Sha Gojyo / Kenren Taichou
Summary: Two souls within one body. One dies, and so the other must resurface.
Warnings: Blood and some violence.
People out of character in this story.
Disclaimers: I don't own Saiyuki in any way.
Saiyuki fic. Haven't written many of them so I'll hope you'll still enjoy this.
For the very late update, I apologize! I have huge lack of inspiration when it comes to Saiyuki right now; I rode high on several others but have yet to write them down.
Last chapter; enjoy!
Kenren looked at the sky, blowing out smoke lazily before turning to look at the slumbering party. Goku had snuggled up against the human priest, and while Sanzo was frowning he had yet to push the boy away. Hakkai was lying motionless as usual, Dokugakuji not far away with the sword near him. Kougaiji and Lirin were lying close to each other, Lirin clinging to her brother's arm and Yaone was lying near them. Hakuryuu was curled up on Kenren's shoulder, as the dragon had done for the last few days instead of sleeping.
"You will work yourself to death, little friend," Kenren said to the dragon that only looked at him. Hakuryuu puffed at his head and the god chuckled. He took another drag and whispered to the red-eyed creature, like a secret, "Soon this will all be over."
"We will reach the castle within the next few days," Hakkai said, studying the map. "So we need to think up what to do."
"You just can't walk in there and destroy the machines that keep my father alive," Kougaiji said. "There are a lot of guards."
Sanzo thought for a while and then said:
"A trap in their own building?" the red-haired demon asked.
"You know the castle pretty well," Sanzo said. "Right?"
"Yes, we do," the demon replied.
"Then we will have to rely on you," the priest said. "We will go in there, and kill him."
Kougaiji tried not to think what would happen to his mother; the only sign he let show was a brief sorrow in his eyes. No one saw it but for a raven-haired god.
Kenren frowned as he saw it. What was wrong?
Kenren tried to ease the aching in his hand but to no avail. His power wanted out, his real shape wanted out. This was not easy. He had done it better in heaven but now he had no reason to hide himself. He slowly made a fist of his hand before releasing it, looking at it all the while. He made sure no one was watching him as he tried to make the tingling pain stop. The pain was not really hurting him, just damn annoying and he wanted it to stop so he could focus.
The others were eating lunch but food had begun working against him and he had not eaten in two days. If it was of nervousness he did not know. After all, they were only one day from the castle; soon this journey would be over, one way or another.
He looked up at Hakkai, who was eyeing him worriedly.
"Hmm?" he replied.
"Are you sure you're not hungry?" the man asked.
"Positive," Kenren said. "I might get something down later."
The healer did not want to leave him though and sat with him for the rest of the lunch. Kenren looked at him and sighed sadly.
"What's wrong?" Hakkai asked and cocked his head.
"Nothing," Kenren said. "You just look a bit like someone I knew."
"Oh. Very good-looking I suppose?"
The reply actually made the former god laugh, and Hakkai smiled.
At dinner, Kenren actually got something down that stayed down. Small miracles. The tingling in his body had only grown worse though, and his whole skin was itching. It was annoying and he was actually looking forward to the fight so he could release his powers.
The others were sitting a bit closer to the fire and were planning the attack. Kenren looked at Kougaiji's face as did Lirin, Yaone and Dokugakuji. He wondered yet again why the red-headed youkai looked so sad. He decided to ask him later.
His chance came when the rest went to sleep. Kougaiji had gone a bit away from the camp and Kenren followed him.
"Why are you following me?" Kougaiji asked.
"Thought you might like some company, since something is clearly weighing you down."
"You noticed that?"
The youkai looked at the god who had replaced Gojyo. The blue eyes seemed suddenly very, very old and wise. Not caring that Kenren looked younger than himself, Kougaiji opened his mouth and told an almost total stranger about his mother's condition and what would happen.
After Kougaiji had gone to sleep for a bit before the big the following day, Kenren looked over the small stream they were at and thought. So that was why he was so upset. Kougaiji's mother would die the next day because of that bitch.
Maybe he could do something…
Kenren jumped off the stone he was seated on and went into the forest. He came to a clearing and sat down, cross-legged and his hands resting on his knees. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and focused. The only sound was the gentle wind rustling through the trees. After a little while, Kanzeon stepped into the moonlight soundlessly and said:
"It's rare that you call on me; usually it's the other way around."
