Snowstorm's and Wildfire's (Book Three of After Fairy Tale Series)

Snowstorm's and Wildfire's (Book Three of After Fairy Tale Series)

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

Yukki was saved once, by the young son of the leader of the Yokai. Centuries later she sees him again in full glory of his role as Clan Master. Her love for him has sustained her while the familial bonds of her adoptive family has kept her safe. With the threat of her step mother still on the horizon she is reluctant to pursue the dashing lord of their kind. But his love will save her as much as it will set her and her people free.

Summary

Yukki was saved once, by the young son of the leader of the Yokai. Centuries later she sees him again in full glory of his role as Clan Master. Her love for him has sustained her while the familial bonds of her adoptive family has kept her safe. With the threat of her step mother still on the horizon she is reluctant to pursue the dashing lord of their kind. But his love will save her as much as it will set her and her people free.

Chapter14 (v.1) - Courtship

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 24, 2016

Reads: 160

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 24, 2016

A A A

A A A

Yukki could proudly say she had grown thanks to being invited to the clan meeting. She had bonded with many of the leaders. And had been given invitations to visit in the coming holiday months. She worried about returning home, with the trouble brewing there. Sneaking into the yuki onna compound would be met with difficulty now. Especially if Waru Joo was watching for her. The plane ride back to Japan was long, and when they ouched down all she wanted was a bath. Oroka had contented herself with video games, and according to her, Rin was losing big time.

It drew a smile from her.

Dok was waiting in the airport, and when they arrived. He looked harried, and rumpled. Same as always, and when he roled each of them into a hug, she melted. It was nice to be back with him. This time she wasn't monopolized into a car with Rin but the pout he sent her was enough to let her know he was bummed out. He hadnt gotten her to agree to the engagement. A smirk twisted her lips though, it had already been arranged, it wasn't like it mattered anyways. If she got to be married to Rin that was a dream come true.

Once they were back inside Rakuen and she said her farewells Rin stopped her. She felt her face flush when she realized he'd lost his patience with her distance. "Hime-san," He smiled at her, in full view of the market square. "I will see you soon."

"S-sure." She nodded and he cupped her cheek. He kissed her forehead, bared by the simple mask she wore and the heat from his mouth brought to mind the kiss they shared at the meeting. She fought to control her ice, and when he pulled back his breath frosted. "Rin."

"Hime," He grinned, "I'll bring Sakura."

With that he whirled and joined Kai who nodded to her. They left and she was standing there like an idiot. Oroka giggled and Uchikina took her arm. They made their way home with Dok in the lead.

***

Yukki dodged a blast of fire magic, her body moving with precision and fluidity. Kimuzu lunged on her right, a few of the other protectors on her left. She joined her brother. Scales flickered across his jaw as he leapt into the air. She swung behind the large ogre like oni and slashed at it's legs.With a great howl it buckled. Various weapons jabbed forward, and Yukki leapt into Kimuzu's waitng grasp. With a great leap she was higher than the poor yokai. Her sword came down on it's neck, right as Kimuzu pierced it's heart.

She landed in a deep crouch and sheathed her weapon. The yokai fell in a heap and died there. She mourned it's loss. Another of their people lost to the curse of their ages. Too much magic, too much age. She felt Kimuzu come up behind her. "His family is waiting." She growled.

"It's better if you do it." Kimuzu said. "They're frightened of me."

"Very well, gather his ashes for his wife." Yukki said softly and got to her feet. Kimuzu nodded and cupped her shoulder. It wasn't a good thing, to have to put down one of their own because of a rampage. Yukki rubbed the blood from her face as best she could and paced out of the area. She saw the small house built into the forest. A good ways away from Rakuen proper, but it was close to the Doragon Shrine. She stepped lightly across the stone walkway, her movement silent. Huddled in the main entryay, was the wife, and her three youngest children.

Yukki did not step very close to the house, she did not feel she had the honor. So she knelt and set her sword across her lap. She then leaned forward and bowed respectfully. "I am so very sorry, her could not be reached. Lord Protector gave the order of execution. His ashes will be gathered for proper ceremony. My humblest apologies for your loss. As a Doragon, anything you need will be provided, you need only ask."

