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I wrote this as a continuation to Riiya's childhood secret. I want to write some sort of a 'deep' story for Chacha, Riiya and Shiine. 'Shiine's time to wonder' is the best title that I could think of. To be honest, I think I blew this one. That's just my opinion.


SHIINE'S TIME TO WONDER

by Kayin



"I just can't understand that Riiya," Shiine commented to himself. He had just returned home to the castle where he and his teacher, Miss Dorothy stayed.

It was evening and he, Chacha and Riiya had spent the day walking in the forest. Riiya had brought them to a beautiful location that Riiya claimed no one knew about. He said that he used to go there when he was a cub to escape the realities of life. Then Shiine could not understand what he meant when Riiya began to talk about him not needing the place anymore because he had Shiine and Chacha for friends. Then throughout their walk, he had insisted that Shiine hold Chacha's hand, as if trying to prove that he wouldn't get jealous. Shiine was cautious and stayed as far away from Chacha as possible that afternoon. No telling what that dumb dog might do he told himself. Then Riiya went on about talking to himself. Riiya must be crazy, Shiine told himself.

"Teacher Dorothy! I'm home!" Shiine yelled. Suddenly there was a puff of thick smoke and in front of him stood his teacher. No wait, it was only an image of her.

"Shiine, I'm glad you're home, dear," the image began to speak. Shiine just looked puzzled. "This is just a pre-recorded message to you that would automatically appear as soon as you said my name. Clever, aren't I?" the image praised it's maker. Shiine was impressed. Teacher Dorothy often tried new things in magic and it always surprised him.

"As I was saying, it's good that you're home. I had to go and see Doris for a while. So until I get back, I've lined up some chores for you to do." Chores! It was practically night! "The list is on the table over there, darling," and Dorothy's image pointed to a rose wood table against the wall. "Be sure to be finished by the time I get back! Ta ta!" And with that, the image vaporised.

Shiine sighed and went over to the rose wood table that Dorothy had left the list of things that he had to do. Teacher Dorothy often treated him as a servant. He didn't mind that. It was just so late and he wanted to sleep. The convention on magic had been taxing on his little mind and he wanted some rest. He reluctantly picked up the paper only to have it unroll onto the floor. Shiine sighed once more seeing the length of the list and hoped that Teacher Dorothy was planning on spending the night over at Doris' house........for the next two weeks anyway.

The first item on the list was to sweep and mop the floor. Well, no time better than the present. Shiine started to get to work but first he had to move the furniture out of the way and roll the carpet off the floor. As he was doing so he realised that the hall was the very hall that he had first appeared to Chacha and Riiya. Introducing himself to Chacha, Riiya had warned him that Chacha was 'his girl'.

"We'll see, Riiya," Shiine mumbled to himself.

Now that all the furniture was pushed into the next room, only one task remained before Shiine could start cleaning the floor. That was to roll up the carpet and get it out of the way.

"No problem for a magician like me," he said with a smile. He quickly rolled the carpet and moved into the next room with a flick of his hand. Shiine was still smiling when he noticed a long crack on the floor where the carpet had been. He also noticed several shoe marks that marred the floor. Then he remembered what had happened. During his first confrontation with Riiya, Riiya had turned himself into a wolf to attack him. Chacha just grabbed Riiya in mid air and hugged him, commenting on how cute he was. Shiine got slightly jealous and wanted to show Chacha that he too could change into cute animals. Using his magic, he transformed into a squirrel. Chacha and Riiya mistook him for a rat and started to beat him up, Chacha with her shoe and Riiya with his paw. Shiine still had blisters from their beating. But that attack on him not only damaged his head, it damaged the floor as well. In an effort to make sure that Teacher Dorothy never found out about it, he had convinced her that the hall needed a carpet. He even offered to clean and wash the hall himself to prevent her ever finding out about it. And that was when Dorothy began to treat him as a servant. Now, thinking back, he could only say one thing.

"Shiine you have a big mouth!" he scolded himself. To him, it would have been easier to tell Dorothy about the crack in the floor. Why had he protected Chacha......and Riiya?

Shiine pondered these thoughts as he swept the floor. Finding no answer, he decided to try and figure out how one hall like the one he was sweeping could get so dirty in just one day when he and Dorothy had spent the entire day out of the castle. But alas, he still could not find and answer.

"At least I'm still smarter than that dog, Riiya!" Shiine smiled.

