So this was kind of fun, exploring more of the culture...
I realized we know your character's name is "Autumn Lily" - and in the background that's the name she changed it to...
But we never knew her original name (since you never told me, and I never wrote it in)...
So her name makes a debut here as "Aki-Yuri" which literally translates to "Autumn Lilly"...!
Had some fun going a little more into Senshi's head/life and his acts of kindness...
And as for the reason these two leave to search for Autumn... that came in the writing of this piece...
Hailing from the small town of Dansā located on an island by the same name, the young Furea lived on the streets with no memory of who her mother was. Her earliest memories were stealing for food at the young age of five, and living in the alleyways, seeking shelter from the frequent torrential rainstorms that frequently pounded the small island.
By the age of sixteen, Furea had developed into a young woman who did whatever it took to survive. When she met an older gentleman named Tanoshima-seru (though most simply called him “Tano”), he offered her a position in his establishment called ‘Silk and Lace.’ It was an exotic dancers club for many of the men of Dansā who went there seeking company for a night. Furea accepted the position, but it was not for exotic dancing, rather to clean the dishes and collect the plates from tables as the men watched the dancers. This exposed Furea to the worse in men, who often slapped her on her end, or pinched her, giving her knowing winks. But working her gave her a place to stay upstairs when the club closed for the night. There was no bed, but it was a room with four walls and a roof over it. She slept on the wooden floor when she could, trying to shut out the sounds of the dancers that accepted money for a night’s company. But the ladies who danced were not all bad; when the nights were slow, or after the establishment had closed up, they would teach her how to dance and move her body in exotic manners, with the notion that she would one day become a dancer herself here.
Each of them had the same story, that Tanoshima-seru found them on the streets, offered them a place to stay. Then would say they were indebted to him and that they would need to work off their debt by dancing and earning money through those dancing; and quicker still if they sold their bodies for an evening to willing men.
A young man had caught Furea’s attention one night, and when their eyes locked, it was clear that he was looking at her. He approached her and introduced himself as Kyūseishu. He was tall, slender, five o’clock stubble with a perfect tone. When Kyūseishu had asked her out, Tanoshima-seru approached and explained that Furea had been living “rent free” in his establishment and it would cost Kyūseishu greatly to take her. Furea was taken aback as she had thought that the work she had done was paying for the rent of the bare room which she had been staying in, but honor bound to not speak up against her “gracious” host, she kept silent. Kyūseishu accepted this and explained he would travel north and get the “Gem of the Spider Queen.”
The small town of Dansā sat on the southern point of the island. It was said, to the north, a large temple now reclaimed by the dense jungle was the home of a Jorogumo. The Jorogumo were spiders that, after four hundred years would weave themselves into their own webs and emerge as a beautiful woman. The women would then seek out males to court and lure them back to their temple, only to devour them and lay eggs inside the corpses of the men, for their spiderlings to eat.
Two weeks later and Kyūseishu never returned and Furea assumed that he had fallen victim to the Jorogumo of the north. On the third week, to the exact day and moment, a massive earthquake off the shore rattled the entire island. Without warning the beach waters suddenly receded deep into the ocean and a massive tsunami washed over Dansā and erased it from existence.
Furea awoke, clinging to a board, her last memory the voices of the dancers screaming as the Silk and Lace building was crushed as easily as one might step on an ant. She looked around her and all she could see was open ocean in every direction. In some area, the shattered remains of Dansā floated around her, including corpses, which to her dismay were being fed on by sharks. She climbed on top of the board she had been clinging to and waited to die.
To her surprise, on the second day, voices could be heard. She opened her eyes and saw a large merchant ship approaching. She sat up on the board and flailed her hands, her voice already too far gone to yell for help. Through some miracle the crew aboard the Suncutter saw her and managed to rescue her.
