Test of the Coin

Test of the Coin
Ryo's Challenge
by: WingsofSakon

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To the Gods and Goddesses of Time and Fate, yous have selected me to fulfill this horrible path of decisions. Time and time again yous have tested their will and strength. They have become like my own blood. I have sat back in awe over their victories. Silently, watching them grow and watching them strengthen their bonds. Every day life is testing enough in my mind. To also be tested on the battlefield will also have effects on their bonds. Yous have set this up. I know the few chosen must be strong to be worthy to keep their place. I told yous if this is their final test… I will submit to it. So here it be. The test that I give… will be the last I cast. Your lives rest in your answers, not the two-sided coin. As such as life… one thought can change the unchangeable. Fate has made yous depart each other. Time, is what will either tighten or break your bonds. Can yous change the unchangeable by tightening bonds that have become frayed from a two-sided coin? From fighting battles yous know will never end? And knowing yous must fight together… but also know that it can't be forever? It's time to fight my two-sided coin.

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Time had past. Each had gone their own way and had planned to come together for reunions and birthdays. After five years of this they had slowly grown apart. Hardly knowing what the other was doing in their life. Now days it was a surprise to even find a letter or receive a phone call from one or another. Memories were basically what they all had left. Ryo, now what he liked to call himself an explorer. Had traveled lands that seemed so far off as a child. Had now conquered only what he dreamed before. Now he rested from his journeys back at home. He went about his business as usual routine. Today seemed like every other before. He noticed he was low on groceries and had to go into town. He decided he'd walk there. He'd take a back road and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. It would be nice to escape the world once in a while. About half way into town he heard a voice.

"Ryo of WildFire" A voice said sternly.

Ryo turned to see a rather tall man sitting on a rock aside the dirt road.

"Ryo… I challenge you." He said getting up.

"You challenge me?" Ryo asked astonished.

"I do, I've been sent to test you. Are you up for a test?"

"A test… who are you?"

"It doesn't matter who I'am. It's the test that matters. I don't wish to fight."

"Then what can a test hurt?"

"This isn't your ordinary test, WildFire. This is a test of bonds, deeds and life… or death."

"What happens if I fail?"

"Then I'm told I must remove you of your armor. Remove you as well from this plane."

"That's high steaks. You think I would really want to wager that much?"

"I'm giving that choice. You take my test you may stay. You don't have that choice with out me. Take my challenge in friendship. Protest and you might as well let your friends parish with out an effort. There must be five… you know that."

"Well, I'll humor you and take your test."

"If that's how you want to look at it, but I'm serious."

"Then… I'll take you seriously."

"Fine." The man said tossing a coin in front of Ryo and continued to say to him.

"I challenge you. I cast in front of you a coin.
A coin of: past, future, beauty, redemption and death. Your life lays with in this coin. I challenge you. Can you look back on your past and tell me… tell me that every thing you've done is correct when there is nothing, but failure there. I challenge you. Can you look upon your brethren in war, when one is in your arms? And tell me you no longer see the blood they have soaked in? I challenge you to toss this coin. Can you tell me you will win? And when you look around… where are your friends? Where are the ones that have slain so many for you? Go ahead and toss this coin and tell me the answers. Your life lays with in this coin. "

Ryo walked over to the coin on the ground and picked it up. When he looked it over before he threw it, he had seen it was a two-side coin.

"What does this have to do with the question?"

"Everything."

"I can't win. It's the same on both sides."

"Is that your answer… if it is… then you are less than worthy."

"No, that's not my answer… it's just that this is fixed!"

"I said I was serious. You have to use your mind that you use as a leader you haven't been."

"What?"

"You let the group split up. You are scattered and your bonds are breaking. I need to see if you and your comrades are still worthy of the armors."

"It was fate, we have lives to live."

"Is that your excuse for not being the leader you were chosen to be?"

"No, time won't allow us to stay together as a group. Just, because we were chosen for the armors. Doesn't mean we have to give up our lives."

"So you're afraid to throw the coin of life. To own up for your mistakes."

"No, I'll throw it and answer your questions. It's just this is unfair all around."

"Then… I'll give you another chance to hear me. I challenge you. I cast in front of you a coin. A coin of: past, future, beauty, redemption and death. Your life lays with in this coin. I challenge you. Can you look back on your past and tell me… tell me that every thing you've done is correct when there is nothing, but failure there. I challenge you. Can you look upon your brethren in war, when one is in your arms? And tell me you no longer see the blood they have soaked in? I challenge you to toss this coin. Can you tell me you will win? And when you look around… where are your friends? Where are the ones that have slain so many for you? Go ahead and toss this coin and tell me the answers. Your life lays with in this coin. "

Ryo thought a few minutes and tossed the coin in the man's direction.

"I'll win. When I look at one of my brethren in my arms. I see nothing, for the blood they soaked in. Was nothing, but that of the virtue of their own souls. My friends… are in my heart. I let them out to find if even a moment… of happiness. I tossed your two-sided coin. What I've done is correct, because there was nothing but failure. It's failure that brings beauty, death and redemption to our past and future. I won." Ryo said waiting for a response from the man.

"Your life lays with in this coin… I find it worthy." The man said walking away with out another word.