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Chapter 1: Reality

The stench of blood filled the air, though she ways quite sure what had happen. She was on the ground, staring up at the grey, colorless sky. Her focus blurred in and out as she raised her arm. At first she was confused as to what she was looking at, but slowly her mind began to grasp the fact that it was her blood that was running down her pale arm. She let out a horrid scream, that filled the air quickly. The screamed echoed as it died away, mixing with someone calling her name.

“Malaya Malaya ” Then nothing. A sudden darkness engulfed her. She heard nothing, felt nothing, and saw nothing. After what seemed like forever, a faint whisper filled her mind.
“Malaya. Malaya. Get up you lazy girl! “ Malaya’s eyes snapped open. Her shirt was soaked in sweat, and she found herself curled tightly in a ball. She looked up to the woman who had awoken her.
The woman’s hair what midnight black with blue streaks running through out it. It was pinned up in a bun tightly, with her bangs right above her eyebrow. Her eyes were crimson red, and her skin was tanned darkly. She wore an elegant dark blue, silk dress, and a gold necklace with the symbols of the seven Gods and Goddess’.
“Malaya, get up or get whipped.” The woman’s eyes went suddenly cold with a hard, hateful look.
“Yes, Ma’am”, Malaya said as she sat up.
It was only a dream, she thought as she pulled the blankets from her and stood up. The floor was cold, but she didn’t mind. She was used to it by now. Malaya was fifteen, and had been a servant girl for Lord Hitoja for eight of those years. She gad become one of the Lord’s favorite servant and was well respected by all, except this woman whom had awaken her.
She washed her pale face and pulled back her long, silver hair into a high pony tail. Her emerald eyes were bright and shined even in the darkness. She slid on a loose fitting, black T-shirt, and a pair of dark wash jeans, woven from mages.
“They Lord would like to see you in the court yard. I suggest you hurry.”The lady spoke with such hate pulsing through her voice, you would think that Malaya killed someone close to her or something.
“Yes, Miss Ala; would like something while I’m out? Maybe a nice guy who won’t run away with once look at your face.” Malaya smiled venomously.
Ala stiffened and let out a growl before storming off. Delighted by Ala’s storming off, Malaya grabbed some bread and headed out to the court yard. Her foot steps echoed through out the large hall. The tile of which she walked on were gold, and the statues of the rulers before Lord Hitoja were carved of pure silver and lined up down the hall. The lights were dimmed to where she could barely see anything, for it was still early in the morning. When she came up to the large red doors, she heard whispers on the other side. Her brows drew together confusingly. Remembering not to listen in, she opened the doors and walked out. Two men and a woman turned around to look at her.
“Ah, Malaya. So sorry to wake you this early, but we need your help with a few things.” The man on right spoke in a soft , soothing voice that spun around Malaya’s mind.
“It’s no problem at all Lord Hitoja.” Malaya bowed with a warm smile.
“I can not your resorting to a mere child, and a servant at that!” The other man snapped, “You have sunken low Mitoyu. Your father would be disappointed.”
Malaya reached behind her back and pulled a dagger from a pocket, and slowly pulled it in front of her. Everyone went silent, not knowing what she was about to do. Her eyes darted from side to side, looking up at the sky. Suddenly her eyes locked onto something and she tossed her dagger into the air blindly. The dagger whistled through the air until it hit something. At first nothing happened then an explosion went off from above them. All their heads snapped up to see what had just happened, besides Malaya’s, who kept her head down.
“Home made bomb, was meant to fall four feet from where I am standing.. There is someone else listening on to us all, and it seems that he is after one of us.” Malaya turned towards the door and began to walk in.
“We better go in. I will have the soldiers check it out when the wake up.
They walked for a good few minutes in silence, all fallowing Malaya without realizing it. When she stopped they looked at her, the looked where they were. She had lead them into the library, where a fire was going. The chairs were arranged in a circle all facing each other. Everyone took a seat, finally coming out of their daze of what happened out in the court yard.
“Now, as I was saying, how could you resort to this...thing, Mitoyu? Have you gone crazy, or is it that you are to weak to handle the pressure of this job?” The man spoke to Lord Hitoja once again.
“It would be best for you to not speak of Lord Hitoja like that, or you might end up like that bomb.” Malaya snapped at the man.
“Hush, it’s ok. He has a point, but he doesn’t know you. Now, there are two problems. The first one has to do with a dam. We are wanting to build a dam on the northen part of Kaname River, but there are a few small villages a that would be flooded. If we don’t do it, those who live near the Castama desert will have no water.” When the Lord finished, Malaya closed her eyes and thought.
“Have your mages dig another route for the water to flow that way the water will get to the towns without flooding the villages and farms.” The other woman looked stunned at the answer and began to think.
“How did you come up with that resolution? We have been going through every idea and no one thought of that.” The woman looked closely at her.
“I...uh...just analyzed the situation and went through all the possible out comes until I found on that would work the best for both sides.” Malaya felt sweat roll down the back of her neck as a silence fell for a good few minutes.
“I told you she was smarter then a normal servant, didn’t I, Hiko and Tama?” Lord Hitoja grinned.
“Ei. I will give you that much, but that was just a dam. What about the other problem we have?” The lady, seemingly named Tama said with disapproval
“Tama has a point, Mitoyu. She is just a child.” The man, Hiko, argued.
The three went silent again. The only sound was that of the crackling of the fire and wood burning. Malaya looked at the three straight in the eyes, to see if she could detect what was about to happen, but all she got was suspense and questioning from each of their eyes.
“Tell me girl, what is the name of your mother and father?”Tama broke the silence that crept along the room.
“My mothers name was Rita and my fathers name was Yamino.”
“And their last name?”
“Mitoyu! Your holding a Shinome! Don’t tell me you had no idea of this. You know very well what the first Lord said of what the Shinome would do to us!” Hiko screamed.
“She was only a child, and she had no where to go. Her parents were already dead from the bombing. I didn’t see any hurt in it if no one could teach her the art of Tung-Shu.” Lord Hitoja retorted back.
“Hush, we mustn’t speak of this in front of the girl.” Take broke into the argument.
“Yes of course. You are dismissed, Malaya. Uh..take the day off as well” Lord Hitoja waved her off, sweat rolling down his forehead.
“Yes Lord,” With one last bow, she too off running to her room, and quickly shut and locked the door. She laid down, baffled as to what just happened. The more she thought about it, the more tired she felt, and soon fell asleep.

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The following comments are for "Bellow the Surface"
by Kayame

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