Issue 1

7 years ago . . .

In the secret garden of the secret courtyard of the royal palace of the kingdom of Tayoutami was where 10-year-old Princess Miki spent most of her time. The King and Queen let her roam freely about the palace, for they had more important matters to attend to, but the King favored the girl, and spent as much time with her as he could spare. This day started out like any other: A slow, polite, silent breakfast feast; then the King and Queen went off to the Throne Room while little Miki went off to the secret garden to find a stick with which she could battle the scarecrows and take his succulent tomato treasures once he had been defeated. Today, however, the King walked up to the heroic, scarecrow-conquering princess with a long, slender parcel.


When Miki saw her father, she bowed politely as any good princess should and tried her best to hide the grass stains on her beautiful silk dress. Her father spoke to her in his most regal tone: “Princess Miki of the kingdom of Tayoutami, the sole heir to the throne of your nation, you have, at such a young age, might I add, proven yourself worthy to receive one of your country’s greatest treasures,”


The King slowly unwrapped the folds of the package until a gleaming yellow-and-blue hilt was visible, bearing the Tayoutami symbol. Soon enough, the entire Sword was in full view of the young Princess, its sharp, golden blade piercing her eyes as it reflected the sun’s light. “The Sun Sword, Tekateka-Hikari. May it bring terror to all who dare stand between you and your dreams.” He handed Miki the gleaming blade and left, leaving her speechless.


She soon decided there was nothing left to do but try out the new weapon. However, the powerful sword was too heavy for her to lift, so she struggled for what seemed like hours. She thought she had it when a snake slithered through her legs. Terrified, she gathered up some strength and swung the sword with all of her might. In one fatal swipe, she chopped off the head of the scarecrow and landed right in the tomato patch. A tomato flew into the air, cut from the plant by the sword, and landed in her hand.


Meanwhile . . .

In the castle town of Anpi , in a small cottage on the outskirts of town, two brothers lived alone. The elder, Kouhei, at the age of 15, was away in town, buying some nunchaku with the money he and his brother stole from the local bakery. He was a prized martial artist and much adored by his brother.

The younger brother, Ryouta, at the age of nine, was alone in the cottage, whittling a finely shaped stick. He then used a thin metal pole to poke a hole all the way through the stick, stopping just before the end. He searched the small cottage for something to insert into the stick, which was going to be his magic wand. He knew he had magic in him; it was in his blood, and his ears. His ears were wider than most, and right in the middle, vertically, where most ears protruded the most, his came to a tip. He had some elvish heritage, he knew that, but never would he have dreamed that he, and not his brother, would have inherited this valuable trait. After all, everyone knew that elves controlled most of the magic, and that you had to have the pointy ear to inherit the magical trait. So now he worked with much effort to find a magical item that he could insert into the stick. He had heard of potions used, but the cauldron over the flue was already full of hot broth that would be the boys’ dinner. Perhaps the yolk of a golden egg; he had heard of a farmer in Momoya with a golden chicken, but he was fairly sure the farmer just had some leftover paint. Of course! There’s always a stampede of unicorns in the Kuro Forest this time of year! He could ask Kou-chan to pluck a hair or two off of the hindquarters of a beast. No, he should do it. We magical creatures must stick together (Ryouta took great pride in calling himself a magical creature, for it was one of the few things he had over Kouhei.) Without waiting for his brother to return, he set off, with his trusty elvish bow and arrows on his back and the stick in his hand.


Kouhei returned home later with a brand new nunchaku, ready to show Ri-chan, when he found the cottage empty.


Kouhei raced up to the Forest, his toned rogue senses telling him where to go. Why did Ri-chan have to go into the forest tonight? This is the night the Tayoutami soldiers hunt the infamous and powerful water-unicorn. He’ll never survive! Soon enough, a small silhouette became visible by the watering pool where unicorns took their drinks. Voices behind Kouhei made him run even faster to his brother. When he arrived, Ri-chan was already trying to arouse the water-unicorn from the deep depths of the pool. He placed the stick he was holding into the water…..bubbles…. the voices of shouting soldiers….. an aquamarine horn emerged from the water….. the sound of metal boots crunching on twigs and leaves…. “Ri-chan, let’s go, get your bow ready” he heard himself say. He was ready to fight, but not for the stupid horse.


“I no longer need a bow,” said Ryouta, “I have a wand now.” He saw Ryouta raise the stick, but now it had little aquamarine hairs poking out of the tip. He couldn’t believe it: his 9-year-old brother now had one of the most powerful wands in the world!




The battle began. Hundreds of soldiers in golden armor stampeded the two boys, shouting and waving their swords threateningly in the air. Ryouta put his new wand to work; he simply thought of a jet of blue light that disabled the soldiers, and there it was! Meanwhile, Kouhei was using up all of his arrows, barely missing a shot. When he was out of arrows, he decided to finally dish out his latest weapon: the nunchaku. His kicks, punches, and flings were extremely powerful, but they were no match for the thick armor. Soon enough, the lead knight had pinned Kouhei to a tree, while a group of soldiers lifted the unconscious Ryouta. Kouhei wanted desperately to fight but couldn’t budge at the tip of a sword. He was tired of running, he wanted to prove himself… He ripped off the groin plate of the lead knight’s armor with his bare hands and kicked hard. The knight grunted, but nothing more. Once he had recovered his strength, he slashed Kouhei across the face.


“This is what you get when you go against the sun!” Said the knight in a hoarse whisper.

It was now nighttime and the sky was cloudy.

It was now nighttime and the sky was cloudy. The bright light from behind the clouds was working to get out in the open. It finally succeeded. Kouhei knew this meant only one thing: Getsutami.