Copyright 2021 by Kat Thomas
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Canva Kat Thomas
Book design by Kat Thomas
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Due to many thefts of online work This copyright notice will be there on every online posting from now on. I will also say I will take action on any person or company who posts my work without permission.
A group of four people stood in front of the stone monument that they had heard of their entire lives and the fairy tale their grandmother had told them of traveling through time to spend six months living the past before returning to her time and having their mothers. This was their last connection to her as they had traveled to Japan to do her final wishes and place flowers at the site. The set of siblings and the remaining cousins sat there and looked at the site as they had left their offering to honor her wishes. Only the set of siblings had really known the woman as she had always favored them to the remaining cousins except for the two younger still at home with their parents who she had adored. The two outsiders cousins went along to end the past once and for all. Three decided to turn down the street leaving the one lone female there as she had turned down going to see the nightlife.
She didn’t know her grandmother nearly at all. She had not been raised within the family as the others had. She remembered the few times she had spent, a few hours every few years during the summer, with her grandmother and the ridiculous stories of Japan and time travel. She knew even then they weren’t possible and the fact she had been telling them as truths drove her mother insane. It was comical to watch her mother explode every time her grandmother had started. They were both gone now, and
she was standing in front of the monument that caused so much strife between them. She didn’t know why she just couldn’t leave just yet. When a storm blew in from nowhere. Rain began pelting her hard and then she heard a massive crack as she watched the stone break from a lightning strike and then she couldn’t see anything. It was hazy but dark. She seemed weightless and then she was falling.
She landed hard on the ground in the dirt. “What in the bloody hell?“, She asked her self when she stood up, and six men were standing before her. They stood wide-eyed looking at her, and she stared black faced at them. She knew them. Their portraits were hanging in her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother, an artist, had done them years before. All six men hesitated, but they were beyond curious about her. One slowly walked up to her and touched her face,” Ruth?“, He asked questioningly. Everything she knew that was a lie was real at that moment.
“I am not Ruth.“, she said ,“I am her granddaughter.”
They all looked in shock. She had been told she favored Ruth when she was younger she, however, didn’t see it. “Her granddaughter?“, he asked.
“Yes. She told us all about you and stories from here.“, she wasn’t going to say no one believed her.
The one who spoke first shook his head. “Granddaughter? I can’t believe that she just left.”
“She just left? Like right now?“, she asked.
“Yes. Not more than ten minutes ago then you show up.“, one of the smaller men said.
“It’s been nearly seventy years since she came back.“, she said.
“Seventy years?“, they all spoke in unison.
“Yes. Seventy years. She had a decent life. She had four daughters. Each had kids of their own. Some of them even have kids.”
“Why did you say had?“, a man in the back with white hair and yellow gold eyes asked.
“I hate to be the one to say it; she died two weeks ago in my time.“, she said calmly. “Her last wishes were for my cousins and me to bring flowers to the honni-ji monument for her. We had just done that when my cousins had taken off to go party when this happened.”
“She’s gone?“, another man with an eye patch said. “How? She was just here!” He pulled his sword and pointed it at her.
The man in the middle who had the most prominent presence of them all calmly told him to put down his sword. He looked her over carefully, “Yes while you do look like her you are clearly not. You speak differently too. We all cared greatly for her and will honor her as well. You can take her place in the castle for the time being as you will also return to the future at some point.”
“Place in the castle? What exactly did she do there?”
“Nothing much. I gave her the title of Princess of Azchui and will grant you use of it as well since you are her line of that I had no doubt. Do you know who we are?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Good. Now we should be off, do you know how to ride?”
“Yes, I do.” That shocked them, and she smiled, “Ruth made sure we all had lessons. It was part of her thing. That and arguments with her daughters.”
They rounded a group of horses when Nobunaga told one of the vassals waiting to hand over the extra horse. The vassal for his part hadn’t seen her until one of the men went to pick her up, but she sidestepped and hopped on a tree and was on the horse with no help. Again all six men just stared. The vassal cleared his throat and asked softly, “What happened to the Princess?”
“Different Princess.“, was the response he got.
She felt like she was a germ under a microscope. She could feel the looks she was receiving on her back, sideways, she wanted to scream. She didn’t. She sat there waiting for them to move. When they did she followed. It had been a while since she had ridden a horse however it was like second nature, she just remembered. Ruth had made all her grandchildren take lessons. It was the only gift she could remember receiving from Ruth. She wondered if somehow Ruth had known this would happen upon her death, that one or more of her grandchildren would be sent back in time. Her last request was odd she had thought at the time now it was even worse than weird. “Why me?“, she asked herself. “I was the most distant of all them.”
“What did you say?”, The one who had not taken his eyes off her since she landed and he was the one who had a different light in his brown eyes when he looked at her.
“Nothing.“, she replied, “I was just talking to myself.”
“She did that often as well.“, he said.
“She did? Hmmm must be a family trait.“, she laughed it off.
“You speak as if you didn’t know her well.“, He said puzzled.
“I didn’t. She and my mother did not get along. I only saw her a handful of times every few years.”
“I can not believe that she would do that.“, He said shaking his head. He started to tap his finger on the reins of his horse absentmindedly. She stared at the movement. She shook her head. It couldn’t be. Her eyes flew to his face. She studied him. She had a half-scowl on his face and a look of disappointment that was buried deep in his eyes. It was a look she knew well. She studied his features. She again looked into his eyes.
“What Princess?“, he asked.
“Did you and Ruth become something more?“, she was always straightforward.
The question not only took him by surprise but all of them. The horses stopped in front of her. All eyes went to him.
“I don’t see how my relationship with Ruth is relevant.“, he shrugged off the question.
“It is very relevant.“, she replied.
“If she didn’t say anything in seventy years to anyone why would I?”
As he looked at the girl, who was staring intently back. He saw something flicker in her eyes. A memory perhaps? He looked again, and there was so much of Ruth in her face it hurt him to watch but he could also see more. He saw it. She saw it too.
“I don’t think we should discuss this now.”
Nobunaga looked at the two, and he studied the girl as well. His eyes lit up as he saw the look of indignation she had. She was even more of a fireball then her grandmother. He noticed a small bit of other familiar traits and his eyes flew open. “Hideyoshi, I think you should answer her, here. Where it is just us instead of the castle.”
“I loved Ruth.“, he replied matter of factly. “I didn’t want her to leave. I would have married her.”
“If you had I would not have been here.“, She said. His eyes flew up to look at her. It was a fact. She wouldn’t have been there if Ruth had stayed. “Only one of my parents would have been born here.”
They all looked back and forth between her and Hideyoshi. Who for his part was confused by her statement? She looked at him. “Ruth was pregnant when she went back. She had a daughter a few months later.”
“She threw my mother away because when she was born, she had blue eyes, it wasn’t till later her eyes turned brown. That was the beginning of the fight they had. If my mother knew she wasn’t the man’s child Ruth had claimed she never said. However meeting you now I can see it.”
“I don’t follow, I am sorry.” He was looking around at his friends. He really was confused. A light was dawning in a few eyes as they looked at the pair.
“Hideyoshi look at her. Really look at her.“, Nobunaga spoke.
“It’s okay. I’ll just tell you. I am sure I am your granddaughter.”
“You sired my mother with her. She never told you. Congratulations you had a daughter. You also have four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Of course without saying all are also 500 years in the future.”
He looked as if he was going to fall off his horse. They all decided to get back to the castle. No one spoke for the duration of the ride.