Sapphire Artemis: I own nothing.

They look for me, searching; ever searching.

"Damn it! Where the hell did he go?" one of my 'brothers' growls.

I hide under the shed, terrified,

The sword clutched in my sweaty hands.

A sword.

The perfect killing weapon.

I try to calm my breathing, but

They find me!

One of them crawls under the shed,

Looks at me,


"Hey, that's an expensive-looking wakizashi!

Was it in the rice shed somewhere?

Here, let's have a look!"

My eyes widen in fear,

Mr. Shishio's words ring through my head:

"If you're strong, you live;

If you're weak, you die!"

I slowly, softly, mouth these words,

And suddenly,

There comes a burning desire!

The desire to live!


And unsheathe the blade;

The desire makes me ram it through his body,

Blood spattering my hands and the sword.

I stare at my hands,

The realization of what I've just done crashing down on me.

I've killed a man!

And yet the power!

The all-consuming power!

If you're strong, you live...

I crawl from under the shed,

Red sword in my hand.

If you're weak, you die!

They...are weak!

And therefore must die.

I push the body from under the rice shed,

Its face contorted in horror.

"What the hell...? Look at what the little bastard did!"

I stand, sword in my hand,

And I smile.

The power that they held

For so, so long

Is mine now!

The rain starts;

Slashes fill the air;

My 'family's' tortured screams as they die.

The rain comes down harder,

And I look.

Look at the destruction,

All of it,

My doing!

I look at it

And smile.

All the dead bodies...

My doing.

The rain courses down the blade,

Diluting the red, red blood.

My hair falls over my eyes,

And I still smile.

"Are you...crying?"

Mr. Shishio's voice.

He had watched the whole thing.

I tilt my head up towards the rain

And smile.

"No, sir."

I say.

And yet...

Is rain hot?

Is rain salty?

Does rain feel like this?

The rain beats down upon my face,

Mingling with the salty, hot water.

The only person who knew the answer to

"Are you crying?"

The only person...


For rain is not hot;

Rain is not salty;

Rain is cold and fresh.


And hot...

Describe one thing.

I am not crying...

They describe one thing...


One thing.