It was such a strange thing. Our meeting, our time together, it was all so strange. I've never really been sure of what words to put to it, no matter how much I've thought on the matter.
I still remember the first time we met…
I had been training one day on Mount Konron. The phrase "minding my own business" seems to fit pretty well.
"Taikoubou," I heard, and turned to look.
Genshi Tenson-sama had landed behind me and was walking over slowly and awkwardly. I knew that, although he was a very old man, he didn't have arthritis. So I was suspicious.
"Yes, Genshi Tenson-sama?" I asked as he stopped.
"Taikoubou," he repeated, squirming, his hands behind his back, "you've gotten very strong these past thirty years."
Raising an eyebrow, I nodded and waited for him to continue.
"In fact, you've attained sennin-level power already, which is truly amazing!" he went on, the squirming getting worse. I saw something behind him, but I couldn't tell what it was.
I leaned to the side, trying to see it, and wondered what the point to this conversation would be. It was slowly creeping up on me, but the truth had yet to manifest itself.
"So I think it's time you took on the title of sennin!" he shouted between grunting as he tried to keep something very fidgety behind him.
"Um… Okay…" I said absently, leaning further and further to the side.
"Great!" he cheered quickly, grinning behind his beard as he stepped to the side. "Here's your first disciple!"
Before I had a chance to say anything, he was running off, calling back things like "It's your responsibility to be a good role model," and "Take good care of her!" I remember thinking he could run very fast for someone his age.
I looked to the spot where he had been, and there you stood. A tiny little thing of twelve, underfed and wearing braids, grinning up at me like you had just won some great prize. You were the same age I had been when I started training, and dressed in peasant clothing at least three years too big for you.
"Hey, Shishou-sama," you croaked happily.
"Great," I muttered to myself with a groan. "What am I supposed to do with a kid?"
Ignoring my exasperation, you bowed a little clumsily from the waist, your orange-pink braids falling over your shoulders.
"Shishou-sama," you began, your words slow and awkward, and obviously rehearsed, "I hum… humbly ask you train me well."
I stared for a minute, then started laughing. Startled, you raised your head to watch me with an uncertain, bemused smile.
"Oh," I wiped a tear from my eye, "you're a strange kid. Well, it's not like I have a choice, so I'll train you."
Grinning from ear to ear, you stood up straight and followed me home.
"So, kid," I asked conversationally on the way back, "what's your name?"
"Momo," you replied, some of the scratchiness leaving your voice.
Author's Note: Okay. In case you can't tell, it's set 30 years after Ryoubou becomes Taikoubou. And the "you" he mentions is Momo. He's not talking to her or writing a letter or anything, he's just having a conversation in his head. I do it, and I bet you do, too. Anyway, constructive criticism is very much appreciated. I've tried to make Momo very non-Mary Sue. So if I've failed, tell me how instead of just flaming me. Thank you, and please review.