Saint Seiya Omega: Enter the Dragon
Chapter One: Limits! Time to Say Goodbye
Shunrei carried a basket of various vegetables from the garden over toward the clean stream to be washed and prepared for supper. Her eyes turned to the side of the mountain watching a figure hugging the side of what looked like a very small ledge. His black hair waved up and down, brushing from his shoulders to his cheeks, causing the child to smack it from his eyes with one hand while using another to grasp the rocky wall. His violet trainer was soaking with sweat. For a moment, it seemed like she was gazing in the past until the figure turned his head.
"Hi Mom! What are you cooking tonight? Is it soup?" Ryuho waved wildly as his Mother stood there cradling a parsnip that looked bigger than her head.
Shunrei waved back, "I am." She gazed at his spot and realized he was just twenty feet from the peak of the mountain, more than double his normal route. She knew that Shiryu was having him work on strengthening what little endurance he had, but she never expected him to go this far today unless he hadn't been coming back down to the hut to take his afternoon nap. "Ryuho, how long have you been up there?"She called to him as loud as she could.
Ryuho felt nervous as he hugged his body as close as he could against the rocky wall. "All day?" he nervously replied before he let out a small series of muted coughs. He looked down as his beloved mother's hand covered her mouth in shock. He needed to think fast. "I took a nap over at one spot where there was plenty of room, and I packed an extra lunch and medicine just in case!" He reached for his pocket and held out waded up paper sack in his hand.
"Son, whatever you climb up, you'll have to climb down. What about your blood sugar? Have you checked it while you are up there?" He was so far up, but she could easily tell he was a little on the paler side.
The boy sighed as he remembered his last reading from his break earlier. "It was fine three hours ago, but it's probably low now," he reluctantly admitted, wishing he didn't have to tell her but having no desire to lie to his mother. Instead he held his hands and turned to her. "Mother, if you want me to come back down, I will, but, I really want to reach the top before I turn back. I'm so close." He pleaded.
Shunrei sighed as she folded her arms in deep thought. The mountain that her son was on was one that Shiryu used to race Ohko up hundreds of times a day. When Shiryu was Ryuho's age, he could even leap from one peak to the other like a monkey swinging from tree to tree. She knew that Ryuho desired to at least reach the top once, no matter how much time it took. She wanted to say no, but it would break his heart and his pride, and unlike Shiryu, Ryuho needed all the pride he can get. "Alright, but if you feel dizzy, you come back down immediately."
Not too far from them, Shiryu sat cross-legged in front of a large waterfall. Some would think he was meditating there as his old Master had done for many years or even sleeping with the gentle mist of the flowing waters cooling his face. However, he was doing neither. After Hades had been defeated, a few years later, new enemy appeared named Mars. At first, he and his friends weren't too worried as he started appearing with his Army of Martians. He remembered how Seiya laughed at the name of the foot soldiers stating that it sounded like their battle was taking place in a B-Rated movie. But Mars proved far more formidable, crushing the group, and leaving him without his five senses. It was a heavy price to pay, but at least Mars had been stopped and sent back to his world.
While he may not have his senses, his cosmos and his long periods of blindness allowed him to use them to formulate images of what was going on and decipher what was being said to him. Perhaps he couldn't respond to anyone unfamiliar to the cosmos, but at least he wasn't left in the dark and can watch over his son's progress with his Dragon Cloth. His cosmos showed the boy sweating heavily, trying to stretch his foot over a small gap. "Come on son… you're so close!" he cheered in his mind, feeling touched as the child attempted to reach the top in an attempt to honor his name.
Back in the hut, Shunrei finished boiling the vegetables before dumping it into a large bowl. She grabbed a stone pounder and like all of her son's meals began to smash the food down until it resembled a greenish-brown puree. She reached over for three small balls of prepared medicine. She took a teaspoon and carefully measured out the appropriate amounts onto of the food before stirring it in and scooping it into Ryuho's favorite blue bowl. It looked so unappetizing with the crisp spring vegetables looking more like a cup of mud. However, Ryuho always ate it up and seemed to enjoy it.
