Tales of Minato

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Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:00 pm

Tales of Minato

Post by Kiyodai » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:10 pm

“Adnor loves children like you more than almost anything in this world. I know things seem bleak now, but…He is watching over you, little one. You must believe that.”

The man known as Minato Kawaguchi could not help but dwell on those words he had spoken to a young half-elf boy, one who had recently come into the village. Not much was known about him, or his family–if it could be called that. All that was known was that his mother was reclusive, and could be seen drinking at almost all hours of the day through the windows of the ramshackle house that she had bought. As unfriendly or unapproachable as the mother might be, her son was a kind-hearted soul–albeit one who rarely spoke. Rumors circulated around town that the boy had been struck dumb or, in one case, it was rumored that his mother had never actually told him how to speak.

Minato had not been possessed of an opinion on the family one way or the other. He was a farmer, first and foremost, and what primarily concerned him was tending to his lands. But he found himself involved in the boy’s life when, one afternoon, he heard a ruckus coming from his rice field.

“DUMB FOREIGNER! That’s what my mother says, you know! That you’re a dumb foreigner!”

Minato sighed gently, adjusting the simple conical hat worn by so many farmers of his kind–idly wondering what individual thought it just to label a mute individual ‘dumb’. Placing his trowel and sickle back on his belt, he maneuvered towards the source of the noise–three of the boys from the village had cornered the smaller half-elf against some of the rice stalks, jeering at him in the way only little children can.

“…Heihachi. Yoroi. Nagata. What is it that you think you are doing, mm? What has this boy done to you?”

“My mom sai–”

“Quiet. Your mother said the child is ‘dumb’. It does not mean what you think it means. It means he either cannot, or chooses not to speak. He is foreign to this place, yes. But we all were, at one point in our lives. Now, the lot of you, get back to your homes. If I find you out here doing this again, I’ll be carrying you back to your parents by the scruffs of your necks. Do we understand one another?”

With mutterings of dissent, the children slowly moved away, as Minato helped the half-elf to his feet, and brushed him off.

“…Are you all right, little one? I apologize for them. People can be…Intolerant of new things, in Taijun.”

“…” The boy just looked at Minato blankly for a few moments, unspeaking.
“Do you…Understand what I say?” Minato asked of the child. After a moment, the boy gave a small half-nod. It was some acknowledgement, at least. Not that he could blame the kid for being anti-social. After some consideration, Minato made a quiet offer. “If you like, you can stay here for a while. They will not bother you here.”

The boy took a moment to consider the offer, before hesitantly half-nodding again. As Minato went back to his work, the boy watched, intently–seemingly taken by the simple process of planting and tending to the rice stalks. Minato was content in letting him observe…and before long, the sun had begun to set. Minato had sent the child on his way with those words of encouragement–that Adnor loved him. The child’s reaction had been…strange. Puzzled at first, but followed by the tiniest hint of a smile. As Minato went to lay down for the night, he prayed quietly to Adnor, asking him to look over the child–if for no other reason than that it seemed he needed a friend.
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:00 pm

Tales of Minato

Post by Kiyodai » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:11 pm

A few weeks had passed since the child had first came to the village. For the first week, the boy only showed his face for an hour to a half hour at a time–and only to watch Minato as he planted. For the second week, the boy would stay for a few hours, occasionally pointing at the various things Minato did in the process of tending to the rice, waiting for an explanation (the boy, as of yet, still did not speak).

In the third week, the boy started to stay for around half a day, and even began to try and assist Minato in his work. While it was a bit surprising to the farmer, he didn’t truly mind–his family was past and gone, and so he tended to the farm by himself. Having an additional hand around was never a bad thing.