Kenren opened his eyes and she looked into the deep depths, sighing sadly. He smiled to cheer her up a bit but knew he was going a bad job.
"I need a bit of help," Kenren said as he rose up from his position. His whole body was tingling now, irritating him to no end. Yet he did not show any signs of it.
"Are you going through with your plan?" she asked.
"Yes," the god said. "But not only that. I need help with something else."
She looked at him for a long time, and then said:
"What can I do for you?"
When Hakkai woke up, he woke up to the smell of food. He sat up, blinking and saw Kenren sitting by the fire. He was the one cooking, and looked to not really be there.
He looked up when hearing Hakkai's voice and smiled a bit.
"I was awake so I thought I would make breakfast," the god said cheerfully.
Hakkai got up and sat down next to the fire. Kenren was making fried rice with bacon and tea.
"Smells lovely," Hakkai said with a real smile. "Have you seen Hakuryuu?"
"He stole my blankets," Kenren informed and jabbed a finger behind himself. The healer looked to where the god was pointing and saw indeed the small dragon curled up within the blankets.
"He's rather sneaky when he wants to be," the brunette said.
"Tell me about it," the raven-haired man replied and rolled his eyes.
Sanzo tried to ignore the slight shaking of his hand as he reached for a cigarette. The final day was there, and for the first time the blonde priest feared the outcome the slightest bit. He was not sure how it was going to end; after all, they were only a small group against an army.
He looked over at the others; the demons that knew the castle were preparing their trap while the other two were quiet. Kenren was feeding Hakuryuu as the dragon had become attached to the former god. The man looked unnaturally calm, but Sanzo knew Kenren had had fights like this all the time.
"We are ready," Kougaiji said and looked at them. They all nodded and rose up.
"Hakuryuu," Kenren said and the dragon looked at him. "Can you do me and Hakkai a favour? As we don't want to see you hurt, why don't you take protection where no nasty creatures can reach you?"
The dragon moved its wings violently and Kenren continued:
"I know you don't want that, but we will go with a bang. It will happen a lot, and you might get hurt in the process. Please?"
Hakuryuu looked at Kenren for a long time and then seemed to sigh. The dragon nodded and the god shone up again.
"Go on then," he said and the dragon lifted from his shoulder. It stopped to nuzzle Hakkai's face a bit before flying towards a group of trees.
"Thank you," Hakkai said to the god. "I would never have been able to convince him."
"It's too bad you don't have my incredible charm," the god teased.
Hakkai rolled his eyes.
The entrance exploded and several demons were thrown into the walls. Kougaiji, Dokugakuji and Yaone ran in the front and either killed or knocked unconscious all the demons they could. After them came Sanzo, Hakkai and Lirin. Goku and Kenren formed the end.
"My father is on the fifth floor," Kougaiji said to the others that did not know the castle. "The scripts are there as well. Gyokumen is there as well, and she is a bitch to handle when fighting. She will use any tricks she can to win over you, so be prepared."
Kenren hid his grin. Oh, this should be fun…
"Kill them! Kill them all!"
"But my lady, your daughter is among them!"
"I don't care!" Gyokumen shouted. "She betrayed me so kill her too! That damn Kougaiji, daring to do this!"
She rose up and shouted:
"I'm going to Rasetsu-nyo! Kougaiji will never see his mother alive when I'm done with her!"
Once they came to the fifth floor, it was empty. They could with no problems barricade the heavy doors leading into Gyumaoh's chamber. Before though had Kougaiji controlled so that Ni Jianyi was not in the control-room. Luckily, that room had also been empty.
"How do we destroy this freaking thing?! It's huge!" Goku exclaimed.
"Shut all of the functions off first," Kougaiji said. "We stop giving him life-support and then he will die. After that, I will try to destroy him."
Sanzo plucked the scripts off from a table and looked at them. One of them belonged to his late master, and now him. He put them away in his robes and looked back at the others.
Kenren was standing and looking up at Gyumaoh.
"What's wrong, Kenren?" Hakkai asked.
"I'm having a nostalgic moment," Kenren said and cocked his head. "I remember when we sealed Gyumaoh away."
"No way!" Goku and Lirin shouted. "You were there?!"
"I assisted," Kenren confessed, but I suck at sealing arts to I merely kept him in one place."
