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Author Topic: Warriors - Chapter 29 [WMatsui] (01/07/2020)  (Read 109615 times)

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/15)
« Reply #180 on: June 18, 2016, 09:42:06 PM »
In chapter 22 you were detailed in describing the fight. To be honest I thought Rena would show up somewhere to save Jurina haha! She did save Jurina before when Jurina was almost drowning, and long before that, when she endangered herself to rescue Jurina from other samurai. So I would not be surprised if she would eventually show up (again), but she didn’t

It would have been too predictable if Rena came to save her. The point of that scene was also to show that Jurina was capable of handling herself in a fight scene. Because we didn't see her in a full, long fight scene until now. And it was more realistic to have Churi help her than Rena, because of the proximity of her workplace.

In chapter 23, the character that outshines the other was Churi. She was a hero and I was mad at the doctor and the guard that didn’t want to help her because of what she is. 
I think I like Churi more and more (even more than Annin) 
I'm happy you like Churi. I enjoy very much writing about that character, whether it's in Warriors, or in my trilogy. And I agree she doesn't deserve what's happening to her... but it's the realistic part of her job (and the historical context), I'm afraid. Things will get better at some point for Churi, I promise!

About Annin... she's a very minor character in this story and she has served her main purpose. We will see her again, but don't expect too much! I don't want you to get too attached...

Thanks for reading and leaving that long comment. I appreciate it, and I really enjoyed reading it :)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 12:17:14 AM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/2015)
« Reply #181 on: June 20, 2016, 03:25:51 PM »
Hi Author-san,

I finally read chapter 25! I'm glad it's not a cliffhanger ending because I know it would take some time until you finally continue Warriors. The ending is sweet for Rena finally accepted Jurina and her own feelings to her. I'm looking forward for more WMatsui moments!

I see Kitarie appeared in this chapter and I wonder what kind of relationship that she and Airi had. I also wonder why you put Kitarie as one of the characters for Warriors. I mean.. I thought you would put any SKE member for that role instead. XD

Anyway, thank you for this super cool fic! Can't wait to read the updated chapters! There are some things that still need explanations, like how Sayanee and Miyuki will influence Shinoda clan and how they related to Jurina and Mayu. I also wonder how Churi and Annin will end up.

Now excuse me while I'm waiting for new chapter of Destiny.  :byebye:

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/2015)
« Reply #182 on: January 02, 2017, 12:17:39 AM »
Hello everyone!

Despite the message I posted here in March 2016 stating that I was not dropping Warriors, I'm still receiving concerned messages about it so I felt it was best to reassure readers.

First, I want to say that I'm really happy you guys like this story so much, I really am! And I understand your concern, as it's unfortunately very common to see writers starting a fanfic and dropping it along the way without even saying/explaining anything. I'm also an avid reader myself, so believe me when I say I understand your concern very well!

However, I want to reassure again that Warriors is NOT dropped. It's just on pause until I finish my trilogy. A big storyline is coming up on Warriors - one that will require a lot of brainstorming and elaboration - and I can't work on two big pieces at the same time. That's why I started Back in Time in parallel of Destiny as it's a far less complicated story for me to write, and I have decided to resume Warriors once Destiny is over.

I know it has been a long hiatus, but please be a bit more patient with me!  :)

@Bukiyou Taiyou: I just realized I never replied to your comment, and I'm sorry about that! It's never too late to right the wrong, right?

I finally read chapter 25! I'm glad it's not a cliffhanger ending because I know it would take some time until you finally continue Warriors. The ending is sweet for Rena finally accepted Jurina and her own feelings to her. I'm looking forward for more WMatsui moments!

As I knew I was going to make a long pause after this chapter, it was unconceivable of me to end it on a cliffhanger. I wanted to solve a few plotlines before, the WMatsui relationship being the most important  ;)

I see Kitarie appeared in this chapter and I wonder what kind of relationship that she and Airi had. I also wonder why you put Kitarie as one of the characters for Warriors. I mean.. I thought you would put any SKE member for that role instead. XD

Rie and Airi were in a master/student relationship, but also friends. As of the nature of Rie's feelings towards Airi, that's something I leave to readers' imagination. I chose purposely to stay vague on that aspect so readers could interpret things as they wished.

Why did I choose Rie? I chose her because she was during a short time a member of SKE48, and I grew to like her during that time. Besides, the duet Rie and Airi once did on the song "Manazashi Sayonara" managed to influence me in a way to write this tragic friendship story.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 04:17:20 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Minami-chan

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/2015)
« Reply #183 on: January 02, 2017, 12:22:37 AM »
Sophcaro are always welcome, and your stories too.

Offline kimuchan

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/2015)
« Reply #184 on: October 07, 2017, 06:14:50 AM »
recently got into WMatsui and your fanfics are seriously feeding my weak and thirsty shipper heart. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I'm looking forward to the continuation of all your stories ❤

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/2015)
« Reply #185 on: November 13, 2017, 09:12:18 PM »
recently got into WMatsui and your fanfics are seriously feeding my weak and thirsty shipper heart. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I'm looking forward to the continuation of all your stories ❤

Thank you for your nice message!  :)
It always makes me very happy to learn that new readers are discovering my stories, and enjoying them.

I will resume Warriors as soon as my other fanfic Destiny is over.
See you then!  :thumbsup
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 07:34:57 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 25 [WMatsui] (12/12/2015)
« Reply #186 on: October 25, 2019, 03:33:56 PM »

A week later.

Jurina, her katana secured in her hand, stared fixedly at her calm and poised female opponent, desperately trying to get a grasp of the situation. Frustration boiled within her. The fight had been going on for a while, much longer that she originally planned. She was so convinced of winning. More than ready to prove her stoic adversary that she would finally find an opening through her impregnable defense. Yet here her instructor quietly stood, a few feet away from her, standing undefeated in front of her. They were awaiting one another’s reaction, unmoving, the wind of Autumn seeming to want to break them from their concentration by blowing away the scattered maple leaves at their feet.

Jurina raised her weapon and lunched forward, her blade immediately blocked as she attempted to surprise her opponent with a quick hit coming from the left. She kept attacking, fierce, over and over again, not leaving her adversary a second to breathe. Nothing managed to break her resistance. Nevermind how many times she came after her, her instructor’s moves remained précised and measured, deflecting every hit with baffling ease. Jurina could feel herself getting more tired and weaker. The fight had dragged on for far too long now, draining her last energy.

As she made a sudden beginner’s mistake, one she should never had made, Jurina stopped and took an unbalanced step back, catching her breath. “Yes, yes. I know. I’m losing my temper.”

Rena blinked, confused, and lowered her katana. “I didn’t say anything.”

“You didn’t have to. I can hear you thinking out loud.” Jurina, sweating, sucked in a ragged breath. Much as it pained her to admit it, she had to concede defeat. Reluctantly, she slipped her katana back inside the saya. “This fight is going nowhere.”

Jurina caught the faintest flicker of amusement on the kenjutsu instructor’s face, before her expression turned serious again. “You’re the one who insisted on receiving those private lessons every morning.”

Jurina released a despondent sigh, nodding, and swept around the vast maple forest surrounding them. She felt powerless, knowing deep down that the other woman was right. The previous week, she hadn’t stopped badgering the kenjutsu instructor with her request. At first, she had refused, saying that she feared how the special treatment would be interpreted if it came to the attention of the other trainees. In the end, Jurina’s determination had gotten the best of the instructor’s resolve. Every morning for the past week, they would train together for an hour, away from prying eyes, in the depth of the maple forest. Jurina believed those lessons would help her progress much faster. Unfortunately, she was still unable to pierce through the sword master’s fighting technique.

“But you are right,” Rena spoke up, breaking the silence that had settled between them. “Those lessons are of little use if you don’t respect the golden rules of kenjutsu, and are not capable of focusing on your enemy’s moves.”

Jurina’s mood shifted and she eased up; her eyes twinkled with mischief. “Oh, trust me.” She stepped closer, her fingers encircling the tsuka of her katana at her belt. “I’ve been paying close attention to you.”

“Then…” Rena moved backwards cautiously. “You should have been able to touch me, don’t you think?”

Jurina smiled at her cunningly and kept advancing. “I think it’s because I’m not using the right technique to beat you.”

Confusion flashed through Rena’s eyes. “The right technique?”

“Yes.” Jurina took another confident step forward. 

“W-What are you doing?” Rena raised her weapon in the air.

Jurina’s hand rested on her own katana but she didn’t make any move to pull it out, taking a malicious delight in seeing the hesitation in her protector’s gaze. When Rena moved back again and her back hit the trunk of a tree, her eyes widened at the contact, and Jurina didn’t waste an opportunity to reduce the distance. Quickly, she prevented her escape by placing a hand flat on the tree while the other trapped Rena by the waist. Jurina drew her face close to hers, studying her with hungry eyes, feeling her protector’s body shivering against her, and she leaned forward to whisper into her ear. “And I think I found it.”

Jurina’s lips attacked her neck with a flurry of kisses, trailing down towards her shoulder. When Rena opened her mouth to protest, she smothered it with kisses. A hand grabbed her fiercely by the fabric of her kimono and pushed her back, but Jurina didn’t bulge, savoring the feel, the sweet spicy taste of Rena’s lips on hers. She struggled again, but Jurina wrapped both her arms around her waist in a hold she couldn’t break. After a couple more desperate attempts, the strength of Rena’s grip on her kimono diminished. Jurina’s mouth tugged into a smile of victory, finding Rena’s lips soft and warm and eager to receive hers.

Jurina’s pulse quickened, even faster than it already was. She pressed her lips against hers again, her protector responding to her kisses and clutching at her, giving her all necessary the encouragement she needed to continue. Rena’s heart was beating like a drum against her chest, and she knew there was an attraction neither could ignore. Jurina’s kisses had turned more possessive and demanding and, realizing what she was doing and fearing her sudden fervor could get her to go too far, she forced herself to slow down. 

Jurina detached her mouth from hers and looked into her eyes, witnessing the hesitation in her gaze in response to her passion and intensity. The kiss gentled as she brushed her protector’s slightly bruised lips with soothing grazes. She let her lips roam gently over Rena’s slender neck, relishing the involuntarily moan that escaped her lover’s mouth. So caught up in the pleasurable moment of intimacy they were sharing, Jurina chastised herself when she realized she had almost forgotten her initial objective.

While she kept one hand wrapped around the instructor’s waist, she used her other arm to approach the hand Rena was using to hold her katana, slowly and gently circling her wrist. She didn’t even need to use force, her protector visibly far too distracted by her kisses to pay attention. Without much effort, Jurina loosened Rena’s hold on her katana and extracted the weapon from her hand, carelessly letting it fall aside. At the sound of the blade hitting against the bed of Autumn leaves, Rena immediately pulled away from the kiss.

“Yes, I think I found a new effective technique to disarm you.” Jurina couldn’t help but gloat, stealing another kiss from the shocked girl. “But don’t worry, the secret is safe with me. I won’t say a word to the others.”

Rena’s disoriented gaze fell upon her, and it took her a few seconds to grasp the full meaning of what had happened. “R-Really, Jurina-san?!” Her eyes were wide as she stared at her in disbelief. “You’re proud of yourself?” She bent down, retrieving her fallen katana with haste, and replacing it in its saya. “Do you think this kind of childish, silly trick will serve you on the battlefield?”

Jurina’s smile faded a little, her expression growing softer and more understanding as she witnessed her instructor’s manifest disappointment. “I’m sorry.” Jurina reached to cup her cheek in a tender way, surprising herself at how natural and right the gesture of affection felt to her. “I guess you’re right. I haven’t been entirely focused during training lately.” She withdrew her fingers, slightly unsettled by her own behavior. “I want to progress in sword fighting. It was my only goal these past few months, but…” Her voice trailed off, hesitant. “But I always find my mind wandering in your presence.”

As they held one another’s gaze, gauging each other’s reaction, Jurina didn’t fail to notice the way Rena’s gaze dropped to her lips, before quickly raising it once more to her eyes when she realized she had been caught in the act. “N-No, that’s enough.” The kenjutsu instructor took a decided step back. “We already got carried away enough as it. We can’t do this. Not now. Not here.”

“Why not?” Jurina groaned. She reduced the distance, refusing to be deterred by the rejection. “I know you want it too, and there’s no one else here. We are completely alone. It’s just you and I. So what’s stopping us?”

“W-We’re supposed to be training!”

The protest was too feeble to convince her. Jurina licked her lips; a mischievous glint entered her eyes. “We already finished, and I won.”

She moved closer to her, pausing when her instructor placed a hand on her chest to stop her advance. With their faces just inches away, Jurina could hear Rena’s quick breathing, witness the vulnerability displayed, one that only appeared in the samurai’s eyes when they found themselves completely alone. Since they had exchanged that first mutual kiss in her protector’s bedroom a week ago, Jurina constantly felt her self-control and willpower slipping away in Rena’s presence.

Jurina tried to collect her scattered thoughts. Comprehend why she felt so irresistibly drawn to her instructor. Why she had such a hard time fighting the lure to taste her lips over and over again. The urge to pull her closer and take possession of her mouth with hers was hard to resist. Before she even realized what she was doing, Jurina had already captured her mouth and placed her lips on hers. This time, her instructor showed little resistance, her warm breath sending goose bumps racing down Jurina’s neck as they kissed each other.

