Occasional, these two serials touch on similar topics. This week, it's sex, though in much different contexts.
Sand and Ash 25: Mikáryo
This chapter is about the one thing that has been keeping Rutejìmo going for years: Mikáryo. It was his crush for her that gave him hope when the rest of his clan and the world ground him down. Actually, there were at least one point (which I haven't written about) where he almost killed himself but it was his hope for her that kept him going.
I have moments like that in my head as I build up characters, but they won't always get written. And there are some very dark points in everyone's life, just like all of ours.
Now, the problem is that Mikáryo has turned him away. He doesn't know that she is crying at the same time as this chapter, wracked by her own guilt for what she did.
Fortunately for him, Mapábyo is curious about what drew Rutejìmo to Mikáryo. She knows about her own crush on him but it was born from a different source that Rutejìmo's for Mikáryo's. Mapábyo was drawn to Rutejìmo's kindness, as demonstrated by the early chapter of Sand and Blood but also by his drive to keep going. He never gave up, even when he is the slowest, the weakest, and the most insulted of the clan, he kept going. That is actually one of his strongest virtues, as it were, unstoppable.
There is also curiosity about sex. Rutejìmo's first was Mikáryo, who taught him the basics of intercourse but also gave him a "general overview" of human sexuality as a whole. Desòchu did the same, but he was more prescriptive of the "correct" way to do things. This, of course, reflects the personalities of the two warriors in general; people are rarely different in bed than they are with the rest of the world.
Of course, now it is up to Rutejìmo and Mapábyo to find their own "way" when it comes to sex. It is a blending of multiple cultures, both the two young adult's personalities but also the "seed" of possibilities that they were given by the warriors.
Desòchu, of course, would have rather, Chimípu been Rutejìmo's first because it was within the clan but also because Chimípu was introduced to the same, relatively strict, manner as Desòchu (he was Chimípu's first also).
But, Rutejìmo got Mikáryo who is very deviant compared to the straight-laced Desòchu. And that means that both Rutejìmo and Mapa may end up a bit more adventurous than he would have liked. Not that it would ever show up as a problem… *cough*.
Topics like this are why I was afraid of Sand and Blood being marked as a Young Adult novel. The sequel is not a young adult and has some pretty dark points that I have never read in a YA novel before. But, if the first book in a series is YA, how can you say the next one isn't? Yeah, I could always write characters in their twenties, but I like starting in the teenage years. Things that happen there influence someone in their twenties and thirties just as much as starting later.
Flight of the Scions 7: An Ally
Over in chapter seven, Kanéko is having trouble of her own as she learns about the bigger world around her while dealing with the false knowledge of being a teenager. She's a bright girl, but she hasn't experienced the world.
This chapter has a fairly decent sexual undercurrent here, but it is much more unfocused than Rutejìmo's story. The main reason is Kanéko is young and doesn't know what she wants. She went from a sheltered girl who rarely saw more than twenty people in a month to having a cute guy paying attention to her just when everything else feels like it is going wrong.
There is also the jealousy because Maris has some features that Kanéko wished she had. The world is coming out of a Rubenesque era as it enters the Victorian age and most of the "pretty" pictures she's been daydreaming about have women with lots of curves. Maris is one of those girls, with large breasts, wide hips, and an innocence that Kanéko doesn't have. I guess finding out that she has no magic and feeling like her father had abandoned her is one way of dragging someone down.
The biggest difference is that Kanéko will never have a crush like Rutejìmo. She has her own drive and pulls herself up, standing up on her own simply because she has to. These are two very different lives, though they start in similar manners.
For subscribers, I posted another two chapters but I skipped two. This week hasn't been a good one for writing, too many different projects and a brand new puppy has made it almost impossible to write. The missing chapters were resurrected from a previous version, back when I was trying to cut 100k words from the novel. Since I moved to a single point of view story (Kanéko's), I thought it would be appropriate to put these two chapters back. Since I haven't gotten to cleaning them up, I posted the ones past it.