Generations of Gold
Hinata had been in the family for as long as anyone could remember. Created by a master alchemist, she was made of exquisite porcelain, the kind you usually found on a king’s plate when he really wanted to impress that foreign queen.
Generation after generation, the house of Ikari stood strong while others came and went, thrived or got wiped out when their sons fell in faraway battles.
They never admitted to it, but they owed that to Hinata. She was not their secret. The real secret was the reason they needed her.
Ichiro was in the back yard, holding a big stick. He liked that stick. He liked the heft of it, the weight. He also liked how the bark had been scraped off where he held it. It showed a long-time use, and indeed he had.
He brought it over his head and then slammed it down, smashing the doll.
“Ow!” she cried out.
“Shut up,” he ordered. She wasn’t even a real person, just a porcelain doll. He owned her, just like he owned everything in the family, being the elder Ikari son. Ichiro grinned like a maniac. He liked how the pieces flew off in unique patterns that no artist could ever truly capture. He liked how she limped away from him, one of her legs shattered.
He liked how her face contorted when she was in unimaginable pain.
He slammed his stick on the remaining stub of her thigh, laughing. A piece of porcelain flew off and struck his eye. “Ow! You whore,” he cried out, rubbing his eye, making it worse. It bled a little, and the piece was definitely still in there. Furious beyond measure, he kicked her again and again. “Look at what you did to me!”
“I’m sorry, master Ichiro. I’m so sorry!” Hinata begged, taking the blows.
“I’ll show you…” He smashed her other leg with his stick.
That was a satisfying crunch.
He looked down at her shiny porcelain ass. He liked that ass ever since he was old enough to play with his stick, but she didn’t have a hole there. Ichiro had checked. He held his big stick up with one hand while he fondled his little stick with his other one.
She was curvy, Ichiro liked that. She had intricate blue patterns on her white skin, just like an expensive porcelain vase. Now, why would his great-great-plenty-more-greats-grandfather had ordered one from an alchemist that was naked and sexy to look at, if not for the apparent reason?
To his dismay, she didn’t have the necessary holes to stick himself into like a woman had.
Even worse, he knew for a fact that his family had paid a fortune to make her. Would it hurt them to put some proper holes into her?
Hinata shuffled away from him, crying with no tears, begging him, “Please, master, please! Don’t hurt me any more…” She whimpered and pulled herself from her arms, her porcelain fingers digging deep into the grass.
Ichiro stroked himself, now he was really getting horny. All these smashings brought this to him in the end, and he always hated that he didn’t have a release for it.
He stared at her ass as it shuffled away from him. It was gorgeous, inviting. It arched nicely, protruding from her small waist. Below that of course were her legs, but those were in pieces behind him as he paced, and crunching underneath his boots. What was really beautiful were the breaks on her body and the way they were repaired. Just like Kintsugi, her cracks could be alchemically repaired by putting gold between them and applying heat.
Ichiro lifted his stick and held it with both hands, aiming right. “Sit still!” he ordered, and Hinata obeyed. He brought the tip of the stick down with force and broke a hole between her buttcheeks.
He stroked himself and pulled down his pants. Licking his lips, he pushed down on Hinata.
“No, master Ichiro, please!” she cried.
“Sit still. If you cut me, I will crush every last bit of you,” he hissed, getting into position behind her. He was horny enough to consider it, but the break seemed razor sharp, and even in this state, he didn’t try to stick it in there. Instead, he jerked himself off, rubbing on the smooth parts of her porcelain body.
Eventually he came, right in the broken hole.
Yumi saw the whole thing. She liked Hinata, and she didn’t like how the men in her family always treated her. It wasn’t right. Hiding behind the door, her knuckles whitened like porcelain with each blow. She flinched, but she didn’t look away. Her brother didn’t look away when he was hitting Hinata, and she needed to be strong for her. Everybody told her that that was how it was in their house, but it felt terribly wrong.
When Ichiro got on top of Hinata and started to rub himself, Yumi ran away to her room.
“What’s the matter, dear?” her mother asked.
“Mother, Ichiro broke my doll again!” she complained, completely understating the situation she witnessed.
“I know, but it’s not just your doll,” her mother said and sat beside her, stroking her hair. “It’s everyone’s.”
“But I play with her, and we have tea, and we make beautiful things. All Ichiro does is break her. Why, mother?”
