by Nishiwaki Junzaburou
the south wind a gentle goddess came.
soaked the bronze, she soaked the fountain.
soaked the swallow’s belly & its feathers of gold.
hugged the tide, lapped the sand and drank the fish.
she soaked the temple, the bath house, the theatre
confusion of her platinum lyre –
tongue of the goddess – secretly
skull is formed by 2 sets of bones. The cranium encloses & protects the
fragile brain tissue. The facial bones hold the eyes in an anterior position and
allow the facial muscles to show our feelings through smile or frowns …” A
squeaky giggle pierced the solemn atmosphere like cutting butter with a blunt
knife. Tokiya cringed at the sound, peeping from the corner of his forever-thick
biology book, he saw a group of girls diligently studying. Studying about him,
Tokiya Mikagami, the only boy in the course in the top 10 list of the entire
university. “Will they ever grow up?”
Tokiya! There you are!” said his friend, Ken Sanada. “My.” Peering over
his shoulder. “Studying the body’s skeletal system. So hardworking.
Man, I would just LOVE
to be in your shoes. To have your brains,” pushing the book down. “And your
looks. Hi ladies!” He greeted the ‘adoring fans’. “Would you like to ..
HEY ! TOKIYA! LET GO ME, WILL YOU? OUCH!” He rubbed his sore butt. “You
don’t have to drag me all the way to the other end of the room! If you don’t
want to see the chicks, then at least let me have the responsibility of taking
care of them for you.”
that you could tell them all about me while you savoured their attention.”
makes you think I would such a thing to you?”
you are my roommate and that makes you a valuable source of information.”
I think that I would ‘betray’ you?”
come on, every guy in the campus is dying to be like you. You practically have
every girl’s attention on you. I’m just trying to introduce to you some of
your secret admirers since you only talk to your little godsister, Yanagi
for the last time (How many times have I
say this phrase, so far?). Those ‘chicks’ are not my type and I do have
anything to do with them. Also, I don’t have any interest in the girls in the
sighed Ken. “I guess that you are also not interested in the new girl in
campus today. Everybody is talking about her. I heard that she has long shining
brown hair, blue eyes, pink lips that makes a guy do anything to kiss them. And
OH MY GOODNESS, SHE’S OVER THERE!!!” He roughly turned Tokiya’s head to
the right. His fingers shook with excitement. “Thank you from above. I can’t
believe it! She’s standing right in front of me!”
young lady dressed in a white, long-sleeved blouse and lavender blue jeans stood
a shelf. Her hair was tied in a ponytail. Slender long fingers flipped each page
of a book lightly. Her eyes intensely glancing.
my soul! She’s more beautiful than I thought. My hair is so messy. Can’t let
her see me in such a state. Ken
whipped a comb from one pocket and a mirror from another. Mustn’t
let this opportunity to slip away.. Opps!
In the mist of his panic, the mirror slipped from his fingers and fell
right to the ground. No! The sound of
the broken mirror caught the lady’s attention. She looked up and turned right
at the direction of the boys. How could be
I so careless? This is so embarrassing. What will she think of me?
scattered into pieces. “WHAT!” He yelled at Tokiya. “How do you know her
name? I DIDN’T tell you at all. DO YOU KNOW HER? ANSWER ME, MISTER ..(POW!)”
Tokiya slammed the book at his face. “Return for this for me, thanks.”
whimpered Ken while Tokiya’s ‘fans’ digested every single detail of the
What are you doing here?”
studying the same course as you are, Tokiya. And we will be in the same tutorial
class? How do you know which class I’m in?”
Your name and class was mentioned in the top 10 list,” She smiled. (Ken
started to drool) “You seem to be popular here as well.”
Well, I don’t care about such things,” He smiled back. (A few girls fainted
on the spot) “Have you visited all the places in campus yet? I show you around
if you like.”
you? Thanks a million. I’m so afraid that I might get lost or something.”
won’t.” He held out his arm. “May I?”
you always this charming or you are trying to impress people?”
I always believe a lady should always be treated as one no matter what is the
situation. Shall we?”
