Short – Lunch Ninjas

This short takes place between Chapters 2 and 3.

“Ramen!”  Shapau’s Peacock headdress shudders in disgust.  You walk ahead of Akachi’s Secretary as you both make your way through the lunch crowds.  “You’d think a man would get sick of Ramen after centuries of eating it.  I suggest new eateries all the time!   But no… Joybringer Akachi wants ramen.  ‘At least I know what I am getting with Ramen.’  You know what you are getting with Fetal Duck Eggs and Boodog.   It says so right on the menu!  Humans!”   You learned fairly quickly that it is best not to interrupt Shapau when he starts on one of his little rants.

One of the new vendor booths in the market catches your eye.   Brightly colored feathered snakes slither along the vendor’s arm.  You slow down to let Shapau pass, as the god-blooded vendor motions to you to take a closer look.

“Oh no!” the god exclaims, grabbing your arm.   “I know of all of your little tricks!  You are going to stay in sight where I can see you, Svante!  Joybringer Akachi will never forgive me if I lose you!”  Shapau drags you away from the hissing snakes and into the Ramen Eatery.

When you arrive, the Lunch order for Akachi’s meeting is sitting on the counter.  “Good, it didn’t get lost. “  The secretary starts to sort through the lunches to make sure Arcane Fate didn’t muddle any of the orders.  “We got three shrimp.  One Udon bowl.  Where’s the second one?  I ordered two……There it is!   One….”

The words of the secretary fade out as you notice a man in full black wearing a mask casually into the Eatery.   None of the other patrons seem to notice him.   As he walks past the counter, he steals one of the lunch from the Sidereal order.

“Hey!”  You begin to follow the lunch thief though the Eatery.  He breaks into a run and bursts out the back door.  Without a backwards glance at Shapau, you quickly follow.  When you get out to the crowded streets, you search for the man.   You spot him tossing the lunch up to another ninja hanging from one of the street signs.   “Come back here!  Thief!”  The Ninja retreats up the building with the stolen lunch.  You climb up one of the drainage pipes to catch up with the Ninja.   The Ninja flees, jumping from roof top to roof top.   You easily pursue him, keeping up with his every move.

You corner the ninja on the top of the high-rise containing Bureau of Heaven.  “I suggest you give me back my Teriyaki Chicken. “  You threaten, activating your caste mark.  The Ninja responds with drawing his blade.  He charges you, blade held high.  You causally duck under his attack and trip the ninja.  He lands flat on the ground with a grunt.  You kick his sword away and stand triumphantly over your nemesis.  “Never steal a Sidereal’s lunch.”    You pick up the bag and the Ninja’s sword and turn around to find yourself surrounded by an even dozen black clad ninjas.

“You guys aren’t going to let me walk out of here with my lunch, are you?”  You ask wearily.  The ninjas silently circle you in reply.  “So be it.”   As they rush you…

“Svante!   Svante!  Boy!”   Shapau’s voice rouses you back to reality.   “Are you paying attention?   You must drive Akachi crazy!”  The secretary places a share of lunches in your arms.  “We need to bring this ramen back to the horde!”  Shapau motions you out the door.  “Come along.  They will get cranky if they go without food too long.”   As you walk back to the Bureau of Destiny, the little god whispers to you, “I snuck a cookie in your bag.  Don’t tell the others or else they will all want cookies. “  The secretary gives a long suffering sigh.  “It’s like dealing with children at times.”

Short – The Violet Eyes of the Goddess

((Got inspired and wrote this short scene. I was inspired by the myth of Demeter nursing a mortal child. ))

((This is unrelated to Hero. ))

The Violet Eyes of the Goddess

As the young mother fought her way back to her traveling tent through the waist high snows, ten thousand imaginings of death and dismemberment passed through her mind. She desperately hoped that her newborn daughter will still be there when she returned. Though the young mother should have still been in confinement after childbirth, the lack of food drove her out. It would have been impossible to bring a wailing infant out into this cold, much less on a successful hunt. Thus the young mother had no choice but to leave her daughter behind.

Yet when the young mother arrived at the tent, instead of torn canvas and a bloody cot, she found a freshly fed fire and a strange pale haired woman with violet eyes nursing her child. The strange woman looked up and welcomed young mother with a chilly smile. The young mother shivered as if someone walked over the grave. Deep within her heart, the young mother knew that this woman, this goddess, could end the lives of her and her daughter with a single thought.

The young mother dropped her doe and went for her belt knife. Even though it was futile, the young mother will not meet death without a fight. She had given up too much to see this child live, just to lose it all to a violet eyed goddess without a care for a mortal’s fleeting existence. As long as the young mother had breath in her body, this goddess will not take her daughter.

“Never fear, child. I am not here to claim you daughter’s life.” The goddess assured the young mother. The violet eyed goddess broke the child’s latch  her nipple and tucked her breast back into her robes. “Not yet.” The goddess added cryptically, as she rose to her feet and laid the child back in her cot. The young mother slowly approached, hand still on knife, to check on her daughter. Looking down into the cot, the young mother saw that her daughter was unharmed. A trail of milk dribbled down the child’s cheek as she yawned.

The goddess smiled and with her thumb gently wiped the cheek clean. The child stirred in her cot and opened her eyes to stare at the goddess. “Such lovely dark eyes. When the time comes, I shall keep them replace them with my own.” Without another word, the goddess gathered up her shirts and walked out of the traveling tent into the deep snows. Her footsteps, as ethereal as starlight, barely broke the hoarfrost. The young mother watched the goddess climb the snow bank and step into the night sky.

Years later, the mother told her daughter the story of when the Maiden of Endings nursed her. The daughter laughed at the time and thought her mother mad. Until the day when the daughter looked into the mirror and saw not her own familiar brown eyes, but the violet eyes of the goddess.