It was a bright spring morning that dawned on the Dancing Lilac Compound. It was still early so much of the compound was enveloped into a peaceful quiet. The air was cool and crisp with a small breeze which was most likely a prelude to a nice warm day. All in all, it would appear that today was going to be a good day...
Well at least for most people.
Lady Aijah stomps her way through the compound, her waist-long black hair whipping behind her. Her face is small and shaped like a heart with large dark-colored eyes narrowed in anger and a tight frown pulled to her painted lips. Her robes were long, expensive, and decorated with lilac flowers. The colors were mixes of deep purples and greens.
From hall to hall, she continued to call that name, her voice high pitched and growing louder as she stomped onward. Servants scrambled to get out of her way as she passed by.
Over the polished wooden floor of the compound to the warm sand of the courtyard until finally, Lady Aijah stops before a section of the compound that appears quite unkempt. On this land stood a house with wood that is dark and grey with age. The exterior walls were split in some spots and it had obvious patchwork. The window was dark and slightly clouded with dust. The grounds around the house were no better, pale brown grass and mismatched stonework leading up to the entrance.
Lady Aijah stood outside the house for a few moments. Then with a huff, proceeds to stomp up towards the front and without any permission or even acknowledgment, slams the door open.
The inside of the small house was slightly better, a more homey feeling. Stone floors with wood walls, the entry was small and opened to the rest of the house. Her voice echoes in the house as her eyes scan around. She stomps from the small living room to a kitchen and then finally arrives at a slightly ajar door. Then without warning and void of any ladylike manners, she kicks the door open.
"YAH NAXIO YI!"
The room is revealed to be a bedroom. It is slightly bigger than the kitchen with limited furniture. A desk in one corner before a window, papers scattered all over. A small dresser on another side with many books on top. A stand which holds a shamisen and next to that, a bed which currently had a large lump of covers in the shape of a body situated in the middle of it.
Given the amount of yelling and the volume, it was only wondered how the person upon the bed continued to sleep. A fact that annoyed the young miss greatly.
"Hey, Naxio! How dare you keep sleeping?!"
Lady Aijah storms over to the bed and kicks the figure wrapped in the covers. The figure stumbled over with a groan. The voice was low and male-sounding.
"Yah! Naxio Yi, wake up!!"
The figure slowly rose, the cover flopping down onto the bed revealing the form of a young boy, a few years older in appearance to the young miss. Dark-colored hair much like the young miss and a notable trait for the Mizune Clan tumbles down to his shoulders; messy and untamed. His face was a bit rough and dirty but his eyes were unlike anything. A bright crystal-like blue that shines even in the dim light of the room. He blearily looks around before looking at his cousin who has her arms crossed, her robe crumpling under her tight grip. Upon fully waking and looking at her, a tight and forced smile pulls to the boy's face.
"Ah, Lady Aijah.."
His tone is formal and indifferent, the sound of his voice; soft and meek. He then bows to her in greeting.
"Did you forget?!"
Her question had an accusing undertone as she stares down at him. For a few moments, Naxio appeared to be in thought before jolting up. His eyes clearing with understanding and then he bows once again.
"Ah... sorry Aijah..."
"Hmph! Hurry up and get ready! We have been waiting for you!"
And with a turn of her heels, she leaves in a rush, slamming his door on her way out. Naxio lets out a sigh as his head dips ever so slightly.
Dread creeping up into his heart as he remembers back to exactly what he will be doing in just a few moments. A small shudder goes down his spine.
Just get it over with Naxio... it will be over before you know it.
With that bitter thought, Naxio slowly gets up to begin his day.
"Hmm, too much color! I don't want to look like fruit!!"
"Oh what about this? It looks nice...?"
"Hmm, yeah I guess... but his form is so unsightly, it takes away from the dress! Turn Naxio!"
Naxio let out a sigh as he turns once again at the request of his cousins. He was currently playing as a doll for his cousins, given his smaller stature, it made it easy. It wasn't the first time he had suffered this particular humiliation and to be fair, he greatly prefers this as opposed to what his male younger family members would do. The girls were desperate to prepare for the upcoming "Dawn of the Hunt" ceremony.
