A SAIYUKI FAN
Disclaimer: This fanfic is based on
Saiyuki Minekura Kazuya. There is no profit to be made and no copyright
infringement was intended.
Ratings : PG13 (I think ^^;, violence, no adult content, sorry folks ; )
Timeline: The story starts before
Genjo Sanzo's first meeting with Son Gokuu
Spoiler : A tiny bit – mostly from the Shuen story line
The voice was driving him
Sanzo gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to clap his
hands over his ears. It would not help. He had tried it.
Not that it was loud -
no, that was not the problem. In fact, the first few times he heard it he
thought it was just the wind sighing among the forest's branches and had
ignored it. Until he heard it again. And again… and again…
Persistent son of a
He refused to admit that
it spooked him. The humans in the small village he had passed some way back had
warned him in hushed voices that the forest was haunted, tainted by the many
violent deaths perpetrated inside it. That the human-killer, renegade youkai of
immense power had made it its hunting ground and presided over it from the top
of the towering mountain range surrounding the forest.
He had not been
impressed. He had stayed only long enough to replenish his depleted provisions
and had set off immediately for this forest, despite the villagers fearful
pleadings. They had been afraid that a lone priest, especially one as young as he
was, would have no chance.
They did not understand.
The more powerful the youkai was supposed to be, the more interested he was.
After all, the youkai that had killed his teacher had been powerful.
But the moment he had
entered this forest, it had started.
A rustling far from the
left snapped him into action, the Shoureijuu up and pointing at the direction
before he had fully turned. A tense silence followed before he caught sight of
brown fur and long curling tail flicking among the leaves.
He let the gun fall down
with an annoyed sigh. "Monkeys…," he muttered irritably. Annoying pests. The
whole forest was invested with them, according to the villagers, and so were
the surrounding mountains. They stole fruits, crops, the occasional food and sweets
set too near the windows. Not dangerous activities, but a hell of a nuisance.
If the youkai had had a
taste for monkey flesh and not human, he would have been made a hero by those
A strong gust of wind
rustled of the top foliage of the trees, and following on it, a softer sigh, a
Swearing a foul oath that
would have shocked other monks into fits, Sanzo whirled around in the general
direction the voice had come from. "Why don't you come out here and fight
me, coward? Quit playing this ridiculous game, you spineless misbegotten
He stood there with
breath heaving, listening. No reply. Not even an indication that the other,
whoever or whatever it was, had heard him.
With a snarl, Sanzo
resumed trudging on the faint game track. I
swear when I get my hands on him, I'm going to rip his head off...!!
The water was fresh and
cooling, soothing more than just his body but also his frayed temper. The brook
burbled cheerfully along its channel of worn gravels as he scooped another
mouthful of water. He wiped his lips on one sleeve and wondered if he ought to
think of another strategy. From the villagers' description, he had thought that
simply wondering around the forest would eventually let him meet up with the
youkai. But almost three days had passed and he had not sensed even a whiff of
They were probably
exaggerating the frequency of attacks, he thought sourly. For a while he listed
a few choice words he would grace them with when he returned.
A sliver of knife-edged
ice flashed at the edge of his mind and went straight to his guts. His breath
hitched on his throat and he scrambled to throw his exposed back against a
large boulder beside him. The gun was already cocked and sighting on the forest
without his conscious thought even as his skin tried to crawl off his flesh.
"So, finally coming
out to play, eh?" The edge of his thin lips curled up in a tight smile
that was almost a grimace. It transformed the lean, sharp angles of his young
face into a predatory mask. Let's get
this over with. Let me see your face. Let me see if you're who I'm looking for.
That icy feel - eager,
needy, and so, so hungry - did not increase, but neither did it disappear.
Sanzo carefully edged up to his feet, back still braced against the stone. His
violet eyes gave the forest one quick scan, but he relied more on that
awareness of youki in his guts rather than mere sight. Eyes, ears, those purely
physical senses could be deceived too easily. Especially when the enemy was of
the youkai race who was both faster and stronger than humans.
