“Vividus, I hereby grant you permission to leave for an indefinite period of time,” said the Clan’s Chieftain. Giving the woman a warm smile through his mustache and beard.
At that moment, everyone’s expression widens in shock. While others gasped in shock, others screamed at the Chieftain, saying his permission was too much.
She couldn’t help but stare in shock at the Chieftain as he told her the news. She cared nothing about what the other villagers said; she was content knowing she is the first villager to ever leave for such a long time.
As the Chieftain’s words overwhelmed her, tears swelled up, streaming down her cheeks as she was overwhelmed.
Since she heard about the outside world and its wonders, she always tried her best to convince the Chieftain to let her go. But he never agreed to it; instead, they got into arguments. The old man told her there was no point in leaving, the world was a horrible place, or she belonged here as a teacher to the young. When she threatened to leave, the chief warned that if she did so without taking the test, the family she leaves behind would be punished.
When Vividus discussed her desire to explore the world, her own people doubted her abilities. They looked at her with disapproval, laughed, or simply ignored her. She knows that stepping out of the forest is the greatest sin. Which is why she was a laughing stock in her village.
Despite their harsh words towards the young woman. She acknowledges that her people are afraid to step out due to discrimination and prejudice. She does not blame them for that.
As a result, Vividus is now even more passionate about reaching her goals. She no longer wants to live in fear like the rest of the villagers. She desires to discover the outside world and its wonders. She wants to grow into a better person.
Vividus trained hard every day to prove to the Chieftain and the people of the Kurta clan that she can handle herself in the outside world. The only people who supported her choices were her parents, Kurapika, and her little brother’s friend, Pairo.
As her mother always told her: “Hard work always pays off”.
The time for taking the exam finally came, and Vividus passed it with flying colours. She was so proud of herself and proved her skeptics wrong.
“Onee-chan!” A voice called as she felt a small body tackle her into the ground.
As Vividus groaned, she looked up to see a pair of grey eyes gazing at her. “Kurapika!” she exclaimed, sitting herself up and hugging her little brother, planting kisses all over his face as the little boy pouted.
The boy, embarrassed by her affection, cried out “No, stop it! You are embarrassing me!
“Aw, don’t be that way,” Vividus purred, still hugging the poor boy.
The young woman glanced behind her to see a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see a familiar pair of hazel-grey eyes and blonde hair. It was her mother, the woman who helped her through everything that she had endured.
The encouragement she received from her mom pushed her to work hard as she does now. Her mother would say to her constantly;
“I want Vividus to blow up this village’s traditions!”
Never once did her mother doubt her abilities. She was always there for her always. Vividus couldn’t ask for a better mother like her.
“I’m so proud of you,” She said proudly as tears streamed down her cheeks as she embraced her daughter.
“Thank you, Mom,” Vividus replied, smiling broadly.
Finally, after tormenting poor little Kurapika with love, she lifted herself off the ground and dusted off her dirt. She bowed toward the Clan’s Chief and thanked him for giving her the blessing to pass the test and venture out into the outside world.
“Thank you so much for blessing me. I promise to make you all proud.” Vividus said, standing up after bowing.
The Chieftain laughed wholeheartedly. “You know, it’s not too late to become a teacher for the little rascals. I believe you can train them to become great fighters, just as yourself!”
Vividus put a soft hand on her little brother’s head and chuckled softly. “I know, Oji-san. But with all respect, you know very well why I can’t do that.”
The old man sighed as he stared at the platinum-blonde. As he noticed the woman, he knew that this is what she wanted. He knows that since the argument, Vividus has worked every day to get to this point. Even though he wanted her to stay in the village, he knows she’s made up her mind. Nothing is holding her back at this point.
He wished to respect that.
“I suppose there is no way to persuade you, hm?” The Chieftain said, finally accepting her answer one last time. He turned his body to the rest of the villagers.
“Now, folks! I hear we have to throw a celebration for Vividus tonight! Let’s give her a feast one last time before she takes her to leave, Kurta style!”
As everyone cheered and scattered to finish preparing the feast, Vividus paused for a moment with her family. Holding Kurapika’s hand, she held her mother’s in the other as they walked back to their home.
Up in Vividus’s room, she began packing the items she needed for her adventure. As she packed her stuff, her little brother stood at the edge of her bed: his arms wrapped around her pillow as his eyes watch his big sister jump all over to make sure she had everything.
“Onee-chan,” Kurapika said, tilting his head to the side, “when you leave, what will be your first destination?”
Stopping in her tracks, she placed her hand under her chin and considered. “Hmmm, I’m not sure.” She replied honestly, “I heard if I want to find good work the Republic of Padokea may have something for me.”
Kurapika’s eyes glowed with excitement, “Wow, that’s amazing! Isn’t that where Heavens Arena is?”
“Heavens... arena?” Vividus asked slowly, making Kurapika sweat droplets form on his forehead.
“Yes! I overheard Dad and the others were talking about it. It’s a tower that has over two-hundred plus floors. The higher you go, the more powerful you become! You also earn a lot of money! I heard once you become a floor master, you’re set for life!”
