As Lord Tenshou spoke Jiyuwan looked around the assembled nobles of the moon. He tried to get a sense of what they all were thinking. His lord was lacking tenure, and Jiyuwan imagined there were several people in the crowd who might want to kill the man to take the throne.
However, it seemed those people were willing to wait to achieve that goal. Most of the faces in the crowed were servile, bored, or eager. There were but three exceptions.
Sareseno sat quietly in the upper seats writing his story. His eyes were filled with grief and anger, but his focus was only on his writing. He was no threat physically, and Jiyuwan was willing to ignore his threat politically. He'd promised after all.
His lord's sister, Shoutoku, was far more more difficult to read. She'd alternated between fiery rage at the earth and at her brother for no real good reason. Jiyuwan was inclined to believe she was insane in fact, but this was a fairly recent occurrence. The swordsman wondered if Lord Tenshou had revealed something that had set the woman off, but it was not his place to ask. And he wouldn't get an answer anyway. Strangely today she seemed to be looking at everyone with an expression of disgust. Herself included. Still her posture was passive.
Finally in the back his own son Akiyoshi stood presenting an impressive aura of confidence, but Jiyuwan could see from the boy's stance that he was uncertain. However it was not the uncertainty of an assassin, but the stance that the young man had when he was afraid he was going to disappoint someone. It worried Jiyuwan, but he could not deal with that problem publicly.
Lord Tenshou finished his speech and most of the nobles applauded. Jiyuwan hadn't listened to the speech closely, but he started paying attention now.
Now was when the plan was going to be discussed.
"I know you all would like to simply end this matter in one fell swoop, but I fear Eirin's sabotage has taken away our most potent weapons," Lord Tenshou sighed. "Thus we must plan for a multi stage attack on the youkai of Gensoukyo." He pointed at a crude map of the new environs of Gensoukyo. "Our first attack will focus on making sure that a barrier can't be raised against us. Lord Shimeri will lay siege to Eientei with most of the rabbits, preventing Eirin from sealing off the moon. Meanwhile our main force will be deployed to remove the Yakumo and their lackeys. I will lead that force personally."
"However we need to make sure Gensoukyo's other forces don't interfere. Thus I've assigned you drop points that best match with your abilities. And I have a few special orders."
There was some muttering at that, but everyone waited to see what those orders were before complaining too loudly. After all, Lord Tenshou's power was well known.
Lord Tenshou pointed at the Youkai mountain. "First my personal bodyguard, Jiyuwan, will interfere with the Tengu. He shall keep their army locked in place."
The murmuring increased though it was more impressed now. Jiyuwan had to admit he was slightly impressed as well. Sacrificing your most loyal piece early in the game required courage. It would make the rest of the demands more palatable.
Admittedly his Lord probably believed that he would simply strike the tengu and retreat after dealing some serious damage. But Jiyuwan wasn't planning on retreating. Unless he was ordered to of course.
His Lord continued "Chamaka, I need you to keep the fairies from running rampant."
The man frowned. "I can understand how I'd be good at that but shouldn't that be a job for everyone?"
"The youkai already outnumber us 40 to 1. Adding the annoyance of a group of undying cannon fodder will only make the situation worse." Lord Tenshou explained. "However you might be able to get the mindless creatures to actually understand fear. That will take the pressure off of everyone."
Chamaka sighed and shrugged. "Very well. With luck my actions will draw the attention of a worthier foe."
Lord Tenshou nodded. "Akiyoshi, I want you to..."
"Forgive me, but I will be acting on my own," Akiyoshi said. "I disagree with your actions."
Lord Tenshou started as if struck, but Jiyuwan had to fight to keep a smile from forming.
Akiyoshi straightened his posture and continued. "While I seek to find the traitors who murdered the Watatsuki sisters, I have no interest in this war against the youkai. However I understand that it will, for better or worse, decide the fate of the lunar empire. So I shall stand at the gate of the netherworld and guard it from both sides. The honorable dead should not be leaving, and there will be no enemies attempting to hide there. Anyone that attempts to pass the gate will face my blade."
The boy then turned and left as the crowd called out after him. Lord Tenshou looked over at Jiyuwan sternly, but all he could do was shrug. He'd always told the boy to follow his own path.
Perhaps Akiyoshi would succeed where he had failed.