***

Yukki staggered into her home. Yanking her mask off as she went. Oroka was waiting, and at the dark look Yukki sported she didn't greet Yukki as she usually would. Kimuzu followed, Yukki knew her misery was reflected in him. Executions always set them off balance. "Yukki love?" Sena asked as she rounded the corner with a smile.

"I need a moment." Yukki said weakly and continued towards her room. She could sense guests, and knew then that Lady Sakura had come to visit. She needed to put her mind to rights before she was ready for a guest. So Yukki set about changing clothes, washing the blood off, and settling a more comfortable mask on. She left to the garden and Uchikina was there, her tea waiting. Yukki didn't speak, she just fell to her knees and curled up with her head on her sister's lap.

"I heard what happened." Sakura's voice came from the visiting room, she sat on the other side of the tea set. "It's a shame another one lost themselves."

"An irreplaceable soul." Uchikina said sadly as her fingers wound through Yukki's damp hair. 

"Kimuzu used the spell for reincarnation." Yukki said, "Doesn't change the loss his widow is experiencing. Three young children without a father now. It doesn't make any of this easier. I know it was the right thing to do, before he hurt his own family. It hurts though, I've done it many times, but it still feels like a sin to take a life that was innocent. To steal from a family like this."

"It happens to us all." Uchikina said softly and braided a lock of Yukki's hair.

"It is a dark thing we live with." Rin's voice filtered and Yukki flicked her gaze up to see him leaning on the doorway into the sitting room. "I commend you for putting him to rest. I'll see to it his family is taken care of."

"Dok will be visiting before long to set her worries to ease." Uchikina spoke. "You need not bother yourself, my lord."

"Hmm," He nodded but the look in his eyes said he'd go himself. How did they earn such a bright king for their kingdom? She sat up and rolled her shoulders.

"You came to visit?" She asked.

"I did, I promised to court you properly. That includes declaring my actual intentions to Dok." He smirked. "Then I heard about today, and frankly I just wanted to see how you were. Kimu already snapped at me, he's not too happy."

"He never is," Uchikina smiled softly. "I'll go check on him."

Yukki watched her sister quietly pad into the house. Sakura sidled up next to her and leaned their arms together. "Dearest Hime-san, why did you not tell me about Rin being so forward. I would have beaten him myself."

"Ah, R-Rin was not overly forward. No more than I was." Yukki defended, and Sakura grabbed her hand.

"I'm so excited, were to be family." Sakura grinned. "Finally I won't be so outnumbered by the men."

"I take offense to that." Rin hissed.

"Between you, Kai, and Haku, I need more women near me." Sakura snapped. "And if all works well with Oroka-chan, I could equalize everything quite well."

"Oh, are you joining forces to get Kai-sama, and Oroka to become more of an item?" Yukki looked at the fox princess. "Good, Oroka made a decision I'm not happy with over the meeting. I'm not sure she let herself open back up after it. They could use a bit of help."

"Hmm, well then, shall we do a triple date?" Sakura asked. Yukki gaped at her.

"A triple date?" Yukki asked. "I don't exaclty soothe the population unless I'm working."

"That is irrelevant when you are out with the royal family. Which you will soon be apart of." Sakura grinned happpily.

"Sakura," The quiet voice of her husband drew Yukki's gaze to the other kitsune. "Don't be pushy."

"I am not, is this okay Doragon Hime? By tradition we must visit you first, then we take you out with select members of your family. Then we attend a function together, and then you and Rin can court alone as you please." Sakura looked at her with wide eyes.

"Yes, it's fine." Yukki conceded. "Come, Sena is cooking, and we should not keep her waiting." 

***

Rin watched as dinner flowed around the table with a noise and exuberance he had not felt since before his father lost himself. Sakura looked equally perplexed, but she waded into with with delight. Since Oroka was engaging her. Uchikina seeemd to have soothed Kimuzu some. So he turned his attention to Yukki who sat next to him. She traced her bowl with her chopsticks and smiled as others spoke. But through the soft mask that covered her face she looked to him. Her eyes brightened as she met his gaze. At least the day seemed to have ebbed from her. 

Something changed as he sat there. He truly enjoied being surrounded by the sight of family. His dinners with Sakura, Haku, and Kai were quiet, more somber moments. A winding down of the day. How long had it been since Sakura greeted him with excitement when he came home? She had been a child then. The Doragon family, had taken Yukki and absorbed her into it. They were a family. No doubt about it.