"You helped sealing away my father?" Kougaiji asked. Kenren shrugged and said:
"He was a rather violent man if you ask me."
"No kidding," the red-haired demon muttered. "Yaone, come and help me!"
The female demon came to her lord' aid and together they began to shut the life-support off. Kenren looked to his right where a door was. Gyokumen was surely planning to kill Kougaiji's mother. He narrowed his eyes, and began to walk.
"Where are you going?" Sanzo asked as he watched the two demons work.
"Rasetsu-nyo," Kenren said softly and Kougaiji whipped his head up. "Gyokumen is going to kill her."
"Are you going there?" Dokugakuji said. "But you don't know the way!"
"No, but I can feel their energy," Kenren said and turned back to them. "Well, good luck. Once I'm done, I'm sure you are as well. See you later."
He vanished through the open door.
"You will die now!" Gyokumen shouted at the sealed away demon. "You will die, and Gyumaoh will be mine!"
"That's what you think."
She turned around and saw a man with black hair, black clothing and blue eyes.
"Who are you?!" she shouted. "Guards! Guards, kill him!"
"Oh, they can't hear you," Kenren replied. "They are kinda dead."
The female demon turned towards him and said:
"You will not kill me."
"Oh, but that's exactly what I will do."
He took off one of his gloves and put two of his fingers to a tattoo on the back of his hand.
"This will be the first time I take away this mask in some millennia," he said with a grin. "Feel honoured to meet my true self."
Kougaiji put his arm down and fell to his knees.
"I can't destroy the shell!" he shouted.
"Not even with your summons?" Lirin said as she kneeled by him.
"It's impossible!" he said.
Just then they felt a power-change in the whole castle.
"Whose power is this?" Lirin asked.
"I don't know," Kougaiji said, "but whoever it is, he or she is very strong."
The female demon looked on with horror as the man before her changed. Soon there was not a trace of the easy-going Kenren left.
"Who are you?!" she screamed.
"They call me Gyoraku but please call me Kenren. I enjoy that name much more," the ghostly-looking man said. "I'm neither human nor demon, but you cannot call me a god either. Some insisted I shared blood with Gyumaoh; can you believe how foolish they were? Is there really a family resemblance between the two of us, when all that exist is hatred?"
"What do you want?"
"What I want is my own business," Kenren said. He stood now before her with his wild black hair flying in the air and his cold, blue eyes staring down at her. "But for fulfil my wishes, your must die."
He put a hand on her forehead, and all she could do was to scream.
The room began to break.
"The castle is being destroyed!" Hakkai shouted as he pulled Goku out of harm's way. "We must leave!"
Dokugakuji helped Kougaiji up while Yaone took a hold of Lirin. Sanzo almost backed into the brunette as he tried to avoid getting crushed.
They got out in the hall and began running down it. Kougaiji almost wanted to fight against his friend's grip when they passed the room with his mother, but he did not do anything.
The priest looked up to see a rock falling towards him. There was no way he would be able to run away in time.
A moment later it was shattered by Goku's Nyoibou. The blonde man ran forward, grabbing Goku's wrist at the same time.
They got out but did not stop running. Once they had come upon a hill did they deem it safe to stop. They all turned around to watch the castle get destroyed.
"Wait!" Lirin suddenly shouted. "Kenren is still in there!"
"We can't do anything for him now!" Kougaiji said. "Either he got out as well, or we pray he gets a quick death."
Once the castle had stopped breaking, an eerie silence laid itself upon the place. They dared walking closer and it was now Kougaiji began to realize his mother, whom he had fought so hard to get back, was now most likely dead.
"It's over," Goku said. "Do you think Kenren is dead?"
"I can't see how anyone would be able to survive this," Hakkai said quietly.
As if to prove him wrong, a stone began to move. They all back away when they saw a woman's hand.
"Gyokumen?" Sanzo hissed at Kougaiji. The demon shook his head and said:
"Doesn't look like her."
A demon finally pushed the stone away and Kougaiji stared at her. Her hair was deep red, just like Kougaiji's and she wore similar earrings as the red-haired demon. Kougaiji took a step forward and said:
Rasetsu-nyo looked up and her eyes locked with her son. She stumbled a bit and replied:
His smile was enough to convince her. Kougaiji's mother ran to her son and closed him in a tight hug.
"I never thought I would see you again," she whispered.