She placed her hand as she stared at it some more. When she was growing up, one of her favorite pleasures was creating many beautiful dishes that were described more as botanical art than culinary, especially on special days when Shiryu did exceptional for his training with the Old Master. Vegetables were fun to use since they could be easily shaped into flowers.
Unfortunately, Ryuho's stomach is very delicate and in order for him to absorb any nutrition without throwing up was to liquefy it to make it easily digestible making any dish she created pretty for a few moments before being smashed up into a paste.
Shunrei placed her hand on the side of her head. When she was first pregnant, she had dreams of preparing beautiful little lunches for her husband and child as they run off to do training. Unfortunately, her son was born twelve weeks too early, and thus led the doctors to call him special.
She was thankful he had no mental problems, in fact, he was exceptionally smart, but his body just didn't develop right. Every day required special preparation, from the type of food he ate, his daily medicine, to the type of detergent for his clothes. Shiryu once spent a week combing the woods to find and destroy any peanut plants. Sometimes it would give her and Shiryu a headache on Ryuho's condition; however he was their pride and joy, the light of their life, and through that it helped them resist the urge to wish that Ryuho was born normal.
Shunrei sighed as she stared at the ugly paste, trying to think of what to do to celebrate Ryuho's climb. Her eyes turned to the vase of flowers. She reached for one of the white flowers, broke it from its stem and placed it in the center before adding some pieces of cabbage on the side before clasping her hands. Maybe it wasn't elaborate, but she was sure he would enjoy it.
Ryuho took a deep breath as he gazed at the ten foot gap from the ledge he was on to the final turn to the top of the mountain. He turned to the side of the ledge to see where his Father had apparently used the side to cling to like a spider and crossed over. He grabbed the ledge and attempted lift his body up, only to find a lack of physical strength to follow afterwards before pulling away. He looked up at the top of the peak where a stick with an old ragged shirt was used as a flag blew in the air. He gazed at for a few seconds before turning back to the gap. "I have to try!" he thought diligently before he brought he raised his hand into the air. "Waters of the sky, I summon thee, form a bridge from my destination to me!" he called out as the droplets from the clouds began pull out, causing a stream of water to emerge from the sky before taking the form of a dragon.
Ryuho moved his hand over in front of him as if guiding his guardian constellation. He narrowed his eyes, focusing on the dragon as it crashed in the center of the gap with water spreading out to connect the two sides to allow him the cross. He smiled at his work before putting his foot on the watery surface, testing to make sure that it was solid enough to put his weight on. He took a few steps forward and looked down to see the translucent image of the ground below. It definitely looked like a long ways to fall. But still he took a breath to stay focused on crossing over. He hurried to the top and reached over for a stick with one of his father's old shirt's tied to the side like a flag. He reached down, picked it up and raised it in the air. "Father, look! I did it!" Ryuho cried as he waved the old flag causing the disintegrating shirt to break off. "Oops!" he gasped. He looked down as a wave of good cosmos came over him. It was the spirit of his father, showering him with affection and causing him to smile.
The boy was not done yet. "Mother!" he shouted waving his hands. He watched as she looked up and waved her hand, holding what looked like a bowl full of supper in her hands and making him hungry.
"Congratulations!" she cried out.
Ryuho continued to hold his wooden stick. "Mother! You wouldn't believe what I just did!" he shouted, causing a long echo afterwards.
"Tell me down here!" she pointed toward the table where they always sat at.
The boy blushed a bit, feeling silly about attempting to yell his story to her. "Sorry!" He looked down at the stick and down to his clothes. He should replace the flag with his own shirt, but the weather was feeling cooler and he didn't want to catch a cold and go back to the doctor like last time. Besides, he liked his shirts, and it would be silly to just rip it up for no reason. Perhaps he'll have to beat the mountain a second time, and make sure he'll bring an extra shirt. He headed back over toward his water bridge, noticing the surface was wavering a bit. He held his hand out over the bridge and caused the water to steady.
