Chapter 1:



“Life is full of patterns that we eventually see. But what if we’re drowned by a cup of patterns that we eventually tremble into the abyss of Life?” Shadows began to dissipate as the flat Sun took its time laying on every reachable existence. Honkasūri wasn’t able to react but its locals does. Each of them went to perform their usual task in the daytime — forge objects, harvest things, worship beings, and many more that can be visualized to sustain the city. Although when the View gazes into an eating place, it was contaminated, both front and back. A ‘finished’ bowl was thrown into the backyard bin faster than usual; it was the fastest throw made since. Despite this, a palm went in between the bowl and the ground with an inch. Guzzles . . . as the Zōjin child ate the scraps that somewhat prevented her little belly to devour herself once more. Little legs began moving like a turtle and hands enveloped her dreaming stomach. Height was about Five feet tall but the sight was Fifty feet below.

Walking down the alleys of taint, voices of ‘fellow settlers’ enter her ears; reminding her of what the Zōjin Race including her speak like after being dragged to listen by her meaningless self. As usual, some letters were replaced, the most notorious being the letters L and V by the famous R and B; the letters C, Q, and X however, changed appearance and were biased sounds. Reasons for all of these are buried — yet to be dug. Reaching her so-called home, she slowly dropped into her bed while her coal-like hair poured through like strands of rain. Soil warming her, kissed by the sun and whispering to her “I am sunlight, be like me and don’t be like me.” She heard those sentences in the last four years of her aimless life; the usual, she slept over them.

◆ ◆ ◆

Days ran like eighteen laps. On the far east of Honkasūri, chattering sounds scattered — harvests, forges, and celebrations. In a busy eating place, the young girl prepared herself for another dive. However, today’s a different one because she was aiming not to catch something but rather to snatch. In her four years of experience as a homeless person, stealing wasn’t even a last option in her mind — but after acknowledging the sun’s whisper, it became the first option as the gut grumbled. With her nimble reflexes, she began to snatch food in a dash. This afternoon was her first major task: stealing a bowl of BonBon rice, said to be appetizingly dense it could seal hunger for a whole two days. Although she didn’t think of it as two but rather saw it worth thirty. Moments when the crowd went busy selling/preparing the newly arrived product,


A bowl of cooked BonBon quickly disappeared — no one in the crowd even changed course. Sounds of crowd munch slowly disperse, dashing her fastest whilst cloaking her BonBon rice from the eyes of anyone. Zōjin People, Animals, Pebbles, and any obstacle you can find were evaded by the coal-haired girl. Her stomach was already dreaming of the wonders that this rice would bring. Starting to run down the main street near ho—


Her body crashes to the ground; the rice was scattered and filled with dirt. Before even knowing who she collided with, her raisin-colored eyes were ablaze — half a dozen of teeth was her goal today. However, upon seeing what she stumbled into, her body went full pale: her muscles were locked into her rising position as if she has seen a ghost that haunted her home once ago. The armor reflected into her eyes, having a sign of Wanugō in it. He took a deep breath before unleashing his deep roar.

“Soldiers, the kingdom asks for more. If none steps forward, then force is the answer!”

The whole city stood shivering still: it was something anticipated now and then yet steps weren’t clomping. Crowd chattering, animals screeching, and footsteps lightly mark the ground leading to the enlistment area behind the Wanugō. The girl’s dream resettled from her stomach to her mind; thinking that it may be the time to abandon her hobo life, she gushes through the crowd with blank thoughts. Upon attempt, those raisin-color eyes of hers shined through futures after being accepted by the recruiter. Sun was packing up to end its shift; meanwhile, the recruitment number met its need. The Wanugō orders one of his commanders, seemingly responsible for the whole training of the recruits. They gazed at that officer wondering what happens next.

She yelled, “Three Thousand! Training is everything! May the first King guide you all.”

The conscripts either gulped, sweat, or held their breath after taking those words into their minds. Before attempting to recover, she immediately says, “Starto!” a strong ‘O’ accompanied by the last letter of her word.

“Endā, a concept instinctive to Zōjin People to put vowels at both beginning and last word in a sentence ending with a consonant, but HERS seem to remind me that we’re actually speaking like that regardless of what we do as I remember my old learning days in the Language School of Honkasūri before becoming an unemployed personu,” a random recruit thought, shaking.

