Chapter 1:

Dew Drops

Jade Heart

She pressed her lips into his, meeting the smooth cold texture. She smiled at him tearfully "its as you promised, we can be together now."

Cicadas buzzed as the heat of the sweltering sun filled the air. It was a gorgeous day, the cherry blossom tree acting as their shade and refuge from the glistening sun. Asami laid in the grass, her long midnight hair strewn in a halo around her head. Long dark lashes graced her dark chocolate eyes, she was dressed in a bright red yukata with pink lotuses sewn carefully into the fabric. Satoshi laid beside her, he was tall with beautiful silky golden hair that was almost longer than Asami’s. His cerulean eyes were a reflection of the coastal waters that bordered the north of their country. Unlike Asami, Satoshi's yukata was a deep purple adorned with gold silk dragons.

“We can't stay here for much longer” Asami sighed, Satoshi rolled onto his side facing her “Im the crown prince we can stay however long I please” he gave her a devilish grin, she turned on her side to face him a few breaths away from each other. He cupped his hand around the nape of her neck, pulling her into a warm soft kiss. Warmth filled her body, she had always fancied Satoshi, but it wasn't until last year they had shared feelings for each other. It was like a dream. As his priestess she accompanied him to most meetings and occasions, the previous priest that served under the current emperor passed recently. It was a shame, they talked about making her the next priestess to serve under the king, but Satoshi has always been heavily opposed.

After breaking the kiss Satoshi handed her a headdress that was adorned with a red veil and pearls. “Put your veil back on, we have to meet with the commoners” Asami frowned a little bit, the veil now covering her face just below her chin. The fabric was sheer enough for her to see through if not with some struggle. He grabbed her arm to lead her, as soon as he did so she could feel the life that flowed through him, even through his long silk sleeves. It was almost soothing to feel the waves of energy.

They headed quickly through the gardens and cherry trees to the underpass that reached the large ornate building with green roof shillings. As they walked Satoshi chattered about politics and ideas about improving the kingdom, but Asami paid him little mind. The lantern ball was tomorrow, every year she attended, but this would be her first time having an escort. Needless to say she was thrilled, she had the perfect kimono picked out for the event. It was something she had planned for months. Everything would go smoothly.

Soon enough they reached the throne room, two large thrones surrounded by purple curtains on either side graced the large room, it was up on a platform that had stairs leading down to the marble floor. Lanterns decorated the ceiling, statues of white marble dragons protrude from the walls. The room had lavish scrolls adorning the sides of the walls and gold leafing. The previous priest absorbed knowledge easily, and was the wisest in the land. Many came from far and wide to seek his guidance. Not only the country of Edira mourned his loss but the neighboring countries Valende, Kotiya, and Lykon came as well to express their condolences. Valende gifting a thousand cattle, Kotiya a coastal country like Edira, brought baskets full of black pearls, and Lykon brought a 100 spools of the finest silk they had weaved.

After each taking a seat on the throne imperial guards entered and stood on either side of the platform as well as along the wall. Asami never had the pleasure to speak to one, but each wore iron armor over leather with a red plume exuding from the top of their intricate helms. Their pauldrons twisting into what seemed like winds.

A large threadbare carpet was laid out before the two of them that extended to the end of the hall. The large doors opened up and they began their weekly routine. Commoners came up and would ask for her blessing for good health and luck. Few would ask Satoshi the health of the current Emperor and if his state had improved or if the rumors were true. All to which Satoshi denied with an easy smile. Some inquired about alliances with Kotiya and if we would soon strengthen ours. Surely more than a hundred had passed through before they reached the end of the line.

An older frail woman approached, her eyes were small and when she smiled her eyes crinkled. Her skin was tan and wrinkly, her hair grey and curly buried beneath her straw hat, she was probably a farmer who had seen a lot of days in the sun. In her arms was an old black shiba dog. She kneeled humbly before her “my beloved priestess, I plead today that you bless me” Asami smiled at her earnesty

“What good deeds have you done?” the lady smiled expectedly

“I have tilled my farm and provided this year's crop. I have also saved my neighbors farm from fire” the lady's voice was strong despite her years of labor. Asami was very pleased with her reply.

“You have done selfless things to provide for your country and neighbor” Asami said brightly, “you have my favor, go in good health and may luck find you” they bowed their heads in unison.

“My priestess, I have one more trouble to ask of you” Asami’s eyebrow raised under veil, Satoshi did not stir at this mention,however. “My dog has been with me for as long as I remember, please bless him as well so he may be with me for more farming years to come”

Asami nodded and extended her hands out from beneath her sleeves, the lady rested the dog in her arms and once again Asami could feel the life thrum through the tired dog. His life was faint, Asami lifted the head of the dog with her slender fingers and commanded the waves to still and crystalize. Before her eyes she saw the fur smooth out into a pristine green. First his head became smooth, the shiba did not resist, giving in to the process. Quickly the once light and fluffy dog became heavy smooth jade.