*INSERT STANDARD DISCLAIMER*
It was a nice warm day. In fact it was warm enough that it seemed as though spring had finally come after a long winter. Even though I knew that spring was actually a few more months ahead and this winter we were all just getting lucky. But that didn’t stop this day from making me want to go out. It’s on days like this that I remember I’m no different from anyone else. I’m just your regular average guy, well except for being king I guess. ******* ********
It really is a nice day out today, hasn’t been this nice in, god I can’t remember how long. For the longest time it seemed as though a dark cloud was cast over this place. Still hurts to remember. I can hear birds chirping, isn’t it nice, I can just appreciate nature. My legs make a sudden turn in the opposite direction from where I know I should be going. Oh well, I’ve been working inhumane hours for the longest possible time. I’m sick of it, I have to go relax. A relaxed king creates a good kingdom. If I tell that to my younger brother though he’d just say that a too relaxed king corrupts a good kingdom. I know that in his heart he’s worried about me, but. Oh well, it’s a nice day out today. He’ll understand.
It really is a nice day………….
“An-chan!! Oyaji!!!” I’m seven and run enthusiastically to my father and older brother. An-chan’s the only one that’s older than me, he’s the oldest of us kids. There’s twelve of us kids all together. Most of us though have different mothers. My mom’s the second wife of dad, her status as a woman is only lower to An-chan’s Mom, dad’s first wife, and empress Kyouhi of Yin. My dad’s one of the four people that are only second in rank to the emperor. I really respect my dad, and An-chan is already falling in dad’s foot steps.
“What is it Hatsu.” An-chan smiles at me one of his big brother smiles. I’m his favorite brother, I know that since An-chan told me that in secret. An-chan says it’s because I’m so different from him that he likes me. I like An-chan a lot too. An-chan can do things that I never could like spend long hours studying to become a politician, or acting polite(I think he was born polite though).
“I found a dog!!” I smile and present to them the little puppy I found just outside of the castle walls. “I named him YinShuuKyou!!” I declare proudly.
“…………YinShuuKyou?” Dad asks me as he tries to comprehend.
“The names of the three tribes around here. YinShuuKyou!! Or should it be KyouShuuYin? ShuuKyouYin? ShuuYinKyou? YinKyouShuu? KyouYinShuu?” I ask dad. I know I want to name it from the three tribes. I don’t really care any order, it’s just that Yin, Shuu and then Kyou, that’s the way most people refer to the tribes in order, I don’t know why. “What should it be dad?”
“First Hatsu, do you even know if that puppy doesn’t have an owner?” An-chan asks me and I nod my head. “How?”
“There was this paper attached to his collar, saying that the mother had babies and his family couldn’t keep it. Can you please let me keep it? Please dad? Please!!” I beg my father and my father sighs.
“Promise to take good care of him.” Dad agrees with a smile and I smile back.
“How about ShuuKyouYin, the order of the tribes that live close to this area.” An-chan suggests and I smile.
“Great idea!! ShuuKyouYin, come now, I need to take you for a walk.” I take him up in my arms and walk out of the room. My first pet, MY FIRST PET!! I am SOOO Happy.
That was a really nice day, it seems to be the same day….
“An-chan…..why isn’t ShuuKyouYin waking up? Why is he still sleeping it’s already noon.”
“Hatsu….” An-chan pats my head as he watches me look over my pet and cry. I really know the reason why he doesn’t wake up. But I don’t want to admit it. “Things like this, happen. No one knows the reason why.”
“….Oyaji should know. He knows everything.” I say through sad tears.
“If he doesn’t then the king should!! And then the Senninn-sama should too!!” I cry.
“Hatsu!!” An-chan hugs me tightly. “These things….they just, they just happen. Even the greatest Senninn won’t know why they happen. And, I’m sorry, I just wish I could make things better but I can’t. No one, I repeat No one can return a life.” An-chan looks at me straight in the eye and declares.
“….but, but, why can they take it then?” I hold onto my brother for support.
