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Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 7/ 24/01
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2013, 05:42:23 PM »
Thank you guys for your comments and interest again!

Here's the next chapter~

Chapter 7 – There was only one person, who would not accept her

Aftrer having quite an awkward meal whit the king, Risa was walking back to LinLin's place. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate the king's offer for dinner, but it was just quite weird to meal with the king. Yoshizawa had all the time tried to get Risa relax and act like they were both “normal people”, but it didn't quite work on Risa. But it wasn't only Yoshizawa's childish and un-leader like behaviour that bothered her, for Risa had also something else in her mind. She had learnt a lot more of this war from Yoshizawa and she had considered things again. If Risa wanted to help to find the peace, she would have to take part in battle, for if she just tried it any other way she would fail. She could not affect the other side by talking and she wasn't able to do anything else. The only way, was to take part in battles and even then, she would not affect much. One person just simply could not end a war.

'But that doesn't mean I am not going to do anything...'

Risa thought, as she walked on. She had spent quite a lot time in the Palace and it was starting to get dark by now. Risa started to run, when she realized that no one had informed LinLin about her. Of course, she knew where Risa was, but she had stayed in the Palace quite a long time, so the nurse might have been thinking, where she was. Just when Risa was about to turn to a familiar alley, she stopped suddenly. In front of her, was a familiar area qith fences around it, where she had been a few weeks ago. Risa stared the training area for a while, before she turned and walked inside the building. LinLin could wait now, for she had nothing to be worried about, plus that girl was very clever, so Risa really didn't need to worry about her. She went to the room, where Eri had taken her last time and where she had also met Sayu and Reina for the first time and...

Risa stopped and glared the familiar door, which the woman she didn't like much, had banged a lot of last time she visited here. She really hoped that Ai would not be here, or if she was, she would better act a bit better than last time.

The room was empty, so Risa decided to explore this place a bit more. In the end, she was welcomed here by Eri, so she was allowed to do this, right?
At first, Risa went to another door which read “Training area”. She opened the door and was greeted by the Team Alfa training. Eri, Sayu and Reina, where in about 10x10m area, which was surrounded by a fence. They were practicing in pairs, while one would rest and follow what the others were doing. They all had a full armor on, with the helmet and all. There were sounds of metal hitting metal, the fast breathing of the warriors and from time to time, someone yelled some kind of a battle-cry.

Risa closed the door and watched the training, leaning on the wall behind her. This team really looked like they had practiced a lot, for all Risa saw the trio doing, was something very amazing; they were fast, they had power and they knew how to use sword deathly.

Just when Risa got into the group's training, someone had to come and disturb her. And that someone, had to be her.

“What are you doing here?”

A cold and familiar voice snapped to her. Risa rolled her eyes and turned to face the Team Alfa's leader, who was briskly walking towards her. Ai had also her whole armor on, but she had taken her helmet away. When she got near Risa, Ai stopped and stared the other female with a gaze which said “Get the hell out of my sight right now.” Risa crossed her arms in front of her and glared the warrior, who was still sending those death glares towards her.

“I am watching my friends training in here. It's allowed isn't it?” Risa said in a normal tone. She wanted to be rude, for Ai's rude attitude still annoyed her, but she held back. It was not like her to lose her cool in things like this.

“Maybe for friends, but not for you.” Ai growled and glared Risa at the same time. That's it, Risa had gotten enough. She hadn't done anything to Ai and she was treated like she had killed someone or done something else unforgivable.

“Excuse me, but I happen to be Eri's friend and she said, I am allowed to come here...” Risa could not continue when she was interrupted by Ai:

“And I can cancel that permission. My word is stronger than Eri's and....”

“And you should let people finish what they are saying and not to speak on them!” Risa said quite loudly, surprising herself. This was very unlike her, but she just couldn't control herself, for Ai annoyed her so badly.

“I am allowed to talk whenever I want. Now get out of here.”

“Hey, what's going on here?” A different voice said, causing Ai and Risa to turn around. The rest of the team had heard their very small quarrel and of course, they came to check, what was the matter. Ai turned towards Risa again and glared her furiously.

“See? You're disturbing my team's important training!” With that, Ai took a step closer, so she was now only a meter away from the other female. The group leader looked deep in Risa's eyes and talked in a low and threatening voice:

“Now, you get out of here and never ever come back.” Then, Ai spun around and was about to leave, but stopped in front of the trio.

“Back to training. It's not over yet.” Ai said in a cold tone and then disappeared in somewhere. The team sighed and went to do what they were ordered, but before that, Eri walked to Risa and quickly whispered to her:

“Wait outside. We'll finish soon and meet you then.” She smiled to Risa and gave her thumbs up, causing the other female also smile. Risa just could not resist Eri's smile, for it was so pure and gentle. She nodded and went outside, while Eri went back to training whit the others.

After a half and hour the team came out of the training area and started to get rid of their equipment. Risa had waited the whole time in the room, she had first met this team and was very grateful, that Ai had not came here during that time. Risa really didn't want to see her now and she would have probably exploded, if she had seen the leader.

Eri got beside Risa, sitting down and wiping some sweat at the same time from her forehead. Soon, Reina and Sayu joined them too. The trio were wearing black shorts and a white shirt, which were all drenched from sweat. Their breathing was still quite fast and they were drinking water all the time.

'They must have very hard training... But no wonder, it's war now in the end.'

Risa thought, as she examined the three warriors around her. All of them had a muscular body, but they were not too sturdy. It would probably be only a bad thing, for in the battle, speed was very important skill and if you were too sturdy, you would be very slow and an easy target.

“So, how was your day today?” Eri asked, as she sipped some more water.

“Well, I met JunJun and Yoshizawa, got a dinner with the king and....” Risa was interrupted by three even spitting sounds, as all the three warriors around here were gagging, for they had almost choked. Eri was the first one to recover and she watched Risa with wide eyes.

“You did what??!!”

Risa laughed a bit nervously and scratched her head. By now, also Sayu and Reina had recovered and they were staring Risa with the same expression as Eri.

“Yeah, she insisted... I hardly believe it by myself that I had a lunch with the king....”

Risa watched the persons around her, who still had the confused expression on, but now they were also frowning.

“Eh what?” Reina said in disbelief, only to be cut by Sayu:

“Oh no, we are not talking about that! Yoshizawa has invited us all for dinner, God knows how many times, but what we are amazed by, is....”

“That you met JunJun.” Eri finished Sayu, speaking in a whisper, like JunJun's name was some kind of tabu. A deep silence descended in the room, as the group kept on staring Risa, who in turn, was very confused now too. What the hell?

“Mmm, is JunJun somewhat a meaningful person then?” She asked, examining the other persons's faces all the time. Then Reina finally snapped back on earth again and waved her hands frantically.

“No, no she is not! Or well she kind of is.... But, it's just that she is never seen... I was just wondering... How did you catch her, so you could meet her...”

“Yeah, last time I saw JunJun, was about 8 months ago. That woman really is a master in hiding!”

“Well she is not hiding, but she has a lot of work to do, since she leads the spies and all investigation in the enemy's area.” Eri said in. The three girls kept on talking about JunJun and how she was never seen and how Risa had met her. Risa was still very confused. Why was it so special, that someone had seen JunJun, for she was the king's councilor and in times like this, it was no wonder she had a lot of things to do.

“Mmmm... Is it really that amazing that I met with JunJun?” Risa interrupted the group's conversation, who had totally forgotten that Risa was in here too.

“Oh sorry... We got lost in our conversation here...” Eri apologized immediately, Reina and Sayu soon following suit.

“Well, this was more like... Well, how could I explain it...” Reina thought for a while, before Eri continued her sentence.

“We spent a lot of time with JunJun before this war. Now, we haven't seen her, though Yoshizawa has said, that she should be in the village. She probably uses all her free time to plan her missions."

“But we kinda understand that she can't meet with us now... She has a lot of do and she is used behind the enemy's line, for she knows that place the best. She's practically in the middle of the enemy and that needs very careful planning.” Sayu said in. Risa raised an eyebrow a bit and looked at Sayu with a question mark on her head.

“How does she know that place the best?” Risa asked the group. Sayu had a surprised look on her face, as she heard Risa's question.

“Don't you know it yet? They haven't told it to you?” She asked the girl in front of her, who just shook her head.

“JunJun is from Kyokoku. She was treated harshly in there, so she escaped and ended in here. Now, she works for Yoshizawa and tries her best to end this war, so her homeland could live in peace...”

“Wait wait!” Risa interrupted Sayumi, by holding her hands up, intending the other woman to stop.

“What is Kyokoku?”

Again, the group just stared Risa, like she had another head. Didn't this girl know anything?

“Kyokaku is our enemy's land. It's the only big nation with Kibo in here. Haven't you never heard of it?” Eri asked Risa, who just ended up shaking her head again.

“No, I haven't. We really lived quite in our own little village and didn't know much about other lands.” Risa said. She really didn't know much about anything else than her own village, for she had had all she ever needed in there. Also, her parents never really told her about other places. There had been only one other land, which Risa had known besides her own village and land, but that in turn, was said to be quite an unknown place for others in this land.

“But now, that you mention, I sometimes noticed an accent in JunJun's speaking. It was quite weak, but it was there.”

“Yeah, LinLin doesn't have accent, for she has lived her whole life in here, but JunJun....”

“Is LinLin from there too??!!” Risa interrupted Sayu once again, but this time she almost shouted, causing the whole Team Alfa to jump.

“Damn, don't scare us like that.... You didn't know about LinLin either?” Reina asked now a bit shocked Risa.

“No, I didn't know...”

“Well, LinLin's story is a bit different than JunJun's. LinLin was abandoned when she was a baby and somehow, she ended in Kibo. Yoshizawa found her and took her here to be raised.” Eri explained to Risa, who started slowly to calm down. She had nothing against it, that they were from the land her homeland was in war with, but she was just surprised about this because she hadn't known this at all.

“Well that's quite nice to know. I think it must be hard for them, that they are kinda like fighting against their own country...” Risa said quietly. It would be horrible, if she had to fight against the place she was born and raised in. Reina stepped a bit forward, gaining everyone's attention.

“It might sound like that, but in truth, they are more than happy to do that.” She said, causing Risa to frown a bit. Soon, Eri continued Reina's words:

“We are not in this war, because we would like to destroy the other side. We fight, because we want to free it.”

“Yes, we fight, so we could get this madness to end. We want to live in peace and we also want that for the other land too.” Sayu added, as she walked besides Eri, putting her arm around the older girl's shoulder. Risa smiled at the words she just had heard. These people really fought only if they had to. They didn't like war, but they still fought because of the others. That was something Risa considered as a very noble act.

“You guys are really doing a wonderful job. I wish, I could help in some way too...”

“But you can!” Eri yelled suddenly, breaking free from Sayu's embrace, which caused the other girl to pout a little bit. Risa was very stunned, for Eri had jumped in front of her and was now holding her hands.

“If you would like to, you would join our training!” Eri continued, causing Risa to get even more confused. She in their training? No way! She would fall behind very quickly...

“That's not actually a bad idea. I mean, if you're okay with fighting and you want to help....” Reina said, while Sayu just nodded smiling. Risa looked at the people in front of her, who were all smiling at her and encouraging her to take part in this thing. Would she be a good warrior? Or would she be a warrior at all...

“I... I don't know guys... I mean..”

“You could at least try.” Eri interrupted, causing Risa to turn her face towards her. She was met by an angle like face, when Eri smiled at her very gently. All Risa could do, was to smile back, for she could not do anything else when she saw Eri's smiling face.. This girl really had something in that smile, for Risa had never ever seen something like this. She tangled her fingers around Eri's hands, causing the turtle to look down a bit.

“Well... I don't know what this will come out of, but I can at least try....”

“Yatta!!!” Suddenly, the turtle got wild and started to jump around, taking Risa with her.

“Woah! Eri!!! Let me go!!!” But Eri just whirled Risa around the room, for she was so happy now. They would get a new person in here, and maybe later, a new member in the Team Alfa too! Sayu and Reina just laughed at Eri's reaction. That Turtle really had a pure heart and she always rejoiced about this kind of things. It was nice to have a person like that nearby, when they were living times like these.

Just, when Eri was about to celebrate some more, someone interrupted them by banging a door, causing the turtle to stop jumping and everyone else to turn towards the sound. Everyone else tensed immediately, while Risa just frowned deeply, as they saw, who came into the room.

“Did I hear right, that this girl is about to take part in our training?” A very stern voice of the leader of Team Alfa, echoed in the now silent room. Everyone, except Risa was staring her very nervously and didn't dear to say a word.

Risa in turn was suddenly very irritated by the leader's attitude and appearance. She should not have this kind of effect on her subordinates. Of course, it was a good thing, if you were respected and all, but if you were feared, then something was wrong. Keeping her hands behind her back, Ai walked slowly through her team, who all gave her some way, and stopped finally in front of Risa. They just stared each others, like they were dueling with their eyes. Either didn't say a word, but everyone could feel, how the temperature in the room dropped many degrees now. Ai was always scary when she was like this, but Risa was quite a scary sight too now; she had a deep frown on her face, as she sent daggers towards Ai with her eyes. Then, suddenly, the leader leaned forwards, startling even the younger girl, as well as her own team. She had still that stone face and cold stare, which made Risa nervous for some reason.

“My answer is no. We don't need weak persons like you in here. I bet you would not stand even one day.” Shivers ran through everyone, as Ai spoke in very cold tone, which would freeze hell at least ten times over.

“Or rather, you would not stand even a one hour.”

And with that, Ai briskly turned and left the room. But when she was at the door, she turned around once more and glared at Risa, who had a shocked expression on her face.

“And don't come here anymore. Ever again.”

And then she was gone, leaving the four, now very confused and even a bit scared girls behind.


There you go~

I'll probably update more very soon, for I got some extra day offs. Yay!

Hope you enjoyed this!

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

Offline kuro808

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 7/ 24/01
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2013, 07:17:38 PM »
The Junjun background is extremely interesting and the banter between Ai and Risa is such a battle of wits
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Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 7/ 24/01
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2013, 07:41:03 PM »
What a jerk Ai-chan is. She really makes me mad! I think I want, more than anything, for Risa to make her look silly and beat her in that way.

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 8/ 26/01
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2013, 04:07:42 PM »
Thank you for your comments and interest again everyone!  :cow:

As I said, I am going to update soon.

Here's the next chapter~

Chapter 8 – And she would still be treated like a trash by her

The room was dead silent and it had been that at least for several minutes now. The four girls were standing there, no one really knowing what to say or do. The three of them just stared at the one girl, who had stared the door for a good while now. Finally, the girl did something, but no one expected what was coming.
Very slowly, Risa curled her fists in ball and everyone could see, how she was shivering. She was shivering, for she was so damn angry. Suddenly, Risa spun around and faced the now even more confused team alfa.


The whole Team Alfa backed few steps and covered their ears, as Risa exploded. But it was no wonder that the girl was very angry now; Risa had experienced a lot of bad and shocking things lately and now, she was treated like a trash though all she had tried to do was being nice to everyone. She had done nothing and still, Ai was very rude towards her.