Her instructor’s kisses were still a little shy and hesitant, almost as if she was afraid of letting loose. Rena was a calm and collected person, who liked to have control in every little aspect of her life. The confession of their attraction to each other had taken them both by surprise. Jurina still had difficulty expressing and putting a name on what she was exactly feeling. And she could easily imagine that her protector was equally destabilized by what was going between them.

The sudden weighing of a horse caught them both by surprise, and they pulled apart, turning around to discover a rider approaching. While Jurina’s brows knitted together, and she glared at the master kunoichi who had dared breaking their peaceful moment alone, a look of embarrassment spread over Rena’s face, although very briefly as she immediately collected herself and adjusted her clothes, politely addressing the newcomer. “Kitahara-san, what brings you here?”

“Forgive me for the interruption, but Momijimori no kami dono is requesting the presence of the kenjutsu master.”

“It will have to wait, because we were not finished,” Jurina said dryly.

“Of course, Kitahara-san. I will follow you back to the clan at once.” Rena quickly replied, and gave Jurina a look of reproach. “Watanabe-san, we’ll continue the lesson tomorrow. Why don’t you continue training on your own in the meantime? I believe you have some flaws to work on.”

Jurina arched an eyebrow at the formality employed, before smiling. “Of course, Rena-san. I will work hard on those flaws you mention, and impatiently wait for the time of our next private lesson.”

The double meaning of her words didn’t escape the kenjutsu instructor, and Jurina gave a faintly malicious smile at Rena’s disapproving stare. Without adding a word, the kenjutsu instructor turned on her heels and mounted her horse, seizing the reins of her mare. Jurina didn’t bother to hide her amusement while Rena followed the master kunoichi, her instructor cleverly avoiding to meet her gaze the whole time. Jurina leaned her back against a tree, not missing the loud plaintive weighing of her stallion, matching her own current bad mood now that the two feminine figures had vanished in the distance. Tonight, she was well intended on making it up for this interruption.

Unease filled Jurina’s chest as she observed the scene unfolding in the archery training courtyard. Sitting on the porch, tapping her right foot on the ground, she ignored the curious glances a few samurais sent her way to focus on Mayu who was diligently practicing her shooting. She should be proud to witness all the progress her sister had achieved since their arrival at the clan, if only she wasn’t so disturbed by the presence of another woman next to her. Jurina had lost count of how many the kyudo instructor had leaned closer to her to murmur something into Mayu’s ear, or casually lay a hand on her shoulder as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Did the female instructor even pay attention to the other young samurais training in the courtyard? Because this awfully looked like a private lesson.

One thing was for certain; Mayu didn’t seem to mind the personal attention she was receiving. Indeed, way too often Jurina would find her glancing back in her protector’s direction, exchanging secret smiles with her each time one of her arrows would hit the center. Her sister was lost in a world of her own, looking so happy, most obviously enjoying more than her recent discovered passion for archery.

Jurina realized how long she had been staring when the young samurais lowered their bows and proceeded in gathering the equipment, leaving one by one the courtyard after thanking their teacher for the daily lesson. Soon enough, all the trainees had scattered away and the courtyard got emptied, except for Mayu who visibly had a hard time parting way with the instructor. Jurina watched as their conversation dragged on and on, neither of them seeming ready to put an end to it, until at last Mayu retreated and left the kyudo instructor behind. 

It was the moment Jurina had waited to intervene. Without an ounce of hesitation, she stood up and entered the courtyard, approaching the kyudo instructor who was checking the good condition of the spears and arrows. “I know what you’re doing with my sister.”

Yuki turned around, surprised to see the new feminine presence behind her. “W-Watanabe-san, I hadn’t heard you approaching. I’m sorry…” She frowned slightly in confusion. “What do you mean?”

Jurina searched her face suspiciously. “Do you take me for an idiot? I can see you’re trying to seduce her.”

“S-Seduce her?!” Yuki almost choked on the word. “I don’t know what you think you saw, but I’m not-”

“I want you to know that I have my eyes on you,” Jurina cut her off, her tone sharp. “If you ever dare hurt my sister…” She took a threatening step forward. “You’ll have to answer to me.” Her eyes lingered on Yuki, challenging her. “I’m warning you, Kashiwagi-san. Don’t even think of playing with her feelings.”

Yuki’s jaw dropped, too speechless to reply, and stared at the younger girl who abruptly span on her heels and left without another word. As she replayed in her head their short but memorable conversation, Yuki didn’t know what shocked her the most. That the young Watanabe-san would think so ill of her and of her intentions towards her older sister, or that she had dared using such a rude tone with her and threatening her without the slightest remorse.

“Ah, Matsui-san, take a seat. I’ll be with you in a short moment. I need to finish reading and sign those scrolls, otherwise my obstinate counsellor won’t leave me in peace for the rest of the day.”

“P-Please take all the time you need, Momijimori no kami dono. There is no haste.” The designated male counsellor, who was standing right behind Mariko’s shoulder, quickly straightened up and stuttered. The head of the clan didn’t raise her nose from the scroll, her joking mood clearly perceptible as she continued reading, Rena hiding a smile when the counsellor’s features contorted in great discomfort. 

Rena kneeled on the cushion in front of her, her gaze lingering on the highest authority of the clan seated behind the office, before her attention got caught by the quiet presence of the master kunoichi. Rena was slightly destabilized, wondering why the head of the clan had also requested Rie’s presence for this meeting. She kept her questions to herself, waiting for the head of the clan to be ready to address her. As the room fell silent, she allowed her mind to drift away, her thoughts a jumbled mess since this morning. She was conscious that she ought to have a serious conversation with her protégée, and discuss what had happened during the morning training lesson. She needed to make her understand that this kind of frivolous behavior wasn’t permitted, and could in no way ever occur again if she wished to keep receiving privileged private lessons.

Since that first mutual kiss they had shared in Rena’s bedroom a week ago, her young protégée had gotten bolder and bolder. In presence of witnesses, she was still wise enough to not cross boundaries and not display public demonstrations of affection, but it was another matter altogether as soon as they had the slightest moment of privacy. When her protégée had asked for kenjutsu private lessons, stating she wasn’t progressing fast enough with the others, Rena had hesitated a long time, fearing such problems would arise.

A few times already, she had caught her protégée staring intently at her lips during the kenjutsu public lessons, and it had cost Rena a lot of self-control to ignore it and pretend she didn’t notice. No wonder her protégée was complaining she wasn’t progressing! She was constantly distracted! Rena seriously considered putting an end to those morning lessons after the way they had digressed from its original purpose, without mentioning the way Jurina had so rudely addressed the master kunoichi.

“Matsui-san. How well would you say your new trainees have progressed?”

Rena straightened up, and mustered a polite smile. “Very well. In a few months, I don’t believe I’ll have anything more to teach them.”

“There’s always something to learn from the master kenjutsu, but that’s good to hear.” Mariko nodded in approval. “I would like to send a few samurais along with some of our spies to check our territory’s borders. I initially wanted to choose Sagara-san and Atami-san for this mission, but Sagara-san hasn’t fully recovered from his leg injury, and Atami-san hasn’t returned yet from his travel to the Murakami clan. That’s when I thought it could be a good opportunity to test your new trainees. Do you think some of them would be ready to go on a patrolling mission?”

Rena processed the information, now understanding the reason behind the master kunoichi’s presence. “I could select a few of my best trainees for this mission. Tanaka-san and Matsuura-san are now mature enough to fulfill a mission.”

“Perfect.” Satisfaction plastered Mariko’s face. “I’ll let you and Kitahara-san decide on the terms and organization. I trust you both to make this mission a success.”

“I will not disappoint you,” Rena said, and bowed her head. “Is there anything else you wished my assistance with?”

“No, that will be all.” Mariko rested back in her chair, looking pensive. “But there’s indeed something else I meant to ask. It’s been three months since the arrival of the Watanabe sisters at the clan. Kashiwagi-san appears to have developed a good relationship with her protégée, and I wanted to know how things are progressing with your own protégée? Have you been able to sort out your differences?”

Rena was momentarily caught off guard. “Our differences?”

“If I remember correctly, you once asked me if another samurai could be put in charge of her protection. You feared not being the right fit for the task. Has your opinion evolved on the matter?”

“Oh, I…” Rena was slightly destabilized. “She is still difficult to handle at times.” She admitted, before carefully adding. “I thank you for your concern, but I can affirm that our relationship is not as conflictual as it used to be at her arrival. The situation has improved since our last conversation.”

A smile ruffled Mariko’s mouth. “Yes, that’s what I thought, but I wanted to confirm it in person. Otherwise, I don’t believe you would have accepted to give private lessons to the young Watanabe.”

Rena’s eyes widened, and she diverted her gaze to the female kunoichi.

Mariko grinned at her in unashamed delight. “Please don’t blame Kitahara-san for her indiscretion. I was curious to discover how your relationship was evolving, and I might have harassed her with questions once or twice.”

Rena blanched, dreading how much the master kunoichi could have divulged on the nature of their relationship. However, she didn’t have time to think further that the head of the clan began to cough, worry filling her when the coughing kept going on and didn’t seem to want to cease. “Is everything alright?” She stood up from her kneeling position, alert. “Should I ask the doctor to come?”

“No, no. It’s fine.” Mariko brushed it off with a rapid wave of her hand. “It’s the change of season. Autumn has never been a season I favor the most. Maybe I should ask him to concoct one of his herbal potions.”

Rena relaxed a little.

“Thank you, Matsui-san. That will be all.” Mariko addressed her, then tilted her head towards the kunoichi by her side. “You can leave too, Kitahara-san.”

Both women bowed respectfully and retired in silence, Rena shooting one last glance at the head of the clan as the door closed on her, enough to see that she had already plunged herself back into her pile of work.

“Tell me what moment of the day suits you the best to organize this new mission, and I’ll arrange my schedule to your availabilities.”

Rena looked at the woman who was walking by her side, and pondered over her question. “This afternoon is fine.”

“Alright,” Rie nodded, before adding hesitantly. “This morning, we didn’t really talk, but I wanted to say…”

“We don’t need to mention it.” Rena winced, averting her gaze. “I already feel enough ashamed that you witnessed such an embarrassing moment.”

“It truly wasn’t my purpose to spy on you,” Rie said, concealing a smile. “And I want to clarify that I only told Shinoda-san that you were getting along better with the young Watanabe. I didn’t get into details and didn’t give any specifics.”

Astonishment touched Rena’s face; her pace unconsciously slowed down. “I thank you for your discretion, but you have to know that I would never ask you to hide anything from Shinoda-dono.”

“I know you wouldn’t,” Rie spoke softly, agreeing. “But I didn’t believe it was a matter of the most utter importance that Shinoda-dono absolutely ought to hear about.”

Rena gave her a grateful look.

“Shinoda-dono always had a perceptive nature.” Rena’s tone was more relaxed and casual as she continued. “A quality I often envy her. Some days, I even suspect that she knew exactly what she was doing when she placed the young Watanabe under my care.” She made a thoughtful pause. “I just still wonder what lead her to accept them within our clan. From what I’m aware, that’s a decision she never shared with anyone else, and we know nothing about them.”

“You’re right. That’s an information she always kept to herself,” Rie conceded, then added with conviction. “But I believe Shinoda-dono never does anything by chance. She probably had a good reason for allowing the Watanabe sisters to join our clan. A reason she might one day decide to share with us.”

They stopped walking and faced each other, Rena noticing the young shinobis waiting by the stables. “You’re going on a mission, Kitahara-san?”

Rie followed her gaze, smiling when she saw the male group looking in their direction. “Not quite. I’m about to teach them an exercise that will leave their body sore for the rest of the afternoon.”

Rena chuckled softly, knowing how much endurance and stamina the physical training required, not to mention how demanding and nerve-wracking it could be. “Please don’t be too hard on them.”

“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t ask them anything I wouldn’t do be prepared to do myself,” Rie joked lightly.

“Then I guess this is where we split ways,” Rena said, not bothering to hide her amusement. “We’ll see each other later as agreed.”

Rena followed Rie’s retreating form as the latter nodded back and left her side, realizing how pleasant their conversation had been. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had felt such at ease in the master kunoichi’s presence. Could this mark a new beginning and fresh start in their relationship?

When Rena took the direction of her bedroom to retire for the night, it was already pitch dark outside. After the long, tiring day she had, she could feel exhaustion slowing down her steps and threatening to close her heavy pupils at any instant. Between her daily responsibilities as right-hand of Shinoda-dono, the kenjutsu lessons she gave, the recent mission plan she had to supervise with the master kunoichi, and the occasional problems that arose and required her attention, Rena barely had a minute to breathe.
Her mind was fuddled with sleep, her body eager to join the comfort of her futon, when her thoughts suddenly drifted to her protégée. She couldn’t help but wonder in curiosity about her whereabouts, saddened that their paths had barely crossed all day. These last few days, it often occurred to be the case, her high position within the clan keeping her extremely occupied, and preventing her from seeing her as much as she wished, except for the daily lessons of kenjutsu. At the remembrance of what had happened this morning, Rena felt both flustered and frustrated by her protégée’s behavior, repeating to herself that she needed to have a conversation with her.

