Chapter 0:

The Start of a New Story

The Cursed Iris: A Tale of Fate and Time

"Kastumi, do you really think that we'll pull through this?"Bookmark here

A boy with white hair, red eyes, pale skin, along with a toned physique gave a reassuring smile. "Of course, we can, I mean we got you after all. You're our good luck charm Ayame Akiyama."Bookmark here

Ayame is a 15-year-old girl of Japanese descent, with black hair with a small little piece sticking up, blue eyes, and was about at the height of 5'3, "Why are you calling me that? Look at what happened to all our friends when I got involved. I've brought nothing but misfortune and despair," she stated as her attitude began to change.Bookmark here

"Ayame, I..." Katsumi began to say, but it was like his form flickered as if it was a dream.Bookmark here

"Little Iris, you need to wake up," a voice said. Ayame groaned as her eyes fluttered open and she saw another girl in her face, "Geez Ayame, your breath is terrible."Bookmark here

Ayame looked at her and got frustrated. "I've told you about calling me that, Atsuko."Bookmark here

Atsuko giggled as she walked over to the window in Ayame's room, which was full of all types of anime, manga, and video games basically an otaku's paradise. She opened it, and a slight breeze came through along with the chill of winter.Bookmark here

"That's cold, but the weather report says that it's supposed to be warm today," Atsuko stated with a mischievous smile.Bookmark here

Ayame stared at her as she always does, Blonde hair, blue eyes, beautiful skin, amazing physique, and not to mention the happy go lucky personality; Atsuko really is perfect. As expected of a girl mixed with foreigner blood, she thought with a glum expression.Bookmark here

Ayame seemed to be daydreaming, so Atsuko decided to walk over to her.Bookmark here

"Beautiful blue eyes, silky black hair, that adorable little mole under the left eye, fair skin, not to mention that big, bountiful bosom," Atsuko voiced as she got closer to Ayame's face. "All she needs is more confidence and she'd be the prettiest in all of Japan. Ayame Akiyama, really is past perfection in my eyes."Bookmark here

Ayame blushed and this wasn't the first time Atsuko made her flustered. She never knew why Atsuko even hung out around her to be honest. Of course, their parents had been friends since they were babies, but Ayame still couldn't believe that was the reason.Bookmark here

"Ayame you're an open book. I can literally tell what you're thinking before you think it," Atsuko stated with a giggle.Bookmark here

Ayame, still slightly blushing, looked at Atsuko with a confused expression. "What does that even mean?"Bookmark here

"What that means is you need to stop worrying so much."Bookmark here

"But..."Bookmark here

"Just stop, even if our parents weren't longtime friends, I would still want to be the one there for you. You're pretty but you're not confident in yourself. I won't be going anywhere until you get that confidence. Even when you do, I'm going to still be here. That's because I love you Ayame."Bookmark here

Ayame's mood changed, and Atsuko smiled. "Now come on go brush your teeth and get ready for school. I do not want to hear that idiot student council president and vice president's voice about being late. They were annoying even before we got to our first year."Bookmark here

"You're right," Ayame stated with a smile. 'Atsuko, listen there's also this dream I want to tell you about."Bookmark here

"Is it about that Katsumi boy?" Atsuko asked with a mischievous smile and glint in her eyes.Bookmark here

Ayame pouted and she walked out of her room. "Never mind, I'm not telling you anymore."Bookmark here

"Aww come on Little Iris. Don't be like that," Atsuko whined.Bookmark here

******Bookmark here

Somewhere in an unknown time, in a forest there was the boy from Ayame's dream. He was asleep but his slumber was soon over after the conclusion of what seemed to be a dream. He awoke and he yawned.Bookmark here

I wonder why do I continue to have that dream? Who is that girl?Bookmark here

"Katsumi!! You're finally awake!!" a voice yelled.Bookmark here

A badger came from the bushes, and Katsumi stared at him. "What's up Kumo? Something wrong?"Bookmark here

"Katsumi there's these guys who took the food I gathered for us," Kumo said as his voice broke.Bookmark here

Something inside of Katsumi seemed to snap, "Our food?" he asked with a low tone in his voice.Bookmark here

He stood up and began to stretch. "Where are they?"Bookmark here

The temperature seemed to rise, which made Kumo nervous, Maybe I shouldn't have said anything, Kumo thought.Bookmark here