He took a deep breath and began to cross his bridge when dizziness began to overcome him. "Oh," he muttered as his head felt hot. Did he overexert himself with the long climb and the water bridge? He grabbed the side of the rocks and heaved heavily.
Shunrei stared as she watched Ryuho stumble a bit over the water bridge. "Ryuho!" she cried out as she placed the bowl down. "Ryuho!" she called out again as her motherly instincts began to kick in. Suddenly the water bridge broke apart causing her son to fall through it. "Ryuho!" she gasped as a blood curdling scream followed. Her eyes widened as he tumbled down before he fell into some brush that was growing to the side of the cliffs and were it miraculously held the lightweight child up. She ran to the hut and grabbed a fairly long bamboo ladder and a long rope. She hurried to the ledge and placed the ladder down to bridge a gap that would allow her to reach halfway up the mountain.
She rushed along the path before stopping at the closet ledge where her son landed fifteen feet below. She took her rope and threw it over the side until the end was lying on Ryuho's stomach. "Ryuho, grab it!" Shunrei cried.
The boy weakly opened his eyes, ignoring the blood that dripped from the side of his temple. He looked down and grasped it before turning to her. "Mommy?" he weakly cried as he took his scratched up hands and began to pull his body up.
Shunrei bit her lip trying to appear calm. "Ryuho! Grab the rope! Mommy is here!" She spoke as she rolled the rope around her hands to get a firmer grasp.
Ryuho, grasped it and attempted to climb up. He got a foot up in the air before his legs gave out causing him to slide back down to the bush where it finally broke off and left his feet dangling. "Mother!" Ryuho cried as his hands clenched the slippery rope.
"Don't let go!" Shunrei cried. "Try again!" She watched nervously as Ryuho brought his knees close to the rope and began to pull himself up a foot before sliding back down with his hands holding the bottom end. "Oh no!" she thought before she began to reach down. "Ryuho, focus on holding on, I'll pull you up!" she cried as she bent her knees and using all her strength, she reached for the one side of the rope and began to pull up. Her face turned red as she pulled with all her might. Only for the rope to slide in her grasp.
Shiryu's conscious darkened in fear as he saw the painful image before him. On one end, his only son, too weak to climb up or use any of his water element to help him, while his wife was not strong enough to pull him up to save him on the other.
Every time either of them try and failed it almost looked like they would both tumble afterwards, and all he could do, as he had done for most of Ryuho's training was to sit idly by, taking in the blood curdling screams of his wife with a passive face.
"Help me! Help!" Shunrei shouted over and over as the rope's fibers continued to slice through the outside of her fingers.
Ryuho stared at her reddening face, watching her silk shoes began to buckle on the side. He reached his hand up to try and pull himself even a little bit only to slide again, coating the rope fibers with his blood. "Mother," Ryuho thought. His eyes gazed at the rope. "She won't let go of me, but if she doesn't she'll fall and we'll both die. If I let go, at least Mother will have one less person to take care of." Before he could turn to her and say his goodbye, a set of voices not too far from them. He watched as his rasping mother stopped shouting as two young Chinese college students wearing hiking gear came to her side and began to help pull him up.
"Are you alright?" asked one of the hikers as he placed a firm hand over the young Dragon Saint's back.
Ryuho sat on his knees. He turned to his Mother gasping as her bloody hands trembled and her face flinching as the other hiker tried to clean her cut hands. "Mother.. Fath-," he felt himself mutter before darkness filled his vision.
The next moment, Ryuho opened his eyes, to see his mother staring down at him, her hair seemingly brushed and braided. He blinked for a moment, trying to speak before he paused to hear the late night songs of the crickets outside. Most would be startled at the revelation that so much time had passed, but for him, it saddened him that he couldn't go an entire week without falling unconscious after training. He gasped as his light green eyes gazed at her blood stained bandages around her fingers. "Mother!" He gasped as he sat forward before gritting his teeth pain. His arms and torso felt as if every ligament in his body were stretched out. He didn't even resist when his mother pushed him back down. "Mother, I'm so sorry! Your hands!" the thirteen year old cried as he reached out to grab them only to realize his hands were wrapped up to the point that it looked a set of mittens.
