Fire: Dragon Flame, Fire Within
Wind: Essence of Susano-Wo, Gentle Embrace, Silence the Air, Walk the Way, Walk with Air
Balance: Seek Unseen
Year 1747: The Eki family was a well off family that had good relations with most of the families within in the clan. Yutaka was an honored Samurai that was known for his playful nature more than anything else. He was very honorable though, and he knew when to take things seriously. Kameko was a geisha (who gave up that life after she decided to get married). She was an honored woman that many other women looked up to.
Yutaka and Kameko ended up having two children. They were both girls. The first was Kykomi who was raised to be more like her mother. She was taught some of the skills of a geisha, and most other female skills that would be needed to be a proper wife. After all, that was how she was going to bring honor to their family. Their second child they named Takara. She was much different from her older sister. While she learned some of the basic things for being a proper young woman, Takara seemed to want to know more. She had pretty much decided that she wasn’t going to be raised just to be a good wife. She was going to bring honor to her family in another way.
Year 1751: When Takara was still rather young (not even 5), Kameko was killed. Many speculate that she did something to anger someone within Chimamire Chikara, but Kameko did not associate with the crime ring. No one within the Eki family associated with anyone within the powerful crime ring. Though, Kameko did bare witness to a crime taking place, and basically she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many believed that her death had simply been an accident. Others believe that her death was simply to keep her quiet from the crime that she saw (which is far more likely).
The death of Kameko threw Yutaka into a deep depression. He would have gladly avenged her death, but he had two daughters to take care of. He couldn’t just simply leave them behind, so he did the best that he could. His oldest daughter was basically old enough to take care of herself, so he mostly concentrated on Takara. Of course, Kykomi concentrated on trying to raise Takara as well since Kameko was gone.
Year 1752-1759: As a child, spending time with her older sister was fun. Kyokomi was like her best friend, but as Takara got older she didn’t much like the direction Kyokomi was pushing her in. She was part of the reason why she started training as a Mahoutsukai. Plus, her father had expressed in interest in her becoming a Mahoutsukai as well, so that helped her with her decision.
It was during this training and during one of the many social functions Takara was forced to go to as a child that she met Shino and Akihiko. She took to the both of them like a fish does with water. Shino was a well behaved young man at first, but once Takara got to know him she learned he was also loyal and caring (much like a dog). He was fun to be with, and he really was a good friend to have around (because she knew he would always be there). Akihiko was more on the private side when Takara met him, but she managed to break through that barrier easy enough. The two became the closest and most cherished friends that Takara had ever had.
Year 1760: Tragedy seemed to strike between the three friends when they were all about 13. Akihiko’s family was murdered by a man named Akuchi Karrinu. Takara was never able to get the full story, but she knew that Akihiko was never the same afterwards. He simply could not get over it. Oddly, it was during this hard time that Takara’s attraction to Akihiko grew. The more he tried to push his friends away, the harder Takara tried to help him. Though, she was never really able to get very far. Akihiko didn’t seem to want the help.
Year 1767: While celebrating their graduation, Takara noticed an odd figure in the distance. It was a red haired Ryuko, which was very rare. Takara couldn’t help but point it out, and when she did Akihiko was pretty much on his feet, running after the figure. Before she knew what she was doing she was following after Akihiko, and then soon after she was involved in a fight with (who she learned) Akuchi Karrinu. Being that she had just graduated, she knew she was not going to be a match for this man. She also wasn’t a fighter, so she tried to help the others the best that she could.
Sadly, even she was beaten down during the fight. Her wounds were nowhere near a severe as Shino’s (who was almost killed) and Akihiko’s though. Being that she was the one better off than the other two, she spent most of her time taking care of her two best friends. Akihiko didn’t seem to want to help, so Takara tried to focus more on Shino.
When she had a moment to herself, Shino came to actually check on her. It was then that Akihiko’s little brother came running in saying that Akihiko was packing up his things and leaving. Takara and Shino wasted no time in running after their friend. Takara and Shino both tried to talk Akihiko out of leaving, but he simply wouldn’t have it. It actually led to a fight between Shino and Akihiko, and considering that Shino was still hurt Akihiko beat him easily enough. That was when Takara stepped in though. She tried to convince him that three were better than one, and that he didn’t have to do it alone. He wouldn’t have it though, and Takara wasn’t going to just let him go. Akihiko seemed to know that Takara wasn’t going to just let him go, so he managed to knock her out. Akihiko put both Takara’s and Shino’s bodies where they could be found before he disappeared. Afterwards, Takara was rather heart broken, but she would never fully admit it.
