Title: Maturity

Author: Amethyst Hunter

Word count: 200

Rating: G

Warnings/Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: I don't own GBers.

Summary: Makubex comes to understand what really makes Ginji an Emperor to be respected.

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Leadership isn't a power but a burden, Ginji told him once. Being a leader means accepting a will greater than one's own desire – protecting people requires that one surrender all illusions of power and bind oneself to eternal servitude.

Some time after the IL mission Makubex confessed that he'd worshipped the ground Raitei had walked upon, to which a sadly smiling Ginji replied, "Yes, but what you never saw were all the times I couldn't save people, or the hurt I carried inside me from my failures. I left Raitei behind because I couldn't juggle both his pain and yours."

Makubex reflects on these words now as he surveys the new kingdom he's built of Lower Town, one of unity and care rather than fear and discord. He's already made one whopping mistake in his lifetime that he's vowed not to repeat. He owes it to his former Thunder Emperor and to his current subjects to protect and serve them for as long as it takes to free the whole of Mugenjou.

A true leader, Makubex has learned, is someone like Ginji: someone who recognizes that the price exacted for power is that of penance, a lifelong commitment to others.