She blushed slightly, wrapping her fingers around his firm arm.
the click of the closed door, the whole room was in total uproar. Most of the
fans cried or tore their hair. A few boys smashed their head with thick books.
Ken merely groaned and muttered something about some guys have all the luck. A
librarian silently gave 20 bucks to her colleague who smiled gleefully.
for showing me around. I hope that I didn’t give me too much trouble.”
not at all. Besides you should familiarise yourself with the surroundings as
soon as possible because you’ll be on your feet when projects are given out.
So, do you live in Tokyo?”
I live at Hokkaido. I moved to Tokyo when I was ten. My brother thought that it
would be better for me to live with my cousin than to be with him.”
your parents, they have …”
away, I was told that my mother died after giving birth to me and my father died
a year later. My brother hardly spoke of them because such questions would make
him very sad.”
how’s your brother doing?”
.. .. working at a factory right now. He’s doing fine. I’m hoping to receive
a letter from him soon.”
see. Here we are, back at the library.”
you once again, Tokiya.”
welcome. If you need any help in your studies, feel free to ask me.”
for the offer. You better not help me too much. I might kick you out of the top
doubt that,” laughed Tokiya. “On the other hand, I should take you
seriously. You could be a potential rivalry.”
bet!” smiled Umi. Crystal blue eyes looked deeply into Greyish-green eyes. They
looked so gentle, like the first day we met. So kind and gentle and yet, so sad
eyes looked so clear. Endlessly clear and so pure. My angel.
he asked dreamily.
are you looking at?” Umi waved her hands about his face.
Who? Me? Nothing. Nothing ..,” he turned his face slightly, feeling a warm
tingle on his cheeks. “So, ah… ,” regaining his composure. “So, you are
living with your relatives?”
(yes). I live with my grand aunt. It’s just a few blocks away.”
desu ka. (I see).”
going to the superstore to get something. Would you like to join me?”
Hmm.. gee, I don’t know since …”
he has lots of revision to do, “ cut
in Ken smoothly. “As one of the top 10 students, it’s their curse to spend
hours studying and revising to maintain their position. Books are their only
companion since they hardly or even never keep in contact with their human
species, especially with the opposite sex. In case you didn’t know, Tokiya is
not interested in women. He shows no reaction at the sight of pornography. There
might be a slight possibility that he could be gay. As for me, a totally
available, single, handsome guy will show you how to get the sexist clothes at
an incredible discount. Asking Tokiya would probably be a waste of time and
effort for youthful women like you. After all, youth is very IMPORTANT for women
to attract men expect this one here. Furthermore …”
you are ready, Umi.” Said Tokiya hastily, giving Ken the
Just stand here and let me put my stuff in the locker, first. OK?”
dokey. Take your time”
is it alright that I come along?”
gave Ken the Look.
OK, I got the picture. You two want to be alone. Since you have a girlfriend
now, does it mean that I could have your fans?”
the hospital ward, B423, Raiha was sitting beside Fuko, holding her hand. The
rest are waiting at the operational room. From the doctors said, Recca has 50%
chance of survival.
stroked Fuko’s head gently and slides his fingers down her left smooth cheek,
this is the first time he ever seen Fuko easily defeated like this before. She
was much stronger than that. At the Urabutousatsoujin, she had survived 2 deadly
blows from the laser fence during her battle with Gashakura and even wanted to
continue fighting with Magensha. Not to mention Mikoto’s poison.
seem to outgrow her teenaged tomboyish figures into a mature and shapely woman.
Her hair had grown longer now and was plaited. However, the young and energetic
spirit which was still engraved in her. Yanagi told him that Fuko was intending
to be a field biologist, sight curl was formed at the corner of his lips. He
could image her in shorts and tee shirt, compact and athletic, with her purple
hair pushed up on her forehead with dark sunglasses, perhaps using Fujin to get
her out of trouble. Fujin. … That
was the first thing that caught his attention. Frankly speaking, he was never
interested in the Hokage except for Recca since he was Kurei’s brother. It was
during when her battle with Fujimaru, when he saw Fujin in her possession. He
was pretty impressed that she could combine the Demon’s claw with Fujin and
she could survive the rest of the Urabutousatsoujin without the ore of Fujin.
