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The Street of a Thousand Cherry Trees

The Street of a Thousand Cherry Trees

A Chapter by Kuandio

            Ayaka woke from the strangest dream.

            She stretched, squinting into the morning light that streamed through the bamboo blinds. The room was empty. How comfortable to lie in bed, shutting out the rest of the world. Before she could return to sleep her eyes widened with a jolt and she raised up on her elbows. It’d been no dream! She slumped back down and plunged her cheek into the pillow, eyes wide open. No wonder she'd woken later than usual - it hadn’t been easy falling asleep last night. How unreal. She hoped after attending the banquet, that’d be the end of it, yet she couldn't forget what had happened.

            Where were Noribuko and Harumi? What time was it? Even though today they were supposed to go to the River Colors House, her aunt must've let her sleep in. Noribuko intended to purchase several crates of parceled silk to take back to Gurinhiruzu, and she wanted Ayaka to familiarize herself with the spinning and dying first, as well as the care of silkworms, so they might enhance their own trade.

            Ayaka wanted to go to the River Colors House. Busying herself might help leave last night behind. She got up, dressed, and left the Bathhouse Inn. The silk house was located just outside the city on the banks of the Sukai River, making for a decent walk. Willows and mulberry trees stooped beside the modest wooden building, which overlooked the grass-banks and sparkling watercourse. Teams of nomin women worked inside, boiling, spinning, washing, drying, weaving, and dying silk.  

            “How did it go my dove?” Noribuko was positioned behind a massive barrel boiling with cocoons. She churned the contents, separating the long fibers.
            “Well.” Ayaka forced a smile. She wasn’t keen to talk of it. How could she? Though hard to believe, the prince of Shenobi appeared to have been taken with her. No. Don't flatter yourself. Surely he behaves the same towards many women.

            For the next few hours Ayaka helped Noribuko at the silk house. Afterwards, she and Harumi returned to the city and visited Oki Market. A number of the vendors knew Ayaka by name, and called to her with eager friendliness to fish back her business. While picking out fruits and vegetables from a stall, last night’s events receded further to the backdrop of her mind. Going about a relatively normal day of humdrum chores, around run of the mill folk, the memory of the daiymo banquet took on a dreamlike quality.

            Foremost among her thoughts remained the journey to the Blue Mountains, where she must find the dojen master of Kinterasa Temple. To this end Ayaka purchased a large beige leather rucksack. The merchant told it came from Azuma-yosai. Though Ayaka was unsure on that score, the rucksack was large and sturdy enough to carry what she'd need.

            That evening she met Akemi and Midori at a teahouse to celebrate the third day of the Saisei Spring Festival. Like cats meowing, they begged for details of the banquet.

            "Oh come on, Aya-chan, can't you tell us just a little more," Akemi pressed. "Did you speak with Ryusako? What was he like? And the others?"

            "Yes cousin, don't be so difficult," Midori coaxed at her other side. She smiled knowingly. "I bet one of the daiymo invited you to their kingdom, neh? When were you going to tell us?"

            "Oh, I want to go too," said Akemi. "I mean, you'll take us with you, Aya-chan, to visit, neh?"

            Ayaka caved in and divulged everything, except her encounter with Daisuken. She thought Midori and Akemi would never stop asking questions. It wasn't until prince Akihiro and Tazeki arrived with a company of daiymo that their attention diverged. The evening was spent going from one social function and carousal to another, during which Ayaka indulged in a single cup of sake. Her friends however, drank until their laughter rang out like bells as they walked the streets, and their balance had to be supported more than once. 

            The next day Ayaka got up earlier and returned to the River Colors House. By early afternoon, her aunt, afflicted by a flare up of rheumatism in her back and hands, instructed Ayaka to go back to the inn and boil a large pot of the medicinal teas and herbal extracts.

            Upon returning to the lodgings, Ayaka kindled the brazier and set the pot of water over the coals. It hadn't begun simmering when there came a knocking at the door.

            "Denka Soranoyume?" called the serious voice of a man.

            “Yes?” She slid the door open.    

            A palatial courier stood outside. He bowed and handed her a small mahogany box, and a scrolled paper. "These are for you, Denka Soranyume."

            Ayaka received the items, a mite bewildered. "Many thanks, Kyaku-san.” She bowed.