Kumo didn't say anything, so Katsumi sniffed the air. His nose caught a certain scent of cooking food. "Interesting, sunny day, no clouds, no samurai constantly reminding me of my sentence, plus the best part of this is no Aimi. I think I'm going to let loose just this once."Bookmark here

"A fire demon half breed. I should've chosen my partner differently."Bookmark here

Katsumi feet became surrounded by black flames then he vanished, leaving Kumo panicked. "Oh no! If he does go all out, he'll burn down the forest!" Kumo exclaimed. "I'd better follow him," he sighed as he ran in the direction of Katsumi.Bookmark here

Katsumi reached a lake and he saw three men sitting around a fire. They were cooking something; he then notices what it was. "So Kumo caught three fish and even a boar. All his hard work stolen like that. They'll pay for that."Bookmark here

The black flames returned, but first I bet you're curious as to why Katsumi has black flames correct?Bookmark here

Well, that's simple, Katsumi being a half fire demon his flames are cursed. Cursed flames are wielded by a certain clan in the demon realm of Yomi, the Nakajima clan.Bookmark here

Katsumi began to take in a deep breath, "Fire demon," he mumbled. The culprits looked over as they heard him breathing in.Bookmark here

"Wait who is that?" one of the men asked.Bookmark here

"Bellow!!" Katsumi yelled as a spiral of black flames came from his mouth.Bookmark here

The attack headed straight towards the men, and they got scared, "Why is he attacking us? What did we do?" another asked.Bookmark here

The attack engulfed them, then exploded. That's when Kumo caught up to him, and he was surprised at the sight he saw. His jaw fell to the ground, the trees were burnt away, the lake had evaporated, the ground was destroyed, but he had hoped that Katsumi didn't kill the men.Bookmark here

"Katsumi what did you do!?"Bookmark here

"I only paid them back for you..."Bookmark here

"But you didn't have to destroy the environment! Aimi is going to kill you when she finds out."Bookmark here

Katsumi's demeanor changed and his skin became pale, "But I didn't kill them, see," he said as he pointed at three burnt but breathing bodies.Bookmark here

"That doesn't matter!" a feminine voice said as if appearing out of nowhere.Bookmark here

Katsumi turned around and he saw a woman shorter than him in a gold kimono. She had black hair, fair skin, freshly done makeup, fierce grey eyes, and an even worse a presence that can even cause the fiercest of fighters to cower.Bookmark here

His face was blue, "A-A-Aimi I didn't expect you to be here," he stammered as he backed away.Bookmark here

"Katsumi Nakajima."Bookmark here

"Aimi, listen I swear I didn't mean to do this," he said as fell to the ground.Bookmark here

Aimi gave him the angry smile, "What did you say earlier? Oh, I know, 'Interesting, sunny day, no clouds, no samurai constantly reminding me of my sentence, plus the best part of this is no Aimi. I think I'm going to let loose just this once.' for that statement alone I should arrest you,"Bookmark here

"Aimi..."Bookmark here

"No, there is no Aimi. Katsumi, listen I'm already on thin ice because I let you live. Those gods wanted to kill you, but I decided to let you live. That first meeting of ours was important for me, not only me it was important for Tsu (Takamagahara), Ko (Earthly realm), and Yomi (Hell). Therefore, I assigned you to protect these villages out here. You're a descendant of both Tsu and Yomi. The best of both worlds, but you have no care for Ko."Bookmark here

"Yes, I do," he stated in retaliation.Bookmark here

"If you had care for Ko, then you wouldn't have ended up this way. That blade caused you to kill 25 percent of my country's population. That is something I can never forget, but I can forgive you Katsumi. I wanted you to meet the misfortunate. Get a taste for how they live, grow with them, and learn to care for them."Bookmark here

They had an intense staring contest.Bookmark here

"You are lacking compassion, you are selfish, and you're impulsive! Chiyoko holds you high regard and I want to as well," she said as her expression softened. "I don't have much time left I assume, so that's why I'm willing to pass on to the next generation. I will try and stop the coming storm, because that is my duty as empress of this country."
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Katsumi's mood seemed to have switched. "Aimi do you really..."Bookmark here

"It's risky but the time will come when you meet the blooming mountain iris, and you along with many others will all be the ones to lead the growth of that one individual. In both the darkness and in the light. The three realms are all counting on you. So please just do as I ask until they come. This one thing is not just about you, it's about everyone else."Bookmark here

