Author Note: I don't own Ga Rei.
The autumn sweeps across the courtyard of the Ohju Hot Springs Hotel. The cloudless, night sky gives every onlooker the view of the sparkling beauties overhead. Sitting on the wooden step of the hotel, three young, individuals stare into the heavens, quietly giving thanks that they are alive to see another beautiful night like this, except for one. The ex-white priestess is unable to bring express her thanks to the heavens like everyone else, due to the stirring turmoil within herself.
"Nothing has changed," she says quietly to herself.
Kensuke and Shizuru both shift their eyes to her, understanding what she means. Ever since the end of humanity was averted, humans had yet to change their ways. Though the number of murders, robberies, and other crimes had decreased, it doesn't say much when the amount of criminal activity was so high to begin with.
"We must have faith that the people will come around," Kensuke says patting the girl on the head.
The Tsuchimiya girl focuses on the twinkling stars overhead.
"When will that be? Five….ten…..twenty….one hundred years from now?"
Kagura's heart begins to ache as she contemplates on the issue of how much she went through for the ungrateful people of this planet. Though it's been one year since that time, human throw away chances that were given to them off of the hopes and dreams of others. So many people died so that everyone alive could remain living their lives. Kagura's mood deepens the more she thinks on the subject. Her thoughts now move to Yomi, the girl that raised her, showed her how kind people can actually be, and gave Kagura the remains of her spirit so that she could continue living. Kagura lifts herself from the wooden steps and turns her back to the outside to Kensuke and Shizuru.
"I'm going to sleep. Good night you two," she says making her way back into the hotel.
Soft patters of feet erupt from under Kagura as she make her way to back to her room. Just as she turns the corner, she jumps back in reaction to meeting someone in the hall.
"Oh dear," an older woman says grasping her chest in shock.
"I'm sorry, I should have been looking where I was going," Kagura says giving her a weak smile staring at the woman's long black hair and red ornament implanted into it.
"Oh no, I should have been more attentive." The thumping in her chest begins to slowly decrease as the seconds go by. "I hope that you and your friends are having a pleasant time in my hotel. I bet it's a relief that you arrived while we have no residence."
"We are loving it ma'am."
"Call me Rei."
"We are loving it Rei," Kagura starts to slowly move towards the woman. "I'm sorry to end our conversation so abruptly, but I'm tired. Have a good night," Kagura says walking past the woman and to her room.
Kagura tosses and turns under the weight of her futon. Her heart begins to race as her body begins to feel like its being set ablaze. A sudden sensation of something trying to rip her heart out causes the girl to throw her futon off her and get on all fours. Clutching her chest, the Kagura attempts to resist this sensation to the best of her ability. Finally begin overpowered, Kagura feels as though her heart had been ripped out of her chest. Her eyes glaze over as her body goes limp. A soft thud accompanies the impact of her body against the floor of her room.
Kagura awakens total darkness. Using her hand to hoist herself from her prone position, she can feel the hard earth beneath her. Standing on her feet, her vision begins to slowly improve. Scanning the area, she can distinguish the area around her is made of jagged rock, much like that of a cave. Wanting to investigate the area more, Kagura takes moves forward. Her foot is caught on an object places on the ground, causing her to trip and fall on her chest and face.
"Damn it," she says rubbing her face with her right hand.
Kagura shifts her vision to ascertain what she had caused her to fall. Due to her current position she is unable to make out what the weird shaped object is on the ground. Maneuvering her body to face what the object is, she clearly can make that it's a person. Upon further inspecting facial features of the body of the person near her heart skips a beat as she recognizes it as her sister. Positioning herself on her knees, Kagura grabs the girls shoulders and begins to shake her in an attempt to force her to gain consciousness.
"Yomi….Yomi…..Wake up! It's me Kagura!"
The raven haired girl's eyes slowly open to the sound of the sweet voice familiar voice that's ringing in her ear. Kagura's eyes begin to tear up as joy begins to overwhelm her. Kagura's heart feels lightens as the knowledge that Yomi was alive and with her causing more tears to stream down her face. Clutching the Yomi's head to her chest, Kagura continues to live in the moment of their reunion.
