The Grace of God
The Secret of Slayem
As their mother called out to her twin sons Simon and Sean Lang-Hoo her mind was filled with the immense responsibility that had been placed upon her some twenty years ago.
It was the twins twentieth year and a birthday the pair would never forget.
Their mother Cirimoto Lang-Hoo was born to a poor fisherman family and had lived a hard life for over twenty years herself missing out on, what would constitute a normal upbringing and education.
Then one day she had found the courage to up and leave the small province of Okinawa to the bright lights of Japan, to finally escape the years of turbulence that had been thrust upon her for two decades.
She was young and naïve and soon found that the hard upbringing from her family had set her up to the harsh truths of reality after pursuing many jobs to get by, washing dishes in lots of restaurants and working in hotels as a chambermaid.
It was hard for her being from the provinces, acceptance was in short supply, and Japan wasn’t all it was cooked up to be for the young Miss Lang-Hoo.
Until one day she was working at Park Hyatt in Shinjuku Tokyo a luxury Hotel, it was the top fourteenth floor of a 52 storey building in the exclusive business and entertainment district.
Her boss an American born Japanese businessman was giving Cirimoto a particularly hard time at the guest’s expense.
Once the arrogant boss had walked away and let other guest’s just stand there mocking the young province girl, none would take pity. But she didn’t weep, she had witnessed before, her own mother under go much more vicious verbal attacks from her father but she stood firm and wouldn’t let her emotions get the better in front of husband, and neither would Cirimoto with her boss.
One guest had witnessed this onslaught and noticed her strong willed determination not to cry or lash out in defence; he admired her and helped her out.
The one thing she first noticed upon her first meeting with the man that called himself, at that time Hugh Grandly, was his gently spirit.
He crouched down and helped the young girl in her time of need as other guest’s just walked on by looking down upon her like a master would do a servant in medieval times.
The pair introduced themselves, but she felt nervous speaking to one of the guest’s, after all it was forbidden to go into a conversation with a guest. Just the normal greeting of ‘hello’ was seen as too much. But this time the risk of being caught talking to such a nice man wasn’t too much to bear and this excited her.
The man was an intriguing sort that needed pursuing; they arranged to meet up after her shift had finished in a bar near to the hotel.
The man was a gentle giant and he really could read a person and connected with her very quickly considering their formal meeting was the aftermath of verbal abuse from her boss.
The crash of a glass vase brought her from her flashback. It was Simon the gentlest of the pair, for once, he had brought flowers for his mother as a thank you on his birthday it was a custom that the family had for many years. To always remember their mother, after all she had raised the twins single handily.
Their father had been away for many years an arrangement that neither bothered Cirimoto nor her sons.
But he had lavished on her, if only her mother and father could see her now living in a luxury home with ample space, her former partner Hugh Grandly was a wealthy man, he had set her up for life she had convinced herself for years that their affair was simply an affair and he had set her up in this beautiful home.
But it wasn’t from guilt nor the responsibility of her sons, it was something far more reaching than that.
Her sons were ‘key’ to the wealth and she was thrust into a whole differing world, but it wasn’t abuse this time, but with an overwhelming sense of commitment when dealing with her precious boys.
For the first few years their father spent and invested time with them, he pursued an over bearing search for absolute strict discipline from the boys and their mother with many a law laid down.
It seemed to Cirimoto like he wasn’t going to be around for long and set up many trusts, boundaries and targets for the boys to achieve.
One being the pursuing of Martial Arts and the discipline it gives a person, in his own words.
”It makes a man, who he will become”.
That was a condition that she upheld and agreed on.
But after all the reminiscing she still had a birthday gift for the boys that they would never forget.
The boys could sense that there mother was troubled and pursued her.
”What is troubling you mother”? Simon asked, spoken with the utmost respect Sean looking on trying to read his mother like a book, and she could clearly see Sean. Looking for any indicator, eyes fixed; or eyes looking towards the floor, any body language that could give him an advantage.
”No Sean, don’t look at me like that, I will tell you when I’m good and ready”.