“…….that’s just something you have to live with. Hatsu, taking a life, for what ever reason is bad. Remember this Hatsu. No one can return a life.” An-chan tells me again. “Repeat after me.”
“No one.” He says.
“No one.” I repeat.
“A life.” I say that and brake into more tears. “An-chan, An-chan, An-chan. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” I cry out loud while An-chan just sits there hugging me. I can’t let mom or Oyaji see me crying. I’m a boy and there for should not cry. But with An-chan, it’s okay, I’m allowed to cry. An-chan’s the only person who understands my way of thinking. I feel bad since I don’t understand his. I have my whole life though to figure it out, with An-chan always being there for me.
Yeah right, always being there? I guess in the spiritual sense I might have felt him a couple of times but in physical sense I couldn’t have been more wrong. He wasn’t there for even half of my life, and missed the biggest party of a life time.
“Chiinii-sama!! Chiinii-sama please come out!!”
“Hatsu-sama, please come out!!”
“I have informed your mother of this and she is most displeased!!!”
“Your family needs you now!!!”
I ignore all the voices yelling outside my door. I don’t dare open it and they can’t come in without permission. At times like this the power of a prince is nice……I guess this is all it’s good for.
I knew I should have gone to Yin. If I die, I know people would grieve but Seiki would still be peaceful, and under the good rule of An-chan. I knew I should’ve offered to go, it would have been the right thing to do!! And I didn’t and now I’m going to blame myself for the rest of my life over………
I take a deep breath to stop the tears from flowing. Even when I’m alone I can’t cry, I can only cry in front of An-chan. I hope the racket outside my room would stop soon.
“Stop it.” Someone orders. That voice sounds familiar….oh yeah, it’s Oyaji’s. I forgot, his voice aged while he was gone. I stood back while he made the public announcement about…….to the people. I hugged him when he came back, I mean, I did miss him and all. It’s just weird that…..he’s here and now……….
“Hatsu…” He calls to me behind the door. “I can’t say that I understand what you are going through. You and Hakuyuukou were always so close to each other. I do though understand the pain that we have both suffered a great loss. I wish though that you would at least eat something, not worry your brothers and sisters.” He requests. “Here are some of your favorite foods.” I hear something being placed on the floor and then footsteps that walk off, other footsteps following it.
Once I am sure everyone is gone I slowly open the door and pick up the bowl and chopsticks. It’s my favorite dish, like the one mom made for me on my birthdays. I like my mom, when it’s just her, me and Oyaji. When we’re around others it’s obvious that she’s after the position of first wife.
She never liked An-chan though. She was actually happy, saying now that I was the heir so she should become first wife. I didn’t like her when she’s like that. Heck, I didn’t like most of Oyaji’s wives. They were all just like mom, even the first wife was always snarling at me and glaring. I’m mom’s only child and An-chan was the first wife’s only child. I guess that made us seem closer since we’re the only children of our mom.
“……….An-chan……” I whisper and dig into my food. Blaming myself for all the bad fortune my family had to go through. I’ll blame and ridicule myself, and I’ll take all the grief. I won’t let mom become the first wife, not any one that dislike An-chan should. I’ll provide a distraction for my brothers and sisters so they won’t have to grieve as deeply. I’ll give everyone a distraction….I’m the only one who should harbor this guilt, after all I’m now the oldest of the princes and princesses of Seiki.
That was the time when I started hanging out around the bad district. Not bad in the sense of crime but lots of prostitution and gambling going on there. I think that’s when I started to indulge in my love for females, maybe I was looking for something that could make a female as ruthless as Dakki, to be able to perform such violent acts without so much as a flinch. Finding someone to explain to me the death of An-chan. That was before I met them.
I first heard of Taikobo’s name not from my family or my servants but from my sex friend in the local area. She was an okay sort, I mean, pretty plain but great to have in bed with. I liked her I guess, I mean in that sort of the way Oyaji liked all of his wives. So any way she was asking me questions about my family.