Dawn of the Hunt is a formal ceremony just before the start of the new selection of Daemon hunter recruits. Many of the lesser-known families use this time to gain favor with one of the 8 Great families to secure a spot. For the Mizune Clan, this selection has already been made months ago but it is still a formal celebration. This is why the girls are in such a fuss about the dresses they will wear, for the Mizune clan, appearance and status are everything.
A soft knock comes from the entrance door to Aijah's bedchambers where they were all situated in.
"Lady Aijah, may I enter?"
The voice that followed was deep, formal, and familiar as all the girls grew big smiles and turned towards the door.
"Ah, Ryou! Please enter!"
The door opens and in walks a young man who appears to be in his 20s. The young man is tall, broad-shouldered, with dark-colored hair that follows behind him like a veil. Though his face was covered with a Hunter mask, it was obvious that he had a desirable appearance. His clothing was dark and heavily layered. He bows respectfully to all within the room.
"Forgive my intrusion. However, Clan Leader wishes to have an audience with Lord Naxio."
The room seems to grow cold at that announcement. The once blinding smiles on all the girls' faces fell. Naxio, who had only been half attentive suddenly perks up at hearing his name, much like a frightened rabbit before a predatory.
Aijah's words were strained and nervous which was understandable given who the Mizune Clan leader is, even if she was her grandmother. The Clan Leader of Mizune was always known for her stern words and tone, she doesn't tolerate failure or losing face.
Naxio quickly goes to Aijah's change room to ready himself, dread weighing heavy in his stomach. He quickly reappeared, fully dressed, and walked over to Ryou. The girls were all giving him sneering glances and heated whispers as he passed. Ryou then nodded once again to the girls and left, Naxio following slowly behind.
The walk through the large compound did nothing to curb the dread mounting for Naxio. As they walked, the hisses whisper and hot stares of many eyes seemed to follow Naxio. However, he is used to this treatment from his Clan since he was born.
"What has he done this time?"
"Hmph, what an unfortunate child.."
"Well you do know what his mother did, don't you?"
Naxio's face never changed nor did he even make any indication that he heard the harsh whispers behind him. Rumors and tales whispered about his mother have been all he's heard of her since birth. The shame and betrayal she brought, the crimes she committed, the list is never-ending. Every story is different and nastier as they come. Soon, fortunately, the pair arrived at the meeting chambers; Singing Springs.
Singing Springs is the center point of the Dancing Lilac compound. A large open-air structure with a high ceiling and bridges which border each direction side. A throne sits on the northernmost section of the floor. Seated at the throne was the Clan Leader, Mayu-Jan.
Mayu-Jan's cold dark-colored eyes glance over as the pair near. Her long coal-black hair was pulled into a tight bun, not even a hair out of place. Her robes were a mix of deep purples and gold, extravagant and rich in material.
Ryou motioned to Naxio who takes a small step forward and bows to her respectfully. Mayu-Jan doesn't even bat an eye or truly acknowledge Naxio.
"..Thank you, Ryou. You are dismissed."
With a bow, Ryou turns and leaves, quiet as the wind. She then turns her gaze on Naxio finally. It is silent at first, Naxio still hasn't risen his head up even under the piercing gaze.
"...The Dawn of the Hunt Ceremony is only two nights away. Since all young who is at the fitting age must attend, you will go. However.."
Her tone is cold and stern, like a cool winter early morning wind.
"You will be going as an escort only. I have not, and will not ever give you my blessing for the Daemon Hunts. Am I understood?"
Naxio's head dips ever bit lower as if the cruel words place a physical weight upon him.
"...I understand, Leader Mayu-Jan."
His tone was soft almost in a whisper. His eyes never leaving the pristine wooden floors.
"Good. I will make sure there is appropriate clothing set aside for you. I will not tolerate any form of disappointment. Your cousins will be watching you closely and making sure you do not bring shame to our clan...You are dismissed."
The expression on Naxio's face seems to clench ever so slightly as if he was hit or stabbed. His eyes close slowly and he bows once again. He then turns and leaves with the ever-cold stare of his grandmother's eyes at his back.