The others gave the two some room.
"How?" Kougaiji asked. "How did you survive?"
"There was a man," Rasetsu-nyo said and looked back at the destroyed castle. "He saved me."
"What did he look like, mother? What was his name?"
"He seemed to melt away right before my very eyes," she said. "But he told me his name should not be known. He called himself Kenren though. He was an ancient god, a god not allowed to be in heaven anymore because they were rumoured to be too close related to demons. He should have been executed long ago if not for the position he had."
"You all know of the Kanzeon Bosatsu?"
"Yes," Lirin replied.
"Apparently, he was in her seat before," Rasetsu-nyo said, trying to remember what he had told her about his life. "He raised her, and took care of her. Then he was being hunted. He changed from being one of the highest gods to be one of the soldiers. He was then killed 500 years ago and stored in a mortal body. Which lead to a mortal man died not long ago and Kenren was revived."
"We know it," Kougaiji said. "Mother, Kenren travelled with us."
"He also said, I would give Sanzo ikkou a message," she said. "Which ones are those?"
Sanzo looked at her and said:
"I'm the Sanzo."
"We are part of Sanzo ikkou," Hakkai said and pointed at Goku.
She looked at them and said:
"What once was dead shall come back to life. Wept tears shall have been spilled unnecessarily, for the Merciful God has given you a companion back."
They all stared at her. Then Hakkai put his hands before his mouth and whispered:
"It can't be…"
Goku looked at her and said:
"He's given us Gojyo back?"
"We have to check," Dokugakuji said. "Now."
"Mother, are you well enough for a journey?"
"I am fine," she said. "I want to know who he meant as well."
They travelled with the demon's dragons this time because it would go faster. Hakuryuu was safe in Hakkai's arms and looked around. He seemed to understand that Kenren was no longer there, and had therefore been a bit down for the first part of the journey.
They travelled at fast speed for an entire day before they reached the place where they had put Gojyo's dead body in a cold stone coffin. The exhausted dragons landed and Hakkai was the first one off. Goku was not far behind and to their shock, Sanzo beat Dokugakuji to be the third. The human priest might have been a bit more saddened by the fact Gojyo had died than what they thought.
As they came to the grave, Hakkai nearly fell to his knees. Gojyo looked up at them from where he was sitting with his back leaning onto the stone coffin, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. His body was healed; not even a smallest scratch was on his body.
"Yo," he said in a typical Gojyo-manner and grinned. "Did I miss anything while I was gone?"
Hakkai gave out a choked sob and stumbled to his friend. He threw his arms around the redhead and Gojyo gave out a yelp.
"You're alive!" Hakkai said and took a good look at Gojyo, his hands keeping Gojyo's head in place.
"Yep," Gojyo said, smiling reassuringly at his friend. "Kinda unpleasant the journey back to life, but Kenren never really intended on staying."
"He didn't?" Goku said.
"No," the hanyou said and looked at them. "He just thought he would help you guys a bit, and then reverse back so my soul was in charge and he sleeps in here."
He tapped his chest as he spoke.
"Did you speak to Kenren?" Hakkai asked.
"Only a little bit," Gojyo said with a shrug. "He told me he once was this high and almighty god but because he was feared the other gods tried to kill him, of course. No one paid attention to a quiet soldier by the name of Kenren, and no one suspected him of being who he had been before. 'cept for Kanzeon though; she saw through it at once but never said a word."
Hakkai could nearly not stop staring at his friend as they decided to camp out that night. Kougaiji spoke mostly to his mother about what had happened, and the others talked about this and that. Gojyo looked around the campsite at the different people and took a deep breath of his cigarette. He could feel Kenren inside of him, a warmth spreading throughout his whole body. He found himself liking the feeling. He hoped that Kenren could see what he could, so the god would feel a bit happier.
"Are you alright?" Hakkai asked.
Gojyo looked at his friend and gave a grin.
"Feeling on top of the world," he replied. "All thanks to Kenren."
"You know, I might even miss him a bit," the brunette said. "He was a very good friend."
"Did he have my charm as well?" the redhead asked and waggled his eyebrows.
Hakkai laughed and replied:
"Oh, he most certainly had that."
Abrupt ending, but it felt right. What did really happen in the castle? A real mystery isn't? And it will forever remain a mystery.
Until another time,