As she arrived in front of her bedroom, Rena slid the door open and stepped inside, stopping dead in her tracks when she discovered a shadow of a body lying on her futon. Stunned, it took her a few seconds to react, the darkness preventing her from distinguishing the face hidden underneath the kakebuton. At last, her feet moved forward and she crossed the room, lightening the small candle on the night table, her features contorting in incredulity when she recognized the feminine presence. “J-Jurina-san? What are you doing here?”

A head slowly raised from the makura, and two eyes fluttered opened to fall upon her. “Isn’t it obvious? I’m sleeping with you tonight.”

Rena’s mouth dropped open at the nonchalant reply. “What? Since when did we agree to such a living arrangement?”

“Since we started kissing a week ago? But don’t worry, I warned my sister that I would be sleeping with you.”

“You told your sister what?!” Rena exclaimed in disbelief.

Jurina let out a small chuckle. “Calm down. She took it very well. Besides, you don’t have to be afraid. I don’t sleep naked anymore. You can check for yourself. I’m fully clothed beneath the bedcover.”

Rena felt the color rush to her cheeks. Did she really have to remind her of such an embarrassing day? “Jurina-san.” Rena cleared her throat, recollecting herself, trying to keep her voice calm and regular. “You can’t enter my bedroom whenever you seem fit. Just because our relationship has evolved into something more… into something more profound, there are boundaries to respect.”

“But I am respecting them. Otherwise, I would be naked in bed right now.”

At her protégée’s teasing tone, another flush of embarrassment spread across Rena’s face. Somehow, she was getting the feeling that nothing she would add would help her win this argument between them. Rena scrutinized the girl lying, eyes closed, on her futon, and pretending to go back to sleep. “I don’t know what’s holding me from throwing you out for your impudence.”

“Oh, you could. But I know you won’t do it.”

Rena felt her control slip away from her. She never lost her temper. Not once. Even when faced with the upmost difficult situations, she always managed to use calm and diplomacy to her advantage. Since the young Watanabe sister had been put under her care, her legendary patience had been tested on more than one occasion. And here she naively believed their relationship had evolved and they had made substantial progress on that aspect of her personality. That her protégée would flirt again with her limits strained her patience to breaking point.

“Look, I only want to sleep. I promise I won’t misbehave. You know I would never do anything against your will.”

Rena wanted to laugh, ready to retort that she surely didn’t listen to her protest in the maple forest this morning. However, for some reason, she kept those thoughts to herself, and the genuine sincerity she perceived in her protégée’s soft, gentle voice managed to strike a chord. “F-Fine, I will let you sleep here tonight.” Against all reason, she heard herself saying.

The younger girl peered at her; her lips curled with amusement. Rena ignored it, walking away and unbuckling the katana at her waist, and placing her weapon on the allocated stand. Rena could practically feel a pair of eyes boring into her back as she began to undress, removing her black kimono and her matching hakama, swapping her daily clothes for her nightly yukata. When she turned around and approached the futon, her protégée didn’t even bother hiding the fact that she had been shamelessly staring at her the whole time, the cunning smile playing on her lips enough to reveal her sneaky attitude.

Rena took a seat on the futon, making sure to put enough cautious distance between them as she laid down by her side. As they quietly faced one another, studying each other through the dim light of the candle, Rena felt her throat tighten, aware of her ambivalence and inner conflicts between contradicting desires. She was having difficulty dealing with the new feelings that had emerged within her, and a part of her couldn’t help fearing that this may be going a little too fast.

“Are you really afraid of me touching you?”

Rena heard the catch in her protégée’s voice and felt her heart ache. Now she feared her recent words and actions had been interpreted the wrong way. A week ago, she had taken a leap of faith, kissing back the girl who had unexpectedly captured her heart, and deciding to give this relationship a chance. Rena could tell they still had a lot to learn about each other, and it was crucial that they adapted to the wishes and needs of the other. But if there was one thing she refused, it was to let her protégée believe that she wasn’t serious about them. “It’s not that. You know of my affection for you.” Rena extended her hand, gently stroking her protégée’s cheek, brushing away a few strands of hair from her eyes. “But you have a tendency of not always listening and not being able to control yourself when we are alone. Like this morning, for example.”

A grin curved up the corners of Jurina’s mouth. “But you enjoyed it when I kissed you, don’t deny it.”

Rena shook her head disbelieving. “I’m not particularly fond of it when you just do it as you pleased, without caring much about my consent.”

“But you liked it,” Jurina insisted, drawing closer, not hesitating to invade her personal space on the futon. “Just as right now you’re staring at my lips and wondering if I’m going to kiss you again.”

Rena swallowed hard, chastising herself. She was desperately trying to make her understand how she felt about her sometimes forceful and possessive attitude. Not only her protégée wasn’t truly listening, her own body was choosing to betray her inner thoughts. She had allowed her guard to slip. And her protégée didn’t hesitate to take advantage of it. When the latter gently pulled her body closer, Rena didn’t find the strength within her nor the desire to resist, shivering despite herself when she brought their lips together. The kiss was slow and gentle, reminding her of their first mutual kiss. The kiss Rena had initiated that day, liberating, but also shy and hesitant.

The kiss wasn’t as hungry and demanding as she had accustomed her to, but full of gentleness and patience. Her protégée wasn’t as dominating as she sometimes proved to be; and Rena took control of the kiss without realizing it. Rena brushed her lips with hers, feeling a fluttering sensation in her stomach as her protégée softly kissed her back. Rena took her time, caressing her cheek with her fingers, allowing herself to kiss her again, to be so vulnerable during such a moment of intimacy. The feeling of a scar under her fingertips made her pause and she slowly pulled away, studying the mark, carefully tracing it, before her gaze met the one of her protégée.

Her proud and satisfied expression made Rena smile. “That’s what you were waiting for, weren’t you? For me to take the lead?” Rena stared into her eyes, her lips curving into a knowing smile when her protégée reached forward, and tried to capture her lips in another kiss. “I think that’s enough kissing for today.” She stopped her, gently placing her index finger across her lips. “Don’t you think?”

A small pout formed on Jurina’s lips, but she didn’t protest. Rena took a seat on the futon and turned around, blowing the candle, the bedroom plunging into complete darkness. Rena lied down and searched the feminine silhouette before her, trying to get fully accustomed to the new presence in her room. For a moment, she wondered if her cunning protégée would take advantage of their proximity to make another move on her. She waited, but the seconds transformed into minutes, and she remained quietly by her side, making her almost wonder if she hadn’t fallen asleep. Rena felt her own body getting heavier and heavier, surrendering to exhaustion. She fluttered her eyes close, her breathing slowing down, her arm unconsciously laying loosely across her protégée’s waist.

My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline facarous

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 26 [WMatsui] (25/10/2019)
« Reply #187 on: November 01, 2019, 01:52:39 AM »
Hi Sophcaro!
I love all your fics, you know how to write and build the personality of your characters in a solid way and that can be seen in each of your stories.
And  I think that the personalities I enjoy most are the ones you've created for Warriors. So I am really happy to see the story back !!  :deco: :twothumbs

I've enjoyed every part of this chapter.
For example, the special and private training that Rena and Jurina are having, I knew it would be an opportunity that the latter would not miss to flirt with Rena and I can't blame her, I think I would do the same!  :lol:
Fortunately, Rie arrived on time... or could we say that actually it was a shame that she interrupted them? LOL

We can say that Jurina has no manners, no matter if it is Momijimori no kami who is asking for Rena's presence, she is not willing to share her!  :smhid :smhid

And it is also a shameless one: “Of course, Rena-san. I will work hard on those flaws you mention, and impatiently wait for the time of our next private lesson. ”Say that when Rie was with them ... No, Jurina is fearless :nervous

And speaking of Momijimori no kami, I wonder how she will react when she knows that the trainings between the protégé and the guardian now involves other types of ... skills.  :panic:

Maybe she already knows? XDXD

Although I admit that I have a bad feeling about Mariko's cough,  Author-san, What are you up to?  :?

Returning to Jurina and her total lack of fear, shame and acknowledgment towards her superiors  ... LOL I still can't stop laughing to remember that she has threatened Yuki!  :lol: :lol: :lol:

“I know what you're doing with my sister.” I can't stop laughing XDXD

Poor Yuki, I can imagine her face when she heard that XDXD

I must also admit that Rena is winning the prize of the person with the greatest patience in the world XD
Patience and willpower because finding Jurina in her room, lying on her futon ... she will need all her self-control.
Something tells me that it won't be the last time that Rena finds a surprise under her sheets.  :twothumbs

At least Jurina is not naked ... yet XDXD

Thanks for coming back with Warriors. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. :yep: :yep: :bow:
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 04:27:37 PM by facarous »

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 26 [WMatsui] (25/10/2019)
« Reply #188 on: November 10, 2019, 01:08:47 PM »
Daaaaaamn...Jurina is such a master! She knows best how to make her instructor weak. And the private lesson? Suuure :on lol: Jurina's secret technique was proven. The beginnings of this chapter already took my breath away.

Quote from: sophcaro
“Of course, Rena-san. I will work hard on those flaws you mention, and impatiently wait for the time of our next private lesson.”

Jurina's getting better to play with words, too, apparently. And you're getting better, author-saaan!

Yuki and Mayu's relationship developed very well.

Quote from: sophcaro
Jurina searched her face suspiciously. “Do you take me for an idiot? I can see you’re trying to seduce her.”  :scolding:

How dare J to say such thing to her senior Yuki? She's very protective indeed.

Quote from: sophcaro
However, she didn’t have time to think further that the head of the clan began to cough, worry filling her when the coughing kept going on and didn’t seem to want to cease. “Is everything alright?”

Oh no, what will happen to Mariko?! I can smell something's going on about the clan. Will there be a war or an attack from the other clan?

Quote from: sophcaro
“J-Jurina-san? What are you doing here?”

A head slowly raised from the makura, and two eyes fluttered opened to fall upon her. “Isn’t it obvious? I’m sleeping with you tonight.”

J is really a bold giiiirl. She, again, sneaked in at night. Not that I and Rena complained about it hehe... And she had quota to kiss? Asafabdkxayaksbdbanan! This is too cute! :shy2:

This chapter is really really really good. Awesome job, author-san!  :k-great:

Offline sophcaro

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  • Faithful WMatsui shipper
    • sophcaro
Re: Warriors - Chapter 27 [WMatsui] (18/11/2019)
« Reply #189 on: November 18, 2019, 06:43:52 PM »

This evening, all the hatamoto - the samurais that composed the private guard – along with other lower ranked samurais of the clan were reunited, invited to have dinner together in the company of the head of the clan. The atmosphere was light and laid back, the good spirit contrasting with the usual solemnity and uptight protocol of official meetings. It was a gathering that occurred once a month, a routine the head of the clan insisted on having to strengthen the bonds of the samurais under her service.

More than 50 members of the clan were currently seated on cushions along the long wooden table dressed up for the occasion, chatting among themselves and enjoying the multi-course brought to them by servants. After finishing the appetizers, they were served a soup garnished with vegetables, followed by a few fried and grilled dishes. Rena raised her chopsticks to taste the tempuras inside her bowl, but somehow was having difficulty enjoying her meal, disturbed by the scene unfolding in front of her.

On the opposite side of the table, her young protégée drank many cups, one after another, filled to the brim with sake. Even though her protégée’s gaze was fixed on her cup, she had clearly noticed what was going on next to her, her upset expression leaving no secret about how she felt about it. On her left, Mayu was having difficulty rebuffing the advances of a slightly wasted Hasegawa-san, the male samurai having not only taken a liking in her, but was also pushing her to drink more sake than she was willing to. The old Watanabe sister, albeit ill-at-ease, was too polite to upfront refuse him and did as she was told, bringing the beverage to her lips at his invitation.

Rena gave Yuki, who was sitting by her right, a discreet sideways glance, and caught her eye in a fleeting moment. The visual contact didn’t last, yet was enough to tell Rena that she had equally noticed the problematic situation. Manifestly, she was struggling between her strong desire to rescue her protégée from this awkward moment, and the realization that she couldn’t do so without risking offending the other male samurai. Yes, it was a tricky situation, and Rena understood perfectly well the dilemma her friend found herself into. However, it turned out the young Watanabe sister didn’t have such scruples.

“Stop bothering my sister.” Jurina’s lips twitched in annoyance as she set down her cup of sake on the table noisily. “And stop trying to get her drunk!”

“I-It’s alright, Jurina.” Mayu tilted her head in her direction, and said to her in a low voice, embarrassed. “Don’t worry about it.”

Jurina shot her sister an incredulous look. “No, it’s not fine. I will not stay seated here while this old man keeps harassing you.”

The table fell silent and heads were raised; faces turned towards the direction of the unexpected argument.

“What did you call me?” The designated Hasegawa-san stopped eating and, straightening up, stared back at the young Watanabe sister with a mix of disbelief and bewilderment. “You’d better not be impudent, young one.”

“Me? Impudent?” Jurina scoffed. “You’re the one who should apologize to my sister for your inappropriate behavior.”

