The Children of Promise

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Chapter 1

As the sun rose on the quiet town of Zahuto, the house of Armaro Sujima began to stir. As a tiny stream of light hit his face, Armaro awoke to the sight of his wife Katherine. Like many other mornings, he wondered how he had been so lucky to be with her. Though their marriage did not go with either of their clans, they fought, quite literally for their right to be together. He rolled over slightly and gave her a kiss on her cheek. She stirred slightly before whispering "Five more minutes please?" and with that she was back to sleep.

"No problem hunny." He said in his head, smiling slightly as he looked at her peaceful face. He doubted that she remembered in her sleepy haze but it was Monday, the day he trained the boys early before school. Rolling out of bed and heading towards the shower he thought of the days chores. Training the kids, taking them to school then off to the clan house for meetings; "That last one." He thought to himself. "I doubt I'll enjoy that."

As he dressed, his mind flashed to his children; Hiko and Shinto Sujima. There were paternal twins who were as different as can be. Shinto was the boisterous, aggressive one. He was always ready to fight and prove his strength. He was growing up to be a very capable warrior beating his brother in most of their sparring matches. Hiko on the other hand was quiet and rather shy. He wasn't as popular as his twin and mostly seemed content to sit in his brother's shadow. That didn't mean he was a slouch when I came to training. In fact, Hiko, like his father was one of the rare mage types in the Sujima clan. They both could control gravity.

Armaro had noticed Hiko's gift very early when as a baby he pulled his favourite toy towards him. Katherine thought that they had produced a telekinetic which wasn't rare on the island. It was only when Hiko chose to levitate rather than walk that Armaro's suspicion was confirmed. It was also a bone of contention between the brothers as Shinto was only an earth mage. Armaro always thought that Shinto was very jealous of Hiko's gift, something that he believed Hiko felt causing him to withdraw. His concerns about it were brushed aside by his wife. "It's just good old sibling rivalry." She said. "They'll grow out of it"

Though he believed that could be it, the feeling never left him.

As he pushed on the boy's bedroom door, fully prepared for the morning's training session, he realised that they were still in bed. Motioning both his hands towards the beds and curling his fingers, the tops of the beds lifted off the ground. As the sheets fell from the beds he realised he'd been set up. Shinto flew out of the closet with bokken in hand aiming to hit his father on the head. As Armaro turned to block Shinto's attack he saw Hiko out of the corner of his eye. In an instant he felt the pain of bed frame hitting his foot, soon to be followed by a bokken hitting him square on the forehead. Without flinching he raised both of his hands in the air. With a loud thud both boys were pinned onto the ceiling.

" You're getting better" Armaro said as he looked up at his helpless children. "But not good enough to stop me."

" I'm not done yet...." Hiko shouted as he dropped his bokken. As it fell it swung towards Armaro. As it did the bed which still stood upright moved towards the door where Armaro stood. Sidestepping the swiftly on coming bed distracted Armaro enough that the hold he had on Hiko and Shinto was released. Landing gently on his feet, he took two steps to his father extending his hands forward as he did. "Gravis Neil!"(Gravity Push) Hiko shouted. Picked up off of his feet by an unseen force, Armaro was flung back through the door taking the bed with him. He rolled through the hallway, cartwheeling into the dining room until he finally came to a crashing halt in the kitchen.

Katherine rushed outside in shock only to see Shinto and Hiko laughing at the mess they had made. ' Will you all please stop this morning roughhousing; I'm tired of cleaning up after the three of you boys.' Her motherly scowl put a damper on everyone else's smiles.

" Now go off to training with all of you." Her voice matched her face...

" Yes ma'am" The boys chimed as they ran to the front door.

" And you lead ruffian.." she said as she turned her attention to her husband, who was still picking himself out of the mess.

" Yes hunny." Armaro said sheepishly. He really didn't like when she scolded him.

"Have a good day today ok?" Her scowl was replaced with a smile.

" I'll try Hun. " He said as he kissed her. " See you later."

As he stepped out into the bright sunlight, he took some time to bask in its glow. Life was good; wife, children and a lovely home. He could ask for nothing more. As they walked up the trail to their training grounds in the heart of the forest, Hiko seemed much more cheerful than he normal would be. He was always so serious during these times, especially during sparring days. Today he looked relaxed yet focussed. He wondered where Hiko's new found confidence came from. As they came to the clearing in the forest he thought that today he would test his son's confidence.

Dropping their gear, Armaro led them in a simple warm-up; some stretches, running and the like. When they had finally worked up a sweat he decided that he would drop the bomb. 'Today you two are sparring.'

"But I thought today was technique training?" Shinto asked surprised at the change.

" I know but something tells me today that you two should." Armaro replied. Hiko simply nodded as he headed towards the sparring circle.

"No objections son?" Armaro asked his son as he walked away.

" None father." Hiko replied. " What are the rules today?"

"First to be ringed out loses". Armaro replied as he took his place in the centre of the ring. "Oh... and no handicaps; you can use your full power."

Shinto grinned slightly. " You ready for a beating brother?"

" Not this time... " Hiko replied as he brought his bokken in front of him. It was the first time Hiko had ever taken a bite at Shinto's smack talk.

As Armaro raised his hand, he took a good look at Hiko's eyes. They reminded him a lot of himself when he was fighting for Katherine's hand; the undeniable look of someone who was no longer willing to lose.

With a smile of a father who had just seen another spark of growth in his child, he dropped his hand between them. "Begin!"


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