Her statement weighed heavily on Katsumi's mind. "Okay, Ai... no Empress Aimi, I understand. I'll wait until the time comes."Bookmark here

*******Bookmark here

Back to Ayame. She and Atsuko were both walking to school.Bookmark here

Ayame's attitude seemed a lot better, she did have a gigantic smile on her face. "So, now you know about my dream. Please don't make fun of me."Bookmark here

Atsuko snapped her fingers, "Now why would I do that? You're in love and I'm happy for you."Bookmark here

'I'm not in love idiot!"Bookmark here

"Okay then, let's ask," Atsuko whispered.Bookmark here

She then giggled, "Hey Kikyo, what do you think of this?" Atsuko asked.Bookmark here

Ayame got confused. "Who are you tal..." she was saying until a shiver went down her spine. Her entire body seemed to have changed. Her hair changed colors to silver, her eyes changed to gold, and the mole under her left eye disappeared.Bookmark here

"Been a while Atsuko," she said, her voice seems to have changed as well. "So, you want to if this idiot is in love or not?"Bookmark here

"Why else would I call you?" Atsuko asked in a sarcastic tone.Bookmark here

"Don't push it Atsu."Bookmark here

She nodded in agreement. "Girl you're right."Bookmark here

Kikyo sighed, "I really hate telling her secrets like this, but yeah Ayame is in love. Even though she has never met him. He is the first male to be nice to her, even in a dream. You do know it's almost time for that to come right? So, are you going to explain to her or not? Because if you won't, I will," she said with a stern expression.Bookmark here

Atsuko balled her fist in frustration. "I know I have to tell her sooner or later. Preferably, I'd rather not tell her at all. I don't want her to be cursed by that fate."Bookmark here

"Can't you go with her? I don't think that's never been mentioned."Bookmark here

"Trust me I would if I could, but alas, I can't. This is only something Ayame can do and I'm only here to help guide her. That is the duty of a descendant of one of the Four Guardians. I, along with those other two from school are here to help her prepare for this mission ahead."Bookmark here

Kikyo stared at her with a pained expression. "Atsu..."Bookmark here

She gave a solemn smile. "Listen, my mother told me exactly what to prepare for, so I'm going to complete my duty. Simple as that..."Bookmark here

"You're lying," Kikyo stated with an irritated voice.Bookmark here

"No, I'm not!" Atsuko yelled in retaliation. "I'm not destined to be by Ayame's side when she gets to wield the cursed blade. That boy Katsumi, he also will be by her side the most. It hurts so much," she said as she began to cry.Bookmark here

"Atsu, just tell Ayame how you truly feel about her. You've been acting differently for a while, it's only a matter of time before she begins to question you."Bookmark here

"I know, so that's why I'll be telling her tonight. Me along with the other two, since Ayame's birthday is approaching soon as well. Once that comes, it's all over. I'll lose her forever."Bookmark here

"Listen, if you want to stay with Ayame, then there's a way for you to do it," Kikyo stated as she walked over to Atsuko.Bookmark here

"Wait, really?"Bookmark here

"Yes, but it requires for my spirit to enter your body. Once I do, then both of our spirits will merge."Bookmark here

The gust of wind blew, and it was sort of ominous in a way. "What do you mean our spirits will merge?"Bookmark here

"What I mean is," Kikyo said as she raised her hand to her chest. "You'll be in the same situation that me and Ayame are in. It's a precarious situation, but if we both stay by Ayame's side, I'm sure we can protect her. But you must tell her the truth, and you have to do it soon."Bookmark here

"You're right," Atsuko nodded with a new expression of determination "Kikyo, thank you, I appreciate this so much."Bookmark here

"Thank me when Ayame is safe."Bookmark here

Atsuko giggled, "Yes ma'am."Bookmark here

She then leaned in closer to Kikyo's face and did something unbelievable. She had kissed Kikyo, which surprised her that she went away. Ayame's hair, eyes, and other features all returned. She opened her eyes and her they became bigger at the realization of what was happening.Bookmark here

Atsuko pulled away, blushing, and a sincere smile. "Ayame Akiyama, I just want you to know that I love you, now and forever. I won't leave you my Little Iris."Bookmark here

Ayame was stammering, "Atsuko!!!! What was that for?! You stole my first kiss!" she yelled waving her arm in frustration.Bookmark here

"I literally just told you," Atsuko stated as she kissed Ayame on the cheek. "I love you."Bookmark here

Mario Robertus
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