Steps began to accumulate as their assumed trainer moves north. The second step wasn’t going to proceed until the first one did: the coal-haired girl that left her doubts in the city though not the soiled BonBon rice in her mouth, unnoticed.

Looking back at the eastern gates of the city, its shrinking size at a distance was also portraying their breaths. Eyes were dimming while the sun was sinking. Despite the darkness arising, they would continue to footslog. Barely clinging to their hopes, they gaped at their training officer: not even a single flinch of exhaustion was observed under her iron clothing — four hours in the walk.

“Death, I’m starting to feel it shitū,” mutters made by a conscript with the grassland chirping all night. With the rice she had eaten, the girl’s legs continue to stride along the eight-hour madness. Her eyes were still looking to the future; too bright to see what lays before her until she saw several dots within the light of nothingness.

“Fire . . . Camp, we‘re finally . . . here,” a recruit praying for his breath. Raisin-color eyes exited their inverse senses, her nose began to recognize the scent of noble meals within the settlement. Arrival at the camp for the conscripts was too good to be tru—

“Three Thousand! NO, Two Thousand Six Hundred Eighty! Congratulations! Eat and sleep within the camp for now! Our official training begins at sunrise,” her voice dashed through spaces as the trainer proceeds to her tent. Welcomed by the trainer’s men, the rookies were prepared for a meal.

Nukuriya Pasta todayū, Jo Rā Eitorā,” his presence starts filling their empty wills before the meal even began.

The whole camp accompanied squad leader Jo Rā in drawing tranquil stories about how the Nukuriya Pasta is the softest food in the whole Uzōjin that doesn’t even need to be cooked: a degree that it is a part of a baby’s diet. Coal-haired girl collected pasts on every gulp. So many, she eventually formed an album of vagueness — focused on herself on the edge of the camp.

The sun went clearing up both darkness and the regular day of Honkasūri conscripts. They were still exhausted, begging for sleep as their minds wander. However, they immediately returned after hearing the ear-breaking yell of the Training Officer.

Rekurutosu, rising sun! I am Wan Kō Siksukī and I will be your Official Trainer for this Hundred Fifty-Day Entry-Basic Training. First Day, start!”

◆ ◆ ◆

Recruits took the impending pain from different viewpoints as they glanced south, tiny Honkasūri watching them. The training consisted of a Mind, Body, and Soul competition but depended on the individual’s highs and lows. Coal-girl excelled in categories that require light-footed movements whereas the majority aimed for brawns. Self-drowning trials began to drain time until seventy-five days remained. Some of them had the same reaction, “We’re cut to two thousand five hundred . . . Bikurō.” Hills of training got steeper. Numbers of fallen gone deeper. Their formations are full of gaps while the scorching sun covers them.

◆ ◆ ◆

Completing the Entry-Basic Training was twenty days away. A new trial in the training camp was introdu—

“Duels, today will be the beginning of this training to improve your strengths and weaknesses when fighting a single opponent, often a battle of the Leaders that decide the victory of the battle! Starto!” Wan Kō Siksukī’s voice, alarming all of the newcomers on what is to go about.

Blow by blow, each pair of trainees held their respective weapons of wood, slashing into each other until one of them falls into the sleeping abyss. The Daylight watched the battles from different angles. Then came the awaited moment — the biggest rōjin against a small kojin. The crowd of the victorious whispered to each other,

Cold Shits. Is she even going to live?”

“I don’t know, like that Kojin ain’t going to win against our Big Guy, Dan Dū.”

“Uh guys, the question is, who is that kid?”

“Clueless, we haven’t even heard her voice since we got here.”

“Eh, isn’t she a beggar that lurks in the east Honkasūri?”

“I believe yeah? But something isn’t right.”

“Yeah. With her not looking like dirt any more, she looks like a no—”

The atmosphere snatched away their conversation — coal-haired kojin proceeded to rush through: dagger was wood but eager to cut like steel. One meter close to her opponent, the large club reflected in her eyes of raisin, swinging from the left. Without a sweat, she ducks low as the wooden club hits nothing but air. She then proceeds to land a blow on the opponent’s right knee before retreating several steps; her left-hand grips the wooden dagger, guarding herself.