Silence. The birds had
stopped singing some time ago and the forest was smothered with an unnatural
Sanzo cocked his head to
aside, straining to at least pinpoint the direction the youki was coming from.
But it was hard. That icy sense was everywhere, weighing down the air and he
fancied he could feel it trying to seep into his bones and freeze his marrows.
He licked his dry lips, absorbing the fear that was turning his stomach into
knots and feeding it to that core of harsh rage that had formed in his soul
since seven years ago. It burned brighter, that rage, and its cold heat seared
the fear away as he had intended.
He hurled the challenge out, the words falling like slaps in the too-still air.
"What, the powerful youkai who killed countless humans afraid of one
little monk?" He sneered. "I'm so disappointed. I suppose your
reputation's worth about as much as the hot air coming out of your ass."
The youki peaked, the
sliver turning into a jagged spear.
Sanzo threw himself to
the side even as he fired to his right, two rapid shots of mantra-enhanced
bullets that pierced the air and left multiple trails of burning sun-brightness
in his sight. A shadow sped past and something hit the boulder where his head
used to be. A huge chunk of stone exploded, showering gravels and pulverized
stone-dust all over the place. Sharp pain sliced across his cheek, narrowly
mising the right eye. He hissed, curling to his side and raising one hand to
protect his face and eyes. Ears still ringing from the explosion and the
gun-shots, he grimly concentrated on the feel of the youki. Did he get the
His eyes shot open. He caught
a glimpse of dark shape outlined against the sun, coming down straight for him,
then the muzzle of his gun was superimposed over the figure and two more of the
precious bullets tore out of the barrel. He thought he saw it jerked but he was
already rolling his body away, desperately trying to put as much space as
to fall right on me!
Heavy impact jarred the
ground behind him and before he could turn a heavy blow caught him full across
the back. It felt like being hit with a log - a big one. The force of it threw
him a couple of meters and he hit the gravel surface hard, skidding and
scraping flesh off his right arm and leg. His body slammed abruptly against
something hard and the force whipped his neck back. His head cracked sickeningly
against that same unyielding surface and his vision blacked out.
Sanzo came awake blinking
in a daze, unable to tell exactly when the blackness turned into wavery vision.
Awareness came more slowly. In a distant way, he was aware of tiny stones digging
into his right cheek, and a muted sound of gravel crunching behind him. But all
he could do was stare numbly at his bloody right arm in front of him, the gun
still held loosely by limp fingers. The arm had taken the brunt of the fall and
the entire side was skinned, exposing raw flesh, dripping red.
Meat. He thought crazily. Take the thin piece of skin away, and we are all meat underneath. Just
moving piece of flesh cobbled together, struggling against death. In the end,
even the best of us...
flesh, limbs torn off from the body, the jagged white of bone poking out of the
stump and glistening wet with dark crimson....
a doll after a child had tired with it, except dolls don't bleed, dolls don't
spread an ever-widening pool of blood over the floor...
and no master carver can capture that gentle
face, the laugh lines around the mouth and the generous quirk of the lips that
had spoken words of love just one minute before...
A part of him was screaming
to him to get up. To move. But it was a distant voice, fighting to be heard
among the clamoring of memory in his head. And right now, the memory was
louder… much, much louder and drowning in its depth...
Something grabbed hold of
his left shoulder and heaved him over to his back. He stared up at indistinct
black shape outlined by the noonday sun. There were sounds, words being spoken,
but he could not hear enough to make sense of it. Hot liquid trickled down his
neck, an annoyance.
He had to... this one, he
had to... what...?
His right shoulder was
grabbed and he was roughly jerked to a sitting position. His head fell back
limply and breathing suddenly became more difficult. The hold on his shoulder
tightened, five points of fiery pain blooming in his shoulder. His left hand
reflexively clasped over the pain and he tried to lift his head up, but the
effort made his vision tunneled, forcing him to a stop. For a while, he could
only hear the sound of his own heavy breathing.
