Jun 14, 2015

Black Stained Winter: Chapter 5 - "The Pain Within"

“Mister!” A cute high pitched shout can be heard in the sunny winter morning. The owner of that cute voice is a pink haired fox girl, Tama. After the unexpected event from the previous night, she just went away into curtains of trees. Gone just like that. Yet here she is, returning once again to the camp of the homeless people. “Ah, I thought you already return to your realm,” says The Hobo. He sits near one of the fire on the camp. There are only a handful of homeless people on the camp right now, so the appearance of the fox girl not really make a scene. Tama runs toward The Hobo and take a seat near him, “Oooh, this feels warm.” Her hands are facing towards the fire to catch the warmth of the fire in front of her. “We haven’t had the chance to talk yesterday, aren’t we?” “Sure, sure! It’s all thanks to those demons and hooded guy!” “So, why are you here and how?” The Hobo starts. “Hm, that is a really good question! I don’t know either,” she answer with ease. “Wait, why?” The Hobo is not expecting that answer. “I can’t remember anything before I arrived here,” she shrugs, “When I came to, I realized I’m on earthrealm and nothing else.” “So you lost your memories, huh. You doesn’t look burdened by that, though.” “Yeah, I guess. I know I need to regain my memories, but thinking too much of it and burdened by it won’t help me, isn’t that right, mister?” Tama turns her head to The Hobo and smiles. “True that,” he didn’t expect that kind of thinking from someone that looks so young. “Although,” she adds, “those black stuff coming out from those demons feels somewhat familiar.” Suddenly, Tama winces as if she’s in pain. The Hobo realizes that, “Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” Tama nods, “Yeah, yeah. I’m okay. There was a sudden and brief pain that come from nowhere.” “Is it from yesterday’s fight?” “Uh-uh,” Tama shakes her head, “It already comes and goes from before that.” “Hm, that might be serious.” “Maybe, maybe.” The two go silent. The Hobo is trying to remember whether he knows someone who can help or not while Tama is wondering why the pain is not gone yet like previously. Yes, she lied. It used to come and go, but this time the pain persist. She doesn’t want to make the kind person to worry since the pain is very bearable. It’s akin to sore and doesn’t feel dangerous so she keeps quiet.
*GROWL* The silence is broken by a loud growling noise. The Hobo turns towards the source of the sound and finds that it’s Tama’s stomach. “Ehehe…” Tama lets out embarrassed laugh. The Hobo let out a sigh, “Well, I still have some money left. What do you say we grab some food?” “Thanks. I don’t know how to get food here,” Tama looks happy. “You two don’t need to get anywhere to get breakfast,” someone stops them before they even stand. From the direction of the voice, a man in a red jacket wearing a pink scarf walks towards them. He’s holding a paper bag. “Mr. Dandy,” The Hobo recognize the man instantly. The man in red is not really pleased being referred as Mr. Dandy. “My name is-” “What’s that smell?” Tama cuts before he could mention his name. “*sigh*, it’s a pork dumpling,” he throws his paper bag to Tama who catches it without any problem. “For me?” Tama’s face looks so delighted. The man answers with a nod. “Yay! Thank you, Mr. Dandy!” She instantly opens the paper bag and grabs a piece of warm bun which still letting out steam and bites it without hesitation. Referred yet again as ‘Mr. Dandy’, the man starts to getting annoyed. “Listen, girl,” he says to the happily eating fox girl, “Stop calling me Mr. Dandy. My name is Ren, got it?” The fox girl looks at Ren and nodding without stop munching down the bun. “Good. That goes to you, too,” he points at the man sitting besides the fox girl. The Hobo sigh and adjusting his