And it Doesn't End Quite Yet
A/N: I wrote this right after (in the same day in fact) I had seen the last episode of Jubei-chan: Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch. At the time I hadn't know there was a second season (which I still have yet to see anyway) and this was what turned out.
A pearlise white sheen illuminates all the air. It is the glow of heaven, warm and mild like a summer wind brushing softly against the cheeks of wide, waiting and beholding eyes. With the ripeness of berry-flowers unfurling in a spring morning and cascading from an icy height, fresh and clear, the scents and scene of light before him fills him with a warmer glow than he has ever felt before in all his long 300-some life. (At least mostly, he is pleased to affirm.) He feels serenely at peace yet still lingering regret at the events he had seemingly caused. But it had all turned out all right. That was what was important; he cared much for both of them and would have been happy to stay with them, but it seemed it was not to be.
Out of the heavenly light a booming voice called.
"Yes, Master." He answered immediately and happily. Finally after all these years he could finally be with his beloved Master, Yagyu Jubei, whom he respected deeply and loved (thought did not love in entirely the same way as Miss Jiyu or Mr. Sai but that was to be expected.) But somehow there was still a brief shadow of sadness in his heart, even in this beautiful place. (He thought he could hear Miss Jiyu calling his name.)
"Koinosuke, I hope you are ready for your next journey."
The samurai (though what skill he had was debatable) bowed respectfully in acquiescent. "Yes Master Jubei, I am quite ready."
He waited patiently with hands folded and head bowed, standing in the white, beautiful light. This really was heaven, this really was peace! He could finally truly rest from his long mission. Yes, he was ready for his next journey.
The silence stretched. Sweet scents floated by in the warm air born by cool drafts, but still the eternal quietness of it all began to tax on him (though it was his back that was doing most of the aching.)
"Are you still there, Koinosuke?"
"Ah, yes Master."
"You had better be getting on with your task. Just because the evil spirit of Taiko Daiyu was defeated does not mean things with get any easier."
Koinosuke blinked, if such a thing was possible. The sweetly fragrance air seemed now almost too sweet but it was still very fresh.
"Master…I do not…quite believe I understand. The Ryujoji grudge was vanished, was it not?"
He got no answer, only another question.
"You said you wished to be at the side of Yagyu Jubei, did you not?"
Was his Master mocking his intelligence? No, no, that was impossible; most likely Master Jubei was merely testing his loyalty and convictions. Of course, that was it!
"Yes, that is correct. I want to always be by your side Yagyu Jubei, after all these years and all the trouble I've caused."
"Then you had better get going, for you still have a long life ahead of you, Koinosuke."
Life? What was Yagyu Jubei talking about? He had gone into the heavenly light, the eternal bliss. Hadn't he?
There was a gruff if partly impatient sigh from his (apparently disembodied) Master's voice.
"When you are called again you will return to her. The Lovely Eyepatch had no purpose with the defeat of the Ryujoji grudge, and will have no immediate need. But when you do return, the Spirits will grant you he start of a new life, in accord to your wish."
"My wish…was to…stay…by your—"
"Do you think it is that easy to be rid of Yagyu Jubei? The essences of my consciousness may have moved on but that does not mean that my successor, the true living Yagyu Jubei is non-existent!"
"You mean, Miss Jiyu…?" (OoO;;)
"You will return when she calls for you. Until then, use the time wisely."
But nothing answered but warm silence.