Lord Tenshou closed his eyes and rubbed them. Obviously he was trying to replan things. After a moment he nodded. "Very well then. Taruma, Takiko. I need you to guard this path here. Lord Roun, I need you to take your forces and attack the Scarlet Devil Mansion. After 15 minutes have passed. One of our other attacks will likely cause the mansion to split its forces. You will find them to be easier prey when split."
The three people he named all looked confused, but it was Roun who spoke. "My Lord, I have 4 warriors. Does a simple band of youkai really need 7 Lunarians to kill them all?"
Jiyuwan decided it was time for him to speak. "These youkai are feared even by their peers. The other youkai tried and failed to eliminate them. While the attack was mostly by lesser youkai, they certainly have planned to fight off powerful invaders and have practice in using those plans. You should consider them almost as dangerous as Eirin Yagokoro."
Lord Tenshou waited for the three Lunarians to nod their understanding before continuing. "I have a few more select targets for some of you, and I want the rest of the army to drop where I indicate. Remember your goal is to kill as many youkai as possible. Do not worry about collateral damage either. The Earth is tainted. None of it's creatures are worth your life.
Everyone turned to Shoutoku. Jiyuwan once again noticed a fire in her eyes. Finally he could place it. It was the fires of revenge.
"Will I be placed near the oni?" she asked.
Lord Tenshou smiled. "Yes sister. You will attack here." He stabbed at a location in the ruined city outside of Gensoukyo. "And here you will kill Suika Ibuki."
The shrine was bustling when Aya dropped onto the well swept grounds. She shouldn't really be surprised, she supposed. After all there was going to be a war. And with the Great Tengu's proclamation...
She shook her head. She could worry about that later. First she cleaned her hands and mouth, then got in line for the offertory box. Most of the tengu moved quickly, so she didn't really need to wait long.
Aya tossed the coins into the donation box then clapped twice and bowed her head. She wasn't really sure if this was the best shrine for her prayer, but the gods here were a little better at service then most other shrines.
"You will find it more likely that your prayer will be answered if you don't think of us like a quick mart," came a regal voice to her left.
Aya stepped to the side and bowed to the goddess. "Sorry, but it worked right?"
The war goddess had obviously pulled out her old regalia. Gone was the snake rope. In its place was some solid looking chest armor, and the goddess was carrying the daisho as well. Aya also guessed the large fan opposite the paired swords was a tessen. Aya privately admitted she was a little impressed.
Kanako sighed. "Only because you have slightly more faith then the average supplicant. And because I wish to change the outcome of this battle."
"So will you give me an idea where I can help out most?" Aya asked the war goddess.
"Given that your army will not march at my command, normal tactics will be useless." The goddess pointed towards the forest of magic. "There is someone you know there who can answer your question better then I can. The one you never wrote a story on. Her prophecy holds your answers."
Aya raised an eyebrow at that. "How did you...?"
Kanako smiled. "Goddess."
Aya doubted that was the truth, but she couldn't really argue, especially not in the god's own shrine. So she simply bowed. "Well then I'd better get on it. It might take her a while to remember the spell." She waved and took flight.
She took her time moving down the mountain. The place seemed oddly quiet for a future battlefield. Only the occasional kappa sealing their homes up or grouped tengu patrol showed how close war was.
Soon Aya was out of the mountains, into the forest beneath. After a few moments she sighed and stopped. "Come out, Hatate."
"Tch, you're getting too good at this."
Her 'rival' reporter walked casually out of the shadows she was hiding in, cellphone camera out as always. "Don't bother asking me to go back, I'm getting a piece of this story no matter what."
Aya considered pulling out her fan and making the other tengu mind her own business. "Aren't you more interested in the duels? I mean, it's not every day that the Great Tengu proclaims he's going to fight an entire invasion force one on one. And if he loses, he's offering his title to the tengu that beats his killer. That'll be news for some time right?"
"Exactly!" Hatate pointed at Aya. "There's no way a reporter like you would ditch that unless there was something bigger going on!"
"Something bigger?" Aya looked at Hatate, then laughed bitterly. "Something bigger? Of course there's something bigger going on! All Gensoukyo is under attack! This war will decide the fate of everyone left on earth, and we Tengu have chosen to be a very small part of that."
Aya took a breath before barreling on. "So yes, there's something bigger going on. Something so big I can't just sit it out and be a reporter. The 'great tengu army' will be a diversion at best. Ran is going to be the one on the front lines, and I'm going to find a way to help her and the rest of Gensoukyo out!" Aya turned around and started stalking through the forest. "So there's no scoop here. It's just another random youkai getting into a fight. Nothing the tengu should care about."
