Author's Note: I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I've posted anything to but for some reason I've been hankering to write fanfiction again lately. To be honest I expected myself to write something about Saiyuki given that's what I've been watching most recently, but instead this comes out instead. I hope I can wrap it up within another chapter or two and in less than five years. I'll also note that I tweaked the end of chapter 5 just a little bit as I uploaded this.

SIX

Slowly I turn the envelope over in my hand. I'm angry with myself about it again. My brain is making me think of the ring as a poisonous snake. Putting the ring on is worth getting the answers. Who is going to know I've done it? No one is here. Who designs an elevator lock so there's absolutely no way to get up there without having a ring on? It's not as if I can't take it off again afterwards put it back in the stupid envelope and shove it up Kiryuu's…anyway.

I carefully peel back the rose seal so it doesn't tear, and then the flap at the top. There is a small card inside. It looks like a wedding invitation, and has my name on it again and some nonsense about the student council's very lengthy and superior selection process, and the ring. All this fuss for a pink rose on a white band. I let it sit in the palm of my hand for a moment but slipping it on my finger. It ticks me off how comfortable it feels there.

On the other side of the card is written, "If it cannot hatch from it's shell, the chick will die without ever truly being born. We are the chick; the world is our egg. If we don't break the world's shell, we will die without truly being born. Smash the world's shell, for the Revolution of the World."

What are these people on?

This isn't how you join a council. There are supposed to be elections, campaigns, perhaps even a buffet, not a near midnight dark corridor secret ring used to go into a dark elevator and find a secret meeting patio. Either way the door slides open and I step into the elevator.

It's open, with just metal gates separating me from a drop down the side of the tower, and despite the loud click when I put my—the ring into the lock no one came running to stop me. The ride up to the top of the tower feels three times as long as when I went up it with Ruka. I'm not sure what to expect when the gate opens again at the top of the tower, but this wasn't it.

There's just a table with three chairs, a couple of trees and the bench. There's an envelope on the table though with that same rose seal on it and a set of binoculars. As I cross to the table I realize what I hadn't seen before because I was too angry from here you can see all the way across campus to the "Forbidden" forest though everyone looks like model people from here, little colored dots flitting around. I pick up the binoculars knocking the letter. As I pick it up "Arisugawa Juri" is written across the front of it. This is getting more than a little annoying. Maybe whoever it is has just put these all over campus figuring that I'll show up somewhere sooner or later. That's a much more appealing explanation than someone being able to predict my every move.

I sit down on the wall and look through the binoculars towards the forest. I've always been curious about that place and I've known for a while that the council is the only people who can go in there and looking through the binoculars and I can see Ruka and Kyouchi arguing down there by the forest entrance. There's some sort of structure I can make out which I hadn't seen before. It looks like a strange table from here. I sit back, setting down the binoculars and looking at the letter.

"We've got to stop meeting like this Arisugawa-kun," Kiryuu's voice, "People will talk."

"You talking I'd believe though I doubt anyone would believe what you say if it's about me." I remark.

"You might be right." He said, "but time will tell."

I almost go to move my hand, but it would have to be obvious to him that I must have put the ring on. I can't help but feeling I'm sunk. I didn't hear the elevator. He must have been up here this whole time.

"and what will it tell exactly?" I ask.

"Ah, now, that would be telling." He sits down beside me, facing the opposite way back towards the patio, leaning against the tower wall. He glances down towards the forest, and then puts his hand towards mine, "May I?"

I push the binoculars towards him. He looks through them for a moment and frowns.

"Disappointing." He says after a moment, "I came up here to watch a fight."

I say nothing. All this talk of dueling is starting to make me sick.

"You're not going to read your letter?" he asks, "End of the World sends them for a reason."

It's all I can do to stop myself repeating back to him what he said in a high-pitched voice. Though I do take the letter with me when I leave.

"It's a shame," Kiryuu remarks as the gates of the elevator close in front of me, "If there's anyone who could use the power or miracles right now it's Ruka." I see him giving me a sly smile as I push the button and the elevator starts it's long downward journey away from him.