Onboard the ship, she was tended to many, but one by the name of Kosai checked on her the most frequently. As Furea was nursed back to health, she learned that Kosai, with her long, flowing hair, womanly figure, and ample chest, all of which reminded Furea of the exotic dancers, was actually the lowest daughter of a nearby noble company. Senshi, a noble and great warrior of the country called Tengoku, had called on the noble families to send him their women to help farm and their sons to help fight in the war against the Order of the Red Phoenix. Kosai was to work the farms until the war was over, and then, perhaps she could return home.
On the ship, once Furea had regained her strength, Kosai could see that she had a strong and shapely body. Kosai, already familiar in the ways of fighting, but forbidden to do so, because she was a woman began to teach Furea the basics of self-defense and sword use. When the ship arrived at Tengoku, each of them was brought to Senshi’s farmlands, which was enormous. He was kind enough to share his food and his workers with others so that no one, especially the families of warriors who were fighting the Order of the Red Phoenix would go hungry. They paid Kosai’s family additional coin for the use of Furea, who Kosai had introduced as “her little cousin.”
It was three years of working in the fields, and despite the manual labor, Senshi’s people were kind to them all, providing them all furnished rooms, elegant baths, all of which were new to Furea. When the battles had subsided, and it seemed the Order of the Red Phoenix, Senshi returned home. As agreed, each would be allowed to return home, but so honorable and kind was Senshi that he stood at the docking port and greeted and thanked each of the one thousand people he had employed. However, Kosai (and to some degree, Furea) caught his eye. He stopped them and asked if they had enjoyed their time here. Both had agreed (especially Furea who had never known such an elaborate life). Kosai was ready to return home, but Furea had no home, so she accepted Senshi’s offer to “stay longer.” Kosai could not let her “little cousin” remain behind, so she too agreed.
Both of them had become concubines for Senshi, who, if he was known for treating his workers kindly, treated his mistresses as if they were goddesses. Although it was not love that had drawn them to remain, it had developed as stronger emotions the more time he spent with them. This was their lives for twelve years, and several children later. One day, Aki-Yuri was introduced to them as another, much younger concubine. She was the sole daughter of Utsukushi-sa. Utsukushi-sa was a concubine of Senshi’s best friend, Meiyo and Aki-Yuri (though she just typically went by Aki or Yuri) was now old enough to become a concubine. Senshi had taken a liking to her beauty and both Furea and Kosai could see why. The beauty of Senshi was that he treated all of his women equally, each was specialized in their own ways, and each had something Senshi was looking for in them.
The three of them formed a strong friendship often exploring one another’s bodies just as much as they explored Senshi’s. Furea, as a dancer taught Aki the ability to use her body to please Senshi, while Kosai taught Aki how to improve her endurance as well as defend herself if the time ever came.
The day had finally come when Aki-Yuri’s mother burst into Senshi’s house covered in blood, screaming for her. When Aki-Yuri ran to her mother she was both relieved and horrified that the blood all over her mother was not her own. Her mother only repeated, “You must run. You must leave. Hide. Never come back! Do not let him find you!”
There were sounds coming from behind her – and then a man, adorned in Samurai armor, with a Red Phoenix symbol adorned on his chest kicked down the door. Aki-Yuri’s mother looked at him, then over to her, and whispered, “Forgive me.” And with one violent shove, pushed her out the window where she fell two stories into the bushes.
Kosai had run up to the man to try and fight him but he shoved her aside and charged up the stairs and ran his blade through Utsukushi-sa. The woman shouted, “Run!” through the window as the man in the armor yelled, “Where is my daughter?”
The man, seeing the broken window knew it must have been his daughter that went through the window and began charging down the stairs. Kosai rushed to Utsukushi-sa’s side, where the woman smiled at her and said, “Please… keep my daughter safe…”
Kosai looked at Furea as the woman breathed her last breath. There were sounds of more fighting as Kosai and Furea made their way down the stairs. It was just not the single man in the Order of the Red Phoenix armor, there were others and Senshi and his guards were fighting them.
“Are we just going to leave him?” Furea asked, somewhat frightened.
“A woman died asking us to keep her daughter safe,” Kosai said, drawing her katana. “We will honor her wish by finding Aki-Yuri and keeping her safe from the Order of the Red Phoenix…”