Tomoe Roku, or King Rokushin to the unsuspecting people of Yoake, looked out the window of his throne room situated in his large lavish castle, looking down at a young man seventeen years of age playing with a few children.
The malicious king smirked as he watched the young Chouwan Tenshi. He narrowed his eyes down to the brown liquid that settled in a crystal goblet that he held in his long delicate fingers. He had become frustrated about the fact that the young man had not submitted to him yet, even after all his obvious tactics to beacon the boy to him.
He looked up from his drink and continued to watch the boy with fascination. He loved how the young seraph's eyes shined so illuminating when the sun hit them or the way his unruly hair glittered from the sun's rays which made him want to rake his fingers through the silky strands. Even the boy's perfect ivory skin had the older man shuddering at the thought of touching and caressing it.
Outside Tenshi had been playing with some children when he began to get the feeling that someone was watching him. He looked up to see Tomoe looking straight at him; Tomoe catching his eye smiled at the young man which left the boy uncomfortable, but he shrugged it off thinking it was nothing, and smiled back.
"Hey Tenshi, catch" a small boy yelled as he threw the ball at the teen's head. He turned away from the window and caught the ball with ease, which left the children with astonished looks.
"Nice catch Ten" Kuroku said as he approached the teen and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Huh?" Tenshi replied unaware of the fact that he had even caught the ball. Kuroku smiled at the young man as he handed the ball back to the children.
"So, what's going on?" Tenshi asked the large tanned man, "Nothing much, I was just wondering if you would like to practice your archery with me"
"Of course, let's go" he replied smiling and practically dragging the older man with him. This of course did not go unnoticed by Tomoe, who now held the remains of the crystal goblet in his hand, the blood and alcohol mixing on his hand. He was literally fuming with rage at the fact that the friend that was always there for him was trying to take Tenshi from him.
/Who does Kuroku think he is taking my possession like that \\ Tomoe thought as he looked down at his hand and brought it up to his mouth and licked the blood/alcohol from the wound.
***Outside in the training area***
An arrow sped through the air and hit it's destination at the center of a target. Tenshi smiled as he lowered the bow, "Bull's eye" he said pleasantly to Kuroku, who smiled in turn. Kuroku picked up his quiver and bow; he readied his bow and let the arrow soar, only to hit a little above Tenshi's mark.
"Damn, so close" he smiled, and looked over at Tenshi who had a huge grin plastered on is face, "Hey, I'm still better than you" he said playfully to the young man. Tenshi's grin widened even more as he held up his hands in defeat, "Hey, what ever you say Tomodachi"
Kuroku gave him an annoyed look, "What, are you saying I'm losing my touch?" he asked a nervously laughing Tenshi.
"I didn't say that" he proclaimed, "but that's what you were thinking wasn't it" Kuroku asked. Tenshi had the most unusual perplexed look etched on his face as Kuroku stepped closer looking grim. Kuroku bolted at Tenshi and held him in a headlock and playful ruffled his hair, "Stop Kuroku, I hate that" he laughed uncontrollably.
Kuroku laughed at the pleading Tenshi as he tried to pry him off. The two men stopped when they heard giggles coming from behind them. Kuroku turned with Tenshi still in his grasp to see Tenshi's close friend Kaia and Kuroku's wife Katsumi laughing at their antics.
'Isn't that cute" Katsumi said in mock tone to Kaia "their playing just like little boys". Both men quickly regained their normal demeanor at Katsumi's comment.
"I was just showing him how to, ah, attack an oncoming invader, isn't that right Tenshi?" he asked the adolescent. The latter nodded his head, "Hai, its true, thanks for showing me that!" he said patting Kuroku on the back.
The two women just rolled their eyes; "We're not buying it!" they said together. The men's faces fell at the fact that their little lie did not work on the two vixens. They walked over to the two males, and couldn't stop giggling at the strange antics to the point where they were leaning on the guy's shoulders for support.
"Isn't this a sweet picture" came the voice of Tomoe, the four other people looked over at the king, "You look like a family, the way you bicker and laugh at the others stupidity"
Kuroku scowled at Tomoe, not liking the way he referred to his friends antics as being incompetent, "It's called having fun Tomoe, maybe you should give it a try sometime" Tenshi notified the sovereign moving in range of him. Tomoe smiled at the seraph in front of him, "You know what Tenshi," he said wrapping his arm around the boy, "you're right, I don't have enough fun" With that he slung Tenshi over his shoulder.
"W-what are you doing?" Tenshi asked both surprised and amused, "having fun" Tomoe laughed, he walked over to the fountain and dumped the young man in the cold water. Kaia and Katsumi immediately burst into laughter, while Kuroku had a look of concern for the boy. After a few seconds Tenshi's head emerged from the water only a little, his eyes peering up at Tomoe.
"Are you alright?" he asked, Tenshi didn't say anything he lifted his entire head out of the fountain, and spit water in Tomoe's face. The king wiped the water from his eyes, and saw Tenshi grin, "I'm fine" he replied trying to get out of the frigid water, "Little help" he asked.
Tomoe helped him out of the fountain, due to the fact he kept slipping. Once on the ground he casually walked over to Kuroku and the others. They looked at him amusedly; his hair plastered over his face and his clothes clung to his lean, slightly muscular body. It was Kuroku that broke the silence, "Tenshi?" he said to the soaked boy, who looked over at him, "You look like a drowned rat"
Tenshi just gave him a foolish smile, and was about to reply when Tomoe spoke for him, "Drowned rat or not, he's still one of the best archers" he stated leaning down and kissing Tenshi on the cheek. This of course did not go unnoticed by Kuroku or the two women, and especially Tenshi, who at the moment was completely stunned at what Tomoe had done. Kuroku was about to question the king when a young boy came running up to Tomoe with a large letter with the seal of Yoake engraved on it.
"Lord Roku" he said, panting, "I was told to deliver this to you"
Tomoe took the letter from the boy smiling, "Thank you, now run along, leave the adults alone"
The boy huffed and pointed at Kaia and Tenshi, "What do you mean adults, Tenshi and Kaia are only seventeen". Tomoe rolled his eyes at the boy, and patted his head, "Yes, but you're only eight"
The boy scowled, "Fuck that" he yelled and ran off, with the five adults looking after him, in confusion.
"Anyway back to the letter, hmmm let's see" he began to read the letter to himself.
It has been quite the while since we have seen each other. I request your present at my home, two weeks from now is the wedding of my eldest daughter, Maika. If you come to my home, please bring a few people, there is more than enough room. I wish you would attend, but if you are unable to I will understand. Until then tomadochi, I wish you good health and happiness.
Tomoe smiled maliciously after reading the letter and remained silent. Tenshi finally broke the silence, "What did it say Tomoe? Hs asked curiously. Tomoe folded the letter and placed it into his pocket, "It would seem, that King Yoake wishes to see me at his home for two weeks, and that I should bring a guest" he stated. The small group stared at him; Kuroku and Katsumi looked bored, while Tenshi and Kaia didn't quite understand why Yoake would invite their enemy over for a nice visit.
"Tomoe?" Kaia asked with anticipation, "Why does Yoake want to see you, does he know about the Taihen?"
Tomoe chuckled, "No, Yoake doesn't have a clue" he paused then continued, "You see, the Yoakens know Roku of the Taihen, but King Rokushin is a good friend of Katsuhiro's"
Tenshi and Kaia were more than surprised; they both looked over at Kuroku and Katsumi to see if they were at all shocked. The two young people saw no change in the adult's expression, Tenshi approached Kuroku, "Did you know about this?" he asked in his soft yet masculine voice. Kuroku looked into Tenshi's vibrant green eyes and noticed that they had narrowed considerably, shrugging if off, he answered the boy.
"Yes, I knew about it" he answered the young man, noticing again that his features had hardened, but his face quickly changed back to its normal state. /What's up with Tenshi today \\ he thought staring at his friend, / maybe it's nothing \\
"You think perhaps we should have known about this before Tomoe?" he asked the king in a dangerously low tone. Tomoe was about to respond to Tenshi when Ukai, another of the younger Taihen clan came running up to the group.
"Hey, what's going on?" the nineteen year old asked enthusiastically. They all looked at him strangely. "Not much" Tenshi answered for the gang, his strange attitude dispelling.
Tomoe walked to the center of the small crowd, he looked to Kuroku, Katsumi, and Kaia, "You three are to accompany me to Yoake in two days, so be ready" he warned them. He turned to the young Chouwan, "Tenshi, I want you to come to the study this evening, I need to speak to you in private"
"Hai, Tomoe" he answered
Tomoe walked away from them and made his way back to the castle, but before that he turned to them again, "Hey Tenshi" he yelled to the silver/teal haired boy, "I had fun this afternoon, maybe you'll get me sometime" he said laughing. Tenshi just smirked at him, rolling his eyes slightly. He turned to the group and noticed Ukai's turquoise eyes glaring at him.
"Are you alright, Ukai?" he asked concerned, the other just snorted at him and trudged away. /That was odd, I wonder what his problem was? \\ he thought.
He felt someone tap his shoulder, when he looked to see who it was his head was caught in Kuroku's arm again, "Come on Ten, we haven't finished practicing yet" he stated and dragged the boy back over to the archery field the two women following.
***Near castle entrance***
Tomoe was about to enter his fortress when he heard someone calling his name. He turned to the source of the voice to see Ukai running up to him.
