Warmth of SummerMy name is Rinnosuke Morichika. Not much is known about me, though. All day, I sit around in my shop, Kourindou, which has lots of stuff from outside the border of Gensokyo. Whenever there aren't any customers, I'd just grab my PSP (a handheld gaming device that humans from outside Gensokyo play) and waste my time. I'd say that I have a lot of free time.
I met a lot of other humans and youkai who are living near here. Some of them are shy, but there is the occasional Yukari, a youkai, who would love to sit down and chat for a while (whenever she's awake). I just love the sight of people taking a visit in my shop. A good thing from being half-youkai is that I can get potential customers from both races!
One fine afternoon, I left Kourindou closed and headed for Yukari's place to restock my fuel supply. I really don't like leaving my shop unattended but it can't be helped. I have to recharge my batteries if ever I want to play any game on my PSP.
As I walked through the woods, I saw a pe
Ciarto Chronicles 8Now travelling with another person, Ralian’s party was livelier than before. Lucille seemed to enjoy travelling as much as Ralian and Lorel and was enthusiastic about travelling with her twin sister. Despite being blood-related, Lorel was clearly annoyed by Lucille’s energetic personality. Ralian, on the other hand, enjoyed her company.
Lucille was also intrigued by the fact that Ralian was supposed to pay Lorel in full once his mission was over. Interested, she proposed that she was to be a mercenary as well and she was to receive the same amount Lorel was supposed to receive. Lorel disliked the idea and even insisted that Lucille should stick to being a freeloader but since Ralian saw nothing wrong with that, he hired her to be his travelling mage (and the carrier of extra luggage), leaving Lorel with no choice but to accept it.
But then, both sisters saw this as an opportunity for competition. Since both their payments depended on how well they did their jobs as mercenar
Ciarto Chronicles 7“Isn’t the sea nice?” asked Lorel.
“Yeah... Same old...” sighed Ralian, who was apparently bored. “I just wish we get that good fortune from where we’re going like that old geezer told us...”
Either the ship was unexpectedly fast or the destination of the ship was quite close. Just a few hours after leaving the port, they were already docking in another one. Lorel readied their stuff and both of them set foot on dry land, Endevick Port. She seemed disappointed that the trip was rather fast but it didn’t seem to bother Ralian a little. He didn’t waste time exploring the town of Endevick. He merely walked in a constant pace towards a local tavern with Lorel closely tailing him.
The tavern was bustling with people, mostly adventurers just like Ralian and Lorel. The former nudged the latter with an elbow and gave her a quick nod. Lorel quickly understood this as an order and stomped her way towards the seat on the bar closest the
Ciarto Chronicles 6The sign near the entrance to town said Kartheth Port. It was the nearest town after passing the Tower of Undeath, which failed to meet their expectations. No one else, save for Ralian and Lorel, passed through the path past the tower because no one really bothered. There are other safer alternatives than that to begin with.
The town entrance wasnt filled with people. There are a few, but not a lot. Even the guards stationed at the gates have dwindled, contrary to what Lorel expected. Ralian waved his hand right in front of his face, using magic to change it. He did the same to Lorel to disguise both of them, to avoid any possible commotion.
Thats strange, she said. Usually, there should be more people here.
Try asking around, suggested Ralian. Lorel walked to the nearest town guard she saw not because she was ordered, but because she was wanted to.
Theres an event right now at the Town Square, said the guard
Ciarto Chronicles 5Ralian and Lorel ventured past the forest and continued their journey on a vast yellow-green prarie. The afternoon sun wasnt that scorching. The path which was once of dead vines and roots were now of bright gray rocks and cracked soil. Only a few animals were visible in the area, grazing on the dry grass.
Lorel caught a familiar whiff in the air. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. The air was a bit cool and smelled like the sea. When she opened her eyes, she saw Ralian ahead of her by a few steps so she quickened her pace to catch up.
Were near the sea, she told her client. Ralian gave a short nod of confirmation and walked in a steady pace, as though looking for something out in the prarie. A few moments later, a tall lighthouse came into view.
It was a lighthouse made of stone, almost as white as pearl. It stood by the end of the prarie, overlooking a large gulf by the cliff. Moss grew on the side nearest the gulf white vines grew on the o
Ciarto Chronicles 4Go away, brat!
Please, sir! Even just a piece of food will do!
Heard what I said? Go away!
Vans shoulders sank as he walked away from the pub. It was his third meal in a row that he had skipped, if he didnt count the grass he grazed for breakfast. He grew weak from starvation. If only he had a little more energy, he would go off to pick some pockets in the town square.
He was known as the towns rascal. Without anyone willing to take care of him or any memory of his family, he learned to live alone in the town where everyone hated him. He might seem like a scrawny impish boy but deep inside, he longed for someone to take him away from that town, may it be a loving family, a random stranger, or the Grim Reaper.
Van sat down by the door of the towns tavern, waiting for absolutely nothing at all. For hours, he just sat there, saving his energy for dinner. It was past noon and the wind blew off some sand off the road, getting in Va
Ciarto Chronicles 3On the balcony of a ruined castle, a huge monstrous beast collapsed onto the floor. Extreme weakness overcame the burdened creature. A young lady sat beside where the beast lay, caressing his face.
You came back for me, said Beast. I thought you never will.
Of course I will, Beast, replied Beauty. Im here and Ill never leave you again.
You dont have to. But at least I can get to see you one last time
Dont say that, said Beauty, her sadness overwhelming the smoothness of her voice. Youll be fine. Youll just need to
No, Beauty Im so glad that I met you
After one last breath, the Beast closed his eyes and rested his head back onto the floor with a cushioned thud. Beauty flung her arms around the now lifeless creature with her eyes overflowing with tears. She shook the body in attempts that it will come back to life but to no avai