Fingers encircled his
neck, cold, cold fingers with long, sharp nails that pricked his skin.
Shock jolted through his
mind, sudden awareness of his incredibly vulnerable position. Fear ran like
molten mercury through his veins, and closely followed by it, as it was always
the case now, sharp, metallic anger. Rage at being in this position - the role
of a powerless victim, rage at himself for being weak, and from that rage,
strength surged out of him to lash out, to destroy the cause of the pain.
Thought did not even come
into it - this body of his followed the dark urges so much faster than his
mind. His whole body jerked with the force of the blow, his right fist - gun
and all - slamming into something hard but unmistakably of flesh and blood. The
impact made a solid sound and produced an even more satisfying grunt of pain
from the other.
But not enough. Not
enough. His lips pulled back into a snarl and he tried to align the muzzle of
his gun. A jarring blow hit the side of his face and he fell back, vision
swimming in and out of focus. The gun almost fell out of his right hand.
Clawed fingers grabbed
his hair, the sharp nails scoring his scalp. A powerful hand slammed on the
fist holding the gun, and the right thumb on top must had broken because the
pain shot up his arm and straight to his chest. He gasped out in pain and felt
hot breath brushing his nape, heard the youkai spoke for the first time –
"…damn foul priests… where's your precious gods right
now, hmh?" Indistinct words, garbled by the growling tone…
"…nice, white skin… young priest…
gonna make me a nice, nice meal…" Hot saliva dripped on his skin, making him
shudder in revulsion. The breath came closer, he could smell the carrion stink
of it now, a sickly sweetish smell of corruption.
"…or maybe not…" The
sneered whisper came behind his ears. "… maybe I'll play with you first. Pretty
young priest, you have such pretty eyes on you…" A wet tongue snaked across his
nape, scraping across his skin.
His mind blanked out. Fear,
rage boiled out of him and sent fresh jolt of strength down his limbs. He
thrashed, lunging forward and ignoring the pain in his scalp. The youkai
tightened his grip – it felt like the skin was being ripped off – and leaned
forward after him.
He pushed off his arms
and threw his head back as hard as he could. Felt himself hit the youkai's
face, felt the crunch of crushed cartilage and a muted howl of pain. Wet soaked
his hair and the grip loosened, the youkai reflexively shying away from him.
The hand restraining his gun arm was snatched away.
With a cry, he bucked his
body, half-throwing off the youkai, and shoved himself sideways. His remaining
right fingers spasmed closed on the gun grip and he blindly twisted that arm
back, ignoring the screaming of muscles forced into unnatural position.
The muzzle of the
Shoureijuu pressed against something solid and he pulled the trigger, at this
point past caring what he hit. The recoil sent fresh pain up his wounded arm,
but it was secondary to the youkai's sudden scream of agony. More hot liquid
spattered the side of his face, the taste of blood strong and sickening where
it spilled on his tongue. The weight on top of him disappeared.
He rolled all the way
around and blinked blurry eyes, the sound of his panting harsh in his ears. The
gun was pointing but there was nothing for it to shoot at.
He blinked again. The
youkai was gone. He could see a trail of blood beside him, disappearing near
the tree line as if the youkai had taken to the trees. And lying a few meters
beside him, a piece of limb – a right arm, blown off at the shoulder. A
youkai's arm, with thick musculature and sharp, curved claws.
He had not hit the vitals
- the Shoureijuu had not blown the youkai to bits.
He lay there panting,
feeling the shuddering reaction up and down his body. Stared at the gun in his
hand and thinking – there were no bullets left; five shots, and if the youkai
had stayed, he'd had him.
He tried to stand up but
his head spun with the effort and his stomach… He sank weakly to knees and
elbows, and puked his guts out. The sour taste and smell of vomit made him
heave some more even when there was nothing left to throw up.