"Lord Roku" he said swallowing in an attempt to catch his breath. Tomoe looked at him repelled; he had never really cared much for Ukai. He had his reasons for not liking the young man. His one main reason was the way he treated Tenshi, constantly harassing the Chouwan. Also Tomoe hated the fact that Ukai tried to hard for praise and recognition, which in truth, disgusted him. He made that clear even to Tenshi, after the boy wanted praise for bringing down twenty targets in thirty seconds. The action the ten-year-old demonstrated caused Tomoe to backhand the child; from then on he never acted that way around Tomoe.
"What do you want Ukai?" Tomoe asked irate, which caused the younger of the two to lower his head, his pink hair falling over his eyes. "I was just wondering why you did not want me to accompany you to Yoake sire" he said his head still lowered.
Tomoe looked at the pitiful sight in front of him, and decided to set the boy straight. "Ukai, the reason I don't want you to go is simply because I can't stand you" he brutally stated, which caused Ukai to look at Tomoe completely hurt and rejected, "Why?" he finally asked.
"Because people like you who always want recognition and affection makes me sick" Tomoe explained. Ukai had a hard time finding his voice; he had tears forming in his turquoise eyes. "I-I only do that because I wanted you to notice me" he whispered looking up at Tomoe, who 's expression never changed.
Tomoe laughed at the young man, "I wouldn't waste my time with you" he said to the melancholy boy, then turning and walking away from Ukai. Without thinking it through Ukai spoke up in rage, "It's because you want Tenshi isn't it" he yelled. Tomoe stopped in his tracks and turned to Ukai, his eyes burning into the youth.
Ukai cowered away as Tomoe approached him; he struck the young man in the face causing him to fall back.
"You simpleminded son of a bitch" he spat at the young man, "you should know better than to speak to me like that, now get up". Ukai stood up, shaking with fear, he felt his shirt tighten around his neck. Tomoe stood there practically strangling Ukai, he smiled evilly at him and punched him in the abdomen.
Ukai fell to his knees gasping for air; his head was lifted up by a hand grasping his hair only to look into the cold ice blue eyes of Tomoe who smirked at the predicament the young man had gotten himself into. "That will teach you to defy me, you're pathetic" Tomoe spat and left the broken man.
After a few minutes Ukai rose and walked to his home. He entered the small house to see his mother sitting near the window in a rocking chair. She smiled at him as she heard him enter.
"Hello Mother" she greeted the woman, "Hello Kodoku, how was your day?" she asked
He walked over to her and sat down in a chair across from her, "Where are you dear?" she asked, Ukai smiled at her "right here" he replied holding her hand to her face. She gasped when she touched his face, "What happened Kodoku?" she asked fretfully her blue eyes full of worry.
"Nothing happened Mother" he assured the blond woman, "just horsing around with friends and I got hit, that's all"
She smiled at him knowing very well that he was lying "alright sweetie, I just wanted to know". The mother and son just sat in quiet enjoying the other's company.
They both turned when they heard the door open; a man with short black hair and turquoise eyes entered the house and smiled at the two.
"Hello Hitomi, Kodoku" the man accosted them. "Hello father" Ukai replied to his father, who looked at him strangely, knowing what his father was looking at he clarified quickly, "I got hit when I was playing around with some of my friends" he lied.
"Be careful next time son," he warned, as he walked over to his wife and sat down in front of her, "How are you dear," he asked concerned. She just smiled at him, "I'm blind love, not sick" she joked.
The small family just laughed, enjoying each other's presence.
***At a small lake***
"I think I got something!" Tenshi yelled as he struggled to reel in a rather large fish but was failing miserably, "Oh shit, Kuroku help!"
Kuroku looked over to see Tenshi trying to pull a huge fish out of the water using just a rod. He quickly ran over to Tenshi and helped the young Chouwan haul the bass out of the water, but soon found it very difficult to even control the denizen of the deep.
"How much does this thing weigh!" Kuroku yelled through the noise of the water and reel, "I don't know" Tenshi laughed. Katsumi and Kaia looked over at the two men attempting to get the water dweller emerged; "Do you two need help?" Katsumi asked the two mediocre fishermen. "No we're fine, we just-"Tenshi was cut off when he and Kuroku were hurled into the water. After about two minutes both men raised their bodies out of the water.
"This is the second time today I've been plunged into the water" Tenshi complained in a shrill voice, however on the plus side the fish that the two were struggling to beach was resting on Tenshi's lap. He finally looked down and noticed the fish, "Hey Kuroku look!"
Kuroku looked down at the fish that Tenshi was now holding, "Hey it was all worth it" he laughed, "look at the size of that fish lover" he addressed Katsumi holding up the large bass, she just smiled at him.
Both men stood up and walked to the shore, "Well I think I'll call it a day" Kuroku stated drying off. Katsumi, Kaia, and Kuroku all walked back to the castle. Kaia, noticing that they were minus one person turned to see Tenshi still at the lake.
"Tenshi" she yelled, "Aren't you coming?"
"No" he replied, "I'm just going to stay here for a little while longer"
Kuroku just nodded at the young Chouwan, and they continued to walk back home. After they were out of sight, Tenshi lay down on the ground and stared at the sky.
From the bushes turquoise eyes glared at Tenshi. Kodoku Ukai emerged from the shrubbery and stood behind Tenshi. "Hikari" Ukai's voice rang out, which caused Tenshi to flip over on his stomach and looked up at Ukai.
"Ah, hello Ukai" he responded with confusion. "What are you doing here?"
"I heard a lot of noise coming from over here and I was wondering what was going on" Ukai explained, he focused his gaze on the Chouwan more closely, "What happened to you?"
Tenshi blushed with embarrassment; "I had a little disagreement with a fish" he clarified for the other man. Seeing no change in Ukai's expression, he shrugged and turned over onto his back closing his eyes.
Ukai sat down a few centimeters away from Tenshi; after a few minutes of silence Ukai spoke up, "Tomoe likes you" he stated softly. Tenshi's eyes opened and he looked at the older man sitting next to him then sat up. "I know" he said narrowing his eyes sadly, "I've known for as long as I have lived in Rokushin"
"And your feelings toward him?" Ukai questioned looking at Tenshi. The Chouwan looked him in the eyes, "I have no feelings for him, he is just a close friend" he clarified, "but you wouldn't know it sometimes" he mumbled.
Silence took over again and the two avoided each other's gaze. Tenshi was about to speak when Ukai cut him off, "You know what Tenshi" he started, "You're really lucky"
"What do you mean?" Tenshi asked
"Well you have a lot of friends, Kuroku treats you like a son, and Tomoe favors you" he explained to the seraph.
Tenshi looked at him slightly disgusted, "You think I have it good" he hissed at Ukai who looked at him strangely, "You have both a mother and father who love you with all their heart, you didn't have to see your mother's body laying in the blood stained grass".
Ukai looked at Tenshi shocked, it was the first time that he had ever heard this and he saw Tenshi's features hardened, he tried to reply but Tenshi cut him off. "You didn't have to go through half the shit that I go through all the time most of it is because I'm a Chouwan. So I have Kuroku, Katsumi and Kaia, I wouldn't change that, but I want to see my parents again, so next time you say I'm lucky save it, I don't need to be reminded about what I have and what I lost or how fucked up my life is sometimes.
Realizing he was yelling Tenshi stopped completely, confused at his reaction towards a simple question; "sorry Ukai" he whispered "I shouldn't have acted like that"
Ukai's eyes softened when he saw the contempt in Tenshi's eyes "Well Tenshi" Ukai began, "it's not all good for me"
"What do you mean?" Tenshi asked curiously; he suddenly had a lot of interest in the fact that Ukai didn't have a perfect life.
"I may have a mother" Ukai started to explain, "but she hasn't been able to see me for eighteen years, I haven't been able to share amazing sights with her, I just wish she could see again, and I feel as though it's my fault.
Tenshi looked at Ukai sadly, /I had no idea that his mother was blind \\ he thought downheartedly. He saw Ukai wipe tears away from his blue-green eyes; he moved closer to Ukai and placed a hand on his shoulder. They sat in silence watching the tiny fish swim in the crystal clear lake and the reeds swaying back and fourth from the soft summer breeze.
Ukai raised himself off the ground; Tenshi looked up at him, "Where are you going?" he asked. "I'm going home" was all Ukai said as he left the Chouwan alone again. Tenshi turned back around and continued to stare at the lake, his thoughts began to drift back to what Ukai had told him about his mother.
/Maybe there's something I could do for his mother \\ Tenshi thought to himself bitterly, /but what could I do? \\
The young man stood up and sighed as he dusted himself off, "I should get back home" he said the last part with malice. Walking back to the castle he thought of ways he could help Ukai's mother, but nothing was coming to him.
Tenshi stopped in front of the large castle, which was the home he shared with Tomoe, Kuroku, Katsumi, Kaia, and others. Though he had lived there for twelve years of his life and was allowed to roam around freely, at times it had the feeling of a prison more than an actual home.
/Why do I always get a strange feeling when I get close to the castle \\ he shifted uncomfortably, /it might just be me, but I feel a strange aura coming from this place, I'll mention it to Kuroku after I talk to Tomoe \\
Tenshi entered the castle just as the sun was beginning to set; he could hear the commotion and clattering of dishes, indicating that Tomoe's many servants were engrossed in preparing dinner for the inhabitants of the palace.