            After the courier departed she sat at the small table. Upon opening the box she leaned back in surprise. A mizu-quartsel necklace. Dear gods. The diamond like jewel reflected like sunshine in pure water. It was worth a small fortune. Afraid to handle it further, she set the jewel carefully back in the box. Then she un-scrolled the paper and read the black ink calligraphy;

            Esteemed Ayaka Soranyume, I have thought of you often since the night of the banquet. Please accept the necklace as a token of my admiration of your character, and beauty. You are ever welcome at the palace. I can only hope to see you again.

            Sincerely, Daisuken  Kasainotora.

            Ayaka stared blankly before setting the scroll down. Just when she’d begun putting it in the past. What now? Should she respond with a gift of appreciation? What might that mean? She hid the letter and the box with the necklace inside in her luggage chest. A half hour later Harumi arrived. Ayaka gave the little girl a flask of the herbal concoction to deliver to Noribuko. Since Ayaka was not ready to face her aunt, in an attempt to put her thoughts elsewhere, she busied herself by sweeping and mopping the floor, as well as a plethora of other chores which didn’t really need doing. Several times she paused, wondering - Why am I afraid of the prince? In the end, isn't he just a man, like all others?

            “You needn’t come to the silk house today," said Noribuko. It was the morning of the fifth day of the festival. "Let’s take a break, neh, give my bones a chance to rest.” She patted Ayaka on the hand. “But you go ahead. A nice day like this should be enjoyed. The festival won’t last forever you know.”

            Ayaka decided to take Harumi along to see the cherry trees. The little girl asked if she could bring Koribito too. Ayaka saw no reason Harumi should leave her favorite toy behind. She also promised to take her to Oki Market for sweets. After putting on her kawazuzakura pink kimono, Ayaka picked up her purse, and the red parasol she’d recently purchased. The use of parasols was somewhat of a novelty to her, seldom seen in Gurinhirzu, but quite customary for women in Shenobi, which added to the parade of colors.

            Before midmorning Ayaka and Harumi left the Seas of Heaven Bathhouse Inn. Patches of white cloud roved across a crisp blue sky. What a day. Not hot; warm in the sunshine, and cool in shade - just perfect. Harumi held Ayaka's hand, using her other to clutch Koribito close. For a stretch Ayaka permitted her to carry the parasol. Harumi hopped, laughing, and claiming that the parasol could help her fly, or float at least. By and by, down avenues brimming with life, they made their way towards Hanibara StreetAh, this is how the world should always be, with so many people, full of fun and happiness. Only three days remained, yet with much still happening, it felt like the Saisei Spring Festival was an entire season unto itself, one that hopefully would never end. 

            Harumi hummed a merry little song, skipping as they past next to a busy bridge which arched over the Sukai River. Pulled by a pair of strong horses, a magnificent carriage, covered like a giant palanquin, clattered over the bridge planks. At their other side a park extended with weeping willows, draping beech, and camphor trees. Here artists painted and fashioned work in various mediums; sculpting, carving, weaving; and sold their craft at little stands. Ayaka was drawn to an exhibition of origami set in glass cases. She couldn’t fathom what skill and patience had gone into designing the collection of figures. Stars of white chiyogrami paper like intricate snowflakes, flowers, nearly every kind of animal that walked or flew, houses, temples, nomin farmers, and a column of marching warriors - all were created from the meticulous folding of white paper and a small selection of colored paper.
            “They’re extraordinary,” Ayaka commented.
            The artisan bowed. “Thank you misuekkusu.”
            “These are my favorites.” She bent down to view a collection of ducks, doves, eagles, and other birds. “They’re so delicate, and lovely. May I ask what inspires you, Kyaku-san?”

            “Hmm, inspiration is a collaboration of elements, ... but part of it would have to be the delicateness you note. It resembles the fragility of life. Sometimes the simplicity of paper can convey as much as other more elaborated works."

            Ayaka nodded, absorbed in her study of three dimensional renderings.

            “We never know what moments will find us,” spoke a voice behind her. “Those unexpected can adorn and color a day, or an evening, in ways we cannot forget.”

            Ayaka pivoted. A few paces away stood the prince; tall, hands behind his back. He wore a vest of dark umber with red and gold mosaic-like designs. At his belt were the dual samurai swords - short and long - in polished and jeweled scabbards.

            "Daisuken-sama." Ayaka stuttered as she bowed.

            "Ayaka Soranoyume." He matched her with a bow.

            The artisan had fallen to one knee, hands clasped. “My lord”

            “Come, brethren," Daisuken addressed the man, "there is no need for such veneration.”

            How, in a city thousands, has he found me? In the warm sunshine however, Ayaka wasn’t as intimidated as when it'd been solely the two of them in the shadows. And he was so relaxed, of good cheer, as if all burdensome thoughts were removed from him.

