Oshogatsu : Ryuhou
New Year's Day
January First

They fluttered around, complimenting his father on the lovely decorations. The beautiful plum trees that adorned each side of every door. The genuine pine garlands, specially engineered to not shed. Bamboo stalks, tall and proud, anywhere they could be displayed. Ryutaisen was trying to forget her.

Only eight o'clock.

He suddenly noticed how annoyed he was. It was so loud. Everyone was talking to him, speaking to him, wouldn't be quiet. There was no end to the line of people.

"I am very sorry for your loss."

"If there's anything I can do..."

"How are you holding up?"

"You were very close, I'd imagine."

"I'm always there if you need to talk to me, okay?"

"It's a shame. She was a lovely person."

"Happy new year."

He looked up in slight surprise. No one had addressed him before without mentioning her. Acknowledging her death.

"You know, the celebration of a new year traditionally means putting the past behind us. Letting go of things done and over with." The stranger seemed strangely reminiscent, gazing into nothing. Little Ryuhou, captivated, watched him snap back to the present, his own aura of formality melding with a business-like attitude to create a mutable personality. One that could manipulate and control, or preside over and supervise. He couldn't quite decide which he would turn out to be.

"Do you like to help people, Ryuhou?"

"Yes, sir." His answer was, as always, polite but frigid.

"What would you do if I said you could help people? If you could help people by getting rid of rogue Alter-Users, just like the ones who so viciously killed your mother?"

"What did you say!" He said, trying not to yell, but still earning several stares.

"Talk to your father. Then call me." The stranger said suddenly, handing him a little slip of card stock before striding confidently out the door. Ryuhou traced the little numbers and characters on the card, memorizing them on the spot.

Martin Jigmar

Putting the past behind us...

Enough of mourning, or even pretending not to. It was time to make a move.


Okies, well, here's a seasonal story. There will be nine or ten total, I believe, all in chronological order. All of them will be vignettes revolving around a character, with the theme of a Japanese holiday. I've got about four or five done now, and the rest are in progress. And it'll end with Christmas! See? It all works, ne? So tell me what ya think!

Next time: Ayase Terada celebrates Girl's Festival on March Third.