Walking into the kitchen, Tenshi sat down on one of the bar stools and watched as Reika, one of the well known confectioners of the king's, ran back and fourth to make everything presentable for Tomoe.
Once everything was perfect she turned and finally noticed Tenshi staring at the wall, his mind absent and wandering. Reika approached the young man and snapped her fingers in front of the seraph. Tenshi came to his senses, and looked up at the woman.
She smiled at him, showing perfect white teeth, "Where are you?" she asked the Chouwan, referring to his daydreaming. He just smirked at her playfully and rested his head on his arm.
"I was just wondering what Tomoe wanted to see me about" he replied playing with a lone grape, then eating it. He sighed loudly and stood up facing Reika, "Is it important Tenshi?" she asked.
He just shrugged at her question, "I don't really know for sure, but I have my suspicions" he yawned, looking around. He looked over at a large oven and remembered about the fish he and Kuroku had caught earlier that day.
"Hey, did Kuroku bring in a rather large fish this afternoon?" he inquired still looking over at the kiln. "Yes, he did" she replied "did you catch it?"
"Yes and no" replied Tenshi humorously; "it sort of caught us as well"
"I was wondering why Kuroku was soaked" she smiled, and continued to perfect everything. Seeing that she was busy, Tenshi bid his farewell to Reika and headed towards the castle study.
He was about to enter Tomoe's study when he caught his reflection in a hallway mirror and his eyes went wide. His appearance brought new meaning to the word "mess" as he looked in the mirror. His usual unruly slightly spiked long hair, hung limply over his eyes and shoulders and had underwater plant life entwined within it, his clothes clung to his body, and there was mud all over him.
/Perhaps I should bathe and redress before I see Tomoe \\ he thought amused at his own appearance. He ran up to his room and quickly removed his sodden, dirty clothes and drew a bath. After a ten minutes of furious scrubbing to remove the dirt and grime, plus the strange smell from the lake bottom off of himself he emerged from the soiled water. He put on fresh clothes and brushed his hair.
Finally looking presentable, he casually walked downstairs and entered the study. He looked into the dimly lit room and saw Tomoe standing near the fireplace holding a glass of brandy in his long slim fingers obviously in deep thought. Tenshi was contemplating of whether or not to disturb the king's tranquil moment; deciding not to bother him, he was about to leave when Tomoe spoke up.
"Don't leave Tenshi" Tomoe ordered, Tenshi stopped and turned to see Tomoe staring at him, "I just thought you were busy" he explained. Tomoe smiled at him, "No, I'm not, I was waiting for you in all honesty" he confirmed, "Come over here" he said with an odd tone in his voice.
Tenshi obliged to Tomoe's command and sat down in a chair in front of a large oak desk. He shifted uncomfortably and waited for Tomoe to speak.
"Tenshi" he started, "you know about the letter that I received today, correct?"
"Yes, I was standing there when you read it and when you said you wanted to talk to me" he stated comically, which gained a scornful yet playful look from Tomoe.
"Good point never mind" he sighed and walked over to Tenshi, then pulled up a chair close to the younger one. He gazed into the boy's eyes and continued to speak.
"I have a small job for you Tenshi" he smirked, "I've seen how quick and agile you are, which is why I want you to be my guest at Yoake's"
Tenshi was taken aback a little by Tomoe's invitation, he kept wondering what his agility and speed had to do with anything but he decided to drop it for now. "I know what you're thinking" Tomoe said out of the blue, "You're wondering why I need you, correct?"
Tenshi just nodded his head and waited for Tomoe to finish what he was getting at. "The reason I need you" Tomoe began, inching closer to Tenshi, "is simple really, I need you to murder Yoake" he stated bluntly.
"What?" was all of an answer that Tenshi could think of saying, "I want you to kill King Yoake" he repeated
"I can't do that" Tenshi admitted standing up, "Why do I have to?"
Tomoe smiled at him, "the reason I need you to kill Yoake is because I know you can get the job done, and because you are one of the best swordsman and archers that I know," he said approaching the young man.
Tenshi just turned his back to Tomoe trying to absorb all the information that he was just told. /Can I really kill someone \\ he thought unhappily / It's not like I've never killed someone before, but another King, and if I got caught I wouldn't have my head anymore \\. He breathed deeply and continued his thoughts /but if I killed this man then he might have a family, what am I saying of course has a family \\
Tenshi was still trying to think of an alternative motive for going through with the murder, when he felt arms wrap around his body. He froze in shock at the physical contact from Tomoe; "If you're worried about being caught" Tomoe whispered into the other's ear, "don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you.
Tenshi still did not move as Tomoe continued "just do it at during the eve of his daughter's wedding, that way the more people that are around the better, more suspects" he suggested to the Chouwan, "Please Tenshi"
Tenshi felt his barriers break down and he submitted, "Alright Tomoe" he murmured "I'll do it"
***In the hallway***
Kodoku Ukai walked the halls of Rokushin castle in an attempt to locate Kuroku to ask him what time practice was to commence for sword fighting. He stopped when he heard voices coming from the study; he opened the door a little more and peered in and saw Tomoe with his arms wrapped around Tenshi, "Alright Tome, I'll do it" he heard Tenshi say.
/What is it he's supposed to do? \\ Ukai thought suspiciously, he watched as Tomoe turned Tenshi so that the young Chouwan was facing him, "Very good Tenshi, I know that you will do your best" Tomoe complemented.
Ukai continued to observe the two men, "You're very obedient and listen to your kings instructions" he whispered seductively, Ukai watched in horror as Tomoe cupped Tenshi's face in his hand and leaned down to kiss the seraph on the lips.
Ukai could feel hot tears rolling down his cheeks as he saw Tomoe kissing Tenshi, his heart breaking at the fact that he so badly wanted it to be him standing there with Tomoe. Not wanting to see anymore the nineteen year old sprinted down the hallway and out the castle all the way to his home, where he broke down in sobs.
/I'll get you for this Tenshi \\ he thought bitterly wiping away tears /Tomorrow you'll pay \\
***Back at the castle***
Tomoe wrapped his arms around Tenshi's slender body, he felt the boy tense at the sudden contact. Tomoe smiled inwardly when he felt Tenshi relax into his embrace.
"Alright Tomoe, I'll do it" he heard Tenshi murmur. He removed his arms from the seraph, turned him around, and looked into his eyes "Very good Tenshi, I know that you will do your best" he told the young man in front of him, "You're very obedient and listen to your kings instructions". Tenshi shuddered lightly at the seductively low voice that Tomoe had used.
Wanting nothing more than to touch lips with Tenshi, Tomoe cupped the Chouwan's face in his hand, he leaned down and pressed his lips against the shocked boy.
After a few seconds of kissing Tenshi, Tomoe could sense someone watching him, he shifted his eyes to the door and saw Ukai run away. Laughing mentally at the prepubescent, he encircled his arms around the other body and held it close.
While Tomoe was in ecstasy, Tenshi's mind was screaming at him, / iie, this is wrong \\ his mind cried out /Stop, STOP! \\. Tomoe slipped his tongue into Tenshi's mouth, savoring the sweet taste, which he believed, tasted like sugar and an assortment of fruit.
Tenshi, fearing what Tomoe might do to him, let the older man continue to kiss him, even though the desire to breathe was starting to cause his lungs to ache. The feeling became mutual for Tomoe and he broke the kiss panting slightly, feeling dizzy in the process. Tomoe looked at Tenshi's expression, and it was priceless, his face was slightly flushed and he looked surprised to say the least.
Tomoe broke the silence, "I wonder what time it is?" he asked the still dumbfounded young man, "dinner should be served soon". He turned and walked towards the window to see just how dark it was outside. The king looked back at Tenshi, to see the Chouwan touching his lips, which caused the man to smile.
"You can go if you like" Tomoe told the young man, who just nodded in response, "Oh, and Tenshi" the boy in question turned to him, "don't forget about what we spoke about"
Tenshi just nodded his head and walked out of the study up to his room. In the large lavish chamber he lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling wondering about what had just happened. Had he liked what Tomoe had done, was all he could think of at the moment.
There was a faint knocking at his door, he just turned his back to it and laid on is side, "Come in" he decreed; Kuroku stepped in and saw Tenshi laying on the bed, his long hair falling over his shoulders.
"Hey Tenshi!" he greeted as he sat down next to Tenshi. He just looked up at Kuroku and smiled, trying to put up a façade as to not worry the tanned man about his problems. Kuroku sensing something was wrong placed a hand on Tenshi's shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "What's wrong Ten?"
"Nothing's wrong Kuroku, I'm just tired that's all" he lied, he noticed Kuroku looking at something on his face, not understanding he asked the older man what he was looking at, "What?"
"What happened to your lips?" Kuroku asked concerned, Tenshi brought his hand up to his lips and realized that they had become slightly swollen from the pressure of Tomoe's lips against his. "Ah, would you believe me if I said I fell down" he asked uneasily.
"No, because I know that's bullshit" he stated "I know you to well, and you can't lie to me, so you might as well tell me the truth"
Tenshi laughed at Kuroku, which gained a stunned look from him, "What's so funny?" Kuroku asked, Tenshi stopped laughing in order to answer him, "I have no idea, I guess I find it amusing because you sounded like a father, that's all" he stopped talking when he noticed Kuroku's expression, it was sad.