Kykomi took it upon herself to interfere with the whole situation. She would constantly say that Akihiko wasn’t good enough for Takara, and that she should simply forget about the dishonorable man. This led to some very passionate arguments between the sisters. Takara simply wasn’t going to give up on him, and she knew that Shino wasn’t going to either (considering Shino had taken responsibility for Akihiko’s little brother).
Year 1768- 1823: After Shino’s little brother ran away, Takara took it upon herself to try and be there for him almost every day. She helped take care of Takashio, and tried to comfort Shino in his difficult time. She has promised to help in him any way that she can.
While helping Shino on one of his many searches for his runaway brother, they ran into the most unlikely person: Akihiko. Takara had been dreaming of the day, but it didn’t turn out like it was suppose to. After all, Shino’s brother was with Akihiko (much to Takara’s ire). Shino had to bring the boy home. The two rivals almost got into a fight over all of it until Takara stepped in. Akihiko went on his way, and Sasuke went home with Shino.
Sadly, Ky had to come in on the meeting with Akihiko. She said her piece, and then she ran to their father to basically say it was time for Takara to settle down. Yutaka set up a meeting with the matchmaker, and things just went down hill after that. Takara knew nothing about meeting the matchmaker.
When she was brought before her, she was shocked. She tried being proper at first, but the matchmaker was pointing out every little flaw Takara had. She pleaded with her father, but that only angered him. Takara didn’t know when to stop, and her father pulled her aside to try to knock (literally ) some sense into her. Even after being slapped a couple of times (which only made her mad), Yutaka locked Takara in the family basement.
While Takara was in the basement (for at least a week), she met another person stuck in the basement with her. At first, she thought he was jus at ghost, but he wasn’t. Takara wasn’t really sure what he was, but he listened to her whine. In the process, she learned his name was Mouko, and he helped her escape from the basement.
Little did she know (or she hoped rather) that her escape would cause her father to commit seppuku. Takara was left on the outskirts of town and that is where Kazumi found her. Naturally, Takara got the lecture of a lifetime for leaving, being a spoiled brat, and killing a good man all because she was being selfish. Oddly, Kazumi stayed with Takara to help her survive.
Shortly after that, Takara saw Tenshi go up in smoke. While living on the streets, Takara and Kazumi ran into Mouko (and Nu). He offered Takara a chance to join him, but Kazumi sort of made up her mind for her. In the process, Takara insulted Mouko (and he gave up on her).
Perhaps it was fate or just horrible luck, but Takara ran into Akihiko while she was living in a makeshift tent in an alleyway. Obviously, he was confused and then angry when he learned what happened. Once he learned the reason why, he pretty much demanded that she go back home. It helped that he said that he might love her again (even though she has a very hard time believing it).
Swallowing her pride wasn’t something she wanted to do, but she did (more for the sake of the dying Kazumi). She begged Ky to let her back in the family. She even tried to appeal to the woman’s good side, but in the end it was Mikiri (Ky’s husband) that came up with the compromise. Takara would become a servant within the household. Ky later added that Takara had to also marry per their father’s dying wish.
Being a servant made her humble (the guilt also played a big part in this). Though, when she was set up to marry Jiro, her passion just sort of died. After all, Jiro was picked because Ky was under the impression he could control her. Takara didn’t want the marriage, but she had to go through with it. Jiro didn’t want it either, but he also went through with it. Takara knew what would happen to her if she was herself, so she stopped being herself so that she wouldn’t give Jiro too much trouble (and so she wouldn’t get punished too much). She punished herself enough as it was.
Year 1824: Takara’s marriage was rocky at best. She never knew how to react around Jiro despite living with him for years. Besides, she felt like some kind of third wheel when around Jiro and his friends. It was taking everything she had to just remain sane.