“I have done nothing to her and she is like I have committed a crime or something... Damn you son of.....”

Risa shut her mouth, before she said something she should not. She didn't like to swear or say bad things about others, not even then, when she really didn't like someone.
Eri was the first to act, as she came to Risa's side, placing her hand on her shoulder. The older girl calmed a bit, for she didn't want to unwind her feelings to others. They had done nothing wrong. Ai had, and she was the one Risa should be yelling at. After few minutes, Risa finally calmed down and also let her hand, which had raised up a while ago, fall down and relax. Eri smiled in relief when she saw the other girl finally cooled down. She could really understand, why Risa felt this way and she didn't even think about scolding her. No, it was okay for her, if Risa showed her displeasure in this.

“Hey, really, don't mind Ai. You can come here whenever you want to. And about that joining our training... You're really welcome here, all the time.”

Turning around, Risa faced the younger girl, melting immediately, when she was met by Eri's beautiful smile. Risa could not talk in an angry way to this girl, if she was smiling like that. Sighing deeply, Risa shook her head and looked at the ground.

“I'm really sorry again... I didn't intend to yell at you.”

Then, a second hand was joined with Eri's on Risa's shoulder.

“It's okay, we don't mind, for we know why you're so angry.”

The voice of Sayu said calmly. Soon, a third hand was added as well, as Reina joined her friends. Risa glanced at the smiling warrior, who nodded her head a bit. Risa just smiled and nodded back, turning her face to back to Eri. A smile crept on her face and she ended up placing her hand on the other girl's hands.

“Thank you... Thank you so much. I bet, I have been a huge burden to you and still... You act so nice towards me.”

The three hands on Risa's shoulders were suddenly gone, when the whole team waved their hands in front of them:

“You, a burden?? No way!”

Eri yealled as Sayu and Reina nodded in approval to her words. Risa stared them a bit confused, till her attention was drawn by Eri's hand on her shoulder again.

“You are not a burden to us. We really enjoy having you here and alive, after all you have suffered. You're also a wonderful person, so we really don't mind that you're here with us."

Risa just could not do anything else, than smile again at the turtle. But she could not say her thank yous before Eri continued again:

“And we can also ask our head trainers, if you're allowed to join our training. They are higher than Ai, and their word is law to our dear leader too. Lets ask them someday and I am sure, you're allowed to join.”

Smiling, Risa nodded to Eri's words, causing the turtle to smile even wider. The evening continued on at the training area, as the four friends spent some time together, now talking about all the other things, than what had happened a while ago.


A sound of rushing steps was heard everywhere around the city, as everyone was escaping for their dear life. There were screaming, crying and all kind of sounds of horrified and dying people. Risa was also running, but she could not go forwards. She saw her home, how flames burst out of it's windows and how the whole building was about to collapse. She could hear her family's cries and pleas, as they were dying inside their home. She was screaming too, but no one could hear her, no one. She was all alone in the dark, watching, as her only family and people she truly cared for, died in front of her eyes. Then, she heard a sound. Someone was calling her name. Risa tried to look around, but all she saw was flames and dead people. The calling got louder and louder, till Risa could not take it anymore; she screamed as hard as she could and then...


Something hard hit her head, as Risa had jumped up in her bed. Immediately, she fell down, placing her hands on top of her now aching head.


“You okay?"

A familiar voice asked. Risa opened her fingers slightly, to see who was talking to her. LinLin was hovering above her, looking very concerned. Risa just groaned and took her hands away from her face, letting the nurse to examine it. In no time, LinLin started to look at Risa's forehead. It was a bit read and there was a small lump in there, but nothing very serious.

“Where in the heck did I hit my head?”

Risa mumbled, as she closed her eyes a bit, when the aching got harder. She glanced the nurse, who was nervously scratching her head.

“Well... I had one kind of tray in my hands and I really couldn't anticipate that you would jump up like that... So, you were unlucky and hit your head in it.” The nurse smiled a bit nervously at Risa and motioned the food which was on the nearby nightstand. Risa just sighed, rubbing her forehead at the same time. Soon, she realized, it was not a very good idea, for her forehead was quite sensitive now because of the hit. Suddenly, Risa stopped her actions and it seemed like she tried to listen something.

“What's wrong....”

“Shh!” She hissed suddenly, causing the nurse to shut her mouth. She had heard, she was sure of it. After a moment, Risa turned towards LinLin, who was still quite out of this situation.

“Is that... A sound of footsteps?” Risa asked quietly, as she tried to listen the sound. LinLin looked surprised at first, but then she just turned her head towards the window and nodded.

“Yes, that is. The troops are leaving the village.”

“Eh? Why? Has something happened?”

Risa said, suddenly fully awake and the pain gone, as she jumped up into a sitting position. The nurse pointed the window and Risa rushed to it. She looked outside and indeed, there was a whole troop of samurai's going out of the village's gate. Risa could see one samurai, which judging by clothes and armor, was some kind of leader, riding in front of a one group which was followed by another leader with an own group. Then, there was the Team Alfa. They all had helmets and mask on, but still, Risa could recognize them, for they were the only bigger group wearing a higher ranking samurai dress. After them came a bit smaller group than the former ones, but it had no leader. They were probably under the Team Alfa's command.

“Why are they leaving? Has something happened?”

Risa asked LinLin worried, as she watched the warriors exit the village, one by one.

“There was an attack's in battlefront, so they will go to back up them.”

Risa could hear a bit worried tone in LinLin's voice too, so she figured out that this was a serious situation now. Not that the villages and other smaller things were not important or serious when attacked, but this was probably something even more serious.

“There are so many of them...”

Risa whispered, when she saw the last warrior exit the village. After that, the gates were closed and everyone went back to their chores. Like Yoshizawa had said, the war is taken here as little as possible and people try to live normally, even though there's a war going on. But how could they live normally, after their husbands and wives and even someone's children had gone to the battlefield? If Risa would be in a situation like that, she would probably worry herself to death. And she kinda was, for she had friends in there. She really prayed, that they would be okay and return home safe.


Risa was sitting on the training area's fence, as she swirled a small training sword in her hands. It had been two weeks now, after the troops had left for the battlefront and Risa was a bit worried. She had met Yozshizawa again and she had said that it would be quite normal, if these kind of things took something like 2 to 5 weeks. Sometimes, it took longer, even for months, but it was not so usual. Both sides had humans fighting out there and everyone needed some rest. Risa really hoped, that they would return soon and especially, she hope that Eri and her friends would come back and be okay.

Risa had been sitting in here for a while now. She had came here everyday for two weeks now, and every time she had done the same thing: she sat on the fence, took a practice sword and swirled it around. She had though a lot of joining the training and she really wanted to at least try. She just only needed to find the trainers, so she could get in. Now, they were all on the battlefield, so there was no way she could ask...

Just, when Risa decided, that she should leave, someone entered the training area. Jumping down from the fence and facing the person, Risa swirled around smiling, but soon, her smile changed to a frown.

At the training room's door was standing the Team Alfa's leader. She had taken her helmet off with the mask and Risa could see her dirtied face and tired eyes very clearly. Her short hair was ruffled and wet from the sweat and her skin was also covered in that. They stood silent for a while, staring at each others, before Ai left the training area, shutting the door behind her. Immediately, Risa snapped out of her thoughts and ran after the group leader. She opened the door and found Ai taking of her armor in front of a small table, like she had done the first time Risa visited here.

“Where are Eri and the rest of you team?”

Risa asked a bit concerned. Ai didn't answer. She just continued undressing, till she had again those black shorts and a white shirt on her. She walked pass Risa and took something out of a small closet, which Risa could not see, and walked back to the small table.

“Ai, where are the others?”

Risa tried again, but didn't get an answer. Suddenly, all the concern was gone and anger took control of Risa. Why could no this person act like normal people and have at least a bit of manners? Risa stormed to the group leader, who had now taken a small container from somewhere, which was full of water and was washing her face.

“I asked you a question and it's very polite to answer tha....”

“I don't have to answer you, if I don't want to.”

Ai said and took a towel from a nearby closet and started to dry her face. Risa watched the woman in front of her in disbelief. She thought, that the warriors were taught manners, but this warrior had surely slept on those lessons! Soon, Ai put the towel away and faced Risa. She was staring at her and when nothing happened in a while, the leader send some death glares towards the younger girl..


She commanded. Risa frowned and when she looked around her, she realized, that she was standing in front of a door, where Ai would probably want to go. Gathering all of her willpower, Risa forced herself to calm down. She had a change to talk to Ai now, so that the warrior could not get away so easily. Now was her change to ask, what was going on.

“Ai, please, tell me what I have done wrong? Why are you so rude to me?”

Risa asked, as she looked the other woman deep in the eyes. Ai said nothing in a while, but then, she took a step closer and glared at Risa.

“Don't use my name. Now, move.”

“Well what do I call you then? Leader? Warrior?” Risa asked confused.

“You don't call me anything. You stay out of my sight and never disturb me again. Now, for the last time, move.”

Ai started to walk towards Risa and seemed like, she was going to go through. But Risa would not give in so easily. She spread her arms to her sides and took a bit wider stand with her legs. Ai stopped and stared Risa with a stern face.

“Well could you at least tell me where Eri and the other are?”

When Ai said nothing, Risa tried another way.

“Just tell me then, that they are at least okay? I promise I'll leave you alone now if you just tell me...” Now, Risa had a concerned voice again and it seemed to get the leader, for she turned her face a bit towards the front door.

“They are at the stables. Now out of my way.”

Suddenly, Ai pushed Risa away from her way, catching the other woman by surprise and almost caused her to fall.

“Hey!” Risa yelled after her and suddenly, grabbed Ai's shoulder. Immediately, the leader turned around to glare at Risa.

“That was rude....” Was all that Risa could stay, when she felt how something slapped her hand. She took her hand away immediately as she watched the leader with a shocked expression.

“Don't touch me. Now get out.” But Ai could not get far away, for Risa interrupted her again.

“What on earth have I done to you, for you act so rude towards me? Tell me! Speak, damn it!”

Risa yelled furiously, but Ai only stared her blankly. There was something in her look though, which Risa couldn't quite but her finger on. What was that? But before she could think that anymore, Ai just snorted once, before she turned around and left the room.

“Stay out of my sight! This is a place for warriors, not for wimps like you're.” And with that, the door was closed with a loud bang and Risa was left alone in the room. Risa threw her fists through the air, for she wanted to punch something, or rather someone. She really had hoped, that Ai had just been in a bad mood last time they met, but it seemed more like to be her nature to act rude towards others.

Risa stomped her foot once and with that, she stormed out of the training place, slamming the door shut.

'Idiot, arrogant bastard... What kind of training has she had, for she has no manners....'

Risa cursed in her mind, as she walked briskly towards the stables. At least Eri and the others were okay and she would see them again. That calmed Risa down a bit, but she was still bothered by Ai's actions. She could not just forget her and think she didn't exist, for the leader's stone face and ice cold voice popped in her mind once in a while. Weird.


And Ai's rude actions continue XD

A bit shorter chapter, but after the next one things are going to get interesting~ Or at least I hope so  :nervous

Hopefully you enjoyed this chapter and see you all next time!

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

Offline kuro808

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 8/ 26/01
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2013, 07:00:38 PM »
Risa seems to be going into the whirlpool of trouble with Ai while everyone is getting her accustomed to the group

Linlin :thumbsup
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Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 9/ 28/01
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2013, 09:04:47 PM »
Kurosawa87: Yup, AI causes problem by her ah, so wonderful behaviour XD

Again a fast update XD I intended to comment your comments last time, but they just didn't appear in my message for some reason.... Sorry!  :nervous

Chapter 9 – What was that look in her eyes?

After the little conflict with the enemy everyone from the Team Alfa had returned safely to the village. Of course, they had some kind of bruises and their muscles ached, but they would survive them. There hadn't been very big group of enemies, but it was always a danger to ignore any kind of alarms. If this group had been ignored, this land would be now in big problems. Any kind of threads were to be prevented as well as possible, so the only ones on the battlefield would be soldiers. If the war escalated behind the battlefront it would mean that civilians would be in even bigger danger than they already were.

Risa had let her friends recover after their mission but Eri insisted that it would be okay, if she spent some time with the team. So, Risa ended up to spend her time with the team but they didn't hang around the training area, for Risa had asked if they could go somewhere else. The reason she didn't want to go there was no one else, than the ice queen of the Team Alfa. Also, Risa thought that maybe her friends wanted something else to think than fighting and it would have been impossible in the training area. So, the group had spent their recovering week in the town with Risa, relaxing and getting physically ready for their next battle.

After the week, Eri had invited Risa to the training area once again. Though Risa wanted to meet her friends, she didn't like the atmosphere in here. It always reminded her of Ai and Ai in turn, made her blood boil. Just hearing her name was enough to make Risa angry.
This time, when Risa arrived at the training place, Eri was waiting for her outside. Sayu and Reina were nowhere in sight and Risa wondered where they could be.
When Eri noticed her friend, she immediately started to wave her hand, smiling at the same time. Risa greeted back by the same way.

“Hi!” Eri said happily, as she ran to Risa.

“Hi.” She answered, smiling as well.

“I have a something, or rather someone, I want you to meet.”

And with that, Eri took Risa's hand and dragged her inside. They went immediately to the training room, where Risa was greeted by four people inside the practicing ring. Two, she recognize immediately, for they were Reina and Sayu. Both had their full armor on and they were practicing together. Then, there was two other person's who Risa didn't recognize. Both had long brown hair, which was tied in a small bun behind thei head. They also had an armor on, but they didn't have masks or helmets. Both were standing on each sides of the practicing warriors, watching as their students fought.

Eri said nothing, she just implied Risa to sit down and watch. Risa did as asked and turned her gaze towards her friends in the ring. It took about five minutes till the match ended. Reina attacked Sayu, hitting from above, which Sayu tried to block.  Just when Reina's sword was about to get in contact with Sayu's, she changed her attack to Sayu's legs. Sayu didn't have time to react and she was slashed in the leg, which spilled a lot of blood. She fell and immediately, Reina pointed her sword towards Sayu's neck.

“Oh my gosh!” Risa shouted as she jumped up, only to be stopped by Eri.

“What are you doing? Sayu is hurt!”

“Okay stop there.” The other trainer said calmly and both girls got up, Sayu too, now unwounded.

“Eeh???” Risa could only stare her mouth wide open. She had seen how Sayu was hit by Reina and she was wounded! What was this?

“It's magic.” Eri explained suddenly, causing Risa to turn her head towards her with a questioning look on her face.

“I don't know how it exactly works, but we use it quite a lot. It shows all the wounds if you're hit and the one who is hit, also feels when she gets a hit. Not of course pain or anything like that. Just that she knows that she is hit.”

Eri kept a small pause to make sure, that Risa was still following her.

“It depends on the person who makes that magic. Our trainers are very skilled in this, so they can make it so, that when you're hit, your body will act as if it had been a real hit. As you saw, Sayu got slashed in leg and she fell.”