/Oh no, what did I say \\ Tenshi yelled mentally at himself /Why couldn't I just keep my mouth shut \\. Tenshi's eyes began to blur with tears; he hated that he had made his best friend unhappy, so he did the only thing he could think of. He embraced Kuroku awkwardly, which caused Kuroku to gasp, the only time that Tenshi had ever hugged him like that was when he was younger and was scared, when he was sad, or even when the other boys were hurting him.
Kuroku didn't try to pry Tenshi off of him, in fact he liked that Tenshi could just embrace him or come to him with his problems. Since the first day Kuroku found him, the coldness and harshness he used to have melted that day when he found the little boy concealed in a bush crying and trembling. After that day he tried so hard to protect the child to the point where he would defy Tomoe just to defend the little guy.
Kuroku and Katsumi had contemplated having children before, but after little Tenshi came to them he never really thought to have his own. At first Katsumi had told him that she never really liked the fact that he was so devoted to the little Chouwan. That was until Tenshi, after three days living at Rokushin, he had become scared by a strange dream, and Kuroku had lulled him to sleep by singing a song that he believed he had forgotten.
It was after that scene and some time with Tenshi that Katsumi admitted that she was starting to fall in love with the little guy, and that he was almost like a son to her.
"I'm sorry" Tenshi whispered, snapping Kuroku out of his flashback. The older man looked down at Tenshi, the latter had his eyes shut tightly, and he could see tears in the other's eyes.
"Tenshi?" Kuroku spoke to the young man softly; "I'm not sad nor am I mad at you" he stated.
"You're not," Tenshi asked, "but, then why did you seem so sad about that father remark?"
Kuroku paused, did he really want to tell Tenshi that he was like a son to him and risk freaking out the young man, so instead he thought up the next best thing.
"I was just thinking about not having any children of my own" was all that he said to the Chouwan. Tenshi sat up and looked at his friend, "Well if it's any consolation, you're the only father I've ever really had," he said looking Kuroku in the eyes. He continued, "you have always been there for me, and got me through the hard times, so you are like my father, and I love you"
Kuroku smiled at the boy, now unafraid to tell him his feelings, "Tenshi," he started, "I love you like a son, and I'm glad that I found you". Tenshi's expression turned blank for a second, which scared Kuroku, but Tenshi's strange look turned into a rather large smile and he practically threw himself at Kuroku knocking them both back on bed.
"You may be my father, "he laughed "but I can still kick you're ass in archery" he said leaping from the bed. Kuroku sat back up and stared at the eccentric young man. "Yes, but are you as good with a sword as you say you are son?" Kuroku questioned.
"Well I think it's pretty obvious" Tenshi jeered "I'm the best". This caused Kuroku to laugh; Tenshi just stared at him pouting slightly which made the bronzed man to laugh even harder. He stopped laughing and looked at Tenshi, who just flipped him off playfully.
The two men heard a light knocking at the door, "Come in" they said in union. Katsumi entered with a small smirk on her face. "What is so funny?" she asked; the other two shrugged their shoulders, "nothing much" Tenshi told her bluntly.
"Okay then, you're obviously hiding something" he stated with a sly tone in her voice, "but now is not the time, Tomoe is wondering where you two are"
Kuroku and Tenshi exchanged glances, "Why?" Tenshi asked. "Why, because it is time for dinner" she stated.
***In the dinning hall***
Tenshi was absent-mindedly rolling an olive around on the fine porcelain plate with his fork. Once in a while he would raise his head at what was said, as not to be rude to their guest. There company consisted of himself, Tomoe, Kuroku, Katsumi, Kaia, Miyo Eikoh, Lord Eiri, Lady Eiri, Captain Daikyo, Mistress Hotaru the lord's daughter, and Sakon their priest.
At the moment Lord Eiri was regaling everyone with a story about a fierce battle that he was in. /I see war almost everyday, so why do I have to listen to it NOW! \\ Tenshi screamed in his mind. Tomoe looked over at Tenshi to see the contempt on his handsome face; he looked as bored as Tomoe felt.
Once Lord Eiri finished his tedious story, dessert was served to the large gathering of people. A delectably large tart was served; Tenshi just began to poke the cream on the top with a spoon inattentively, he did, however, hear when the conversation switched to him.
"So Tenshi" Lord Eiri began, "why are you allowed in the dinning hall?" The boy in question just looked at the other king confused. Eiri smirked at Tenshi's reaction, "What do you mean sire?" Tenshi asked. Eiri laughed at this question, "well isn't it obvious" Eiri stated. Tomoe looked at Tenshi seeing that he didn't understand, "Please elaborate for us" Tomoe asked with a hint of sarcasm.
"He's a Chouwan" Eiri stated bluntly; this statement shocked Tenshi, he felt anger rise up inside him as the discourteous king continued. "It's very kind of you to take in a Chouwan," he said to Tomoe, acting as though Tenshi wasn't even there, "those winged people are a disgrace to the human race, don't you agree Tomoe?"
"Well I don't share the same views as you do, but you're entitled to your opinion" Tomoe explained waving it off. Eiri nodded in agreement, but he still continued to badger Tenshi, because of his race and beliefs. The green-eyed youth could feel the vehemence rising in his body as he stared down at his plate. Every word that was said, seemed to echo throughout his mind, all the laughs and lewd comments that where thrown at him came to him clearer than the goblets they where drinking from.
Kuroku noticed Tenshi shaking slightly; the Chouwan's hair hung over his eyes, so he couldn't tell if Tenshi was crying or if he was completely infuriated with the disgusting comments about how a female Chouwan's only purpose to a human was to be his whore. The tanned man also noticed that the dishes around the twisted king and his clan where quaking lightly, and the more Eiri continued to insult Tenshi, the dishes movements got more violent.
"If you ask me" the horrendous man resumed, "all those winged bastards should be boiled in acid" With this remark, all the glass and crystal dishes shattered; the crystalline shards flying, slicing the delicate skin of Eiri's clan, and completely missing the six Taihen. Lady Eiri screamed in horror as blood trickled from below her eyes. Luckily for her the glass had missed her eyes, but her face was slashed all over from the crystal.
Lord Eiri was a little more fortunate, only his cheeks had been lacerated, while the priest and captain had similar yet deep cuts on their faces. Hotaru, oddly enough, was not injured, but her long golden hair had been cut off from a rather large piece of the glass.
Tenshi stood up from the table looking at the king; he had a cruel smile plastered on his face, which Kuroku had never seem before, nor had Tomoe. Eiri left his wife side to confront the violent young man.
"You son of a bitch" he hollered, "look at what you did to my wife" Tenshi looked over at the noblewoman and sneered, "I think she looks better that way, don't you agree" he asked. Meanwhile, Tomoe was getting a kick out of what the pale boy had done to the vexatious group /Heh, I didn't know Tenshi had an evil side, I like it \\ Tomoe thought whimsically.
Tomoe snapped back to reality when he heard Eiri yelling at Tenshi again, "You Chouwan's are all the same, you should be dead" Eiri yelled "I don't know what you did to the glass, but you will suffer for what you did to my court". Tenshi laughed lightly and slowly approached the sadistic monarch "It could have been worse Eiri. I could have taken this" he said picking up a lone piece of glass on the floor, "and gouged your eyes out; I've seen it done before, but that man was dead, and you'd be very much alive"
The other members of Eiri's court looked on aghast, as Tenshi dropped the glass and unsheathed his dagger from the small of his back. Eiri backed away from the deranged teenager; Kuroku was about to stop the Chouwan, when the boy lowered the knife.
"You say that I'm a disgrace, why, because I am not like you," Tenshi asked in a low tone "If you haven't looked lately then you'd realize that Chouwan's and human's have the same characteristics. So I'm not going to stand here and listen to some incompetent pig rant about who is better"
Tenshi just turned away from the cowering ruler, and exited out the room. Eiri and his court looked at where the young man left; Tomoe was smiling softly at what had commenced between the two. Eiri got up from the floor and demand Tomoe do something about Tenshi. Tomoe just glared at him, "Now why would I do that Eiri?"
The lord was startled at this answer, "Because he tried to kill me and my family" he screamed loud enough to scare Hotaru. Tomoe only shrugged his shoulders at the infuriated emperor "You had it coming to you Eiri, you insulted him, so you where the one who pissed him off". Eiri scowled darkly at Tomoe, "I thought you shared the same views about Chouwans, Tomoe?"
"Quite the contrary" Tomoe smiled, "I believe that Chouwans are exquisite creatures and are in dire need of respect. I believe that young Tenshi showed a lot of valiance to do and say what he did to you"
Eiri and his court looked at Tomoe with their mouths agape, "In fact" the Taihen leader began, "I never really liked you people". The Eiri's royal assembly made a noise of uneasiness, "GUARDS!" Tomoe bellowed; a half a dozen men marched into the dinning room and stopped behind their king. "Men, take these people and, oh I don't know, remove their heads from their bodies"
"WHAT!?" the monarch's screamed, causing Tomoe to chuckle at their reactions. "I see" Eiri smiled nervously, "you're only joking around..., right?" Tomoe snapped his fingers and the guards advanced on the small group, "no, it's not a joke" he said happily, "I was just amused by you're reaction that's all" The soldiers grabbed the people and dragged them out of the dinning hall to certain, if not obvious, death.