Shunrei calmly reached over for teapot and poured a small cup. She reached for his head and lifted a bit. "Here, drink my son, this will make the pain go away," she rasped.
Ryuho couldn't believe how horse she sounded. It almost seemed like her throat being scrapped away with every word. He leaned forward and sipped some tea before he pointed to the teapot. "Mother, please drink some too."
"Don't worry about me, I already have," she took a moment to cough to the side.
He turned to a small bowl sitting beside him with a white flower, green cabbage leaves sitting on top of his typical vegetable dinner. "Aw, she made a lily-pad on my soup!" he thought. His mother loved making beautiful looking food. He was amazed she was able to come up with anything pretty for what he was normally fed. He turned his head and watched her pull out several mint leaves to chew, his heart began to break. "Oh, mother, I'm so sorry. I should have never tried to climb it." He pleaded before his Mother reached down and hugged him.
"No Ryuho, you've done nothing wrong. It was just a part of your training, that's all." Shunrei whispered as best as she could. She was split on the idea of her son following the path of the Old Master and now his Father. She thought with all his medical issues, that perhaps he would be deterred from the calling of Athena. On one hand, Ryuho would carry on the tradition of the Dragon Cloth. On the other, he stood a good chance of dying before his twentieth birthday. Shiryu promised her now that Poseidon and Hades were defeated; there really wasn't any major threat for their son to contend with on Earth. They never counted on Mars to come out of now where while still maintain her husband's word. "Ryuho, I've been speaking to your Father, and he showed me a cosmos image in my mind. It was important. But, we'll talk about it later, when you are feeling-." She stopped before she began coughing and reached for her own cup of tea.
The young boy gasped as she mentioned this. "Important? What do you mean?" Fear came over his heart, causing him to wonder if the day that he would be forbidden to continue training had come. He sat up, ignoring the onslaught of body aches that came over him. He watched as she attempted to speak more but, could tell by the slight tears in her eyes that her throat ached too much to say another word. "Mother, I'm sorry. I'll go see Father, you rest here." He stood up and bit his lip as he rushed out of the hut, only to stop to catch his breath. He looked up to see his Father sitting at his normal spot in front of a large waterfall as he had for several years.
He took a deep breath, sensing the cosmos around him, trying to see if his Father was angry for him attempting the mountain and causing Mother to injure her hands, only to feel sadness. His father sat there as he had since being returned from the great battle against Mars, eyes closed, motionless with only the roar of the waterfall preventing the silence to come between them. It took such a long time for him to get used to seeing him in this state. His Mother told him stories about when he was younger, every morning he tugging at his father's silk shirt asking him to wake up, only to get the same dull stares of lifelessness. Even now, he was tempted to tap on his Father's shoulder and ask again, in hope that he was miraculously cured and he would answer.
However, he knew what it would do to Mother; it would just make her cry again.
Instead, Ryuho sat in front of him, a couple of feet away and placed his hands on his knees. From there, he would be close enough for Father to focus what little control he had in his cosmos order to form words with his mind. "Father?" He waited until he felt a slight pulse of cosmos to let him know he was aware, before continuing. "Mother said," Ryuho paused as he felt the sadness in his Father's cosmos deepen before he continued, "Mother said that she spoke to you about something important and you showed her something in her mind. She was going to tell me, but her voice gave out. What was it?"
Ryuho swallowed hard, trying to fill his emotions with confidence to try the impossible task of avoiding his Father from detecting the nervousness from within him. Did his Father see him falling off the mountain as an indication of his limits and thus an end to his life as a Saint? Perhaps it would put an end to his fear of being in a position where he was forced to kill, but if his journey as a Saint ended, it also meant he wouldn't be able to grow strong enough to reach the other abilities of the cosmos. He had heard that Saints who reached great strength were able to heal their bodies and create miracles. Mother even told him that his Father's cosmos had risen so high, he was able to cure his blindness twice, although he was fairly certain she was exaggerating. If he gave up his Cloth, he would have no chance of curing his Father. Ryuho felt his chest rise up and down as the seconds went by before his Father finally answered.