Aya continued through the underbrush for a few minutes, Hatate doggedly pursuing her. Finally she stopped and looked behind her.
The younger tengu stood their fidgeting. "Aya, I don't know why the Great Tengu is doing what he's doing. And, well even if I'm not as close to the rest of Gensoukyo as you, I don't want to see them hurt. But... I'm not good at fighting. All I have is this camera and the ability to dodge danmaku. That won't work long in a real fight." She started flipping her camera open and closed. "But I want to try to do something..."
Aya paused. Hatate was right. The younger tengu couldn't stand up to any foe who was capable of fighting, say, Momiji. The kappa's camera could protect her from magical assaults, but not a sword between the ribs.
Aya turned around and sighed. "Fine. Let's find out where I'm going first. Then I'll see if I want you tagging along."
The two were silent for the rest of the journey. Finally Aya reached her destination. A small house in a clearing, with smoke rising from the chimney. That was a good sign. It indicated that it's owner hadn't forgotten where she lived again.
"I don't remember ever seeing this place," Hatate said as Aya knocked on the door.
"The magician here doesn't make a lot of waves," Aya replied.
After a few moments the door opened. The short magician there wore an outfit similar to Marisa's, but in red and white instead of black. On her shoulder was a white cat, and instead of a witches hat she had a red ribbon tied in the rabbit ear style. "Oh hello! Who are you two and what brings you here?" she asked. "Oh, and do you remember my name?"
Aya ignored Hatate's snicker and simply replied. "We've met before, Ellen. I'm Aya. The girl behind me is Hatate. And I'm here to get a fortune. A real fortune."
"Oh thanks!" Ellen replied. "Come in, come in. I'll get some tea." Ellen waved them into the cluttered sitting room and cleaned off three chairs.
"Who is she?" Hatate whispered to Aya as the magician cleaned.
Aya smirked. "The best fortune teller in Gensoukyo who doesn't cheat."
When the sudden cleaning was finally done and a pot of tea was acquired, the three women sat down, while the cat inspected them. After it determined that Hatate was the most likely to be annoyed by cats, it jumped up on her lap and started purring.
"So you wanted a fortune from me? How do you feel about tarot cards?" Ellen asked as she poured tea for her guests.
Aya picked up her cup and took a sip, smirking as Hatate found the cat was keeping her cup just out of reach. "Sorry Ellen, but like I said, I wanted a real reading."
Ellen frowned. "Are you sure? No one's ever happy when I give one of those." She smiled brightly again. "I could do tea leaves perhaps? Everyone likes tea leaves."
"No. I need a real fortune," Aya repeated. "Lives are at stake."
Ellen sighed. "Well, I'll do it. But only because you paid me."
"Uh, we haven't paid you yet," Hatate said.
Aya quickly put a bag of coins down, "But we really need the fortune."
Ellen nodded then stood up. "All right. I hope it's worth it."
The magician pulled out a grimoire from one of the many bookshelves around and started flipping though pages. Hatate tried to shoo the cat off her lap a few times, then gave up and turned to Aya. "Shouldn't we tell her what we want answered?"
"Hm... The best fortune tellers answer the question you should have asked," Aya replied. "Not the one you wanted to ask."
Ellen began reciting the spell. The soft words began to blend together in the air, forming an almost palatable flow of magic in the room.
"Hmph, you'd think that it would be able to at least tell us who the great tengu will be," Hatate muttered.
"It doesn't matter to you, for you cannot change it tengu."
Aya and Hatate both stared at Ellen. The small magician's eyes glowed with blue energy, and her posture had completely changed.
"The future has been decided. Your foes' plans are inescapable. When the war ends only the house of eternity, the shrine and the temple will remain in Gensoukyo. This is unavoidable. The rest of the great houses will be swept from the Earth."
"What? Your answer is we can't do anything?" Hatate asked her mouth agape.
Aya shushed her. "What of our futures?"
"There is only one future you two can change. You two who know the power of truth and legend shall battle for the fate of a race, while twin moons look on. There you and your allies will either shatter a moon, or the spirit of nature will die."
Ellen's eyes shifted back to their normal color, and her shoulders slumped slightly. "So, do you regret it?"
Aya shook her head. "I didn't like what I heard, but now I know where we need to go." She frowned. "I just hope Ran and Momiji can take care of themselves."
