she just could not open her mouth or pull away.

Luckily, the leader had watched the racing carriage enough and turned her face towards Risa. Now, even she seemed to realize their position, for this staring competition broke off again, both women having a deer in the headlights face. Ai was somehow on fire today, for she soon let Risa go, taking few steps back at the same time.

“Um... You okay?” She asked shyly, scratching her head a bit and finding her shoes suddenly very interesting. Risa rearranged her jacket, for it had opened a bit when Ai had pulled her.

“I am. I... Thanks.” She said quietly to the leader, who just nodded her head and walked pass her.

“I wonder where those three are....” Risa heard Ai mumble as she went with her after their friends, who were nowhere in sight right now. They walked in dead silence, neither being brave enough to even glance at the other one. Ai had just acted out of instinct when she had seen the carriage come, but it was still quite awkward to be so close with Risa, even though she had just saved her.
After walking about five minutes, they came to a crossroad. They both couldn't see their friends and now, they were having two roads to go.

“I think they went that way.”

Both said at the same time and pointed the same way. Again, an awkward staring competition broke off as the two could not get their eyes off from each others.
This time, Risa was the one to recover faster and she started to walk the street they both had pointed a while ago.

“This way it is then.” She said quickly, not even glancing at Ai. The leader just nodded her head and followed after her, trying to figure out where in the hell had their friends gone. They could really help with this awkward atmosphere. After walking 10 more minutes, the two decided to stop searching, for there were just too many people outside right now and finding that aho combi with a kitten would be very hard, if not even impossible.

Suddenly, the leader started to walk briskly towards one marketplace, which was selling some kind of vegetables and fruits. Risa raised an eyebrow and soon found herself following after the leader, who was now talking something with the shopkeeper. The man smiled at the leader, who pointed out something, the shopkeeper fetching it and giving the leader what she wanted. After a moment, Ai thanked the man and started to leave almost bumping into Risa.
They looked at each others, but Risa found the bag Ai was carrying more interesting now than their usual staring contest.

“What did you buy?” Ai watched the bag in her hands and opened it slowly, revealing it content to Risa. Curiously, the younger girl peeked inside the bag only finding some reguarl, fire red apples.

“Apples?” She questioned, but Ai just shook her head.

“They are not normal apples.”

Risa looked the leader with a huge question mark hanging above her head. What did she mean? The leader took one apple from the bag, tapped it's side few times with her finger and held it then so, that Risa could see the fruit clearly. She stretched her hand towards Risa, making some eye contact with her. What on earth was she now doing?

“Think about something.” Ai said sternly as she kept on holding the apple. Now Risa was lost. What the hell was Ai talking?

“What the...”

“Just think something. Something, where you have harbored some of your feelings. It can be anything.”

As the leader kept on holding the fruit towards her, Risa decided to have a go. For she didn't know what would happen next, she decided to play a safe card and think something happy or funny.

'Well, Eri should do....'

She thought as she remembered that girl's gentle angle like smile. It really made her feel warm inside and like everything was fine in this world without war and violence. Just peace.
Suddenly, there was some kind of light and as Risa turned to look, she saw the apple in Ai's hand glisten oddly. Suddenly, the whole apple jumped few centimeters up and flashed brightly. Risa stirred her eyes a bit but what she saw soon, made her eyes pop wide open. Instead of an apple there was a single white rose on Ai's palm now. The leader took a hold of the flower and examined it for a while, before she turned the gaze towards Risa again.

“You thought of peace and something with purity.”
The leader said calmly, swirling the rose in her hand, examining it a little bit more. Then something caught her eyes and she paused for a while, before she spoke again:

"And judging by this turtle shaped leaf... You thought about Eri?"

“How did you....” Risa was speechless. She had thought exactly that kind of things and then, just out of nowhere that fire red apple just turns into a white rose! What was this? Ai just smiled shortly as she just watched the former apple, now a flower in her hand.

“It's one kind of magic...” She said quietly. Risa frowned a bit at this, for she could clearly see that it was magic, but what the heck was the meaning of this all? “...a magic, which can give you almost anything you just imagine about.”

Finally Ai turned her gaze towards Risa, as she handle the rose to her. Risa took it after hesitating a bit. She was still quite out of this all and she truly hoped that the leader would explain this to her.
After giving the flower away, Ai started to walk again, Risa following soon after. Oh no, she would not escape this thing! She would explain Risa about this thing.

“Those apples are very rare and they grow only in one place. Few know that place and I was quite surprised to see that someone had found them and brought here to be sold.”

