May 30, 2006

Loyalty: Preferences
Leading to Rebellion

The wooden swing finally slowed to a stop just as the sun's last rays of light fell under the horizon. It seemed everywhere he went, the ex-Spirit Detective left some kind of mark. In the dust, in the broken bones of enemies, and in the hearts of those he had befriended.

Even in the Prince of Spirit World.

Koenma gave a wry smile as he turned away from the swing set. He was dressed in human clothes now, a purple strip of cloth concealing the mark of his status on his forehead. He no longer had the right to wear his royal robes.

It had been a rather spontaneous choice on his part, but he didn't regret his decision. He knew that if he hadn't chosen Yusuke's side, he would simply have been repeating the same mistake again. He had done it once before with Sensui. It was his fault, after all, that the delicate and single-minded boy had been exposed to the horrors that humans could inflict. The burden was on his shoulders that Sensui had gone renegade and had decided to bring an end to Human life all together. And Koenma took responsibility for that.

Now, once more, his lack of foresight had put one of his Spirit Detectives in a tight spot. If only he had done more research, he would have known about Yusuke's heritage as a Mozaku descendant. As it was, he was given to believing it was the correct choice at the time. Even now, looking back on his decision he would not have changed his mind.

When the Spirit Defense Force had come to intervene, Koenma had told the captain that this was his mess and that he was going to clean it up. Even now, he stood by his words, despite the fact that should he ever chose to return to Spirit World, Koenma would no doubt be facing his execution.

Part demon or not, Yusuke Urameshi had been the perfect choice for the job. He had been Sensui's exact opposite. In fact, Yusuke was much like his first Spirit Detective, Kuroko Sanata. He remembered telling Yusuke something along similar lines.

"...I wanted someone who wouldn't think too much."

But despite all Yusuke had done for Human World, Spirit World was looking to erase him from the face of the planet. And because Koenma had failed to do his research, this knowledge now rested on his shoulders. Right now, he was just glad he wasn't the one calling the shots.

If he had decided to abandon Yusuke for the demon that he was, he would have been the one to issue the orders for Yusuke's assassination. Being the son of King Enma, there was no avoiding that fact.

He knew how dangerous the Atavism of the Mozaku could be. A demon descendant in a human bloodline was most feared for the fact that humans had their own type of strength as well. Especially when trained as a Spirit Detective. The Spirit Defense Force had wanted to kill Yusuke before he became a demon, but they had been too late.

When Yusuke had awoken Koenma had been worried. Much to his relief, however, Yusuke's act about truly being a demon had been merely a ruse. Not that the more serious SDF could understand that. Yusuke was much more laid back than they could ever be. And what's more, they didn't know Yusuke like Koenma did.

"Man, you people sure know how to make a guy feel welcome." Yusuke said as Puu lifted his wings to reveal his resurrected self.

"We are too late, the Mozaku's alive."

"Puu, puu!" The large blue phoenix nuzzled his ward.

"Hey little buddy, see you've been drinking you're milk while I've been away." He pet his Spirit Beast affectionately. "You know, even though I was dead, I could still hear some of what you guys were saying. So then, I'm some kind of evil vicious monster!" He grinned, showing fangs. Everyone backed away in fear. "My teachers have been saying that for years. I just thought it was a figure of speech."


"You see Koenma, sir, how strong his demon energy is?"

"No- not Yusuke." Koenma watched in worried disbelief.

"You're supreme evilness, I am your humble servant, please allow me to do whatever it is you desire."

"Thanks weakling, but for what I desire, I don't need any help. Because what I desire is ending the world and everyone in it. For I am the Mighty Mozaku, lord of Evil. And now, after hibernating for more than a thousand years, I will finally reveal my true form." With this statement he laughed evilly and made everyone run in fear. "Psych! Man you guys are gullible! Hey, Koenma, you didn't really think I'd turn bad right?"

Koenma stuttered. "Well the-…well, no."

He had been too surprised to reveal his relief. Though he had to admit, part of him had doubted the punk. But from that moment on, Koenma knew he had made the right choice in choosing Yusuke to be Spirit Detective. Nothing would change him mind now.

"Anyway, I better push off to demon world. Sensui gave me a death sentence as a gift, and I'd be a jerk if I didn't return the favor."

"But you can't go anywhere! You have to be quarantined!"

Yusuke glared at the Captain. "You even think about stopping me, and I'll bite off your head, mustache and all."

The recipient of the glare backed away. "I knew you couldn't hide your true character, you've transformed into a demon menace."

"Look jerk, give me a break, it's called a running joke. I'm the same. Yusuke Urameshi! Fearless protector of the good stuff with a healthy kickin'-ass-ness, and a general hate for authority. And nothing as trivial as a violent death or a few drops of demon blood mixed in with mine is going to keep me from helping out my friends and saving the world and kicking the bad guys' ass."

Koenma heaves a sigh of relief. A equally relieved laugh escaped between his lips as he rose to his feet. "Hold on, I'm coming with you."

The captain latched onto Koenma's arm to forestall him. "But sir, you will be disobeying a direct order from king Enma. Besides, this hostile beast-" He was cut off.

Yusuke put his foot in his face.

"Pass this to King Enma for me."

The captain fell back. Whether from the stench of Yusuke's foot, or from the impact, Koenma knew not. Though he rather suspected a combination of both.



"Are you alright?"

"You really should watch your feet more often Yusuke." Koenma commented as Yusuke jumped onto Puu. The Prince followed suit.

"Koenma, I tried to save you!" the Captain called desperately.

"You can tell King Daddy that, and that he can disown me or fire me or put me up for adoption."

"Let's go to Demon World Puu!"

And with that, Puu let out a screech and leapt into the air, making a graceful flight that left the Spirit Defense Force in open-mouthed awe.

"Now Yusuke, you do understand that there's a good chance we won't be able to go back." He screamed over the whipping wind of the Tunnel.

"Yeah, shut up. I can't worry about that now. Remind me after we've beaten Sensui."

Koenma chuckled and shook his head. "You are as irrational as ever."

"Hah, like I'm ever going to give that up. It's the only that makes this job any fun. C'mon Puu, faster!"

Koenma grinned in reminiscence. He had been reckless, but he had made the right choice. He was certain that he would have regretted anything else. Not to mention Yusuke might not have been so agreeable had he not taken his side.

So despite the fact that he was now strolling down Living World's not-so-clean sidewalks, Koenma was content with his decision. Not only had he been able to observe Yusuke's amusing recklessness, but he had resolved the problem of Sensui. All in all, his impending punishment aside, Koenma had benefited well from his defiance.

That was what was so appealing about Yusuke's personality. His utter defiance against the authority, even the Prince's own. The punk just had to do everything his way.

It was…refreshing.

And the boy had stirred something in him he couldn't quite recognize. Perhaps it was a rebellion in himself. After all, he had betrayed his own father's orders for Yusuke's sake. And then, perhaps it was recklessness, for he had known full well that siding with Yusuke meant facing his father's wrath upon his return. And there was nothing he feared more than his father's wrath. But no, it wasn't that either. It was a combination of all of this, yet, something more. What this was was a reason to be rebellious. It gave the strength to be reckless. And it was a rational excuse to disregard all his obligations to both Spirit World and his father. And all this he owed to Yusuke.


Disclaimer: Characters originate from the story of Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi. Portrayal of Koenma intended as a part of the Unmaskings. Dialogue pulled from the dub.