Hatate looked over at Aya. "She said that only those Lunarians, the Hakurei shrine and the Myouren temple were going to survive this mess! Then she told us to go fighting... somewhere! How is that helpful? Shouldn't we be trying to save our homes? "
"No, the fortune was that those buildings would be standing. Not that they'd survive, or that anyone else would die." Aya's eye's narrowed. "And I know where we need to go and what we need to do."
Hatate sighed. "Well would you mind explaining it to me? Since apparently I'm going there too."
Ellen nodded. "I'd kind of like to know as well. I never get to see these fortunes myself."
"It's actually very simple. There's only two places in Gensoukyo where there would be twin moons..."
Hitomi checked the wards around the shrine again. She wished she could do more, but her enchantments were more use against generic youkai, not whatever the Lunarians were. The best she could hope for was that the wards against evil and bad fortune would turn eyes away from the shrine. Honestly she was just checking in order to pass the time now. She had done everything she could to prepare.
She wished she could do more.
She wanted to be out there fighting for Gensoukyo's future. Even if there wasn't a barrier anymore, even if the Hakurei shrine didn't mean anything, she still felt a sense of duty to the land. It was her home after all.
"I finished warding the shrine mom."
But Hitomi had someone to look after that was just as important as her home. Maybe even more so.
Hitomi looked up and smiled at Kanon. "Good job. Now we wait."
Kanon looked up at her with a frown. "Um, mommy, why can't we fight like everyone else? I can use the yin yang orbs, just like in practice! I promise I won't slow you down any."
Hitomi's heart twisted within her chest, but she managed to keep a straight face. She carefully took Kanon by the shoulders and looked the young girl in the eye. "Kanon, I know you want to help me, but you haven't finished your training yet. I want you to stay out of all the fighting, alright? If people come to the shrine you're to stay inside. If they enter the shrine you're to run to our safe place, okay?"
Kanon bit her lip, but eventually relented under Hitomi's stare. "Alright mommy. I promise to stay out of your way."
Hitomi pulled her daughter close. "Understand, this is for both of our sakes. If someone does attack, I won't be able to fight properly if I'm worried about you. I know you want to be strong, but now isn't the time."
"Now let's go inside. The moon won't rise for a few hours yet." Hitomi held her daughters hand as they entered the godless shrine.
Mystia checked one last time to make sure all of her stall's stuff was packed away before pulling down the shutters and locking them. She enjoyed her business, and she wasn't about to lose it just because she needed to move.
"So, you're taking off are you?"
Mystia turned at the familiar voice. "Hm? Of course I'm going! That Keine woman is going to be banishing the village right?" Mystia turned back to her cart and started checking the ties. "I'm a youkai. If I'm still here I'll be out in the open. I'd be better off in the forest."
Mokou sighed. "Mystia, even if you are a youkai the villagers consider you one of their own. You don't need to run and hide in the forest."
Mystia's wings twitched. "I don't care what the villagers think, I'm not one of their own. I'm a youkai! I eat humans." She finished tying things up and turned back to the immortal. "I kinda like some of you humans, and I'm glad you helped me when my wing was broken. But I'm not going to become everyone's pet."
Mokou frowned then closed her eyes and shrugged. "Fine whatever. Do things your own way. If you change your mind the village will be here."
Mystia opened her mouth to reply, then turned around and moved to grab the eel cart. She still had her pride.
She wouldn't admit that she liked the village enough, that being sent away with it would bind her to the village forever.
And while Mystia had changed a lot, she was unwilling to be bound to anything. It was a pretty cage. A large cage. But a bird had to be free, to fly and sing as she wanted to. Even if that meant danger.
The interminable meeting finally done, Jiyuwan headed home.
He found Akiyoshi in the dojo, meditating. The young man's eyes opened and he bowed to his father. "I'm sorry for causing you to lose face over my selfish actions."
He bowed in return. A bow for equals. "No. I apologize for my position forcing you to chose between filial piety and the path of righteousness." He walked forward and placed a hand on the young man's shoulder. "I am proud of you my son."
Akiyoshi was still young enough to blush with pride at that. Or perhaps Jiyuwan was wrong and blushing was the correct response, superior to the stoicism he'd developed.
"Thank you father," Akiyoshi replied. "I only hope it doesn't come back to hurt you later."
"It will not," Jiyuwan said. "You should worry about yourself more my son. You will probably have to find a new place to live soon, and while I am certain you will do well on your own, I would not wish this to be a surprise to you."
Akiyoshi nodded. "I understand father. I have a temporary house planned out. And... as for after the war, we shall see how the war progresses."