He smiled when food was passed to him, micro arguments went about, and laughter flowed over him. Rin wanted this more than anything in a long long time. It was so much more than just Yukki herself. It was what she could bring to him. Life that he had been certain was lost to him with his fathers madness. Life that Sakura desperately needed. They needed Yukki and the Doragon House. In any way they could have them. Resolved Rin ate with the same level of familiarity they were showing him. 

"So Lord Oji," Dokumento started as he finished his cup of sake and held it out for his wife to refill. "Let's talk plans." 

"Indeed?" Rin looked up at the patriarch of the family. Sena grinned happily and all of the dragon eyes fell to him. 

"Yes, I plan to take Hime-chan out for a triple date this week." Sakura spoke up, "As well as Oroka-chan." 

"Saku-tan-..." Oroka's jovial face darkened a bit. 

"No arguments, were going to the Neko Casino's." Sakura smiled as Oroka's balked expression lightened immediately. Gambling and games, well played Sakura.

"Hmm, very well." Dok nodded. "Then it would be best if we get together for the winter solstice. It will be the first of the season. Best to be prepared, the snowfall will be thin this year." 

Rin watched as Yukki's fingers tightened around her chopsticks."A sad truth." She growled.

"Well after that I expect to see proper courting, no rumors to go about." Dok smirked at them. "Between work that is." 

His eyes darkened beneath his glasses and Rin nodded. It was as much a warning as it was a threat. Many meanings indeed. "Well, now that thats out of the way." Sena giggled, she trailed her her hand across her husband's arm. "Tell us about the assassins." 

"Ah," Rin looked to Yukki and her siblings. Uchikina looked down with a frown and Kimuzu slammed a fist on the table. Oroka pilfered a bit of meat from his plate. Yukki however straightened. "They came as you warned, a direct attempt to derail my work at the council meet. But also, a response to the engagement." 

"Bold," Dok huffed. 

"Did any of them speak of who hired them?" Sakura asked.

Rin looked to Yukki and her mouth firmed before she took her mask off entirely. "To adequately report on the events at the meet, I will need to report on my work over the past few centuries." 

Dok stood up and walked to the doorways to close the windows more firmly and the Shrine Maiden of the family got up to settle paper seals on each opening. He felt the hum of magic and knew the entire dining room was being sealed. "The Doragon Compound is usually protected, this is for added security." 

Sakura grabbed his arm and her frown was deep as she looked to him. "What is going on Rin?" She demanded.

"Doragon Hime, is Howaito Yukki." He said. Her gaze widened in shock and she jerked her gaze to Yukki. 

"But you killed her-..." She looked back at him. "I berated you for it, Lady Yachi had been mothers friend, Howaito Yukki was my playmate until she went mad and her husband took Yukki into the yuki onna territory. I never saw her again. I was so angry when you killed her, my friend." 

"Rin met me the night my father was murdered." Yukki smiled and reached over to touch Sakura's hand. "Waru Joo became my father's concubine, some form of her ghostly magic ensnared him. At first she was a breath of fresh air, wanting to let me out from seclusion to interact with the other yuki onna. But the night she convinced my father to marry her everything changed. The will was changed, when I came of age, I was to begin training to take my mothers place as Clan Head. But my father convinced the elders it was in their best interests to remove me from succession." 

Rin looked at her and she shook her head momentarily. Her eyes had lightened almost to white. "After that he married Waru Joo, and on the night of their marriage, she ran screaming from their bed chambers. It was one of the nights I snuck out of my own room to walk the compound. I heard her screams and went to see what had happened. I found my father with his throat cut in the middle of his bedroom. Waru Joo came running back with the guards. Accusing me of killing her husband before they could consummate their marriage. They didn't think twice, they attacked me." 

"Yukki fled the compound, and bounty hunters had been sent after her, that night I thought it was strange, all the commotion. So I went to investigate myself." Rin smiled. "I found her running scared. When she explained that she had been framed I heard truth in her words, no person running that scared, would be so honest about why they were running. So I faked her death, and sent her to flee." 

"I made it to Rakuen, and lost myself in the city, until I climbed a fence to find some form of shelter, and fell into the garden here." Yukki said. "Dok saw the favors Rin had left with me to vouch for my truth, and they took me in. Disguised me, hid me long enough for rumors of Howaito Yukki to fade. Then introduced me as Sena's long lost sister, left in the human world by the late leader of the branch family." 

