Whoop, this happened “tonight” (ok it was actually 4:30am but I haven’t gone to sleep so uh, it’s night). I wasn’t going to post it because I wanted to have it as a oneshot but temptation won out!
Summary: Atsushi is sacrificed to the local dragon for being a “witch”, but instead of being eaten, the Dragon takes an interest in him. “Why not get revenge on them, hm?” it proposed.
Can anyone guess what book this is based off?
Why Not Get Revenge?
Atsushi remembers when his mother would tuck him into bed. Right before she would leave, she’d bump his nose with her finger and he’d be able to smell the spices and herbs she’d worked with, “Now then, what did you promise me, kitten?”
He’d smile, proud that he’d not only kept his promise to her so far, but that he remembered the promise word for word, “Kitten stays in the house, outside I walk on two legs and only if nobody visits!”
His mother would smile and sometimes try to curb his enthusiasm, “Shhh, little one. Remember, not so loud.”
Yes, it was a secret between the two of them. He’d never thought more about this. He thought it was normal for people to be themselves in their own homes and being himself meant letting his tail unravel and his nails scratch His Post (his mother had been tired of the couches being destroyed and after a particularly painful spanking, he’d learned his lesson). For his ears to take in all the sounds and, on certain occasions, it meant he’d turn into a cat. That’s why his mother had called him kitten and he loved it. Loved playing around with his toys and with his mother on the days she wasn’t too tired from helping out the villagers with remedies.
As the years passed, he wasn’t able to do this anymore. It turned out he wasn’t exactly an oversized tabby, “What am I, mama?” That had been the day he’d accidentally made too much of a commotion. The neighbors had come to see if everything was alright and he’d heard his mother say something about accidentally dropping some ingredients. He’d cried himself to sleep.
“You’re my little kitten, ‘tsushi,” his mother had crooned, her hands running through his silver hair
On the next day, his mother didn’t go to work. Instead, she pulled him into his room, closed the windows, laid his head on her lap, and whispered, “Mama’s going to go to the next village tonight. I need you to be strong, kitten. I won’t be around for a while.”
“Shhh, kitten, quietly.”
He matched her whisper, “Why?”
“Someone is sick and I’m the only one who can help. You understand, right?”
He’d wanted to exclaim that NO, why couldn’t someone from the Capital come? Why did his mother have to go? It was true she was one of the best doctors in their village and even in the next few, but he’d had a bad feeling. He tightened his hold on his mother’s hands, “I don’t want you to go,” he confessed.
His mother had only laughed quietly, “Don’t worry. Everything will be alright. You’re such a good boy Atsushi. And strong. You’ll be alright.”
What about you? He’d wanted to ask but his mother began to sing and he knew that was his cue to stay quiet. She sang until he fell asleep, the feel of her warm hands and the smell of spices strong.
When he woke up, she was gone.
Atsushi waited and waited for her return. He kept his promise to her, prayed she’d be back soon. Did all the housework, worked hard, and went to the edge of the village every day in the hopes that he’d see her walking back, but he never saw her.
One day. Two. Four. A week.
It was on the tenth day that he heard the news. A witch had been found in the village his mother had gone to. The woman had been taken to the Dragon’s Keep of their village and left to die.
That same night they came for him.