In her heart she had been preparing for this moment all her motherly years and was dreading it, her every thought she’d had, had now escaped her mind, it was blank.
She walked over to the kitchen to make a traditional Japanese tea; it was her way of dealing with this, to go back to what you recognise and know best and to then start from there.
The boys watched on, concerned for their mother, they had never seen her like this.
She was flustered and confused walking back and forth making the same trip in their vast open plan living space to collect things from cupboards and draws.
Sean was finding it all frustrated to say the leased and had to intervene.
”Mother for goodness sake sit down, and I’ll deal with the tea”.
Not a word came from her lips, she was transfixed in thought, but before she sat she collected something from her room and then came back just moments later clutching a box.
She sat at the table just as Sean served the tea.
”Before you pour the tea Sean, could I speak to you dear sons of mine”? The box was welded to her hands, held so tightly the boys feared it would break under the immense pressure.
She opened her mouth but nothing came out, then she took a deep breath and started to speak.
”You know that when I speak of your father, it has been with the utmost respect and love I have for him, he has and continues to support us in many different ways, he has instilled in you boys qualities that have made you the men you are to become”.
And at the same time remained a distant memory for you and I alike, but he gave me a life of responsibility that I could not ignore.
A promise I could not break, a promise of honour and of purpose; it has your destiny at its centre.
As she continued to speak Cirimoto started to open the old and battered once deep red in colour, box.
She pulled out a glass vial tube and rolled it towards Sean and another she rolled to Simon they both stared at one another.
The pair slowly picked the vials up and both read their names written in a dull hand written black ink at the top, it looked like blood.
The two boys looked on, starring searchingly at their mother; ”What is this mother, blood”? Simon asked with a crackle in his voice like he’d been silent for an age.
”It is blood, it has been in my possession for over seventeen years locked in a refrigerated cupboard in my wardrobe, and your father insisted that I kept it safe”.
The two were even more confused, why hold on to, two vials of blood for all this time when the boys had been living there for years, they could of given a sample at any time.
All will be made clear to you I hope, when you go down into the basement. The boys stood up both looking angry and extremely confused by this new revelation their mother was unfolding before them, on this their twentieth year.
”Don’t interrupt me boys I have been dreading this day, but I have a duty to fulfil, and I will see it threw; at the far end of the basement is the metal shelving it is hinged on the right so give it an almighty pull on its left and it should pull open and there you will find the vault, I have only ever seen it once so bear in mind that I might get this part wrong. But on the door of the vault will be a place to insert the two vials of blood it can only be opened using your unique blood DNA codes”.
With all that said Cirimoto let out a huge sigh of relief and slumped into a heap over the table. The burden of carrying such a promise for so long had taken its toll on her.
She had raised these boys, educated, trained and nurtured them into the men they’d become, all that there was to do now, was trust in the promise that she had made to the estranged father to her precious boys and pray it was all good that lied ahead in the vault.
It was all there doing now, she couldn’t do anymore for them it was over to her twin boys to seek out and fulfil their destinies on their own.
The boys looked on at their mother so exhausted she barely moved slumped in silence over the family table.
Sean was the first to speak; ”Mother you have put your life on permanent hold for us so you could give us a good life and to uphold a promise, a promise made to a man, our father; that you have given us purpose and a drive for excellence that as shaped our destiny. We will not let your name lie in vain; we will do our duty to uphold your name and our fathers in whatever our destiny has in store for us”.
Sean bowed in the traditional way and walked towards the basement stairs signalling to his twin brother to follow on.
Simon looked on and after hearing his homage to his mother wiped a single tear from the corner of his eye, then he to bowed in honour to his mother and then went after his brother.
Simon had caught up with his brother standing motionless in front of the shelving unit in question, their whole destiny lied within the walls of that basement, the pair stood nervous their palms sweating with anticipation.
Sean not being able to stand a moment longer of the anticipation of it all, he went in to grab the top of the shelf with both hands and then Simon finally twigged and he to grabbed the bottom half with both hands.