            “I saw you as I crossed the bridge,” said Daisuken. “A happy coincidence. I hope I do not inconvenience you from your doings?”
            “No.” She shook her head “Of course not. It is very nice to see you again Daisuken sama.”
            He walked towards her. Harumi hid Koribito in her robes and retreated from the looming man, back to Ayaka, like a cub to its mother.

            "I'm sorry. Harumi is very shy," said Ayaka.

            "No matter." He leaned down to meet the girl at eyelevel. "Believe it or not, I was a child once too. Even smaller than you, my dear." He put a gentle hand on Harumi's head. "But you are far prettier."

            Harumi blushed although she still looked away.

            “So, what catches your eye?” Daisuken asked Ayaka in a tone of familiar friendship.
            “Hmm.” Ayaka appraised the paper birds. She pointed to one.
            “Ah.” The prince raised his eyebrows. “The swan. Most heavenly of birds. Again, your refined taste is confirmed.” He asked the artisan, “How much for this one?”
            “Oh, nothing." The artisan showed his palms in meek display. "For the prince, I give all freely.”
            “No, no, this is a special piece, and your talent must be rewarded.”
            What proceeded was one of those rarest occasions when the customer has to wrangle in order to pay. At length Daisuken convinced the artisan. The man opened the showcase and set the origami swan in another, much smaller glass box, which he presented to Ayaka.    

            When the prince handed the artisan the tsuka coins, the man gasped. “My lord, this is hundreds of times above it's price!”
            “I am afraid you’re wrong.” Daisuken brushed the ensuing counterclaims aside. “It is worth that and much more." Once the artisan accepted, he fell to his knees in gratitude.

            Ayaka held the case; it was so translucent, it was as though a bird formed of snow had alighted on her palm. 
            “Perhaps you prefer it to the mizu-quartsel necklace?” said Daisuken. “I should learn that oftentimes simple gifts, and gestures, are above those that treasures acquire.”
            “Thank you so much Daisuken-sama, for the necklace, and for the swan."

            The prince bowed, then asked, “And to where does this fine day beckon?” 

            "Ah, ... we were on our way to Hanibara Street, to see the blooming of the sakura.”
            “A splendid idea." Daisuken clapped lightly. "Perhaps I could have the pleasure of joining you?”
            “Of course, Daisuken-sama.” Ayaka nodded timidly.

            "What say you we ride to there?” He motioned to the royal carriage. It was a true work of art, fashioned from red and dark ironwood, with a sloping roof, and pair of giant wheels. All was polished and inlaid with artistically crafted gold bracers and stanchions. Three samurai retainers fitted in full armor attended beside the vehicle.

            "Both of you, of course," said Daisuken. "There is more than enough room. Allow me the honor of giving you a proper tour of Shenobi."

            Ayaka exchanged a look with Harumi. Despite the little girl's shyness, Ayaka knew Harumi would love to ride in such a carriage. It was a privilege she had surely never been afforded.

            At their approach, the trio of retainers stepped back, bowing. Ayaka and Harumi boarded the royal vehicle, entering through beaded curtains into a luxurious interior of soft cushions and gemmed pillows. Two sofa-benches faced each other. The prince sat on one, Ayaka and Harumi on the other. At Daisuken's order, the retainers left the sideboard-doors partially open, and took up their positions outside.

            Daisuken spoke through a window panel to the driver, "To Hanibara Street, my good Tayaro-san."

            The carriage’s iron-rimmed wheels trundled over the flat cobblestone streets. Daisuken slid a roof hatch open and sunshine spilled in, warming them. Ayaka couldn't believe she and Harumi were seated in the same carriage as the prince, to sightsee the very city his father ruled. The avenues scrawled by; rickshaws jouncing along, nomin bustling on their way, and daiymo women strolling with parasols all the colors of spring flowers. Where it was narrower, people opened way, bowing, some smiling and waving. The blooming of the cherry trees was the heart of the spring festival, and as the crowds thickened, Ayaka knew they were getting close.

            When the driver turned onto Hanibara Street, sunlight pooled through her side of the carriage. She had purposefully avoided this street in recent days, so that when she did come, she would see the trees in full bloom. Parting the beads aside, she angled closer to the open side of the vehicle. Morning rays bathed her upturned face.

            Gods and heavens. Her eyes widened. The sky was a dappled, pastel blue river between clouds of white flowers.

