I can’t remember the first time I felt so helpless that I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Saki’s dad was against me all the way, but fighting back when he was angry would only draw the family apart. I didn’t want them to be angry with each other, so I decided to keep my mouth shut, and disappear directly after being beaten. In other words, I was gone a lot.
Things had gotten a bit hectic around the NoSuke household, and I was finding myself forced to hide more often than usual. A common safety zone I had recently discovered lay hidden in one of the towers. It had been sealed off for over twenty years, judging by the immense build-up of dust on the decrepit old furniture. It was locked, but stood no chance against my lock picking. I had gotten in without a problem, and had brought my few belongings up for safe keeping. No one ever though to look there; in fact, I think even old Ryuu had forgotten about it.
My books were stacked all over the place. A few months back, I had gone back to the Gypsies to retrieve them. I didn’t realize how many I had until they were all together.
I could hear Saki calling for me downstairs, searching from room to room. It was cute. She had such a cat’s nose. She couldn’t scent me if I were right behind her.
I, on the other hand, am half wolf. I have a dog’s ears and tail, as well as the same sense of smell. But Saki was faster than me.
With a sigh, I pushed myself up from the large pillow I’d brought in, and made my way downstairs. From all the practice I’d had from walking silently, I knew exactly where to step to prevent the old wood from squeaking. The tower stood high, and swayed ever so slightly, but I’d grown used to it after the months of hiding out there.
In case there was any confusion, I’ll clarify my situation.
Saki and I met when we were seven and eight years old. I’d been living alone, having been orphaned when I was three, and she was fleeing her village, of which was trying to kill her after her mother died. She had stumbled upon my house by accident, and I’d taken her in, hearing her stomach snarl. She’d been quiet at first, wary, but had opened up to me completely after a couple months of being together. She basically became my sister, but we separated after living as a family for half a year. My village, who had a hard enough time putting up with me, apparently threatened her, and she left one night. The next day, the villagers burned down my house, and I started living on the road. When I was eleven, I was taken in by traveling Gypsies, and it was with them I lived until I turned sixteen. Then I’d caught Saki’s scent on the path, and decided to separate from them and search for my only childhood friend.
I’d found Saki two months later, while running for my life from a Moth Demon. It had been quite a shock, running into her right as I’d lost the bug. She’d taken me home and introduced me to the family that she’d recently discovered she had.
Her father, Ryuu NoSuke, brother, Yuuki NoSuke and traveling companion, Sekuran all took an immediate dislike to me. Perhaps it was because of Saki’s automatic attachment to me. Apparently, they all wanted Saki’s full attention and affection. Anyway, somehow, I ended up staying at her father’s castle, and receiving the brunt of his angered attacks.
I walked up behind Saki, and blew softly in her ear. She gave a start, and spun, giving me a look.
“Oh, Tsuzuki! There you are!”
I smiled at her, and shook my head, putting a finger to my lips.
“Shhh. Ryuu doesn’t known I’m back. I’ve been hiding out.”