Disclaimer: Peacemaker Kurogane belongs to Nanae Chrono.

Dreaming Remembrance #2: SOUJI

"I am not a human's child, because I am a child of demons."

How many times did that cold statement come back to him? He didn't want to remember. If chances were to have him to say it again, then say it again he will, for that happened to be the hard truth. There was only one thing he was designed to do.

Kill.

Deep in thought, Souji kept silent ever since he he had left the children at Mibu temple to get ready for his evening patrol rounds. It had been quite an exhausting day with the little ones; the game they were immersed in took so much of his energy... and even sparked an unpleasant memory of a daydream he had so wanted to forget.

Sitting down, Souji lifted his head up as he coolly hung his legs over the veranda. Washed across the sky was a beautiful sheer blue. His eyes flickered for a moment before they began to close and a sea of red crept into the back of his mind.

- Thick splatters of blood rained upon the many cold (and familiar) corpses which were sprawled all over the floorboards of the Shieikan dojo. A small, frail body collapsed with a dampened thud, like a fallen flower, its fluids oozing from the neck and shoulders where they were punctured.

Towering over the poor thing in her soiled sky-blue kimono at his feet, he held his sword up to his eyes to examine the filthed blade. He could see his reflection. His eyes. His demonic gaze.

"I'm sorry," he whispered very softly, "But you were in the way. It would have been better not to have mangled your heart for someone like me." -

"Okita-kun? Is something the matter?"

Souji gasped and opened his eyes, quite shocked by the sudden voice so close to him without his noticing. He recovered quickly, holding a hand to his forehead and brushing his fringe. "No," he answered. "I'm alright, Yamanami-san. Nothing's the matter." Souji turned around and flashed a smile. "Haha, you look like you're about to see the end of the world. Don't worry too much, I'm fine."

Deep down, the effects of the reminder passed, but the truth behind it would forever remain in his heart. Whatever occurred in that daydream didn't really happen in the past. He may appear effeminate to many, play with pigs and little kids, and find delight in all things pluck and mischievous...

But that didn't change the truth that he was a deadly, ruthless being. Whether he wielded his sword to defend his country or to protect his loved ones, he would still stain his hands and lives would still be taken. There was no denying that.

"Bu-hiiii!"

Souji's face lit up in an instant. "Ah, Saizou!"

The small piglet which had been hiding behind a thicket of grass close by, crawled forward and leaped onto its owner's welcoming arms. The first unit captain exchanged tiny nodds with his Yamanami Keisuke before taking off to his room.

There, he slipped on the Shinsengumi haori, adjusted the position of his katanas at his waist – his long and newly-tied ponytail swinging gently behind his back, lips curved upwards; large, smiling eyes fixed down upon his pet.

"Stay here and be good, Saizou. It won't be long."

The pink animal watched as Souji slid the door open and left without a sound, unaware of the shadow clearly lurking behind the young captain and keeping watch over the wretched demon sleeping within his soul.