"YOU SICK SON OF A BITCH" Eiri screamed, "I'LL SLAY YOU FOR THIS TOMOE" The Taihen boss only waved it off, and looked up as one of the guards was about to leave, "Hey, I want to see their heads" he commanded, the guard nodded and left with the others.
Tomoe turned to a confounded Kuroku, Katsumi and Kaia, "Well I'm tired, so I'll take my leave, good night" he said bowing to his kinsmen. The three left in the room exchanged looks, all wondering what the hell had just happened here and what was wrong with Tenshi.
***Upstairs in Tenshi's room***
Tenshi sat down in front of a mirror and looked himself over. /What's so wrong with Chouwans? \\ he thought sadly, still staring at his reflection. He began to examine everything about himself; he smiled foolishly at himself.
He observed every little thing he could about himself; the young Chouwan was clad in a dark blue tunic and black pants, but he looked at the more important traits. He had pale ivory skin, pink lips, a small nose, and eyes, which he had been told, looked unearthly. He had to agree with them, his eyes where the colour of the lightest shade of green in a rainbow, maybe even mint. His hair was another enigma within itself; it was extremely long, unbraided it measured at 6'1, but Tenshi himself was only 5'11, and it was the same length as Tenshi when it was braided. The hair colour itself was as silver as the moon, and it had dark teal highlights throughout it; the reason for the odd colour and length had to do with the Chouwans, it grew three times faster than that of the humans and elves.
"I don't understand" he whispered to the mirror, "two eyes, a nose, ears, maybe not as long as the elves, a mouth, arms, legs, a body and a heart. I have exactly everything the humans have, and yet I'm still shunned"
Tenshi continued to stare at his reflection sadly, "Perhaps someday, we won't be judged based on our looks, race, or religion, but then again, you can't change the way society thinks"
Tenshi heard a knock at the door; he didn't even turn to it when he told the person to enter. Hearing the okay Tomoe walked into the room and saw Tenshi sitting in front of a mirror looking rather sad, /I should have never let that idiot come here \\ He walked over to Tenshi and sat down near him.
"I'm sorry" Tenshi whispered still not taking his eyes of the mirror, "I deserve to be punished for attacking your guests"
Tomoe smiled a real smile and moved closer to the Chouwan, "Don't apologize" Tomoe assured the boy, "he got what was coming to him, you had every right to do what you did to him"
Tenshi leaned back to look at Tomoe, "Are you sure?" the Chouwan asked, Tomoe nodded his head vigorously. Tenshi sighed and stood up, he was wondering what happened to the bastards that insulted him.
"I know what you're thinking" Tomoe stated, breaking Tenshi from his thoughts, "you're wondering what happened to the monarchs, am I right?" The young man looked at his king with an odd expression, Tomoe was getting to good at this guessing game; so good Tenshi had no idea that he was even playing.
"Yea" he said still astounded. Tomoe chuckled, "well let's say that being the "head" of a kingdom is hard work, so they're going to get a permanent sabbatical". Tenshi knew very well what he was saying, but part of him didn't want the rude family dead, but he knew better than to go against Tomoe's wishes.
Tenshi yawned loudly and stretched his arms over his head, "As much as I enjoy your company Tomoe," he said groggily "but I have basic training tomorrow morning and I need my sleep". Tomoe nodded "good idea, you have to be prepared for when you kill Yoake" "Right, thanks for reminding me Tomoe" Tenshi said with a hint if sarcasm. Tomoe stood up and walked to Tenshi where he, for the second time that day, kissed the Chouwan on the cheek and left. /Why must he do that \\ Tenshi thought /it always makes me nervous \\.
Shrugging it off he stripped his clothes off and went to bed. His dreams where filled with strange events, from fishing to the horrible dinner. Other than that he dreamed of his past when he was still with his family.
***Next morning, bright and early***
Sunlight streamed through the window, showering Tenshi in its warm rays. The young Chouwan groaned as the light poured into the room; he sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and stretched, hearing small cracks from his bones. He sung his legs to the side of the bed and placed his feet on the soft carpet. Getting up, he made his way to the bathroom and washed his face; after this he dressed.
Tenshi walked over to the mirror and sat down; unsheathing his dagger he took his long hair over his shoulder and began to cut it off. He watched as the silky strands fell to the ground. When he finished cutting the silver locks his hair now came past his shoulders. /hmm not bad \\ he thought looking at his work "Wow that's a lot of hair" he said looking at the pile of silver and teal hair that rested at his feet.
He began to pick it up when he heard his door crash open; looking up he saw Kaia standing there, her ice blue hair tied in a braid, wearing a dark purple tunic with a skirt, black leggings and long purple boots.
"What are you doing, Koto?" Kaia asked her best friend. Tenshi stood up and turned to her, "Don't call me Koto," he warned. Kaia gave the nickname Koto, meaning "thing", to him when they were seven as a joke, but she continued to call him it today to annoy him.
"Alright, I won't call you that anymore.. today, so what are you doing?" she asked again. Tenshi smiled at her, "I wasn't doing anything, just picking up my hair" he stated bluntly. Kaia wasn't sure if she heard him right, "What?" she asked.
He stood again and turned around placing the excess hair on the table. Kaia's eyes went wide when she saw him turn, all his hair had been cut off down to his back. "What happened to your hair?" she screamed loud enough that everyone downstairs probably heard her.
"Nothing, I just cut it off" he explained "I need a change, and now when I fight it won't get in the way anymore". Kaia looked at him sadly, "I know, but I still liked it" she stated softly, Anyway" she perked right up "we have training so let's go, we have to eat, get to the training area..". She continued to list off their errands as she walked down the stairs with Tenshi following in pursuit.
The two adolescents walked or more liked shoved each other through the door to the dinning hall where Tomoe, Katsumi, Kuroku and some other Taihen where sitting eating their breakfast.
"Sorry" they said together both sitting down; Tenshi was receiving rather strange looks from the others, understanding why they where giving them weird looks just started to eat. Eventually he looked up to see them staring again; he sighed deciding to make himself clear.
"I don't regret what I did to those people," he said quietly "they had no right to insult me the way they did"
"Very good point Tenshi" Tomoe spoke up, "I would have done the same thing if I were you". Tenshi smiled over at Tomoe, which caused the king to almost melt.
"But are you sure that you are okay Tenshi?" Kuroku asked concern evident in his voice. Tenshi smiled, "Yes I'm fine".
They continued to eat their breakfast, silence was all that was heard the majority of the time. It was when they finished that everyone left the castle to begin their training for the next day, when they would travel a full day to Yoake.
As the small group walked towards the training grounds, Tenshi could feel many pairs of eyes on him. He stopped, as well as everyone else, and asked what everyone was staring at. "Your hair" everyone replied together, Tenshi rolled his eyes at the stupid answer and ventured on.
When they all arrived, they saw that Ukai was already there, practicing his fencing techniques; Tenshi approached him and asked what time he had gotten here. Ukai replied with a scowl and turned away from the seraph.
Tenshi looked around and saw Yamato Ukai and his wife Hitomi off to the sides. /That must be Ukai's mother \\ he thought /she's beautiful \\; it was true, Hitomi Ukai was known to be one of the most beautiful woman in Rokushin, even though she was an elf. She had long blond hair, which framed her lovely porcelain skinned face; she had red lips and luminous blue eyes, which were often compared to Tenshi's.
Tomoe went up to a large platform and began to shout out what was to commence. He wanted whomever he had picked out for the trip to Yoake to fall in. Tomoe noticed Ukai and told him to come over; he assigned people to spar against each other. Kuroku, Kaia, and Katsumi all beat their opponents; it was then Tenshi versus Ukai.
Both men entered the ring where they were given swords; Tomoe waited for a few seconds and then commanded them to start. Ukai charged at Tenshi, but he easily dodged the infuriated young man. /What is Ukai's problem \\ Tenshi thought /he never fights like this, whatever it is can't be good \\
Ukai tried to slash at Tenshi's torso, but he moved back quickly enough to remain in one piece. Ukai made vertical slash but Tenshi brought his sword up blocking the attack. Their faces were inches apart, this gave Tenshi a chance to talk to him, "Ukai what is your problem" he asked through ragged breaths, "you're acting like a maniac"
"Shut up Hikari" he hissed "I saw what Tomoe did to you last night, I knew you liked him". Ukai arched his arm back and punched Tenshi in the face. The young Chouwan staggered back holding his nose, thankful that it wasn't broken; he looked up to see Ukai coming at him again.
/That's it, I'll teach him \\ Tenshi yelled in his mind. He ran towards Ukai and stopped the other's attack. The two men clashed swords, Tenshi was moving to quickly for Ukai to attack. The Chouwan dodged another futile attack from Ukai; Tenshi swung his sword and it impacted with Ukai's side. The older of the two fell to the ground gasping for breath; to ensure that Ukai was not killed by the blow, Tenshi hit him with the back of his sword. Tomoe began to applaud his love interest, "Very good Tenshi" the king laughed. Tenshi looked over at Yamato; he must have been telling Hitomi that Ukai had lost because she looked very sad.
Tenshi bent down and offered his hand to Ukai; on closer inspection, he could see tears of humiliation in his turquoise eyes. Tenshi gasped at what he saw, he didn't know that he would be so upset; he continued to hold out his hand to Ukai, but the older boy just slapped it away.