As he mopped the hall, his mind wandered to the time in school when they had all been given an examination. To pass meant to go on to the next level in the school. To fail meant....well actually, every one was so concerned about Riiya passing the exam that no one bothered to ask Teacher Rascal what would happen to him if he failed. Shiine remembered that Riiya was the only one who had yet to answer a single question correctly. He remembered cheering for him when he said he knew the answer to the question "Eyes, ears, mouth; what do we eat with?" Of all questions, even Shiine knew that Riiya just had to know the answer to that one. Shiine also remembered groaning with disappointment the Riiya had answered "In the castle, we were told to eat with forks." He even tried to help Chacha think of a way to help Riiya pass. Was Shiine supporting Riiya just because Chacha liked him? No, he thought to himself. There was something more. He had rejoiced when Riiya finally passed the exam. But then when Riiya was happy that he'd be with Chacha again next year, he started to rethink what he had done.

"And I thought you were smart, Shiine," he could hear Riiya taunting. Shiine just ignored it and kept mopping the floor.

The next job lined up for Shiine was to clean up his room. Shiine wondered why he should clean his own room because he always kept things neat. When he opened the door, he was shocked to see everything in utter disorder. The bed was messed, the blanket on the floor, books thrown out of the shelf, tables and chairs overturned. Shiine just thought it could not be possible. The room was neat when he and Dorothy had left that morning. Just then, another puff of thick white smoke materialised out of no where and once more Shiine saw the image of Dorothy, like the one that had informed him of his servant duties.

"Hello again Shiine dear," the image spoke. "Well, I know that you are shocked to see your room that you always keep tidy in shamble's."

"You don't know the half of it, teacher," Shiine thought to himself.

"Well, I was looking for that cook book that I leant you so long ago. Doris asked that I bring it along. I looked high, low everywhere for it. I checked under the bed, behind the book cases, on top of the shelves but I just couldn't find it! Then I opened your drawer and there it was! Fancy keeping a book in a drawer!" Shiine slapped his forehead. Teacher Dorothy had a way of making him work even more.

"Anyway, I'm sorry about the mess. But you've had so much experience cleaning up after me that you must be used to this sort of thing. So I'll just let you to it Shiine!" And the image vanished just as quickly as it had appeared.

"Well, no use putting off the inevitable," groaned poor Shiine. He stated by putting all the shelves that had been tipped over back upright against the wall. Then he rearranged the books that were spewed all over the floor in the shelves that they were originally in. In doing so, a particular book caught his eye. It had the words "SHIINE CHAN" printed on the cover in gold.

"My old diary!!" Shiine exclaimed. "I hope Teacher Dorothy didn't read it." He remembered the time that he had accidentally read Teacher Dorothy's diary while he was clearing up. It had accidentally fallen and opened onto the floor. He had shut his eyes to avoid seeing any secrets that his teacher was hiding, then he realised that he would not be able to complete the clean up with his eyes closed. He slowly opened his eyes, from completely shut to a mere squint and was surprised to find nothing written in it. Shiine laughed at his folly and, thinking that Teacher Dorothy had yet to write in that diary, flipped the pages to prove to himself how silly he had been to shut his eyes when the book was empty. But the book was not empty. Far from it. It held a secret that Dorothy did not want Shiine to know about, that the enemy knight that was chasing after Chacha was his own father! Access! The shocking revelation had him glued to the floor until he heard a voice behind him, coming from an open window. It was Access. No, it was his father.

Shiine shook his head. That happened a long time ago, he told himself. His relation with his father was now all right and he was no longer working for the Dark Master. But Shiine could not help but recall that fateful day when he had proclaimed that he was willing to die protecting Chacha. Although he did not want to admit it, his brave words were meant for Riiya as well.

By now, Shiine had finished putting his room in order. In record time too. He has been getting better at cleaning up after Dorothy. But a servant was the last career on his mind. No, he would become "The World's Greatest Magician" somehow and perhaps then he would be able to attract Chacha away from their canine companion. Looking at the list, the next task set for him was one that he had always dread: clean the attic. Oh boy......

As a young child, Shiine had always been afraid of the dark. Growing up, he did not want to appear a coward, especially since Riiya always claimed not to be afraid of anything. Maybe that was the reason why Chacha always ran to Riiya whenever she was scared. He had forced himself to push his fear of the darkness out of his system so that perhaps one day, Chacha would run to him. Pulling a cord that hung from the roof, he stepped back as steps to the attic above came down. He hesitated for a while, shades of his childhood fear coming back. Swallowing hard, he made his way up the steps.

