It is a fine Wednesday morning on the Eastern Region of the country Raven Heart. The season is spring as winter had ended just two weeks ago.
In the edge of a small quiet town of Shu was an orphanage where a girl is living. The girl is not an orphan, or she was once an orphan, but was adopted by the head of the orphanage a long while back when the girl was a tiny child.
As it is a fresh morning, the girl, dressed herself in her day attire which consists of the traditional clothing of the Eastern Region, a cotton Yukata. As she stood at the front door, ready to head out for the day, she shouted, “Mom! I’m heading out to school!”
The reason she is shouting is because her mother was busy attending to the children who were eating breakfast. There are quite a few orphans, but of those children, the lively twins, Rin and Harutsuki are her sisters.
“Alright, sweetheart! Oh, did you forget your haori?” her mother replied.
Oh right! I totally forgot about it, the girl thought as she scrambled to take her shoes off and run towards her room. With the task at hand done, she went back to put her shoes on when she felt a tug on her hair tied in a ponytail style with a ribbon that made it look like she had bunny ears.
“Big sis, big sis! Have a good day!” the twins, Rin and Harutsuki exclaimed.
The girl smiled and patted both of them on the head gently and said, “Aww, thank you! Have fun in school too!”
The girl loved her sisters to bits, they are precious to her.
“Love you, mom!” she shouted as she stepped out of the house. She heard a “love you too!” from her mother before the door closed on her.
Ah damn, I forgot to ask about dad. When is he returning from the city? She thought but decided to wait until her return from school to inquire.
The school that the girl is attending is located on a neighbouring town. In between both towns, there is a waterfall. The waterfall is not the highest, but it is high enough to kill someone if they were to jump from it as the depths of the pool beneath is not deep enough.
On her way to the neighbouring town, the girl would always make an effort to admire the scenic waterfall. It was somehow calming and zen-esque to her. But on this day, she saw a silhouette of a person at the top of the waterfall, admiring the view from above.
Admiring the view from down here would be so much better, she thought to herself. Well, either view is subjective.
After admiring the scene for a few minutes, the girl decided that it was enough for the time being as she would be late for school if she stayed any longer. She sat up and walked away.
Meanwhile, the silhouette at the top of the waterfall stood up and walks away at the same time.
“Safe!” the girl shouted as she jumps through the door of the classroom. Everyone in class turned towards the commotion and chuckled at her as if it were common to see her like this. “Come on, you’re seventeen this year!” one of the girls in class teased her.
“Haha, I thought I was late again today.” The girl laughed at herself while scratching her head. She walked towards her seat and heaved a sigh, thinking, that waterfall is so beautiful, but it constantly made me be late for class.
As homeroom started, the girl noticed that the seat in front of her is empty. It belonged to a boy whose parents moved from the Western Region of the country. He had been in the same class as her for two years, but he rarely comes to school. Even so, his grades were one of the top in school, falling short of the one and only girl who is seated behind him. When asked to describe him, the girl would probably say, “Well… I can’t fully judge him, but from what I know, he’s grumpy, quiet and… Lonely? But definitely smart!”
Right now, the class is quiet, with only the teacher, who is teaching arithmetic was giving a lecture. Everyone in class is taking down notes about the lesson. As the lesson went on, a feeling of heaviness fell onto the girl. She grabbed her chest, as if she had a heart attack, but she wasn’t gasping for air. The feeling of heaviness soon turned into dread, at this point, the girl realised that it is not a panic attack, but of something worse. She raised her hands.
“Yes, dear?” the arithmetic teacher asked.
“Ma’am, there is something coming, and I need everyone here to stay in class.” The girl said while clenching her chest as if it hurts badly.
The arithmetic teacher, looking at the girl, knew what was about to happen. She had experienced a similar event and was told of the girl’s past and of her parents, who currently resides in the neighbouring town running an orphanage.
The teacher nodded, and the girl quickly ran out of the classroom while putting her haori on.