Risa turned her head to the four in the ring, who were having some kind of discussion now. Well this indeed was something she hadn't known before! It was quite cruel at the same time, but also quite a clever way to practice the real fighting.

“But how about the blood?”

“Well.... It was something they just added. Probably that we would get used to it. There has been fighters, who can't stand blood, so they found this kind of solution to that problem.”

Risa was still a bit outside of what Eri had explained to her, but she got the main idea. Then, the group in the ring moved, Sayu and Reina moving to side and the two trainers coming towards Risa and Eri. Suddenly Eri snapped in attention, when the older women got closer.


She yelled, when the trainers stopped and turned their attention towards Eri. Eri nodded a bit and then started to speak.

“General, captain. May I introduce the person who wanted to join our training.” And with that, Eri pointed her hand towards Risa, the trainers turning her heads the same way.

“Niigaki Risa. She has informed us about her interest to take part in our training.”

There was a silence, till the other woman turned her head towards Eri.

“Thank you Eri. At ease.”

With that, Eri relaxed, but only by moving her other leg a bit to the side, so she would not stand in attention. The trainers walked to Risa, both nodding a bit. Risa did the same, though her nod was more like a bow.

“Hello there Risa. My name is Fujimoto Miki, the captain of this army and also the trainer of the warriors.”

Miki said politely, smiling a bit. She had a very kind being, but Risa could sense that this woman was very though. She could see it in her eyes. Then Risa turned her attention to the other woman, who wasn't smiling at all. Her face and stare reminded her of Ai, but this face would freeze the hell hundred times more over than Ai's.

“Hello. My name Is Goto Maki, the general of this army as well as the second trainer. Welcome here.”

There was something smile kind, but Risa couldn't really tell did this woman smile or not. 'Well at least she got some manners, unlike someone else....'
Risa thought as she watched the two women in front of her. They were also very well build, but not too much and they also had some kind of scars around their face and neck. These guys had probably experienced a lot on the battlefield, so no wonder they were the trainers in this army.

“I'm Niigaki Risa, as Eri said. Nice to meet you too.”

She smiled politely to the trainers. Only Miki smiled a bit back, but Goto's face was still like a stone. They both nodded and turned around towards Sayu and Reina.

“You hvae 3 minutes rest. Then we will continue.” Goto yelled to the two warriors, who nodded and started to prepare for their next training. Both trainers turned around again, nodding to Risa.

“If you excuse us, we have to go continue our practice now. We'll surely meet again and lets talk more later.”

Miki sadi politely and with that, the trainers turned again and went to their students, who were now in full armor, ready to go again.

“We will duel now. Now remember, that the person in front of you is an enemy, not a friend. Remember what you have been thought and don't freeze.”
Goto commanded Sayu and Reina with a very monotone and stern voice, which caused Risa to shiver a bit. She and Eri went a bit closer, but they stayed behind the fence so they would not disturb the practice. Again, Miki and Goto were on both sides of Sayu and Reina. Then, Goto gave some signs, when both warriors bowed to each others, took their swords and took a stance, ready for battle.


Immediately, the command had been said, both Sayu and Reina lunged forwards, hitting their swords against each others. They were moving a lot faster now and they seemed to be more merciless than a while ago, for Risa really thought, that they were going to kill each others. As the battle continued on, Risa leaned to Eri and whispered:

“By the way, what is this duel thing?”

Eri, not taking her eyes of her friends, leaned closer as well and whispered back:

“It's one kind of battle form. There are always two fighters who duel against each others. No one else is allowed to interrup the battle and it's going on, as long as someone loses.”

Risa turned her amazed face towards Eri, after she got her answer.

“So, someone has to die... every time?”

“No. If you're beaten, you can beg mercy from your opponent or it can also be asked from the defeated person. But, if the winner wishes not to give any mercy....”

Eri turned towards Risa and moved her index finger across her throat, making a funny sound at the same time. Risa frowned a bit, turning her face back towards Sayu and Reina. Their moving hadn't slowed down at all and it seemed like they had just started. Both had gotten some “injuries”, for they had blood stains around their clothes and armor. The fake wounds weren't probably very bad, for the soldiers were still moving like they had just rested.

“This is sometimes used in the real battlefield too...” Eri sai suddenly, gaining Risa's attention with that.

“Either side will announce, if they are eager for a duel. If both sides accept, the fighters are choosen and then the battle will begin.”

Risa listened again, but frowned after what she had heard.

“You said earlier that no one is allowed to inter in that battle?”

“That's right.”

“But what if someone does?”

Eri scratched her head a bit as she tried to remember the rules of the duel.

“If I remember right, then the whole “deal” is kinda like cancelled. Then everyone is free to fight with everyone and the situation is back to normal again. That's how I remember it.”

“But what's the meaning with this all? You just duel with someone and after that, the battle goes on.”

“Well, it has one kind of a mental meaning.” Eri said, facing Risa again.

“If your warrior survives the battle as a winner, it's like a victory to the whole group. It usually weakens the loser's will to fight and they can be defeated more easily. That's the reason those duels are.”

Frowning, Risa turned her attention back to the duel going on the training area, which had now got some new aspects, for Reina seemed to be winning again. Sayu had injured her left arm as well as her left leg. Reina had injured her left leg as well but it wasn't as bad as Sayu's. Both were now circling each others, moving in slow steps and holding their swords ready. Then something hit Risa: They were fighting with real swords! They also hit each others in real with those, but still they got no injuries, if you didn't count the fake ones. Suddenly Risa remembered her visit at the king's castle. Didn't Yoshizawa have a same kind of weapon? It looked like a real one, but in truth it was just a toy.

“Eri, are they fighting with real swords?”

“Yeah, they are, but they are not sharp. Also, they are from some kind of weird material, so it wont hurt as much as a real one. But they have the same weight as a real sword. They have also probably done some tricks with magic again, so it seems and feels very real, but wont hurt.”

Eri explained as they both watched, how Reina took Sayu to the ground again, hitting her sword through her stomach, which caused blood to spill everywhere. It looked very cruel and painful, but Sayu didn't even flinch. She just sighed deeply and let her head fall down in defeat, as Reina took few steps backwards and bowed towards her.

“Stop there.”

Goto ordered and immediately, Reina went to help Sayu up. They were ordered to take a smalla break again and during that, they were given some feedback. Both were quite tired now, but Risa could see in their eyes, how these warriors could  fight even if they were ran out of breath.

“It looks kind of cruel and hard...”

Risa said quietly, as she watched how her friends chest moved rapidly up and down, as they tried to catch their breaths.

“Yes it is, but it should be this way. Goto and Miki but them in their limits, for if they are used to that, they will survive battle. Like Miki often says, Easy training, hard battle. Hard training, easy battle. That's just how it is.”

Eri said, as she turned around to leave the fenced area. Risa followed after her and they went to the waiting area, where all the equipments and the girl's personal closets were. They would wait Sayu and Reina here, for they wanted to give them their training peace.

“Well I am not sure, if I can take a training like that...”

Risa said, as she sat down on a chair, Eri sitting next to her.

“They will go easy with you, for they need to check, if you really could become a soldier which is useful on the battlefield. They will make the training more hard everyday, but they wont kill you with that. And I bet that you could pass those tests very easily.”

Risa turned her head towards Eri, as she heard what she said. Did the girl really think she would fit as a soldier?

“You think so?”

“Un. I think you have a lot of guts, for you have experienced so much all kind of bad things and still, you just go on. That requires a lot of physical and mental strength.”

It was true Risa had had a lot of bad experiences and it had been hard to decide to just move on and try to forget all the bad things. But war was a bit different thing in Risa's opinion; you needed to focus on surviving and at the same time, you had to defend and attack and you also had to mind your friends and all in the battlefield. It would not be just as easy as just escaping some troops in the burning village.

“Well, we'll see about it later. As I said, I am at least going to try how far I can get.”

Suddenly, a hand landed on Risa's shoulder, as Eri shook her shoulder gently, smiling at the same time.

“That's the spirit you have. You at least try and you wont give up before you know about things. Really, not everyone do that, for they just give up in the first place.”

“Well I think you should give up in the first place too.”

A voice interrupted the two friends as the door to the training place opened, revealing the always so happy and sunshine Team Alfa's leader. In no time, Risa got this unpleasant feeling to kill someone as she looked Ai in the eyes. She had normal clothes on, with black pants and coat and a white shirt under it. There was also a red belt around her waist, which had a black stripe in the middle of it. Risa had never seen her in this kind of clothes, for Ai always had had her samurai armor on. It looked quite odd to see her like this...

“Ai, please don't be rude to Risa. She really should try, for she... Have you seen what kind of spirit this girl owns?” Eri tried to make the now very heavy and cold atmosphere a bit lighter, for she sensed that if she didn't do something, these two would be attacking each others in no time. Ai just snorted as she walked pass them to her own closet, opening it and taking her training equipment out.

“I can already see, that she is too weak for this. Also, she is not a good subordinate, for she doesn't obey orders and warnings.”

This time, Risa tried to jump up from the chair, but luckily Eri was there to stop her, or she would have gone and punch that arrogant warrior. She didn't really get, why she had to be so damn rude. She was even that to her group!

“Ai, Risa is allowed to come here. She's our friend and friends are allowed here. Plus, if she comes to our training, she will...”

“She wont come there.”

Ai interrupted, spinning around and shutting her closet door with a loud bang, She stared the two friends with a cold stare, watching them and especially Risa, like a trash.

“I'll keep sure of it, that you wont come to our training, for we do....”

There was another loud bang, which caused everyone to turn towards the training room's door, which was occupied by the less colder trainer, Miki. She stood there, examining the people in the room till her eyes landed on Ai. Immediately, the warrior snapped in attention, showing some respect towards her leader.

“Who are you to say, who is allowed to join and who is not, Takahashi?”

Miki's voice was even more cold than Ai's and Risa could even feel, how the room got colder moment by moment. The group leader said nothing. She just stared her captain who was still standing at the door, waiting for her answer.

“Well? I bet you have some kind of answer to this.”

Miki said calmly, folding her hands in front of her. Risa saw how Ai gave a small glare towards her and cursed under her breath.


Miki's voice boomed in the room again and this time, even Eri and Risa jumped a bit.

“What have I said to you about swearing? And when you stand in attention, you wont move an inc!”

Though Miki's voice was loud, she wasn't yelling, she was just giving VERY firm orders to this young warrior. Ai tensed and as Miki had said, didn't move an inc. The trainer walked to the group leader, stopping in front of her.

“Look at me.”

Ai's eyes fell to Miki's in no time and her face didn't show any kind of emotions. The captain waited and her student seemed to know what to do.

“Captain, in my opinion, this girl is too weak to join our training. She was just someone, who was saved my the Team Alfa and now she stays here against the rules. I think she should not join, for she just disturbs us and is no use for us.”

There was a silence, as Miki rolled the words in her head. She kept her cold stare towards Ai as she gave her answer to her.

“This is something for me and Goto to decide. You don't decide who joins and who wont join. Also, I have heard that you have treated our guest quite badly. She's a visitor here and your group member's friend. Show some manners, which have been taught to you and learn to behave!”

This time, Miki's voice got louder and louder as she ranted to Ai. The younger girl didin't show any kind of emotions, she just stood there and took all the scolds she got from the captain.

“Fighting and being strong are not the only skills warriors are taught, which you seem to have forgotten! You had the best teaching you could ever have and still, you just forget everything you have been taught after....”

“That's enough captain.”

Everyone turned to look at Goto, who emerged from the training hall. Miki shut up too and made way to the higher ranking warrior, who walked in front of her student.
When Risa looked at Ai, she could see something was different. The girl was now looking down and seemed to be deep in thoughts. Just a while ago, she had been like nothing could take her down but suddenly, she seemed like she really took the scolding very hardly.


Ai's head snapped up and she stared her general with... what was this? Risa frowned, as she watched the warrior. What was going on now? Ai was like she had seen a ghost! Her eyes were wide open and Risa could swear she saw fear in those chocolate eyes.

Goto shook her head a bit and just gave a sign for Ai, that she could go. In no time, Ai left the room after a quick salute to her leaders and then she was gone. Miki walked to Goto and Risa heard her whisper quiet apologies, which Goto just waved off, murmuring something she didn't quite catch. Risa was still very confused for she didn't know at all, what just happened. Suddenly, she felt tugging in her arm and as she watched besides her, Risa found Eri staring at her with a bit sad expression.

“Come on Risa, lets go. We'll meet Sayu and Reina outside.”

“But Eri....”

“Just come on now....”

And with that, Eri took Risa by her arm and dragged her up. She made a small salute to her leaders, who saluted as well and then she went outside with Risa. In there, she pulled her a bit closer and whispered:

“I'll try to explain this later, okay?”

Risa frowned, but nodded her head. She would really like to know what just happened, for she got an odd feeling that this might have been the key for her to solve the reason for Ai's behaviour. She didn't know why, but she just got this feeling....


Things start to happen bit by bit~

Thank you for your interest again everyone and see you all next time!

I'm off to bed now... XD
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 05:57:07 PM by MsSmigge »

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

Offline kuro808

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 9/ 28/01
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2013, 10:05:20 PM »
So Risa is going to take on the training but the risk is high enough to cause death by any means unless by mercy but psychologically its killing the mind of the loser.

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Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 9/ 28/01
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2013, 03:40:15 AM »
Magics, I like magics. I'm glad Miki and Maki have a bit of an interest in Risa and that they finally told Ai the brat off for her behavior. Now we just need some backstory...

BTW, you might want to reread this, since I noticed a few times where you mixed up Reina's name with Eri's.

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 9/ 28/01
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2013, 06:00:16 PM »
I knew I should have checked this chapter one more time before posting it...... :err:

Thank you for you notification. I really don't know why I have mixed Eri and Reina so many times. I found the same mistake at least five times XD

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 10/ 1/02
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2013, 03:29:54 PM »
Kurosawa87: That's the spirit of the duel xD

rndmnwierd: Yeah, those two are level-headed trainers~ And some backstory you're going to get! And btw, I had just finished planning on this chapter when I read your comment some while ago where you hoped for some TanaGaki. Read this and you know why I kept my mouth shut back then XD

Hi again everyone! Nice to notice somebody is still interested about this story. Thank you again for your comments and interest!

Here's the next chapter. Here we go~

Chapter 10 – She gets to know, what happened to her

After the training was over, Sayu and Reina went to the town to meet with Eri and Risa. They were both very tired, but they had promised to their friends that they would spend some time together, so they decided to go to town instead of going home. Besides it was a beautiful summer day and they would relax better in the town with a nice company than alone at indoors. Soon, the two warriors in their casual black attires spotted two girls chatting on a bench, which was next to a small pond in the middle of a town square . It didn't took long before Eri noticed them and immediately the turtle ran to greet her friends. She hugged them both, causing them to laugh out loud. But soon Eri let them go, spinning around and glaring the girl who was still sitting on the bench

“Oi, I thought you would come with me....”

The turtle pouted at Risa, who was just laughing at the bench Eri had occupied with her a while ago.

“Sorry, but you got up so fast, that I couldn't keep up with you...”