Just when Risa was about to question more, Ai started to talk about these magic apples. Deciding to want to know more, Risa kept her mouth shut, so the leader could continue.

“If you know how to use magic on those apples, they will turn so, that whatever the person is thinking about the apple will turn into something like that.”

Risa watched the flower in her hand. She indeed had thought about peace and as she thought about Eri, she had also thought about some innocence as well.

“But, It was you holding the apple, not me. How did it catch my thoughts?”

“I made it.”

Oh, so this great leader of the Team Alfa was some kind of apple wizard?

“I made it to catch yours and only your thoughts." Ai continued, as they kept on walking. "The apple can be made to catch anyone's thoughts and even many people's thoughts at the same time. The thing which the apple will transform can also be regulated. I made it to turn into something small and as you can see, it turned into a one single rose.” There was a silence as the two kept on walking, Risa examining the flower all the time.

“What kind of things can you do with these then?”

“If you're skilled enough, you can do anything with those.”


"Anything, expect something which is a living and breathing thing. In other words, these cannot turn into animals or human."

Ai said and Risa after hearing this, stopped in her tracks. After noticing. that the younger one was not following her anymore, Ai stopped as well and turned to watch what was wrong. Risa was deep in thoughts for a while, before she looked Ai in the eyes.

“Can you... Can you make something with these things in the war?” She asked quietly. Okay, it sounded stupid to help fighting with apples, but if someone “guru apple wizard” would manipulate these things a bit, could she or he turn these fruits in something that would help in gaining peace?

“In theory you can and that's why it's a good thing only few people know how to use those things.” The leader walked closer and took one one of the rose's pedals and examined it for a while.

“You can imagine all kind of good things with these apples, but there's always a danger, your thoughts will turn into a negative. These things wont accept only positive things. You can decide whose thoughts it will adapt, but you can't choose which thoughts it will take and which it will ignore. Just by one strong negative emotion, these harmless things can turn into something horrible.”

Suddenly, Ai crushed the pedal in her palm, causing it to scatter in little pieces. Risa watched the scene in front of her, somehow understanding what the leader meant. But what horrible things could these do then?

"What horrible can these things do?" Risa questioned. Ai was silent for a while, before she turned to look up at the sky.

"There's a myth that says these things are able to destroy even civilization..." She said darkly, examining the crushed pedals in her hand. "And that's enough information for me. I don't want to experience what these things could do if someone let a too big negative emotion manipulate them..."

The leader continued, as she turned back to Risa, who was still quite out of this all apple things.

“That's why, we are lucky these things grow only in this land and our enemy doesn't know about these. In here, these are used only for fun, like festivals and so.” There was a silence as Ai let the now crushed petal pieces float to the ground while Risa was following her actions. Then, out of nowhere, something hit her which caused her to chuckle a bit. Ai frowned as she raised her head up and faced the younger girl again.

“Wha... What is it?” She asked carefully, which Risa answered with a bit bothered smile.

“Well it's just that... We are having a normal conversation here...” The leader's eyes got wider as Risa's words sunk in her head and immediately, she took few steps backwards having a very confused look on her face. This confused also Risa. What now?

“I'm... I'm sorry.. I should not have talked so much...”

Well now Risa was totally out. What the heck was the other one talking about? Or more likely, why was she saying sorry for she had had a conversation with Risa?

“EEH? Why are you saying sorry?” Risa questioned, but Ai just mumbled something incoherent as she tried to get some distance to Risa. It was probably her mind state, for it still might be a bit unstable. At first, Risa thought to leave the thing be, but she could not really leave Ai like that. She should tell her it was okay, if they had a conversation and in truth, Risa was truly happy that they could finally be with each others like normal people did. She hadn't even realized how casually they had talked just a while ago and she bet, that the leader had not noticed it either.

Just when Ai decided it was her time to leave, Risa grabbed her hand and prevented the escape. Ai turned to look her with a shocked expression, for she really didn't know how Risa would react to this. But the younger one just kept her hold. She would not let things get ruined now.

“Hey, there's no reason to apologize.” Risa tried to reassure. Ai was silent, but her sad face gave the bean a message that she was somehow bothered by something.

“I just meant it like... Well it's nice that we had this conversation.” This caused Ai to raise her head up. Risa could not help but chuckle a bit as she saw the leaders face, for she really reminded her of a deer who had just been scared by something.

