I. Their Beginning
The young child chased her elder brother around in the open field by the palace; her parents and some visitors overlooking them. Her mother was a delicate beauty, with chocolate hair that framed her face and cascaded to elbow length, along with strikingly azure eyes. The young girl's father, like his spouse, was a startling piece of desirable art. His hair had taken to a brown-auburn as his eyes glittered in a strangely golden hue. The couple smiled gently at the two that were across from them, the pair taken to concealing themselves in black cloaks and the young man before them. He had to be no greater than the age of 14, with dark forest green eyes and soft, sage colored eyes.
"So," the girl's mother began, "may we safely assume that they boy can reside at our residence and look after her?" Despite the tense air and severity of the situation which had called for these individuals to come at once, her voice took a soothing musical chime with each word.
While the young girl's laughter would have normally provided an uplifting distraction, the five were very engrossed in the discussion at hand. The woman safely concealed in the adorned cloak nodded. "You may hold the Lonesse prodigy for this task. We happily consent this privilege you have asked for us to uphold."
Now, it was the girl's father's turn to smile. He turned his gaze to the Lonesse prodigy who had yet to speak and cheerfully addressed him. "Dear child, what is your name?"
The other cloaked figure made a motion that indicated prideful confidence. Wordlessly, he conveyed his opinion on how there should be no need for names. As soon as he twitched, however, the woman beside him knew what he was thinking and shot him a look that made him recline. It was obvious that this clan, the Hirotsuki, were very familiar with their companions and that names were to be required.
For the first time that day, the young girl tried to sneak up on them. She didn't understand why the grown ups were having a serious talk with a young boy around, albeit even she could tell he had a few years on her. The young man looked up at her father with a proud demeanor as he finally answered: "Rorek Lonesse."
Stealth forgotten, the young girl squealed and leaped at the boy from behind. Her arms easily looped around his neck and her face nuzzles his cheek with outrageous amounts of affection. "So you'll be my new brother? Yay!" she exclaimed joyously. Not used to such acts, Rorek's face turned sour and he reclined from her displays only somewhat, silently hoping that she wouldn't notice., However, with their close proximity, his hope was made in vain and the large mystical grey eyes that were previously hidden behind a thick curtain of dark auburn hair started to form tears.
Exasperatedly, he sighed, "Yes, Rin. I am your new brother. We are family now," he repeated, albeit more for his sake than hers. He was an only child. He was bred to be a protector and, ironically enough, and assassin. Could he possibly be able to handle the task of protecting this young child who was four years younger than he, when she was so adamant on receiving his approval and affection? Could he really uphold the title and pride of being her family?
Despite his tremendously heavy thoughts, she picked up on none of it and giggled like any normal ten year old would, before skipping away and allowing them to resume their grown up conversation. His pale eyes followed her as she scurried away and, without much thought, the words fell from his lips despite his intention to keep them mute. "A mighty fine assassin she would've became... beautifully volatile," he murmured, noting the way her porcelain skin glowed under the sunset's glow and thick tresses flowing gracefully. Rightfully, as she was the Hirotsuki Princess.
His guardians, for he himself refused to call them his parents, simply ignored his statement.
"... And this, Rorek, will be your room. Whenever or if ever you become dissatisfied with your arrangements, please let me know," Rin's mother reassured him. During the tour, he was graced with the knowledge of Rin's parents' names: her mother, Kasumi and her father, Takashi. Their gentle nature and approach was still hard for him to adjust to, almost unsettling compared to the cold behavior that he had always been surrounded with.
He almost snorted in disbelief as his original, nurtured thought process kicked in. He was only here to accomplish a job, albeit it was a long term one. He will not let them weasel their way into making him believe that he was a part of their family. That would only hinder his abilities and rationale.
Nevertheless, the Hirotsuki family welcomed them with open arms. The three elder brothers, apparently mostly occupied with Temple duties, respected him enough and treated him civilly, as though he wasn't just another hired hand. Or in this case, sword.
When he was first introduced to his bedroom, he had nearly jaw-dropped in awe. The Hirotsuki clan tried their very best to accomodate him to whatever preference he may have: a beautiful view of their landscape, wide-open room, large bed, dark colored sheets... It was almost too good for him. He wasn't deserving of such attention, he thought to himself.
Not to mention the Hirotsuki Princess: Rin Aika Hirotsuki. The young girl, ever since he prevented her from crying when they first met, she clung to him like a fly to sugar. She profusely refused to leave him be save for his bath and training. However, when she caught onto an opportunity, she held it with such a vice grip that made him wonder why she couldn't just protect herself.