Together the twins pulled with all of their strength giving the metal shelving unit several sharp tugs, old paint pots and the odd box came flying off, but this didn’t stall the determined pair seeking out their birth right and after a couple more sweat filled pulls the shelf came to, hinging open to the right like their mother had described.
The pair stood back to re-focus their sight and noticed a dust and cobwebbed covered door a clear indicator that no one had been there for many years.
Sean stepped up first and wiped of the years of neglect from the door, Simon looked on patting the dust from his trousers from crouching down on the floor.
Sean noticed a handle at the doors centre amongst the many spiders’ webs and the all-important holes either side for which the vial of blood would be inserted into, above the one hole was his name engraved into the steel door written in Japanese.
Simon the more squeamish of the pair cringed with the shear thought of brushing the spiders and there many webs away but Sean encouraged him in this, his first quest.
”Come on brother, this is just the start of our adventure”.
Simon’s hand was shaking the pair couldn’t tell whether it was over the spiders or the overwhelming anticipation of it all.
But he did manage to remove the spider’s webs from the vault door revealing his name. Also written in Japanese, with the all-important hole, for the glass vial to go into.
The pair looked at each other intensely then proceeded to pull out the glass vials from their pockets; beads of sweat had started to gather on the brow of the timid Simon. He attempted to wipe them away in a vague attempt but only managed to wipe cob webs and a little dust on to his brow.
Sean chuckled, and gave a hint of a smile towards his brother the anticipation of it all was so unbearable and any sound the house made, the odd creek or the thermostat coming on made the pair jump out of their skin.
This was it for the pair as they stepped up to the door clutching their blood filled vials, readying themselves to what lied beyond that steel door.
Sean was first has usual and quickly but carefully placed his vial into the door.
”You next brother” Sean’s voice made his brother feel more confident, it sounded nervous, not the normal strong and commanding roar, but a softer worried sound. It was obvious to Simon that his strong Bravado was a front on many occasions, but not this time, Sean was truly worried and nervous; he had every right to be. Beyond that door was unknown and was foreign to them and considering the circumstances they had never come across this situation before in fact or fiction. When a father buries a vault within a basement, that can only be opened with their own blood; that can only be told of such a vault until they reach twentieth years of age; and have such a strict level of teaching to achieve in order to just be standing where these boys were stood was, all in all, beyond belief.
Simon finally proceeded and placed his vial into the door, once the two vials had been inserted all that there was to do, in their mind was to open the door.
Sean pulled the handle, but the door didn’t open it held firm and was for the foreseeable future.
The pair were puzzled. How do you open a door that can only be opened with our blood for which we have inserted, be opened? Thought Simon.
Sean was frustrated and showed it by kicking at the door only to hurt his foot on its steel construction.
”What’s the point brother”. ”To hell with our father what has he done for us Simon, lets really look at it eh, what”? Sean turned to walk away
‘Wait Sean’ Simon the more academic of the pair had figured it out’.
‘I’ve worked it out, they are glass vials aren’t they’.
Sean’s frustration and anger showed throughout his contorted face without words but felt he had to oblige.
”Yes, what’s your point”?
”The blood can’t be read until the vials are broken”.
Simon grabbed the handle and turned it to the left striking the mechanism inside the door to strike the first vial. Then with the assistance of his brother, turned the handle again to the right breaking the second blood filled vials.
The handle was then returned to its centre position; all the pair could do now was wait.
Within the door the blood had started its journey; the copper electrical terminals inside the door had made contact with the triggers either side of the eternal locking mechanism and the door began to power up.
The boys stood nervously, this was no prank and it was all feeling very real, very real indeed.
A very bright fluorescent blue glow stared to pour out of the edges of the door around the frame it was so intense the boys could barely look on at the finally stages of this epic sequence of events unfolding before their eyes.
Then the waiting was over the door started to open itself, it was a frightening sound, the hinges hadn’t been oiled in years and the scraping and screeching noise was akin to something out of a horror movie.
But has Simon pulled his hands from around his ears, the door finally opened.