Not pretty impressive, very impressive.
had been about 4 or 5 years since they defeated Mori Kougan, since they parted,
at the valley where they watched Mori Kougan’s SODOM being burned to the
ground, under the dark and silent night …
over, right Raiha? The Heaven and Earth moudough .. Mori Kougan.”
together with his clones. They are all dead now.”
finally over,” she gave a sigh of relief. “I think that I will miss all the
fun when we get back at school.”
You were nearly killed a few times.”
know, but I can tell you one thing. Having Fujin is the best thing that ever
happen as well as meeting you. What are you going to after all this?”
usual, I’ll follow Kurei wherever he goes.”
why? I thought that the Uruha has disbanded already.”
Looking at his hand.
You said that before, what does it mean?”
a blood oath that Neon, Jisho and I made. The oath to be loyal to Kurei
that was during the Uruha. Now, it’s disbanded. This oath doesn’t mean a
to me, not to Neon and Jisho as well. Even though Jisho is dead, he still serves
Kurei by becoming his flame. I will do the same thing too.”
why? What would you do then?”
don’t know, but I’ll be okay. I’m a ninja, you know.”
know that! But what else can you do?”
do you suggest?”
Stay in Tokyo, with us, with me. I don’t know what to say this nicely but I
really like you, Raiha.”
like you too, Fuko but if you have mention some place other than Tokyo. I would
stay with you.”
do you say that?”
nothing. The lesser you know, the better. I have to go now and catch up and
Kurei & Neon. They are waiting for me ”
you write? Just to let me know that you are alright?”
likely not. Like I said, the lesser you know, the better.” He touched her
shoulders. “You know, you are the first woman that has ever caught my
attention. After this, you must study hard and lead a peaceful life. Having a
moudough is not all as glamorous as you think. Can you do that for me?”
.. sure,” said Fuko in a awkward way. Raiha could sense that she wanted to say
more. He quickly let go of her and said, “Goodbye.” Turned around and walked
into the darkness.
That was the last word he said to her. Just goodbye? He could have said more
than that. He should have hug her and held her tight and tell her his feelings
towards that were locked in his heart. I like you too? No, he should have said I
love you, Fuko Kirisawa. Come with me. Come with me? Is that possible? He
wouldn’t like to ruin her promising future just to be with him. That would be
selfish, unfair and cruel to her. “Stay, Stay in Tokyo, with us, with me.”
Stay in Tokyo? He can’t do that. His oath to Kurei would be violated. What
oath? The oath to protect Kurei as the duty of a Uruha? The Uruha has disbanded.
Uruha does not exist anymore. The oath means nothing.
are lying to yourself, Raiha and you know it! You are just hiding the truth
behind the word, ‘oath’. You know that Kurei wants to lead a quiet life.
That was true. Since then, Raiha followed him and Neon to work as high school teachers. He was the school’s athletic trainer and a Japanese history teacher, Kurei taught Maths and Chemistry while Neon taught music and Japanese language to foreign students. He had seen the tremendous change in Kurei in those 4 years. From bitter, cold-hearted killer, to a broken, depressed man, to a warm, caring, loving husband. Yes, it can be clearly seen that Kurei no longer craved to become powerful no longer lives in hatred and revenge. He had learnt to forgive and let go, stop living in the past and go forward in the future. Yet, old habits die-hard. He was still a Hokage and whatever concerns the Hokage, concerns him.
Kaze Yousei guy. Who is he? From the Akatsuki Clan? Who are they? What do they
want? What could Kaze Yousei possibly want with Fujin?
fated it is that this moudough would bring them together again.
was really puzzling that Fujin would turn against Fuko all of a sudden. Is it
possible that the moudough could do that? Kagero said that the one had to prove
oneself worthy to control the moudough, has Fuko become unworthy? Impossible ...
he felt Fuko’s fingers curled against his hand.