"Yomi….Kagura…," a voice echoes in the darkness.
Kagura stops her crying and concentrates straight ahead. Kagura is unable to make out anything due to the lack of light that goes deeper into the cave. Yomi groggily removes herself from Kagura's grip and uses the wall to hoist herself up. The strain of barely having any of her own soul left from the merging with Kagura renders her extremely weak. Kagura notices her sister's struggles and jumps to her feet. Positioning her arm around her, Kagura uses her body to assist Yomi in standing.
"Kagura Tsuchimiya and Yomi Isayama, I welcome you to the land of the dead."
"Dead, what do you mean," Kagura shouts into the darkness.
The voice waits a couple of moments before engaging the girl's question.
"It seems as though the spirit bond that held your two spirits together has broken or should I say was forced apart."
Kagura and Yomi are both shocked at what the voice had just relayed to them. In the midst of their surprise the entity continues.
"You two have purified countless spirit so I have taken an interest in you, especially the young Isayama girl. I want to propose an offer to Yomi Isayama. I need you to slay six spirit beasts that didn't return when Kagura Tsuchimiya purified the Naraku and in exchange I will grant you the ability to live within the human world once again as a human."
Kagura is shocked at the offer that was just given to Yomi. The only idea that runs through her mind at this point is that she will be able to be with Yomi once again and in return she just has to kill six spirit beasts. The brunette stares into the shadows with her eyes barely open. The opportunity to have her body back was tempting, however; she couldn't bring herself to go back to the human world. Not after everything she's done.
Kagura quickly shifts head to face Yomi. The decision to deny what seemed like a reasonable request has Kagura riddled with curiosity.
"Do you think I should be in that world with all the horrible things that have happened because of me Kagura? I've killed so many people, turned the one man that loved me into an evil spirit, and even tried to send the planet into oblivion. I have no right to go back there."
Yomi pauses for a moment to think about her next choice of words.
"Don't you think it's time that I pay for my sins? I have so many of them to atone for."
The voice once decides now would be a good time to interrupt the girl's depressing moment.
"You are quite noble young lady, however; if you do not take this deal both you will be stuck here. You see, since the girl's soul has been depleted so much, there is no way she could maintain her physical form without assistance. "
"You bastard," Yomi quietly spits into the darkness.
"You are the cause of this Isayama. Using the remnants of your soul to fill in the holes of hers backfired leaving the chance for this opportunity. You should be thankful; I'm trying giving you both a second chance at life."
Yomi hangs her head low as misery works its way through her veins. She questions why fate would not let her rest in peace. Why does everything have to keep making her and those close to her suffer. She doesn't want to put Kagura in anymore danger, knowing all too well that she's done that enough in the past couple of years. Yomi wants to decline this offer with all of her being, however; doing so would cost Kagura her life. Not wanting her sister's life to come to an abrupt end like hers has she quietly begins to sob as the thought of accepting this pact pains her. Kagura tightens her embrace around her sister.
"I will do it," she says barely audible.
"It is done. I will bestow upon you a temporary body until your task is done or until you have been destroyed, however; only a being with a sufficient amount of spiritual power can take your life. Kagura Tsuchimiya's body will also be restored."
"Is that all," she asks sobbingly.
"No it is not. Though you have done many "good" deeds in your life, you have committed multiple atrocities while still in the living plane, and the dead as well as the living seek retribution upon you. At my discretion I will let the dead feast upon your body as atonement for what you've done. Other punishments will the other punishments that await you. No one should know everything that fate holds for them."
"That's not fair," Kagura shouts.
"Life and death isn't fair girl. Do not attempt to end your own life Isayama for if you do or you do not succeed in defeating the beasts our pact will be negated and both of you shall die." the voice says trailing off. "Now…be gone the both of you."