"Palestra. I showed her, Palestra."
"Palestra?" Ryuho muttered out loud in shock. He knew full well what it was. Palestra was a school that was established after the uprising against Athena and two Holy Wars against Hades and Poseidon nearly decimated the Saint ranks. There, it was to either help trainees become Saints or for current Saints to train and strengthen their cosmos at. His parents choose to keep him here since it didn't make sense for him to go somewhere else with his Father being one of the best. Did they change their minds? "Are you, sending me there?" He asked only to receive a yes afterwards, but it still didn't make much sense.
"Yes son. The only way for you to grow in your abilities is to go to Palestra."
Ryuho bit his lip. Without his five senses, his Father's words lacked any emotion and came off as if a computer was speaking to him, and the cosmos around them was still filled with deep sadness. Even if he tried to think otherwise, it was very difficult for his Father to emote in his state. "But I don't want to leave! I-" Ryuho turned his head down, feeling ashamed of openly defying his Father.
He sighed. "I'll go if that is your wish. I'll even pack up tonight if that is what you want. Just tell me, is there any other reason? Was it because I couldn't climb back down the mountain and I am unworthy of your training?" He felt his heartbeat slowly speed up as he waited for his Father's was taking a bit longer than normal for a reply. It was either that his Father was gathering his cosmos to create a long message, or that he was hesitant to answer.
"I am very proud of you, I always have been. When the doctors said you wouldn't be able to walk, you ran. When they said you would be nonverbal, you told them no. When everyone at Sanctuary said your body would not be worthy of a Cloth, you summoned it from the sky. You have always been able to go beyond your limits; however, I can't say the same for myself."
Ryuho was smiling during his Father's speech, but felt sadness so deep in his Father's cosmos that it felt like he was falling in a void as if he was accepting his loss of his five senses. "Father, don't say that! Your lessons are far greater than any other teacher out there." He wondered if it was because he was forced to sit during the whole incident. If those climbers weren't nearby, they wouldn't have been able to have this conversation now.
More dreadful silence followed.
"I wish you could stay, but I understand now, that your potential is limited to your Mother's ability to keep you safe during your training. That is not only a responsibility I do not wish to burden her with, but if training under me forces you to hold back, then perhaps Palestra will be the better option. Besides, you will be able to experience different methods and meet other students."
Ryuho looked up and produced a smile. He didn't want to make his Father any sadder than he already was. "It would be nice to meet other Saints. I like playing with the other children in the village, but none of them are aware that I am a Saint." At least until one of them tried to steal his Mother's money to purchase rice. "I've never even been to Greece and from the pictures of Palestra, it looks very pretty." He felt his grin widen as his Father's sadness seemed to lift significantly. "I hope I will make friends there!"
"You will, son. Friends are extremely important in the training of a Saint. As Old Master, your grandfather, once told me, to train with friends will make you grow exponentially, but to train alone will only make you cocky."
The thirteen year old raised a brow. "But Father, you trained alone and you were never cocky."
"You never saw me like that, but I was at one point… always certain I could beat anything until Seiya, showed me the error of my thoughts."
Ryuho could sense his Father's cosmos brighten, as if recalling a good memory, although, in the past when his Father was moving and able, he always talked about his fight between him and Pegasus Seiya as if he would've done something different, he could have beaten him. Ryuho turned his head to see his Mother standing there, holding several old scrolls that were sent from Palestra inviting him to try and come. He gazed at his Father's cosmos aura, and could tell it was exhausted from a combination of the strain of sending his highly focused messages as well as emotions. He politely bowed to him and bid him goodnight, feeling his Father's warm cosmos come over him, before Ryuho walked over to his Mother.
