Wander by The Lady Arianrod
a/n: My third and final Soujiro fic in this little series I've begun... this one will be about his wandering years...
In Soujiro's POV.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Rurouni Kenshin... =-(
Enjoy this little story!
The warm sun falls upon my shoulders and at my sandal-clad feet. I can hear the gentle sounds of nature: playful bird-songs that taunt the shadows and the soft swish of the grass in the late spring wind.
All is bright and hazy beneath the endless sky as I walk along. This is what it must feel like to be truly free...
Each moment holds a tiny gem, a little pearl that disappears if you are too busy to ignore it. Each second tells me to keep on walking, to keep searching.
What am I looking for, you may ask?
I am following this path in search of truth.
Truth is one of those abstract concepts, something that can easily be passed over when first encountered, but that makes sense when you think about it.
I've been presented with many theories in my life, many conflicting theories. I was blinded for a while in my darker stages, after I finally took care of my traitorous family and met Lord Shishio.
Well, Shishio's dead now, as I've heard.
Everything that Kenshin told me seemed true at that instant as well.
He defeated me and my previous theories, bringing destruction to all that I fought for... or didn't fight for.
The very weaknesses that I had been warned against were Kenshin's strengths.
This is why he seemed so foolish at the beginning, but...
He inspired me.
I have become a sort of second-generation Battousai. Kenshin was once a murdering man, a wild and callous slayer of many.
I was quite like this in my more extreme moments. That is, my time with the Juppon Gatana.
Now, I have been shown another path.
I will not completely follow Kenshin but I will use this opportunity as another chance to live life as I should have.... with mercy for the weak. I will not live by the sword but by the heart, but....
I have chosen this on my own.
Seta Soujiro is not a follower. He first listens, then considers, and finally acts according to his own desire.
Kenshin did teach me many things, but I will not live his life.
Instead, I will do as he did.... I will wander for 10 years as I am now, watching the pastoral blur of the soft-edged countryside of Japan.
I will see these many lives, these people that I once considered useless, and determine my own belief of what truth is.
I am not an imitator. I am merely inspired at times, woken up from my past blindness....
In this case, it was the former Manslayer himself that pulled the wool away from my eyes. He presented me with a new idea: forgiveness.
The concept is still foreign to me, but as I travel, I am gradually seeing what Kenshin first fought for.
I see these little lives, these nameless people in humble homes across Japan. They did nothing to harm me nor to benefit me, and yet...
I see that they live.
They are not weak, for they survive. They greet the sun every morning, each person in his or her own way.
They are all like me, in a way. We all live in the same country, bound by the same raging seas on every side, pulled down by the same forces of gravity.
Nothing, in the end, can make the aging farmer any less worthy than the strongest samurai....
Both are valued, both survive, both truly live.
I still have yet to see much of the world, but perhaps all that exist deserve a chance to survive.
A man of legend, and truly a man of heart....
Your patterns of wandering and learning are quite efficient.
End notes: Well,. I liked this one better than my last RK fic (the Shishio one)... anyway, tell me if this captured Soujiro (even if not as well as the first and second parts) and if I should write another character-based Kenshin fic!
Also, comment on the vignette itself.... was it effective?