Ukai got up and trudged away from the training area towards the gates of Rokushin. Tenshi looked after him sadly; he had never wanted to hurt Ukai. He looked over at Yamato and Hitomi to see that they looked worried for their son, so Tenshi approached them to see if they where all right. When he stopped in front of them they gazed at him; Yamato didn't look too happy, but Hitomi smiled for she could not see he was a Chouwan.
"What did you do to my son?" Yamato asked, Tenshi didn't reply, he didn't really have anything to say, "I knew it, your type are always the same" he spat and walked away with his wife. He could hear elfin woman asking her husband what he was talking about but the older man didn't answer.
Eventually Kuroku, Kaia and Katsumi came over to him and complimented him on his skills, but he didn't hear them, he was too worried about Ukai and his mother.
The morning went by rather quickly and before anyone knew it, they where being dismissed by Tomoe. Instead of going home, Tenshi decided to take a walk through the market place and check out what people were selling. After a few minutes of window shopping, he found himself in the housing areas.
He looked around and saw the normal things; children playing, elderly men swapping stories, and women gossiping. Throughout his inspection he saw a woman walking into an ally, holding onto the wall for support. Thinking that she may be sick or injured he made his way over to help her.
When he got there he saw that it was Ukai's mother, trying to walk to her home. He slowly approached her and placed his hand on her shoulder.
"Excuse me Ma'am" he asked politely, "do you need help?"
She sighed, then laughed, "Thank you" she smiled "I would really appreciate that young man". He grasped her arm lightly and followed her directions to her house. He opened the door and led her inside over to a rocking chair that over looked the hills.
She smiled at him as she sat down; he was about to say goodbye when she ushered him to sit. "What is your name, young man" she asked quietly, he cleared his throat "Hikari Tenshi" he replied politely. She smiled, he noticed she did that a lot, she reached out and touched his face, which immediately turned crimson.
She started to laugh lightly, "Stop blushing" she giggled; he was shocked, how did she know. She continued to trace his face with her hand and fingers until she pulled away. "You're a Chouwan, aren't you?" she asked. He was surprised that she knew this and that she didn't recoil in disgust.
"Yes, I am" he replied, "how did you know". She smiled again, "I just know" she stated, Tenshi looked at her strangely, "why are you not disgusted?' he asked.
She leaned back into the chair and turned her head to the window, "I would never be appalled by something as beautiful as a Chouwan" he said respectively, "I respect the Chouwans, because they respected me, and they helped me when I needed it"
"What do you mean, helped you?" Tenshi asked curiously. Hitomi breathed in deeply obviously thinking. "When I was nineteen, I was with child" she started "I had accidentally gotten separated from my family and husband when we were coming home from Rikato"
She turned to where Tenshi was sitting and asked him if we was still there. "Yes I'm still here" he confirmed. She smiled and continued, "It was pouring rain outside and pitch black, I had absolutely no idea where I was. I was so scared, but nothing could prepare me for when I started to go into labor.
"It was hours and the baby hadn't been born and I was in immense pain; I was feeling my consciousness slipping away, but out of nowhere a group of people appeared in front of me. They picked me up and carried to a village where I gave birth to Kodoku"
She stopped and began to cry; Tenshi asked if she was alright, she just nodded, "I'm sorry, every time I remember the events of that night it still hurts", she said sniffling. Tenshi placed his hand on hers. "Tell me what happened" he requested
She breathed deeply and continued, "When Kodoku was born, he was suffering from complications, and it was evident that he was going to die. I begged them to do something, but no one had any idea what to do. I thought it was hopeless, but a man by the name of Genzai Sennen came fourth with a proposition. He declared that I give up one of my five senses but not by choice, the gods would decide"
She felt Tenshi's hand still on hers, which comforted her enough to continue. "When Sennen asked the god Kiseki, she told him that a year from now my sight would diminish gradually until I was totally blind. I said that it was fine with me as long as my son lived and Kodoku recovered. When I was about to leave a fourteen year old girl with long teal hair and green eyes came to me and gave me her pendant telling me that I would always be a friend to the Chouwans. I did eventually find my husband and he was ecstatic to see his son, but I never told him of my meeting with the Chouwans and the prophecy of imminent blinding"
"I want you to see again" Tenshi said suddenly, this statement shocked Hitomi, she was wondering how he could possibly help her when no one was ever able too. "Will you let me?" he asked, she nodded in agreement, trusting his judgement. Tenshi leaned forward and placed his fingers on her temples; he told her to close her eyes and not to open them at first and that the time would come to see.
Hitomi saw a bright flash in front of her eyes; colours she hadn't seen in eighteen years became visible once again and shapes and sizes began to become focused. She felt Tenshi remove his hands from her face, but she granted his wishes and did not open her eyes.
***Outside of the Ukai house***
Kodoku walked towards his home and stopped when he heard voices coming from his house. He opened the door and saw Tenshi sitting in front of his mother, "Hikari, what are you doing" he bellowed. Tenshi stood up quickly and backed away from Hitomi, whom still had her eyes closed. Kodoku pushed Tenshi out of the way and asked his mother if she was all right.
Tenshi took this chance to leave the mother and son alone. "Mother are you okay, he didn't hurt you did he?" He continued to ask questions, but he didn't receive an answer, because Hitomi realized it was now or never to see if what Tenshi did even worked.
She slowly opened her eyes; at first everything was dark, but it eventually began to get lighter, and things began to take shape. She blinked a couple of times, and for the first time in eighteen years she gazed into the eyes of her son.
"Mother are you alright?" he asked concerned at the fact that she was crying, she leaned forward and embraced her son. When she pulled away she saw Kodoku with a bizarre expression on his face which caused her to laugh. You're so handsome" she said happily touching her face, "I had no idea your hair was that shade of pink or that your eyes where turquoise"
"What are you talking about?" he asked, "I can see, baby, I can see," she cried. "What?" Kodoku screamed in astonishment, "I can see, there is a tree up on that hill, and I'm wearing a light blue dress, and there are clouds, they're dark, it looks like rain!" she exclaimed.
Hitomi grabbed her son's hand and ran out of the house; for years she had never seen the sky, the trees, the flowers, or even people for that matter. She continued to drag her son towards the large fountain in the center of the city, and looked around at the beautiful sights. "Oh my god Kodoku, everything seems so much more beautiful then I can remember" she yelled happily.
Kodoku was astonished /can it be true, can she really see \\ he decided to put it to a test, "Mother?" he tried to get her attention, "mother!" he said loud enough for her to hear. "Yes, sweetheart" she said turning to him, "Mother, how many fingers am I holding up" he said holding up three fingers, "Three fingers, Kodoku, THREE!"
She was acting just like a child, jumping around and singing, "Stop, stop, Mother, what colour is that girls hair" he said pointing over at two girls. She smiled at him, "which girl sweetie, the one with the shoulder length black hair or the one with the braided auburn hair?"
Kodoku looked amazed, "You can see!" he exclaimed embracing her, picking her up and swinging her around. Both had tears of happiness in their eyes. Hitomi practically danced with her son, she could see people looking at her oddly, but she didn't care now she could see their reactions.
After about twenty minutes of playing around, singing and jumping, she stopped. Kodoku asked her if she was all right, "Tenshi Hikari" she whispered. "What about him?" he asked. She looked her son in the eyes, it was then that Kodoku noticed that his mother's blue eyes had a green tinge throughout them now, "Kodoku, do you know him?" she asked promptly, He nodded in response, "Where can I find him?" she asked quickly. He swallowed and pointed over to the castle; she smiled and kissed him goodbye as she ran towards the castle. He just stared after her, wondering what it was all about.
Hitomi Ukai ran as fast as she could to Rokushin castle; she was determined to locate the young man that made her see once again. She stopped in front of the castle and knocked on the door.
"You don't have to knock, that doors always open" a voice said. Hitomi knew the voice and turned to see a young man with shoulder length silver/teal hair and stunning verdant eyes, standing there with his arms lazily crossed over his chest.
"Are you Tenshi?" she asked hopefully; he nodded and smiled at her, "You can see fine, right?" he asked. Hitomi approached the young man and looked at him closely. She had seen those very same eyes before on that young girl who gave her the pendant she wore around her neck.
"Ai Sennen" she whispered, Tenshi's attention became heightened at what she said, "That's my mother's name, how did you know?" he asked incredulously. Hitomi removed the pendant from around her neck and revealed it to him, "When I gave up my sight for Kodoku, she gave this to me, you're her son aren't you?" Tenshi nodded looking at the pendant; Hitomi grinned, "I knew it, here" she said handing the necklace to him, but he put his hands up in a gesture that it wasn't necessary, "keep it" he told her "she gave it to you, it symbolizes a special vinculum"
She stared at him for a few seconds and walked forward and embraced him, like a mother to a child. "Thank you, you don't know how much I value what you did for me" He hugged her back, "I did it for Kodoku, he loves you so much that it hurts him that you could not see" Tenshi sighed, "it's almost like he knows what you gave up for him".