He leaned closer to her. “Fuko, can you hear me? Fuko, try to open your
eyes.” She’s recovered a lot quickly
than I expected. Seems like Yanagi’s healing power has improved during these 4
years. He squeezed her hand tightly. Fuko merely flicked her eyes and moved
her head slightly before falling into a deep sleep. Raiha smiled. Not
yet, I guess. She will probably wake up in the morning.
breeze of cold air playfully lifted his hair to one side and slide down his
neck. Raiha looked up and saw the ominous grey clouds approaching the lavender
rain.” He murmured. “Joker is not going to like this. Wonder how he’s
a chamber surrounded by exotic flowers, a small crimson spring was flowing out
from a horn-shaped statue. Hogosya walked towards the pink rose silk curtain,
knelt and placed a velvet cushion onto the ivory altar. On the cushion, laid an
orange glowing globe. A voice of running water said, “Hogosya, how’s Shiroka?”
resting in her room, my lady. She threw up a lot of blood after sealing Karyu
from Recca Hanabishi.” He looked up and caught a glimpse of a dark blurred
figure lifting her hand. The globe was lifted from the cushion, floated through
the curtain and landed onto her hand.
this is Karyu,” She stroked the globe gently. “I can hear their roar. Feel
their rage. The 8 souls of Hokage flame casters. That’s the price for having
the power of the flame if you are not an Akatsuki. Shiroka has more potential
than I thought, considering … that’s a minor concern. Hogosya, see to it
that Shiroka recovers quickly. Make sure that she has the best medical
treatment. You know how weak she was when she was a child.”
you wish, my lady.”
need not worry about the Kami no hitos. They are already here. When the time is
right, they will appear to us. For now, we have received news from Nichi Hato,
it seems like the disbanded Uruha are getting involved. A guy named Joker is
trying to get information about us. I seriously doubt that he would find
anything. We have warned Kurei about him getting involved. I think that it’s
time to give him a little warning message. I’ll leave it to you how it should
He bowed his head and vanished.
my child. You have proven yourself worthy to be the pure child of the flame. How
ironic this world could be.”
this rain,” said Neon, “it’s so depressing.”
is,” agreed Koganei.
responds from Tokiya or Domon?”
is coming soon but no answer from Tokiya. It’s too bad Eikai is destroyed. It
would be a whole lot easier finding him.”
the whereabouts of the Akatsuki. This will make Joker’s job easier too.”
I thought that the Uruha has disbanded.”
actually. There are still some of us who still desired to serve Kurei after the
disbanding. So Kurei still kept them just in case he needs them in times of
urgency. Like this. Even though, they are all over Japan, we still have our ways
of connecting them.”
You know, I thought that bakas would be together with Fuko after Mori Kougan’s
death. Didn’t expect him to leave her for 4 years.”
are not the only one. Besides, they are together now.”
time.” She rubbed his head. “And maybe this time, Cupid might do his job
he can also do something about Tokiya as well.”
raised her eyebrow. “Still thinking about Meguri Koyoza?”
still haven’t over the Mifuyu’s death and what Kai had told him. He was
extremely angered when he found out that Meguri was at SODOM and got away.”
has been 4 years and he haven’t change.” She looked at the heavy downpour.
“Such a rain can bring back bitter memories.”
up, Umi. Or else you’ll get soaking wet and catch a cold.” Tokiya dashed
towards the nearest shelter. He took off his jacket and wringed it tightly. I’m
soaking wet. He groans. A clang was heard. He looked down and saw Ensui
lying on a small of puddle of water. He picked it up and stroked its tip across
the puddle. A steady line of water followed it before splashing onto the ground.
glared at the sight. Bitter memories were flooding back … …
Tokiya was running towards the nearest shelter. Panting, he took off his jacket
and wringed it tightly, squeezing as much water as possible. I’m
soaking wet. He groans. A clang was heard. He looked down and saw Ensui
lying on a small of puddle of water. He picked it up and stared at it, recalling
what Mr Meguri Koyoza said a few nights ago.
your father’s sworn brother, I promised to look after you until you are old
enough to take care of yourself. But you have to make a decision as soon as
possible. Be my student and I will teach you to master Ensui. Only then will you
be able to take revenge for Mifuyu.”
for Mifuyu.” He grasped Ensui tightly. “Mifuyu”
kid, that’s a beauty you got that. I have never seen anything that sparkles so
brightly in a heavy rain pour.” Tokiya turned around and faced a bunch of
are you staring at, kid? This is our property and you are on it.