Eight years later...
A sweet aroma filled the small house before the beautiful young woman appeared by the doorway of the kitchen. "God, Rorek, that smells amazing. Your cookies are," she paused as she grabbed one from the first batch that he baked, which were already cooled, "absolutely beyond amazing." Her grey eyes fluttered to a close as she bit into it; savoring its soft and warm quality.
The older man chuckled. His forest green hair was significantly longer, resulting in him holding it back from his face with the aid of a bandanna. His physique, even in the kitchen, was a bit out of place. He grew out pretty well, the young woman noticed. However, the sight was comical. This oh-so-dangerous man was huddled over the oven, waiting for the cookies to finish the baking process. His muscles contradicted his soft and sensitive side; however she was the only one to know why it had felt so right to have him there.
"Well, Rin," he noted, reminding her. "This would be your doing. After all, you were the one who claimed that you were never going to speak to me again and that you hated me."
Eight years ago...
"I don't understand what the big deal about this is! I mean, all I did was just touch that big thing!" she cried. He was mad at her. He was really mad. He was never this fumed at her. "Because you have no right to touch it!" Rorek retorted. He caught her, red handed, playing with his blades. If Kasumi or Takashi found out, he'd be screwed over big time. Why can't she just accept that she's not supposed to "play with his things", as he had put it, and move on?
"Just because it's yours doesn't mean that you can't share! Gosh, Rorek, you're such a big meanie!" she cried, yet again. Her face was red and the tears were flowing all too freely. "I hate you! I don't want you as my big brother anymore!"
Without leaving him so much as a chance to calm her down from her irrational state, the Princess stormed out of the room with renewed tears. He rolled his eyes, 'God, such childish behavior...'
But days went by.
And finally two weeks.
And she still refused to talk to him whenever they were together. She only acknowledged his presence with a nod, remained quiet and ate whatever he made for her. It was then when Rorek started to realize he missed the affection she showered in, albeit he didn't like it at first. He began to grow a relationship with her and she just shoved it away as though he was just another toy that she grew tired of. He had enough of her silly antics - it was time for the ultimate plan. Knowing her sweet tooth, he snuck back down to the kitchen and began his project when everyone went to sleep.
In the middle of that extremely lengthy night, Rin woke up as she has for the past two weeks. Being upset at someone took a lot of energy out of a person, but she couldn't fall asleep all the time. She sniffled before noticing a soft, delicious scent wafting through the air. "What...- cookies?" she identified, although her face displayed confusion. Who the hell was baking cookies at this hour?She took gentle and soft steps down the stairs before sliding across the wooden floor to the doorway of the kitchen. She found her brother Rorek with a huge bowl in his arms. Flour was caked over his cheeks and into his hair as he continued to stir the mixture in the bowl. Her grey eyes switched to the table, noticing the two batches of cookies already baked out."What are you doing?" she softly inquired. Rin winced, having realized that her emotions wore on her voice. She sounded tired, but not a physical exhaustion. It was apparent that she was emotionally and mentally exhausted. From the moment that the sound of her own voice hit her ears, she knew that Rorek would notice. As she looked at him, he simply smiled at motioned to one of the cookies. "Try it," he coaxed. He almost laughed as she tentatively picked up a cooler cookie and bit into it. She didn't know he could bake, and quite frankly, neither did he. She squeaked. Loudly. And took another cookie. Eventually, within what he could classify as a matter of minutes, she had at least cookies three cookies in her stomach and two in both of her hands, ready to devour. "Rin, they're are all going to be there in the morning - you don't need to attack them," he laughed.
She puffed out her cheeks and continued to try to shove one of the cookies into her mouth, speaking quite muffled. "Just because you can bake a huge amount doesn't mean that I won't try to have as much as I can." She paused before a small yawn escaped her, her thoughts now prompting her to go over to him. During the duration of her consumption, he had placed the bowl down and took a seat. After she crawled onto his lap, with her much smaller form, Rin snuggled into his chest. "I'm sorry for acting like such a big baby... I didn't really mean it when I said I hate you," she apologized.