beanie, “Alright, alright.” “And what’s your name? I have a feeling we will work together more than just a while and I don’t want to call you ‘The Hobo’ all the time.” “Hm…. I prefer if you call me Hobo though.” “I don’t,” Ren answers in a short manner. “Well, okay, I think you can call me Rick for simplicity sake.” “That’s a normal name for someone who prefer to be called Hobo,” says Ren with a slight hint of curiosity. “So, what’s bringing you here, Mr. Dan- er, Ren?” “Yesterday I didn’t have the chance to inquire you two,” Ren eyes move from Rick to Tama and back to Rick, “If you don’t know, two big demons roaming about is some really rare event if not impossible. Well, it’s practically possible, but highly improbable.” “And why do you go to us? You suspect us or something?” Rick is slightly irritated by this idea. “Not really,” Ren looks at Tama, “But, seeing a really young fox spirit -Tama, right?- walking around with you is unusual, so I thought either one of you might have some info about this.” Tama shakes her head with a full mouth with no pork dumpling can be seen, “I hon wememhel amyfhing.” she swallows the mouthful of pork dumpling and then repeats much clearly, “I don’t remember anything. The only know that I woke up here on earthrealm and my name is Tama. I don’t know why I’m here, where I should be, or who I am exactly.” “Amnesia, huh? Hm, that’s tough and weird at the same time,” Ren looks really concerned. It’s not often for a spirit roaming in Earthrealm, especially this young. Add that to the missing memory, this whole things are fishy. “Oh, oh,” Tama suddenly remembers something, “Those black thing on the demons? I feel like I’ve seen it before. It’s kinda familiar. *cough*” A sudden pain on her body makes her cough. The pain is still there and seems will stay for a while. “You need to eat slowly,” Ren pauses, “So, there’s a possibility for you to have encounter those black mist.” Tama nods, “I don’t remember though.” She still holding back the pain and trying to keep it hidden. She peeks into the paper bag and discover another pork dumpling. Without hesitation she grabs inside and bites the pork dumpling. “What about that girl from yesterday? Why do you insist on taking her? Wait… You didn’t do anything weird to her, right?” Asks Rick. “Heh, am I looks like you?” Tama giggles hearing Ren’s reply. “Didn’t you see how she survive that seemingly fatal wounds? She’s not from earthrealm. That’s for sure. We can’t bring her to hospital.” “I see,” Rick strokes his unshaved chin, “What else do you know about her?” “Well, until she’s awake, that’s all I know right now,” says Ren. He’s lying of course. He already knew that she’s a demon. But from his previous experience, people often have a really bad prejudice on demon. Thanks to all kind of religions, demons are antagonized on earthrealm when in fact there are good and bad demons just like there are good and bad humans. Tama is about to say something when Rick says, “Let’s hope she’s not a demon.” Tama stops. “There’s nothing good from a demon,” Rick adds. Tama was about to say that that girl is a demon, but hearing what Rick just said she decides against it. “Why do you say that?” asks Ren. “Well, let’s just say I never have a good history with demons. Never,” Rick says while looking at the sky. “Well, I’ll let you know if that girl know something,” Ren turns and start to walks away. “We’ll check around and see if we can found something,” Rick says. “Oh,” Ren stops and slightly turns, “That other pork dumpling was for Rick by the way.” “Wha-” Rick looks at Tama who just finished the last pork dumpling. “Ah, err… I was hungry. Ahahaha~” Tama scratches her head while laughing. Hungry is not a good excuse for Rick. “Don’t you know how long I haven’t eat a pork dumpling?” He then proceeds to go and pinches Tama’s cheeks. “Aw aw aw!! Help!! Child abuse in progress here!!”