“Watanabe-san.” Rena quickly spoke up. She had tried to keep her voice calm and controlled, but she knew her disapproval was showing when her protégée instantly looked back at her, and her dark brown eyes reflected nothing else but deep frustration. The kenjutsu instructor had strongly hoped she wouldn’t need to intervene, but she refused to stay quiet any longer. The situation was escalating dangerously, and she dreaded the anger now burning from the male samurai’s eyes.

The latter’s hand fell threateningly upon the wakizashi at his belt. “I will not tolerate such dishonor any longer.” He diverted his attention towards the head of the clan. “Momijimori no kami dono, I ask for reparation.”

The atmosphere was electrifying, no one daring to make a single noise or move as they awaited in anticipation for the head of the clan’s reaction. Rena stiffened and held her breath, knowing full well the implication of what Hasegawa-san was asking. Opposite her, her young protégée didn’t seem to measure the consequences, more than ready and eager to pull out her own wakizashi.

A sudden laugh broke the heavy silence. “Old man. I think it’s the best insult I’ve heard in a while.” Mariko said, not bothering to hide her entertainment at the altercation. “Hasegawa-san, you have to admit you’re not the youngest of all at this table. In fact, your extraordinary good health never ceases to amaze me. I’m even convinced you will bury us all. Come on, let’s eat. If there’s one thing that displeases me the most, it’s to eat my wagyu cold. You wouldn’t want your little duel to force me to eat my food cold, would you?”

Despite the casual smile falling upon the head of the clan’s lips, the subtle warning didn’t escape anyone.

“O-Of course not.” The male samurai forced a smile, and slowly released his hold on his wakizashi. The head of the clan burst into another laughter, at what she visibly considered an original insult. It took the other guests a moment or two to know how to react, before timidly following her in her laughter, the dinner resuming its course in a more serene atmosphere. Conversations continued, the incident quickly forgotten, but Rena couldn’t ignore the range of emotions coursing through her as she felt a wave of relief.

It took her a few minutes to fully calm her beating heart, as well as the slight tremble of her hand when she seized her chopsticks to eat. If the head of the clan hadn’t denied Hasegawa-san’s request, there was not a shred of doubt how the confrontation would have ended between the experimented male samurai and her impetuous young apprentice. Rena stole a glance towards the other side of the table. She didn’t detect the slightest sign of remorse on her protégée’s face, not that it surprised her very much. At this précised instant, her thoughtlessness both scared and infuriated her. Not only wasn’t she feeling ashamed by the fact that she had offended a highly respected member of a clan, she didn’t seem to grasp the real danger she had put herself into. 

Yuki couldn’t help chastising herself for her powerlessness as she and Mayu crossed the corridor leading towards the samurais’ quarters, the pair having fallen quiet when the kyudo instructor had offered to walk her back after dinner. Yuki relived again in her head the incident that had occurred, blaming herself. She was still shocked by the way Mayu’s younger sister had dared to address another member of the clan, her impoliteness reminding the unpleasant conversation she had had with the young Watanabe sister a few days ago. However, a part of her was also secretly glad that she had spoken up, and been able to put an end to the male samurai’s advances.

If there was one thing Hasegawa-san had never been good at, it was controlling his drinking. It wasn’t rare to witness him getting carried away during social events. Usually, it would only transcribe in the samurai being more jovial and talkative. This evening, it appeared his close proximity with one of the newest feminine addition to the clan had pushed him to test his chances with her in a heavy, clumsy way.

As they were getting closer to their bedrooms, Yuki refused to part with her protégée without addressing the situation. “I should have intervened during dinner. I did notice that Hasegawa-san was bothering you, but I didn’t do anything. I hope you can forgive me.”

Mayu stopped, and glanced back at her, startled. “We both know you couldn’t have done anything without risking offending him. What my sister said was rude, and I hope…” Concern darkened her features. “I hope Hasegawa-san won’t hold it against her.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about that,” Yuki said, shaking her head. “Given my past experience with Hasegawa-san, he had way too much sake tonight to remember a single thing when he wakes up tomorrow morning,” she added on a teasing tone, trying to lighten the mood.

A look of relief crossed Mayu’s face. “Oh, alright. It’s just… My sister has difficulty getting along with the other members of the clan. I would blame myself if she made herself an enemy because of me.”

“Your sister’s impulsive reaction was probably not the wisest,” Yuki admitted with a small nervous chuckle. “But she protected you, which I should have been doing. And a part of me will always feel guilty about by inaction tonight.”

Mayu was touched by her care and concern. “I thank you, Kashiwagi-san. But you don’t have to protect me.”

They looked at each other for a moment, and Yuki found herself having a hard time deciphering the expression in her eyes when her protégée slowly approached her. She awaited in expectation, sensing she wanted to tell her something, before replying when no words left the other girl’s lips. “Of course, I do. I’m your protector. It’s my job to-” She didn’t have time to finish that she felt a pair of lips on hers. The contact was only brief as her protégée quickly pulled away.

Mayu turned away, her face flushing red. “I-I’m sorry. I don’t know… I don’t know why I did that.”

It took Yuki a few long seconds to recover from her shock, her gaze softening as she noticed the other girl’s panic. This evening, she could tell her protégée was not acting as usual, and knew alcohol was in cause. Yuki’s heart skipped a beat; her lips tingled at the remembrance of the kiss they had exchanged. Her inner voice was telling her it wasn’t appropriate to take advantage of the situation when her protégée was obviously not completely herself, but she chose to silence it. After these past months, there was no more denying how they felt for each other, and she knew the beverage had only given her the necessary courage to take the next step in their relationship.

Yuki cupped Mayu’s cheeks between her hands, gently turning her face towards her. “Watanabe-san, you did nothing wrong.”

Mayu finally dared to look back at her. Yuki held her breath in anticipation and, after what felt like an eternity, her protégée slowly reduced the distance once more. Yuki saw her hesitate, uncertainty crossing her face. At this right moment, she couldn’t have found her more adorable. As her protégée’s face drew timidly closer to her, Yuki leaned down and met her halfway, their lips slowly pressing against each other. A burst of happiness fluttered in Yuki’s chest as they shared a sweet, lingering kiss, expressing at last their romantic feelings for each other.

As soon as dinner was over, Rena had had good intentions to have a word with her young protégée about her attitude. She didn’t have the opportunity. The moment the head of the clan raised to her feet, marking the end of dinner, the younger girl didn’t wait to leave, vanishing into thin air without exchanging a glance or a word. Albeit slightly destabilized by it, Rena figured out she probably needed some time alone to cool down. She had regained her quarters, plunging herself in some work she needed to attend. Unfortunately, she had failed to progress as much as she wished, her thoughts diverting far too often towards her protégée. As the evening had progressed and it became pitch dark outside, Rena ended up believing she wouldn’t hear from her anymore until the following morning. If there was one thing she didn’t expect, it was to receive a nightly visit.

Rena tensed as she heard her bedroom’s door sliding open, her brush pausing on the paper laying on the table in front of her. Rena didn’t raise her gaze from the scroll, and listened as footsteps approached on the tatami, feeling a body pressed against her back the following moment. When her protégée buried her face in her shoulder, Rena calmly settled her brush down on the table, and removed the wandering hand that was attempting to open the front of her kimono.

“Stop it. You’re drunk,” Rena said, unable to keep the frustration out of her voice. She couldn’t believe what the younger girl was doing. Were they really going to pretend that everything was fine?

“I’m not drunk,” Jurina protested. “Why are you still working anyway?” She wrapped her arms around her once more, kissing the nape of her neck. “It’s late. You should come in bed. With me.”

That was the last straw. Rena pulled away from her embrace and turned her gaze on to her with an accusatory look. “I can smell alcohol on you. And you’re very naïve if you think I’ll accept you in my bed after your rude behavior at dinner.”

“Rude? This samurai was harassing my sister!” Jurina exclaimed, disbelief filling her words. “What would you have expected me to do? To stay here doing nothing?! He was lucky the head of the clan stopped us, or I would hav-”

“You would have what?” Rena said challengingly. “Killed him? You wouldn’t even be capable of touching him.”

“Incapable?!” Jurina abruptly rose to her feet, infuriated. “You have so little faith in me? What side are you on?!”

Rena avoided her gaze, feeling her own temper also slipping out of control. “I’m on the side of people who don’t want to see you get killed because of a misplaced desire to protect your sister from everything and everyone.” She took a deep breath in an attempt to calm down, getting a little desperate. “Sometimes, I feel like I’m dealing with a child who never thinks about the consequences of her actions.”

Her last words were followed by a long silence.

“If that’s your opinion of me, then maybe the child should go to a place where her presence is more appreciated and welcomed. Where someone else will be more than happy to warm my bed.”

Rena raised her head at her last snarky comment. As footsteps drew away rapidly, a mixture of stupor and incredulity surged within her. “If you ever do what I think you’re implying, this is the last time you’ll be passing my doorstep.”

Behind her, her protégée stopped on the tatami at once. Rena waited, but she obtained no response, the last thing she heard being the sound of the bedroom door being roughly slid open and slammed closed as she left.

Surprised entered Churi’s eyes as she noticed the familiar feminine presence awaiting in the main room of the brothel. Distractedly, she kissed back her male client who was leaving her bedroom, then refocused her attention on the girl who was drinking alone. Hadn’t it already been a week since she last saw Nobunaga? Pleasure plastered her features, and she began descending the staircase to greet her friend, but her smile slowly vanished when she realized something was definitely wrong with her tonight.

By Nobunaga’s empty look, it wasn’t hard to guess something had happened. From her seat, she was following the dancing performance of one of their new girls, Akiko, but didn’t seem to take much pleasure in it, not even joining the other patrons in their round of applause. Churi felt both destabilized and troubled. Even more when one of the servants approached her, and discreetly slipped into her ear that Nobunaga had been drinking quite a lot since her arrival. The revelation only served to increase Churi’s concern, having indeed well noticed that her friend appeared more wasted than usual.

“I haven’t seen you in a while,” Churi said, trying to keep the concern out of her voice as she took a seat beside her. “What brings you here?”

Jurina brightened up. “Hey. What took you so long?” She brushed her ears with her lips, before kissing her cheek. “I missed you.”

Churi tried not to look destabilized by the unusual public demonstration of affection, but it was impossible to ignore the curious glances she received. When she felt an arm sliding around her waist, holding her close, and a pair of lips approaching dangerously her mouth, Churi quickly intervened. “Alright, I think someone had too much drinking for the evening,” she tried to defuse the situation with a laugh, and gently disentangled herself from her hold. “Why don’t we continue this conversation in my room?”

A seductive glint slid straight into Jurina’s alcohol—blurred gaze. “Oh, you’re being much bolder than usual tonight.”

“I just don’t want the others to witness you like this,” Churi said and turned to look at her, unable to hide her true feelings of concern any longer. “And you’re obviously not in a condition to return to the clan right now.”

It proved less difficult than Churi feared to bring her friend to get up from the table and leave the main room, following her upstairs without the slightest protest or resistance. As soon as they entered her bedroom and she had closed the door behind them, Churi didn’t have time to react that two arms had wrapped around her neck, and a head dropped heavily upon her shoulder. “D-Did I tell you how much I missed you?”

Churi held her back with one arm, supporting her weight, while stroking her hair with the other, trying to analyze the situation. It wouldn’t be the first time that her friend would drink a lot, but she usually had a great resistance to alcohol. Tonight, the realization that the beverage was clearly affecting her more than usual, taught her that her friend had been drinking for a while, probably even before her arrival at the brothel. 

“What is going on?” Churi gently asked; apprehension fluttering through her. “Did you have a fight with someone? Was it with your protector?”

“Why would you think-” Jurina let out a low growl. “I don’t want to talk about her.”

Churi could tell she had predicted right, and was determined to get to the bottom of the problem. “I don’t know what happened between you two, but I’m sure it wasn’t worth drinking so much.”

Jurina’s furious gaze landed on her. “S-She thinks I’m an impudent child!”

Churi let out a small chuckle escape. 

Jurina took a step back, and narrowed her eyes at her suspiciously. “What?! You think that too?”

“No, I don’t…” Churi said, doing her best to keep the amusement out of her voice. She crossed the room slowly, carefully pondering on what to reply, before sitting down on the futon. “But you can’t deny that you can act impulsively at times.”

Jurina leaned her back against the door, and folded her arms around her chest. “I thought we were friends, but you’re taking her defense!”

“We are friends.” Churi raised her head and extended her hand, inviting her to join her side. “That’s why I didn’t want the other girls to see you like this, even if I now fear they will find it suspicious that I invited you to my room.”

Churi’s lips curled into a playful smile, and an unconscious smile tugged at Jurina’s lips too. She quietly detached herself from the door, and took place on the futon beside her, burying her face in her hands.

Churi caressed and lightly squeezed her friend’s shoulder. “Do you want to tell me what happened?”

Jurina heaved out a long sigh of despair. “I accepted to come to this clan for my sister’s sake, and I really tried to adapt, but…”

“You sometimes feel like you don’t fit in?” Churi offered.

Jurina lifted her head slowly and gazed back at her, nodding. 

“I see.” Churi smiled, understandingly. “I think it’s important that you share with your protector how you feel about the situation.”

Jurina averted her gaze, shaking her head. “She wouldn’t understand.”

