The sound of heavy rainfall was what woke Naxio. His eyes open slowly to a familiar sight of dark wooden walls and ceiling. He was back in the Dancing Lilac, his room to be exact. As the heavy blanket of sleep falls away, the sensation of sore bones and sets in.
Naxio's eyes slowly drift to where the voice sounded and was surprised to see the stern face of Li-Ren looking back at him. She was seated across from his bed in her traditional robes. Her face appeared wore slightly like she had been waiting for him to wake but Naxio couldn't be sure.
Naxio's voice was rough with disuse and his words were choked out in pain. He winches in discomfort at the soreness of his throat.
"Keep quiet. You're still recovering..."
Naxio nods and keeps quiet though it's clear he has questions from the expression on his face. Li-Ren seems to know exactly what he wants to ask and answers.
"The Naje-feh clan girl is fine. She should be back home at this point."
Naxio lets out a breath that he didn't even realize he was holding before looking back to Li-Ren. He tries to scan her face to see if there was anger or frustration, did she pass or fail the Dawn of Hunt?
Li-Ren, ever attentive, knew instantaneously what he was trying to do.
"...Don't worry about the Dawn of Hunt. Due to the incident, the selection has been delayed."
Naxio nods once again, the sudden pull of sleep once again tries to grasp at him. Li-Ren could see he was struggling to stay awake and she let out a small huff.
"Go back to sleep Naxio, you did well."
As Naxio's eyes drift back close even against his wishes, he has more questions but it is clear his body felt differently. A small but soft smile pulling to Li-Ren's face was the last thing he remembers before finally falling back to sleep.
The news of the Dawn of Hunt selection results came three days after on a warm sunny day. Naxio, was who had recovered from his injuries, was cleaning the weeds out from around his house. It was a task that was normally assigned to servants however no one comes to his section of the compound. Whether this is due to the countless rumor about him and his infamous mother or an order from the Clan Leader, Naxio has never figured out or even care enough to.
Naxio's head snaps up at the call of his name. Walking quickly in the direction of his home was three older women, two servants, and a Mizune clan member. These two servants were dressed in traditional servant garbs however it would be noted that they did have slightly more elegant material and colors than most servants. One of them was holding a sun umbrella for the woman in front of them, her grip never faltered even with how swiftly they were moving. The woman at the front gaze was trained in front of her with an extravagant and decorative fan waving in her face. Her face is smooth but pale and adorned with makeup, her dark purple-colored eyes were narrowed on Naxio's form. Her long black hair was loose and flowed down her back like silk. Her robes were mixes of dark purple, pinks, and splashes of greens. Jewelry decorated her hair in the form of lilac flowers. Naxio recognized who this woman was almost immediately and bows to her.
"Ah, Auntie Lou-Ren! Good morning!"
Lou-Ren's eyes gazed down at him for behind her fan, and even though her mouth couldn't be seen, it was clear she was displeased. However, if this was due to the fact she had to come to his side of the compound or just because of how dirty he appears was currently, Naxio couldn't tell. But with his Aunt Lou-Ren, there wasn't any telling. She generally has a negative opinion on anything that isn't what she wants to do.
"Yes, yes, good morning. Hurry up now, the Clan Leader is requesting your presence!"
Her hasty reply only further Naxio's assumption of her displeasure. She didn't want to be here talking to him that much is clear. However, before he was able to go into his home to change, she snaps at him.
"No no, just come as you are! The Clan leader will not be kept waiting!!"
She huffs out her statement, and slams shut her fan. Naxio inwardly sighs and dusts himself off to the best of his ability. With a twirl of her heels, she and her servant walk off, fully expecting Naxio to follow and so he did. It didn't take long to arrive at the Singing Springs however he was surprised to see not only his female cousins but also their parents all seated. He watches as Lou-Ren walks over to Li-Ren with a small smile before seating herself. Naxio takes a place at the most left-hand side, far enough away from the rest of them but close enough so that he could hear.
"Clan Leader Mayu-Jan has entered!"
Everyone bows as Clan Leader Mayu-Jan walks into the Singing Springs. She seats herself and scans over at all of them before her eyes seem to pause on Naxio. Her gaze only pauses for a second but it was more than enough to place a dark feeling in his heart. Something has happened and more than likely it was his fault...
"The results of the Dawn of Hunt arrived this morning. I called you all today to announce the results."
There is a short murmur before she calls the group to order. Ryou walks over to her with 3 decorative scrolls in hand with the symbol of the Daemon Hunters on it. Naxio assumes these are for his cousin's without a doubt, but he is still slightly curious as to why he is present?
"Li-Ren, you are first."
Li-Ren moves immediately towards the Clan Leader, lowering her head and rasing out her hands to receive her scroll. She then walks back, a proud smile on her face. Her mother Lou-Ren who was watching like a hawk puffs out her chest in pride ready to gloat as soon as this meeting is over.
"Su-Len, you are next."
Su-Len perks up a bit nervously and walks over. She receives her scroll with a wide excited smile which she tries to tamper down with zero success. Her mother and father look proudly at her as she returns to them, a small skip in her step. Lastly was Aijah, whose face was cheerful and eager. Her mother and father were looking on as if she had already gotten her scroll. However the expression the Clan Leader gave while gripping the final scroll gave everyone pause. The Singing Springs grew silence, only the soothing sound of water flowing could be heard. Everyone grew distinctly nervous as the silence stretched on and that sinking feeling came back with a vengeance within Naxio.
Something was positively wrong.
For a moment, everyone appeared either confused or shocked, as if believing the Clan Leader was joking or even possibly misspoke, even Naxio was looking around confused. It wasn't until her head turns to him, eyes burning with hatred as she spats out again.
"Naxio Yi, I will not call you again!"
Naxio almost stumbles to stand however as he walks over to the Clan Leader, he couldn't help but feel the hot judgment stares of those around him. Being before her was worse than anything he ever could have imagined. Her eyes were staring down at him as if he were an ant before her, small and irrelevant. She nearly threw the scroll at him before barking out in a loud voice.
"I didn't give you my blessing so while I do not know who dares give you this approval I will-!!"
"I did mother..."
Everyone turns to the new voice and there was a mix of shocked gasps. Walking towards the Singing Springs, her fox mask at her side was Yulen Li.