Kim sat down beside Ameratsu. “But so much beauty. So much beauty.” That seemed all she could say about the angel.
“You are beauty itself,” Kim told her and looked around. Elder Stow was in tears and Kim had no desire to interrupt the Gott-Druk. Roland and Boston were also crying and hugging and kissing. But Lockhart, Lincoln and Katie seemed to be paying attention.
“You are beautiful,” Lincoln said. “So much I can hardly look at you.” Lockhart and Katie agreed as they sat to face the couple.
“I think she is hot,” Kim said.
“I know I am hot,” Ameratsu responded. “I can’t help it.” Kim just smiled while Katie spoke.
“It means he thinks you are sexy.”
Ameratsu looked at the woman and her eyes went wide. Her face turned red and she covered her face with her hands, but they all felt the heat, like getting a bit close to a lava flow.
“That is a good thing,” Katie suggested, and Ameratsu leaned forward, but she was clearly not used to whispering.
“I think he is hot, too,” she said loud enough for all to hear.
“You are rather young, aren’t you?” Lincoln guessed.
Ameratsu insisted on speaking to Katie. “He calls me his baby. I thought he wanted a baby.”
“A term of endearment,” Katie explained, and then went way out on a limb. “Maybe you should give him one.”
Ameratsu buried her face in her hands and her face turned scarlet. The heat from that caused the other three to back away. “Maybe more than one,” Ameratsu said in more of a true whisper and just the smallest glance at her husband.
“Yes, but first we have to get you to safety in the land of the rising sun,” Kim said as he slipped his arm around her shoulder. Ameratsu responded by snuggling into his shoulder and she looked up at his face with nothing but love in her eyes.
Lockhart was thinking. “Couldn’t you take her to Avalon and come back to earth at your chosen destination?”
Kim shook his head. “Against the law, mine I think. I mean, we could do that but I would not dare take her out of this world. Even a few minutes and I fear the whole world would become a block of ice. It is cold, and will get colder for you when we move south and you go north, but even with Susanu’s friends dampening her spirit, she provides more warmth for this world than you know.”
“But that was your light and heat used against the kraken, not hers.” Lincoln protested.
“A little bit shared from her, and good thing I was the one. If she let herself out, even just a little, everything and everyone would be instant cinders for miles around. She is a full grown woman, but still young as you said.”
“How did you two meet?” Katie interrupted, changed the subject, and Ameratsu smiled and responded.
“I was hiding. My brother was mean to me and I did not want the others to see me cry. I was content to stay in my cave, but after a time I heard the most wonderful sounds. Joy was dancing on a tub and everyone was clapping and singing. I just had to see. When I poked my head out from the cave I caught sight of the most lovely woman ever seen, and beside her was a lovely man, a mortal man, and he was blaspheming. I wondered why this was. I had to ask him.”
Kim interrupted, and spoke in English so the villagers could not understand what he said. He knew Ameratsu’s tale would be passed on from generation to generation, but there were some things the people did not need to know. “Actually what I said was, “Now I have seen the most beautiful creature on God’s green earth.” You see, the gods don’t call the source by the G-word. You might as well learn that now before you go further in your journey. Some of the high ones get violent at the mention of the Most High, if you know what I mean.”
“But how did you come to be there?” Lincoln asked.
“The gods panicked.” Kim waved at the darkness that surrounded them. “This is not the first time the sun has failed to rise. Once upon a time, the sun sat in a cave unhappy and alone.”
“But I am happy now,” Ameratsu practiced her English as she took Kim’s arm.
“Anyway, they sought me out believing I might have an idea of what to do.”
“Wait,” Lockhart had a question. “Who was that other woman?”
“No other woman,” Ameratsu said with a big grin.
“I made a brass mirror. That was not easy in this age. But Ameratsu saw her own reflection and was enchanted.”
“By the one beside my reflection.” Ameratsu insisted.
“Yes, well. She came up close and I turned away. I told her my mortal eyes were not made for such dazzling light and while I wanted to give her a gift, it might mean I would have to touch her and my mortal flesh was not made for the warmth of her beautiful heart. I said, share just the smallest bit of your spirit with me and I will gladly give my gift.”
“And I did.”
“And I took her and kissed her.”
“And it was the perfect gift, just what I wanted.”
“Whirlwind romance?” Boston said as she and Roland caught up with the group.
“Until her brother decided she should be imprisoned in the sky as insurance to make certain the darkness never came again. Some of the other gods agreed with him.”
“I am sorry for the darkness now, but my husband said we must flee and I begin to understand that.”
“If we can reach her father, Izanagi, then we should make it safely to Nippon.”
“Yes,” Lockhart stood. “And we must go the other way with all speed before the cold finally closes in.”