"Indeed." Jiyuwan turned and headed to the dining hall. "But for now we should eat and rest. The battle will not be for another three days."
Renko and Chen flew down and waved to Murasa. "Hey," the ghost sailor called out. "Your friends just dropped in a couple of minutes ago. They're in the garden talking to Shou."
"Thanks," Chen said as she shot off, Renko slowly following after. The cat Shikigami always moved in dashes when she was excited.
Ran was scratching behind Chen's ears, while Maribel, Nazrin and Shou were watching with varying levels of amusement.
An idea worked its way into Renko's mind and she flew down. "Hello Mary," she said before petting the blond girl's head.
Maribel squirmed, "Hey, I'm not a cat!"
"But you like it anyway right?" Renko asked with a grin.
"Seriously Renko you're embarrassing me..." Maribel blushed but didn't move away. Renko was glad to see an happy expression on her face again.
Renko's teasing was sadly interrupted by a cough. "We probably should get through all the details so you lot can go off and find rooms," Nazrin said.
"Hey!" Maribel and Ran both glared at the mouse youkai, while Renko stifled a chuckle. Shou just dropped her hand on Nazrin's shoulder.
She then turned to Ran. "So is there anything specific you need our help with? I have some plans, but I'm willing to work together with the rest of Gensoukyo if you need us."
Maribel looked up at the fox youkai as well. "What is our plan anyway?"
"If we'd gotten more people willing to stay with us I'd have asked you to join us, but now..." Ran thought for a moment.
Renko sighed. "I hate trying to plan based on our enemies making mistakes."
Ran nodded. "Yes it is annoying. Shou, when the invasion comes could you try to link up with us?"
Shou nodded. "Simply call for Bishamonten's aid and I shall come. I haven't learned to appear in multiple places yet, so I'll have to fly there though."
"We're trying to force the Lunarians to spread out right?" Chen said. "So that should actually help us more."
"And the ones that run into you aren't likely to realize they're fighting a youkai god," Nazrin said cheerily.
Shou smiled at that, then bowed to the group. "Alright. Well if you change your mind, or if you need sanctuary, come here. Our doors are open to all who desire peace between youkai and humans after all."
As Shou and Nazrin walked away Maribel looked over at Ran. "You know, if they just decide to kill us they'll have a much easier time of things. Help won't arrive in time. Is that really your plan?"
Ran closed her eyes. "That is my plan. Even if all our friends and allies stood with us, against the combined might of the Lunarians we'd be destroyed. If we had the tengu it would be different but..." She sighed then opened her eyes. "We're doomed if they do this right. In fact if they do this wrong we still might die. We're their primary target. If they overestimate on anyone it's likely to be us."
Maribel's eyes narrowed and Renko took her hand. "I see."
Ran smiled wryly. "Sorry this isn't like how wars are supposed to go. I'm afraid that the old maxim, 'Victory goes to the side that, at a crucial moment doesn't make a mistake,' is far closer to the truth. This is going to be a series of blunders and missed opportunities. We can only hope they miss a big opportunity and we don't."
"Which is why, even though I know you're going to complain about this Chen, I need you to try to organize the other youkai during the battle," Ran said.
Chen looked shocked, her tails bristling in agitation. "But Miss Ran! I'm a stong shikigami, even if I'm not borrowing your power! You know I can fight by your side," she cried.
Ran leaned down and hugged her Shikigami. "And I'll need your strength finding people who can support us in battle. You can find me instantly. Someone like Medicine can't, and once they realize the scope of the invasion you might be able to finally get them to help us."
Chen's face fell. "I get it, but..."
"I understand Chen," Ran said giving the Shikigami another squeeze.
Maribel turned to Renko but she held up her hand. "Not a chance Mary. You aren't leaving me behind. Besides, I'm a better fighter then you are."
Maribel looked down at the ground. "But... I don't want to lose you too."
"What about my feelings you dummy?" Renko ruffled Maribel's hair again to take the sting out of the words. "I'm not going to abandon you." Renko gave Ran a look, and the fox youkai nodded and stepped away.
Renko leaned forward. "Hey Maribel. Do you remember when you first dreamed of Gensoukyo?"
Maribel looked confused but nodded. "Yes."
"When you brought those treasures back, when I realized you'd found Gensoukyo, I thought there were only two choices for me. To throw them away and keep you with me in my world, or to let you realize that you were actually a part of this world and to lose you forever." Renko felt embarrassed admitting it, but she pressed on, "I worried about it all night. I didn't want to let you go. I wanted to go myself. Would I let you go to this world that you seemed to love, or would I hold you back to stay by my side?"
