Maikiko stormed up the steps of Kolar temple in such a passionate rage that when Sister Gow went to stop her even she hesitated.
"Tokuten where have you-"
Mai looked her right in the eye. The fierce look that flashed over her face silenced Gow to perfection.The nun's moustache bristled and her eye's bulged, but she just stood in the way of the entrance, numb with shock.
"Well? Are you going to just stand there gormless all afternoon?!"
And with that the girl brushed past the Sister, marching up to her room. How dare he?! He starts off creating chaos in her peaceful village and now he could add defiling her lake and defiling her introduction to his ever growing list of offences! She reached her room and colapsed onto her mat.
She laid there seething for a moment before being interupted by a gentle knock at the door. She wrestled her composure into submission before calling out in her normal sunny tone.
"You may come in!"
Yuki shuffled into the room, hidding something behind her back.
"Maikiko i've brought you something!"
Maikiko had never had anything but her kimono and was convinced she didn't care about material things. She slammed her head into her pillow in dispair, but allowed the sweet nun to continue on her little flight of fancy.
Maikiko lifted her head obediently before sitting bolt upright, her previously angry features now softened into child-like glee! For the article that Yuki had produced was one of which all women want to own at some stage. A very very pretty dress.
It was strapless, floor length, red silk, diamond studded perfection. It had one of those skirts which made a full circle if spun round and one of those corsetted tops which tied up tight at the back. And Maikiko loved it.
"Did I do good?" Asked the pleased Nun.
"Yes you did! It's absolutly perfect! Can I go to the dance later in this?" (The dress had somehow reduced her to being like a child again.)
"Why do you think i got it?"
Maikiko hugged the nun so tight her eyes did an impression of Sister Gow's, before ushering her out of the room to try it on and curl her hair, put on make-up and such. Any anger she had had was now well and truly evaporated as she twirled in front of the mirror. And any thing she had ever said about material things not being important was evaporated too. (Not that she'd ever let anyone know.)
"You look very pretty."
Maikiko was filled with a familier feeling of dread. She turned round to face Ryugii, who was perched on the rails of the balcony like a parrot.
"That dress really does suit you well. Not that you're not already beautiful without it of course!"
"Yes it's lovely isn't it?" She said, too pleased with her apperance to be angry for no reason.
"Yes whoever picked that out was a real genius."
Mai stopped in her tracks. He was right, this was too perfect to have been chosen by Yuki. She was suddenly embarassed.
"I am not the sort of girl that is won over by material things you know."
"Of course not." He responded with that familier smile.
Maikiko blushed pale pink.
"You shouldn't have brought this, you don't even know me!"
"Oh don't I? I know your name. I know that you were raised here by Yuki. I know that the entire village clings to your every word and that you are by far the most intelligent person here and that you are surrounded by imbeciles."
"Well that much is true but.."
"I also know that you're not half as deep as you try to make out, that you do love material things."
"What? How dare you?!" She accused, her dress induced high drawing sharply to a close.
"I'm not saying that's a bad thing. You act deep so that the village still rever you. I don't blame you everyone loves being in charge, even though you pretend to hate it. And I've never met a woman who didn't love to look nice." Ryugii knew he had crossed the line the instant the words left his mouth.
Maikiko just stared at him, looking almost hurt. He had only met her that day, and only for a second, yet this man felt he had the right to analyse her, and incorrectly at that?! She was past the point of fury and shouting. Her voice became cold.
A look of regret temporarily twisted his features. He went to say something in his defense but decided against it. Ryugii then jumped up vertically from the crouching position he was in and dissapeard into the sparkling night sky.
Maikiko looked back in the mirror. She held the lump in her throat for a moment before swallowing it. This was going to be the first time she had ever been to a social event and no stranger was going to spoil it. She put on her best fake smile before heading down to the party.