With Love, Farewell
SUMMARY: With an unforeseen encounter with the Kutou army piloted by Prince Hakei and Haagasu without her warriors, Takiko finds herself confronted by death. Will she lose her life in that unanticipated encounter without the knowledge of her warriors? What will happen to her and to the Genbu warriors she didn't mean to leave behind? Will they accomplish the missions and destiny entwined in their beings or let Hokkan be destroyed before their very eyes?
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden.
Chapter 1 –
He held me tightly in his pair of strong, calloused hands. His hands were, without a doubt, trembling in hysteria as he tried his very best to conceal my presence from the invading army of Kutou. Beside him is his very own horse, well-trained and loyal. Rimudo Roun, or much known as Uruki, is now looking directly at my eyes; his were filled with despair and regret. "Takiko," He finally breathed in extreme desperation. "Abandon us if you must. We'll hold them off. We, your warriors, will act as decoys as you escape, unscathed and unharmed." I felt a prickle of resentment. Leave him—them—my warriors, comrades, friends in the brink of death in the hands of the large army of Kutou? No. Impossible.
Some time before this actual moment, Souren-san, Uruki's trusted friend and company, had been spying on Kutou's camp and it came to his comprehension that at this time of night, Kutou's well-armed and prevailing armed forces has been prearranged to hunt down and kill every single person related with the summoning of the legendary god of Hokkan, Genbu. The Genbu warriors and its priestess.
I simply hesitated and I burst into tears. "I can't—no. No. No. Never; I will not leave! They are also after you, why in the world can't you just escape death with me?" I protested hotly, clutching his quilted shirt tightly. His hands travelled to my tear-stained cheeks and held them with precautious gentleness. Uruki is evidently in the verge of tears; however, he fought extremely hard to obscure such vulnerability. "I know that the army of Kutou is advancing rapidly, but I can't just leave you here. It's painful. I can't bear to see my friends die one by one!"
"Don't argue with me Takiko. The army is too big and the only means of protecting you is for you to escape this cruel battlefield. They are ordered to kill you, kill us, Takiko and you can't die here. Not in this place, Takiko. I cannot sacrifice you!" He said lovingly. "I promise I will find you. Just escape this ill fate in the hands of Hakei and Haagasu." Without further protesting and retorting, Uruki immediately pushed me up on his horse, his hands on my waist. "Don't die there, please. No one should die there, not one of you. I want to see you alive, breathing, and smiling." I pleaded in resentment. Again, he looked at me with a bitter smile and an intruding tear slid across his face; without wasting another moment, he reached up to my face and planted a soft, heartbreaking kiss on my forehead and for a second, the wind blew and he disappeared from my sight with his voice murmuring in the blowing breeze.
"I love you." Uruki's audible voice muttered before it completely disappeared with the blowing wind. I felt alone, alone more than ever.
The feeling of being alone terrified me. It is completely mental. The only thing that keeps me strong is my unbreakable bonds with my friends, the Genbu warriors. I gathered all my strength and started guiding the horse to the path we're about to take. I picked up the speed, changing its pace from slow to fast, travelling without an exact destination. Questions started to build up in my conscience one by one as I continue my directionless escape. Where could the warriors locate me easily? Are they alright? I hope no one is seriously injured or has been declared dead.
The sight of their frightening, mangled, bloody body before my very eyes is extremely petrifying. Even the sight of my mother's bloodless death is enough to punch a hole through her chest, what more if my friends die in such a fashion? Would a sword so sharp enough to create an irreparable wound through my already-broken chest? Minutes of escaping felt like hours and months, or to be extreme, like years when you feel that Tomite, Namame, Hatsui and Hikitsu are putting their precious lives on the line for my sake. My sake.
Nightfall came upon me when audible hooves of running horses were heard alongside me with a distance of thirty meters, through the leafless, ice-covered trees.