“Kojin, that’s not going to cut my knees down,” Dan Dū spoke.

The standing recruits admired the two fighters with their mouths shut. Despite just the first strike, it was enough to make their will shatter and then reform simultaneously. The duel began its second peak. The child with the coal-colored hair rushed once more; Dan Dū responded and hit like before. However, a noticeable feeling came in the sinking-sun fight.

“Hm?! So this is your plan against me,” Dan Dū flinched. Dark red doubts started slipping through his right shin; a swift cut from the right knee became visible.

Coal-Kojin again raises her guard, ten steps away from Dan Dū as the crowd surrounds them like a ring, eyes wide. The battle between the dagger and the club of wood carried on for the next hundred seconds. Sweat and dirt attached to the Small Kojin’s Body while cuts and gore emerged from the Big Rōjin. His left hand held the heavy club resting on his right shoulder, chasing his breath. She proceeds to rush short steps for the deciding blow unti— Grabs! “Kojin, out of . . . Breathū?!” she then flew towards the ground while still being held by him. It was landing fast — faster than the ‘finished’ bowl that she used to catch.

Shick! “Argh?!” Dan Dū struck in doubt from what he had seen. The Coal-haired girl was able to thrust her sword in one of the prior cuts that the Big Guy had. Reducing the impact of landing, she delivers the neck-finishing thrust on him about an inch through; causing him to drop to the floor in screeching agony.

Out of all duels fought, the kojin’s victory was seen by the evening, recruits, and trainers whilst shaken by the Rōjin’s defeat. The night went by and the meals were served.

“Cold Shits. Did she really just win?”

“I don’t know like that Kojin just cut the weakness of our Big Guy, Dan Dū.”

“Uh guys, is she really a kid?”

“Clueless, she’s still not talking after that neck-full victory.”

“Eh, that hobo has extreme reflexes if you want to know my opinion.”

“Right about that for sure.”

“What? Forgot what I said. Munches.”

Wan Kō gazed at the Coal-Kojin child and asked, “Rekuruto Kojin, what’s your name?”

. . . Not even a single syllable came out of her semi-dry mouth.

She continued, “Don’t have the ability to spea—”

“Wan Kō Siksukī! Ryō Ken Wanugō is arriving at Honkasūri this evening, assistance is needed!” said a messenger, standing in front of her eyes. The Siksukī vanished as the eagerness rode along her gallop.

◆ ◆ ◆

Another sunrise laid upon the Camp. Training continued for another nineteen days of challenging duels — wins and losses smearing in the faces of the conscripts.

Tē’kī, my muscles hurt so much. Sighs.

Chuckles. Are you telling us that now? We’re at the final day, Sempō.”

Breathing Dead, that’s how we’re feeling guys.”

“Fourteen Losses, Tē’kī my throat hurts and medication isn’t helping!”

“From Deepthroat I guess? Pfft.

Tē’kyū . . . You lost your ballsa—”

Something made the heartwarming gossip slit shut. An unnoticeable air began steaming in the camp. The Zōjin Child prepared her stance — Left Foot in front of the right while Left Hand Grips the Steel Knife. Eyes searched for meanings behind her pose until they realized what was that steaming air from before.

“Wins of seventeen, five were Fatal Blows. This is the last day of your Basic-Entry Training, fight at your best, Youngest Rekurutō.”

The sounds of articulation made ears flinch; it was Wan Kō Siksukī’s normal voice in a scenery filled with humming winds and clinging grass. The Siksukī’s short sword slowly reveals itself from its sheath of circle patterns. Her was the same as Coal-Kojin’s stance, but the difference was clear as the raisin-tinted eyes kept glaring at the impending future before them if they were to fuck up. Nevertheless, she rushed to the Siksukī with all she had gone through in these Hundred Forty-Nine Days of aimful life. Her short and thrusting strikes took their last loose after Ten-whole seconds. The coal-haired girl went on for another Ten-second burst. Conscripts’ skin started sweating. She proceeds to try another, and another, and another, and another. Lungs started tightening, she switched to a defensive position succeeding in the failed offense. Wan Kō Siksukī lowers her head and then,

“Finished? Then it’s my bursts now. . .” the palm of her foot pressed the ground forward to the Coal-haired Kojin. The commander’s sprint was enough to make her eyes reflect nothing but shiver.

