Through the Cracks Ch1 bit – Student

“That was a Final Strike,” Elspeth said bluntly.

“It was.” Darkwind shifted his shoulder, as if he missed the weight of the massive hawk that usually rode there. “But only the outermost edge of his magic was set loose. The rest is gone. As if….”

“Yes?” Elspeth drew out the word into obvious impatience.

Hand toying with one of the feather-tied thongs on his outfit, Darkwind started to speak.

Kaoru listened, but couldn’t catch more than a word of what was obviously a long, technical mage-to-mage discussion. Mou, I wish I spoke Tayledras! But her skills with Yamato had been more needed in the new western edge of Haven. Talking to people, listening to people, sorting out the major and minor clashes of culture and law between her father’s people and their newly adopted home; she was the only Herald who had any clue how different Valdemar was from Yamato, and sometimes she felt like she had to be everywhere at once. There wasn’t time to add a new language on top of everything else.

“Forgive me,” Darkwind said, meeting Kaoru’s gaze. “I was saying, there is a – flavor, to the traces of magic, that reminds me of what a very… sharp friend did once.”

“Only Need used the magic then and there, she didn’t take it away after she transmuted it,” Elspeth started, giving her partner a look askance.

“Kaoru!” Yahiko thumped into her like a yellow-and-green shinai, ten-year-old hands fisting in her tunic before he remembered he was too grown-up to need an “older sister’s” comfort. “I looked after Megumi like Kenshin’s note said – she got up and ran off, and she didn’t say anything! I had to find her by looking for the Guards-”

“Breathe,” Kaoru said fondly. “Herald Elspeth, Darkwind k’Sheyna, this is my student, Myojin Yahiko.” :I know it’s odd, but he didn’t have anywhere else to go. His parents are dead, he’s not quiet enough to fit in at a shrine, and given where Kenshin and I found him – he has to be somewhere safe. And I couldn’t ask an ordinary Guard’s family to take on the yakuza.:


11 thoughts on “Through the Cracks Ch1 bit – Student

  1. Nice to see culture clash. I’m the only signer at work, so I get pulled around a lot when our deaf customers come by. It’s fascinating when I have all of them at once. Really. Very fun, getting yanked half way across the store from one task to translating back to your task and back again. So I feel for Kaoru, and it’s nice to see Yahiko. There are just some things that I can’t suspend. Like, Harry Potter the character without Hedwig, Kuroba Kaito wothoit magic or the fish thing (my evil side is evil about plunnies on how that fear came from), and Kaoru without an annoying self adopted brother named Yahiko.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Having grown up in other countries because my parents were missionaries, yeah. I’ve still got some bits of other cultures that I learned as a kid and that don’t quite fit in here in the US. And some of them are mutually contradictory cultural artifacts. Like feeling it’s rude to be early (latin american culture) because you might embarrass your hosts if they’re not ready, and feeling it’s rude to be late (US) because that’s showing disrespect by assuming your time is more important than theirs, and being exactly on time is rude in both for showing off and being snobby…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah culture clashes, always messy even when everyone is trying their best not to annoy each other.

    Sounds what like Kaoru needs is either more Heralds of Yamato heritage to help her or at least people willing to work with both and have an understanding of both cultures because Kaoru can’t be everywhere, all the time.

    And I have the feeling that this expression O.O or this one O.o will be everyone’s face at one point or another before everything is said and done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The implication I took wasn’t that Kaoru was the only Yamato-heritage Herald, just that she was the only one that /got/ just how different Valdemar was from their homeland, and /that/ was why she was in such heavy demand.


      1. The point still stands regardless of whether she is the only one or the only one who gets just how different everything is.

        Kaoru is great and a hardworker but if she is the only one who gets it, what happens when she is too sick or too injured to help? Or anything else that means that she can’t be there and might not be able to walk someone else through it via Mind-Speech?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Life happens. People mortally offend one another, blood feuds happen, some people backtrack and realize they screwed up and try to fix things with varying levels of success, some people ascribe horrible, horrible things as just a culture difference and walk by with a sniff of disdain.

        Yes, Kaoru needs more help. But there is a reason I say, “save me from helpful people.”

        Liked by 1 person

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