"Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life." – Leo F. Buscaglia
"So you're going back to Kyoto now?"
"Yeah." Leaning against the railing, he looks down at the street 250 meters bellow, the snow falling down on them slowly and gently. The town is starting to calm down again after the holidays, the stores taking down the Christmas decorations and New Year merchandises.
"You really think you can do that, eggplant?"
"Of course, shitty geezer, I'll just kick them into oblivion once again."
He couldn't believe the words he had just heard coming through the earpiece on his mobile phone, the shock shaking him down to his very core, numbing him. It simply couldn't be true…
"What the hell are you saying, you can't be serious!"
"I am. He's…"
The nicknames would seem odd to anyone listening to their conversation, but for them, they are words they have used to address each other through all the time they have known each other. Seven years… It has been a long time, a happy time that has ended with only troubles.
"Hmph, don't think too high of yourself, it'll be your ruin."
"But it's the truth." Grinning, he wishes the security of Tokyo Tower allowed smoking inside; it would be nice with a cigarette to calm down. But they don't, so he focuses his eyes to the south instead, trying to get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji even though the weather is cloudy.
"Don't act cocky towards your teacher, damn eggplant!" He avoids the kick aimed at his back just barely, unable to use any flashy moves in a public area. He hisses through gritted teeth when he feels the air current from the older man's peg leg sweep past him,
He ran to the subway, jumping through the doors before they could close, this was the very last train for the night leaving the platform. Breathing out in a short relief, he leaned back against the door, not caring about the yellow ban which forbade it.
Adrenaline was raging through his system. His heart was pumping hard, his blood had run cold from fear and a feeling of nausea was welling up in his stomach, like snakes were moving inside him, spreading their venom. Yet, he could do nothing before the train arrived at the Gion-Shijo station.
Taking deep breaths through his nose and breathing out through his mouth, he fought back the feelings of panic, wondering if he should challenge the danger in lightning a cigarette.
"Shit! Stop it, old man!" He takes a step back and casts a wary eye around their surroundings, some of the couples around the room are looking oddly at them but they turn away when Sanji stares back. He really doesn't want to be in the middle of a big scene right now. But what could he have expected when he revealed this to his Master?
The war has cost the man one of his legs; he is no longer fit for fighting on the battlefield according to many. A quick glance at the wooden leg and Sanji knows the older man is putting half of his body weight on, and Sanji can feel the guilt welling up inside him once again, spreading through out his mind.
If he had noticed, if he had acted differently, would things have turned out another way?
"Get the water! Hurry!" The panic was everywhere, poisoning the usually calm and happy aura of the temple, resulting in the people within to lose their ability to think straight. One could almost touch the distress; it stretched like red ribbons through every person's heart.
The man who couldn't fall, the Shogun of Seiryuu, had lost in battle and paid the loss with blood and his right leg The leg was in bad condition, he would never be able to kick the way he had even if he still had his support leg, but the blood loss was more fatal. At the loss of a limp, the magic that protected their skin didn't quite catch up, and the blood just kept flowing. It was the price they had to pay for its protection.
"You can't go in there now, Sanji-dono!"
"I don't care, let me through!" It took four warriors to hold him back from storming into the hall, but he didn't stop struggling just because of that. The man bleeding behind that door was the closest thing to a real father he had ever had, god damn it!
"Don't take me lightly just 'cause I happen to be missing a leg, I can still kick your sorry ass, eggplant."
"Yeah, yeah, don't strain yourself, you shitty old man." Forcing his body to relax, Sanji leans his hip against the railing. He doesn't want to fight with Zeff now; it might be the last time they would be out of earshot for prodding ears. Sighing, he looked out once again.
Still cloudy, still grey, still stressed. He longs for France, for the warm sun, the excellent food and exclusive wine, but, he is trapped in Japan now, he is going to war. Something close to fear grabbed a hold of his heart with a cold and bony hand, a memory fleeting to the surface of his mind as he looks toward the gray horizon, trying to catch a glimpse of this land's backbone.
The sound of his mentor's muttering tuned out as he licks his lips, trying to shut everything out. But it is futile, like trying to stop the spring from breaking winter's hold on the land.
"Who the fuck did it then! At least tell me that so I can kill the bastard slowly!"
"We don't know! All we know is that he…"
A/N: This prologue is aired in the memorial of A Little Pirate At Heart's, one of the Goddamn best writers I've ever encountered and my sensei, farewell to this site TT_TT She was so cute when I showed her this, she wondered what the Tokyo Tower did in Kyoto ;w;
I'm going to miss her stories but look forward to her original books and I recommend you guys to do the same. Her pen-name will be Stini C. and I'll be damned if I don't buy/receive her books in every form I can!
I salute you, sensei! You are one of my biggest inspirations ever and I'll look up to you even longer I think. And I hope that all you others find this story interesting, I'll air the first real chapter on August the 23th! More OP/Modern Fantasy to the people.