            “There are so many more sakura than I imagined,” said Ayaka, in awe.

            “That is what everyone says the first time they see it," answered Daisuken. "It is known also as the Street of a Thousand Cherry Trees.”

            "Are there really that many?" Ayaka almost laughed for joy while taking in the sight.

            "Yes, Ayaka-san. That number exactly. All planted centuries ago by the lord of Southern Kingdoms. It is said he once met Saku-ya-hime, and was so smitten, that he commissioned the work, as an offering to the goddess of dawn and flowers."

            "Such a beautiful history," said Ayaka, her gaze adrift among shores of flowers.            

            During any season Hanibara was the busiest thoroughfare in Shenobi, with merchant wagons rattling along and a steady stream of pedestrians directing themselves over its stone laid surface. With the festival, and the sakura blooming, transit had increased manifold. Added to the regular passerby, hundreds and hundreds had come to promenade between the ancient trees, towering on either flank of Hanbira. Under the shade of overhanging flowers, people walked slower, often pausing to appreciate the blossoms, and make wishes.

            Since the numbers of pedestrians had swelled, and because Daisuken did not want to disrupt the crowds, he bid the driver go slower yet. Thus the royal carriage progressed up Hanibara Street, like a boat in a placid current.

            “Is it alright if I stand? ” asked Ayaka.
            The prince nodded. “You may do as you wish."

            She slid the sideboard door the rest of the way open. The light scent of blossoms had freshened the air. Holding Harumi's hand, Ayaka and the little girl stood in the open doorframe; some of the branches draped so low, they brushed over their heads. Gold beams sifted, interchanging through the boughs. Closing her eyes, Ayaka caressed the flowers, and breathed the gentle rose-like fragrance. 

            “Aya-chan!” Harumi pointed up with one hand, holding Koribito with the other. She beamed, rising on her heels.  

            A breeze swooshed, and a few petals fell, landing atop the carriage and on their shoulders. Ayaka hugged Harumi at her side. I never want to forget this moment. She glanced at the prince. Though he didn't stand up, he was smiling.

            "It is my favorite flower," Ayaka said. "I wait all year, and when they return, it's always a miracle."

            "You behold things in a special light," said Daisuken. "I admit, a divinity exists in these flowers. Perhaps the Shiroi-tenshi tree is more than myth?” 

            Ayaka longed to sing, to leap out of the wagon and spin around under the trees, and pick Harumi up and hug her as she did so. Instead she sighed.
            “It is a pity the sakura do not last longer,” the prince reflected. “I suppose that makes them more memorable, like many things that are fleeting.”
            “Yes, Daisuken-Sama.” Ayaka said; she had noted a touch of nostalgia in his words. “That's why during the brief time they visit us, they must be cherished.”

            From Hanibara Street, the carriage transported them at a relaxed clip to the other quarters of the city the prince had proposed the tour should continue to. The horses' hooves clopped the stone, and thumped on the hard-packed dirt streets; the three retainers keeping stride easily. Then and again Daisuken had the driver slow, so he could point out certain sights, providing an anecdote of relevant history, or brief praise regarding the significance of a particular construction, such as the ancient walls and aqueducts. In these explanations he often referenced his ancestry. A shrine Ayaka had seen before, one encircled by a small garden, she learned, had been built to commemorate a beloved lord - Hidetora - whom Daisuken was a direct descendent of by fourteen generations.

            "He repelled the Empire of Godrong, and the barbarian hordes, when they crossed the Sea of Kodaina Suiro," Daisuken recounted. "It was then the emperor recognized the sovereignty of the Southern Kingdoms."

            Her spirit renewed by the beautiful morning, and this heroic fragment of history spurring her, Ayaka believed everything in the world was going to be alright. "I congratulate you, honorable Daisuken-sama, on your achievement against the Shogun. Your great, great, many times great grandfather, Hidetora, would surely be very proud."

            Seconds too late, she recalled she had meant not to speak of the east. A silence followed, infringed only by the placid creak of the carriage's hubs and axle.

            "I am afraid you overestimate me." Daisuken gazed outside, his brow somewhat furrowed. "I am a shadow of Hidetora's stature as a leader. The enemy he fought came from far across the sea. The one we face is out our doorstep, and yet I have been incapable of eliminating the threat." He shook his head. "Such a leader will not be remembered so highly." 

            The prince's admission took Ayaka off guard. "You should not speak thus, Daisuken sama." She did her best to assure him, "Everyone believes in you."