"Don't… don't pass out,
idiot…" He whispered to himself. The youkai was still nearby, he could come
back. He had to refill the Shoureijuu, had to bind his wounds, had to…
But his vision was
tunneling and he was falling fast, falling… ….
who are you?
why do you keep calling me?
I don't know you…
so long… all this time……
the light… miss you……
me… I'm here….here…
…I don't know where!…
wait for you…
… all right…
…so…don't cry anymore…
Sanzo woke up with a
start. For a long while, he could only stare at the wooden ceiling above. The
memory of it, the voice that wasn't a voice still echoing softly in his heart.
A voice that wasn't a voice…
There was something about
it that tickled his memory, but right now it eluded his grasp.
A door creaked open. He
turned his head with some difficulty and found a matronly woman standing by the
open door with a basin of water. She
looked startled at seeing him awake, but recovered quickly. "Ah! You're awake."
Sanzo blinked, trying to
prod his mind for some recognition. "You're… from the village," he said
haltingly. So he had returned here. But how?
"You're lucky to be
alive." The woman bustled in and laid a proprietary hand on his forehead. Sanzo
twitched and wondered if it was worth the effort to brush the hand off. Before
he could find the strength, she had nodded to herself and looking satisfied.
"The fever's broken."
Fever? He was just
becoming aware that he was lying naked on the bed and the sheets wrapped around
him were uncomfortably damp.
"When you didn't return
after three days, we thought you were lost." She sat on the bed side and began
dipping a wash cloth into the basin and wringing it dry. "Some of us didn't
think it right that a monk's body should be exposed out there, especially since
you are Genjo Sanzo." She placed the damp cloth on his forehead, ignoring his
frown of discomfort at the cold. "Our men found you by the river, unconscious.
We couldn't wake you up. I've seen strong men die in their sleep from head
injury like yours. It was a good thing you kept waking up by yourself on and
off, even though we couldn't rouse you all the way up."
Sanzo lifted his left arm
– the right was stiff and unresponsive – and tried to pull the wet compress
away. He got slapped on the wrist for his trouble.
"Leave it there." The
woman frowned at him like he was one of her son caught with stolen cookies.
"There's still a bit of the fever left."
Sanzo could not quite
contain a harassed sigh. He did not like being treated like an invalid. The
fact that right now he was, indeed, little more than that, simply added more
salt to the wound.
"You said I was awake?"
He could not remember being awake.
"Mm-hmm. You were talking
He stiffened. "I was?"
"Nothing much. Couldn't
make out what you were saying. Just caught a few words, like 'stop', 'shut up'…
Didn't seem like a nightmare either, so I didn't see the harm of it." She
smiled at him, humor in her eyes. "Sounds like you were having a conversation
with someone. A friend?"
He heaved a breath.
"Friend…? You've got to be kidding me. He…" And stopped. How to explain to her
that he had been hearing this imaginary voice for days now and, from what she
just told him, had started answering it back? He had no desire to be treated
like a lunatic on top of being bed-ridden.
Besides, he found himself
reluctant to share his… dream, if it had been that… with anyone.
The woman stood up. "Rest
some more now. I'll bring you some change of sheets and hot water to clean yourself."
"Wait… Did the search
party found anything else?"
She shook her head. "No,
but they said they found a hand lying on the ground beside you. A youkai's
hand. I suppose you pay him back quite a bit, eh?"
"I suppose…" He muttered.
"You sure they didn't find anyone else in the surrounding area?"
"I'm afraid not."
"…thanks." Damn it. He
had been hoping the wound had been enough to kill the youkai.
He barely paid attention
as the door snicked close quietly. If the
youkai is still alive… then that voice could be his, couldn't it?
Sanzo scowled up at the
rafters. "Well…," he muttered, "there's only one way to find out. I don't care
who you are, I'm going to find you. And when I do, I'll beat the shit out of
It took him almost a full
week before he was prepared to leave to the village. He was wise enough not to
rush out prematurely, but that did not mean he did not chafe at the slow pace
his body was taking to mend itself.