She said to the girl, who was now approaching her with her friends. Sayu and Reina greeted Risa happily and she did the same, making some room for her friends on the bench. After they had all seated, both Sayu and Reina immediately collapsed down, groaning loudly as their sore muscles ached.

“My muscles are killing me.....”

Reina groaned and was soon joined by Sayu;

“Yeah, but they will also probably save your life someday...”

“Oh be quiet....”

Reina whined and slapped the black haired warrior gently, causing the girl to laugh a bit but as her stomach muscles protested, the laughter turned soon into a painful groan.

“You got jammed muscles? How about I'll massage them?”

“Oh, yes please...” Reina groaned, which cause Eri to frown playfully.

“I wasn't talking to you.”

And with that she got up and went behind Sayu. She implied her to move her head a bit forward, which the girl accepted. After that, Eri put her hands on Sayu's shoulders and started to gently massage them, causing Sayu to groan even louder.

“Oh God... Yes, right there...”

The warrior groaned in pleasure, as Eri massaged her shoulders and neck. It felt so good how Eri's hands caressed her sore muscles. So good, that Sayu wanted to scream out loud her pleasure.

“Oh shut up, it sounds like you're having sex or something...”

Suddenly, Eri stopped her massaging and Sayu opened her eyes, a shocked expression on her face. They both stared at Reina with a deep blush as the kitten just stared them like she hadn't said anything special.


“Don't say things like that!!” Bot Sayu and Eri yelled at the same time, causing Reina to cover her ears and Risa to laugh. This scene was quite amusing.

“Hey, no need to shout! But it really sounded like that! And I think you're so close to each others that maybe....”

“Don't continue that sentence.”

Eri said threateningly, as she pointed Reina with her finger, shutting the younger girl effectively. Sayu, however, recovered quite quickly and she patted Eri's arm, gaining the turtles attention.

“Nee, Reina was just joking, though it was a very bad joke,”

Sayu changed her volume as she spoke to Reina, but then she had that gentle voice of hers again.

“come here, wont you?”

Sayu opened her arms to Eri, who very shyly got from behind the bench in front of Sayu, but didn't move from there.

“No, I meant come HERE.”

And with that, Sayu pulled Eri to her lap, circling her hands around her waist and pressing her head against the other girl's back.

“That's much better.”



“Awwww, you look so cute.”

Reina cooed to the couple who were now cuddling at the bench, Sayu resting her head comfortably against Eri's back, while Eri was trying to escape. But soon she had to give up, for the other girl's grip was so tight she could not get away.
Risa watched this all in amusement. She had noticed for a while ago, how Eri and Sayu had something between them and as she had guessed, these two really were close to each others.

“Hey Risa, you could massage me, ne?”

Reina asked suddenly, only causing Eri to punch her lightly.

“What now? I just asked!

“She's a quest here, you can't ask her....”

“Well I have lived here for a while and I am also going to get a place to stay in here, so I think I am not a quest anymore....”

Risa laughed a bit as she walked behind the bench and placed her hands on Reina's shoulder, starting to massage them gently. Reina groaned as her tired muscles got massaged. It felt so heavenly good and she could truly understand why Sayu had made those voices a while ago. For heaven sake's this felt wonderful!

“But I wont sit in your lap. Massage is okay, cuddling is not.”

Reina whipped her head so, that she could face Risa and grinned at the other girl charmingly.

“You wont? I really hoped you would do that.”

Risa stood still for a while, before she massaged the warriors shoulders extra hard, causing Reina to howl in pain and lung forwards as sharp pain travelled through her body.

“OUCH!! Okay okay, it was just a bad joke. No need to kill me..”

Eri and Sayu chuckled at how their friend got a punishment for having such thoughts. Of course, it had been a joke but it was just so damn funny to see, how Reina got what she deserved after saying things like that.
Reina came back to the bench and sat down, getting a small punch from Eri again.

“Deserves you right, for telling jokes like that.”

The turtle giggled, while Reina just pouted, crossing her arms in front of her.

“Haha, very funny...”

Risa laughed as well, as she patted Reina's shoulders gently, careful not to hurt her anymore.

“I'm sorry for that, but don't talk to me like that.”

Reina flinched a bit at the contact, but it was luckily so gentle, that she didn't have to jump up from the bench this time.

“Yeah, yeah, I wont. I learnt my lesson.”

With that, the four friends kept talking on about different kind of things. They chatted quite a long time, their subjects changing till they somehow got to this days episode with Ai and the trainers. It had bothered Risa all the time and it would not just leave her mind. Why had Ai acted like she did and what was that sorrowful face Risa had seen today? Maybe, if she asked, she would get some kind of answers from these girls.

“Mmm, I don't know if this is my think to ask, but do you have any idea what happened to Ai today? I mean, I have never seen her act like that...”

Suddenly, all the three smiles in front of Risa were gone and they were replaced by three serious face. There was a long silence, till Risa decided to repair the situation by taking her question back. She had also forgotten, how Ai had said to not talk about her past and since these girls were her subordinates, Risa should not pressure them to talk about it. It would make them disobey their leader's order.

“I mean... Just forget it. I never asked that question, it was just...”

“She changed.”

Eri said quietly, gaining everyone's attention. This was exactly the same answer Risa got last time as she had asked what was wrong with Ai. It hadn't opened things much then and neither did it now.

“You said that last time too, but...”

“She changed after her father and younger sister died...”

This time, it was Sayu speaking. Reina had her eyes and mouth wide open as she turned to her two friends, who had just talked about something they were not allowed to. Risa in turn was fighting inside her head; should she ask more? Should she just ask her friends to drop this subject, for it seemed to be quite painful? Risa decided to do a compromise: She stayed quiet and if her friends wanted to continue, she would listen. If they didn't, she would not ask anything more about this.

“Oi, you're causing yourself some troubles here....”

Reina tried, but Eri and Sayu just sat in silence and it looked like they were deep in thoughts. Risa got up, walked in front of Eri and crouched, resting her hands on the younger girls knees. Eri turned her serious face to Risa and watched her with a blank stare.

“If it's okay... Could you please tell me more?”

Risa had suddenly decided that she indeed wanted to know more. She wasn't sure if her friends were about to continue this story and she really wanted to know. Deep inside, she knew this was a bit wrong towards her friends and against her compromise she just had done. But Risa didn't want to fight with Ai, she wanted to have normal conversations with her as she had with these girls. She wanted to know what laid under that samurai's mask Ai had on and she just wanted this tormenting pressure around them to end. The reason for this all, she didn't have a clue. She just wanted to do this, though all the images she had gotten from Ai were negative, Risa just wanted to try to get along with the leader and when she thought about this, it was because she really hated to be in bad terms with someone.

Eri stared Risa for a while, before she gazed at her hands and started to speak.

“Ai was 15 when her father was murdered. It was about 5 years ago. We don't have much information what exactly happened that night but we know, that Ai experienced something very terrible then... It also seems that our trainers have some information about that night, what we don't know, but naturally they wont speak about it. I think that they also evoked some bad memories in Ai today. This has happened few times and it has had always the same ending. But we don't know much about the things between them. I am only going to tell you what we know about this all."

Now, all the three girls had turned their attention towards Eri, Risa looking her with curious eyes, while Reina and Sayu had a worried expression on their face.

“All we know about this is that behind this all is an enemy's warrior, Sayaka. She was once on our side, but then she decided to betray us and Ai...”

There was a silence, as Eri stopped suddenly talking. She had a pained expression on her face and Risa was quite sure, she would not get anymore information, but soon, Eri spoke again:

“After we heard all of this, we were of course very shocked and angry. We tried to find Ai, but she was lost. No one had seen her in days after the incident and it took two weeks, before someone from here got some information of her.”

Eri kept a pause and gulped once, causing both Reina and Sayu put their hands on her shoulder.

“Eri, you don't have to go on....” Sayu said, now very worried.

“Yeah, we can continue....”

“No.” Eri interrupted Reina firmly. She had a very determined, but at the same time, a very pained look on her face, which caused Risa to frown. But she didn't get much time to think of asking Eri to stop herself, when the girl kept on her story.

“That was also, when we saw her for the first time in those two weeks. We were training at the training place, when suddenly, Ai appeared to the door.  She had her samurai uniform on, but we soon recognized it wasn't hers, but her father's. She had also a sword in her hand and she just... stood there staring blankly ahead. We were of course very surprised and happy to see her and I just ran to her. I usually hugged her when we hadn't seen in a long while and I did the same now, but...”

Once again, Eri stopped, the pained expression on her face only gotten deeper. Now Sayu really got worried with Reina, for they almost commanded Eri to stop. Risa was about to do the same, for she didn't want to Eri to suffer. But the sub leader just shook her head violently, causing the others to shut up. She would tell this story to Risa.

'I want to help my friends...'

“When I was hugging her, Ai felt somehow very distant and even cold. I immediately pulled away, for she felt so strange. Like I had been hugging a stranger. We stood there for a while just staring at Ai, till she finally did something....”

Eri got quiet again but this time, she didn't continue. She just curled into a small ball and pressed her head again's Sayu's shoulder, causing the other girl immediately wrap her arms tighter around her. Reina had very sad face now too, which caused Risa to get worried. Had she gone too far? If this was something the others weren't very comfortable to talk about, she should drop this subject now, or she would do some severe damage.

“She punched Eri.”

Reina said quietly. Eri didn't do or say anything, but Sayu just tightened her hold of her and pressed her head on top of the older girl's, like she was protecting her from something.

“She did what?”

Risa whispered, not believing what she had heard. Had Ai really done something like that? To punch Eri? The most innocent and pure person on the earth who had done nothing wrong to the leader and yet she went and dissolved her sadness and anger to her friends!

“Yes, she punched her. Then, she attacked Eri, yelling something incoherent and beating her at the same time. Luckily we were there to stop her and after we got our leader off Eri, Ai calmed immediately, but we could see she was not all right. Also, we were lucky that all the three of us had our samurai uniforms on, so Eri didn't get hurt so badly, mind the black eye.”

Risa listened in disbelief. This could not be, this just was something that should not happen! How could anyone ever hurt a person Like Eri? How could have Ai done that?

“After that, Ai collapsed to the ground and of course we went to her but we kept some kind of distance, for we weren't sure of her state. Then, she just started to cry uncontrollable, saying she was sorry and we could hear her say her father, sister and Eri's name. She was apologizing all of them, for what she had done. When I got closer and took Ai in my arms, she just... she just cried and cried. Then I smelt something very strong and I realized it was alcohol...”

“After this incident we got some information, that a warrior had been seen around a nearby village, drinking and crying all day and night. Ai was born in that village and it was like her second home. It got destroyed at the same time this incident happened and now, there are just some ruins left. We don't know how long she stayed there, but that was the first place we got information of her."

Sayu continued Reina's speaking, causing Risa to turn her attention towards her now.

“Ai has a very bad alcohol tolerance and drinking so much in two week and staying at the same time in a place where this tragedy happened, took her in a very bad condition, both mentally and physically. She was so wasted that she didn't even remember her own name anymore or her friends. All she had in her mind was the tragedy she had met. What ever happened that night and the two weeks after, it shocked Ai so badly, that her personality changed almost completely.”

There was a long silence again, as the four girls thought about all they had just heard. Risa tried to understand all of this, but she just couldn't. She felt very bad for everyone, even for Ai, that something like this happened because of this damn war. But thought she felt a bit sorry for Ai, she could still not forgive her of what she had done to Eri. No matter what, friends should never hurt friends in the way like Ai had done.

“But you may not get Ai in a wrong way now.”

Suddenly, Eri had gotten back on the earth and was now sitting straight, escaping Sayu's embrace.


Risa whispered. How could this girl be so unselfish? Ai had attacked her and still, Eri asked not to understand her wrong. Also, after 5 years of this incident the leader was still very rude and cold towards her friends, though she had had years to recover! What the heck made that jerk so special that these guys followed her blindly and didn't mind much though she was a horrible person?

“She didn't do it in purpose. I know, what Ai is truly like and she would never ever hurt anyone. Especially her friends..”

“But that's just what she did! Also, she haven't been the nicest leader I have seen and she treats you like a crap from time to time. You still tell me to...”

“Yes. Ai is a good person and I would not be following her with Reina and Sayu, if she was a bad and evil person, right?”

Eri turned towards her friends, who to Risa's surprise, nodded their heads immediately. What was wrong with these girls?


Eri's voice caught Risa's attention and when she turned around, she found Eri's eyes on her and that dashing smile to shine at her. Risa could only stare this pure girl, for she was lost in words. She hadn't seen anything as beautiful in her life as Eri was now. Eri leaned a bit closer, taking Risa's hands in her own.

“Ai's out there. She's there, but she has just built a huge wall around her. All we can do now, is to be with her and not to let her fall deeper in that mask of hers.”

There was a long silence again, as Eri and Risa were staring at each others, while Reina and Sayu changed some surprised glances together. Eri had never said this kind of things to anyone, nor she had told about Ai's story. It was a secret which was not allowed to be told, but Risa had heard it now. Maybe Eri saw something in Risa they weren't able to see. Something more under that kind and gentle being of hers.

Risa in turn was very lost right now. She had decided from the start that Ai was jerk, then she heard a story which made her think that the leader was even more jerk and now her friend and Ai's subordinate, asked her to understand the leader and not to judge her by what she had done. If Risa could decide, she would immediately mark Ai a very cold, heartless and rude person, who only thought of herself. How could Eri still see light in that person, who had attacked her and clearly had no intention to chance her manners to better?

“Please Risa, believe me. I know it's not very easy to act all nice and polite and accept things like this, when the other one is so rude towards you, but please do it for Ai's sake. It surely helps more than acting rude as well.”

Eri said in a bit pleading tone. Risa frowned and looked to the ground.

“I don't know.... I really don't like her and for some reason, she makes me angry easier than others. And after hearing about her past, just thinking of her makes me want to strangle her...”

'And I would do nothing for her sake....

She mumbled. This was going to be very hard if not even possible. Accepting all Ai had done and to believe she had something kind and warm under that mask of hers? Risa believed more, that the war would end tomorrow than Ai had a kind being. But something told her to do as Eri had said. Her friends had known Ai for a long time and they said she was different before. Also they didn't let the rude actions of the leader scare them, but they still believed the "real Ai" would be out there.
Risa decided to try, but only because of her friends.  Ai she could care less right now, but her friends asked this so she would at least try.

“We try to not allow Ai to act rude towards you. It's a bit hard, for we are her subordinates and have to obey her orders, but we wont give in so easily.” Sayu said, as she laid her hands on Eri's shoulders now.

“Yeah, and one sure way to get Ai hold her tongue is to hang out with Goto and Miki. Ai really respects them and wont do anything against their word.”

Reina said now, a small smile playing on her lips. Risa in turn didn't accept all her friends had just said.

“But as a good leader, she should also respect you and your wishes. Of course, she has the right to command you as your leader, but in my opinion a good leader also listens to her subordinates and their wishes. No matter what has happened in your life....”

Risa muttered. For her surprise, she heard Eri giggle.