Maribel's mouth opened in surprise. "You never told me Renko..."
"Yeah, I didn't really like myself back then. I honestly didn't know what I would choose," Renko looked up. "But do you remember what I did say, when I met you the next day?"
Maribel smiled slowly. "You said, 'Let's wake up! Change the world of dream to that of reality!'" Her smile faded though. "But I don't have a dream anymore Renko. Or maybe I have a dream, but it's not what I want to base my life around."
Renko pulled Maribel's chin up. "Then let's search for my dream Maribel. A dream where the village is peaceful, where the children still smile, and where we can meet with all of our friends."
"I believe we can find that dream Maribel. Maybe the scenery will be different then we expected, and maybe some old friends won't be there, and some new ones will. But I believe we can find that dream together. Just like we did before."
"Renko!" Renko fell backwards as Maribel threw her arms around her. She could see Mary was crying again, and maybe she was crying herself. But these weren't tears of sorrow.
They lay on the ground for a while. Finally Maribel said, "Let's go find your dream, Renko."
Renko smiled. "Well, we've got all the Sealing Club members, so I guess we should start."
Mary smiled in return. "I suppose if you're with me, I won't have to be worried about you being late this time."
Renko chuckled. They stood up and walked hand in hand to where Ran and Chen were standing. Ran tried to pretend she hadn't seen the whole thing, and Renko tried to pretend she didn't notice Chen staring at them.
"So where should we go next?" Maribel asked.
"I think Mayohiga would be the best place to wait." Ran said. "We should have two days before the assault, but we've been surprised before. Consider tonight the last safe night. After that? War could begin at any time."
I can see all the players now. So many souls, each unique, each searching for their own place. It both dissociates me from their realities, and binds me closer to them then anyone has a right to be.
I see Lord Tenshou sitting in his throne room. Still convinced he's doing the right thing for his people, as he continues to seek vengeance against a woman he killed three hundred years before.
I see the man who murdered my wife sitting in meditation. He dreams of death, knowing it to be the result of his path, yet he still follows his duty to the end.
I see another soul down below, shining brighter then all the ones left here in our once pristine capitol. She dreams of death as well, but it is neither a goal nor a fear. Simply another obstacle to overcome.
I see two lovers, each wondering if this will be their last night on earth, holding each other tightly. Their thoughts are perfect mirrors, each putting the other before themselves.
I try to pull back, to see the broader picture, but that is a meaningless sea of emotions. I know that we Lunarians are the villains of this story, but I see the same thing when I look at both sides from afar. There is love and hate, sorrow and eagerness, fear and courage, and a desire for justice, or at least vengeance.
I wonder what someone would think, if they knew they were going to be the villain of a story? Perhaps they would want to be seen as sympathetic? A tragic figure. Or perhaps they would wish the mistakes and flaws that led them to the role buried. Let history show them to be a monster, so that their goals will not be tarnished by their reputation.
I no longer believe in our quest for purity. I no longer wish to hide from death. For it is in death that I began to understand the value of life. Win or lose, when the war is over, I will leave this city. Forever.
But out of respect to those who try to follow that dream. Who fled the Earth so long ago, and who fled the moon when it too was tainted by blood. Out of respect for my brother, and my beautiful wife, who fought for the dream of a perfect world, I shall make our society the villains of this story. With no excuses, no understanding.
I make an exception for Jiyuwan. This is my revenge you see. I will show his flaws and his virtues, so that he can be judged for who he truly is. That is all the punishment my heart can stand.
I shall now sleep. For when I wake again, the war will begin.
And an extra long chapter for the finale.
I got a few questions from previous readers which I'll try to answer here. Firstly was about Rinnousuke. I personally figure half youkai have about 4-6 hundred year lifespans (depending of course on what youkai they're half) and with Kourin already commenting on how his lack of aging was scaring the villagers I figured he wasn't going to be around after a 500 year time gap.
I also had people asking about the Moriya. They'll be appearing again later with a longer explanation for their actions, but the short form is, gods have to follow rules. Rules that the Lunarians know very well. Shou would be prevented from interfering as well, were it not for the fact that one of Bishamonten's duties is to guard and avenge Buddhist temples.
I'm already into book three, though school is slowing me down some. I hope to have it ready for reading soon, but this is the section I've worked very hard to get to, so I'm going to take my time and get it right. Please wait warmly. I'm giving it my all now.