She didn’t reply immediately. Mother took in a deep breath. “The house of Ikari has a… condition.”
“Like a disease?”
“Yes, Yumi. Like a disease. Of the mind, you could say, but equally serious.”
“Oh,” Yumi said in a quiet voice, thinking. Disease was bad, she had seen people in the city dying from it, and there was nothing the healers could do. And she knew that Ikari was rich and could afford healers, but many people could not.
“And that disease makes them angry sometimes. The men… they need a release. That’s why we have Hinata in the house. Because she breaks, and then she becomes whole again.”
“I know mother, but she cries in pain! That’s not right.”
“It’s not, when it’s a person. You should never hurt another person, and neither should your brother. But if it wasn’t for Hinata, he might, accidentally, hurt me or you. Do you understand that?”
Yumi frowned. “I do, mother. It’s not Ichiro’s fault, it’s the disease.”
“Exactly, Yumi,” her mother said and ruffled her hair. “Now, come on, let’s get the furnace ready to melt the gold, so that we can repair Hinata tonight. Tomorrow morning, she’ll be ready for you to play with!”
“Yes, mother, thank you.” Yumi followed her into the smithy they had on their grounds.
Yumi hummed as she picked up the pieces from the yard. She was carefully placing them on her skirt, she was holding it up to carry things. The porcelain pieces were sharp and she had cut herself a few times before. She combed the entire yard, then diligently went around it once again to make sure she hadn’t left anything behind. When she was satisfied she had done a good job, she hummed again and brought the pieces to the smithy.
She found her mother poking the fire inside the furnace. Hinata was lying on her back on a worktable. She reflected the firelight beautifully in warm tones of white and blue and gold.
“Yes, mistress Yumi?”
“Are you in pain?”
“Not anymore,” Hinata said.
Yumi looked down at the broken thighs. She emptied out her skirt carefully, bringing all the pieces on the table. On a previous run, she had brought in the larger pieces, and her mother assembled those in their proper place.
“We will fix you up again, friend!” Yumi said cheerfully and held Hinata’s hand.
“Thank you, mistress. I’d like that.”
“Now, all that remains is the molten gold,” her mother said, pushing the container with the piece of gold inside the furnace. “You need to learn this process, Yumi, so that you can do it on your own.”
“But mother, I wouldn’t need to do it at all if Ichiro could stop breaking Hinata all the time!” she complained.
“Yes. That is true. But I explained this to you, this is Hinata’s purpose. Ask her yourself.”
Yumi looked from her mother to her porcelain friend.
“Come on,” mother said, minding the molten gold.
“Hinata, is this your purpose?”
“Yes, Yumi, I exist to serve the house of Ikari, in every way I can, with every last bit of my ability.”
“And your body?”
“And my body, of course.”
Yumi nodded in affirmative but she didn’t like the answer. It still felt wrong for her.
“Here we go,” mother grunted as she picked up the scalding-hot container. She gripped it carefully with leathers and prongs and tilted it to pour gold all over the arranged pieces. “Stand back, Yumi, this can hurt you a lot.”
Yumi observed, fascinated. Gold reflected off her wide-open eyes. “But why doesn’t it hurt Hinata?”
“She’s not like us, Yumi. Hinata is a porcelain doll,” her mother explained, pouring the gold over the shards.
The gold alchemically bonded with the edges of the pieces.
“Here, help me out,” mother said, throwing Yumi a pair of thick leather gloves over the work table.
Then both women began to carefully place each piece back in its place. It bonded together, repairing the crack with gold.
It took them most of the night, but in the end, Hinata had her legs back.
Months passed, and their mother got the disease. They brought in the best healers in the land, and even sent letters with messengers to those that were in faraway lands but their skill had been heard all over. Ichiro was now angry all the time, smashing things, punching Hinata whenever she had the misfortune of crossing his path in the home. He also still had the piece of porcelain stuck inside his eye. That caused an unhealable bleed, which made him look very much like the half-possessed monster that he actually was.
Yumi repaired the crack in Hinata’s cheek. She stayed up all night trying to figure out the furnace, and she got burns in her hands, trying to manipulate the scalding gold. She covered up the scars with long sleeves, but she didn’t mind, it was done for her friend.
The day their mother died, Ichiro broke everything in his path, screaming like a madman. He punched Hinata on the ground, smashing her to little bits, over and over and over.