“I... I... Tho...” Ai tried to say something, but the words just didn't come out of her mouth. But somehow she managed to gather her verbal skills, which tried to escape, and opened her mouth:

“I... I thought that... You didn't like this...” The leader spoke a bit unclearly, but somehow the bean caught her message. Again, Risa was a bit outside but she decided to dig out what the leader was hiding from her.

“Didn't like what?”


“Come on. You can say it.”

“... Talking or just being with me. I know that... You don't... You don't like me...” The deer in the headlights face was replaced by a sad one once again, as the leader turned to examine the ground. Risa kept a stern face as she rolled Ai's words in her head. It was true, that she was not very comfortable when being around Ai when it was just the two of them. But she was also very happy that they didn't fight. She was happy she could be with Ai in the same place and space without having a feeling to kill someone. And it was true, that Risa was still quite hurt of what Ai had done to her but as her friends had said, Ai had not been herself for a long time. Now, she was recovering and Risa could see, how there was a whole different person under that rude and cold mask of hers. She wasn't the best friends with Ai and she didn't like her much, but she didn't hate her either. She was just... How could she say it? Ai was still quite an unknown person to her, so that's why she could not really hate or like her. Taking a deep breath, Risa turned her lips upwards and forced a small smile on her face. But it was not as forced as she had thought it would have been.

“Hey, It's not like that. If I didn't like you on some level, I would not have been with you for this long.” There was again a silence as Ai slowly turned her gaze towards Risa. Could this be? This girl who she had hurt without a reason was saying she liked her at least on some level? She could bear the leader around her?

“But... But I did something horrible...”

“Yes you did,” Risa answered, maybe a bit too quickly, for the leader jumped a bit backwards. Risa however kept a hold of her hand, for she was not finished yet. “but you're not doing those things now, are you?”

Again, Ai just stared at the younger one, who was waiting for her answer.


“Are you willing to do those things to me now?”

“No... God, no...”

Risa smiled, this time having a bit sad smile. Though she knew she was doing the right thing, it was just so damn hard. Part of her just wanted to shout at Ai and kick her under the ground, so that she could get her revenge of all the things she had to suffer because of this leader. But in the end, it would only make Risa even worse than what Ai had been and it would not give her any kind of pleasure. Being kind to the leader and trying to create a new beginning would hurt now, but in the end, that would give Risa more pleasure than the revenge. She was sure of it.

“Well then... I think there's no reason for me to act distant to you. In my opinion, there's no reason why we could not interact normally.” The bean said, smiling quite naturally at the same time. Ai stared in those chocolate eyes, which reminded her of her one angel like friend. If Eri had been in Risa's place now, Ai was sure that the turtle would have said something like this too. But could Ai just accept this all? She had done nothing good to this girl and yet she wanted to try again with their "relationship".

“We don't have to be the best of friends or friends at all. I just... I just don't want to be in fight with anyone and especially with someone who is close to my friends. I just want that we can be in the same space without fights and hatred. Can we... Can we work for that?”

Ai could not believe her ears. She really had thought that Risa hated her, but now she was literally asking her to try things out between them one more time. Ai knew she should not accept this but before she said anything, she thought things again. Risa had all the rights to just leave her, mock her and even punch her and even that would never replace all the pain she had caused to this girl.

And yet, here she was standing in front of her, preventing the leader's escape and asking to be at least in some kind of good terms. If Ai refused now, it would be rude, but if she accepted, she would make a service to Risa. That would not replace all the pain, but it would be at least something. Also, Ai didn't want to be in bad terms with this girl. She knew she would have to interact with her a lot, for she was a warrior too and they really needed to get along at least on some level. Also, Risa was very close with the leader's team and friends too, so making a deal with Risa, the ledaer would affect her friends too. Yes, Ai knew her answer to Risa's question now.

“Yes, we can.”

Immediately, a real smile lit on the younger ones face as she heard the leader's answer. This all awkwardness would hopefully end and they could also forget all the hatred they had had towards each others. They both truly hoped this, for this brooding atmosphere around them had eaten both of their strength. Now, they could finally be around each others without being tense and thinking all kind of unpleasant things.

“Oi! I found them!!”

Suddenly a voice interrupted and both Risa and Ai turned to look towards the sound. Eri was approaching them and she was followed by Reina and Sayu who had a lot of all kind of stuff with them.

“Eri, why are they carrying so much stuff?” Ai asked as the turtle parked beside the duo. Eri glanced behind her back and then looked at the leader like she had just made a stupid question.

“Well someone had to lead this thing!”

“In buying food?”

“Yeah? Had I not led this, these two would have made things a lot more complicated.”

