Disclaimer: Saiyuki and all attendant characters aren't mine. Most of the humour is.
Thanks to my beta, Sylk.
Chapter 1: The Foundling
Koumyou Sanzo was listening to a voice inside his head. In fact, he was talking to the voice inside his head. Now, in anyone else this would be rather worrisome, but since Koumyou was a holy Sanzo, we'll just say he's 'special' and leave it at that.
The conversation went something like this:
"Please, shut up…"
"You do realize you've been crying for at least twelve hours now?"
"Are all children like this? It's a wonder anyone makes it to adulthood."
"Shut the hell up!"
"Ah, good. I should curse more often."
After five days of this, Koumyou had had exactly one hour of sleep, had advised an entire village that nudity and rice crackers would bring them closer to enlightenment, and was downing Essence of Lotus (for medicinal purpose only) like it was going out of style.
Consequently, when the five armed men appeared, blocking Koumyou and his party from the Yangtze River, Koumyou took out his blessed double-barrel shotgun, Marcus ― Koumyou wasn't good at names ― and politely threatened to turn their leader into a bloody pulp if they didn't get out of his way.
Contrary to popular belief, some thugs do have brains, and this group contained a total of two brains ― a veritable record. They took in the wild, uncombed hair, sutras that were wrapped around Koumyou's neck in a manner reminiscent of a scarf, the dilated pupils, and the shotgun being aimed steadily at them, and decided that they really didn't need to defend their fishing grounds from a "harmless" group of monks.
Now, Koumyou's attendants were of the opinion that their gentle and beloved Sanzo was being visited by a god. A god of madness who had a thing for rice crackers, perhaps. They knew better than to question Sanzo's odd behaviour, so one of them dared to pry Koumyou's hands off of the holy shotgun, Marcus, and led him down to the river's edge.
They stood on the bank, watching the muddy waters rush by. The attendants pretended that Koumyou didn't have his hands clapped over his ears and wasn't muttering something about "needing a drink". Time passed, and eventually the attendants began to hear something as well.
"Waaaaahh!" Faint at first, but getting louder.
"Waaaaahh!" The cry continued, and a white speck appeared on the river. The attendants watched in amazement as the white speck resolved itself into a baby, floating on a piece of driftwood. At first, it looked like the river would float the child past them, but then an errant current caught the wood and pushed it up against the bank, right at Sanzo's feet. The red-faced, blond child was wrapped in white rags, secured by prayer beads.
"You can shut up now!" yelled Koumyou. And there was no sound but the rush of the river. Sanzo sighed and bent down to pick up the child.
"Look at that. He was swept here by the river," said one of the attendants.
"Swept by the river right to Sanzo-sama's feet," said the other.
Koumyou looked the child over critically. The voice had finally stopped, leaving his head empty and echoing.
"Swept here by the river."
"Swept by the river."
"Right," said Sanzo to the child. "We'll call you Bob."
Next chapter: The early life of Bob. It should be up by next week.