Past the fourth week, the boy would show up early in the morning, and became a regular assistant to Minato around the farm. It came as a delightful surprise to Minato that the boy seemed to have a great aptitude for tending to plants; after hardly any instruction, was a practiced hand at nurturing the stalks, to the point where he might have even embarassed a farmer with many more years under their belt. Minato guessed the boy was ten, maybe eleven–hard to tell for certain. Even with the time they had spent together, he had still never heard the child speak. His responses were always either head-shakes or nods; although seeing how quickly the child learned dismissed any thoughts Minato might have had that the child’s lack of speech was a result of slow development, or lack of intellect. It seemed to be a deliberate choice on the child’s part. For what reason that was, he could not say–nor was he going to pry.

Unfortunately, Minato could not avoid learning the answer to this question. It had been a balmy night, much like any other. The rice would soon be ready for harvest, and the preparations involved were time consuming, going well until the sun had vanished. Not wanting to send the child home on an empty stomach after a hard day’s labor, Minato insisted on feeding him dinner; it seemed the right thing to do. The boy was clearly anxious at first, but seemed to relax as the meal went on, and he enjoyed the warm fish and seasoned rice the man made. However, the reverie was quickly broken by slurred shouting coming from the field; the voice of a woman. As soon as the voice became audible, the boy’s eyes shot open like saucers.

“Nnh…Marlowe, wher’n fuck are you?!” …The sound of glass smashing on the ground. “Whasha…Whasha doin’, FORGETTIN’ ‘bout your poor mother?!” Heavy steps on the front porch–the child was quivering in his seat. The farmer sat a gentle hand on his shoulder, and smiled.

“…I will speak to her, little one. It sounds like she isn’t feeling well.” He rose from the table, and moved to answer the door–whereupon the boy’s ‘mother’, if she could be called that, nearly fell in face first. There was a time when she had been beautiful; that was plain to see. A wild elf, with long flaxen hair and green eyes. But drink and anger had clearly taken their toll. Her skin was sallow, stretched tightly over her face. Her hair, dirty and matted, stank with booze and sweat–and her green eyes were clouded with the haze of alcohol.

Her greeting to Minato was a crude swipe with the bottle she had broken in his field, the jagged glass swishing swiftly through the air. The farmer quickly took a step back, and grabbed the woman by the wrist, prompting her to respond with a feral snarl.

“S..s’yre the weird ass…What tha fuck you…doin’ with my kid, eh?! You some kinna pervert, holin’ him up here all day..?!” The woman sniffed the air a few times, and then smiled; exposing the fetid, yellow teeth in her mouth. “Ohh…That smells good, whatcha got in there…THIS WHY YER HERE, MARLOWE? MOMMY’S COOKIN’ NOT GOOD ‘NUFF FOR YA?!” The woman tried to swing the bottle again, but Minato just squeezed her wrist.

“…Ma’am, you are drunk. Your son has been helping me on the farm, and I didn’t want to send him home hungry after being such a good helper. Please…Come inside, have a seat. You should re–”

“HAW! You think Imma listen t’some shitbag like you…? I know how y…you people look at me and my son…You think we’re vermin, you think we’re FUCKED UP, aren’t we?! Jusht cuz…We’re here…Well FUCK YOU, and FUCK your seat! I’m…takin’ my shon home, and I’m…*hic* taking him NOW!”

Minato looked towards the child, who was still shivering. Clearly, this was not the first time this happened. “…You are not taking him anywhere. Not until you have sobered up. I beg of you, go home, rest, and collect your senses. You are in no state t–”

“SHUT TH’FUCK UP, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!” She yowled at Minato, this time aiming to punch him with her free hand–like the hand with the bottle, it was summarily caught by a swift movement of the farmer’s hand. The feral woman then started to try and lunge at Minato, attempting to grasp his flesh with her teeth. It was at that point that, in one swift maneuver, the farmer chopped the side of the woman’s neck–at which point she crumpled into an unconscious heap, held up only by the farmer’s grip on her wrist.

Minato looked back to the child, who was silently sobbing into his sleeves. He had his answer as to why the child did not speak, but there was no peace to be had in the realization. After setting the child’s mother down carefully, he moved over and embraced him quietly.

“…Remember, child…Adnor loves you, always. He does not abandon you, even in times of darkness…”
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