"No matter how much time passes

The flame that burns the sky

Continues endlessly"

~ (If you smile) (1)

The door opened again and without saying anything, Hikitsu raised his hand and used Uruki's wind to close the door.

Two centuries has passed and the initial optimism they had was replaced by a weary cynicism due to the amount of times that their hope had been shattered. In the early days, they tended to talk to the intruders before they attack, but someone's attempt of trying to stab Urumiya changed their mind.

Besides, surely the real celestial warrior of Seiryuu or Suzaku won't be killed like a common thief.

The man Urumiya's arrow aimed did escape, which was not a bad sign.

At least there was a girl with them. They both felt that a priestess who just made her celestial warriors get the shinzaho without being there was completely unfit.

"Who are you? Show yourself." The girl they called Miaka demanded.

"A rather spirited girl." Hikitsu muttered as they allowed themselves to be seen. "I am Hikitsu."

"And I am Urumiya." she said as she released another arrow. "We are the celestial warriors of Genbu!"

"A woman?" one of the muttered while the monk said: "I do seem to recall that two of the celestial warriors of Genbu are woman."

Urumiya really had to resist the urge of rolling her eyes, wasn't her dress and earrings a rather tell tale sign of her gender?

Hikitsu was not unused to the idea of woman fighting as Urumiya proved the possibility of this to him when they were still children. Both Takiko and Inami then made him feel that those who denied the fact due to their own prejudice were rather foolish.

Therefore, he had no qualms about sending a water snake toward the girl when she ran towards him, although he really doubted her capability. Both Urumiya and Takiko could be rather rash, but at the very least they would do so with a weapon in their hand.

But maybe her weapon is behind held by someone else, he thought.

As he observed the others, his gaze softened slightly due to seeing a boy who seemed to be the same age as Hatsui when they all travelled together. However, he still had to do his duty.

"What foolishness." He whispered. "To drag children into this!"

"We will not give the Shinzaho to anyone else other then the priestess of Seiryuu or the priestess of Suzaku." Urumiya was saying.

"But we are the celestial warrior of Suzaku! I am Taisuke."

He had an expression that was rather happy as he seemed to believe that this would make her hand the shinzaho to him.

"Emutato, he is a bit like Tomite, isn't he?" Urumiya said.

"A bit." Hikitsu admitted. "But I think Tomite is not as bad."

"Damn this, I can't attack a woman!" Taisuke was saying.

As if to make matters worse, the man beside him- who claimed to be Tamahome, added: "I agree."

Hikitsu wonder whether he should just lean against the wall and cross his hands since Urumiya would get ride of them.

"What – did – you – say?" she hissed slowly, very angry.

Unlike them, Hikitsu noticed that her hair was growing, touching the ground and then slithering to wind themselves around the two who clearly offended her.

"What is this?" Tamahome yelled out, trying to tear the hair around his neck. It was harder then he thought because he was completely unprepared for this type of weapon.

"Don't worry, I'll take care of this." Taisuke yelled out and even though he did manage to burn the unnatural hair off with a wave of his fan, he also did considerable damage to Tamahome.

"I am not in the mood of playing today." Urumiya said as she watched the inner conflict growing. Meanwhile, her hair was also growing as well. "Emutato, I think they have a desire of joining these bones and I am very happy to grant them their wish."

"Miaka, we'll take care of this!" Tamahome began as he jumped up with Miaka, barely dodging Urumiya's hair.

"Wait!" Miaka screamed out as she suddenly ran forward in order to kneel down in front of the two celestial warriors of Genbu. "Please let us pass! We must have the shinzaho in order to summon Suzaku! I will do anything so please…"

"She is kneeling in front of us and pleading to us." Hikitsu said thoughtfully, grabbing Urumiya by the wrist. The gesture was not a restrain because it was very light, so she could easily shake it off. He did this as a question, not an order.

"This is not the first time people tried this trick." Urumiya pointed out. "But I have seen enough."

Her tone was rather sharp but Hikitsu knew that his words did have an effect on her as she gently loosen his hand from his before she went to crouch in front of Miaka and jerked her head up so that they were on the same eye level.

"The priestess of Genbu is a very brave young woman," she began, her tone very hard. "She had the courage to continue being the priestess despite facing hostility from everyone. Do you have that same courage?

"You are already luckier then her as you are clearly cherished by your celestial warriors, as they do not even let you face any danger. You are certainly different from Takiko as she fought with us. Of course, I know that not all women can fight but I wonder if you are capable of protecting Konan if you will throw yourself into danger so recklessly and foolishly?"