The leaders of the clans decided to make gumis to fight the rising threat of Mouko. Takara and Jiro stood in line with Jiro’s friends to join. Takara was there for something to do really. While waiting, Takara’s brother in law, Mikiri, pulled her aside to speak with her privately. The conversation had an unexpected turn as he admitted to having the hots for her. Takara wasn’t sure what to do, but the offer was open.
In the end, she didn’t take it (even though she was pretty sure it was Mikiri that got her in the gumi as a cook).
Life was a cook was nothing glamorous. While walking back to the kitchen, Takara heard a noise coming from the Daimyo’s room. Curious, she peaked in to see Mouko with him! Of course, Mouko recognized who she was, and had to point it out to Takeshi and Tsubasa. That was the beginning of the end of Takara. They all swore not to say a word about that night, which she kept her promise.
Aether Day was downright depressing. Takara’s friend, Shino, had died in battle. She never got the chance to apologize to him. She ended up spending most of her time speaking with Shino’s widow. The end of Takara came shortly after Shino’s death. While walking down the hall to study, Takara ran into Akihiko. He had been waiting for someone, so they talked. She explained what she had done since he last saw her. It all ended with Akihiko giving Takara a hug. That was when Takeshi and Akuchi (oddly enough) caught them. Akihiko was quick to let her go (when Takeshi started to yell at Takara). Despite being yelled at, Takara was more focused on the fact that Akuchi had actually spoken to Akihiko!
Takara just lost it when she learned that Akihiko was actually traveling with him! She finally just gave up on her love for Akihiko at that point. She saw it as him making his choice, and that choice didn’t include her in any way. Of course, she still had Takeshi yelling at her, so she did her normal stupid move (in her emotional state) and yelled back.
Once Akihiko was gone, Takara was pulled aside by Takeshi. He wasn’t going to have one of his men killed because of her, so he came up with a plan. Takara would be kidnapped by his men, and she would be taken to Aether. Once she was there, she was not to return to the Land of Dragons otherwise she would be killed. The story back in the Land of Dragons would be that she was taken by Mouko.
Once in Aether, Takara became Akiha Nakada, the orphan girl that had just lost her teacher/mother by the hands of Mouko back in the Land of Dragons.
Year 1828: Akiha begins a relationship with an aetherian student of maho magic: Draven.
Year 1830: She meets Jahzara and teaches her healing touch.
Year 1832: Draven asks to marry Akiha. She asks for time enough to talk to Akihiko and figure herself out before she accepts. However after doing so she decides she is not happy with who SHE is and therefore cannot marry Draven. He does not take the news well. The two break up as a result.
Year 1837: Chestin’s world exploration group departs on the AS Ambassador. She is the largest military ship made by any nation and is designed with a cargo hold full of several months of long staying food. The crew is huge, including the following characters: Chestin (captain), Gowan, Shikojiro, Akiha, Rylin, Sachiko & Jasper. A few months into the voyage, Chestin flirts/bonds with Akiha. Sachiko breaks them up and is upset with Chestin about it but he essentially tells her “what did you expect?”.
While things cool down for a month or so, eventually Chestin sleeps with Akiha. Given it’s a ship, even a large one, the “noise” they make doesn’t go unnoticed by the crew. Chestin brags about it while Akiha is embarrassed. Sachiko is upset but Chestin refuses to comfort her so Akiha tries to talk it over with her niece.
Year 1839: Upon reaching land they immediately organize into scouting groups to set up a base camp. Groups discover the same thing: Old small tribal ruins that are destroyed and haven’t be used in ages. Signs of animals but very skittish and sparse. Her group is sent to hunt carefully so that the crew can recover from their sickness. (Shikojiro, Akiha & Rylin) Hunters find a dead body in the woods. Its large, standing easily eight feet, with patchwork leather and animal fur. It has an animal’s skull as a helm as well. It’s too decomposed to figure out what it originally looked like. The hunters bring back the intel. Chestin says once everyone is healthy again they’ll scout further for these creatures and signs of life.
Year 1840: On the return voyage Akiha asks Chestin what will become of their little tryst. Chestin assures her its old news once they hit ground. Nothing personal, but if he was going to be with a ryuko woman long term he’d have married Sachiko years ago.