And healing was at the
top of his least favorite things. The whole of his back was a mess of bruises
from the first blow that had sent him flying. It made every little movement
hurt. His right arm was stiff with abused muscles and the healing skin itched
abominably. There was a lump at the back of his head and another one on the
right temple where the youkai had hit him. Finding the proper sleeping position
became serious business, and it took a long time for him to lose the headaches.
On top of that, his
broken thumb was useless – he had never truly appreciated the small appendage
until he found himself having to switch to left hand for everything from
holding chopsticks to practice shooting.
All in all, it was a very
His temper simmered and
built until it was strung out as taut as a wire. When he found himself starting
to snap at the innocent villagers for the smallest excuses he could find, he
withdrew himself to the empty fields and deserted sheds to spare both sides the
aggravation. There, he smoked his fast-depleting stock of precious cigarettes
and waited in as close a peace as he could manage.
On the few occasions when
he was in a better mood to socialize, he tried to find out more about the
youkai, and discreetly asked if the people knew of any other around the area. He
prodded for the exact cause the forest was labeled haunted, even managed to
slip in a question about phantom voices and whether any person had ever
experienced or heard of such things.
He was met with
exasperatingly blank looks and vague answers. No one had ever recalled hearing
'strange' things in the forest. Why did they call it haunted forest? Didn't
Sanzo-sama feel its eeriness? Wasn't that a good enough reason by itself? No,
there wasn't any other youkai around, the village had traditionally been occupied
by humans only.
It was frustrating enough
to make him chew stones.
There was one interesting
bit of information he found, though. He would have been more heartened if he
could be sure his source was not going senile. The old woman with face as
wrinkled as sun-dried prune and missing all but four of her teeth had confided
in her wavery voice of old legends none but the eldest still remember. She told
of a five hundred year old legend of a powerful youkai – and not just any
youkai but one with power that could challenge the gods. The legend said that
the youkai had committed some hideous crime for which he was condemned from
heaven and imprisoned on the mortal world, his power and his body sealed away
and damned to watch the world pass by from behind his prison.
The old woman had spoken
in hushed voice that it was foretold the youkai would be freed one day, that
someone would come and release it from its shackles. That someone already did
and now it was loose in the forest and killing humans to appease its anger at
Sanzo was skeptical about
it – he was of the opinion that legends tend to get distorted beyond all
recognition with re-telling. But it was the only thing he could find that even
hinted at another possible youkai in the area.
He managed to get the
location of the supposed prison of the youkai from the old grandmother. She had
pointed at the surrounding mountain range – Gojyo-san she said its name was,
named so for the five peaks that the story claimed were the five fingers of
Buddha. His stomach had sunk when he looked at the towering peak the woman
It was going to be one
hell of a climb.
He was sorely tempted to
give it up. If the legend truly was as old as she said, he would be chasing in
vain after something at best long dead, and at worst never anything more than a
figment of someone's imagination.
But if you never try to find out, you'll just keep on
wondering. Wouldn't you?
Sometimes, life just
CONTINUED IN PART 2
Shoureijuu is Sanzo's gun, the youkai-killing Smith &
Wesson ^_^. I know that in the anime one shot of the gun was enough to scatter
a youkai into dust, but in the manga it just ripped into them. And for powerful
enough or big enough youkai like the spider-lady in the early episode it did
less damage. So I'm operating under the assumption that it had to hit vital
part of the body to deal instant death, and it will deal damage more like an
ordinary gun for powerful or huge youkai.
If you're asking why the Maten-kyomon didn't come into play
here, well, it takes time to recite, and in this case, Sanzo didn't have the
leisure ^^;. Wait a bit, it'll get used ^_-.
Oshou-sama is how Sanzo called his teacher, the former Genjo