“And I think these things are killing my back....” Reina groaned as she reached her friends with Sayu. Both let the things they were carrying fall to the ground and followed soon after their shopping.

“Hey, it's not that heavy! You have only about 10 bags, same as Ai has and you... WAIT!” Suddenly the turtle took hold of the bag Ai was holding and peeked inside. She turned the puppy eye look to the leader, who just chuckled a bit.

“Yes, I brought some for you too. There you go.” The leader said as she handed one apple from the bag to her friend. Immediately, Eri snatched the fruit from Ai's hand and bit on it.

“OISHIII!!!” She mumbled as she had her mouth full of apple.

“So you can also eat those?” Risa asked as she watched the overjoyed turtle eat the apple.

“Yes and they are very delicious. Here have one.” And with that, Ai held out a apple for Risa too, which the younger one took. After examining the fruit, the bean took a small bit from it and immediately a very sweet and gentle taste covered her mouth. It was something as sweet as honey, but not too sweet and it felt like she was eating a wool. This indeed was good!

“They are just like normal apples, if you wont do any kind of magic to them. These are just more sweet an even healthier than normal ones.”

Risa nodded her head towards the leader, for she had taken another bite and she could not talk while she had food in her mouth.

“Okay great, now you made that aho even more unusable....” Sayu moaned as she watched her lover take the last bites of the fruit. She got always completely out of control when she even saw those red apples. Ai just chuckled as she walked beside the dropped bags and took a few of them.

“Oh, now she has energy to do anything. Come on Kamei, lets carry these things to the king's Palace and I'll give you more off these.” Ai said, tapping the bag in her arm gently, which caused Eri to ran to the bags and take at least half of them.

“Well let's go then! Hurry up!” Soon, there was the world fastest turtle running through the streets with a lot of food bags on her back, shouting everyone to give her way.

“See? You just have to know the ways how to use the energy she gets from these.”

“You know you have to give her at least two for this...” Sayu mumbled from the ground.

“No worries. I bought quite a lot of these and I need just few for the festival. You go rest with Reina and Risa and I'll take these to the king. See you.” The leader took the last bags, and started to leave. She gave a small smile to her friends and when she passed Risa, she kept that smile. Nodding her head once, which Risa answered with an equal smile and nod as well, the leader left the market place and went to hunt the apple crazy turtle.

Risa felt quite happy, for she finally could act like she wanted to act towards everyone, nice and polite. She didn't have to even force her smile as Ai had passed her and that made her feel warm inside.

“Well that was new.” Sayu said as she got up with Reina from the ground. She had really thought she new her turtle, but Ai seemed to know something even she didn't know. Well, in the end leader had to know her group, ne?

“Well, I think I am off to home now then. Or do you guys have something special in mind?” Sayu asked. Both Reina and Risa looked at each others, shaking their heads. No, this grocery shopping had been all they had planned for this day and now with it done, they really didn't have any kind of special thing to do.

“I think I'll head home too...” Risa said as she took the last bite of her apple, the sweet taste caressing her palate.

“I can go with you. I live at the way, so we can walk together.” Reina offered, which Risa accepted happily. When the kitten turned to face Sayu again, she was met by something she had expected. Sayu had a frown on her face, but as Risa turned to say something, the bunny changed her face, smiling now gently.

“Well I think we are off then. We'll see you Sayu. Take care!”

“Yes, see you and you too. Bye!”

And with that the three friends went to their own ways, Reina going with Risa, who was oblivious of this small eye chat with her two friends a while ago.


You will see in the future that I like those apples a lot  :lol:

Hopefully you enjoyed this chapter!!

« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 03:01:39 PM by MsSmigge »

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 22/ 29/03
« Reply #78 on: March 30, 2013, 07:59:44 AM »
Yay, Takagaki works out their differences! Mostly! Now onto happiness! Except I'm sure it's not so easy, especially with what Reina and Sayu have going on with the frowny looks and all.

Offline alwaysYou

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 22/ 29/03
« Reply #79 on: March 30, 2013, 02:21:20 PM »
Go for Takagaki!! Forget Tanagaki!!

Thanks for ensuring this will be a TakaGaki fic  :lol: :lol: :lol:
Huge sucker for them too.. I was worried that it will have too much of TanaGaki :lol:

Seeing such Aichan is weird..LOL..

Is the apple an impt item that bring TakaGaki to the next level???  :lol:

It seem like sayu doesn't really support Reina being interested in Gakisan..I wonder why..Or does she? But with those frowny looks, seem not..

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