Chapter 4:


Jade Heart

“Please keep the scrolls orderly, remember these are sacred works” Asami spoke from her stand that was set up in the throne room, she was sitting absorbing the dying essence of animals and turning them to jade to be decorated in the palace. Preserving their life in a sense. Servants bustled back and forth carrying scrolls or jade animals to put them up for decoration, and carrying scrolls to a vault to be stowed and transcribed. It was tireless work to continuously turn animals to jade but the small amounts of energy she absorbed from them felt like a well of power slowly being dripped into.

Her mind burned of the letter, it felt too soon, she wasn't ready, nothing was ready yet. If it was what she believed it to be, what would Satoshi say? What would he think? He had to support her, had to help her. But with how busy he was and how little time they spent together she was no longer sure. Her hands began to perspire and tremble slightly. A few servants gave her concerned looks but otherwise paid her no mind. The green crystalized before her fingertips the cobra twisted in a beautiful shape. Why now?

“They must be working you to death” a familiar voice made her snap back, she looked up and met coal colored eyes. The knot in her chest loosening.

“Kei? What are you doing over here?” She was a little in shock and surprised that no servants made moves to stop him. Nor that she hadn't noticed him come in.

“Do I need a reason to see my favorite priestess?” he smiled handsomely and she shook her head, he would not pierce her heart so easily.

“Im working, as you can see” she gestured to the statues around them, she moved to continue her work but he began clapping for the attention of the servants.

“Everyone please, I will be taking the jade priestess off of your hands for now, she is indeed due for a break” Asami opened her mouth to protest but he pulled her out of her chair and towards the exit.

“Must you be so pushy?” They entered the autumn afternoon

“Only for beautiful women” she shook her head

“I don't appreciate the flirtation, besides you know not what I look like” he smiled down at her as if he could see through her veil.

“ I needn't have to, I can tell by your voice” a blush grew on her face, how foolish. “That however, is not the only reason I came to fetch you” he led her down the open path over to the servants quarters.

“What are we doing this way?” she raised an eyebrow

“You'll see” They continued past guards into the alcove of the quarters, maids and cooks bustled about rushing around to prepare the royal lunch. Upon their arrival a beefy male cook rushed up to them his facial hair hiding his mouth and his eyebrows his eyes.

“How can I help-”

“We are just passing through please” Kei cut him off quickly giving him a weird look as they continued through the flour filled air into another room. Light streamed onto the floorboards from the window and either side of the long room was lined with girls and boys of different ages. All dressed identically in white baggy pants and a white cloth shirt with red lining on the neck.

“What's all this?” Asami looked up at Kei brows furrowing

“Being a priestess is hard, I know you have your two dedicated hand maids, but every priest needs an entourage” he smirked “here are some of the finest servants for you to handpick” .

Asami walked down the row examining each carefully now that she thought of it she didn't have any body guards. “Everyone face your hands up” they did so immediately for her. It was easy to tell who did what, rough hands, soft hands, pricked fingers. She headed towards the one with roughest hands, he was a tall burly teen with a clean jawline and fierce golden eyes. His hair was cropped short. “What is your name?” she tilted her head at him, it was probably perturbing to speak to someone with a veil. Someone with no face. He looked stunned.

“Shohei ma’am” she gestured for him to step out of the line, she looked for the youngest it was a very small dainty boy. He came up probably to her hip and had three moles beneath his left eye.

By the end of it all she had Shohei the muscle, Minoru the youngest, Xiaoling a very nimble girl with white streaks in her frizzy black hair, and Viven an older stoic woman who was maybe twenty. She was grateful Kei arranged this, it would be a huge help to her, although how he had the ability to do this she was not sure. He must be a lord of some sort or high military officer. These would be her greatest help in these coming times serving the new emperor. And hopefully they would keep her company in the loneliness Satoshi had provided.

Jade Heart

Jade Heart