Kishin thinks my sister is going to change when the Ronins find
out the big deal behind the girls?" Kayura looked at Anubis.
"That's what she said," he answered. "Do you think it's true?"
"From how she acted just now, I'm not really that surprised. But then again, this is my sister. I might not have been there to know her completely but I know enough. The Ronins are coming and anybody else that wants to come."
"But are you willing to risk a fight with Royda?" asked Mira. "It's not very pretty and she usually wins."
"Look, if you have to sneak our of this house and leave her behind, then do it." Kayura stood up. "I know I don't merit to be called your big sister but this is important to me and you guys are family. You have to come. With the Ronins."
"This isn't going to make a big rift between you guys, is it?" asked Mia.
"Oh, I hope not," answered Reva as she stretched. "When you go through one fight with Royda, it's enough, believe me. Why anybody would challenge her again is beyond me."
"Remember what happened at Nagasaki?" asked Kala. "She was pissed then too and wouldn't explain herself."
"Yeah, but that doesn't count since Kishin did convince her to explain some of it," answered Reva.
"But what about...?"
The two girls lost themselves in their conversation. They were reliving past memories and Mira didn't really mind their talks. She knew which parts they were talking about. Everybody else was lost even though all three had a pretty good grasp on history.
"Um, you guys mind filling us in?" Mia asked.
"Oh, sorry," answered Reva. "It's nothing really. Just little bits of memory."
"Whatever you guys have planned, I'm still getting married next weekend," Kayura said as she turned to leave. "Cale's suppose to come here some time to visit you guys. You have a week to either convince her to come or not to." She disappeared with a flash of light.
"Well, now we know where she got that attitude," said Anubis. "This doesn't sound very well in our favor."
"It doesn't," Mira added. "Royda's as stubborn as they come. I just hope Kishin knows what she's doing up there."
"We can't hover over this dilemma," Mia said. "It's a week away and Cale is coming. Maybe by then she'll change her mind. Besides, Halloween is coming up."
"Halloween?" Kala asked.
"Cye told me about it," Reva answered. "It's a celebration where little kids turn into monsters and harvest candy."
"No it isn't." Mia laughed as she got up. "Kids dress up as monsters and go to each house for candy."
"Isn't that what I said?"
"What's that got to do with anything?" Mira asked.
"Everybody is supposed to be coming here tomorrow," Mia answered. "We're decorating the whole house."
"And you plan to tell them during that?" Kala asked.
"Well, that's just a bonus. We might as well, right?"
the roof, Kishin had stopped asking Royda after her last question.
They just sat there, listening to the sounds of the night. Suddenly,
a flash of light went off behind them. They didn't have to turn
to know who it was that showed up.
"Kishin?" the voice asked. "I would like to have a word with my sister please."
The girl got up and turned to see Kayura standing there, arms crossed and staring at the back of Royda's head. Neither seem to notice that Kishin left or even knew she was there in the first place. She would have loved to just stay up there, looking up at the stars.
"What do you want from me?" Royda asked as Kayura sat next to her.
"Like I told them downstairs, everybody is invited and will come to the wedding."
There was a silence between the sisters. With the two of them sitting side-by-side, an outsider would be hard pressed to guess who was oldest. Kayura didn't look like a little girl anymore but a young woman around Mia's age. Even with the new look, Royda looked serious enough to pass as the oldest.
"Why do you want them to come?"
"Why wouldn't you let them come? And don't give me that excuse about secrecy."
Silence again. Kayura knew enough about her sister to know that how she was approaching this wasn't the brightest of ideas. She could tell that the younger girl didn't like to lose.
"Then I suppose they are coming." Royda got up. "The others are allowed to go, but don't expect me to be there."
"What?!" Kayura jumped to her feet and almost ran her sister down before she left. "What do you have against them?"
"Nothing, I just believe in self-preservation." Royda walked on downstairs and didn't look back.
"You are impossible," Kayura whispered. "I can feel that you want to go but something is holding you back. It's that damn honor that you have. Your grandfather taught you too well. Please change. For me?"
you can't put that there," Ryo said from the top of the
ladder. It was Saturday morning and everybody was relatively
"Why not?" The biggest of the Ronins was balancing a huge pumpkin under one arm while he tried to clear a space for it.
"Don't you think it's a dangerous place for it?" Roy came down. "Kids are going to come under it, you know."
"Fine, where should I put it then?"
Ryo directed Kento to the end of the porch. There was a place just perfect for the pumpkin of that size. Kento placed it down and examined how it looked. He was about to leave when he noticed Kishin staring intently at one.
"Hey," he said in greeting. She looked like she didn't hear and seemed lost in thought. He passed a hand in front of her.
"I heard you," she responded. "Just admiring art." She finally looked away from the pumpkin and confronted Kento. "You did these?"
"Umm... well..." He reached a hand up to the back of his neck. "Most of it but..."
"Well, they're very nice. I really like that one." She pointed at one carving of a mansion. "How did you do it?"
"I didn't do that one. Rowen did. He's really good at it. I'm surprised he didn't do more than one."
"Really? That's a shame. I was hoping to learn how to do that."
"I can teach you. It's not that hard really. You just have to know where to cut."
"Okay, maybe after all this you can."
"You guys hungry?" Mira asked from the door. Just about everybody quickly left what they were doing and headed for the kitchen. "I guess you are."
In the kitchen, everybody sat down and they observed Anubis preparing the meal. The Ronins sat in awe as he moved around with as much grace in the battle field. He had taken up the house cleaning and cooking since Mia seemed to be getting a bit more tired each day. It also helped that the girls were there most of the time.
"I thought that Cye was the only male around here that knew his way around the kitchen?" Sage asked.
"You would never know how many hidden talents I have, Halo," answered Anubis.
The food came and they ate without another bother. They talked about school and activities, especially Halloween. The Ronins had to explain most of the concept of the celebration to the girls and Anubis. Reva got really into the notion that you could dress up just to get candy. Nobody really noticed Mia come downstairs until her cup hit the side of the coffee pot.
Everybody turned and looked at her, amazed that she was not just getting up. They were making so much noise outside that they were a little surprised she didn't come out then. She looked a little paler than usual and moved a little bit slower. All eyes were on her and she would feel it.
"What?" she asked, almost demanded. "It's like you guys haven't known a person to sleep later before."
"Well, actually," Ryo started, "we've never known you to sleep in that later before." The rest of the Ronins also noticed the careful way she moved around. This was actually the first time they have all been together at Mia's since the girls came. Mia, in their eyes, seemed to be getting weaker each time they saw her.
"Yeah," Sage added. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine, really." She smiled as she turned back to her cup. "I was up until late last night because I was grading some papers. And to consider the fact that there is just too many things going on."
"You shouldn't worry so much," Anubis said. He neatly folded his apron and walked over to her. "Stress go you into this condition in the first place, remember?"
Mia was tempted to just lean her head on his shoulder. It would be so easy, if the guys weren't there. The fact that none of the Ronins knew about her and Anubis would complicate things. She wanted them to know more than anything in the world before the world knew about them. However, showing them right there when other issues were floating around wasn't appropriate.
"Yeah Mia." Kento's voice broke through Mia's daze. "We wouldn't want you to go to another vacation and bring back more people."
The Ronins agreed with him and laughed about it. The girls, on the other hand, didn't see anything funny, of course, except for Reva. She laughed along with them even though she knew what was really behind it. Their breakfast was interrupted by the doorbell ringing.
"I'll get it," Mia volunteered. Anubis quickly caught up to her and grabbed her waist as they got to the living room. Like that, they go to the front door and opened it.
"Cale?" they both asked.