Tendrils of white vapors flowed out of his lips, only to wisp away into the night sky by the chilling breeze.

His drooping eyes lazily watched the pale cigarette smoke vanish while his mind was contemplating the words the westerner had told him...

--

"... Y'all must have wondered at some point. 'What if I could bring someone back to life?"

--

The man breathed in another puff of his tobacco and exhaled it again.

At first appearance, he may have the looks to swoon any female into a heavenly stupor. His hair, bright and golden, looked as if it embodied the very essence of the sun, for it gave the man a slight bright aura to make him stand out in the darkness. However, could it have also been the possibility that this aura was simply a manifestation of being the highest of Buddhist monks, and that his piety , spiritual strength, and the all powerful Maten Scripture resting on his shoulders—literally—was strong enough to break shadow? Possibly. For if one could not see the uniforms of a Sanzo cleric, then his acute, violet eyes could then bring clear wind to those who stare that this man had much strength deep inside…

He suddenly stopped his loafing, though, for he felt the presence of a familiar within his area. He said nothing, but just kept thinking.

"Oh," exclaimed the familiar, "You're here."

Out of the dark, from behind the corner of the building, was a young man, probably 18 or so. He had a mess of spiky brown hair while he had the huge eyes of an innocent child–only except for the fact that his eyes were a golden color... which made him more mysterious than what one would first presume he be at first glance.

The man merely continued smoking, giving the boy a sour look. "So? What do you want?"

The boy shrugged his shoulders. "I was just wonderin' where ya went."

The minister sighed, annoyed, and looked like he had a migraine when he said, "I'm not going anywhere."

But the boy gazed at him with worried eyes.

"...Really...?"

There was a long silence between them. The boy's eyes no longer filled with playfulness or childish naivety…. The man was surprised to see his companion look at him with a fierce glower. Therefore, he just had to see what was wrong.

"…What's the matter?"

The boy gripped his chest as his eyes cast nervously. When he tried to speak, his words were soft and almost muted. "Um, it's just… since we came to this place, or maybe since before that… I've been thinkin' about what it'd be like to bring someone back from th' dead."

The man merely closed his eyes and shook his head, sighing hopelessly as his brunette friend tried to explain. The blonde man finally made a rather harsh but honest statement, "We've gone over this, Goku. You're wasting what few brain cells you have left."

The boy, known as Goku, smiled broadly and nervously, as he tried to win back his own confidence. "I guess so. I don't really get it anyway. I thought that bringin' someone back… like, if it made everybody happy, then it was okay." But soon, his small happy voice… became cold, sad and unsure. "But I dunno. What if it was up to me? If everyone… or if someone like you died, Sanzo, an' it was up to me. Would I do it? Would I try an' bring ya back?"

"Don't be in a rush to kill me," Sanzo retorted, "I don't appreciate the favor."

The comment was blunt and harsh at the same time. In fact, Goku felt the anxiety, as if of the foreshadowed clobbering by a twelve-ton mace. He trembled nervously as he tried to reply, in a traumatized voice. "Oh. I guessed right."

"What about you, Goku?"

"Huh?"

Sanzo looked at Goku with his solemn, violet eyes.

"For example, if you lost your life. Would you want us to bring you back?"

"…..Hmmm…." Goku scratched his head, thinking. "…No, it's okay."

He smiled widely and confidently, his voice now resolved. "I think I'd be ok. That's why I gotta make sure to not die."

Sanzo smiled, seeing his friend now back to his more confident self, and placed a new cigarette in his mouth—now that his old, long been forgotten and burnt out tobacco had trembled out of his mouth.

"That's good enough for me."

"Goku smiled and scratched the tip of his nose, brooding over his words.

"…Yeah. I think I get it."

"Everyone has to die eventually, Goku," Sanzo uttered deadpanned, "That's the way the world works. But you have to live your life… assuming that that time isn't coming for a while."

"Mm. Bein' alive makes me—" His stomach growled, "—HUNGRY! Are ya hungry?"

Sanzo glared his monkey of a friend. Goku was, sadly enough, back to his old, chimp of a self.

"No. That's just you," He muttered coldly.

Goku jumped around happily, excitedly. "Let's go eat somethin'!"

Sanzo became annoyed now, his tumor had once again returned to torture him… and its name was Goku.

"Do you realize what time it is? Go the hell to bed!" He stomped away, his voice an angry mutter, "If you sleep in tomorrow, we're leaving you here."

"Wha? Boo!" Goku complained pitifully and stubbornly, like a spoiled child. "But I bet there's a shop on Main Street that's still—!"

He suddenly turned around at the sound of a sudden "whoosh" in the air… only heard by his more animalistic ears.

"… Huh?"

Suddenly the sound of a white noise came into ears, and it was a rather loud blast too. Even Sanzo could hear its din as he turned around

He saw Goku, his body suddenly slashed open, and blood spluttering out.

Sanzo's eyes went wide with horror, as he watched, helplessly, his best friend tumbling before him, crimson blood splattering everything.

--

"… No, it's okay," Goku's voice echoed in his head, "I think I'd be ok."

--

"Go—!"

There was a thump as the boy's body hit the ground.

His voice rang throughout the entire town.

"GOKU!!!"

--

T O B E C O T I N U E D…

--

Well, if you guys haven't noticed (or if haven't gotten that far yet), I have used the last bit of Saiyuki: Reload Volume 6 as Goku's death scene. What happens next, you will just have to see for yourself.

And be sure to read the fellow crow stories created by Wolfgod and Black Panther (Formally Kokoryu).