When I was little, my mother raised me to respect the town guards. I didn’t realize it until I was older, but there was stuff that she SHOULD have taught me to fear rather than respect, instead.
I learned those lessons the hard way.
Growing up, either I never realized, or she changed, but I began to notice that she would get angry at the slightest things. She would decry any news of any negative action with exceedingly harsh words. “Idiots” she’d call the group of Lycans who robbed a bank for food money. “Why even come here!?” She’d decry a family of Spriggains who were arrested illegally crossing into the country.
I soon realized that she was not alone in that. A vast majority of people in my town’s Cloud District, my mother included, were like this. Highly influential in my town’s day-to-day business and management.
It was over a ‘Joke’ about a group of human children playing in the street, and refusing to let me go out and join the same game she would let me play with my fellow Dragons, that I first confronted my mother about these things. Her wings flared and her breath puffed from her nose. We argued, and I didn’t understand why she was this way. Years would pass, and a tension slowly built between us. I realized that while most people in town were like this, it was my Mother who was definitely the worst among my own immediate family.
I still respected the town guards.
One day I sneaked out after school to join classmates of mine, a Leprechaun, Izumi, and a Drow, Sasha, on a shopping trip to a local store that had just opened. We had barely walked three steps through the door when a Town Guard appeared and harassed us.
“You!” He accosted Sasha. “You’re the brat who stole from this store!”
All three of us had no clue what the guard was going on about. None of us were thieves. We had never even been to this store before.
Sasha went to explain that. She’d not even opened her mouth a centimeter.
The guard drew his sword and ran her through.
Not even three seconds before the encounter had gone deadly.
The official report was a cover up. Mother said my friend had shouted a spell to immobilize everyone.
She had never said a single word.
We were only six at the time.
I told my mother this and she just pretended I wasn’t there. Pretended that Izumi and I just hadn’t seen one of my friends killed in cold blood for a crime she hadn’t committed. I remembered that response. I started recognizing it a lot more often. I was to be the Heiress to the Company, but never anything more than that.
Just a thing to be groomed.
The town guard was a mix of all races, but my respect for them turned to fear. Everywhere I looked, the Guards viewed all people with suspicion. I knew that was their job. To prevent crime. But… Even with my supposed “Important Person” status, I never felt safe under their piercing gazes.
When I hit my teens, I began investigating the Town Guard secretly. I fibbed my way into observing their various activities for a ‘paper’ I was supposedly writing. I started seeing a corruption that prevailed in the “Cloud District” and had filtered down to the local guards.
Every town was different, I knew. Each town formed and trained their own guards in their own ways. Something in my town was rotten. And… it made me ashamed to think of myself as my mother’s child.
We began arguing more. How could a woman as mean as her have made a girl as “blind” as I apparently was. Blind? Blind?? More like I refused to turn a blind eye to the corruption festering around me, choking me down and making me feel sick to my stomach.
I wasn’t the only one.
Apparently the Guard had made a quota for crime to “Stop,” and there weren’t actually enough real criminals in town to meet that quota. People were afraid. My respect for the town guard had turned to a fear of saying the wrong thing. My ‘paper’ had wedged me clear into the heart of something the Town Guard and people like my mother were afraid to let out into the open. That thing was what I had seen time and time again since that day. Guards making up crimes that never happened.
Izumi had been treated rather poorly after our Drow friend had died. She didn’t have an influential mother whose influence and wrath the guards were afraid of invoking. She came to me one day, and asked me if I was up for running away.
I was. I so very was. But before we did that, however… Some Private Investigators, as they called themselves, came to town. They systematically began exposing the corruption of the Cloud District and tore down the corrupt Guard system, arresting every guard that had been causing trouble.
All except one.
A woman, just a simple Lycan, had had enough of the rampant dishonesty. She had called a group that I had never heard of before then. The Detective Agency and Academy: Mystryal. (I’ll admit, I thought they had said the name was “Mistrial” at first… fitting.)
That Lycan had decided that enough was enough, and through her I began to respect again. Not the town guard in of itself, but of the people who believed in justice. The people who, having enough of the corrupt system, would rather leave it than continue to work inside of it. She had a daughter to protect as well.
I talked to the Investigators, the “Detectives” (that was such a foreign word to me at the time), and I asked them. “Can I be like you?”
The Detective smiled down at me and told me about the Mystryal Islands. The shimmering clouds between the sky and the sun. The crystal clear waters. The faces of those who all sought justice in the world.
My wings fluttered with a hope I hadn’t felt in years.
So I planned to run away. Dad found out, though, but he approved of my choice. He let me go, and I left those snow covered mountains for the sun-filled Mystryal Isles, vowing that if I ever raised a child, I’d never put her through what I was put through.
I, Kana Mayoi, left the coldness of death for the warm light of justice, and never looked back.