Prologue Edit

Black ice coated the pavements in a thick layer, frosty drafts lazily floating above the cats. The cats, one black as the night, one bright golden as the sun, and the other, a diminutive soft cream, accompanied with blue eyes. Their condensed breath in the cold morning air was only visible for seconds before it melted into the rest of the air. The cats trudged gloomily across the side of the road, the only sound being the crunch of snow under their pads. In the cats' wake was a trail of their paw steps along with droplets of slush.

"Okan, what will we do with the kits?" The cream she-cat asked serenely, mid-flowing tears frosted on her face. Her expression was blank as if she expected no response.

"We cannot kill them or abandon them, of course, my little one." Okan, the black male, pointed out sadly. His mate had given birth just beyond the forest  and was now accompanying Okan and his former kit.

"What would Reggie say? You know he doesn't like outborn kits." Okan's mate snapped suddenly, in her mouth, a dark beige tom kit who stirred from his newborn sleep. "He'll kill them. He'll kill you, Okan, and you too, Asuma, and he'll kill me."

The three cats trekked through the snow, each contemplating and envisioning their deaths. Reggie was their leader or more specifically, the leader of the Harmed Sins. He was a cruel leader, laboring even the tiniest and youngest kit with chores. His deputy was even harsher, barking out commands like it was what he was born to do. Okan did not want his latest litter to be a part of the Harmed Sins, for it was ghastly evil towards any cat. He and his mate, Sayuri, had evaded interrogation by the camp guards to why they are leaving but hadn't thought their plan through. Asuma traveled with them, faithful to her father's decision and to help Sayuri give birth. They were now returning to the camp, trying to improvise on what to do.

     "We can, at least, name them," Asuma suggested quietly as she looked up hopefully to her father. "I want to name this one," She said, gesturing to a cream she-kit on her back.

     "We will." Okan and Sayuri agreed in unison. They set the kits down gently, Sayuri curling her warmer body around the litter. 

     "I will name this one Makoto," Okan confirmed, nudging a brackish brown tom-kit by the side. "for I want him to be truthful and free from deceit."

     "I wish this one to live his life honorably with luck and prosperity," Sayuri said as she groomed the dark beige tom-kit. "thus I will name him Kichirou."

     "And with this one I wish a lifetime of beauty," Asuma smiled, resting her nose gently on the cream she-kit. The kit was disparate from its siblings, sporting a soft ecru coat that had a red merle tinge to its fur. "her name will be Kumiko, a long-time beautiful child."

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