Yumi cried out and tried to pull him away from her, but she wasn’t strong. He just shoved her away and kept on beating Hinata.
In the end, all that remained was a pile of bloody rubble.
Ichiro actually seemed to feel bad about what he had done the next morning. “I didn’t want to break her that bad,” he said, tears in his eyes.
Yumi shrugged. She didn’t feel bad about him, and she was furious about what he had done, especially now that mother was gone.
“Can you fix her, little sister,” Ichiro pleaded, falling on his knees. “Please?”
“I don’t know if she can be fixed,” Yumi said flatly.
“Please, try. Please, little sister. I need her. I need Hinata,” he begged, gripping her clothes and sobbing into them.
Yumi ruffled his hair just like mother used to do to them both.
Yumi hid the gold. She buried it in the yard, right under her flowers. Ichiro would never think to look under there, flowers were for girls.
“I can’t fix her, we don’t have enough gold left,” she lied, shrugging and pretending to feel bad.
“It can’t be!” Ichiro said, rummaging through their valued possessions. A few handwritten books, a vase, swords and armour that belonged in the family for generations. He gripped the table. “It’s nowhere near enough to buy enough gold,” he said in a defeated tone of voice.
“No, there isn’t. I’m sorry,” she lied again. It wasn’t hard to lie, they indeed had sold a big chunk of their gold to care for their mother. “There’s only some left to glue a few pieces together, perhaps a whole arm. That’s it, no more.”
Ichiro sagged on his chair.
“You shouldn’t have broken her that much, brother,” she pressed on.
He glared at her angrily but said nothing.
Yumi got married off to a wealthy merchant. It was the logical thing to do, and she didn’t really mind. Her husband was young and sweet. Older than her, but young enough so that their age difference wouldn’t matter in a few years.
They had children, a daughter. They tried again, because, naturally, he needed a son to carry on the family business and name.
Their next child was a son, but in the time it took to get with child her older daughter blossomed into a pretty little girl. She played with a butterfly in the back yard, giggling and feeling the happiest in the world.
During a family gathering, Yumi saw something that she’d hoped she’d never see again. That glint in her brother’s eyes as he stared at her little daughter. That smirk, that slight increase in his breathing.
Cold sweat covered her body. She knew that if that red-eyed monster ever touched her daughter, she would kill him without hesitation.
But it was the disease, she heard her mother’s voice say in her mind.
Deep down she knew it was nonsense, but she couldn’t risk it.
“I have a job to do with the family,” she told her husband. “I’ll be gone all night.”
He looked at her strangely, but he never had a reason to suspect her of even looking at other men. “Fine. One night?”
“Yes, I need to find something at our family home. It will take me hours, and I don’t want to walk back during the night.”
“Yes, it’s better that you stay at your brother’s,” her husband said, and kissed her.
Yumi dug up the gold ingots she had tucked away all those years ago. She fired up the furnace, grunting as she carried the sack of coal and the wood and the heavy containers.
They had placed Hinata in their family’s porcelain vase. Fitting, she thought. She poured the pieces out onto the worktable and then spent all night meticulously placing them together, like a big, sharp puzzle.
She melted the gold, and bonded the pieces together.
Hinata opened her blue eyes, batting her eyelashes. “Mistress Yumi?” she said, as if awakening from a deep slumber.
“Yes, it’s me. I’m taller now,” Yumi smiled, holding her childhood friend’s hand. “How do you feel?”
“I’m well.” Hinata checked herself all over, her arms, her legs. “There’s a lot more gold than I remember.”
“Yes,” Yumi winced. “But this is the last time I’m fixing you,” she said firmly. “You better tell him I said that.”
Hinata’s voice broke. “You’re giving me back to master Ichiro?”
“Isn’t that your purpose?” Yumi asked coldly. Inside, she wanted to burst into tears.
“Yes, mistress,” Hinata said, and got on her legs. She looked fine, as if she hadn’t been broken into pieces and got stored away for a decade.
The first light of day came in through the window, and made her shine. Her porcelain shin was shiny on its own, but the added golden cracks, no, scars, shone bright under the sun.
“I’m happy to see you again, Hinata,” Yumi said bitterly. “But now, I have to leave, and you have to stay here in the house of Ikari with my brother.”