The fire roared before me, leaping to the ceiling in deadly arches. Drops of sweat ran down the side of my face and my raven hair was matted to my clammy skin. My hands moved to form intricate symbols as I chanted in the sacred language known only to the High Priestess of the Flame.
EARTH. MOON. SUN. STARS. EARTH. MOON. SUN. STARS. EARTH. MOON. SUN. STARS.EARTH. MO-
My legs ached to stretch from the prayer position they had been in for so long, but still I did not move. I could feel the flames dancing on my arms, leaving my skin tingling and fresh. The sacred fire renewed me; it was my essence, holding part of my soul just as the moon held Serenity’s. I had come to seek the guidance of the Sacred Fire, asking for a way to reveal my identity to Grandfather and Yuichiro, but had found no luck. It seemed I was alone in this.
Finally, the fire began to die down to its normal level and the blistering heat blew up in great clouds of fog. I reached blindly for the glass of ice water I always kept for these cases. My hands clawed at the cabinet doors and I yanked them open, pulling out the pitcher or water and feeling the water slosh over the sides. I gulped greedily and sighed as the water spread over my dry throat like a soothing balm. Then I turned to the fire and bowed, thanking it formally. The embroidered cushion dipped under my weight as I dug my heels into it and stood, walking out of the room.
I snatched a fluffy white towel off a nearby chair and walked into the bathroom, hearing my feet slap the wooden planks with a satisfying thud. I locked the door and looked at myself in the mirror. I picked at my miko robes, which had been plastered to my skin with sweat and shed them. The shower curtains were opened and I stepped into the shower, feeling the cool spray refresh my aching muscles. Three-quarters of an hour later, I stepped out of the steamy shower and donned a fresh set of miko robes. It was time. I found Grandfather and Yuichiro sparring in the training room.
After a few weeks of Grandfather’s initial training, Yuichiro had gone to become an exceptional ring fighter, much to the surprise of all. Grandfather had proudly boasted that he knew Yuichiro had much hidden potential when they had first crossed paths. Yuichiro was no longer the ‘musician’ he used to be, and now was awarded with medals and showered with affection from many girls. He still had eyes for only me. I could tell because of his trying to impress me in everything that he does. What he didn’t know was that he had already grown on me for his constant persistence.
“Konbanwa Grandfather, Yuichiro.”
Grandfather nodded and Yuichiro beamed at me, leaving my insides tingling. I grinned at him briefly and waited for them to finish their fight. I kept up an indifferent façade even though my stomach was doing somersaults.
I watched their attacks and defenses, and noticed that Yuichiro was holding back, purposely disregarding numerous openings, sparring against Grandfather will not get him anywhere, he needs a tougher opponent. In the end, Yuichiro won, and helped Grandfather up with a steady hand.
The fall of the Silver Millennium had left me with many combat techniques ingrained into my mind, and this life time had only added to that list. I could be a very tough opponent.
I pushed off the wall I was leaning on, catching their attention, “Yuichiro, your level of skill surpasses Grandfather’s. It is time for you to fight with another.” He nodded happily and scanned the room, “Great! So, who will I be fighting with?” I smirked, “With me.” A look of alarm crossed his face and he protested, “What? Rei, I can’t fight you, you’re going to get yourself hur-” I cut him off flippantly, “You will fight me, and you will not hold back, lest I injure you for your ignorance.” I pulled myself up and padded to my end of the ring and waited for him pointedly.
He threw his hands up in mock defeat and jumped up beside me. The fight had begun.
Uncharacteristically, I made the first move, curling my hand into a fist and throwing a punch at his side. He narrowly avoided it by dropping to the floor. He was surprised, I could tell, and kicked at my power leg in hopes of putting me down lightly. I jumped to dodge his kick and landed in a stance, retaliating with a roundhouse kick to his chest. Yuichiro blocked it with his forearm, but did not attack me. After about 15 minutes of stalemate, I grew tired of the routine and sprang into the air, sending one foot into a swiping motion, whilst my other foot came rushing at my opponent in a full force kick. I saw something flash in his eyes and he began to fight. Punches rained down on me from all sides, and I grinned, throwing myself fully into the fight.I jumped over a downward sweep to my ankles and alighted on the padded floor with my legs slightly bent to absorb the brunt of landing. Then I flexed my legs and flipped myself over his head, landing behind him and sweeping his legs out from beneath him. Yuichiro fell with a resounding thud, which shook the floorboards. He surprised me then, by hooking his foot on my ankle and making me fall. He’s better than I thought he would be, maybe if I trained him for a bit… I grinned up at him and used his own momentum against him, throwing him over my head and landing crouched before him.
|Emily Browning's character: babydoll||as Serenity|
|Maki Horikita||as Ami|
|Reese Witherspoon||as Minako|
|Anne Hathaway||as Makoto|