Now where to start? The whole place was so dusty it made Shiine cough. Placing a handkerchief over his nose and mouth he started sweeping the dust with his one free hand. The job was so cumbersome he decided to just give up. Planning to come back later, Shiine headed for the steps when he saw a large chest. It looked familiar to him. Upon closer inspection, he realised it was his old hope chest. Now why did he put it in the attic? He was curious to see what he had put in it. It had been so long ago that there was no way he could possibly remember his hope chest, much less the contents. Opening it sent a cloud of choking dust into the air. There was not much in the chest. Only a picture of Chacha. Suddenly it all came rushing back to him. He had stopped putting things into the box when it was apparent to him that Chacha spent more time, enjoyed spending more time with Riiya then with him. Chacha had still to mature, just like Riiya. Living with Teacher Dorothy, Shiine had no choice but to mature and grow up. Riiya and Chacha on the other hand lived a somewhat easy life. They did not have to clean up after their guardian like Shiine did. Maybe that's why Chacha preferred to stay with Riiya. Maybe she found Shiine boring.... Shiine slammed his chest shut and left the attic.

Shiine reached into his pocket and took out the list. A lot of time had passed since he had come home but his mind constantly dragging up the past had distracted him from his work. He had better get his act together if he wanted to finish his work. His next task was to sort out the basement. That was just as bad as cleaning the attic. He just hoped he wouldn't be distracted like he was earlier.

"What's this" Shiine asked himself as he picked up a cardboard box. He had been cleaning the basement undisturbed when he found a box with his name written on it. It was rather big so he slowly but clumsily brought it down form its place on a shelf. Like everything else in the basement, it too had collected its share of dust. Shiine wiped the dust off with his hand before opening it. He saw a large framed picture inside, along with a few smaller photographs. Shiine lifted out the framed picture and wiped the dust off it. It was a picture of Doris. Now what was it doing in a box with his name on it? Suddenly he remembered the time that Shiine had forgotten Chacha's birthday. Now Shiine started wondering how that happened. Riiya remembered. So how come hadn't. Earlier that morning, Shiine had spent all his money and had none left to buy Chacha a present. Did he really like Chacha as much as he said he did, as much as he thought he did? Now, he wasn't so sure. He recalled using Riiya's stupidity against him to get Riiya's money. Now what did they decide to do? Take pictures of Seravi and sell them to Doris.

"It would have worked if that dumb dog didn't blurt out our plans to Seravi," Shiine complained to himself. So after Seravi had confiscated their source of money, they decided to do the exact opposite; take pictures of Doris and sell them to Seravi, passing them off as pictures of Dorothy with her golden hair. "It would have worked if Doris hadn't signed it and (shudder) kissed it," thought Shiine. By then, they had no money left. Shiine had kept the picture in the basement so that Teacher Dorothy would never find out.

"Wait a minute!" Shiine exclaimed as he examined the picture of Doris he was holding. He carefully took a sharp knife and slowly pried open the frame of the picture. When he had succeeded in doing so, he carefully lifted the picture out from behind the glass that was protecting it. And there it was, a picture of Doris that could have been passed on as a picture of Dorothy with her golden hair. Doris' signature and kiss mark were on the glass and the picture was clean. "Shiine you are an imbecile! I've been spending too much time with Riiya!" Shiine scolded himself. All framed pictures had a sheet of glass or plastic in front of the picture to protect it from damage. Doris had signed and left the impression of her kiss on the glass and not on the picture. Shiine slapped his forehead and thought that they could have avoided the trouble of selling Riiya as a dead animal with luxurious fur. As he thought about that incident, Shiine wondered why Riiya had trusted him. And when Riiya did not make his escape as they planned, Shiine actually started to worry about him. Now why had he done that? Shiine rolled up the picture of Doris and placed it back in the box along with the frame and glass covering. He picked up a handful of the smaller photographs. They were all pictures of Doris that they had taken in the hopes of selling them to Seravi as Dorothy's photots. But Doris had insisted that her picture be professionally taken. Shiine glanced through the pictures, thinking they were quite good. Then he came across another picture. But it was not of Doris. It was of the large picture that he and Riiya had put together at the last minute when they could not but Chacha a birthday present. They had worked hard into the night to finish it. They had worked together.

Suddenly Shiine thought he understood why Riiya was acting so strange that afternoon. Shiine had never given Riiya enough credit, thinking that Riiya was stupid and the only thing he was good at was eating. Shiine thought about his adventures with Chacha and Riiya and realised that although he and Riiya had started off on the wrong foot, they had grown accustomed to each other and maybe even like each other. Was that what Riiya was trying to tell him? If Riiya was as stupid as Shiine thought then why had Riiya figured it out before he did?

"Shiine I'm home! Have you finished your chores?" a familiar voice called. It was Teacher Dorothy. Shiine looked at his uncompleted list.

Uh oh....


THE END