They had been searching for days. The whole village was walking the forest and streams through the hot summer nights. No one could find any sign of the little girl. She had disappeared in the night. Her parents had grown despondent and were becoming more desperate and agonized by the moment. There was talk among the other villagers to stop searching, it was futile. The girls father had become so exhausted from searching that he could barely stand, he still stumbled along the the shores of the stream screaming for the girl in a broken, and hoarse cry. Finally the mother decided it was time to break a vow to her husband and go see her own father, the Ojisan.
Ojisan lived a few miles from the forest on a barren mountain top. He was one of the last warriors of the old world. Once he was a soldier in a great army, but time was slowly catching up to him. He was not the slayer that he used to be, though he was still feared by most. Ojisan’s hair was mostly grey and his long silver mane hung down to meet his white ragged beard. Ojisan had lived longer than he should have, something that was done to him in the past. He was damned to spend too much time on this world. It was his curse, he had long ago lost favor with most out of his despise of life itself. The only thing that brought a smile to his face was his granddaughter, and her mother dreaded giving him the news. She was the youngest of his children and the only one to bear him a grandchild. They were the last of his family, all the rest had perished in this cruel new world.
Half way up the mountain the girls mother stopped to rest, she was running low on energy. The worry for her daughter and endless days of searching and crying in disappointment had taken their toll. There was still so far to go, but she must go on. Two steps later she collapsed onto the forest floor and fell into a deep sleep. When she woke she was moving somehow, she could not believe it how was she walking? Then she looked down to see the long silver hair of her father, he was carrying her on his back and headed towards the village. She tried to speak, but once again the exhaustion and emotion over took her and and she fell back into darkness.
The next morning the villagers had gathered and were discussing an end to the search. A sudden hush came across the crowd as Ojisan carrying his daughter entered the gates. The men gulped and the women gasped. He had not been seen in years, but there he stood. Ojisan nodded for a couple of young boys to get his daughter, as they lifted her the bones in his legs and back popped like a crackling fire log. He pointed to the elder which made the man’s heart skip a beat, and them pointed to the large hut in the village square. Reluctantly the man lead Ojisan into the hut where he proceeded to tell Ojisan about everything that had happened. A horrifying cry came from the hut as the two men came out, the elder was holding his broken arm. Ojisan then pointed to several other men and motioned for them to come in. After many interrogations and broken bones, he was satisfied.
He then went to his daughter’s home to investigate. He went into his granddaughter’s room and just stood there. Slowly he scanned the room with his cold stare. He spotted one of butterflies that he had carved out of wood on the floor by the window. He slowly bent down and picked it up. It had a small black stain on on of the wings. With a slow loud exhale his face became even more stern and focused, he knew where she was.
As he left his daughter was just starting to stir awake, she still thought that she had been dreaming. However, there father stood there in front of her. Though he was feared by most, he was loved by his children. She began to sob uncontrollably, reaching for Ojisan’s hand. He took her hand and placed his other hand on top, looking straight into her eyes. He knelt down and wiped away her tears. “I’m going to go get her.” , the statement seemed to instantly calm her. One thing she had learned in her life was not to doubt his word. He spoke so few, he made each one count. He then told his daughter that the little girl had been taken to the Black Spring. This news struck fear into her heart, that was a place even Ojisan would not venture.
During the last great war the warlords had become so desperate that they began to use weapons that ripped holes into other dimensions. The world became twisted and strange, things appeared that we not meant for this reality. Mostly evil and vile, these powerful entities wiped out most of civilization. Some good and shining things got through too, but they were vastly outnumbered. After many battles the evil retreated into the dark corners of the lands. One of those dark corners was the Black Spring. It was an impossibly deep water spring with pure black water. Something lived there down deep in that black water. It was a few days walk from the village.
Ojisan emerged from his daughter’s home, freshly shaven with his hair cut almost down to the scalp. He was wearing his full battle uniform with his blade strapped to his back. He tucked the wooden butterfly into his pocket and headed out to get his beloved Gran Daughter.