Night sat upon their final meal. Jo Rā released his departing words to the Honkasurī Rekurutosu during his sip.

“Ahhhhh, this Juice from Itsūchi is always refreshing after a hard day. Although it came from enemy territory, the merchants who sold this to us gave us a good amount to pay for it. ‘Although this taste like shit, Te’ki merchants.’ Back to my main message, I am content that a majority of you survived this basic training. Graduation, tomorrow it is and you will have the right to choose your future positions in war. Good luck. Sips.”

The trainees became grateful for the Eitorā’s kind words and continued to eat their supper, surrounding the crackling campfire. Meanwhile, the Zōjin Child and her coal-colored hair remained in the medic tent to patch her wounds. She began moving her feet but was stubborn as a boulder. Looking at the arms, it was filled with cuts of restrain. Seeing her battered state, she tried to look at her surroundings instead. Crickets chirping, campfire crackling, and crowd chattering. Her head shifted right then she saw the one who defeated her mercifully this morning, sitting and gazing at her.

“Solidly, I’ve never fought a rookie who can practically stand for more than Twelve Seconds against me. I recommend you were to join the special unit by training for another hundred days. You’ll become a solid piece of the Ryō Ken army by then.”

Coal-Kojin responded with a short exhale.

“Sighs. I guess you really can’t speak for at least twelve-tenths of a second.” She left the injured child in the medic tent. As she holds her thickly bandaged left arm, thoughts began to sketch in her mind.

“That Child looks like a Twelve Yea— NO, somewhere near Fourteen or Fifteen Years Old in Zōrian Time. Kojin like her should’ve been in her parents’ arms yet she fell for the dark path. Though, she would become to be a strong attractive Rējin that would get a lot of Rōjin falling for her. Still, heh, I can’t believe she actually lasted for a whole minute of my attacks meant to crush a rookie.”

The day of tomorrow finally arrived. The Little Kojin remained in the medic tent due to her sustained injuries. Meanwhile, the outside was filled with the sunlight of the One Hundred Fifty-First Day since their hellish march from their home city, Honkasūri. Congratulations greeted the recruits who worked hard to accomplish the first level of training. Wan Kō Siksukī stood in front of every Zōjin individual in the training camp.

“Two Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Seven! You are now available to choose whether to choose to be a Public Watch Unit, City Reserve Unit, or continue to the actual military training that will be held for One Hundred Days! Sun Rising!”

Speed-walking menacingly, the graduated recruits rushed through the enlistments of each position they would choose — thoughts scattered.

“I’m taking the Watch Unit Position, clowns.”

“Watch Unit. Watch Unit. Watch Unit. Watch Unit. Watch Unit.”

“Eh? Choosing Reserve Unit it is. I need to sell more vegetables back home.”

“Te’ki, I’ll continue this hundred-day short-tailed training for the sake of crushing Wanugōs for my Twentieth Day of Birth.”

“I’m Hungry.”

“Damn, my friends really died along the training huh. Guess I’m choosing Public Watch Unit then.”

“Weaklings! Only cowards choose the Public Watch Unit position in Okonfē. That’s why I’m choosing the thing that my strongest mind chooses, the Public Watch Unit.”

While they were busy choosing. The squad commanders laid a special treatment for the Coal colored hair Kojin. Jo Rā Eitora took a deep breath before he spoke.

“Since you are not able to talk and is badly injured, we are to give this paper survey instead. You are to Point to one of the three signs: Public Watch Unit which you are to be stationed in your city to protect it against bad locals; Reserve Unit in which you are to be stationed in your city but will be called by our Wanugō when numbers are needed; or continue to the Military Training in which is an additional One Hundred Days and when completed, you will have the right to choose more high rewarding ranks in the Military and upon retirement, you are to have your own residence and a quarterly allowance of honor.”

“The King of Okonfē’s will is not of Pure Iron Chain,” Wan Kō Siksukī said. “A Fourteen year Old Kojin has the same right as a Twenty-five year Old Rōjin who is in his strongest form.”

Coal-Kojin began to raise her right arm. Raisin-colored eyes reflected on what her finger pointed: her Iris was shining through that one symbol out of the three — the gleaming symbol that states “Military Training”.

This Novel Contains Mature Content

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