Therefore, you have to pay for us for using it.”
ridiculous. This place is public property. It doesn’t belong to you.”
your tongue, brat.” The largest thug spat onto the ground. “Either give us
something or we will give you something. From a kid like you, you can rarely
have any real cash or why don’t you hand over that sparkling thing you got and
we’ll let you off.”
It belongs to me. My sister gave it to me before she died.”
sister gave it to me before she died,” imitated a skinny thug. “So sad. How
did your sister died, boy? I bet she was a bitch and deserved to die as one.
What do you think, guys?”
did you say?” glared Tokiya.
look,” taunted the skinny thug again. “He’s getting angry. What’s the
matter? Did I offend you? Your sister must have tasted so good, so good that
every man wants to do it to her over and over again.”
if she screams, it will be like those of a whore’s.” Laughed other.
dare you ..” said Tokiya, trembling with intense anger. “How dare you insult
her? You will pay.”
you will pay for this.” Said the skinny thug. “I’m so scared, I’m
shaking. I’m shaking.. Did you hear that, little bastard? AAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!”
He fell to the ground, holding his leg tightly.
the matter?” His buddy asked him and noticed blood spurting out of a fresh
wound on the skinny thug’s leg. “Blood?”
that bastard kid!” screamed the skinny thug. “He’s got a knife!”
stood in the rain, panting and shaken with rage, in his hand was Ensui, stained
don’t believe it. How the hell did he do that?” stammered the largest thug.
DOESN’T MATTER! JUST KILL HIM!” yelled the skinny thug.
largest thug charged forward, swinging a chain around him and was thrown back
right into a tree.
who the heck are you?”
eyes widen. “Meguri – san?”
have pride and honour in my name. I don’t have to give it to a loser like
you.” Meguri pressed his hand against Tokiya’s and took Ensui away. “Let
me handle this, Tokiya. You don’t know how to handle a sword and you don’t
have the strength to carry one yet. But, I will make them pay for insulting your
sister. Now watch me. Let me show you the real power of Ensui.”
real power of Ensui.” Tokiya murmured. “Hmm? Where’s Umi?”
the middle of an open square, Umi held her arms high up and lifted her head up
towards the gloomy sky. She was smiling.
What are you doing? You are going to fall sick at the rate you are going.”
enjoying the rain. You can stand there if you want.” Umi twirled herself round
and round like a spinning top.
… the rain?”
Back home, my brother and I would always play in the rain. We would kick the
puddles and twirled ourselves round and round. Just like this. You should try
this, you know.”
rather not. People might think that you might be insane or something.”
It’s not unusual to do so. Don’t you know that Red Indians and African
tribes danced in the rain during the raining seasons? Didn’t you read in the
papers that the people in India all danced in the rain after experiencing a
severe drought? Dancing in the rain is not insanity. It’s welcoming the rain.
The rain brings life to all those who need it. The plants need it. The animals
need it. We need it as well. By welcoming the rain, I’m welcoming life”
know,” she walked up to Tokiya. “Maybe Ken is right, you spend too much time
with books than with human beings. Especially the opposite sex. Therefore.”
She grabbed hold of his hand. Tokiya flinched. “You have to dance in the rain
too.” She grinned.
no. No. I’m not going to do it. No way. No. Umi!”
on. You don’t have to do anything. Just let the rain lead you. The sound of
the rain droplets falling from the leaves and onto the pavements. Feel the
ground drinking in the life given to them.” She gently twirled around. “Just
listen to its song of life and let it guide you … …”
Tokiya stared in shock at the bunch of thugs sprawled all over the place. It was
amazing. He had never seen anything like this. So fast and impossible to
describe. He looked at Meguri, who was standing still, with his head lifted to
said, “you know something, I never thought that standing in the rain and make
you feel so alive. Just by listening to its song and letting it guide you.”
the first time in 10 years since Mifuyu’s death, Tokiya Mikagami felt alive.
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