"There she is! The Genbu priestess!" A deep voice thundered. I clutched the rope tied to Uruki's horse tightly and increased my speed as I flee from the unwanted intruders. Where are Uruki and others? Arrows aimed at me were accidentally shot at the pitiful trees whereas I increased more and more the thundering pace of Uruki's horse. My veins pulsated in a terrifying manner as the intruders' horse came to me closer and closer. For a moment, I immediately contemplated that we are fast approaching a steep slope at the end of this winding road.
I skid into a full stop and the surrounding became unusually quiet. Had the Kutou intruders disappeared? Have my warriors arrived just in time?
A single horse came to me in a somewhat, slow manner. Riding the horse is the crown prince of Kutou, Prince Hakei. He looked at me intently before he dropped to his feet and walked up to me. "Pity, how silly of your warriors to oversee such a mistake." He muttered while holding a lock of my jet-black hair. "Did they ever think that Kutou can never find the priestess? Did they ever think that I, Prince Hakei, would not follow such a foreboding woman?"
I suddenly felt a burst of unintentional anger. I slapped his hand from my hair and glared sternly at him. "You will never lay a single finger on this country nor on my warriors, Prince Hakei!" I glowered angrily. "Even if it means of killing me for them." Then, he laughed hysterically. "Noble, indeed, priestess. I couldn't expect more from a filthy woman like you." Hakei diminished his distance between us while I took large steps backward, away from him. He slowly drew his sword from its compartment and pointed it on my face.
"It's a pity to waste yourself in this world, priestess. Not to mention you have acquired such beauty and talent. Nonetheless, I am ultimately positive that the priestess of my own country will be nobler, more beautiful and more powerful than you, Legendary Priestess of Genbu. It is definitely a disappointment not to catch a glimpse of the priestess of my country." He remarked. Hakei slowly slid his sword on my cheek and I winced in pain. Apparently, he made a deep scratch on my cheek, and blood trickled down my cheek. Uruki's horse went wild and charged furiously at the meddlesome Prince and in an instant blow, the prince stabbed the horse in its rear feet, collapsing on the cold snow bed. "You'll be next, priestess." I shook in trepidation and fear.
From the ground where the horse collapsed, I picked up my own weapon and pointed it directly on the chest of Hakei. "Try and kill me, if you can, you bloat head." I said, infuriated mixed with hesitation. He burst in loud laughter again and smiled eagerly. "You truly are noble, sweet priestess. However," He said, closing the distance of the sword to my thumping chest. "I shall kill you, now!" For a brief moment, our own weapons clashed with each other, producing a sound like an agonizing scream. Prince Hakei, apparently, was like fighting effortlessly. Sudden bursts of stiffened laughter escapes his mouth until he stabbed me. Right through my abdomen. The moment he stabbed me, his face brightened with delight and slowly deepened the sword through my chest.
I cringed in his deathly action. I slowly held my wounded abdomen and felt the wetness of the blood stained on my clothing. My eyesight started to blur into nothingness. "The triumph of my country is now crystal clear, priestess." He mumbled incoherently. Before I fell on the cold snow blanket, he caught my dying body in his own armored body. "Goodbye, Legendary Priestess of Genbu." He whispered in my ear before pushing me exuberantly to the cliff that stood precipitously.
There were like tight arms slowly engulfing my body. I believe it was the arms of death. Death must have been waiting for me impatiently for many times, I narrowly escape its formidable clutches. The pressure of the wind that clashes with my body keeps on increasing and increasing as I continue to fall. Perhaps, I couldn't see the next sunrise or the next rainfall. I couldn't even catch my last glimpse of my own dead mother and my good-for-nothing father. I regretted it to so much not to see the smiling faces of my friends, Tomite, Hikitsu, Hatsui, Namame and Souren-san. I wanted to cry so much and lament over the fact that I couldn't mumble the words I love you eternally to Uruki, kiss him with all my might and love him every second of my days.
And then it hit me… I am nearing my death. Death will soon welcome me in open arms. With my thoughts drifting into nothingness, the last face I desired to see was Uruki's.
Uruki. Uruki. Uruki. I love you eternally. Whether or not these words will reach you, I love you.
