Opening Knights

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium

Chapter 35 (v.1) - Chapter 35

Submitted: May 22, 2020

Reads: 4

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Submitted: May 22, 2020



I took a deep breath, or ten.  I quit counting after eight.  All four of the kids just looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.  Ian looked quizzical again.  The others just gave him a "that's what she does now and then look," and then they all settled down.

"How in Hades can you all be so calm about this?  It's freaking weird."

It seemed to be Kumiko's turn to put me in my place.  "Okaa-san.  Since your brain seems to be turned off right now, let me summarize for you.  And, no, please refrain from speaking for a while.  If you do, you might have a stroke from all the yelling and foot-stomping."

Oh my god!  She'd seen me do that too?  I thought that I'd gotten to where I had complete control over that awful habit years ago.  I immediately resolved to work harder on getting it to behave.  It was unbecoming for an adult, and for someone my size, stamping my foot and acting like a child having a tantrum is not conducive to getting respect from bigger people.  

And no, really, I don't like having to beat people into submission when they disrespect me because of my size or sex or both.  It just happens sometimes.  It's not like I invite it or anything.

"Ahem....  As I was about to say.Where else could we all be?  Singly we are all what society as a whole would call 'complete misfits'.

"Jane is basically a hacker queen with her fingers in more figurative pies around the world than any other person on the planet.
"Kimiko and I were considered retarded and treated as simpletons simply because we could not speak.  You on the other hand have treated us both as human beings ever since we met.  And for that I shall forever be grateful.

"Ian seems normal but is in actuality so smart that he is working for the government on secret projects and has been kidnapped because of it.

"Now, you tell me where else on the entire planet the four of us could be both safe and happy.

"OK Okaa-san, it is your turn.  Please be so kind as to go ahead."

Damn. One thing I hate is sarcasm.  I hate it more when it's a young kid being sarcastic.  I hate it most of all when they're right.

"I give.  I give.  You're right.  Whoever, or whatever put us together seems to have done something smart.  I just don't like being pushed into things, that's all."

Kimiko just had to have a turn at me now, probably just to show her sister that she could say something smart too.

 "It's like they say: 'go with the flow'.  Or 'play the hand you were dealt' or 'don't cry over spelt milk'  ah....oh....'spilled milk'.  In other words Kaa-chan, here we are, in the best possible place each of us could be.  Quit acting like a little kid and instead of complaining be grateful!Aren't you happy?"

Oh God!  "out of the mouths of babes" indeed.  

I went over to her and gave her a hug that would have probably choked any other kid.  I just knelt there and held her for what was probably quite a long time.

 "Kaa-chan.  I love ya too ya know.  But, ah...don't ya think that's enough?  The entire side of my shirt is wet now and my hair is getting damp.  I think I need ta go take a bath."

I pushed myself back and went for the closest box of tissues.  When I saw myself in the mirrored wall that we had put in so we could check our form when practicing solo, I was almost horrified.

Leave it to the Japanese desire to be non-confrontational.  Kimi surely was a bit damp, but my face looked like I'd been dropped by a tornado and rolled on the dirt for a while.  I surely needed a bath more than she did.

"OK.  Why don't the two of us go get cleaned up.  The rest of you can straighten the room...the 'dojo' and then go on with whatever you have planned for today.  School starts in just over two weeks, so I expect that you'll all have some preparations to make."

I know that I mentioned before that I like the Japanese bathing custom of washing each other's hair, but it seems that I got the short end of the stick somehow.  Kimiko had lovely, silky hair that was now down just past her waist, and my hair was in a long, pixie cut.  She had a lot less work to do.

<<Yes, yes, I know.  For someone as emotional as I am I sure complain a lot about things that I enjoy.  But, you know, if you don't do that sometimes, you'll spend all of you time crying happy tears and never get anything done.Besides, as you just heard, crying too much really makes you look hideous.>>

After our bath, I went to look up Kumiko.

"Honey, we'll have our next session with Master Oh on the Saturday before school starts.  Let me know ahead of time if there's anything special you'd like to take for lunch."

"I shall make us some sushi  --  vegetarian style.  There is nothing else I particularly want except possibly to leave a bit early.  It is fortunate that Winco carries sushi nori.  However, their selection of Japanese items is extremely limited.  If it is not a significant inconvenience, I should like very much to stop at Uwajimaya in Beaverton.  I discovered their existence on the internet, and it appears that it has many products from Japan that one cannot purchase anywhere else in the area.

"There is, in addition, one other thing that I wish to say.  It would not have been appropriate to say in front of the others.  It has to do with my living here with you all.

"Now that I know how strong I am, I have come to realize that it was a true miracle that I did not kill either of those boys who were trying to torment me at the home.  Had you and Master Oh not recognized that potential in me, I would probably have become an accidental murderer eventually.  Or possibly, in the worst case, even an assassin.

"Do not look so surprised.  Of course I know what I could have done, and it horrified me.  But I had no way to control it.  What you two have done is to offer me a means of control.  It is extraordinarily apparent that were I not in sufficient command of my reactions, I could be, no, would be, extremely dangerous purely by accident.  Now I have great hopes that I will be extremely dangerous only by intent, as are you.

"The example of your loving nature and true compassion for others is the best example in the world.  How could we possibly live elsewhere?"

She hurrumphed and continued with a wry grin.

"Just this once I must concede that my barbaric sister was correct.  Right here is the only place in the world that could possibly be home for all of us.  We have not been manipulated.  We have been blessed."

I got a bit misty-eyed again, but the water works had apparently mostly run dry earlier.  So I gave Kumiko a moderately long hug  --  not nearly as tight as the one that I gave Kimiko  --  and settled for that.  Probably a good thing as I was getting the feeling that Kumiko wasn't as physically demonstrative as her sister.  Not that she didn't like a good hug now and then, but she seemed to prefer that such things be done in private.

"All right.  Let's head back to the dojo and get you some more practice with your Tai Chi.  The control inherent in that can be considered to be as good a discipline as meditation.  In fact some call Tai Chi 'meditation in motion'."

"That sounds good Okaa-san sensei.  Let us go."

I did a bit of a double take at that means of address, then I saw that she was teasing me.  Just this once I'd let her get away with it.  So all I did was to take her hand and lead her back out to the dojo to practice.  


© Copyright 2020 Charlotte Braun. All rights reserved.


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