Meanwhile on the entrance of the school, a boy who was late to class, quietly strolled into the vicinity and thought nothing of the consequence of his tardiness. His attendance isn’t astounding, and his grades were never close to being in the red, in fact, his grade are outstanding, one of the top, only being beaten by a female student who he thought was arrogant and talkative. He never asked for her name and he didn’t care enough to ever find out what it is.
As he was walking through the corridor from the entrance to the school, he heard a sharp scream from a corner. Incidentally, that corner holds the classes for the students a year below his.
Bloody first year girls being noisy, he thought. The screaming still went on and the more he thought of it, the less it sounded like what he thinks.
Instead of it being ‘Ahhh!’, it is more of a ‘eeeeeeeek!’ sound.
That is not something screaming, it’s someone shrieking as if about to be stabbed! He told himself as his eyes widened.
Nope! The boy thought, but before he could turn around, out of the corner of the corridor, he saw a floating grey cloak slowly travelling towards him.
That not being a usual sight that anyone would see, especially in the early mornings and in school, the boy lost strength in his legs from fear and fell onto his rear. The grey cloak made its way towards to him faster than he can crawl in reverse.
As the boy crawled backwards, he manages to hit a dead end when the apparition caught up to him. On closer look, the boy witnessed what was chasing him. It has long hair and red eyes, he thought. There is nothing he could do but meet his eventual fate, the boy’s last thoughts were of what was going to kill him. The grey cloak that floats with the wind, along with its hair, its red eyes that stared right into his soul, the very thought of why an apparition would appear. Would he find peace in death? Or would he be reborn into a more fulfilling life than he has now?
He closed his eyes waiting for what was to come. But nothing came of it a few moments later but the sound of weeping.
The apparition is weeping right in front of him, crying its eyes out.
“Huh? W-what the…?” he said softly, questioning what is happening.
The apparition moved its hands towards the forehead of the boy when a cyan-coloured transparent piece of thin glass appeared between his forehead and the apparition’s hand.
“Phew! I made it in time!” Said a voice who suddenly appeared at the corner before the boy turned to find himself in a dead end. “It was about to whisk your life away.”
The apparition wailed once more and started going berserk, beating down on the glass that is now in a pentagonal shape wide enough to cover the boy’s entire body.
The boy instinctively used his arms to cover his head and his legs to cover his torso.
“Calm down!” the girl shouted as she waved her right hand, moving the glass closer towards the apparition and slamming it against the wall.
Is that magic? The boy thought. No, magic can’t do anything to an apparition. She's a-
The girl materialized a second glass shaped like a long blade, something like a Katar, but instead of it being held by her hands, it floats alongside her arms.
“Wielding” that weapon, she charged towards the apparition and stabbed its abdomen. Dematerializing the glass that is currently holding the apparition to the wall, she made another similar looking bladed weapon appear on her right arm and stabbed up its head from the direction of its chin in successive motion.
Letting the apparition go, it fell towards the ground, continuing to cry until it disappears.
“Are you okay?” the girl asked the boy, still sitting down digesting what had happened.
“Hellooooo?” she waved her hands at his face.
The boy came back to his senses and demanded, “What the hell was that?! And what are you doing here?!”
“No ‘thank you’?”
“I saved your life!” The girl exclaimed while pinching the boy’s cheeks.
“Stop it, stop it! S-sorry! And thank you! But what the hell was that?” the boy said as he gave in to her demands instead.
“That is more like it.” The girl smiled and continued, “That is a banshee. A demon that heralds the death of a family member. But what are YOU doing here in school? Don’t you always skip classes, Mister Sean Kasper?”
“W-well, I do come every once in awhile when I feel like it. What do you want from me?”
“What do I want? Do you even know my name?”, the girl asked while pointing her fingers at the boy.
“I do! I-it’s… Hana… No, Chrys… No.”
Shoot! The boy thought. Curses! I might end up like that banshee if I don’t answer!
“I knew it! You don’t know anyone’s name!” the girl shouted as if she had struck the Powerball. “Well, I’ll be the first person in school you know the name of. My name’s Iris! Iris Sakurai! Pleasure to formally meet you!”