Marken sat in the corner of the dojo, maneuvering around the bodies that he placed on the floor. He leaned over the bucket of water, taking the ladle from within it. The distorted image of himself as the water rippled looked back at him. He smiled, placing the ladle to his lips, the cool water tracing his stomach.
It was a good session, Marken thought. After all, his father wasn't in the corner critiquing his every move and choice. He heard footsteps coming up the half rotten, ragged steps of the dojo. Her aura greeted him first.
" Training done?" Rema asked, the bodies on the floor a customary sight.
" Yeah," Marken replied. He dipped the ladle again, throwing the cool water over his head. His spiky hair fell to the sides of his head, his head resembling a mop. Rema giggled. Marken smiled.
"Don't like my new hairstyle?" Marken said. He flicked his head , wetting her in the process.
" Actually, I think it suits you." Rema replied. " How's your face?"
" It still stings."
She knelt at his feet, reaching her hands out to his face. From them, a blue light covered his face. His bruise receded, reducing to a faint red mark on his cheek.
"Better now?" She inquired.
" So what is the plan for the rest of the day?"
"Training again this evening," Marken replied with a sigh.
" Dad has to supervise?"
" Then I guess that we have to make do with the time we have now... right?" Rema grabbed his hand, the glee on her face infecting his spirit.
" I only have about three hours." Marken said.
"More than enough time. Let's go." She leaned back, Her frame struggling to budge Marken from the floor. He arose, pulling her upright. She chuckled.
"Always the strong one right?" She nudged him in his side.
"For you? Always."
They walked out of the dojo and into the sunlight. Her skin sparkled within its rays. Marken could only help to smile around her . Throughout his life, she was the only one that treated him normally, not a saviour to be praised without fault, not a mountain to prove one's worth apon, just a normal person who just happened to be gifted. He reached for her hand, their intertwining fingers brushing the tall grass of the field.
"Not much farther" she chhimed, pointing to the tree at the end of the field. Their tree. They had planted it when they were little, fed it their aura on every visit. It flourished, its branches looming over the other trees, creating night in the middle of noon.
They sat beneath the tree, each caressing its bark. " Hello old friend." Marken said. " Sorry we have been so tardy with visiting. We've been busy."
"He means he's been busy right old friend?" Rema quipped.
"You've been here without me?"
"Only when I miss you."
Marken closed his eyes, focusing on the aura he felt from the tree. He sensed her, his aura fading into the background. He felt her sadness permeating through its trunk. His heart sank,
"Was that all you came here for? I sense..."
She pushed away his hand. "Stop looking." she said. "That's between me and Elthe."
"Ok." Marken sat next to her, the cool wind soothing his body.
" I'm sorry that I haven't been around. Dad has been really cracking down on me with the tournament on its way. He wants me to win to prove the clans supireority. The true 'angelic ones' he called us. He just wants to brag to the rest that his sons the best."
"Every father would want that." She replied. " You cant fault him for that."
" I wouldn't if i thought that he saw me that way."
"As a son."
Words failed her. She outstretched her arm to him, Pulling his head to her bosom. Nestled there she could feel his aura calming, streaming away from his body like the wind that enveloped them. Their auras ebbed and flowed with the breeze until they both fell asleep.
Miguel and Marek stood before her, their weapons covered in the blood of her family. Rema clutched her sister in her arms, her eyes alight with fear and hatred.
" Please." she begged. "Spare us."
" Our orders were to kill every one of you present. You chose to rise against us and now you beg for mercy?"
" My father chose not I. Spare us, I bed you."
They whispered to each other. She felt their auras darken,
" If we do. You will owe us for life. We will own you."
Her heart relented. She nodded.
They extended their hands to her. " Welcome to the clan Rema..."
"Rema" Marken said, rousing from her dream. " What were you dreaming about?"
She held him, her tears soaking into his robe. " Nothing. " she replied. " Just a bad dream."