“Morning, mister…” Tama comes the next morning looking unspirited. “Hm? What’s wrong, Tama?” Rick stops chewing his bread when he sees Tama comes. “No, no… Nothing,” Tama walks slowly before taking a seat near the fire. She doesn’t looks fine at all. Her face is pale and her hands are slightly trembling as she starts to hug herself as if she’s freezing. “Don’t lie to me, Tama. You doesn’t look well.” “It’s the pain… It intensifies.” “How painful is it?” “Very.” Her face can’t hide the pain anymore. The pain never stopped intensifying and Tama finally can’t hold it back anymore. The pain is getting more painful faster as the time passes. At first it was unnoticable, but since yesterday the pain is intensifying much faster. “What’s wrong?” A man’s voice come from outside the camps area. Rick lifts his head to see the source of the voice and sees Ren walking toward them in his usual red-pink combination. “Mister Ren… Morning,” greets Tama weakly. “Morning, Tama. You doesn’t look well,” Ren kneels near Tama to match her level. Tama replies with only a weak smile. “There’s this pain that comes and goes inside her. It seems the pain intensifies,” explains Rick. “When was this current pain start to come?” Ren asks Tama. “...Yesterday. Before you came, mister Ren. It gets more painful as time passes.” “Wait, so you were hiding the pain all day yesterday?” Rick surprised. Tama nods to confirm it. “Aahhh!” Suddenly Tama screams. She falls to the ground and writhes in pain. Her hands are hugging her body tightly and her face looks red from trying to resist the immense pain she feels. The two young men there are at lost on what to do. Rick kneels on Tama’s side and grabs her. He’s trying to keep her calm by hugging her. Rick turns to Ren with Tama on his hands, “Do you know anyone who can help?” “So, this is the homeless camp,” before Ren can come up with anything, an unknown man can be seen walking towards the camp. “Damn! Hide her, quick!” Ren pushes Rick toward the tents as he notice the man walking towards them. Rick quickly run to his tent and get inside with Tama who is still squirming in pain. It will be bad if normal people found out about Tama. The man is now in front of Ren. He looks not too young, not too old. His hair is short and tidy and splits in the middle. Oval framed glasses are covering his face. His faint smiles add to this weird calmness that emanates from his expression. He’s wearing a white shirt with an unbuttoned black suit covered in a black longcoat. “I suppose you’re not the one called the Hobo, right?” The man outside asks Ren. He observes Ren’s outfit, “You doesn’t looks like a hobo.” “Because, I’m not one.” “Ha, thanks god! I almost thought the homeless people in this town already beat the fashion sense of a lot of other homed one,” the man laughs. “Anyway,” he adds, “where can I meet this Hobo person? I’m coming here to have some talk with him.” “I’m the Hobo,” Rick comes out from the tent, “Who are you?” “You don’t follow the news, aren’t you?” Asks the man. “He’s the mayor,” informs Ren. “Wait, isn’t the mayor...” “He’s old news,” cut the man, “I’m the new mayor.” “Okay… So, what do you want? Another eviction notice?” Rick’s face is getting serious. “Whoa, whoa. Hold your horses, Mr. Hobo,” the Mayor tries to calm the Hobo, “I’m not that old mayor before me.” “Can you just get to the point? We don’t have much time here.” “Well okay. I’m here to tell you that I, as the new mayor, give the homeless men here permission to stay here,” the mayor smiles, “Plus, if you can help keep the park safe and clean, we will help you by giving you some foods.” That announcement catch Rick off guard. He didn’t expect the mayor will come by himself to give the news that they can live in the park let alone the news that he will provide foods for them. “Ah, um, well, that’s so nice for you, mayor. Thank you.” “Don’t mention it. You guys are my citizen too. The previous mayor was too close minded after all. Just make sure to keep this place safe and clean. Well, gotta go for now. Talk to you again later, Mr. Hobo,” the mayor turns and walks away. “Well, that was unexpected,” Ren says after the mayor is out of view. “Yeah, I never imagined the mayor himself will come to say that to me.” After that, the both of them run towards the tent. They are worried about Tama’s condition. Yet, when the get inside the tent, Tama is nowhere to be found. “Rick, where’s Tama?” “I don’t know! She was here when I left her!” Rick looks confused. “Wait,” Ren taps Rick shoulder when he notices something on the ground. He kneels down and pick it up. Rick looks at the small thing helds by Ren, “A screw?” “Is this yours?” Asks Ren. Rick shakes his head, “No. It’s not mine.” With an unknown screw on his hand, Ren already has some suspicion on where Tama is. He just need some more proof. Ren tries to pick up scents from the screw. Although his sense of smell is not that good, he only needs to recognize one specific yet general scent to confirm his suspicion. “An elf scent,” Ren recognize the scent. That’s the scent that he needs to know. Now he knows where Tama is. “An elf?” Asks Rick.
“This must be Gerogom’s doing.”


  1. A certain gentleman from Light Novel Indonesia group sent me. I've read up until this point and this is my impression:

    So far so good. To be honest your storytelling style wasn't very much different than mine, and I like it. Although, reading Japanese influenced fantasy in English felt awkward to me. :S

    Nothing I will say on your storytelling, although there is one thing that bugs me out in the world building. So in chapter 4, it was stated that they used the world English, this is a problem in every fantasy world; mentioning a type of language that isn't supposed to exist in said world. It's not really a mistake, but I suggest to edit this.

    Apart from that, I believe you should put a menu for chapter navigation in your site. Don't use the blog archive widget as navigation, it's demeaning, and 2008 was ages ago.

    Well that's it, I'll continue reading later. :))

    1. Thanks for the comment :D

      To be honest, reading a Japanese fantasy in Indonesian bothers felt awkward for me, so I guess it just different from people to people.

      As for the 'English' part, I guess it's not really clear from the story so far, but the setting is on our own world with slight modification (superpower, demon, etc). Sure, the city is fictional, but there's America, Japan, and also Indonesia in this story. Therefore, English does exist in the world.

      And I really like the suggestion to put chapter navigation. I don't know why but that never occurred to me before. Will add menu navigation before the next chapter release. Thanks for the great suggestion.