The word money suddenly rang in her ears. “Maybe, I should compete there instead.”
Kurapika pouted and threw the pillow at Vividus, causing her to catch it. “No way! You could get killed!”
The older sister laughed softly as she threw the pillow at her little brother. “Come on, Kura-chan! Maybe I’ll become this awesome floor master, and we’d be set for life!”
Vividus ended up laughing as the brother pouted. Then out of the blue, the older sister felt her ear being pulled, causing her to yell in pain.
“You better not compete over there. If I find out you participate in such things, I will drag you back to the village myself!” exclaimed their mother, her angry aura emanating into the air.
“I-I was kidding, Mom!” Vividus exclaimed, still in pain as her mother continued to tug on her ear. “Ow ow ow ow ow!”
The mother tugs on the ear until Vividus begs her to stop. Finally, she lets go, causing Vividus to sit on the ground while holding onto her ear.
The mother rolled her eyes while ruffling her daughter’s hair. “Mhmm, right.” She started, “When you finish packing, I want you to come over to the living room. We want to give you something before we head over to the feast tonight.”
With that, Vividus’s ears no longer hurt as she stared at the door her mother left. She looked over at Kurapika, who was still sitting at the edge of the bed. Satisfied with how she handled things just now.
Kurapika said, “Well deserved.”
Vividus sticks out her tongue at the boy, “Yeah, yeah, love you too, little brother.”
Kurapika responded by sticking his tongue out and jumping off her bed, leaving her alone in her room while she finished packing her stuff. Looking down, she noticed her backpack containing everything she needed and her two wooden swords with bandages wrapped at the top with strong thread holding them both together.
As she completed her packing, Vividus made her way to the living room. When she arrived downstairs, she saw her parents and Kurapika standing over the table. Vividus looked at her family, confused, and then looked down to see a box with a bow.
“What is this?” asked the daughter, pointing toward the box.
“Open it!” Her father exclaimed, “This is a gift. We won’t be seeing you for a long time, so we wanted to make sure you leave here with style.”
Vividus couldn’t help but chuckle. She brought the box closer to her and opened the lid. Her eyes widened in shock and she was surprised with the contents inside the box.
Reaching for a red jacket in the box, she lifts it, and as she turned it over a crescent moon appeared with swirls around it. At first people thought it an odd pattern, but only the Kurta Clan would recognize the style.
“I-it’s beautiful...” Vividus said, trailing her fingers over the designs. “But it’s not as traditional as the garbs or the tabard. Did you make it?”
She could see her mother nod her head, placing her head on her chest.
“Of course I made it! I knew you weren’t interested in wearing traditional clothing. I did research on current styles in the outside world and put together this jacket for you. I added designs that represented our Clan. However, it was your father and brother who came up with the design on the back of the jacket.” She turned to the two men and saw them nod in agreement.
Vividus held the jacket close to her. Feeling tears forming again, Vividus caught her family by surprise by crying for the second time today. “Thank you, guys...I love you all so much!”
After that, the three members embraced Vividus and let her cry into their arms. As she wails, she knows that the most challenging part of leaving his village is not seeing her family’s faces. She loves them so much that she will do anything to protect them.
The woman knows that she can stay here in the village and become a teacher. She knows that she will have the option to just live with her family and people. However, Vividus knows this is something she needs to do, as she wishes to explore the world, to make her mark.
At the same time, Vividus wanted to develop herself, so leaving the village was the best choice for her to discover herself.
“I’ll make you all proud,” she promised.
As she tightened her bags, she looked back at the people who decided to see her off. Thankfully, it wasn’t everyone. The only people she cared about are here: which are her parents, Kurapika, and even Pairo himself.
Vividus prepared her chicken steed with the contents she needed for her travel. Wearing the red jacket her family gave her, she paired it with a black turtle top with red swirls down the sides of her leggings. She admits it is strange for her not to wear her typical Kurta Clan clothing, but she likes her overall look.
Pairo exclaimed, stars forming in his eyes as he admired her look. “You look so cool!”
The young woman blushed a little bit, happy to know that no matter what look she wears, her little brother will always think she’s cool. “Thank you, Pai-chan, I shall treasure those words!”
Chuckling a bit, she would look over at Pairo. Only to see him suddenly look like he was about to cry. Giving the child a sad smile, she would reach her hand out and ruffle the brunette’s hair.
“Why are you sad little one?”
Hiccuping, he would use his sleeve and wipe his tears away. “I-It’s going to be different not seeing you around Vivi-nee.” Pairo replied, “Y-You taught me so much. You’re like the older sister I always wanted…”
“Aw...sweetheart.” She said softly, raising her hand up and wiped his tears away. “You’ll always be my little rascal. Even if we’re not related by blood. I know you’ll do just fine without me! We’ll see each other again someday.”
Nodding his head, he would try to gather as much confidence as he would. Taking a step closer, he would stand on his tippy toes and plant a small kiss on her cheek. Causing the Kurta woman to blush a bit.