“Oh believe me, she has made our wishes to come true quite many times and she has also listened to us.”

Risa raised an eye brown and looked at Eri.

“Like I said, she is a good leader, though she gives a whole different image of herself. We just got to believe that one day, she will somehow comes back. So please, lets do our best with this.”

With that, Eri suddenly got up, dragging Reina and Sayu up with her and linking her arms with them.

“But now, it is a lunch time and I am hungry as a wolf! Lets go get something to eat!”

And with that, this dark subject was dropped, as the turtle started to lead her friends towards a place where they could eat something. Risa stayed in her place stunned, as Eri spun around with Reina and Sayu, almost bowling Risa down. If it hadn't been for Reina's fast arms, Risa would still be crouching in that spot, but Reina caught her arm and pulled her up to walk with them. Risa was lifted up like she was a feather and she almost fell, for she wasn't prepared to get up so fast. Luckily Reina was there to catch her again, as she linked her arm with Risa's, causing all the four girls to walk in one line, arms linked.

“I want to have companion too, for those love birds have each others.”

The warrior teased, causing Risa to blush a bit and punch Reina gently.

“Haha, sorry. You know I am just joking.”

Reina laughed and winked once again at Risa.

“You better be....”

The bean muttered as they kept on walking. Though the atmosphere had significantly changed, Risa had the story she just heard of the leader all the time in her mind. Could it be that under that mask of hers, laid a good person who all these girls truly respected and trusted? Could it be that acting nice towards her would help something? Was it possible to her ever change? For now, it seemed to Risa that it was not possible.


Here some information of Ai's past to you~

For some reason it was very hard to write this chapter.  :fainted:
And it still feels a bit confusing. I hope you get something out of this and if you don't get something, just ask xD And hopefully I didn't mix Reina and Eri this time...

I hope you enjoyed this chapter and you all later!  :cow:
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 05:17:34 PM by MsSmigge »

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

Offline kuro808

  • Konkon + HKT + JPH!P= <3 and Happiness
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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 10/ 1/02
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2013, 05:15:11 PM »
Ai wants to avoid any relationship because of the past and I guess warming up to her at this point seems impossible
Random Thought:


R.I.P. Jab!  Dad/friend

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 10/ 1/02
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2013, 10:41:42 AM »
Even though we learn a bit about Ai's sad past, all the Tanagaki flirting here kind of negates that for me. XD

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 11/ 7/02
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2013, 10:50:15 PM »
Kurosawa87: Weeelll... Kinda XD

rndmnweird: I knew it... XD

Thank you again for your interest people~

The next chapter. here we go!

Chapter 11 – Her wish was, she would not return alive

Risa had been in a good mood lately. She had spent a lot of time with her friends and got to know them better: Sayu indeed was the brain of this group, for she always had some kind of logic for everything plus she never did anything stupid. She must have had hard sometimes, for she had such reckless friends, like Reina and Eri. Sayu was also the most calm of these four and Risa had never seen her lose her cool. Sometimes, the bunny was even a bit boring for she started nagging about things so easily, even if there was no reason for it. Sayu also had very good manners and Risa had never ever seen her act rude to anyone.

Reina in turn was like a 5-years-old kid at times, for she always came up with ideas like “Hey, let's climb that rooftop or lets go in the woods were we might see some bears and then we must survive!”. But she also had her mature side when it was needed and never acted in improper way, if the situation was very serious or something. Reina was also the strongest of these three and she had told Risa that she used to spend a lot of time in the forest helping her father with his work and she still does, if she has time. That's why she has gotten so much power and could lift others like feathers and Risa too had experienced this few times. Reina was also very muscular, but she didn't seem very strong at the first sight, which was likely because she was so small and looked more like a little girl who would only play with dolls and so. But when she started to fight or do something physical that kind of pictures would disappear immediately.

Then there was Eri, the copy of an angel. She never blamed anyone, didn't see things in negative light and was friend with everyone. Also, it seemed like the whole village loved her for everyone always greeted her and asked her, if she had some time so she could talk. Eri was loved by everyone, and Risa could understand why. No one, just no one could hate that girl, for she was so pure and gentle. Someone had even said that Eri, she and LinLin were all the same, for they had so kind being, but Risa didn't agree with it. LinLin and Eri were the same, it was true, but she wasn't. She could lose her temper in no time while these two, would not harm a fly. It was quite an odd describing for a soldier but that was just the way it was.

Also, the reason why Risa was in a such good mood was that she hadn't seen Ai in many days. She hadn't been at the training area nor in the village's town. Eri and the others said they had seem her, but Risa was okay with it, if she didn't need to meet with the leader for she still couldn't accept all the things she had done and how she acted towards others.

The four girls were spending their time in the town again at the same place, where Risa had heard Ai's story. Reina, Risa and Sayu where sitting on the bench, while Eri was in Sayu's lap, once again. Risa had also found out that Eri and Sayu were together and well, she had eyes, she could also see it. She thought they were such a cute couple, Sayu being always the reasonable one while Eri in turn sometimes acted like a kid. But somehow, even Sayu's cool and adult being cracked when she was with Eri and sometimes, she was even playful with the turtle. But love made people change, right?
Reina also liked to tease them by telling things about the couple, ending to gain a punch from the couple and sometimes, from Risa too.

It was like any other day and the village was full of life, with the people taking care of their chores and children playing around. This reminded Risa of her own village and once in a while, she found herself recalling all those memories she had. She had been sad for weeks after the incident but with these wonderful people around her, she had somehow gotten over her sorrow almost completely. She knew she had people beside her and she would not have to live with her past alone. She got power to carry one from these people around her.

The girls had been spending some hours on the bench and just when they decided to leave in order to find something to eat, they were interrupted. A loud voice of horse running was heard and people on the street moved to the side, allowing the samurai pass through. Risa and the others also froze when they heard the noise and saw a white horse ahead, but they all froze even more, when they saw who was it.
Ai was riding in her full armor, her helmet hanging in her arm. She rode to the girls and everyone, except Risa of course, snapped in attention and saluted their leader, as she stopped the horse in front of them.

“We have a meeting in the training area in 10 minutes. Be there.”

All the three girls nodded and expected their leader to leave but Ai just turned her horse towards Risa, glaring the girl at the same time. Risa did the same and suddenly she remembered again, why she was so happy that Ai hadn't been in her sight for a long time. Just seeing her cold stare and that rude attitude made her blood boil.

“This doesn't concern you, so stay out. It would also be better, if you let my subordinates alone so they could practice better. You just disturb them.”

Before Risa could answer, Ai pivoted her horse and galloped away. She was furious again and all it took was some impolite words from one certain soldier. Damn, that woman really irritated Risa.


Eri said, as she laid a hand on Risa's shoulder, immediately calming the other girl a bit.

“You can come with us, but this really doesn't concern you, so you can wait outside. But there's no way that you would be left behind!”

Risa smiled at the turtle and nodded. She would wait her friends outside, when they were having this meeting of their own.

“Yup, we just get through the meeting and then we will see you again.”

Sayu added, as she got ready to leave, taking Eri's hand in her own.

“And don't worry, these meetings wont take long. You don't have to be separated from me for a long time.”

Reina said, linking her arm with Risa's, but only gaining a punch in her ribs.

“Ouch! Hey, what was that for?”

Reina whined, while Risa just chuckled. The warrior always teased her and Risa liked to answer back. She usually punched Reina gently or did something else that didn't hurt the other girl much.

“How many times I have told you to not say things like that? We are not a couple, just for you to know.”

Risa tried to speak seriously, but her voice gave out, that she was just joking. Reina chukled a bit as she started to leave with the other girls.

“Yeah, yeah, do not do that. But you know, I am always joking.”

Risa rolled her eyes a bit, but didn't bother to answer. She would argue with Reina after this meeting was over. But Risa was oblivious of the dark gaze behind all the girl's eyes, as they walked on. They knew, that this meeting was not going to be so short, for Ai had came to gather them to the meeting. This wasn't a good sign indeed...


Risa had waited at least for one hour now and she was getting bored. They had said it would not take long, but now it seemed that this small meeting of them was going to take forever! What on earth were they talking about? Risa was just about to go inside the building, not caring if she was allowed or not, but just when she was about to open the door, it was opened and of course no one else than that damn leader of The Team Alfa had to be the one opening it. Ai glared Risa once again, only gaining an equal glare back.

“Are you stupid, don't you understand talk or what the hell is your problem?”

The leader growled as she stepped outside, closing the door behind her.

“Are you stupid, don't you have manners or what the hell is your problem with acting nice?”

Risa said back, not moving an inch as Ai came a bit closer. She had a very threatening expression and Risa somehow understood, why her friends sometimes were scared of this person. Ai's stare really felt like it could kill and Risa had an unsure feeling all the time, when she was this close with the samurai. It felt like Ai would any moment take her sword and attack her, the past of hers that was revealed to Risa a while ago, making the younger one even more unsure.

“You have no rights to talk like that to me....”

“And you have those rights then?”

Risa interrupted angrily, taking a step closer the samurai, who either didn't move an inch.

“I am higher than you.”

“I am not a samurai! Or well at least, not yet....”

Ai leaned a bit forward, meeting Risa's gaze once again as she stared deep in those brown eyes.

“And you'll never be, if it's for me to decide.”

This time, Risa leaned forwards too her anger giving her a bit more courage, staring back and sending daggers towards Ai.

“Well just for you to know, you oh so mighty and high samurai, I'll prove to you that I'll become a samurai one day.”

Her tone was mocking and even cold, which surprised even Risa herself. She never talked like this! It must have been the anger that made her talk like this and the person in front of her did not help at this situation at all. Ai snorted and laughed dryly at Risa's words and looked her once again like a trash.

“You, as a samurai? The pigs will fly sooner than you'll become a warrior.”

Ai took a step closer again and now she was really close with Risa, causing the other girl feel more uncomfortable. It was not that she was scared, but Ai being this close irritated her and made her blood boil even more. Damn, how much she wanted to just punch that arrogant face...

“Don't you dare to touch me.”

Risa growled, as she saw Ai raise her finger and point it at Risa.

“I wont touch weak and pathetic persons like you.”

Ai said, causing Risa to get even more furious. She was just about to start yelling something, but she did not get a chance to say something back, for Ai continued;

“Now, get lost and go home to your mom. Go tease the people in your village with your presence.”

The words sunk deep in Risa and they hurt. How dared this person to say something like that? Well okay, she didn't know what had happened to her in past, but Risa could care less now.Ai had said something she shouldn't and she would hear of that. It still hurt when someone talked about her family and when talking in this tone as Ai had done, it hurt even more. Risa was just about to say something, when she was interrupted but the opening door. Six persons exited the building behind them and entered the front yard of it. Yoshizawa was the first one, The Team Alfa following them with the trainers. The king examined the two persons outside very curiously, while the three younger girls all muttered at the same time “Oh no...”.

“What's going on here?”

The king asked looking first at Ai and then Risa again. Risa was just about to say something, but Ai got to speak first, walking away quite quickly and not looking at anyone.

“Nothing, my lord.”

And with that, the group leader walked inside the building leaving all the others behind her in the yard. Yoshizawa looked after her, sighed deeply and shook her head.

“She haven't changed at all...”

Meanwhile, Eri, Sayu and Reina had all walked to Risa, who was still glaring after Ai. She didn't move, even when Reina waved her hand in front of her and Sayu placed a hand on her shoulder. She was so furious and hurt of what Ai had said. True, she didn't know her past, but if she didn't know, she should keep her mouth shut and not say things like that, for she could do a lot of damage. Right now, Risa felt very unwanted and alone. She didn't have home to go, her mother was dead and all she had around was just mean people and...

Finally, Eri's soft voice caught Risa's attention and dragged her away from the dark side of her mind, where she had wandered for a moment. She turned her gaze towards the younger girl, who had a very worried expression on her face.

“Did Ai... Did she say something to you?”

Risa was quiet for a while, before she nodded her head a bit. Yes, she indeed had said something to ther, something that really hurt.
Before Eri could say or do anything, the king started to speak to her captain and general, gaining everyone's attention

“So, we have a lot of things to do. Goto and Miki, please carry out my orders I just gave to you and inform all your men. Also, ask them to inform their families of this situation.”

With that the king turned around, smiled at the younger girls on her way and exited the area. She had a white horse nearby the fence and with that, she soon rode away. This caused Risa to frown; what was going on?
Miki and Goto saluted to their king and after she was gone, they went inside as well, probably to make some plans. Eri tucked Risa's sleeve gently, gaining the girl's attention.

“Come, lets go somewhere else.”


They went to a nearby storage beside's the training area. Risa had sensed, how the others were very quiet and serious, which meant everything was not in order. Eri leaned the wall behind her as the three others gathered around her, Sayu and Reina walking on her both sides and leaning on the wall as well as Risa just stood in front of the trio. Everyone had very serious expression and it seemed like all the three warriors leaning on the wall behind them were deep in thoughts.

“Heng send a thread. There's going to be more bigger fights, for she announced she's going to attack with a huge force. Also, JunJun has seen with her team, how Heng has prepared massive troops to get ready to fight.”

“This means we are needed more on the field and with that, we are going to practise even more. We wont have much free time from now on.”
Sayu continued what Eri had started as Risa stared the ground with a blank expression, repeating all the words in her head. First, she was insulted and hurt by the person she hated the most and then, she heard that her friends were about to get on the battlefield again, this time more often and for longer periods. She would not have her friends beside her when she would need them and the risk, that they would not come back alive, also raised

'This really sucks....'

Risa tought, as she closed her eyes and tried to put her thoughts in order. But all she got in her mind were these negative things she had just heard. The tragedy at home repeated non stop in her head, Ai was everywhere with her sharp tongue and rude manners and all her friends were somewhere, but not near her.

“I don't want this...”

Risa whispered, causing her friends to get worried now. She could feel, how a single tear traveled down her cheek. All these things at the same time made her pain, which she was still carrying with her to get worse and Risa felt very uncomfortable right now. It was like the day when all she had had was taken away from her and all around her was just anger and hate and this damn war. Risa turned her head away from her friends, for she didn't want them to see how she was crying. But Risa couldn't muse long in her sadness, when she suddenly felt something wrap around her. When she opened her eyes, she was greeted with a shoulder and brown hair and at the same time she felt something warm on her neck as someone breathed against it.

“Hey, it's okay. We are here for you when ever you need us.”

Risa could hear Eri's soft voice in her ear. When Eri had noticed her friends state though she tried her best to hide it, the younger girl had decided she needed some friends help here. Immediately she had went to Risa and circled her arms tightly around her, oping she would make friend feel a bit better. Soon, Eri's arms were joined by a single hand on her shoulder and when she raised her head, Risa could see Sayu standing beside her, smiling warmly at her.

“We'll come back, don't worry. You wont be alone."

After hearing Says words, Risa could feel how something got behind her and soon there were another pair arms circling around her waist.

“Yeah, don't worry. We will always be here. Now Eri, go cuddle with your own girl, this is mine now.”