Churi made a thoughtful pause.

“I will never forget the look of distress on her face when she saw you lying here, injured and weak, fighting a fever after your attack. She obviously cares about you. And I can tell the feeling is mutual. So maybe you shouldn’t underestimate her, and allow yourself to open up to her about your internal struggles.”

“I don’t…” Jurina looked lost, uncertain.

Churi leaned and planted a kiss on her cheek. “Why don’t you rest here for a bit? Right now, you’re in no condition to go back.”

Jurina nodded absently and complied, lying down and resting her head on the pillow. Churi stayed by her side, not taking long before she witnessed her heavy pupils drifting close. More than anything, she was conscious that Nobunaga had always been secretive, and never shared much about herself. However, she deep down hoped their conversation would influence her and she would follow her advice, convinced her protector was much more of an attentive listener than Nobunaga was willing to believe.

Jurina stirred awake, placing her hand on her eyes to block the unpleasant sun entering the room. Turning around in bed, it didn’t take her long to grasp that she hadn’t slept at the clan, when she witnessed the familiar feminine body of Churi lying beside her. Her friend was profoundly asleep, her eyes tightly shut. Jurina blinked in confusion, trying to replay in her head the events that had led her to that moment. Her fuddled mind came back to a sharp focus at her sudden headache, painful reminder that she had been drinking more than reasonably.

Gradually, she put the pieces back together, alerted when she realized it was already morning, and she had slept much more than initially intended. Taking a seat on the futon, her thoughts drifted towards her protector. Her heart skipped a beat, fearing how her sleepover would be interpreted, especially after the harsh words that had left her mouth during their last heated argument. Jurina tilted her head in her friend’s direction, enough to check that she was still sound asleep, before getting out of bed as quietly as possible.

She crossed the room and approached the door, conscious she couldn’t stay any longer here, yet stole a last peek at the woman sleeping on the futon. At the reminder of their last conversation, a tired but grateful smile grazed her lips. Yes, she sometimes felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled by her new life within the Shinoda clan. However, if there was one thing she couldn’t deny anymore, it was how lucky she was to have encountered such a faithful and trusted friend in the person of Churi. 

Jurina paused when she arrived in front of her protector’s bedroom, hoping she had not already woken up. She placed her hand on the door, ready to open, yet couldn’t manage to go through with it. The irony of the situation struck her hard. The previous days, she certainly didn’t embarrass herself with such consideration, entering her protector’s bedroom whenever she deemed fit. After their latest fight, she found herself hesitant, apprehending how her arrival would be received.

Jurina took a deep breath and carefully slid the door open, her greatest fears becoming reality when her gaze landed on the empty futon. Her protector was awake. Which could only mean that she had well noticed her absence. Jurina moved forward, feeling slightly insecure, wondering if the kenjutsu instructor could possibly have already left for the dojo. The presence of the katana disposed on the rack told her otherwise, and she progressed further into the room, distinguishing a silhouette through the fusuma leading outside.

Jurina approached and slid the door open, noticing her quiet protector seated on the porch facing the garden. It was barely sunrise, and there was not a soul in sight, except for the senzui kawaramono, the gardener of the Shinoda clan. As every morning, he was attending the gravel garden, sweeping away fallen leaves, before tracing with his rake horizontal lines on the ground with the utmost patience and diligence.

Jurina knew her protector had noticed her presence by now and, even if the latter didn’t raise her head to glance at her, Jurina didn’t hesitate to take a seat beside her. She couldn’t deny that her pride was still hurt after being called a child, but she was conscious her protector had every reason to think that way about her. She hadn’t been on her best behavior since her arrival at the clan, and she had a tendency of losing her temper far too easily. Especially last evening, when her unfortunate words went beyond her thoughts.

Silence enveloped them and, when the woman beside her wasn’t inclined to speak, Jurina knew it was up to her to make the first step. “You’re awake early. I thought… I thought you would still be in bed.”

There was another moment of silence, before the reply came. “I am. Let’s say I had troubles sleeping.”

Jurina felt a twinge of guilt, guessing she was responsible.

They fell into silence again, and Jurina maneuvered her thoughts, trying to figure out the best way to broach the situation. When she the least expected it, her protector was the one to speak up. “Where were you yesterday?”

Jurina swallowed twice before she tried to answer. Despite knowing she wouldn’t like her answer, but she couldn’t bring herself to lie. “I was with Churi,” she said, before quickly adding. “But I didn’t have sex with her, if that’s what you think.”

“Why should I believe you? You seemed to have other intentions in mind when you left my bedroom.”

Jurina tensed; another wave of embarrassment swept through her. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have… I shouldn’t have spoken to you that way. I lost my temper, and said things I didn’t mean. I would never…” For a shrinking moment she paused, feeling ashamed for having spoken so cruelly. “I would never cheat on you.”

There was a long silence, and as her words received no reply, Jurina dreaded to have gone too far this time. There was no denying that their relationship had started off on the wrong foot, but the bond between them had grown stronger over time, up to the point of transforming into an intimate close relationship. Despite everything Jurina had put her through with her bad temper, her protector had always showed infinite patience with her. What if she had managed to push her to the limit with that last provocation?

For the first time since the beginning of their conversation, Rena finally faced her back. “No, you shouldn’t have said those things. It was harsh and hurtful.”

Jurina’s face clouded with uneasiness.

“But I forgive you. I forgive you because I know it was also the alcohol speaking, and you didn’t truly mean it.”

Jurina’s eyes widened slightly; hope fluttered in her chest.

“But it’s not only about your attitude with me. You were out of line during dinner, and I’m not sure you even realize it. There are basic rules to respect in society, and your lack of manners keeps baffling me. You cannot keep behaving this way if you wish to stay in this clan, even less in front of Shinoda-dono. Next time, she might not be so merciful. What would you do if she decided to expel both you and your sister? Or maybe that’s what you’re hoping for? To leave that place you seem to abhor so much since your arrival?”

Jurina took time to process everything she had said, deep down conscious that she was entirely right. She mustered her courage to look back at her, witnessing the mix of emotions in her protector’s eyes. She looked upset and disappointed in her, not that Jurina expected any less, but she also couldn’t miss the genuine caring and affection reflected in her small brown orbs. Without warning, Churi’s words came back to the forefront of her mind, and Jurina drew a deep breath, forbidding herself to back away.

“For ten years, it was just me and my sister. Life wasn’t always easy, but I didn’t care because we were together, and it was all that mattered to me. When we arrived here, my whole world was turned upside down. I hated everything about that place, and wanted to leave as soon as possible. My freedom was suddenly restrained, and I was forced to follow a set of rules I had never agreed to. For the first time, my sister didn’t need me anymore. She was doing fine without me; she was happier than I had ever seen her.”

Jurina made a pause, feeling her voice raspy with emotion.

“And that’s why, despite everything I’m feeling, I know we can’t possibly leave anymore. What kind of person would I be if my actions only lead to cause her pain? I would never forgive myself for being the source of her unhappiness.”

Rena’s gaze softened as they stared at each other. “Why did you never tell me those things? I would have listened; I would have understood how you felt.”

Jurina let out a small nervous chuckle. “Let’s say I don’t have the habit to confide in people. Even less in people I barely know.”

“Jurina-san…” With tenderness, Rena reached up and cupped her cheek. “Don’t you know me a bit more by now? I’m conscious I have a tendency of being strict, but if there’s one thing I would never do, it’s judge you for feeling lost and lonely. And I want to think… No, I know that I can help you feel more at home.”

Jurina shuddered at the contact, her touch soothing and warming at the same time. She closed her eyes, feeling an overwhelming surge of relief, not having the strength to resist when she got pulled into an embrace. Without speaking, they remained in each other’s arms, and Jurina let her head fall upon her protector’s shoulder, her grip tightening around her back. A voice inside her head was telling her that it was wrong to display such weakness and vulnerability, but she refused to listen to it, realizing despite herself how truly good it felt to let go and open up her heart.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 06:51:07 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 27 [WMatsui] (18/11/2019)
« Reply #190 on: November 21, 2019, 02:22:49 AM »
Alright, I read both new chapters now! Just like in Destiny, I really like how you're writing Jurina and Rena's, as well as Yuki and Mayu's, relationship. I thought it was so funny, too, how Jurina was being protective of Mayu towards Yuki and threatened her. Jurina and Rena are both going through good development with their characters as their relationship is evolving, and I enjoy reading those interactions between them. Also, I just love the way Mariko is portrayed here, how she was able to debuff Hasegawa's drunken advances towards Mayu after Jurina's outburst; that scene was amazing! I look forward to reading the next chapter! ^ ^)/

:heart: l Completed: Fire and Ice l Black Chocolate l My eternal blue rose l Dishonored l The Black Rose l Fruits of a Rose l Remnants l :heart:
:heart: l Dropped: Tentomu chu l REBORN l Bite me l NMB Gakuen l YumeToki l Cafe 48 l :heart: l Hiatus/Indefinite: Samurai l Blood Bonds l Night Wind's Deed l PRISM l Time Travelers l :heart:
:heart: l Collab threads: Sky&Ruka l Ruka&Michael l :heart:
 l Compilation thread: 48G New Gen l :heart:


Offline facarous

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 27 [WMatsui] (18/11/2019)
« Reply #191 on: November 26, 2019, 01:06:41 AM »
Hi Sophcaro.

It seems that Jurina reached a certain point where her frustration has taken the best of her and in the end that have only managed to put her in a bad position. :smhid
Jurina is someone who cares for  her loved ones, but her impulsive and stubborn character prevents her from realizing when she is crossing a limit.

During dinner with Mariko, Mariko herself was the only one who could put a stop to the situation, but whether she didn't care or had not noticed or found the situation fun, Mariko doesn't take action and Jurina, being so protective of Mayu, comes to the defense of her sister's honor, causing tension with a senior samurai. Mayu, Rena, Yuki and the rest of the diners knew that this was wrong. However, Jurina is proud to have defended her sister and doesn't consider her action a bad thing, so when Rena talks about it, Jurina is not happy with what she hears from her partner.

I think that the words Jurina uses for Rena are rude, but I also understand that Jurina was somewhat drunk and that alcohol only helped her frustration grow bigger.
Fortunately Churi managed to put some common sense in her head and also prevented her from making a show in the brothel... Thanks Churi!!  :thumbsup

On a positive note, it's good that Jurina finally decided to open up with Rena and tell her the way she's feeling since she arrived at the clan.
Thinking about the sacrifice Jurina makes for Mayu by staying in a place she doesn't like at all, I hope Jurina can find happiness... Happiness with Rena  :yep:

It's a pleasure to read the new Warriors chapters. Thanks for your hard work.  :jphip:

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 27 [WMatsui] (18/11/2019)
« Reply #192 on: December 02, 2019, 05:26:00 PM »
Thanks guys for not staying silent and taking time to post a comment and share your thoughts!  :thumbup It's always appreciated to receive feedback, and reassuring to know some readers still follow and enjoy Warriors after all these years.  :yep:
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 27 [WMatsui] (18/11/2019)
« Reply #193 on: December 04, 2019, 03:21:57 PM »

Oh wow, I’m so mad at Hasegawa! I understand very well how Jurina felt about him.

But I think she was a bit too much to treat Rena that way.
Quote from: Sophcaro
“If that’s your opinion of me, then maybe the child should go to a place where her presence is more appreciated and welcomed. Where someone else will be more than happy to warm my bed."

Really? That’s not nice, Jurina. I know it’s frustrating when you feel like no one understands you. Well, at least now you know you have a good friend in Churi.

Quote from: Sophcaro
“Jurina-san…” With tenderness, Rena reached up and cupped her cheek.

Anyway, I wonder why Rena still called Jurina with honorific. Why don’t they call each other by their own names in their private time? Hehe…

I super like Yuki and Mayu’s interaction. Yuki was awkwardly cute, especially when Mayu kissed her XD I can vividly imagine how she reacted hehe…

Thank you for this chapter, author-san! Ganbatte!

Offline sophcaro

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Warriors - Chapter 28 [WMatsui] (04/05/2020)
« Reply #194 on: May 04, 2020, 04:55:25 AM »

A long, blissful sigh escaped Mayu’s lips as she enjoyed a rest under the shade of the large branches of a maple tree. From her position at the top of the hill, she had a privileged view over the main grounds of the Shinoda clan. The head of the clan’s main residence. The samurais’ private quarters. The stables held over two hundred of horses of every color and kind: black, white, grey, chestnut, roan and bay; packhorses, workhorses and riding horses. The Buddhist temples, central places of prayer. The cemetery, where people came to mourn their lost ones, often soldiers fallen during the last great war. But also, the small houses, taverns and trading centers, that stretched in the valley as far as the eye could see.

The movement, the hustle bustle, the energy. It reminded her of her childhood. Of how the Watanabe clan used to be when it stood proudly as one of the leading authorities of the country.

The remembrance of her lost heritage made Mayu a touch melancholy, but she pushed it firmly to the back of her mind. She was content living here. Every passing day, she was grateful Shinoda-san had accepted to let them stay. At last, they were off the roads, filled with disreputable individuals ready to rob them of their scarce resources. Mayu felt safe within these walls, and wasn’t afraid to call it her new home.

