Disclaimer: I don't own Ruroken.

Notes: This is part one of two of "the silence is beautiful," which is the conclusion to the "Monk" miniseries. This first part, "plea" (originally "outsider") takes place around the same time as "paper cranes." (post-Tokyo, pre-Jinchuu) My advice if you want to get the fullest understanding possible of "the silence is beautiful" is to read all the other pieces in the miniseries (if you haven't already done so): "drums", "old man's regrets", "paper cranes". In whatever order.

~ plea ~

YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE

they plaster fake smiles on their faces and they whisper and they point (at his back)

cruel

and they think he does not know, does not realize

cold

but there is nothing an oniwaban spy does not know.

heartless unfeeling

(This is the one who kills helpless old men and crushes the trust of innocent little girls. This is the one who throws away love and honor. This is the one who fails)

she comes in every morning, bringing him tea. tea is to aoshi as sake is to hiko as cigarettes are to saitou as laundry is to battousai. her chirpy voice drones on and on like the buzzing of cicadas in the summer. she is the only one who comes.

monster

(Monster-sama! The sun is out and the sky is blue; please come out and play!)

but the sun burns. people burn. everything burns. he would much prefer to freeze.

(This is the one who dies living)

there is a certain comfort in solitude. he relishes it. he has been alone all his life. even then. even now. it is society that frightens him, not loneliness.

there is a certain beauty in loneliness.

traitor

(This is the one who is selfish)

but life is but the swiftness of a dream. and every day, he watches his life fly past before his eyes. she grows older. he forgets. everything dies.

(This is the one who lives dreaming)

WAKE UP

THE DREAM IS OVER NOW

it ended long, long ago. yesterday. tomorrow. forever. everything ends.

(Monster-sama!)

heartless cold cruel traitor

(Monster-sama!)

he hears their whispers

he sees their stares

he feels their fear

he does not care

he never has

for the silence is beautiful

the darkness is beautiful

he is the shadows, and the shadows are him

he wonders if they have noticed that business at the aoiya has been declining, after the initial rise in customers due to the fire, and he wonders, too, if they know why. they probably do, though they continue to delude themselves. especially the girl. the old man should have taught her better. he wonders then why he even bothers, if he should just give up. (why should he listen to himura? he is not himura, and himura is not him.)

EVERYTHING IS A LIE

(just leave me alone)

cold selfish heartless unfeeling

they are all afraid of him. every single one of them. (Monster-sama is perfectly harmless!)

he tried to help, at first, you know. Didja know Didja know he knows how to cook. he knows how to add and subtract and multiply and divide. (5 - 4 = 0) he has tried so hard. he has even tried to smile. but it comes out all funny. (see, he tries.) but everything he does seems to just make it worse.

(do they even notice)

this is why he takes refuge in solitude. isolation is comforting. you only get one chance at life, life that rushes by like the raging river. even the river ends. it flows into the sea. a deep, endless sorrow. there is a time when all reason breaks down and logic miscalculates and then there is nothing. nothing but a illusory castle floating on an island in the middle of the deep blue sea. it is yesterday. tomorrow. forever. logic is meaningless if no one can follow it. if no one understands. not even her. she is the only one who comes.

he hears the whispers. and their eyes, they tell everything. he is not blind. nor is he deaf. though he is mute.

they are too afraid to speak any louder. so they whisper. psstpsstpsstDidjaknowDidjaknow

(This is the one who destroys. This is the one who lives dying.)

YOU

DO
NOT
BELONG
HERE

owari

Part two is currently untitled. Though maybe I should call it, "The Return of the Monk." Heh. hehehe. ehehehehe. ^_~ (Which one? I'll let you decide...)