Beneath the waters of the hot springs, multitudes of dark shapes begin to swirl causing the water to slowly bubble. The multiple strands of darkness begin to slowly merge and contort under the liquid. Arms and legs spout from the shadows as they begin to slowly dissipate. A body can be seen visible, then a head, and finally long hair. The shadows quickly disappear leaving the body newly formed body in the water. The body bobs to the top of the water appearing as though someone had drowned. The heat of the liquid surrounding her face alerts her to remove herself from it before her body falls victim to its temperature or drowns. Raising her head of the water, she stands stand on her two weak feet. Not having enough strength the girl falls back into the water with her back against the wooden partition separating the men from the women's baths. Lifting her arms out of the water, she stares at them. Upon inspected her limbs, the raven haired girl notices they ares covered in a dark, thick, reddish material that she realizes is blood.
"I'm really back…." The girl whispers to herself nonchalant.
Casting her gaze upwards, the ex-black priestess takes in the sight of the twinkling stars in the night sky. Sadness begins to eat away at her a she reminisces of the past and the events that transpired minutes ago. Tears begin to flow down the girl's face as her begins to break. The thought of all of those people dying because of her causes her to hate herself even more. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, all died because of her darkened heart fueled by anger, hatred, and revenge. Then there was also Kagura, the one person that stood by her through thick and thin, who put her mind, body, and soul on the line for her even after her murderous rampage, and how does she repay her by getting her corrupted by an entity that wants to use them in some game. Revulsion at its high degree threatens to rip away at what remained of the girl's soul which results in her hugging herself and bawling even harder.
The gaze present in Kagura's eye leaves as life slowly seeps back into her. Kagura turns onto her back and moves her hand over her face. She lies on her back, staring into her hand as if it would reveal to her whether or not the events that she had just witnessed were actually true. Realizing that laying around wouldn't get her anywhere; Kagura slowly makes her way to her feet. With her body upright, though it the previous events were all a dream. A feeling in the back of her mind refuses to let her take that idea as fact. Standing with her back to the entrance of her room, the moonlight drills its way through the light material giving light to the domicile. Examining the room slowly, only the presence of her futon and the desk that came with the room is present.
"Maybe it was…all a dream," Kagura whispers to herself.
A feeling of disappointment brushes over Kagura as she was hoping that her dream was indeed reality. With her sleep ruined and mood crushed, the exorcist decides to the hot spring and focus on the night sky in hopes that the stars would cheer her up. Opening the door behind her, she walks into the dimly lit hallway. Making her way to end of the corridor, Kagura admires the multiple animal paintings hanging on the wall. Halfway through the passage, Kagura hears the constant low sound in her vicinity. Like a moth drawn to a flame, the echo of the noise infiltrating her ears draws her towards its origin. The close Kagura gets to the source, the more she is able to decipher what the sound is. Kagura stands face to face with the door leading to the women's side of the hot springs. Kagura listens to the noise behind the door and realizes that it's the sound of a woman crying. Pushing open the entrance, she steps out onto the wooden deck. Her eyes move across the room from the steaming waters of the hot spring, from the rocks at the back perimeter, to the wooden partition separating the genders. Casting her gaze in the direction of the sound, she sees a young woman sitting naked by the partition weeping. Seeing the girl's long, black, flowing hair causes her stand frozen at her position.
"Yomi!" the girl shouts getting down into the hot spring's fluid and running as fast the water would let her kicking up huge amount of water, neglecting the searing feel of the heat the liquid possesses.
Yomi's attention never acknowledges Kagura's call to her, but that doesn't stop two small arms from enclosing her small body and practically squeezing the life out of her. Though Yomi knows that Kagura is beside her, it doesn't remove the soul crushing feeling that she has, but only makes it worse. Yomi's head is planted firmly against Kagura's chest, accompanied by the jovial girl's head being pressed upon the top of hers. The joyous tears of Kagura Tsuchimiya and the lamenting tears of Yomi Isayama meld together as the two have reunited once again, thus returning them to the wheel of fate.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Yomi is unable to continue living. Kagura and the others attempt to help her keep moving, but they can't seem to break through the barrier of guilt and worthlessness that is plaguing her. At the same time, she and the others get a taste of what her revival brings out in those around them.
Next Chapter: Hardened Despair
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