She nodded, knowing exactly what he meant. The Chouwan kissed Hitomi on the cheek and told her to go back home. She heeded his words, and left the young man alone with his thoughts. He opened the door to his home and went to his room, where he took out his tarot cards and did a reading on himself. /According to the cards, I'll be faced with a terrible decision \\ he observed the cards closely /they must be referring to the thing with Yoake, but what's the purpose of the Akuryou card \\
After an hour trying to decipher the cards he left the castle and headed to the spring near the castle. When he got there he sat down under a large tree, just to bask in the warm sun and breathe in the sweet air. He turned his head when he heard rustling in the bushes; Ukai emerged and approached the Chouwan slowly.
"Hello Ukai" Tenshi said to the pink haired adolescent, " what are you doing here, I thought you were pissed off at me"
Ukai just lowered his eyes and kneeled in front of Tenshi. "My mother told me what you did" Ukai whispered looking the younger boy in the eyes, "oh?" was all Tenshi said. Ukai sighed and sat down, he began to play with the blades of grass, and pulling them out and letting the wind take them away.
"Don't do that" Tenshi murmured quietly closing his eyes, "you're hurting the earth". Ukai dropped the blades of grass quickly; there was an uncomfortable silence for the older Taihen, "she also told me that it was your race of people that saved me, "he said breaking the muteness, "and that it was your mother who gave my mother the pendant that she wears"
Tenshi mumble something incoherent in Chouwan; he kept his eyes closed, which was starting to irk the human. Ukai let out a growl of frustration and stood up, "I'M TRYING TO TALK TO YOU" he yelled. Tenshi opened his eyes and sat at, "What do you want to talk about" he asked quietly. Ukai settled down and sat in front of Tenshi again.
"Why did you do it?" Ukai asked grief evident in his voice; he waited while Tenshi thought about his answer, even though the Chouwan knew the answer the day he had learned about Hitomi's blindness. "I did what I did, because I care about you Kodoku" Tenshi replied to the awestricken youth.
Ukai was amazed at the new fact; he looked at Tenshi to see the younger boy staring at him intently waiting for an answer or a reaction. "I had no idea that you cared about me," Ukai eventually said "not many people would help me, especially not when I treated them so harshly growing up"
Tenshi smiled at him, "I don't help people because I feel obligated to do so" Tenshi started, "I helped your mother because I wanted to, and I know how much you love her". Ukai smiled at the other boy, he hadn't really felt happy around other people except his parents, until today "Arigato Tenshi"
Tenshi gasped, in the twelve years he had known Ukai, never once had he called Tenshi by his first name. "You're welcome Kodoku" Tenshi smiled; the two just sat there in silence for a few minutes when Tenshi remembered something, "Kodoku" he asked the elder, who replied with a "yea".
"Stay away from Tomoe" Tenshi told the other, "Why?" Ukai asked, "because I don't trust him and neither should you" the Chouwan clarified. For some reason Ukai chose to heed the seraph's word; he believed what the younger boy told him and now he was willing to put himself in danger if the Chouwan needed help.
The two boys remained silent, until they heard a strange sound coming from above them in the large oak tree. They exchanged glances, and were about to investigate when a person fell out of the tree and landed on Tenshi. Ukai stood up to help Tenshi when he finally noticed who had fallen on the Chouwan.
"Kaia" Ukai yelled, "what are you doing?" Kaia was still sprawled out over Tenshi, when she lifted up her head and smiled at Ukai. "I wasn't doing anything" she lied still on Tenshi. The Chouwan tried to sit up, but the vexatious young girl was still lying on top of him, "Kaia, get off me" he requested scornfully, he wasn't trying to be mean, he was in pain because his dagger was pressing into his back.
"Why?" Kaia questioned Tenshi's solicit, "BECAUSE YOUR HURTING ME!" he yelled in response. She quickly got off him and stood up; after practically digging the lancet from off his back he followed her example and became vertical again.
When Tenshi saw Kaia he glared daggers at her; she just giggled softly and walked behind Tenshi, and jumped on his back piggyback style. Tenshi sighed at her action, "what do you need Kaia?" he asked distraught; she giggled again and released her friend, "nothing Koto" she smiled.
"I told you to stop calling me that" he proclaimed, she mouthed a "sorry" and stood between the two boys. "Where you listening to our conversation Ishu?" Ukai asked, "Yes I was, and don't call me Ishu, Kodoku" she hissed then laughed. Both boys exchanged glances as Kaia danced around them; Tenshi finally grabbed her wrists to stop her jumping, she gave him a foolish smile that caused him to laugh.
"So when did you and Kodoku become friends?" Kaia asked Tenshi; the Chouwan looked over at Ukai to see the older boy with a bemused expression on his face. "We became friends today Kaia" Tenshi replied still holding onto her arms.
"Is that true?" she asked Ukai removing Tenshi's grip on her wrists; Ukai nodded smiling, "Yes, it's true we're friends" he said putting an arm around Tenshi in a friendly gesture. Kaia rolled her eyes at the two guys; it was then that she remembered what Tenshi had said to Ukai about Tomoe.
"Hey Tenshi" she said getting the Chouwans attention "why did you tell Kodoku to be wary of Tomoe?" Tenshi stared hard at Kaia before responding, "I don't trust him, and I don't think that you should either" he said in a low tone that sent shivers up Kaia and Kodoku's spine. His expression soon changed back into a bright smile; he walked over to his two friends and wrapped his arms around both of them.
"Since Kaia and I have to leave tomorrow," Tenshi said cheerfully "how about we have some fun"
"Fun?" Ukai asked curiously, Tenshi only nodded his head and began to walk away from Kaia and Ukai. "So, you up to it?" Kaia ran up to her best friend and nodded enthusiastically. Ukai shortly followed them. "So where are we going Tenshi?" the older of the three asked. Tenshi turned to his newfound friend "I know a place, and the darker it gets the better" he replied mischievously. The other two just continued to follow the Chouwan.
Tenshi led the two humans up a large hill; he stopped in front a lot of trees and bushes, which looked like a wall. Tenshi pulled away the shrubbery and removed a large rock out of the way. He crouched down and walked through the small tunnel, with the others following after him.
When they emerged out of the tunnel, the other two were in awe. They appeared to be in form of paradise. There was a huge waterfall, plant life everywhere, and occasionally fireflies or birds would fly by.
"Wow, this is beautiful Tenshi" Kaia said looking around in awe, which was mutual for Ukai. "Why did you bring us here?" the rose haired boy asked. Tenshi just smiled and shrugged his shoulders, "how else are you suppose to fly without a high cliff to jump off". The two humans looked at him oddly as Tenshi began to remove the top of his tunic, to show a beige shirt underneath with two slits in the back.
The other two adolescents didn't even have time to ask Tenshi about his shirt when they saw why it was the way it was. Tenshi stood there in front of his friends, two large chaste wings were spread out behind the Chouwan. Both humans looked in veneration and approached Tenshi as if he were a delicate doe. Kaia brought her hand up and traced the white wings with her fingertips.
"Amazing, they feel silky" she whispered placing her palm on the soft down and raking her hands on it. As she did this a white feather fell into her hand, "oh no, Tenshi I'm sorry, I didn't hurt you did I?" Kaia asked panicking. Tenshi only smiled and pushed the hand with the feather back to her "keep it, my mother told me once that if anyone that's not a Chouwan has a feather, then it will bring them good luck".
"Thanks" she replied holding the feather lovingly. Ukai looked at the actions displayed between the two; he then looked at Tenshi /How can people be taught that something as amazing as Chouwans, are revolting \\ Ukai thought to himself /They're so ethereal \\
"Hey, Kodoku" Tenshi snapped his fingers in front of the older man; Ukai snapped out of it and asked what he wanted. "Nothing, you where just spaced out" Tenshi clarified. The Chouwan walked over to Ukai and told him to hold onto his back. Ukai obliged and wrapped his arms around Tenshi's neck; after this the seraph picked up Kaia and stood near the edge of the cliff.
"Tenshi what are you doing?" Kaia asked nervously, but she never received an answer because Tenshi had already jumped off the bluff and began to soar through the air. While Tenshi flew Kaia and Ukai were having the time of their life, "Oh my god, this is incredible" Kaia squealed in surprise. Ukai replied with a laugh; Tenshi was smiling at how much fun something so simple to him, could be such a joy for someone else.
After a while Tenshi was starting to get a little tired. He became vertical and landed on his feet near the lake. The other two climbed off of him and landed in the soft grass and were now laughing happily. "Wow, that was fun" Ukai spoke up "you're lucky you can do that any time you want Tenshi"
"I guess" Tenshi said lying down on the grass and staring at the stars, the other's followed his action. The three people lay in the lush green grass and gazed at the stars for what seemed like hours.
/Are you up there mother, father? \\ Tenshi asked in his mind /Was it you two that helped with everything that I was able to do here today \\ Tenshi knew he wouldn't get an answer, but he liked to think that somewhere his parents were watching over him.
It was around ten at night when the trio went back to Rokushin. They walked in silence and stopped when Ukai's house came into view, "well, I have to go now, my mother's probably wondering what happened to me". They all said their good-byes and went their separate ways.
Tenshi and Kaia practically dragged each other into the castle and went up to their rooms. When they got up to the second floor, Tomoe was waiting at the top of the stairs for them. "Where were you two?" he asked icily. The two teenagers just stared at Tomoe and exchanged glances to each other; "We were just out with Ukai" Tenshi said bluntly.