Risa could not help but laugh as she heard Reina's voice from behind. She had so great friends beside her that she wanted to cry just out of joy. She wasn't alone anymore, for she had these persons with her. Even Ai's venomous words could not reach her now, for she was safe with her friends.

“Thank you guys. Really, this made me feel a lot better.”

With that, Eri backed away a bit after giving Risa a gentle pad on back, but Reina kept her hold. She glanced Risa with a playful grin, but soon she got a pained look on her face and packed away, for Risa had stomped on her foot and punched her a bit at the same time too.

“And that, made me feel even better.”

Risa chirped as they all laughed a bit at the struggling warrior.

“Damn, you're violent. I made you feel good and this is the price?”

Reina muttered, as she tried to rub her side and somehow ease the pain in her foot.

“Again, deserves you right.”

Risa laughed. She could laugh now, for she had her friends here, but she had no idea how could she survive, when they were on the field. She could only pray that her friends would get back alive every time they left, till this war was over.


It didn't take more than one week, when it was reported that there had been an attack on the battle front, which automatically caused the troops to leave the village. Risa was watching on the street as the warriors exited the city, one by one. She also got a glimpse of her friends, who waved at her, smiling at the same time as if they were saying that they would come back and see each others again. After her friends, she also saw Ai, who for some reason didn't have her helmet on. Her gaze landed on Risa and they stared at each others for a long time, before Ai just snorted and turned her head away. Risa did the same, as she continued watching the warriors to leave the city. She glared Ai's back one more time, before the gates closed and all the warriors were not in the sight anymore.
Everyone returned to their work or whatever they had been doing, but Risa just stared at the closed gates. At first, her expression was soft as she thought about her friends, but then when a certain leader's head popped in her mind, her face darkened immediately and as if to emphasize her anger, Risa kicked a small stone in front of her. She was suddenly so angry again and all it had taken was to think about that damn Ai.

'I really wish, that you wont come back alive...'


Yah, things start to get a bit serious again XD

I hope you enjoyed this and sorry again if there's a lot of mistakes but I am so damn tired again..... :depressed:

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

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 11/ 7/02
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2013, 03:02:19 AM »
Aww Risa shouldn't say that, she'll feel bad if something happens to ai now.

Offline kuro808

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Re: Re: The mask of soul//chapter 11/ 7/02
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2013, 04:58:03 AM »
Risa gets more irked every time ai comes around her

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 12/ 9/02
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2013, 03:43:12 PM »
rndmnweird: Anger makes people say and do things they don't really mean.

Kurosawa87: Yup, but soon, she might not do so~

Guess who has too much time when nothing has happened in here... Yup, me. XD

There might be few fast updates in the near future, because really, there's nothing to do right now. Or at least now, you never know what tomorrow brings with it XD

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

Chapter 12 – But then, she got to know more of her story

It was raining outside and the whole village seemed very grey and depressing, as Risa watched outside from a huge window. She had spent one week in the Castle now, for she had been offered to do some tasks in there. Now that Yoshizawa was on the field with her troops, her wife took care of everything. Also, some people from the palace were on the field too, so there weren't many persons taking care of things in here. Since Risa didn't have a home yet and she had nothing special to do, Rika had invited her to the king's palace, where she could stay and do something useful at the same time. Risa had of course accepted, for she wanted to help and she didn't want to bother LinLin all the time. Poor girl should have some time alone once in a while, for Risa was all the time with at the nurseäs place,not giving LinLin much time to be alone. Though LinLin had insisted that it was okay if Risa stayed there, the bean had decided that she would give her friend some alone time.

Right now, Risa was having a lunch break, which she usually used watching out of the window from one of the Castle's room. It was on the top floor and when you looked outside, you could see far away. Risa ate her lunch rather quickly, for she didn't take much food with her. The work she was doing was not physically very hard, so she could go with a small amount of food. Her job was to deliver some messages, keep places in order and few times she had to make sure that Yoshizawa's son was okay, for he had had a fever for few days. Rika could not stay all the time in the Castle, so she has asked if Risa could look after him. It had been an easy task, for the boy had slept all the time. Risa just had made sure that if he woke up she would help him if needed.

When Risa was looking outside during her breaks, she always wondered how her friends were doing. They had been on the battle front for one week now and by the news JunJun brought yesterday, they would be staying out there for at least one more week.

Risa sighed as she followed the falling rain drops on the window. How she really hoped this war would be over and everyone could just live normally. She could spent more time with her friends, with Eri and Reina making up some great ideas, while Sayu would just scold them for being reckless.

She really missed Eri's bright smile and laughter, Sayu's wise words and Reina's whining. Yes, for some reason Reina's whining was cute and the whole girl was somehow cute in Risa's opinion. At the same time, she was so tough and a bit egoist but after she was scolded a bit, she was just like a little kid, who didn't get what she wanted. Reina really made Risa happy as much, as Eri's smiles and gentle being. Heck, the whole group made her happy. She really hoped that those three would come back alive and okay.

'But she... I don't care if you come back or not...'

“You're here again.”


Risa screamed, as she fell to the floor surprised by the sudden voice at the door. Risa had of course turned into her reaction queen mode, jumped up and ended up falling down. As she was on her back at the floor, the young girl craned her neck a bit so she could see who had scared her.

“My apologizes, I didn't mean to scare you.”

The voice of the captain made the bean get up quite quickly. Risa groaned, as she got up for the falling indeed had hurt quite much. But she should get up fast because Miki was standing at the room's door and it wouldn't have had looked very good if Risa kept crawling on the floor.

“It's okay, I should not space out like that.”

Miki laughed a bit, as she made her way to the girl and helped her up. It seemed to be a bit painful to get up and Miki had also seen how Risa had hit her head quite hard on the floor. Besides, it was always polite to help others. The captain had followed Risa for a few days now and every time, the girl would end up in here on her lunch break. Miki was just curious and wanted to know what was she doing in here all the time and today, she had decided to go and find out what the girl did here from day to day. Also, she wanted to talk with her for she was now under the trainer's eyes like everyone, who wanted to join the training.

“I just got curious of what are you doing in here, that's why I came here. And I am really sorry If I scared you.”


Risa glanced at the window as she got back on her feet, Miki following her gaze. The captain sighed a bit and smiled at the younger girl in front of her.

“You miss your friends, right?”

Risa didn't say anything, but she nodded her head a bit. After a while, Miki moved to a nearby chair and sat down. She had her dark blue samurai armor on, for she was required to wear it, if there would be some kind of conflict. She had to be ready to act if something happened in here. Always when the enemy was inside their borders or when the battlefront was attacked, one of the higher ranking samurai's would stay at the castle and keep it safe, just in case if the enemy got in here some way. It also made the people in village feel easier, if they knew that someone who could lead the situation, if some conflict showed up in here, was close to them all the time.

“You get well along with Eri, Sayu and Reina, don't you?”

Risa raised an eye brown and whipped around to face the still smiling captain as she heard the question. Again, she just nodded her head, this time a bit shyly. Miki was still quite an unknown person to her and her being a captain, didn't help the situation at all. Risa wasn't a samurai yet and she wasn't under Miki's command, but somehow the captain's tittle gained some respect. They were in the end the higher ranking person's in here and also, if something happened they had all the rights to give orders to anyone.

“That's a good thing you've gained friends in here, for it's easier when you have someone beside you, ne?”

Once again, Risa just nodded her head. Why was the captain of this army asking her questions like this? Didn't she have some other tasks to do than talk with some random person? Or well, half random...

“Ano...” Risa said carefully, but when she noticed that Miki was listening to her, she got some more courage to ask and speak more freely.

“Why... Why are you asking me questions like this?”

Miki was quiet for a while, before she chuckled. Risa was so sure, that she had done something wrong or funny and now she looked like an idiot. She was about to apologize, but Miki was faster.

“What? Am I not allowed to ask about my subordinates well being?”


That was all that Risa could say. Subordinate? She? But she wasn't any kind of warrior yet! She was just a regular citizen right now and not any kind of samurai.

“But I am not a samurai....”

“But you want to be one, right?”

Risa looked at the captain with an amazed expression. Could she mean that...

“What do you mean by that?”

Miki chuckled again, as she continued on, taking a bit better position in her seat, leaning back and crossing her legs in front of her.

“I have heard, as you know, that you want to become a samurai. Well, lets test you then. Lets see if you're able to be a samurai.”

Risa was stunned, for this practically meant that she was allowed to join the training! Or well, that was at least how it did sound like.

“Well, we don't have any other way to test you now, do we?”

Miki smiled at the girl in front of her, who was still staring at the captain, like Miki had two heads or something. Could this be true? She could join the training just like that? It was this easy? Risa had prepared for some kind of hard test, where she would have to succeed in something very difficult or so. But now this captain was just saying that she could join the training and they would test her there. It sounded a bit too easy.

“But you don't know am I capable at all to be a samurai. Don't you take persons who look like they could be samurais? I know nothing about fighting and I am very bad in that. If you take people to the training and they turn out to be very bad ones, isn't it a waste of time?"

“You can't judge people by how they look like.”

Suddenly the captain rose and took one sword from her waist. She untied it and tossed it to Risa, who caught the weapon. It was a small katana with a scabbard, where dark blue ribbon's were neatly tied around. Risa examined the weapon, till he suddenly heard noises from the way Miki was standing. When she raised her head, she saw the captain to take one of her swords, a way longer than Risa's and pointed it towards her. Risa's eyes widened as she stared the woman in front of her. What was she doing?

“We can also test you a bit in here. Defend yourself.”

And with that Miki lunged forward, trying to hit Risa. The first thing that got in Risa's mind was not to use the small sword, but to escape because there was just no way she could blog anything with this! When miki struck, Risa crouched down and dodged the attack. The sword missed and Risa was safe for a while, but soon, Miki attacked again. The captain spun around, kicking Risa lightly in her legs and causing the younger one to lose her balance, Risa fell on her back and Miki pointed the katana towards her, but took it away quickly and helped the girl up, once again.

“Well, you can at least dodge.”

The captain said smiling, as she took her swords and put them away. Risa was shaking, for she was a bit scared of what she had just experienced. She had seen how fast Reina and Sayu were and was amazed then, but being a target to one samurai was a whole different thing. Risa had barely seen Miki when she had moved and when her legs were swiped away under her, she had had not clue for a moment what was happening.

“That's a good start. Not the best one, but better than many others have done.”

After the swords were neatly on her waist again, Miki went to the chair she sat before, sat down and patted the seat nearby indicating Risa to sit down too. For a while, Risa was a bit unsure, for she was a bit of scared the captain now. That kind of speed and strength Risa had never seen before and it was indeed very frightening. But soon, gathering her courage again, Risa sat on the seat the captain offered to her. She was still quite shocked for what happened a few minutes ago, while the warrior beside her was like nothing had happened.

“If we judge people by how they look like, we would have a way too small army. Everyone can be soldiers, if they want it and they get a proper training. That's all it takes”

The captain explained. Risa allowed herself to relax now, for Miki's tone and posture told her that the woman was just going to sit there and not attack her again. Besides, she didn't need to be afraid of these people, because they were nice and would not harm others without a reason. They also possessed quite high skills in manners and education, which they showed all the time when they were not on the battlefield. Being a samurai was not just fighting and killing, it was also manners and self-discipline.
'Ai should take some things form this woman....'

Risa thought, as she rolled Miki's words in her head. At least someone believed she could be a samurai and would not judge her just by the looks.

“How have you been with Takahashi?”

Like reading her mind, Miki asked the question. Just hearing the leader's name, made Risa frown and snort, which caused the captain just chuckle a bit. But the laughter Risa heard was not a happy one, it was more like a desperate and dry laugh. She turned towards Miki and saw the woman shaking her head slowly and lean forwards on her seat, placing her head between her hands.

“This is quite normal of her ne?”

Risa asked the captain, who turned her face towards the floor. She didn't answer in a long while and Risa was just about to repeat her question again, till the captain said quietly;

“Unfortunately, this is very normal of her...”

The information didn't surprise Risa. She really thought that Ai was indeed very rude person and she could not even imagine her as a nice one. Even though her friends said that Ai was not like she was now and that she was a good leader and all, Risa just could no believe it.

“But you may not judge her by her actions.”


Risa stared the warrior in front of her in disbelief. She should not judge Ai by her actions? She should just think that it was okay and that she was all good in reality? What was wrong with these people? Ai had not shown anything positive to Risa and she was quite sure that the warrior would never do that.

“Ai has done nothing wrong,”

'Yeah, hitting your friend and subordinate is not wrong...'

“She is really a good person,”

'So acting rude is a good thing now days.'

“And the one you should blame for all of this,”

'Is Ai herself.'

“Is me.”

'Like I sa...' “What?”

Risa stared the captain once again with widened eyes and a shocked expression. What was this captain talking about? There was a silence, as Miki seemed to think something very deeply. Did she do right by telling this girl these things? Would this solve anything?

'Well I can at least try...'

“What do you mean by that?”
Miki was still quiet till she got up and slowly walked to the window, watching the grey picture in front of her. Talking about this was always so hard to her and she also had a small fear how people would see her after they heard this.

“It's partially my fault Ai is like that.”

She finally opened her mouth as she turned to face Risa, who was again very shocked by what she heard. She had started this and she would finish this now, no matter what happened afterwards. She could take it.

“You may not judge her for what she has become, because it's not her fault. It's my fault...”

The captain lowered her head a bit as if she was shaming something or being scolded. Risa frowned as she got up and walked a bit closer. She wanted some answers, for she didn't understand what the captain meant. Also, she was very curious about what had happened to Ai, for she remembered that Eri had said that these trainers might have some information which no one else has about this thing.

“Can you... Can you tell me more?”

Immediately, Miki turned her head away, hiding her face and Risa felt that she had asked something she should not know. It was not her thing to know what the captain had done and why was Ai like she was now. She should have just shut up and...

“It was during the time her father was murdered.”

Suddenly, the captain spoke again as she walked back to her chair, sitting down once again. Risa followed quietly behind, sitting down as well. She stayed quiet, for she knew there was more to come.

“Ai was very shocked of course, like we all were, but this hurt her the most. She had nothing now and no one was with her. She was so shocked that she tried to forget all this, so she went and drank so much, she didn't even remember her own name.”

The captain kept a pause, Risa waiting patiently for more. Till now everything was something she had heard before from her friends, but she was sure the captain was going to tell something more, something, even her friends didn't know.

“I found her after two weeks, wasted. She reminded me more of a pitiful person without hope, than a brave warrior. I took her to the training area and scolded her for what she had done. Ai didn't listen at all and I yelled at her. I said all kind of horrible things to her, for I was so furious. I was afraid I would lose her, I was angry because she had done something like that and I was angry to myself for I let this all happen. Ai was and is still like an own child to me and the general. She is very important to us, not only as a soldier, but as a person too. We, and especially I, didn't realize then that in truth, Ai was a very sensitive and vulnerable young girl and all my words then, made it all even worse. Finally, I made the biggest mistake and lost my control while ranting at her. I punched her.”

Risa gasped. Had the captain really done something like that? How could she... Then it sank to Risa. All the rude words, punching Eri, the empty gaze in her eyes. Could it be...