“Thank you Vivi-nee,” He said cutely, “I hope to see you again someday.”
“Don’t worry. You will,” She chuckled, planting a small kiss on the top of his head. Causing the small brunette boy to blush.
Now looking over at her little brother, she noticed that Kurapika has been quiet for some time. As her hazel-grey eyes landed on the small boy, it broke her heart to see him so quiet and distant. With her smiling dropping, she would reach her hand out towards her baby brother and lift his chin up with her finger.
“What’s wrong little one?”
In spite of knowing what he was thinking, she wanted her little brother to express what he feels. It was awkward and unnerving to hear him silently. She thought he wasn’t going to say anything.
But finally, Kurapika spoke, “I-I’m scared.”
Her eyes widened in shock, taken back by his comment. “Why are you scared?”
The blonde boy was shaking, and she knew that this must’ve been on his mind for a while. The young boy has always been very supportive and wanted to follow in her footsteps. But now that they had finally achieved their goals, the emotions he felt were overwhelming.
Looking up at his beloved older sister. Tears began to form on the brim of his eyes as he answered her question.
“I’m afraid you’ll never return to me once you leave,” he stammered, with tears streaming down his face. “What’s worse, is I think I’m afraid something will happen to you, and you could possibly get hurt or worse...”
Kurapika didn’t need to finish his sentence, as Vividus knew exactly what he was implying when he said those words. At that very moment, Vividus felt a rush of emotions as she stared at her little brother, shocked by what he said. Her scarlet eyes were suddenly activating with the intensity of her emotions.
Her eyes turned scarlet not because of her anger but simply because her love for her little brother was there. Kurapika’s eyes widened in shock, seeing her eyes turn red for the first time. Usually, the scarlet eyes appear during angry expressions.
But for Vividus, the look in her eyes is so warm and kind. Kurapika was in awe, he never realized that their scarlet eyes could activate in such a way.
“Please know, Kurapika, that you are the reason why I made it so far,” Vividus said seriously, touching her brother’s cheek. “No matter what happens, I will always come back for you, so do not worry about me.”
She pulled Pairo over to her side and reassured, “And besides, we made a promise together that we’d travel together with you and this little guy. It was a promise we kept. So I promise you, that we’ll see each other again in the near future. That’s a promise”
Kurapika felt the tears fall. He tried his hardest not to cry. But he could not: they run through his body like a river stream. The boy hugged his big sister and cried into her shoulder. He said over and over again that he loves her.
As Vividus smiled warmly, she threw her arms around her little brother and the brunette boy, comforting them both with her soft voice and stroking their hair in the most comforting way possible.
She wanted to cry again, but her tears didn’t appear. All she could do was let the boys cry it out, telling him it is ok, and that their parents are still there. Pairo too, he is in good hands.
Finally, after Kurapika’s moment of crying: they finally pulled away from their embrace.
As they pulled away, she would look over at Kurapika and plant a small kiss on the top of his head. Looking at him deep into his grey eyes with a confident expression.
“Everything is going to be ok. Just remember to always work hard and behave yourself ok? I want you to show the villagers what you’re made of. Make me proud ok?”
Nodding his head, Kurapika would nod his head confidently. “I promise.”
Soon, she turned her attention back to Pairo, also giving him a confident smile. “And you mister, keep being the kind-hearted boy you are and never change, ok?”
Leaning in, she would whisper something to Pairo, something for only he can hear. “I also need you to promise that you will take care of Kura-chan while I am gone. Are you up for the task?”
Pairo let out a small giggle, nodding his head and playfully saluting towards Vividus. “I accept your challenge.” He whispered back.
Vividus nodded as she glanced at both young boys before her. Letting out a small sigh of contentment. Now standing up, Vividus ruffled their hair back and forth. Looking at her boys with longing.
“I’m going to miss you both.” She said, extending her pinkies with a last smile. “ Promise me you’ll take care of each other ok?”
As the two young ones nodded, they both locked their pinkies together. Now Staring at her in determination, they gave her a last grin.
Vividus walked over to the chicken steed and hopped onto its back. She held the lead in her hand and took a deep breath, looking around the forest one more time, and then again at her family.
“I promise I’ll be back! I’ll see you all when I return!” She yelled, waving at her family members and Pairo.
She whipped the lead as she gave the chicken the sign to move forward. When the chicken made a howl, it began to run as fast as it could.
When she felt tears in her eyes, she finally began crying, as she watched the image of the people whom she held most dear slowly fade out of view with each step the steed made.
She knows from the beginning that this is what she wants to do. She’s finally out of the village and able to do what she wants. But, as she cried, she also knew that this is something she needs to do for herself.
She has always wanted this moment. This is the moment she has been waiting for. When she achieves her goals, not only she wants to bring back parts of the world to prove to her clan that there is nothing to be scared of.
But she also wants to make her family proud.
No matter how valiant her previous exploits may have been, Vividus knows nothing of what awaits her beyond the walls of her village.
Vividus didn’t realize but all the faces of her loved ones and a broken promise would become crewel reminders of her greatest mistake.