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08 July 2012 @ 12:33 am
The Dragon Scroll - Chapter 8  

|| prologue || chapter 1 || chapter 2 || chapter 3 || chapter 4 || chapter 5 || chapter 6 || chapter 7 ||

Rei stood in the clearing, looking uncertainly at the ghost of the woman standing next to her. She had talked a lot, without pause for most of the time, but now she just stood there. Her last scentence seemed to echo through the forest; it was not meant to be.

"I'm sorry... What went wrong?"

The ghost sighed and shook her head.

"Was it the scroll?'

"In a way... Are you sure you want me to continue? This is not a happy tale."

Rei nodded.

"Yes, please. If you want to. It might be important for me to know."

"I doubt that," said the ghost with the faintest sneer, "but telling it isn't nearly as painful as living it.
Fine, let's continue"

Well, we went about our business as usual. He had a seat in the counsel, but I'm not sure what he did there. We never talked much about work if we could help it. I had a feeling he wouldn't be to happy to hear about all the men showering me with affection and gifts.

I don't know if he cared, but I wasn't willing to take that chance.

So I entertained men at parties as usual. The parties were fun and satisfied my need for social interaction.

Although I couldn't wait to get home after work.

Of course Mother didn't allow visits after hours, especially not visits that took place in my bedroom. She suspected things though and confronted me many times, saying she'd been hearing a man's voice. I always told her I had no idea what she was talking about.

But I knew what she meant of course.

I remember Katsuoro offering some kind of agreement with Mother, he offered to pay for my company to avoid getting me into trouble. But I wouldn't let him do it. I didn't want what we had to be tainted with money.

We did go places together though. The darkness of the theater was a perfect place to get a little privacy.

An then it all changed one night...

He came to my room, looking beaten up. He was usually calm and composed, but he was not at all his usual self that night. It scared me.

"What happened to you?" I cried out, as loudly as I dared.

"My dear brother and I got into a fight" he replied, walking slowly past me.


"He wants to use the power of the Ancient to crush our opponents."

"The power of the... what? I'm sorry, Ancient?"

He sighed and nodded.

"There is a scroll, it allows you to summon incredibly power. Enough to wipe out a big settlement in just a few hours."

"But, that's a good thing right?" I asked, "If that will win you the war."

He had looked at me in disbelieve.

"Setsuko,that power was never meant to be utilized by the military. It's a sacred artifact, it should not be disturbed." He shook his head and his voice dropped to a whisper.
"It's just not right."

"What will you do?" I had asked.

"The scroll needs to leave this place, as soon as possible."

"But how?"

"Setsu... I need you to take it far away from here."

"What? Me?" I turned away, shaking all over. "I can't, Katsuoru, you can't ask this of me."

"I know and I am sorry, but you are the only one I can turn to, You're the only one I trust."

He grabbed my arm and pleaded with me.

"Please, Setsu. I'll be right behind you, I just need to make sure no one will go looking for you. After that, I'll follow you.
Please, do this for me."

"For you, I'd do anything."

"Thank you, my love. Now, get ready. I will meet you outside in one hour. Wear something comfortable and warm. It's a long trip."

It took me some time to get ready, to gather the broken pieces of my soul.

He took me to the entrance of the forest.

"This is the fastest way. Walk swiftly and don't look back. There is a village on the other side, they will protect you. The scroll will be safer there. They respect the old ways."

"Katsuoro, I'm scared."

"Be brave, Setsu. I'll be with you before you know it."

What could I do, I trusted him. So we said out goodbyes and I took off.

It was a long and hard trip. I was used to a life of luxury after all. Relentless rain pounded on me for days and left me cold to the bone. I had hidden the scroll in my kimono, it kept poking me with every movement.

After days I arrived cold, sore and weak at the gates of the other village.

They were nice people, most of them. They assured me the scroll would be kept safe and offered me a place to stay for as long as needed.

I don't remember much of that place. Although I do remember one time we went to a bathhouse. One of the women, Yuzuki, offered to accompany me. I accepted, but I wasn't in the mood for company.

Not her company anyway.

"Are you alright?" she asked me. "I'm sorry if I'm intruding, but I've been keeping an eye on you. It was an order." she had added with an apologizing smile.
"You seem to be waiting for someone."

"What do you mean?"

"You stand at the village entrance for hours at a time, staring in the distance. I would have noticed it even if I weren't ordered to keep an eye on you."

"Don't worry, I won't be doing it again. He's not coming."

"Who isn't?"

But I pretended I didn't hear her.

"He said he'd be here. He should have been here by now."

I got up, suddenly angry.

"He said he loved me! He said he'd follow me!" My voice echoed of the walls. I didn't mean to shout, but I couldn't help it. All my anger, my fear and my loneliness were gushing out of me.

Yuzuki got up and moved to my side.

"He'll be here."

"How can you know?" I asked her, tears sliding down my face.

"If he loves you, if he promised you, he'll be here. Just you wait. It's going to be okay"

But it wouldn't be okay. The pain in my heart was soon accompanied by more pain. Every muscle in my body seemed to ache. Even breathing hurt. I developed a nasty cough.

One day I just passed out in the middle of the road.

I woke up in a soft bed, in a candlelit room. Yuzuki was by my side.

"Where am I?" I asked her.

"The hospital," Yuzuki answered. "Takeshi found you and he brought you here. You're a lucky lady, a few more hours and I wouldn't have been able to help you."

"I'm not lucky at all. If I were, he would be here by now."