“I think you've figured out why she is like she is...”

The captain whispered sadly, till she continued on:

“After that, Ai went and drank even more. She was hurt, deeply hurt and all she had been looking for was someone to divide the pain with her. But all she got was cold words and violent treatment from a person, who she trusted. I heard she even hurt her friend and after that incident, she has been like she is now, rude and cold. I can never forgive this to myself....”

The two women had their heads down, as they both were deep in thoughts. Miki was musing all the mistakes she had done with Ai and Risa was thinking what she had just heard. Could it really be, that Ai was really a whole different person, for she had had wrong kind of treatment in wrong time. Had this really made her change totally? Now that Risa thought about it, if she had been treated like that after her own tragedy, she probably would not be so happy and all l right now.

“You have very same kind of stories...”

The captain continued on, causing Risa to frown. How did she know? And why in the heck did she always bring up the subject she was thinking about?

“I am not saying, that you had it easier than others. You just had more luck, when you got support from Ai's team, LinLin and the king. Ai got nothing of that because of me. They could not help her, for I was there before them, destroying that poor girl who had just lost everything she had and dragging her into darkness.”

Risa remembered the time just after her own tragedy. She had thought about giving up many many times, but somehow she had moved on. That was on her own then, but it was true that without Eri and the others, she would probably be lost in her own self pity right now.

“So don't judge Ai, she has done nothing wrong. If you want to blame someone, the person is right in front of you.”

The captain was now standing in front of Risa, watching the younger one with regret in her eyes. She was in pain, the Risa could see it and that pain would probably never end. There was a silence again, as if Miki was waiting for some kind of judgement for what she had done, Risa being the judge. Finally, Risa raised up too, the captain following carefully her every movement.

“I can't judge you and I think that no one can.”

Risa took few deep breaths before she continued. For some reason, she did not see Miki any worse person, though she had just heard of what she had done and how it had influenced so many persons.

“You didn't it on purpose and you regret this all, as you try to fix it. Though your actions have affected even others, including me, I wont blame you.”

Miki stared deep in Risa's eyes and she felt like she wanted to be swallowed by the ground, for the captain's stare was so powerful. Like she tried to drill holes in Risa, trying to make her take back her words and say that it was all the captain's fault.

“Why would you do that? Don't you want me to pay for what I have done? Is it okay to just let me go, though I have hurt your friends and even you?”

The older woman was now speaking louder, spreading her arms and waving them on her sides as she came closer to Risa. But the younger girl didn't move, she just stood there where she was. Miki didn't scare her, for she could see the sorrow and pain in her eyes even more clear. As the older woman stood in front of her, Risa took a step forward and placed her hand on the warrior's shoulder, surprising the captain and even herself.

“It's true that you have done wrong things and hurt more people than you thought, but you didn't do it on purpose. If you had, I would of course see this in different light, but even then, I would not seek revenge for you.”

The captain listened to the younger girl silently without showing any emotions, but Risa could still see the sorrow in her eyes. No, she could never ever be angry about this thing at her. Of course she felt a bit hurt that something like this affected so many people but it could not be helped anymore. All they could do now, was to try and fix these things.

“All I want now is peace and that we could live in harmony, every one of us. So, Instead of seeking revenge and making sure that you would pay your price for what you have done, I am going to find a way to fix this all.”

Risa smiled at Miki, causing the warrior to gasp. Risa's kind being and gentle look made even the captain feel somehow different. It was like she had been forgiven everything she had done and that all she had to do now, was to fix these things. But thinking about that made he frown again, for it would be easier said than done. Also, Risa probably didn't want to go even near Ai, for she surely had had enough bad experiments from that warrior. Miki was sure, that with others help, Risa would somehow get Ai out of her shelter and be the normal herself again. That had been the main reason why she had told Risa about Ai. Not becaus she wanted someone to judge her of what she had done, but the subject had somehow gotten in there, though it had not been the intention...

“I think this is going to be a hard mission, but I am at least going to try. I just have to change my way of thinking and also think how Ai might feel. But...”

Miki looked again in Risa's eyes, the pain back in there.

“I can't ask you to do anything like this, for I have made enough damage to you and your friends. That's why, I am going to do this myself and....”

For Miki's surprise, Risa just shook her head and patted her shoulder firmly. She looked deep in the captains eyes and smiled a bit at the same time.

“That's the first step to failure, soldiering on alone. Others can help as well, for Ai's team probably knows Ai the best, so they might be a priceless help. Also... Also, I think I can help too...”

Risa muttered the last part quietly, but so that Miki could hear her. She was not very comfortable with this but she could at least try, for she knew now why Ai was like this. She had been wrong when she had thought that it was just the leaders's nature, but she should not have done that. Also, she didn't want to hate anyone and if she wanted peace and harmony, she should be able to cooperate with Ai at least on some level. They didn't need to be the best of friends or even friends at all, but they should somehow be able to live and breath in the same room more than 5 seconds without fighting. She promised herself, she would at least try, for her friends sake.
Now, the captain shook her head in turn, as she placed both her hands on Risa's shoulders.

“You're just too good girl. Never lose that attitude and... Thank you. Lets make this all together. And when Ai acts rude, which she will probably do a lot in the future, just try to be polite and ignore all the rude words. I know it's hard, but that's how it worked out, when Ai was in a bad mood when she was a kid. Maybe, it will help now too. Now I am sorry, but I have to leave. I have to go check that everything is fine outside.”

And with that, the captain turned around and left the room, leaving Risa behind. Risa felt happy, for she was able to help somehow, but she was also very anxious, for she didn't know how she could be polite with Ai, for the woman angered her so easily.

“It just takes some self control and willpower, ne....”

Risa spoke to herself, as she walked back to the window. Just when she settled down, the voice of the captain was heard from the door again.

“Oh, I almost forgot. There's a training tonight at the main hall. If you're interested, be there.”

The now smiling captain said, as she left Risa once again alone. Risa could not help but smile a bit too, for she had a feeling that there had been something good done. And indeed, if she could help Miki get out of her burden about how she had hurt many people by her actions, she would have done something good. Risa sighed a bit, as she leaned her head on her hand and watched outside, where the rain was just about to end. The scene reminded her of the day, when she decided to move on and not to give up. She would do so now as well and she would face all the troubles, never giving up.


Walking down the stairs, the still smiling captain rolled all the things she had just heard in her head. It indeed had been a good thing to tell this to Risa, for now the girl got to know why AI was so rude and all. The captain had not told the younger girl, how she was all the time under their eye and the trainers knew a lot of things and what was going on. When they had noticed what kind of a girl Risa was and how she didn't get scared so much when Ai got angry at her, they had gotten some hope that maybe this would be the key to get Ai back. They knew it would be hard for Risa, but if she and the others would succeed in bringing Ai back everything would be better. Everything big needed always big sacrifices but if they survived this, their lives would be much easier in the future.

Some lower ranking warriors passed Miki and they saluted her, the captain answering and smiling at them a bit. She had hope this thing would work and as Risa had said, all they could do now was to try and fix this situation. It did not help at all, if all they did was to cry their pasts and not to anything for things. They should act now and do this together.

'If this works out, I think I may even be able to forgive myself someday....'


Yah, more about Ai XD

Okay, this chapter just turned out to be quite confusing (or at least it was when I reread it), so again, should you have any questions about things, ask XD I am so sure i made something contradictions in this one...

Anyways, thank you for your interest and comments again! I hope you enjoyed this chapter and see you all next time~  :cow:

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

Offline kuro808

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Re: Re: The mask of soul//chapter 12/ 9/02
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2013, 06:49:42 PM »
Ai's past can lead into a lot of trouble although I find that Risa can do one of two things accept the situation or spar against Ai to gain respect

The latter seems unreasonable without the training but I think she bound to do the training with or without ai's permission

Posted by PWO fail master

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Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 12/ 9/02
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2013, 12:37:07 AM »
Finally, the turn around. The point where Risa decides to be nice and now love can grow! But I have a feeling it will be harder to put into practice...

Offline darkacex99

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 12/ 9/02
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2013, 08:04:08 AM »
heyyy yoooo!!! u have gotten urself another reader on your hands :peace: omg this whole story is juss sooo awesome XD

its gunna b interestin to see how risa's gunna try melt ai's stank attitude :cathappy:

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: The mask of soul//chapter 13/ 11/02
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2013, 02:53:02 PM »
Kurosawa87:  :shocked omg, have you gotten into my computer and read my files?? XD I can't answer all or I'll reveal too mcuh  :lol: Damn you mind readers.....XD

rndmnweird: Though I am a very bad sucker for romance and so on, I am also evil (to myself too.........) and wont let the love grow too fast  :twisted: muahahah!! There's still a lot go before that, but hey we have our ahocombi who are spreading their love~ XD

darkacex99: heyyy yooooo to yourself and welcome!!!!  :welcome And thank you so much for your comment!! Its always nice to hear that the story you're writing is interesting etc. Hopefully it will be that in the future too~

Because nothing happens here and I am slowly starting to transform into a plant which irrigates itself (lol, this is something one of my boss said once... XD), I decided to write more of this story~ Thank you again everyone for your interest and comments. They make me very happy~

The next chapter, here we go~

Chapter 13 – Don't fall for her, for she can never accept your feelings

It took two more weeks, before the troops were back in the Castle. They all had dirty and bloody equipment and everyone was tired, but somehow there was a relief in their eyes as they were able to be back at home. A battle like this had taken many soldiers, which some warriors were ordered to inform to the fallen one's families. Sorrow was everywhere but there was also joy, when the ones who returned home met their families after a long separation. Risa was also searching for her friends in the group of warriors and when she finally saw them she could not help but feel extremely happy and start to run, so she could get to them faster. She had waited for them and every night she was afraid that her friends would not return back safely. But they had and Risa was very happy and thankful of that.


Risa yelled, as she saw the little sunshine land from her horse. Eri spun around and a smile lit on her tired face as she saw who was running towards her.


Though she was tired, she had still that happy spirit of hers in her voice, as she embraced the other girl when she ran into her arms. Risa hugged her friend tightly, as if she was afraid she would disappear, if she didn't do so. When Risa pulled away, she could also see Sayu and Reina, who had came closer when they had noticed Risa.

“Sayu! Reina!”

Risa went and hugged them both at the same time. Sayu just laughed but Reina yelped in pain, which caused Risa to pull away immediately.

“Oh my gosh, I am sorry!! Are you hurt?”

Risa asked concerned, as she saw the warrior clutch her left shoulder. Reina just waived her hand and tried to smile somehow, failing miserably.

“No, no, it's just a... Ouch... A scratch.”

“A scratch? You were hit in your shoulder by a sword and you say it's just a scratch! You go to the nurse immediately and that's an order!”

Suddenly, the sub leader roared as she watched her childhood friend with a firm look. Reina in turn had a shocked expression on her face, as she stared her sub leader in awe.

"Eri... You...”

“No buts! You go now! Risa, could you please make sure, that this damn stubborn and reckless brat goes to the nurse.”

For the team's surprise, Risa snapped an attention and greeted them like a soldier, placing her right hand against her temple.

“Yes, sir!”

Eri frowned a bit, but soon, she was chuckling with her other teammates.

“I think you have spent a bit too much time with us, for you act like a soldier....”

“But I am a soldier.”

This caused all the chuckling to cease and now, all the three warriors, where watching Risa in awe. What was she talking about? Risa just smiled broadly as she tucked her coat's collar a bit.

“Didn't you notice my clothes?”

She was wearing very same kind of clothes, as The Team Alfa wore when they didn't have their armor on, but Risa's clothes were deep brown, which gave out her student position.

“You're.... You're a student?” Sayu was the first one to speak, as Eri and Reina were still watching her with wide eyes. Risa nodded her head and suddenly, found Eri embracing her very eagerly, causing the bean to gasp in surprise as she tried to stay on her feet.

“You are a soldier!!! Or well, a student, but you will become one of us!! That's just so great!”

Risa laughed at her eager friend and patted her back gently.

“Yeah, I passed the first test, but they are still watching after me. I can till fail and not become a soldier, but I am doing my very best not to fail.”

“Oh, you wont fail. If this aho combi couple has passed this, then you've no reason to worry.”


Both Sayu and Eri yelled at the same time, but they regained from hitting their friend, for she was wounded so they both just instead glared at her which caused Reina to laugh in victory.

“Hey, I got a cure to all that hitting!”

Risa chuckled at her friends and was happy that things seemed to be like they usually were. They were joking and celebrating, like they had always done on their free time. It had been a hard 4 weeks for these girls and Risa bet their mind was all full of war and stuff, so she was very happy that they could turn it back to normal so quickly.
Risa walked to Reina and hooked her arm in hers, minding her injury, and started to walk towards the nurse's place.

“Oh, we will remember all this, after you have gotten you arm treated."

“Mmm, well I don't mind if it's you who will remember that~”

Reina teased, gaining a glare from Risa as well, but soon, her face turned into a mischievous grin.

“Oh, I am sure that, that LinLin has that nice disinfectant, which stings a lot....”

Reina's face dropped immediately, after she heard her friends words and suddenly she was not so willing to go to meet the nurse.

“You would not... Please, ask her to use the one, which doesn't sting at all...”

“But then it wont be so effective and your wound might get worse! Yup, it definitely must be the one that stings!”

Reina made a face, as she was dragged by Risa towards the nurse's place. Eri chuckled, as she watched after those two with Sayu.

“She has gotten very close with Risa, hasn't she?”

Sayu nodded smiling, as she put her arm around Eri's shoulder, but didn't say a word.

“Maybe, the could be a couple in the future... Little bit like us.”

Eri said, as she leaned her head on Sayu's shoulder, the other girl nodding once again. What Eri could not see was the small frown on Sayu's face, as she watched after Reina and Risa. She glanced Eri without turning her head, before she turned her gaze back to one of the warrior's back, who were walking away from them.

'I hope she wont fall for her, for she can't accept her feelings...'


A white horse was stopped in front of the stables, as a young warrior hopped down from the saddle. She took of her helmet and whipped some sweat of, patting the horse beside her a bit. Ai gave the animal something to drink and sat down on a nearby fence. She had not gotten a proper rest in days, the dark circles under her eyes proving it.

'Heck, I haven't slept well in years...'

There was some laughing sounds heard nearby and when the group leader raised her head up, she could see one of her warriors walking with that newcomer... What was her name again? Risa? The leader raised an eyebrow, as she noticed the other girl's costume. She was a student now? So she was accepted in the training?

Ai wanted to snort, but for some reason she could not make herself do that. She just sat there and stared as the two women kept on walking and laughing, like some best friends. Ai's head fell again, as the warrior stared at her own hands, which had some drained blood on there. A memory flashed in her mind, which caused her immediately to close her eyes and shake her head violently.

The head raised again, watching the two friends in distance but this time, there was an empty gaze in Ai's eyes. The same painful gaze, she had had when Miki had scolded her. The same gaze which she had had that night.

'In the end, they will all betray you....'


“Forward! Back away! Move to side! Attack!”