With nothing more people to spare, I killed every last members of Kutou's army. Some of them pleaded for their life; nonetheless, I still killed them. I am overcome by my own antagonism and rage that it controlled all of my senses and made me selfishly took the lives of many. They sought Takiko and wanted to kill her for their own merriment, and never in my life will I tolerate their egocentricity and selfish acts, even it means burning in hell. My body cringed in pain and I believe that liters and liters of blood have already been lost in my system. I looked around my surroundings; mangled bodies lie on the deep white snow now covered with crimson red. "Uruki, are you alright?" Hikitsu called from across the bloodied battlefield.
I raised my uninjured arm and waved, a sign that I am still in one piece despite suffering shallow injuries. "I am." I answered; my voice cracked and shaky. My comrades came to me and we huddled closely in a corner. All of them are bleeding, suffering from shallow to deep wounds and injuries. "Glad we came out alive." Tomite muttered breathlessly. "I think I used my power to its extremities, I feel so weak and exhausted." He trembled slowly and collapsed on the snow blanket, slow deep breathing is suddenly heard.
"First things first, Souren must have located a shelter for us for the night." I said. "Rest for the night, comrades. I will look for Takiko." A sudden chill came into my chilling body and a soft whisper came into me, a soft and gentle whisper breezed through my ears and muttered supple words which sounded like Takiko's voice. The chilly wind blew from the northern direction, where Takiko had supposedly headed to escape, and I relentlessly smelled the scent of spilled blood on the snow. I cringed involuntarily and my knees began to tremble hysterically. I did not quite realize that I had collapsed on the ground, with my comrades immediately surrounding my vulnerable figure.
"Uruki, what's the matter?" Hikitsu asked in trepidation.
"I smelled blood. From a distance. Could it be?" I said—however, Hikitsu broke me off. He looked at me sternly and quickly spoke. "Do not continue that sentence you are about to say, Uruki. The priestess should be safe. She must be alive. She will be safe. It could have been something else." He argued. I quickly agreed to his statement. I believe that Takiko is fine. I know, however, there is still the doubt inside me. Did I overlook something important? Was this army just a decoy to lure out Takiko? I feel so tired. I can't exactly think straightly.
Soft footsteps on the snow were quickly heard, and for a brief moment, Souren appeared, clutching Takiko's weapon with a ribbon tied to it in one hand. From where I collapsed, I immediately stood up in excessive nervousness. "Souren…" I stuttered. "What is that, in your hand?"
"Uruki-sama, just outside the battlefield, thirty kilometers north from here, I found Takiko-sama's weapon and ribbon. Your horse has been found dead on the white snow and crimson red were spilled on the whiteness of the snow." He explained wearily. He walked up to me and brought to my hand the bloodstained ribbon of Takiko's hair and her weapon, scratched and the blade appears to be needing refinement and maintenance for it will be broken in a few strikes. "How—how?" I stuttered. I am speechless; I lost my ability to speak what I want to say in this situation. Where is Takiko?
"Additionally, the priestess herself cannot be located within fifty-kilometer radius." He explained lowly.
I did not know what exactly came to me, but I heard myself shouting formidable curses and incomprehensible words until Souren caught my arms, restraining me. Tears overflowed from my eyes, almost washing the blood coming out from the scratches on my face. "No. This can't be happening. Please, Genbu, NO!" I bellowed.
"Calm down, Uruki. She must have narrowly escaped the soldiers chasing her. Do not think badly of the situation!" Hikitsu shouted. Even with Hikitsu's comforting words, I could not help but to stammer raging words and curses. This is beyond unacceptable. Where in the world is Takiko? This is entirely mental. Where is the person I love the most? Is she safe? Dammit. This is not helping at all.
"We have to find her." I said, my words extremely absolute. "Nothing in this world will stop me from finding her, not even that damn Hakei, nor Genbu!" I felt a great rush of strong hostility and fortitude percolating through my whole system. There is no believable doubt that I am, in fact, frightened of what might have happened to Takiko.
Author's Note: Yaaaay. Ü New story for the time being. Reviews are highly treasured and appreciated. Open for story collaborations and requests.