“How many brothers and sisters do you have?” She asked, as we both lay in bed, completely naked.
“hundred.” I reply with mild interest.
“Lucky. I’m an only child.” She comments.
“Yeah, well so am I to my mom.” Who doesn’t speak to me any more, claiming I brought shame onto her. Good, that’s what I intended but this woman doesn’t need to know that.
“Must be getting mighty busy down there with Taikobo-sama there.” She smiles and I am pricked interest by that.
“Taikobo?” I ask.
“You know, the doushi as well as military commander of Seiki that’s residing in your house, I’m sure you’ve seen him.” She states and I try to think back. I vaguely remember Tann mentioning something about a Doushi the last time he tried to talk to me. Tann had always been my third closest brother, dispite our major differences. An-chan ofcourse is the first, and this guy, Raishinshi who was taken away to become a Doushi long ago, was my second. Got off track there.
“Don’t know haven’t been back in nearly a month.” I’ve got an almost permanent room in the motel down the street, spend a lot of time there now, sleeping, eating, gambling, things like that.
“But you have to have heard the rumors. He’s the one suggesting that Kishou-sama be the next king. I agree with him completely, Chuuou isn’t fit to rule anymore.” She nods her head at that statement.
“Oh year, I think I’ve heard of that.” I reply again with very little interest.
“Come on Hatsu, if Kishou-sama does become king then you would become the next emperor” She states again matter of factly.
“Yeah, yeah I guess you’re right.” I reply.
“Kishou-sama is also very ill from what I’ve heard. Is it really okay for you to be roaming around here like you do?” She asked with interest and I shrug.
“I’m still sorting out things.” I reply.
“Like what? Don’t tell me you’re still dragging Hakuyuukou-sama’s death? I mean, sure he was smart, good looking, kind, but he’s been dead for how long now?”
“Two years, seven months and fourteen days.” I reply.
“…….Hatsu, let go, he’s dead.” She waves her hand briskly.
“I know….I just feel that I don’t know…..I just…..I don’t know. Just don’t make me talk about it ‘kay?” She nods at that.
“I should get going before my parents start worrying.” She gets out of bed and starts to dress.
“What, not another round?” I whine and she laughs as she finishes putting on her clothes.
“Sorry, but that talk just turned me off. Maybe some other time Hatsu.” She waves her hand and walks off. I stay in the bed awhile longer and think, before deciding to fall asleep. Maybe I should go back and talk to Oyaji, or maybe even Tann…..I haven’t seen Oyaji in about half-a-year and Tann in about two months. Maybe….later.
The afternoon of the day after that talk about Taikobo, I was doing my usual routine of hunting down women. As I was going after this cute babe this boy kept on following me, finally he blasted me with this wind thing. He showed me this picture of some guy I didn’t recognize but I recognized the writing of the name below it and the name.
It wrote Chiinii-sama, what I’m called by my siblings and the writing was Tann’s. I don’t particularly feel like going back to the castle now so I pretend like I’m not Kihatsu, and send him over to the café around the corner. Just as he’s about to leave, this kid, I recognize him as Bukichi, a reknown runner and elephant master of Seiki who also ran over my dad once, and something else that looks like a flying white hippo. I slowly try to back away, hoping Bukichi won’t recognize me but it’s too late. This meeting with Bukichi, his master, and that hippo, turned my life upside down.
“So, you’re Kihatsu. You look like a prince if you dress like that.” Taikobo pointed out and I just snapped at him.
“What is it to you anyways?” I ask annoyed and Taikobo just looks away. “Hey, you’re not telling me that I need to become king are you?”
“If Kishou can’t make it, then it is you’re duty.” He states.
“MY duty!! Hey, I didn’t ask to be born as second son you know!! If it was up to me I may not have been even his kid.” I yell at him and he just looks back. As we were glaring at each other this guy which I borrowed money from comes. He threatens to tell Tann if I don’t pay it. Damn it, I have no time for Tann’s lectures and certainly don’t feel up to them. As I’m wondering what to do Taikobo suggests a way to make money.
