Across the Scorched Sea by Jennifer Hayashi Danns EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
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- Author: Jennifer Hayashi Danns
- Language: English
- Genre:Historical Fiction
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Blackland – Orbit Two
Shadows prowl in the flicker of Takafumi’s torch. Flashes of a banished
red robe peek from beneath his dark cloak as he strides to the destiny
denied him by cockroach Kaori.
Takafumi smiles thinking of her, prone, in her gilded chamber beside
Ren, a restless reminder of her twin. He looks so much like Kairi; she
probably sees herself in those blazing brown eyes but those who long for
the island see Kairi.
He will return. He would never leave them there in Blackland. With her.
Blackland. Named after the lush soil nurtured by Kaori’s Nile. Takafumi
creeps across Redland, the expanse of desert beyond the settlements of
Blackland, sparse and devoid of water; a place for traitors to tread.
Takafumi searches for footsteps swept away by the tides of the desert.
He squints into the night for any sign of others disturbing the sand. Wind
swirls warm air across the vast open plain, whipping up sand to bend and
contort in futile flight from the stifling heat. Grains crumble beneath his
feet, guiding him down a gentle slope towards a gaping black hole. His
flame illuminates a low, dark mouth with a craggy upper lip. Murmurs
bubble and froth within. Takafumi enters.
Fangs protrude from the ceiling of the cave. Pockets of fire burn in the
cavities on the floor. More teeth protrude from the sand, ready to snatch
those too willing to forget Mu.
“Namu Kai,” Takafumi says.
“Namu Kai!” roar the mottled-armed crowd, panting with pleasure at
the arrival of their leader. They brandish a dark iridescent feather. The
symbol of the Kai.
Takafumi peels off his cloak and a thrill ripples through them. They eat
the red robe and chew the soft fabric, savouring all that she has denied.
Other Experienced join Takafumi, though not all. They aren’t reckless; they
will never replace her without patience. They also shed their skin and any
pretence of civility is abandoned. The frenzied crowd tear strips, licking and
sucking each piece, moaning, eyes squeezed shut, tongues licking the
fanged roof in ecstasy. Saliva begins to drip from the ceiling fangs and the
fire pits sizzle.
Experienced Takako and Taketo exchange a glance and nod at
Takafumi. It is time.
Takafumi wipes sweat from his forehead, overwhelmed not only by the
heat of the pit and the fever of the mob but by the knowledge of what is to
come. Takako approaches the altar that has been eagerly clawed into the
sand. The opposite of a grave, it is an elevated mound surrounded by a deep
trench. Takafumi watches her enter the trench. She looks strange without
her dreadlocks resting on her hips, as do he and Taketo without their silver
nests perched on their heads.
She hacked them off, replacing them with a
short helmet of braids dyed black with the ink of crushed nettles. No grey in
her Blackland; no respect for those who have lived longest. No honour.
Only her and her followers adorned with gold. Takafumi had remembered
to remove his gold before entering this fray. And the new glyphs from his
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