            He grinned, and gave a slightly sarcastic humph. "The treaty is it? I fear it will not prove as significant as people hope. I did not wish a cast a pall on the festival, and so we permitted it to be touted as a monumental achievement. In truth it falls far short of that." 

            Ayaka was thoroughly surprised the prince confided her with so much, and didn't know how to respond.

            "Forgive me for speaking so freely with you. I cannot explain why, yet I feel a natural inclination to trust in you. Understand, because of my position, I tend to overly trouble myself with the defense of the realm, always suspecting the worse."

            "Yes, Daisuken-sama." Ayaka nodded. "Yours is a rank of great weight, and there is much you must oversee."

            She watched the streets slip by, and pondered. He had tried to diffuse her uncertainties, but when she thought of the east, albeit the distance she forebode something cold and dark, like a tempest gathering.

            Daisuken assumed a more confident air. "You need not be troubled with what tomorrow will bring, Ayaka-san. Protecting Shenobi is tasked to me. And who knows, perhaps the future will turn out as everyone prays, and conflict will be averted? If events take a rougher path however, I will do what must be done. Rest assured, I shall never fail to protect the realm."

            Ayaka nodded. "I know, Daisuken-sama. I believe in you."

            Even though she smiled, the prince's his assurances had not banished her disquiet. Nevertheless, Ayaka forced herself to believe in his promise. To do otherwise would open a door she did not wish to look beyond. For a spell thereafter Daisuken gazed outside the carriage with a lingering tension, as if weighing strategies. Ayaka perceived a fire in this man, an inextinguishable spirit that could drive him to strive against the entire world if necessary.

             They spoke of the future no further; for this Ayaka was glad. Daisuken took a deep breath, relinquishing grim thoughts. As the harsh side of him faded, the man more at ease from before returned. Before long they reentered a state of good cheer. The day, with its ample sunshine and new flowers, did not allow any damper to hold sway.
            The tour wheeled on, the prince continuing to point out various shrines, temples and other important buildings, telling their histories. Ayaka listened, asking her share of questions, yet with so much to see, her focus wandered. The people in the streets, going about their business; selling, buying, talking, everyday life unfolding; that was what her contemplations followed most. 

            “I am sorry I stray into such lengthy orations," Daisuken apologized.

            Ayaka realized she had not caught the last part, something about tactics for troop deployment along the walls and within the city. "Forgive me Daisuken-sama, I -"

            "I assure you, I am not offended in the least. It's balderdash for the most part, and rather pompous of me I suppose. The truth is that instead of imparting lectures, I prefer the moments I keep silence, for then I notice how you and Harumi take such enjoyment in the views of the city. I am grateful to you, Ayaka Soranoyume, for helping me notice things I overlook too often."

            By the time the carriage rattled into Oki Market, several hours had transpired, and the slanting light of late noon had a bronze fulgor. Since Ayaka had intended to buy Harumi something here, the prince halted the carriage. They were not far from the sprawling center of commerce, an area encompassing a huge variety of wares, as well as established and straggling entertainment.

            Ayaka was surprised when the prince stepped out of the vehicle to accompany them. The samurai guards started to follow, but Daisuken ordered them to remain by the carriage.

            "But lord, we are vowed to guard you," said one.

            "There are many people here," spoke another, "many of them are not from Shenobi. I would not feel comfortable - "

            "Thank you for your concern, but I will not cower from walking the streets behind the walls in my own city." Daisuken then tapped his long-sword's hilt. "Besides, I have never needed protection I could not provide myself."

            The guards stayed behind while the prince walked with Ayaka and Harumi through the crowded maze of stalls. At first Ayaka felt uncertain about leaving the guards; however, as they navigated the aisles, she witnessed the love the citizens bore their prince. People hailed his name, those nearest stopping what they were doing, making way, bowing, even kneeling. Daisuken strode always in that dignified manner of his, hands behind his back. He returned a slight bow now and then to acknowledge the homage. Ayaka got a taste of this veneration, for the people eyed her curiously, and she heard whispers: Who is young woman? Where is she from?

            Coming to Oki market's hub, Daisuken raised his arms to either side. “You can have anything you want.”

            "Thank you kindly, Daisuken-sama," said Ayaka, "But you've already been so very generous."

            After trying to convince her, the prince yielded. "Very well, but what about Harumi? I have not yet had the opportunity to bestow her a gift."

            Harumi managed a smile, even if she looked more like she wanted to retreat into a shell than take the prince up on his offer. 
            “Come now, my dear.” Daisuken crouched beside her. “It will make me sad if you don’t choose something. The price matters not. Go ahead." He nodded towards the stalls. "Pick out whatever you most desire.” 