Rorek had wondered why it mattered to him if she hated him or not. The entire time that he baked, as therapeutic as it was, a lot of different thoughts filtered through his mind. As he stroked her head affectionately with his hand, he came to the realization that with the short amount of time and extreme attention he had gotten from Rin, he had wanted to be a big brother to her. He enjoyed being a part of a family unit, even if he wasn't really her brother. "Apology accepted. Do you forgive me?" he asked her quietly.The yawn that had previously escaped her lips, despite the amount of sugar she just had, was the tell tale sign of sleep coming for her once more. With her mind at ease, she wouldn't have trouble any longer. Half-asleep, she murmured the words 'of course' and 'I love you' before she knocked out within seconds in his arms. Rorek nuzzled against the top of her head, murmuring the same sentiment before gently cradling her against his form and rising - carrying her off to her bedroom.
Morning could not have come any quicker. Rorek planned a busy day for himself, majority of it consisting of why such a young and naive child would need protecting and from what. He donned some casual attire, dark colored slacks and a white tee shirt, before leaving his room, determined to find either Takashi or Kasumi. An hour or so later and he found himself somewhat infuriated. He searched the entire palace top and bottom. He didn't wish to ask the staff where their Masters would be, considering he himself wasn't part of the royal family by blood. As he returned to the main floor, ready to step out of the door, a chill ran up his spine. Was someone watching him? Turning, he found himself facing the open doors that led outside, where he had first met Rin's parents and Rin herself. Tempted by the chance that one of them may be there, he walked off in that direction.
Green grass that expanded far beyond what his eyes could see glittered with the freshness of morning dew, which had still lingered despite the time that had passed since the break of dawn. His sage eyes scanned the open area, as though he could maybe feel for their presence, before he noticed the shape of a person seated by the small pond off to the east. His feet carried him before he could command his thoughts to do so. The sound of the grass crunching underneath his bare feet apparently caught the attention of the person who he was approaching; her crystalline blue eyes landing on Rorek with certainty and without hesitance. "I was wondering when you would come," she started, her hand gesturing to the spot next to her for him to sit.
He faltered in his steps just for a moment when she spoke, taken aback by the implication that she knew he would seek her out. Despite a minor hesitation in his step, he did as she asked, taking a seat beside her as they both gazed out over the sparkling clear pond. "I don't understand why Rin needs a guardian," Rorek spoke plainly. There was no way to beat around the bush with this topic. He glanced sideways at Kasumi, only to find that her eyes had closed and a ghost of a smile quirked at the edge of her lips.
"The Hirotsuki family is both royal and enchanted, as I'm sure you are aware. I was not married into the family," she began to explain, giving a sideways glance at Rorek as well, "but rather Takashi was married into my family. The Hirotsuki women are the ones who are gifted; simple fragments of the image of the Ultimate Creator."
Silence fell over the two of them as he tried to follow what direction she was trying to go into, carefully keeping his ears open to every minor detail she would spare. "We're descendents to the Ultimate Creator, allegedly," she said cheekily, before a somber expression fell over her face. Her crystalline eyes, usually glimmering, even dulled as she continued speaking. "That was, a few days after I gave birth to Rin, I found out that it was truth. I had a premonition."
In a matter of rushed and compressed statements, Kasumi explained to Rorek how she saw bits and pieces of Rin's life, even after she would presumably be dead. Kasumi and Takashi would be the firsts to die, then in a separate event, her brothers would be killed as well by the being that scoured the lands to destroy the essence of the Ultimate Creator. "That would be Rin," she sadly concluded. "Rin is the reincarnation to the Ultimate Creator, meaning she is doomed to the cursed fate of living in constant fear and bloodshed, with the weight of all of mankind resting on her shoulders to suppress the evil that chases her. That's why we sought out a protector...," her voice trailed off before she smiled sadly at Rorek, "and what better protector than from the very same clan that had been tied to ours for generations?"
Rorek sat there, jaw slackened and shocked. He wasn't in for a long-term job - he was in this for life. With his newfound familial relationship with Rin and adoration, he very well couldn't abandon her knowing this was to happen now could he? Resolve strengthened, he steeled his gaze and straightened his posture, knowing deep down he had to offer some reassurance to the mother who was cursed to know the fate of her family and know that she wouldn't live far enough to see her daughter grow into a beautiful woman. "I swear, I will never leave her," he vowed.
The normally vibrant aura that was associated to Kasumi seemed to glimmer into a faint, gentle glow as her lower lip quivered and tears brimmed her eyes. Despite the soft nod, she couldn't resist embracing the young man in her arms, murmuring a soft thank you into the crevice of his shoulder. The burden of knowing such horrors has finally been lifted off of Kasumi's shoulders. She finally had someone who she knew would be there to do everything in his power to change the destiny she had witnessed.