"Don't talk like that," she said, brushing my hair out of my face. "I'm sure there is an explanation. If he's half the man you told me about, he'll follow you for sure. Something must have happened, try to be patient a little longer."

But I didn't believe her anymore.

And in the end, there was nothing anyone could do for me.

"And that is why you should never trust anyone who entrusts you with that scroll. Why you should never trust any man promising you it will be alright.

Because it won't be, little girl. There's nothing you can do. They will find you, they will take that scroll from you and no one will come to your aid.


"So... do you think he knows where she is?"

"Shhhh! We never question his directions."

"But we've been in this forest for hours. There's no sign of her."

No sign of her... That's good news.


- Guess who has two thumbs and took ages to update? *point thumbs in her own direction
- cut text is from "Love Don't Roam" from the Doctor Who soundtrack
Sorry about that, I had my worst case of writers block ever, I hated all my pictures and the words just wouldn't come.
- slightly interesting side fact: Both Hayate's grandfather and Rei's grandmother are in this chapter ;)
- and now I got this part out of the way, action time
- I'm on my six week summer break right now, so I should have more time to write (if I'm not visited by the ghosts of writers block)
hafiseazalehafiseazale on July 8th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
I'm finally all caught up and wow! I love it, Keoni. I can't wait for the next chapter. xD
Keonikeoni_chan on July 8th, 2012 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks Hafi! I'm really glad you liked it :) Hopefully I'll have the next chapter up soon.
Maranatahmaranatah on July 8th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Gorgeous pictures, as always :) And that theatre setting is amazing! You are so talented with the storytelling. :)
Keonikeoni_chan on July 8th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks Mara! :D I love building sets for my story, the theatre was a lot of fun to set up. I'm glad you like it!
Katekatee412 on July 8th, 2012 10:12 am (UTC)
Oh wow, another incredible update!
Keonikeoni_chan on July 8th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D I'm really glad you liked it!
scribal_goddessscribal_goddess on July 8th, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
Oooh, ghost lady is a bit bitter, isn't she? Of course, there's all sorts of things that could have happened to Katsuoro, none of which are particularly good.
Keonikeoni_chan on July 8th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
She is bitter, that's for sure. Setsuko was hard to write, she's not a very nice sim (just 1 nice point, 2 playful points).
I will tell what happened to Katsuoro later on, it's part of the end game. So you'll have to be patient a little longer :)
scribal_goddessscribal_goddess on July 8th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
Okay then. :) *Sits on hands.*
skellington7dskellington7d on July 8th, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
Awww, poor ghost lady. I like the parallel stories, and am really curious as to what actually happened to the guy!

Your pictures are gorgeous as always. That ending makes me excited for what's coming next!
Keonikeoni_chan on July 9th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
I love parallel stories in books, so I really wanted to include her story. I am planning to tell what happened to him, as part of the end game.

Thank you! That makes me really happy :)
mimicattmimicatt on July 8th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
Hello, I kinda stalk your story and would now like to actually say that it is epic instead of hiding in a corner XD Your game and your pictures are always sooo pretty and the story is soooo cool! I feel really bad for the gohst lady =( she seems to have had a tough time... Oh and YAY NINJA'S!
Keonikeoni_chan on July 9th, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for coming out of the corner (XD), comments like yours make me really happy. I'm really glad you like it, thanks for the sweet comments :)
Antimaccassarantimaccassar on July 9th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
Another lovely update! I love the way you edit your pictures (especially the way you did the rain). I can't wait for the next update :-)
Keonikeoni_chan on July 9th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm really glad you like the one with the rain, I really like that one too :)
Hopefully the next update won't take to long, I'm on summer break, so I have a lot of time on my hands :)
blackdaisiessimtopi on July 13th, 2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
Ahhh I can't believe I didn't leave a comment here. I came here to reread this and just noticed. XD

Well, first of all then setsuko's story is really sad. I wonder what happened to her lover. The clue about the grandparents got me thinking.

I hope nothing bad happens to Rei. Hayate has to find her soon! And by soon, your next update! ;).

Beautiful update as always!
Keonikeoni_chan on July 14th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about it, I do that all the time ;)

About the clue, Setsuko and Rei are not related, but that's all I'll say about it.

But I like bad things, the make for interesting storytelling *evil grin
But who knows, maybe Hayate will find her in time.

All kidding aside, thank you. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
olivethegreatolivethegreat on July 23rd, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
This was a great update! Hopefully the scroll will be safe as I did not realize it had such power.
bacc_krowbacc_krow on August 27th, 2012 09:02 am (UTC)
so it seems I started reading this and never quite finished it, because somehow it got mentally filed under "Things I Have Read", and that was a lie.

Anyways! Your sets are beautiful, did you know? The bathhouse and the theatre are both lovely, and the forest feels very dense. The scene of walking in the rain is probably my favourite. You've done wonderfully, 'tis a wonderful story to read. <3
Ningcollidingwithme on December 29th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
Omg nuuuu why did the chapter list end here?! D':

It's really sad that the promise to Setsuko was never fulfilled in the end, but what makes it sadder is that after so many years of haunting, she still never managed to find out what happened to Katsuoro. :(

But with Hayate right behind the evil man (haha, sorry, I didn't know what he is called), it seems history is not gonna repeat itself! ;)

I loled at the old ghost being called "crazy old goat", by the way. XD

(Oh, and I have been downloading a bazillion things from you, hehe. Thank you! ^^)