All kind of commands flew in the training area, as the warriors were once again practicing. The Team Alfa was not the only one training here today, for the general had wanted to take also some “normal men” in the training, so everyone could get good practice combats. Risa was also with them, for it was easier to take her at the same time with the others, than train her alone. Also, she would get very good practice too, if she would combat with warriors, who were better than her. It sounded funny, but it really made a person develop, when you got to give all you had and even more, so you could even dodge one single attack.


Risa felt, how she hit the ground face first, as she got her foot tangled in something and she lost her balance.

“Are you hurt?”

Eri was immediately by her side, helping her up. The whole team, not including Ai, had made it clear to Risa that they would help her to become a warrior and that they were there for her, whenever she needed help.

“Stop. A break.”

The captain ordered, as she went to talk with the general about some things. Eri helped Risa up, who was soon surrounded by her friends.

“You okay?”

Reina asked a bit concerned, which cause Risa to just roll her eyes now.

“Thank you for your concern guys, but I am really okay. I just fell, nothing serious."

“Well you never know. Once, a soldier fell during a practice and in some magical way, got the sword hilt in her eye....”

Sayu said, as she turned her gaze towards Reina, who just spread her arms to side and looked hurt as she defended herself.

“Hey! It could have happened to anybody! You know, that's probably quite normal to happen...”

“Mmm... How did you do that?”

Risa asked a bit confused as Sayu and Eri just giggled. Reina frowned at the interruption and didn't say a word, just turned around and made a face.

“You wont laugh when that happens to you...."

“Oh, no worries, that wont happen.”

“Okay, the break is over! We will start the duels!”

This was a sign for Risa to move a side, for she had not taken any duels yet. Miki had promised, she would teach her immediately when they got good time for that. Just when all the warriors, expect Risa, had circled around their trainers, Goto walked to her, causing the younger girl to snap into attention.


“At ease. You'll take part in this too.”

Risa was silent for a while, as she examined the general and then the group behind her, who were all listening to Miki now.

“General, I haven't taken any duels yet and...”

“Well you must start from somewhere. Come, you'll learn this only by doing this.”

And with that the general turned around, the younger girl following her. What on earth was she supposed to do now? She had never had a duel, only seen some, but that was not the same thing! These guys had also some experience from the field, so they would beat her in ten seconds! This was not good...


Goto called, as the sub leader turned towards her in attention.

“You'll be paired with Niigaki. Go with Miki.”

Eri had quite surprised look as well, for she thought that her friend would not take part in this. But soon, the turtle had a very happy smile on her face, as she walked to her friend.

“Our little student has become a warrior.”

Eri laughed, as she put her arm around Risa and walked with her after their captain, who had by now given the lead to the general.

“Well I am still a student...”

“No you're not.”

Risa watched Eri surprised, as the turtle explained.

“This is your first duel and that means, they will take your training go one level up. After you have had some practice duels, you're a soldier. That just how it goes, so congrats.”

And with that, Eri patted her friends shoulder and went to Miki, who was taking some wooden swords from a closet. But just when she was giving one to Eri, A metal a metal ones where put in her hands. Or well, not metal ones but the swords Risa had seen Reina and Sayu use when they had had a duel.

“Take these and give them the magic covers.”

Now, even the captain was surprised. She had agreed with the wooden swords, for she tought that Risa could really be an useful and able soldier, but using these ones...

“Are you sure?”

The captain asked the general, who slowly turned to face Risa. She had no idea what they were talking about, but if she could infer from Eri's reaction, this was something a bit more serious, for the sub leader wasn't smiling anymore.

“You do understand what soldiers do and what we are expecting from you, as we give you a tittle, soldier?”

There was a silence, as the whole training area was now listening to the general. Even Ai had paused her actions and was now following Risa's movements. Not that she was interested, but she had nothing else to do now, for everything was frozen because of that snotnose. What was so special in her anyway? She was just becoming a soldier, nothing else. Just another man to die on the field.

Risa didn't quite catch the generals words at first, but then she somehow fell back on the earth and faced the older woman, nodding her head firmly. She wasn't very sure in truth what she was asked to, but she just nodded her head so they would get forward in this thing.

“I do, General.”

Goto watched her in silence for a long while and Risa was sure, she had said something wrong or that her unsure thoughts were revealed, but was surprised even more, when the general threw her a sword. It landed with a thud in Risa's feet, while the other one was given to Eri.

“Then, let's see if you're worth of your words.”

Before Goto did anything else, she put her hands, palms upwards and fingers open in front of her and seemed very concentrated. In seconds, there were two red light's on her hands. She released one and then the other, both lights landing on Eri and Risa. The impact felt nothing and Risa didn't have any different feelings than seconds ago. What was this?


Suddenly, there was the sharp command of the general and immediately, Eri struck forwards, wielding her sword and trying to hit Risa. Instinctively, Risa tried to raise her sword but lord, how heavy it was! When Eri go closer, and the sword hadn't moved an inch yet, Risa did the second best conclusion; dodge. She crouched down, keeping her hands on the sword and somehow dragging it with her. Eri's attack flew over and she missed, but immediately, when her foot hit the ground, the turtle spun around in unnatural speed and Risa was under fire again. This time, she had no time to get away, for she had just ended her own dodge and was prepared for nothing. She raised her hands up, crossing them in front of her face, when Eri's sword hit her. Risa felt like something had scratched her hands and jumped back in surprise, but she got even bigger surprise, when she saw two hands on the ground, cut from the wrist.


Suddenly, she remembered how Sayu's and Reina's duel and how all the wounds and blood had seem so real, but there really was no damage. When she looked her own hands, Risa could see how they were cut, but there was still the feeling, like she had both of her limbs. After few seconds, the missing hands came back into view, the ones on the ground disappearing.

“Stop there.”

Goto ordered and walked beside Risa. Eri stopped her actions, took few steps backwards and got on one knee, waiting for more orders. The general lifted the sword she had given to Risa with one arm and handed it to the younger girl. Immediately, the younger one took the sword, which dropped to the ground, Risa following behind. But she didn't give in and only dropped on her knees. Then, she got up very fast, trying to lift the sword. The weapon raised somehow, but Risa's hands were shaking and her position felt unsteady.


Again, Eri was on the move and Risa was on her attack line. Risa dodged at first and Eri did the same as a few seconds ago, attacking her friend again. But this time, Risa had made a smaller dodge and was now more balanced than before. Though she had the heavy sword in her hands, she somehow managed to move out of the way and keep the weapon ready. When Eri attacked again, Risa but the sword in the attack's way blocking it, but the next one was too fast and she could not even think about moving the sword. From the head level, Eri sifted quickly to the stomach level, slicing Risa's stomach open. Again, there was very unpleasant scene as Risa's stomach was bleeding badly. But in few seconds all was back like it had been and all the blood was gone. This "attack and dodge battle" continued on and every time, Risa got one more block or dodge. She was tired, but somehow, she got energy from somewhere and she was able to do better and better each time. Finally, after the tenth round, she was so tired she could barely stand, while Eri just started to sweat.

“Okay, that's enough.”

Goto boomed again and walked beside the tired girl. Meanwhile, Miki had taken the others and was dueling with them, so this whole training would not only be watching how Eri and Risa fought. The time they had had to be used effectively.

The general reached the panting soldier, taking the sword from her. Risa tried to get up, but she was so tired that all she could do, was to be on her knees. Her vision was blur and all she wanted to do was rest. She was thirsty, hungry and exhausted, but somehow she managed to see what the general was doing in front of her. She saw something raise in front of her and then suddenly fell towards her. Some flashbacks came back into her mind and Risa automatically closed her eyes, but the hit never came like it didn't the last time. When she opened her eyes, Risa could see how Goto had placed the sword's blade on her shoulder.

“You've still a lot to learn...”

The general said sternly, which caused Risa to sigh in defeat. Had she done so badly? She was not accepted as a soldier, for she had been so bad against Eri and now...

“But so do we all.”

The blade was taken away from her shoulder and the sword was handed back to Risa, who in turn was watching the general with shocked expression. What did she mean?

“Welcome to the group soldier. Remember your mission and always give all you have, but never give up.”

The sword was still in the general's hands, till Risa slowly grabbed the hilt, lifting the sword which felt surprisingly light now. After that, the general nodded to her and left for the other troops. Risa stayed on her knees, stunned as she examined the sword. It looked real and all, but this was this weird material which hurt but would not cause a wound when it was used in the duels.

“Great job there Risa!”

Suddnely her friends voice came from beside her and Risa whipped her head around to see her friend smiling at her.

“You're now a soldier! This is so great, congrats! Or well... I am not sure if it's okay to congratulate for you just got an access to the battlefield....”

Eri said scratching her head a bit, but Risa just smiled. Maybe it was indeed a bit ironic that with a lot of practicing and suffering, she only managed to get a ticket to hell. But this was what she had chosen and she would travel this road till the very end.

'I'll do my best, so I can reach the peace. Even if it takes my own life, I am ready for this.'

Risa tought, as she examined the sword in her hands. She lifted it and watched the blade, when something caught her eyes. She could see Ai's reflection on the sword, watching her with that dark gaze of hers. Risa just watched back, till she lowered the sword down, Ai's face disappearing from it, but not from her mind.


After the training, everyone had taken care of their equipment and themselves, leaving the training area empty and quiet, except one person was lurking around. Risa had stayed behind, for she had so many things in her mind and she didn't want to leave quite yet. The training area was a place, where she could surely be alone and have room for her thoughts now. She had become a soldier today and she was supposed to be ready to battle, if needed. Of course, she needed a lot more training than this but in theory, if she was needed, higher ups had all the rights to send her on the battlefield. The thought on one hand scared her but on the other, it also made her a bit exited. She could finally fight for her dream and for peace, though her stakes were not very high, she would at least do something more useful than hope for better days.

Everything would feel so easy now, but Risa was sure that she was going to face all kind of trouble when she would see what kind of a place the battlefield was in truth. But she was ready for that, she could face the troubles like she had done some months ago.


Risa whispered to herself as she got up. She took the sword, now light as a feather and was about to leave the training area. It was still a bit mystery, how the weapon got lighter than it had been in the beginning. Maybe it was some kind of magic thing again....
Looking out, Risa noticed that it had become quite late and that she should hurry, or she would worry her nurse friend again. Just when she was about to leave, the training's rooms door was opened and someone came inside. Whipping around, Risa noticed the person at the door, but could not recognize her, for it was too dark. But soon, the person revealed herself by talking with that oh, so familiar curt and cold tone.

“What are you doing here?”

Risa just stayed silent for a while, because she wanted to say something she should not to say. Summoning all hell willpower and calmness she had, Risa tried to recall Miki's advice and solve this without losing her cool. She could do this, she could do this...

“I was just spending my time here and I was just....”

“Get out of here.”

Risa frowned, but kept her cool as she walked closer to the door, the other warrior still standing still.

“Yes, I was just about to leave. Could you please move aside?”

There was a silence as the two women looked at each others, Ai with a frown and Risa with restless expression. She could survive this well, if the group leader could just act nice and keep her mouth shut. Ai moved and Risa quickly exited the room, but just when she stepped over the threshold, the cold voice was heard again.

“And stay away. You're not a soldier.”

Risa stopped and bit her lip, for she wanted to yell so badlly to the leader. But she could keep her cool and not give up. She could do this.

“I am a soldier now, as you might have noticed earlier today, so I have all the rights to come here and practice.”

A snort was heard and Risa could feel Ai's freezing stare on her back.

“No, you're not one of us. You're just a sissy outsider, who has survived with a luck. Get out, this is not your pla....”

“it is as much as it it's yours.”

Risa got irritated again and ended up interrupting the leader, though she knew it was never a good thing. Interrupting others usually just made them even more angry than they were earlier. Risa tried to calm herself down again, for she didn't want to ruin this. She turned a bit to face Ai, who was still glaring at her.


Risa gulped a bit, as she tried to talk in a polite way. Damn, this was so hard when Ai was the one she was talking to for all she wanted to say to this warrior was some insults.

“Could you please talk in a bit more polite way to others. It's not nice when you just yell and snap all the time."

Now, the leader had a very confused expression on her face, as she was staring the other woman. What the hell was going on?

“I bet it feels nicer for you to..”

“You know nothing about me and about my feelings, so stop advising me and get out, now!”

Suddenly Ai snapped and took few steps towards Risa, causing the younger one to turn around and take few steps backwards. Now, the leader got a furious expression and Risa was sure she was sending arrows through her eyes. But there was also something else in those brown eyes. Behind all that rage and hatred, Risa could also see pain. She wasn't any kind of mind reader or she could not see in people's souls, but this woman had all those things written and hidden behind her eyes. Risa wasn't sure, had the others seen this in their leader, but somehow she could see it.

As the two stared at each others, Risa somehow calmed down and she was not as irritated as she was some minutes ago. Actually, she felt very calm now and it scared her a little bit. She really didn't like Ai and always got very angry when she was around her, but now, she was like there was a possibility she could talk to this woman without acting that she was nice and polite.
Ai was still staring at her like she wanted to kill Risa, but for some reason, the leader did nothing else. As if she was waiting for something to happen, ready to snap some more and dissolve her anger to someone.
What happened next, surprised both women; Risa nodded her head a bit and took few steps backwards and then stopped. She was still looking into the warrior's eyes, not showing any kind of fear or submission, but she wasn't arrogant either. She watched the leader as equal.

“If you want to, I'll go. I was just about to leave myself. But next time...”

Risa turned around and walked to the outdoor, Ai following her with her eyes, now a frown decorating her face. What the heck just happened? There must be something else to come than just polite words, there just had to be....

“Next time, I would really appreciate, as would your friends too, if you were a bit more polite towards others. See you around and good night.”

And with that, Risa went out of the door, leaving the now stunned leader in the training area. Ai stared the door for a long while as the words she had just heard spun around in her mind.

'Appreciate.... More polite.... Your friends....'

Suddenly, some images flashed through her mind again and Ai almost fell to her knees. She gripped her head with both hands and shook it violently, as she tried to get those pictures out of her mind. No one would appreciate her more, no one had never done that. People didn't deserve to be treated politely, they deserved to be treated like Ai had treated her friends.

A strange feeling made the leader suddenly freeze and open her eyes as she turned her gaze to the ground
below her. The funny feeling continued and soon the leader could feel how something traveled down her cheek and when she looked down, there were small moist spots on the ground.
This time, the leader just gritted her teeth and hit the wall beside her, leaving a small scratch on it. Ai turned around and briskly walked to the training area, where some weapons and training equipment were kept. In no time, the leader was furiously beating one of the practice targets with a wooden sword, dissolving all her pain into that. Being polite would not solve anything. It was for weak one's and Ai was strong. She had no friends, for they just ended up betraying her in the end. She didn't need anyone's help or advice, she would do better on her own.

The leader kept on beating the target, not noticing how the tears didn't stop at all. They just kept on falling down as the pain inside her heart got stronger and stronger after every hit she did.


There you go~ Maybe you got something to think about after this one.  :lol:

Hope you enjoyed!!

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

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