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Work In Progress Wednesday – Back to Hikoboshi and The Nogiku Series

Despite the chaos in the world right now, I'm still trying to write and get moving on NaNoWriMo with Hikoboshi Book 4. Here's a little snippet from right in the beginning of the book. Nogiku Series fans will see things here they like!

He stops in front of us and cocks his head. “I hear you in two places at once.”

Huh? I’m not sure what that means until we follow him farther down the hall and stop at a conference room. The lights are off, and the room is crowded with people, their faces lit by the giant wallscreen on the opposite wall. Shintaro, my twin brother and ultimate pain in my ass, stands in the back, his arms crossed, a wild grin on his face.

“But when it came to politics in Yamato, Empress Sanaa Itami wielded her power like a ten-ton sword…”

Oh, shit. That is my voice.

A murmur passes through the crowd of people as footage of our empress plays across the wallscreen. I remember this sequence well. The scene showcases her in her royal kimono presiding over a New Year’s celebration, fades to a shot of her in a smart suit negotiating laws with members of parliament, and finally ends on a slow pan of her actual sword in the Yamato Artifacts Museum — Kazenoho, in all its glory. Someone in the front row of the room points to the screen and I pull my lips in to press them tight. The photo of the empress in full samurai warrior gear next to her sword is making quite the impression on these people.

I’m not sure it’s positive.

Considering my voice over currently stating how Empress Itami used everything in her power to get her way, I’m absolutely sure the room is not happy.

Shintaro turns, sees me in the doorway, and approaches with a wide smile.

“I thought this would be a good primer for what’s to come, so I got everyone together to watch.”

Anger has turned my body into a rigid stick. The room is getting louder and louder with mutterings, and my anger builds with it.

I relax my lips just enough to speak. “You should have asked me first.”

Uh oh. Shintaro is always getting Yumi in trouble!

S. J. Pajonas