"You two were there for a while," Shunrei spoke, her voice still cracking but not as raspy as before.
Ryuho gave a small nod. "I was just shocked that he would want me to go to Palestra."
"You don't mind, do you?" she asked as she took her cup of honey-mint tea and sipped it.
"Oh no, in fact, it sounds very exciting!" He spoke as he tried to be a bit more upbeat but it was very difficult. It wasn't that Palestra sounded bad or that he was getting a different type of training. In fact, he'd like to meet and train with other Saints to see what other elements and techniques looked like. In that sense, he would become stronger than over there. Perhaps the only thing that he was truly upset with was seeing his Father, the man who fought Silver Saints, Gold Saints, and two Gods, had given up on himself. However, if he could raise his cosmos high enough, maybe he'd acquire the level to be able to heal, and cure his Father. "Father really wants me to go, but what do you think Mother? Do you want me to go?"
She reached over and held his arm. "It will be, a bit lonely here…" she closed her eyes.
Shunrei, it is understandable that you are worried about Shiryu and Ohko. The path of a Saint is dangerous; however it must be in order to survive.
Shunrei felt the Old Master's words echo in her heart. Watching Shiryu fight until he was broken and exhausted was hard at times, but if he didn't push himself to his limits, she wouldn't have any doubt that he would've died a long time ago. Now Ryuho donned the Cloth of the closest person she could regard as her Father as well as her husband. If he is to survive, even if these are peaceful times, he must train to his limit as well. "…but it is nothing new. Besides, you're going to school. It's something that every parent must expect in their life."
Ryuho looked over as she smiled and held her hands tightly. He laid his head on her shoulder. "Mother, you won't be completely lonely. Father will be here, and you learned to accept his cosmos images in your mind."
She nodded, "Yes, we are able to do that but after several years of training. It's not much, but at least I have some link to him, even in his state." She took her finger and wiped her eye. "Although, I do miss his voice and every day as you get older, it feels like I can hear him more in you-" Shunrei stopped, swallowed hard before controlling her emotions. "We should go to the house and prepare your travel. A new semester will start soon, and if we miss the deadline to enter, it could be months before we can try again."
Ryuho took his arm around his Mother and rested his head on her shoulder. "Mommy, if we try, maybe you'll be able to send cosmos messages to each other."
Shunrei looked up. "Ryuho, I'll be an old woman before I reach that point. Let's just get a cell phone before you leave."
Coming June 8
Chapter Two: A New Age with Old Age
Ryuho comes to check out the new school system, shocked at the differences between his own training and Palestra. However, he is not the only one who enrolls at the Saint School.
After I ended Love You, Kill Me, in my notes I asked for requests for ideas on other fics to write and this was one of bronze andromeda shun's. This one took a while, not only because I was trying to adjust to writing in the SSO universe, and that with every new episode, I ended up going back to make adjustments for this story. Plus, whenever I write requests, I spend twice the amount of time thinking and writing just because I don't like letting people down.
In Saint Seiya Omega, I felt they did a great job with Ryuho's background and character and so I thought I'd focus on what was not discussed: why Ryuho went to Palestra despite having Shiryu and him clearly stating they could use the cosmos to talk to each other.
So far, I've watched eight episodes of Saint Seiya Omega, and I must say I do like the show. It has good characters, plenty of throwbacks to the original, and episode eight shows the potential for a really intriguing storyline. It's not as great as the original, but I think if you liked the character-focused direction of Lost Canvas, you'll like this one too.
The only things that I do not like are the Elements and Yuna's Cloth. I like Yuna, but her outfit is terrible, and this is coming from the person who adores the one character who wore pink metal boobs in his debut. As for the elements, well, I can't write a rant in my notes just because it would be too long, but I'll definitely do an essay on it somewhere, unfortunately it can't be here since it wouldn't be considered a story. For now, I just do the "just go with it" and it doesn't really deter me from enjoying the show.
Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Next one shouldn't be as dark as this.