AN: Final chapter.
RobinIV - Of course Kiri made master. Lol.
sokkenai - No good stuff ... (hides)
mischievious-lil-kitsune - No cake in this chapter ... Lol.
Kiri was anxious; Izumi knew him well enough to read that from him and knew that his disappointment would be so complete when he saw that Kumo had not been made a master. In a way she worried about his reaction, Kumo had clearly already dealt with it because he continued to train without growing angry or upset but Kiri would be angry to find that his brother had been so over looked. "Kiri," She attempted, "I haven't been training your brother for today,"
His shocked crimson eyes went to her and she rose a hand to placate him, "I wanted you to know before they announced; as far as I can see, Kumo's fighting style is too natural for the board, he fights too organically." Kiri nodded in reply, he had noticed that in his brother, "He was too much of a risk for them; they've chose only one master."
"But he is a master,"
"I know that and you know that, but the board prefer to be safe."
Watching the chosen master deliver her Kata, Kiri shook his head out of utter distress as he observed Kawa. "You mean boring," He growled, upset that Kumo had been overlooked for such a bland fighter. "She fights just like Sukoru," He looked to where Kumo stood, green eyes watching and analysing Kawa's strokes. "He could beat her easily,"
"He has, several times. I taught them together sometimes,"
Kawa saluted to applause and severely muted cheers, everyone there knew that Kawa was an adequate master at best. A silence fell instantly as a man in rich silver clothing descended, landing neatly in front of Kumo's class. "Silver lightning?" Kiri breathed, shocked beyond belief that the grandmaster of the school had appeared; it was well documented that Silver Lightning rarely appeared at the announcement of a master swordsman.
The hush was complete as he folded his arms across his chest, "Ordinarily, I do not interfere in the running of the board; I trust them completely to do my bidding." He explained, "Yet today I could not sit back. For the young being I have selected to be overlooked is a travesty that I cannot allow, I discovered them only this morning."
He turned to look at his chosen, motioning with one arm, and Kumo moved forwards; having expected this on some level, Kiri beamed to himself. He looked towards his brother, deactivating his mask, mouthing 'well done' and reactivating it again. Kumo closed his eyes, deactivating his own mask so that he could deliver the Kata he needed.
Izumi chuckled slightly, drawing Kiri's eyes, "Trust Inazuma to find the one person the board don't want him to find." She commented, "They are going to be in trouble for hiding your brother from him, Inazuma does not like being left out of the loop." She watched the white clad teen deliver his Kata, as usual adding strokes and steps where he felt they were needed. "Kumo's being watched from the highest level."
"He deserves it, I needed training and hours of practice but he has it so ingrained. Watch him now, no Kata practice in weeks and he can deliver it in front of hundreds!"
Sighing, Izumi smiled sadly, "He doesn't want to outshine you Kiri," She said, worrying that on some level Kiri thought that Kumo wanted to do this. "Everything he's ever done he's done because he wants to be like you, to prove himself to you."
"Yeah, well he's better then I am Izumi and you know it."
She chuckled, resting her hand on Kiri's arm. "That's not a fair comparison Kiri." She scolded as lightly as she could, she moved her hand. "You remind me so much of your father, you fight much like him, sometimes it's like watching him when you fight. That and your temperament is fiery, just like his was. Kumo's is more like Sora, so calm until things are really bad."
"Then you get out of the way very quickly," Kiri remembered with a sad smile. "He really is just like mum, I never really realised that before but now you've said it, I can see her in him."
"Good," Izumi murmured, "Because sometimes being reminded of those you love is more then enough to keep you going through each day."
Kiri looked towards her for a moment, before applause drew both their eyes to Kumo; there was no cheering as people tried to digest what they had seen. "I give you Koke Kawa and Shiroi Kumo!" The woman in yellow announced, her eyes lingering on Inazuma; the two left and the students returned to their families.
It did not take Kumo long to reach Izumi and his brother, Kiri instantly wrapping him in a big hug. "Chosen by the Silver lightening himself, you great show off." Kiri teased, "Logically, the meal to celebrate is on you Kumo." He offered with a smile, he had paid for the last celebratory meal the two had had.
Kumo smiled sadly to himself, his memories merged indiscriminately over his last year on Misteria and he could not afford the time to separate them. Kiri had been his one true constant since his birth but Madoushi had died that day hating him. Closer memories, those as of yet corrupted by time, bit at his mind and Kumo stood and reached towards the broken red blade. "Little brother, I'm counting on you." The whisper of his brother came in louder then a shout.
Lifting Kiri's sword for the first time in his life, Kumo clutched it in one hand, his own sword in place on his belt. 'I shall not fail you, Kiri.' He promised mentally, 'What started 12 years ago will end and my time will start again,' He vowed, keen to finally stop being eternally 19 due to his attempted defeat of Chaos 12 years before. 'You can rest free of anger, I never wanted to be stronger, I just wanted to be like you.'
The one thing Kumo had kept from even himself was thought and he smiled to himself, no matter what he had wanted, he had surpassed his brother's skill. 'I will win, Chaos will fall; I will be as strong and brave as you were!' He promised, looking off into the distance.
AN: I think I mentioned at the start of one of the chapters that there are a series of shorts and one shots that I plan to write. Which there are because I want to show some of those relationships in more depth. I don't know when they'll be written but it should happen.
Thank you all so much of reviewing, and if you've read this without doing so, here's your last chance to make yourself heard.
So, if there's a one shot you'd like to see, a character you'd like to show up again, speak now or forever hold your peace.