"If you are a little girl who can only be protected then I will not give the shinzaho to you, even if you are the priestess of Suzaku."

"Setsuka!" Hikitsu said, her voice a bit reproachful. "You can not think of her as being incapable just because she is so different from Takiko. Besides, it is not in our power to judge whether a priestess is suitable or not."

"Perhaps the priestess of Seiryuu will need the shinzaho to summon Seiryuu. What should she do if we give Takiko's necklace to this girl who failed to summon Suzaku, which meant that she will mostly like lose it?"

"What do you wish to do then?"

"You told me that Aira was sealed in ice due to Tomite." She began. "And you were convinced of Takiko's identity as the priestess of Genbu when she freed herself. I wish to do the same thing. If this girl is the priestess…a capable priestess, then she should be able to free herself by her own strength.

"I have Tomite's bow so I should be able to conjure enough ice."

Hikitsu nodded.

"Wait! Do you mean to kill her?" Tamahome began angrily.

"Then how will you proof that you really are who you say you are?" Hikitsu asked as he raised his fingers and created a barrier, separating the two of them and Miaka from the rest of them. "Setsuka is not wrong. If you are the priestess then you should be able to free yourself."

Even though Miaka was very different from Takiko, she was still a priestess of one of the four gods. Hikitsu actually found Urumiya's reluctance in accepting her rather amusing as this was all due to her personal affection for Takiko.

"The firm believe that our priestess is better then any of the other priestesses." He chuckled.

But he was being a bit unfair to Urumiya as he did think that Takiko was so much stronger too.

However, he suddenly noticed something- there was one person missing.

"Hotohori? So Hotohori is the missing member." He said when Miaka explained that one of her celestial warrior was not here as he was the emperor.

"A pity." He muttered before he turned to Urumiya. "Hotohori sounds rather familiar."

An image suddenly appeared in his mind, it was the fragments of a dream that he had very long ago, the night he and Urumiya first made love to each other.

A very handsome man with long black hair and a pair of golden eyes that was almost always sad as he loved someone he shouldn't have.

"Our task is over." Urumiya reminded him as she placed her arms on his. "We can close the door for the final time.

Yes, that was the most important thing.

"It has been so long." He whispered.

This was like the time he and Aira were exiled. Like then, all he could do was to wait. Although the waiting was not as unbearable as Urumiya was beside him.

But it was over now, they could finally rest and join the rest of their friends.

After the passing of two centuries since the beginning of the tale, the tale of Genbu has finally finished.

"After having waited for so long

The morning sun rises

It is alright to rest now?"

~ (If you smile) (2)

(1) and (2): "If you smile" (Kimi ga hohoemu nara) is the character song for Hikitsu and Tomite, and it seems really suitable to use this in the epilogue.

Unlike the previous chapters, the epilogue actually use song extract both at the beginning and at the end. This is because when I look at the lyrics for "if you smile" I actually really couldn't decide which bit to use, as they both seem really suitable.

But I think it is quite suitable to end the story with that bit of the song.

Author's Note: Wow…after almost two years, this story is finally finished. Maybe when Watase-sensei draw the legend of Byakko then I can write a fan fic on it too. As always, I tend to have a long blab in my final author's note.

I did enjoy writing this fan fic, even though I really dragged it out. But as I said, prince of tennis fan fic. The concept behind this fan fic is rather different from my original fushigi yugi fan fic- in that, the OC is the priestess of Seiryuu and replaced Yui, while in this one I made the OC one of the celestial warriors and replaced the real Urumiya,

Of course, a major problem/influencing factor is that I got the idea of what I want to write when I have only read the first five books. I think the main thing is that I replaced Urumiya and ignored the storyline that involves Urumiya. Additionally, if I didn't get the idea for the flower of snow then, I might have ended up writing a story with Hikitsu and Inami pairing, as I think their relationship might develop into a romance. Or, I might have made my OC rather similar to Inami. On a side note, I really like Inami's power.

As mentioned earlier, I don't like Miaka and I feel that Takiko is a much more likeable character then Miaka. Even though Takiko is very naïve and idealistic, I feel that she is much better then Miaka. She is also quite capable by fighting with the rest of the celestial warrior- she is clearly not someone who always have to be protected on. (I've been looking at Haruka lately and I feel that Takiko really reminds me of Nozomi. Miaka is definitely more like Akane).