She had settled into what proved an idyllic life, with only one cloud on her horizon. Her sister, Jurina, who had difficulty adjusting to their new day-to-day routine. Maybe it was her optimistic side speaking, but Mayu wished to remain positive. Believe she would come to appreciate this second chance life gave them.

The maple forest had become a sea of reds, oranges and yellows. The grass swayed in the autumn breeze, the sun bathing the foliage and flowers in its golden rays. Gone was the scorching heat of Summer. Mayu found the current temperate, neither hot or cold, pleasant. She had heard that, in this northern region, Winter could prove to be ruthless. Some years, inhabitants had even witnessed lakes freeze. The sole idea made her shiver, and she hoped her thick kimono would be enough to keep her warm. She had spent all her childhood in the South of Japan, where the Watanabe clan used to be located. Only recently, she and her sister had begun to travel norther.

Never before had she had the chance to witness lands covered with the white substance people called snow. The prospect made her secretly excited.

Mayu’s eyes fluttered close. Relaxed, her body felt heavier. She wasn’t particularly tired, but the atmosphere was serene. She drifted away. Without warning, a certain kiss came back to the forefront of her mind, and she was wide awake. Her heart leaped. She raised her hand to her lips; they quivered slightly at the touch. A shy but happy smile broke out across her face. The memory of the soft and warm kiss she had shared with the kyudo instructor was vivid and sharp.

There were gaps in her memory concerning that particular evening, and she blamed it on the excessive use of alcohol. She had always been a light drinker, and she couldn’t explain why she had gotten carried away. Despite her mind fuzzy about the course of events, she didn’t imagine the kiss. She had a hard time believing it happened. For months, her attraction for Kashiwagi-san grew, but she hesitated to make the first move.

What if her protector was gentle and caring out of duty? Mayu had seen a couple of signs suggesting a mutual romantic interest. The personal attention, the lingering eye contact, the physical proximity. And what about the evening Jurina had left the bedroom in a haste after a violent nightmare, and Kashiwagi-san, witnessing Mayu’s disarray, had invited her to her room and provided her comfort?

As days transformed into weeks, and weeks became months, the protégée and her protector grew closer than ever. Their relationship didn’t progress as much as Mayu secretly hoped, but she didn’t want either to take the risk of overstepping boundaries. What if Kashiwagi-san held herself for the same reasons, and believed a romantic relationship between them was inappropriate? The kiss, reciprocated, had put an end to any remaining doubt, and filled Mayu’s heart with happiness.

At the crackling sound of leaves and twigs stepped upon, Mayu pulled out of her reverie. Her eyelids peeled open, finding Jurina standing in front of her. Mayu blinked, coming back to reality. Her sister’s delight caught her attention. “I see some habits don’t change.”

Mayu readjusted her seated position, flustered to have been so lost in her thoughts she didn’t hear someone approach. “What do you mean?”

“It reminds me of when we were little. How often would I find you napping under a cherry tree?”

“You mean…” Mayu continued, in a slight humorous tone. “You mean when you escaped your bodyguard’s attention and explored the lands of our clan, disappearing for hours, sometimes even until sundown?”

Jurina slumped down beside her, and rested her back against the tree. “It’s not my fault if they were too slow to catch up.”

Mayu let out a small chuckle. “I’ll always remember Father’s fury when the bodyguard confessed having lost you. How many times did he change your bodyguard? Four? Five?”

“I have no idea.” Jurina shrugged her shoulders, grinning. “It never made a difference anyway.”

Mayu laughed openly. A comfortable silence fell over them, during which both enjoyed the view and each other’s presence. Once in a while, Mayu would steal a peek at Jurina when she wasn’t paying attention. She felt so lucky to have her by her side. They had endured so many hardships. The murder of their father. The downfall of their clan. Years of restless wandering. Life at the Shinoda clan was a fresh start; an opportunity to put their painful past behind.

“Why don’t you join Rena-san’s lessons? You haven’t come to the dojo. You need to learn kenjutsu.”

Mayu shifted uneasily. “Thank you, but… I’m fine with kyudo. It suits me more.”

An awkward silence followed.

“You’re spending way too much time with Kashiwagi-san. You follow her everywhere. You barely leave her side all day.”

“What are you talking about?” Mayu asked, taken aback by her manifest disapproval.

“I’m not blind,” Jurina rolled her eyes at her. “You get that dreamy expression when you interact with her. You have a crush. I hope you’re not making yourself false illusions about your relationship.”

“W-We kissed,” Mayu blurted out.

Jurina’s mouth dropped open. “What? When?!”

Mayu hesitated. “The other day, after the dinner organized by Shinoda-dono. Kashiwagi-san offered to accompany back to my room, and we ki-”

“Did she take advantage of you?!”

“W-What? No… Kashiwagi-san is not like tha-”

“I knew I couldn’t trust her!” Jurina abruptly stood up. “I warned her to not play with your feelings but she seized the opportunity as soon as she saw one! She used you during a moment of weakness! What else did she do to you?! Tell me! You have to tell me everything!”

Her outburst rendered Mayu speechless.

“Do you even remember what happened that evening?!” Jurina asked, in a slightly mocking tone. “No, of course you don’t. Let me refresh your memory. Hasegawa-san harassed you the whole evening. He made you drink again and again, and you were too nice and polite to refuse. I had no choice but to intervene to make him stop! I wouldn’t be shocked if you were half drunk when Kashiwagi-san walked you back to your room. Your beloved protector didn’t lift a finger to help you!”

Mayu was baffled by Jurina’s fury. Processing the information revealed, she put the missing pieces of the puzzle back together. Little by little, her memory of that evening became much clearer. “Kashiwagi-san couldn’t say anything! It would have caused an incident!”

“Tss. What a silly excuse,” Jurina huffed, crossing her arms over her chest. “She was too much of a coward to act, and I was forced to step up.”

“Yes, and it could have gotten yourself killed! And what do you mean by you ‘warned her to not play’ with my feelings?”

“Exactly as I said,” Jurina spoke with confidence. “I had a clear conversation with her on the subject. I won’t let anyone toy with you.”

Mayu didn’t like arguing with her. Conflicts left her emotionally and mentally drained. But this was too much. She couldn’t accept nor condone what she had dared to do behind her back. “I can’t believe you did that!” Mayu sprang to her feet, anger bubbling within her. “How could you? You had no right!”

If Jurina was shocked by her raised tone, she didn’t let it show. “You’re my sister, and it’s my role to protect you. I don’t trust Kashiwagi-san. I never did. Even less after her behavior during dinner.”

“You don’t know her like I do. Kashiwagi-san is a good person!”

“You’re naïve.” Jurina wasn’t so easily deterred. “You always see the best in people. Kashiwagi-san is acting nice to get close to you. Once she gets what she wants, she’ll get rid of you without any remorse!”

“You always believe everyone has bad intentions. I know what my heart feels and that Kashiwagi-san feels the same. I don’t judge your relationship with Matsui-san!”

“I-It’s different.”

“How is it different?” Mayu countered. Her sister avoided her gaze, and Mayu guessed she had caught her off guard. “I won’t pretend I fully understand the nature of the relationship you two have. But look me in the eye and tell me you don’t have feelings for her. Or you want me to believe it’s a simple flirt? That it’s not serious?”

When the younger girl didn’t reply, Mayu added. “I think we’re both experimenting the same. We met someone who makes us feel something different; something new and strong. But at least, I’m honest about it, and not afraid of saying it.”

Mayu stood face to face with Jurina. She wanted her to realize she meant every single word, and nothing, no one, would make her change her mind. She half-expected her to come back at her with a clever retort. Against all odds, Jurina’s lips remained tightly sealed. Mayu took a step back, and slowly walked away. Their heated debate had left her shaken, and it would take her a while to recover from it, but she was also proud to have been brave enough to stand up to her convictions.

“She’s totally infatuated with Kashiwagi-san,” Jurina mumbled, leaning her back against the stall. “It doesn’t make her think clearly.”

The whinny of her horse distracted her. “What?” She cocked an eyebrow at her black stallion, meeting his visible disapproval. The animal tilted his head to his left, pointing his nose towards the untouched saddle on the rack. “Yes, yes, we are leaving! You can be so impatient, sometimes!”

Jurina pushed away from the door stall and picked the saddle, throwing it on the horse. All morning, she couldn’t get out of her head her argument with Mayu. She had taken the direction of the stables, hoping a ride would help dissipate her bad mood. “Why won’t she listen to me!” She growled, putting on the bridle. “I know I’m right, right?!” She studied her horse’s reaction, hoping for support and understanding, but all she got in return was a silent stare.

Akihira-kun, the thirteen-year-old stable boy, who brushed the knotted beige mane of a horse, spoke up in a small, hesitant voice. “I-Is everything alright, Watanabe-san?”

Jurina spared him a quick glance. “Yes, yes.” She answered, attempting to sound as nonchalant as possible. A complete lie. She was anything but fine.

“And how can she compare it to my relationship with Rena-san! It’s ridiculous! It’s completely different!”

A chestnut head popped over the next-door stall. Her protector’s calm and gentle mare appeared, and twitched her ears at her in a friendly hello. The stallion disregarded Jurina’s presence and greeted the mare with a nicker, rubbing his nostrils against the head of the female horse.

“Great,” Jurina groaned, her frustration rising. “Remind me who defended you when Rena-san didn’t want you two to be together? Me! So, you could at least pretend you’re interested in my problems!”

The stallion turned his head partially towards his owner, and snorted in response.

The front door of the stables opened, and Jurina diverted her attention from the couple to the group of four men entering. Amongst them, Jurina recognized two kenjutsu apprentices, Tanaka-san and Matsuura-san. She failed to identify the two others, but by their dark blue outfits, concluded they were young shinobis at Kitahara-san’s service. Her own horse ride all forgotten, she observed the scene unfolding. The four horses saddled and prepared. The heavy, large packages. The weapons concealed beneath the kimonos or wrapped up in dark clothing.

This group of men spiked her interest. 

Unable to contain her curiosity, Jurina approached them. “Going somewhere? You seem prepared for a long travel.”

“W-Watanabe-san.” Tanaka-san spun around. “Oh no, we’re only going to the village.”

“So heavily armed and food supply for what? A week? Has anyone told you before you’re a terrible liar?”

He swallowed nervously. “Matsui-dono told us not to disclose any information.”

“And if you’re not aware of it, it means Matsui-dono doesn’t trust you enough,” Matsuura-san chimed in, snickering.

Jurina glared at him. Her hand travelled toward the hilt of her katana, loosening it from its guard. Her protector had asked her to work on her temper, and to socialize with the other trainees. On that first point, Jurina had made efforts. Did she sometimes lose her calm? Yes, she did, but she had made great progress. Three months ago, she would already have pulled out her sword and challenged him to a duel.

Concerning her relationship with the other apprentices, it was a different story. At first, any opportunity was good to challenge them into spontaneous fights. She relished the adrenaline coursing through her veins when their swords clashed together. Eventually, her thirst depleted to a more reasonable level, and she was satisfied with the daily trainings and regular tournaments. Jurina had neutral feelings for the majority of her fellow companions. She hadn’t developed any friendship, but some had owed her respect, such as Tanaka-san, whom she considered as a valuable opponent. However, if there was one trainee she remained in permanent conflict with, it was the pretentious and self-assured Matsuura-san.

Jurina released her hold on the tsuka of her katana, calming down. Ignoring the provocation, she addressed Tanaka-san. “You’re going on a mission?”

“Yes, we are,” he confessed, a little reluctantly. “We were ordered to patrol the clan’s southern border with Ikeda-san and Abe-san.”

Jurina’s eyes widened at the revelation. The southern border. It was where she and Rena had been attacked. It couldn’t be a coincidence. Jurina thought of interrogating him further, but refrained. He probably had been told the strict minimum. The group mounted their horses, and trotted out of the stables. Why didn’t her protector warn her about this mission? And why wasn’t she part of it? As the four riders vanished in the distance, she decided to have an explanation.

Jurina made a beeline to the samurais’ quarters, discovering Rena’s bedroom empty. She moved to the dojo, finding the kenjutsu instructor equally absent. For an instant, she wondered if she had briefly left the clan. No, it wasn’t possible. Her protector had to be within the grounds of the clan: her horse was still present in the stables. Jurina checked a few other locations, such as the courtyard and the garden, without any success. After half an hour of fruitless research, she came to the evidence: she needed to question a guard.

The first guard proved completely useless, having not a single clue about her location. The second one she interrogated provided her, at last, with the information she desperately sought: the kenjutsu instructor was in the council chambers. Jurina took its direction, feeling slightly foolish for omitting that place. Her protector had regular meetings with the head of the clan, and lately, her presence was requested on a daily basis.

Jurina arrived at destination, but was disappointed to find the doors shut. Jurina hesitated: come back later or wait? In the end, she chose the second option. Ignoring the two guards eyeing her suspiciously, she made herself comfortable in the waiting area, praying it wouldn’t take too long.

Time passed slowly, so slowly she found her patience strained. She never had been the most patient person in the world – Mayu would be the first to attest to it - but this meeting was unusually long. Nevermind. She would have to postpone this conversation to later. Jurina raised from her chair, decided to not wait another minute, when the doors opened. An advisor hurried out, his arms filled with scrolls, and Jurina used the opportunity to take a peek inside the room.