At first I thought I won’t get along with Taikobo, but turns out I got along quite well with him. I think it’s because dispite we were head figures of Shuu, we acted more like commoners. I was happy those first few months when I met them…yeah until…
“Oyaji, I’m here!!” I scream and call to him, hoping that it would slow the time. No, no it can’t be. There’s still so much I haven’t told him, so much I wanted to learn from him. Please…please….
“Hatsu….I’ll leave the revolution up to you.” He reaches for my hand and I grab it, telling him to trust me on this one. Please don’t let him go now. “Think of Taikobo as your parent and do what he says…”
“Kishou, the north has agreed to participate in the revolution.” Taikobo tells Oyaji. No don’t, he wont’ have any regrets than and would really go.
“Why, now there really is nothing left for me….” He closes his eyes and relaxes against his bed. No, no… “…Hakuyuukou…..you are right, I am a happy man.” No, no An-chan please….please don’t take Oyaji as well. No….no…..no…
“…….OYAJI!!!!!!!!” I scream and cry like a kid as he takes his last breath. It’s a clear blue sky outside. Same as when ShuuKyouYin died….. “……..Oyaji……”
I stayed like that until Mom came and tore me off Oyaji gently. It’s the first time in a long time she saw me. “Hatsu…” She whispered softly and brushed my hair out of my face. “Now you are king.” She declared and smiled so beautifully. “I knew my son was destined to be king, why if only that whore hadn’t stole my position as first wife you would have been rejoicing this moment for that you are now!!” I stop her rambling by slapping her.
“……you heartless….bitch!!” I scream and run off. Somebody please…please save me from this misery.
‘Hatsu.’ He would smile at me softly as a father. ‘Hatsu!’ he would yell at me when I did something wrong. ‘…..Hatsu….’ he would spend hours worrying about me. And I did nothing to reply to all of those years of love he showered on me.
“Oyaji……..” Lost to me forever now. I used to be a little better, my family was my world. But when An-chan died, everything changed, it seems as though my childhood died with him. I’m still not old enough though to take Oyaji’s death with grace, I’m still….not a grown up.
I don’t really think I’m still over Oyaji’s death. But I’ve gotten better, mostly due to this one guy that I hated when I first met him.
“I, Kou Tenka, will be your body guard from now on.” That night after Shuu was attacked by the group of Youkai Senninn, he came to my room and declared. I just stared at him.
“Huh?” I finally replied.
“I said, I’ll be your body guard from now on Ou-sama.” He replies with a smile and I take off my turban.
“I’ve never needed a body guard before.” I reply, thinking how this would REALLY limit my social life. Sheesh, it’s close to nothing since I was crowned.
“You saw what happened today. Suusu ordered me to protect you.” Tenka replies but I just ignore him as I change into my night clothes. “Ou-sama, answer me.”
“Yeah well, I guess so.” That’s all I said. “Anyway, you’re Buseiou’s son right?” I ask and he nods. “You were raised in Kunlun I heard.” He nods again. “Do you know this guy….Unchuushi?” He backs away as I make that statement.
“You know….. ‘him’?” He asks.
“Yeah, he’s Raishinshi’s master right. I asked Raishinshi but he won’t tell me much.” Raishinshi really hasn’t talked much with me since he got back. He hangs out mostly with the other Sendou now, or some of the younger siblings who think he looks cool. To me he’s still Raishinshi but….I don’t know, there’s this gap between us.
“Doesn’t the way that bat looks tell you anything?” He asked. “No one would dare venture into Unchuushi-sama’s place alone. That’s suicide.”
“Suicide huh? Well, what’s up with that?” I smile and lie down on my bed.
“His hobby is making unknown potions and experimenting it on people. He’s considered the weird trio along with my master and Taiitsu-sama, Paopei Ningen’s master.” He replies and I just hmmed him.
“well, okay. By the way, why don’t you call people by their real name?” I ask suddenly curious.
“Huh?” He looks at me dumbfounded.