            Still abashed, Harumi finally scuttled over to a stand of namagashi roll-cakes. She stood in front the sweets, her head down, and pointed. 
            Daisuken laughed. “With so much to choose from, and it is the sweets that catch your eye.”

            He bought Harumi a box containing several dozen roll-cakes. The little girl readily shared them with Ayaka and Daisuken, and when they got back to the carriage, with the samurai guards and the driver as well. Most were for Harumi of course. For the rest of the day, more often than not, the little girl seemed to have a portion of roll-cake in her mouth.

            The sun was declining into the west by the time the carriage stopped next to the bridge where they met earlier in the day. The origami vendor was gone, and only a few artisans had not yet packed up.

            “I would much like to continue in such fine company," said the prince. "There are so many things I wish to yet show you. Unfortunately, my presence is required at a council ere the hour is done.”

            Ayaka had little doubt Fumei-noyorou was at the center of it, but she refrained from inquiring.

            "Thank you for everything, Daisuken-sama," she said.

            Harumi managed to speak through a mouth half-full with a glob of roll-cake, "Yes. Thank you, prince, ... um, Daisuken-Sama."

            He stood before Ayaka, uncertain, and cleared his throat. "I would very much like to see you again, Ayaka Soranoyume, ... if it is possible."

            At first she could not reply. Though she had enjoyed his company, she wondered if it were wise to see him again, and so soon. Where will this lead? Ayaka sensed herself standing before a profound mist. She scarcely knew this man. What more was there beneath the courteous noble demeanor that she did not know? He was one of the most powerful men in Isodoro, yet also a warrior, renowned for his deeds. Ayaka had seen that fire scintillate in him.

            Though she could not know what lay beyond the mist, for some reason she did not fully understand, she felt compelled not to let this man down.

            At length she nodded. "Yes. I would like that. It would be an honor."

            "Splendid." The prince exhaled. "Would you wait for me tomorrow, just before noon, by this bridge?"

            Ayaka smiled. "I shall wait for you here, Daisuken-sama."

            They bid farewell, and she watched the horses draw the carriage away, toward the sunset and the palace, where she knew councils were being held on matters that were shaping the future of the Southern Kingdoms.

© 2016 Kuandio

Author's Note

The input I seek here, is if after this chapter do you feel the need for action? Or something akin to action? Or, do you enjoy the building up of story and character and find that sufficient still at the point? Thanks, arigato

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“editor” mode:

- “to go the River”
- “taken by her.No - Ayaka” - spacing
- “to whom Daisuken was direct descendant by fourteen generations” - missing article
- “said Daisuken, averting her eyes and looking outside.” - incorrect pronoun
* Mislead is present tense. Misled is past tense. Lead is present. Led is past. There are a few times you say mislead or lead.
- “I am not in offended in the least”
- “She wanted to slap herself on the forehead.What am” - spacing
- “Another side to him existed that she had not yet perceived but in glints and sparks as embers from a fire crackle into the night” - (crackle) is in the wrong form – I think.
- “ It’s head alone was the size of a small house.” - it's/its
- “I was terrifying and beautiful at the same time.”

“ogle” is heavily Germanic in origin. For the same reason I pointed out Travail and Lass, this word also feels anachronistic, though not to the same degree as French and Scottish. Besides, ogle has a negative connotation, in my opinion.

“fan” mode:
As I said in the last review, I am enjoying the Ayaka/Daisuken relationship.
In answer to your author's note (I was surprised it wasn't just adohvwa093hf2 this time!) I don't feel the need for action. By this point, I've grown accustomed to a sort of 'second hand action' through Ayaka's worry – and now Ayaka is more directly tied to the action through her relationship with Daisuken.

This isn't the type of book I usually read. I tend toward “girl discovers special ability” books where the action is the hook, line, and anchor. And yet I am reading your book, which should tell you that the limited action isn't a flaw.
You showed the reader in chapter two that you are capable of writing action while hinting at the impending action of later chapters. By restraining from action in these chapters, it preserves the suspense.

In conclusion: I wouldn't add in action for the sake of adding in action.

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Wow, in this chapter and the last you've found some really gruesome grammatical mistakes I've been o.. read more

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Added on February 23, 2014
Last Updated on November 1, 2016
Tags: Asian, fantasy, romance, love, epic, journey, horror, spiritual, adventure, ancient, action, samurai, ninjas, Japan

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