Astonishment touched her. The head of the clan was nowhere to be seen. Behind the office where she usually handled meetings and claims, was present the one and only master kenjutsu. Head bent down, she was focused on the table heaped with papers, listening to the male advisor who stood beside her and gave her instructions.

Jurina considered her next move. Should she make her presence known? Or leave her protector to her occupations? No, she had waited long enough to turn back. She approached the entrance, but was halted by a guard. “Do you have a meeting? Matsui-dono asked not to be disturbed.”

“No, I don’t. But I want to talk to her.”

“What is it?” Rena’s inquiry sounded from inside the room.

“It’s Watanabe-san,” the guard announced, turning in her direction. “She wants to speak to you. I told her you wished not to be disturbed.”

“It’s fine. Let her in.”

Jurina walked in and, as the doors closed behind her, didn’t wait to point out the oddity of the situation. “Shinoda-san is not here?”

“Momijimori no kami dono is unwell, and is resting in her quarters. In the meantime, I’m assuming her obligations.”

Jurina frowned. “Is she sick?” 

“It’s a simple allergic reaction to the season.” Her protector’s tone was controlled, but Jurina detected a hint of concern in her tone.

“Well, for what it’s worth,” with a slight joking tone, Jurina went on. “If anything were to happen to the head of the clan, you would make an excellent replacement. You’re practically already doing the job for her.”

The advisor’s features contorted with shock and stupor. Rena pursed her lips in slight disapproval, yet a look of veiled amusement crossed her face. “Forgive my protégée’s erratic sense of humor. Obviously, she wishes no harm to Shinoda-dono. Am I wrong, Watanabe-san?”

“Of course not,” Jurina answered, suppressing a smile. “I hope Shinoda-dono will be on the road of recovery in no time.” She continued, not losing sight of her primary objective. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“Matsui-dono has a busy schedule. I’m sure this conversation can wait,” the advisor intervened firmly.

“Yes…” Rena’s voice trailed away, with embarrassment. “Suzuki-san is right. I have all this paperwork to finish by the end of the day.”

“It won’t be long,” Jurina tried to sound reassuring.

Rena could sense her advisor’s eyes boring into her, pressuring her, but she felt guilty for denying her protégée’s desire to speak. “Alright.” Rena relented, and lowered on the table the document she was reading. “What did you wish to talk about?”

Jurina’s gaze drifted from her to the advisor, and Rena deciphered the meaning of the message conveyed. “Suzuki-san. Would you mind leaving us?”

The advisor exchanged with her a glance of surprise, not making any secret of his discontent. His mouth opened as if to speak, and it took him all his self-restraint to not object, bowing slightly, and leaving the council chambers.

“I don’t have a lot of spare time…” Rena’s face creased; her stress palpable. “It’s not I don’t wish to speak to you, but this added workload was unexpected. The Autumnal season seems to affect Shinoda-san’s health… more than usual. She’s been unwell for the past few days.”

“Is it true you sent Tanaka-san and Matsuura-an on a mission?” Jurina didn’t intend to be so blunt, but the question had been nagging her all day. She couldn’t hold herself any longer; she was in desperate needs of answers.

“H-How do you…” Rena stared at her, astounded. “Yes, I did. A couple of days ago, Shinoda-san organized a meeting. She asked me and Kitahara-san to gather and send a group on a patrolling mission. She wants to make sure the frontiers of the clan are well secured. It’s simple routine.”

“We both know it’s more than that. She sent them in the South, where we were attacked.” Jurina confronted her with the truth. “Why didn’t you choose me? I’m your top trainee. I was the best fit.”

“Tanaka-san and Matsuura-san have proved their value. Choosing my protégée would send the wrong message. I didn’t want Shinoda-san or the other trainees to believe I was partial in my decision.”

Rena sounded extremely convincing, but Jurina didn’t buy it. “It’s not the real reason. You didn’t choose me because you don’t trust me. You don’t have enough faith in me to complete a mission without messing up.”

“Jurina-san… No, it’s not true.”

Jurina drew closer to the table, placed her hands flat on the surface and leaned down inches away from her. “You think I’m uncontrollable, don’t you? That I can’t follow orders?” She studied her, trying to read her response. “You know how much I hate being cooped up in this place! I told you… I opened myself to you. This mission, it was exactly what I needed! I needed the distraction!”

Jurina glanced away, overcome with embarrassment. This wasn’t right. She was doing it again. Losing control over her emotions. Precisely what she fought so hard against. She breathed in and out, calming her fast-beating heart. It wasn’t the image she wanted to project. Not to her protector. She wanted to prove she changed, and wasn’t anymore the impetuous child of their first encounter.

“I feared you would be unhappy if it came to your attention. It’s true, I didn’t want to send you. But it’s not for the reason you think. Of course, you have issues to work on. Your temper, your independent and stubborn personality. But you had all the physical and fighting skills required to fulfil this mission.”

“Then why?” Jurina said, allowing her frustration to leak into her tone. “Why didn’t you send me?”

Rena grew rigid and tense, and drew her attention back to the scroll in front of her. “I don’t think it’s the appropriate time for this conversation.”

Jurina felt a stirring of anger. “No, I want to know!”

“Jurina-san, please.” Rena cast her a pleading look. “We can talk about it later. But now is not the best moment.”

“Why?!” Jurina slapped her hand on the table. “It’s not fair, Rena-san! I deserved to go on that mission! You had no right to-”

“I don’t want to lose you!” Rena blurted out, her voice shaking angrily. “Two years ago, I lost someone. It was supposed to be an easy mission, but things didn’t turn out as planned. She never made it back alive to the clan! She died! I don’t want the same thing to happen to you! Can you understand that?!”

Shivers racked Jurina’s body; the confession destabilized her. She withdrew her hands from the table and pulled back. Her protector’s deep brown eyes glittered, and brimmed with unshed tears. What was she supposed to say? Or to act? When the silence stretched unbearably long, Jurina did the first thing that came to her mind. She reached out, touching Rena’s hand. As she held her palm, fingers tremble inside hers, and Jurina met her watering eyes. 

“You’ve come to mean so much to me,” Rena’s voice crackled; a tear slid down her cheek. “I cannot accept to lose you too.”

Jurina was about to protest, before realizing the irony of the situation. Who was she to disagree with her protector’s desire to protect the ones she cared about, when she acted the same way with Mayu? “I understand you want to protect me.” Her voice was calmer and gentler when she spoke up. “But I can protect mys-”

They were interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Forgive me for the disturbance, Matsui-dono.” The advisor, Suzuki-san, stopped at the entrance, and bowed in respect. “The emissary of the Yokohama clan has arrived. Will you receive him now, or should I make him wait?”

“Oh, right.” At the reminder, Rena straightened up in her seat. Noticing her hand still linked with Jurina’s, she gently extracted her fingers from her hold. “Let the emissary know I will receive him immediately.”

The discussion was over. The thought of protesting didn’t cross Jurina’s mind. She couldn’t delay her protector from her obligations. Jurina slowly backed away from the table, not breaking eye contact with her. “Maybe…” she paused for a breath, hesitant. “Maybe later we’ll have the opportunity to continue this conversation?”

The master kenjutsu didn’t hide her surprise. She didn’t reply immediately, before giving her a small silent nod of consent.

Jurina’s face relaxed into a faint smile of relief.

She spun on her heel and retraced her steps back to the exit. At the doors, she marked a stop, and glanced over her shoulder. The male advisor, Suzuki-san, had already reached her protector’s side. Jurina was too far away to distinguish the content of their conversation, but imagined he was prepping her for the upcoming meeting. Jurina observed her protector attentively, amazed by her ability to regain her composure. In the blink of an eye, her demeanor had altered entirely, her serious, work-hardened expression not revealing an inch of what had transpired in this room.

Every evening, Rena had a ritual.

Her daily chores done, she bid goodbye to Momijimori no kami, and took the direction of the samurais’ quarters. After a hard day’s work – the life of a master kenjutsu anything but restful - it was often sundown by the time she joined her bedroom. Her first action was to lit the candle on the small table, wait for the flame to grow and illuminate her surroundings, and move towards the weapons rack.

Detaching the katana and wakizashi from her belt, she disposed of them and proceeded in disrobing. She removed her hakama and kimono, swapping her daily clothes for her nightly yukata. Before laying down on the futon, she checked her tanto was secured under the pillow, before falling into a deep slumber, exhaustion gaining her.

This evening followed the same path, for one exception. As Rena removed her weapons and placed them onto the rack, she fixed the ninjato laying at the top. She tried not to dwell on it, but was unable to look away. The familiar sword brought her back to the conversation that occurred in the council chambers, one that triggered painful memories to reemerge.

Rena took if off the rack; her fingers slid along the surface of the 30 inches flat blade. That moment of her past was supposed to remain buried deep within her. Only two people, Shinoda-dono and Kitahara-san, had borne witness to the scene, and seen how devastated Airi’s death had left her. The monster who took control. Her delirium and destructive fury. It wasn’t a memory she was proud of, and wished she could erase it from her mind forever. Unfortunately, it still haunted her.

People praised her benevolence and good manners, her sound education and ability to never let her emotions cloud her judgement. Aside from her misconduct two years ago, she had kept them under control. Her encounter with the young Watanabe sister had disrupted the stability of her perfectly organized daily life. After the confession that left her mouth in the council chambers, she didn’t recognize herself. It wasn’t like her to disclose such personal information. The weakness she had displayed. It left her both disturbed and ashamed, and she was lucky only one person had been testimony of it.

“May I come in?”

The familiar feminine voice, hesitant behind her bedroom door, distracted her from her thoughts. Rena cleared her head, and carefully replaced the ninjato back in place. At the request, her mouth lifted into a smile. “Since when you do my protégée ask for my permission to enter?”

The fusuma panel slowly slid open. “Since I learned it’s not appropriate to barge into someone’s bedroom without their approval.” Jurina said, mischief flickering in her eyes. “So, is that a yes? You haven’t answered.”

Rena suppressed the urge to laugh. “Yes, Jurina-san. You may come in.”

Jurina stepped inside the room, closing the fusuma panel behind her, and locked her gaze with hers. They fell into silence and Rena turned around, busying herself with the untying of her hakama. She convinced herself she was simply following her nightly ritual, but revealing secrets of her past had left her vulnerable. She didn’t know how to confront the situation. Rena fumbled with the hakama, the knot resisting her. Her fingers, usually so clever and deft, seemed to have lost all dexterity.

“Do you need any help?” Jurina moved behind her and wrapped her arms around her waist, cradling her against her. Rena stiffened in surprise. “It’s funny. You always seem to have troubles with your hakama. Last time, you couldn’t tie it properly. Now, you have difficulty removing it. What would you do without me?”

It took her a few seconds to recall what she referred to. That day at the lake rushed back with vivid clarity, and her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. She turned around in the embrace, and frowned at her protégée’s wick grin. Jurina’s hands didn’t wait to work on the front himo of her hakama, untying it, then moved to the back. Rena watched as she followed the process, respecting the steps, impressed by her calm and diligence.

“I see I don’t have anything more to teach you.” Rena smiled at her warmly.

While a smile appeared at the corner of Jurina’s lips, she wore a pensive and serious expression. “You know… it’s alright. I’m not upset.”

There was a startled pause. “You’re not?” Rena bit her lip, attempting to keep her voice casual. “Then I guess I must have imagined your anger when you entered the council chambers and interrogated me about the mission.”

Jurina’s expression clouded with unease. “Yes, I was angry at you. Upset, disappointed, and angry. But I’m not anymore.”

Rena vacillated between disconcert and disbelief. “But you have all the right to be. You deserved to go on that mission.”

“You explained yourself. You told me about your past. After what you went through, I understand you would want to protect me.”

Rena stared wordlessly at her, uncomprehending.

“Nothing will happen to me. I’m too stubborn to die,” Jurina said casually. Her job done on the hakama, she took a few steps backward, and sat down on the edge of the futon. “Besides, I’m counting on you to teach me everything you know. I won’t be satisfied until I managed to beat you. So, you need to fulfil your part of the bargain.”

The teasing in Jurina’s tone made her relax, and she smiled in spite of her worry. “Didn’t you defeat me in the forest?”

Jurina waved a hand in dismissal. “No, that didn’t count. I want to beat you in fair fight, without any trick.”

“Please don’t be offended, but I’m afraid you’ll need a few more years for that,” Rena said softly and kindly, but truthfully. “It took me years to perfect my technique, and acquire enough experience to defeat my own instructor.”

“Years? That’s perfect. I’m not going anywhere.”

Rena sent her a small, doubtful look. “You have enough patience to wait for so long?”

“Ah yes, that’s one of the many things I need to work on,” Jurina chuckled, nodding in agreement.

Rena gave her a knowing smile. Dragging her eyes away from her, she stepped out of her hakama, collected it from the floor and neatly folded it on the chair. She reached for the belt of her kimono, aware of her protégée peering at her, but didn’t feel uneasy under her scrutiny. Halfway through the process, she gave her a sideways glance. The amusement had died from Jurina’s eyes, and Rena saw something new and deeply serious within them she couldn’t decipher.