“You know, you give everyone a degrading nickname.” I mean, come on, bat, hippo, Paopei Ningen, things like that.
“I don’t degrade them!!” He replies annoyed.
“Yeah, well who do you call just by name other than you’re family and are about the same rank of a Doushi as you are about as strong as you?” I reply. “I mean, you never even asked me if I liked being called king or any thing, you just go ahead and call me that. Didn’t I say that people who are to be close to me can call me Hatsu in private? You’re my bodyguard right, shouldn’t that mean you can call me Hatsu? I hate being called king.” I declare.
“Well, sorry but….”
“Besides, I didn’t ask for a bodyguard, I’ll find my own so you just leave these things up to me. I can take care of myself you know.” I yell.
“You don’t know a thing about fighting!!” He yells back.
“Enough to know that you failed trying to protect me today. If that guy, ah, Youzen didn’t come you’d be dead by now!!!”
“…You have no right to say that!!”
“Don’t I have a right to say things when I deem my bodyguard unfit for the job?! Buseiou did a better job protecting me than you did. All you care about is fighting!! I’m just a good reason for you to fight!!!”
“I’m not like that!!! You don’t even know me!!” he yells back.
“Yeah, well you know what. The only reason I’m doing this revolution is because that’s the last thing Oyaji told me to do before he died. I’m doing this not for anyone else!!”
“You don’t care about those people in Chouka?!!” He screams.
“I’m sorry they live like that, but I’m sure I wasn’t destined to be their ruler. It’s just some filthy trick by the queen to make sure Shuu only lasts a generation. I’ll tell you now, I’m going to be a lousy king, I know it, my family knows it, and the whole god damned kingdom knows it!!! So just back off.”
“………You son of a bitch!!” He yells.
“Can’t say I’m not.” I accept that statement. “But you know what? That statement doesn’t bother me anymore.” I declare and smile as I walk past him to the door. “Hey, you guys.” I call to the soldiers around the corner of my room. “Take him, he’s bothering my sleep.” I order.
“No need to. I won’t protect you even if you’re about to die.” He then leaves my room.
“Yeah, well good riddence!!” I yell back.
Our first encounter was our first argument. Doesn’t surprise me. With a guy like Tenka, who’s so full of emotion and agression you tend to get into arguments more often than not.
“So, you and Tenka don’t get along?” That cute spy asks me.
“Yeah, of course I don’t. All he cares about is fighting.” I reply and try to study the speech.
“You have harsh words for my son.” Hiko comes up and sits down next to me. “He is now resting and healing his wounds in Senninnkai. Hopefully he could learn to think before he acts now.”
“Heh, yeah right.” I reply and gulp down my serving of sake. “He’s so darn narrow minded.”
“He is quite stubborn.” Hiko agrees as he smiles a little. “He takes after a lot from his mother.” Hiko’s eyes soften in memory of his late wife. “Determined, loyal, and too stubborn for her own good. I see those same qualities in Tenka.” Hiko stated. “I believe those are all good traits.”
“Even if they may resolve in their death?” I ask casually and then feel like whacking myself in the head. This guy DID loose his wife!! He probably doesn’t really want to be reminded of that fact.
“…….I can say that Tenka may someday kill himself. I can promise you this though Buou.” He smiles knowingly at me and I feel annoyed at that smile.
“What?” I ask resentful.
“Tenka would never make a promise he can’t keep.” Hiko smiles a huge smile at me.
“I promise you Hatsu. I’ll come back with father” The last words An-chan ever said to me flashes through my mind.
“So, you know that my older brother was a liar.” I turn away from Hiko as I say that.
“Not a liar Buou, just not at all like my son.” Hiko looks proud as he says that and I grab my tray and start to walk away. Not before I have the last word though.
“Sure Tenka’s not like An-chan. An-chan was WAAAY better than him.” With that statement Hiko starts laughing but I ignore him. Of course Tenka’s not like An-chan, An-chan was the best.
TO PART TWO
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