"The rest is history." Dok smiled, "Doragon Hime was respected fairly early on, and she truly did fit in as an adopted part of us. She made a circut, of the house, becoming efficient in all things necessary for one to know. But she found her place surely in Kimuzu's neck of the woods. As a protector she found her calling. It was perhaps a month into training when she started to sneak out into the yuki onna territory?"

"Hmm, yeah about a month, after we discovered she wasn't so bad with a sword." Kimuzu snorted and poured himself some sake. Oroka took his drink before he could get it to his mouth and the growling argument over that ensued. Rin smirked as he listened. He hadn't even heard the full story. 

"Yu-tan started investigating then, since no one had seen the yuki onna outside of the festivals, the winter one where they participated." Oroka said with a triumphant smirk as she filtched Kimuzu's bowl of spicy noodles. "I think it was then we realized something was wrong. Yukki knew immediately." 

"What was wrong?" Sakura asked. Haku settled a hand on her shoulders and she tensed momentarily. 

"Waru Joo assumed leadership because no one was trained for the role. Not even the elders are trained enough to stand at a house meeting. She graciously took the role since the yurei faded from existence some years before my mother went mad." Yukki said and leaned back. "I started to infiltrate, befriended one of the yuki onna living there currently. She restricts their magic, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if we all didn't need to use a little to live. They are wasting away. But recently within the past thirty years, she's targeted her abuse at the younger girls. Often they vanish for weeks, returning worse than ever." 

"Absorbing their magic." Rin supplied.

"That's my working theory. Trying to create a magical body to fit her soul. Perhaps at the age range she expected you to be looking for a wife. She was adamant that you pick someone other than your fairy tale version of me." Yukki looked at Rin then, their thought processes following to a tee. God's did he like brainstorming with her. "To trick you I believe. Enchant you like she did my father. I'm not sure how she does that. But my contact assured me that she's stealing youth. They have to scar themselves to avoid her wrath. She doesn't like anyone being more beautiful than she is."

"That's... how has no one noticed this before?" Sakura asked. 

"Once the protectors became established, the yuki onna weren't needed to man the borders." Rin said. "Father relieved them of the job." 

"I've been compiling evidence against her for centuries. Not enough yet to expell her, or even to reprimand her. She's careful. And now, now she's gunning for me as Doragon Hime. My investigation is going to be put on hold." Yukki said and scowled. Her eyes lighting up white again. Blue started to thread into her hair before she settled herself back down. "But, when she sent out her allies, she didn't count on Rin sending one back as a spy. The Rokuo heir is now to report to us." 

"I want to draw her out. That she jumped because you made an announcement is a sign she's afraid her plans will fail." Rin laughed. "It's been a long time since I've gotten to oust a traitor." 

"So you think she's going to try and kill Dorago-...Yukki to entice you into marrying her?" Sakura asked. 

"That is the current theory." Rin nodded. 

"And you think her take over of the yuki onna has something to do with her original clan dying out?" Sakura turned to Yukki. 

"Yes, but there will be little to no proof on it unless she confesses. She alone in the entire city, can command ghosts." Yukki looked down. "I've never been able to find any proof she led the Yurei clan, or that she killed them all. Just that in the span of sixty years, they all died, starting with the children." 

"Which is what she's doing now." Sakura hummed and leaned back into Haku. "You've been investigating all this time. To prove your innocence?" 

"My innocence was never the goal." Yukki said. "I have only wanted to set my fathers soul to rest honestly. He deserved to die with honor, fearful man that he was, he was still my father. Whether I cleared my name or not, I had not intended to reveal myself until much later. Rin unmasked me." 

Sakura looked at him with a mixture of annoyance and amazement. "You are the only person in this entire city who knew she was innocent, other than her allies." 

"I was, I never knew she was Doragon Hime until I started to suspect. All this time, I respected her as the Dragon Princess. Their adopted treasure." Rin said. "I held out hope that I would one day meet Howaito Yukki again." 

"And you did," Sakura said and determination filled her then. "Alright, count me in. Taking down some upity old hag who thinks she can have my brother, my kingdom... that sounds like just the fun I've been wanting."

 


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