Jurina raised from the futon and closed the distance between them, catching her off guard when she gently pulled her into her arms. “I know you’re troubled by what happened in the council chambers.” She whispered close to her ear, her breath warm against her cheek. “You don’t you like being vulnerable in front of others, and I understand the feeling. I don’t have the habit to confide in people. I’ve never been good at comforting people either,” Jurina confessed awkwardly, struggling to find the right words. “When I told you how much I felt lost and lonely here, you didn’t judge me.”

She pulled back enough to gaze into her eyes. “Today, Mayu told me something that made me think. There are many things I don’t understand. Things… that confuse me. But I know I’m a better person when I’m with you. You said you wanted to help me feel more at home, and I want to try. Not only for my sister’s sake, but because I think it’s worth it. I think you’re worth it, Rena-san.”

Rena’s heart accelerated.

Jurina reached for the front of her kimono and began to detach it. Rena reacted on instinct and seized her hand, interrupting her. She expected the younger girl to fight against her hold, but she didn’t resist. Rena was used to her protégée’s dominant personality and possessive moves. Tonight, she could sense the dynamic between them had changed. She felt her protégée’s desire for her, but she showed more patience, her gaze soft as a caress as it traveled over her face.

A shiver came over Rena, and a knot welled up in her stomach. Jurina leaned closer, her lips paused inches from hers, offering an invitation without taking any liberties. The decision would be all hers. Rena hesitated for the briefest of moments, as her self-preservation instincts warred with her heart’s desire. She knew where this was leading if she didn’t push her back. Her heart won out. She closed the gap separating them. Their lips brushed. She could feel her heart beat faster as Jurina’s mouth moved gently against hers. They had kissed before, but never like that. It made her go weak in the knees, and Rena responded to her kisses with equal tenderness.

Her grip on her protégée’s hand diminished, conveying her consent for her to keep on. Jurina broke the kiss and drew back slightly. Her face brightened with happiness, and Rena gave her a shy smile. The younger girl took her hand in hers, leading her towards the futon. Jurina sat down and gently pulled her down to sit on her lap, and she didn’t oppose any resistance. Without haste, Jurina untied her belt, and swept aside the fabric of her kimono. She feathered her lips along the valley between her breasts, and Rena felt her hands slide over her arms as she freed her from her kimono.

Rena felt the air caress her skin. Her touch claim her. Jurina’s kisses bathed her in delicious intoxication. Her senses roared. Rena’s hands plunged into her hair, fingers tangling, getting accustomed to the sensations of pleasure coursing through her veins. She tried to fight for a minimum of self-control, but found no desire to back out of her embrace, and allowed herself to give free rein to her feelings.

Jurina lifted her off her lap, and laid her gently down the futon. Rena settled back, enjoying the feel of her arms around her. Jurina swooped down, her lips brushed her neck, her cheek, and found her mouth, kissing her. The friction of the fabric of her protégée’s kimono against her skin reminded her that one of them remained fully clothed. 

“Is there a reason why I’m the only one naked?” Rena murmured in between kisses, tugging at her protégée’s kimono.

The latter removed herself from her lips and looked at her, visibly entertained by the complaint received. She rose from the futon and undressed, keeping her eyes locked on her face, letting her clothes fall on the floor without ceremony. Rena found herself openly staring at her nude form, admiring her shapely body in the pale moonlight that came through the fusuma leading to the garden.

Jurina climbed back into the futon, reclaiming her position on top of her. “Better?”

Rena reached up, capturing her chin with her thumb and finger, tugging her down for another soft lip touch. “Yes, much better.”

Despite the dominant position, Jurina’s touch was not aggressive or demanding. It was remarkably gentle, coaxing. Jurina’s mouth wandered up the tingling cord of her neck. With a slow, leisurely touch, her fingers roamed over her curves, and she explored her body as if she had all the time in the world. When she touched her breasts and traced their roundness, her nipples surged at the intimacy.

Rena softly moaned with pleasure.

Their eyes met through the dim light, and Rena wondered if the other girl wasn’t holding herself. Taking things slowly for her sake. Rena studied her, trying to obtain a response, but didn’t detect any sign of frustration. On the contrary; all she witnessed was the similar raw pleasure etched on her features. It set her heart pounding. When Jurina dipped her head to recapture her mouth, she met her halfway.

Soon, they both were back in a passionate embrace, their naked bodies entwined, gently making love. While Rena’s hands glided over her back and shoulders, Jurina’s hands left her skin hot and tingling. Tonight, Rena was witnessing her protégée’s softer side. But if those last three months had taught her one thing, it was that Jurina was a complex, multifaceted person. And she was eager to discover all aspects of her personality.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 03:13:28 AM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline StrongStyle9Q

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 28 [WMatsui] (04/05/2020)
« Reply #195 on: May 06, 2020, 11:21:39 AM »
Always good to see an update from you!

Jurina just wouldn't allow herself to accept Mayu and Yuki blossoming relationship. Which is funny considering she had spent much of her free time with prostitutes in the past.

Slightly off topic, but are you alternating between Back in Time and this? Or does it depend on mood?

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 28 [WMatsui] (04/05/2020)
« Reply #196 on: May 06, 2020, 04:32:47 PM »
Slightly off topic, but are you alternating between Back in Time and this? Or does it depend on mood?

I try to alternative between both stories as much as I can, but my decision to update also depends on narrative arcs, mood, inspiration etc.

Jurina just wouldn't allow herself to accept Mayu and Yuki blossoming relationship. Which is funny considering she had spent much of her free time with prostitutes in the past.
"Do what I say, not what I do" > I think this expression fits well Jurina's personality in this story. That plus the fact she tends to be overprotective towards her sister.
What you describe in your comment happens in the first 2 pages; did you stop reading after the first scene? XD

My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Completed

- Warriors | Ongoing
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline facarous

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 28 [WMatsui] (04/05/2020)
« Reply #197 on: May 12, 2020, 03:30:56 AM »
Hi, Sophcaro.

I think there are some points that can be highlighted in this chapter:

First: I was very pleased to learn a little about Mayu's thoughts regarding her missing clan. We are always in contact with the feeling of loss, sadness and anger through the character of Jurina; so reading even a little about the nostalgia that the eldest of the sisters feels is something interesting.
Maybe I hadn't told you, but I really like the way the Mayu and Jurina characters interact. Their relationship is always enjoyable to read, even when they have misunderstandings, you can feel how much they care about each other.  :heart: :yep:

Second: Jurina's overprotective side is cute, even if her attitude results in misunderstandings. I understand that she doesn´t want anyone to hurt her beloved sister, but I think she should let her feel a beautiful emotion as love is and also, she should trust more Kashiwagi-san  XD XD
Jurina, despite being a character with various defects, is someone devoted to her loved ones.

Third: Uh-uh, Shinoda-san doesn't stop worrying me ... I'm starting to see certain red lights here.  :shocked

And I think the main note of this chapter is: the vulnerability of the protagonists.
 That fear of losing a loved one again by Rena. These new feelings that she is having towards Jurina, put her in a fragile position. Wanting to protect her from any type of damage, knowing that outside the clan there is a hostile world.  :cry:
And Jurina having that need to prove her worth and abilities, not understanding why Rena seemed to not trust her.
I think something very important happened here, Jurina could see in Rena a reflection of her own fears.
It never ceases to amaze me how similar both are and at the same time, how different they turn out to be. Both have been marked by the loss of the one they loved.

Finally, it's very interesting to see the changes that Jurina's character has had, the way she has grown. The way she approached Rena in her room seemed delicate and careful. Maybe looking to give some comfort and show how much she loves her.
  :wub: :wub:

Thank you very much for your hard work.  :jphip:
I will look forward to the next chapter.

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 28 [WMatsui] (04/05/2020)
« Reply #198 on: May 31, 2020, 01:29:50 PM »
I really like the description of Shinoda clan's village. It felt peaceful and safe in the village. I understand how Mayu felt about the memories of her childhood. It was precious to her. The short flashback about little Jurina with her bodyguards somehow made me smile.

Mayu was really sure about her feeling to Yuki. It's nice to see her stand up for what she believed. She even left Jurina speechless XD

What happened to Shinoda Mariko? I guess her illness was not only about allergic because of the season, it looked more serious than that. What will happen to the clan then?

I agree with Facarous. I can feel the vulnerability of the protagonists here, especially Rena. Her reason not to choose Jurina was...unpredictable. I thought she didn't choose Jurina because of her infamous temper, but I was wrong. She just didn't want to loose her loved one, again T_T

I also can see Jurina's tender side in this chapter. I think it's all Rena needed that night, a comfort from someone dear to her.

A nice chapter, Author-san ^^ Thank you!

Offline aneramyre

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Re: Warriors - Chapter 28 [WMatsui] (04/05/2020)
« Reply #199 on: June 02, 2020, 12:23:38 PM »
Greetings, sophcaro-sensei!
Before I start my review,
I apologize for the lateness of this one... and of all the others'. I read every single one of your story updates the moment they are uploaded but I procrastinate reviewing really badly because I want to stew and marinate in my thoughts so I can give a review with everything I'd like to say in it. In fact, I read the last chapter of Destiny the minute you tweeted about it but until now I'm still 'drafting' everything I want to say. I also end up getting embarrassed by what I write in reviews because maybe I'm misunderstanding or overthinking something. Today, I went for another re-read of Warriors and decided that I can't put off reviewing any longer. So here goes. (Also, excuse me while I still figure out how quoting works)

Chapter 27:
Seriously, there's no winning in that situation with Hasegawa-san. Mayu and Yuki have to stay quiet out of respect. From Jurina's PoV I would think that if Yuki can't protect Mayu from being forced by this man to drink more than she wants, how can I trust her if Hasegawa attempts something else eventually when they're both drunk? There is just no polite way out. What Jurina did was a bit more rude than necessary but I don't see anyone else coming up with another solution.

And how dare all of them distract Mariko-sama from her wagyu?!

“Incapable?!” Jurina abruptly rose to her feet, infuriated. “You have so little faith in me? What side are you on?!”
I mean... she got a point. Those duels are won by the skilled, not the righteous.

The presence of the katana disposed on the rack told her otherwise
Imagine how relieved I was to learn that this wasn't going to be a long unresolved conflict that people usually like to extend for cliché drama. Then again, you weren't one for annoying clichés.

Jurina tensed; another wave of embarrassment swept through her. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have… I shouldn’t have spoken to you that way. I lost my temper, and said things I didn’t mean. I would never…” For a shrinking moment she paused, feeling ashamed for having spoken so cruelly. “I would never cheat on you.”

“I am. Let’s say I had troubles sleeping.”
“No, you shouldn’t have said those things. It was harsh and hurtful.”
I like these particular lines because Rena willingly showed vulnerability here (esp. at the second quote) instead of pretending to be unaffected. She basically told Jurina that the thought of her cheating (ie sleeping with Churi) hurt her and caused her to lose sleep. I'd hate to see her putting up a front in front of someone who is supposed to be her lover.

"And I want to think… No, I know that I can help you feel more at home.”
Another good line from Rena, this time showing confidence in their relationship and how Jurina sees her as special, and that there are special things that only she can do/help her do.

Chapter 28:
Definitely love the description of the village. I'm all about imagining what old beautiful villages look like.
Mayu and Jurina's argument...really had to happen. Jurina can't isolate Mayu from the world while she gets to do what she wants. Everyone gets into trouble eventually. Besides, Mayu can't be happy like that. Jurina has to let her grow and live on her own. Mayu is her older sister after all. Yes, Mayu should be proud about standing up to Jurina.

Their horses are, as always, a delight. They are probably one (two?) of the things I love most about Warriors. It amuses me how Jurina's stallion has been described as loud in almost every appearance. It's like he is basically her but with four feet and only animal instincts. Look at him, gone at the sight of his pretty mare. Jurina's frustration over his 'hoes before bros' policy is hilarious.

“Well, for what it’s worth,” with a slight joking tone, Jurina went on. “If anything were to happen to the head of the clan, you would make an excellent replacement. You’re practically already doing the job for her.”

I was tense for the whole confrontation. I was really worried about what Jurina's temper was gonna cause this time (even if she was supposed to work on it since last time). Thankfully, she calmed down. And she even considered Rena's reasoning! I am hella proud.

Everything Jurina said in Rena's room made me cry. It felt really warm (even if a biiiit whiplash-causing at how she softened this much so quickly). Jurina showed patience, respect and understanding and I think this is a wonderful step where she strives to be a better person for Rena.

Jurina was really gentle during their lovemaking that I can't help but compare it to WMatsui's first time together in Back in Time. This is already a surprising comparison for me because a)Warriors!Jurina's personality is already so much rougher than BiT!Jurina's and b)BiT!Rena was a virgin so BiT!Jurina made sure to be even more gentle with her. Perhaps the comparison itself already speaks volumes about Warriors!Jurina's development.

In conclusion, the past two chapters (which are the very first chapters of Warriors I review) are wonderful as always. I always, always look forward to the next installment. Thank you for writing!
I plan on showing my appreciation for Destiny and Back in Time with reviews soon. Same with facarous-sensei's fics on tumblr/Ao3. Gotta give my dear WMatsui writers their due love and respect.

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