"Kaia" Tomoe said addressing the gold-eyed girl, "leave, I need to speak with Tenshi alone" Kaia obliged and proceeded to her room. Tenshi walked into his room followed by Tomoe. When they both got in the room Tomoe closed the door behind him. He approached Tenshi and struck him across the face. The impact caused the Chouwan to fall to the ground; Tenshi sat up holding his jaw, grateful that it hadn't been dislocated and he had tears stinging his eyes.
Tomoe saw the tears; he picked Tenshi up roughly and threw the younger man onto a table and pressed a knife to the other's throat, drawing blood as he did so. "I hate weakness" the deranged king hissed, "be a man". Tenshi could feel the cold steel pressing down a little more on his neck, panicking Tenshi did the only thing he could think of. He kneed the king in the groin, causing Tome to stagger back, hunched over slightly trying to get feeling back.
Tenshi got off of the table and put his hand on his throat; he could feel blood trickling down in his hand. He looked over and saw Tomoe straightening up and approaching him again. Tomoe stopped in front of Tenshi "Well, it's about time you get some balls" Tomoe laughed, which actually scared Tenshi more than anything. Tomoe became serious again and removed Tenshi's hand from the laceration on his neck. The king made a "hmm" noise and removed a long clothe from his tunic; he gently wrapped it around Tenshi's neck, not to tight to cut off air but just enough to stop the small amount of blood.
"There, better?" Tomoe asked as if what went on never happened; Tenshi only nodded, which hurt due to the cut. "Now, for the real reason I hit you, which I'm sorry about by the way" Tomoe said the last part with sincerity, he embraced Tenshi and whispered in his ear, "I don't want you to mingle with Kodoku Ukai anymore, alright". Tomoe continued to hold onto Tenshi, which was becoming painful for the Chouwan.
"No" Tenshi said soberly, "I will continue to be friends with Kodoku, regardless of what you say Tomoe". The king removed his arms from around the young man and stared at him coldly "very courageous Tenshi" Tomoe said solemnly "fine, you may remain friends with Ukai, but not around me, in other words don't bring him back here"
"Yes sir" Tenshi replied as Tomoe walked out of his room. After the king had left, Tenshi flopped down on his bed; fatigue was quickly taking over him, but he still smiled at all he had accomplished today. /I made a friend out of Ukai, after all these years I finally find someone I can talk to \\ he yawned loudly and smiled, it wasn't like him to make a lot of noise. /Kodoku is easy to talk to, and so is Kaia, but sometimes she's so strange, hmm, oh well, everyone is different in their own way, no matter how weird they may be \\
Tenshi felt the effects of the day's activities gaining on him; he closed his eyes and rolled over onto his stomach, and clutched a pillow in his arms, resting his head in his arms. He fell asleep instantly, looking like a child as he slept; his dreams were filled with odd images and a large group of people in what looked like a temple. Through the whole eve, Tenshi slept serenely with memories of his past.
Kaia Ishu awoke to the sound of birds chirping by her window; she quickly leaped from the bed and dressed to wake Tenshi up. After she became presentable to the world, Kaia left her room and walked down the hall to her childhood friends room. She was about to open the door when she heard someone clearing their voice behind her, "Kaia, what are you doing?" Eikoh Ishu asked. Kaia turned and smiled nervously at her father, "I'm not doing anything" she stated.
"Yea right" Eikoh said pointing down the stairs, "go, leave Tenshi be, it's still early". Kaia huffed in response and walked down the stairs, with her father following. When she arrived downstairs, she thought about Ukai /I should go see him, and bring him back then he can wake Tenshi up for me \\ she thought evilly, in her case playfully.
Kaia yelled to her father that she would be back in a few minutes, but before Eikoh could reply his daughter was already out the door. "What a strange girl, she must get it from her mother" he said aloud, "I heard that" Eikoh turned around to see his wife standing there; he let out a ridiculous laugh and walked away rigidly; his wife just rolled her eyes /That's where Kaia gets it from \\
***Outside the Ukai house***
Kaia ran the streets of Rokushin, towards the Ukai house; when she got there she knocked on the door, "Come in, the door's open" a woman's voice rang out. Kaia opened the door and saw Kodoku, Hitomi, and Yamato eating their breakfast, "Oops, did I come at a bad time?" she asked tensely. Hitomi only smiled at her, "no, of course not Kaia, come in". Kaia entered the house and sat down near Kodoku; she leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Tenshi and I are leaving this morning, are you going to see us off?" she whispered, Ukai nodded and stood, "we'll go now" he said.
"Go were?" his father asked, "to see Tenshi and the others off" Kodoku replied to his father, who gave him a confused look. Yamato was never fond of the Chouwans and he always encouraged his son to stay away from them, and that included Tenshi, but he decided to leave it alone.
"Wait Kodoku" Hitomi commanded, Ukai stopped in his tracks and turned to his mother, "Yes" he asked still standing in an odd position. Hitomi pointed to his plate; there were two buns still sitting there, "you can't leave until those two buns disappear" she decreed. Ukai surrendered to the glare his mother was giving him, and picked up the two rolls; instead of eating both he shoved one into Kaia's mouth.
"HEY, ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME" she yelled, which caused Ukai to go into a fit of laughter, "maybe" he laughed. Hitomi just shook her head and dismissed them; the two adolescents left the house and made their way to the castle.
Kaia and Kodoku quickly walked down the halls of the large palace towards the stairs. However, they were stopped by Tomoe, "what are you two doing?" he asked grimly, looking between Kaia and Ukai. He noticed that Ukai no longer stared at him longingly like he had before, instead Ukai was anxious to leave more than anything. "We were going to wake Tenshi up, your Excellency" Kaia said to the king soundly. Tomoe nodded his head and dismissed the two; he stopped Ukai and asked him why he was suddenly friends with Tenshi, "He helped me out" Ukai replied nervously. Tomoe only scowled at the youth and walked away. Ukai shrugged it off and ran after Kaia; she was waiting at the top of the stairs looking rather impatient. He only smiled at her as she frowned at him, but then began to laugh.
After Ukai's little laughing fit, they entered the bedroom of Tenshi and saw him laying face down in the pillows, still completely clothed from last night. Kaia approached the sleeping Chouwan, and lightly tapped his head; he groaned and shifted a little, but he didn't wake. Becoming annoyed Kaia rolled him over onto his back and straddled her hips on him.
She leaned down towards his ear, "Tenshi" she whispered "WAKE UP!". Kaia leaned back as Tenshi came flying upright almost butting heads with the girl on top of him. As soon as his vision was clear he saw Kaia sitting on him; he let out an exasperated sigh, "Kaia, what are you doing?" he asked as she smiled at him. "Nothing, just trying to wake you up, that's all" she replied exuberantly to the indolent teen. Tenshi tried to lay back down, but Kaia grabbed the collar of his shirt to keep him upright.
"Come on, you can't sleep, we have to go soon" she whined "it's already seven o'clock". Tenshi nodded sleepily and dragged himself out of the bed. He looked around and finally noticed Ukai standing by the door, "Hi" he said, finally acknowledging the rose haired boy. Ukai waved back and walked over to the other two.
"Come on Tenshi, you have to get dressed" Kaia continued to complain, crossing her arms over her chest. Tenshi just asked why, which further infuriated the blue haired girl, "because if you don't then I'll have to dress you myself" she hissed. Tenshi got off the bed and strode over to her, "you'd like that wouldn't you Kaia" he whispered seductively leaning close to the girl.
Kaia blushed crimson and turned her head away from Tenshi, "stop fooling around and hurry up" he said, pouting slightly. Tenshi ran over to the dresser and retrieved a change of clothes; he quickly began to strip himself of his soiled garments in front of the other two.
"What are you doing" Kaia yelled at him, he turned to her and furrowed his brow, "I'm getting dressed, like you told me" he stated matter-of-factly. "Yes, but in front of us" she motioned to Ukai, who was looking Tenshi over as the latter pulled on his pants. "Well, you're in my room, where am I suppose to go?" Kaia realizing he was right, ushered him to finish dressing.
After this Kaia and Tenshi went through their usual routine, consisting of eating breakfast; they now began to pack up their belongings for the trip to Yoake.
***Near the gates of Rokushin***
A large group of people led horses out of stables and hitched up carriages for their long journey. From the castle walked the leader of the Taihen and his followers. Tenshi found his gray dapple horse and mounted it after tying down his belongings. Kaia followed suit, climbing up on her brown appaloosa; Katsumi mounted her white stallion, and Kuroku climbed up onto his horse. Tomoe made sure everything was in place and that they weren't missing anything, before he mounted his pitch-black steed.
The band of Taihen were about to leave, when Ukai and Hitomi came up to Tenshi, "Hey, Tenshi, here" Ukai said holding a cage to him. Inside the cage was a dove. "What's this for?" Tenshi asked looking at the bird. "It's a messenger, so in the week that you're gone, you can send messages back and fourth". Tenshi smiled and thanked them. Hitomi hugged the Chouwan and kissed him good bye.
After everyone was done exchanging their farewells, the Taihen group left Rokushin and advanced towards Yoake. Through half the way there Tenshi could feel the tension of his impending job, the sheer thought of it sent shivers down his spine. As they rode on, Tenshi was debating with himself on whether or not to go through with the horrible deed. Little did he know that this very dispute would become more than a bad dream, it would slowly turn into a nightmare.
End of chapter1