Year 1842: Chestin’s voyage group returns home COMPLETELY exhausted. They don’t share much of their voyage with anyone so much as crash in their beds content to be home. After a day of recovery though Akiha bumps into Jahzara and the two bond. Shortly after her return home, Akiha has a one-night-stand with Xanthus at the Velvet Secret. It was meant to be nothing, until she found herself pregnant a month or so later! She brought it to his attention and shockingly the crime lord was supportive. He asked to be a part of the child's life and even gave her protection when his enemies started to target his future "heir".
Year 1843: During the fall of Cardinal Meridian she had locked herself into a shelter along with her baby. However when the Slada'sha awoke she found herself tormented by voices before blacking out. She woke just as Xanthus and his men found her to get her out of the city. However they all found the same revelation waiting for them: The baby was dead. With no memory to know if she'd done the deed or not, she knew Xanthus would kill her for it and thus ran while he was still in mourning.
Knowing there would be no safe place in Aether from Xanthus, she went back to her home country. Her new identity made it so she could hide there easily enough. She was picked up off the streets by scalpers for a local geisha house in the red light district and that is where she met Kaito. He was just another client, but he was willing to listen to her troubles and seemed compassionate. She told him the truth, even told him about her identity and Takara. Too late she realized he was not the kind man she'd mistaken him for. He blackmailed her into becoming his personal assistant and spy within the Mibushin Gumi.
Year 1845: Kaito warns Akiha that he's cruising for his own death. He plans to use his demise to make the gumi stronger. As she learns more about the complicated yet dangerous man, she opts to begin a relationship with him.
He is later killed that year by Raiu and the gumi. She bears them no ill will from it. Instead, she confesses her complicit role in Kaito's dealings and lets Chisu defend her as being a victim. They let her remain because of it.
Year 1853: Akiha finds herself falling for Raiu. She makes a few overtures but, while he is clearly tempted, he never takes her up for some unknown reason.
Akiha gets some of Raiu’s blood for the artifact given to her by Amaya. Akiha uses Raiu’s appearance to try and turn Saiya against him. Instead Saiya sees through it thanks to his ESP and tells her to stop before she gets hurt. For one thing, Raiu is MUCH less kind then he is. After Akiha’s failure, she goes to visit Kaito's grave and runs into Erisuke there. She talks to him about how Kaito wasn't quite the man most believed him to be. In the process of their discussion Akiha seduces Erisuke as a way to forget her woes. However, after he asks to be a serious couple and Akiha has to figure out if she can even do such a thing.
While in the city shopping with Akiha, Yuki gets an uneasy feeling when a young boy passes by her. She quickly follows him. When she catches up to him she realizes that dark spirits are connected to him. She cleanses the boy and finds out he is an orphan from a nearby village. Before he runs off he hints that others are in danger.
Year 1854: A member of the gumi is found dead and evidence points to Raiu and his demonic sword. There is even an eyewitness putting him there at the time. Raiu swears innocence but one of their scholars, Ijito, points out how unstable he has been for sometime now. He even calls upon Akiha to support since he knows she witnessed it. Naturally Mitsuko doesn’t want to believe it but acts against Raiu (strangely suspicious of his best friend).
Upset at how Ijito put Raiu on the run, Akiha puts on her sweet face and offers to help him like she did Kaito. She puts on her full bad girl mask and plans to ruin him from the inside.
Kosuke talks to Akiha about being a mahotsukai. He loses interest in it when it turns out it takes years to learn any cool spells. Still, the two bond as Akiha takes him on a flight.
Year 1855: Raiu and Mitsuko attempt to figure out the Aetherian dockets for supplies but come into a lot of semantic trouble. Akiha over hears this and offers to help, since she lived there previously.
Year 1856: After learning what they can about Torus and “Fate”, the Consortium members find a way to implode the Time Steam Gates. The devices must be planted at the various gate locations and will close the portals and release the energy back into its proper balance. There are 9 gates in total and thus 5 teams are sent.
Team 5 arrives at their Time Steam Gate and must deal with enemies coming out of it while they reach it to destroy it. Erisuke takes a fatal blow from a spell-charmed Eriko.