Hey, y'all, would you please read and tell me what you think?
Serenity - Origins: chapter 1
It was early in the morning, the sun had only begun to rise over the city when a car with three inside pulled up to the ACIAP (Asgard City International Air Port).
They had just arrived at the airport when he was spotted; an elderly Asian, mid 70's, waiting out front. In his hands he held a piece of poster board with the Chinese character "" written in black marker.
"There he is" the woman in the passenger seat said.
"Of course the old man would be wide awake this early in the morning" her father remarked "Other old people are fast asleep, and there he is defying the norm with his impeccable timing"
"Your father, dear, and you did tell him that we'd be here by 4-ish"
"Yes, but I didn't, though should have seen it coming, expect that he'd be here before us"
The car was stopped a few feet from the elderly man and at once the passenger door opened, revealing a beautiful young woman at the age of 19; her straight black hair down to her lower back, her height at 5'7 with her weight at 120 lbs. Her name: Serenity Marilyn Chen.
"Ni hao, grandpa" she said as she hugged him.
"Ni hao, 'Jing".
After her bags had been removed from the family car and the "hellos" had been exchanged she gave her parents her goodbyes, leaving with her grandfather to catch their flight.
"Serenity!" her mother called out, "I'll just tell Harmony that you said good-bye!"
Serenity, turned to face her mother while walking backwards: "Don't bother, if she's too busy to come see off her own sister, then that means that she's mine to harass later!"
"So, how was high school? Ready to go back yet?" He asked with a playful smile.
"Oh no, I'm done with that for good; I am free for a while and I want to use that freedom up as much as possible!" She replied boastfully.
"And that means spending it with your grandfather on an island in China?" He chuckled "I figured a young lady would want to go out with her friends and get into trouble"
"Not all 'young ladies' have martial arts masters who have their own islands for grandfathers, now do they? And besides, I really didn't have a better alternative at home"
He paused for a bit as she kept on walking "...So that means no boys then? I see..."
She whipped around, blushing slightly "NO, no, I just...I never really met anyone I cared to know better is all"
He raised his head, taken aback some by this "YOU couldn't find a man? Ji, there should be LINES of them asking for your hand!"
Serenity's face only grew more blushed "Grandpa, stop! You're going to draw a crowd!"
"Good! Then maybe we'll find you a man!"
"GRANDPA!" she laughed as she pleaded.
"Alright, alright, I'm done."
"...But you do know that there won't be any boys on the island, right?"
Sometime had passed and their plane had finally come in, it was when they had finally been nestled into their seats that Grandpa Chen's memory kicked in.
"Oooooh, I had completely forgotten!" he face-palmed in remorse "Serenity, you'll be having company with you!"
"Company? Huh, these wouldn't happen to be 'the boys' that you said weren't going to be there?"
"Nonono, just one person, another girl, your age I think".
Serenity's interest sparked; "Have you met her yet? Is she on the island already? Name? What's her name?"
He responded in a deep sigh "Uhhhhh, let's see...She shouldn't be on the island already, but if she is, then...well, she is then. I have not met her, but I spoke with her father, and her name is...Catherine? Ashley? No, no, it's...Ah! I can't remember!"
Serenity reclined back into her seat. "Well, let's hope that things aren't too awkward when we do meet her; I think I should be the one to ask first, save you the embarrassment"
"Jing', at my age I don't worry about embarrassment anymore".
They arrived in Hong Kong sometime in the evening, then from there they finished their trek to grandpa Chen's island (in between mainland China and the Dongsha Islands) through boat.
"Someday I'd like to have my own island" Serenity commented in humor and in slight confession.
"Well, if you become world renowned and play smart with your money, then perhaps you'll get one"
"Oooor, you could give me this one"
The old man caught on to the gag: "Why? Just can't keep patient enough for me to die you need it now?"
"What? No! I..." She smirked her lips and replied "Old man, you're going to outlive me anyway, so there really is no point in me asking for this one!"
All he could do was laugh.
The island wasn't too big - one could go completely around it in a span of an hour or so - and fairly colonized with lush vegetation. In a short walk up a stone path they reached Grandpa Chen's home; a large house with predominantly Japanese fixings blended in with Chinese elements (appropriate given that he had it constructed to accommodate the tastes of his late wife).
Two hours or so had passed when the expected guest had arrived at the manor's door: she stood about as tall as Serenity, maybe an inch or so more; her hair was scruffy, short at neck-length and a deep red; her eyes were a bright blue and her face was slightly and softly freckled. Accompanying her was a tall gentleman in a suit.
"Ah! You've finally made it! I'm sure that your flight was pleasant?" Grandpa Chen asked.
The suited man, not expecting conversation, responded "Oh, um, it was fine, not my favorite way of traveling though"
Grandpa Chen cocked his head slightly in puzzlement: "Your voice sounds different on the phone"
The suited man paused for a moment with the young woman's luggage in hand, then caught on "Oh! That was Mr. Miller you were talking to, I'm just hired on to make sure she got here safely! Now, if you'd excuse me so I could put these down inside..."
"Oh, sure, go right in, I'll show you to her room".
As the two men left inside, Serenity went up to meet her fellow guest. She extended her hand and greeted her with "Hi there, my name is Serenity". The young lady looked at her with slight uneasiness. Serenity quickly recoiled her hand to undo the discomforting greeting and pursed her lips in sheepish embarrassment. "I, uh, sorry about that".
The red-haired lass relaxed a bit and met Serenity's advance: "Don't be, I'm just...a tad nervous is all".
"New to Kung Fu? Because my grandpa could take things slow for you if you--"
"No, no, I'm not new to it at all"
"Oh! Then why so nervous?"
"I've got anxiety issues with meeting new people and going new places; easily overcome, just not in an instant"
"I see, I see..."
There was a brief silence before the young red-head caught on. In a burst of openness, she exclaimed "Ah! What am I doing?! I haven't even given you my name yet! Here I am just standing around like some...'Ashley', the name's 'Ashley".
"Hm, so much for being nervous" Serenity replied with a smirk.
Ashley smiled and retorted "That was all out nervousness, what're you talking about?"
The two shared a laugh as the sun set into dusk.
They went inside just as the suited man was heading out; Serenity caught up to her grandfather before Ashley got inside and told him "You were right, her name is 'Ashley". To that, the old man chuckled at himself. The suited man at the same time stopped and checked with Ashley to see if there was anything else he could do before he went back to her father, but she insisted that there was nothing. With his leaving, Grandpa Chen commented "Hmph, I was expecting the father" under his breath. Ashley caught what he said, however; "My father's in China on business, no time to take off his schedule to make sure I get here safely" she replied with a hint of disgruntlement. Grandpa Chen looked at her; "...That's...disappointing"
Serenity, attempting to prevent any sort tension, replied: "Grandpa..."
But Ashley seemed unbothered by his comment however, and merely replied "It's business, and I'm an adult anyway; I don't him holding my hand wherever I go".
Grandpa Chen looked at her, then followed up with a change of subject.
"Well ladies, you might want to go get your things situated in your rooms, I'll get to making dinner". As he went off into the kitchen area, he added "And just so you know, Ms...Ashley," He said as he tried to hide the fact that he forgot her name "we'll be starting off with our training first thing tomorrow morning".
She nodded in understanding, and as she watched the elder go into the kitchen she turned to Serenity and smiled: "You had to remind him of my name, didn't you?
Serenity nodded and smiled.