Wolf's Rain one shot ~The red moon

He was sitting in a wheelchair in a large dark and cold hall, in front of an enormous stained glass window. Several drips kept the worn-out old man alive and conscious. His grey hair came till his shoulders, dead and dim as if it was yarn attached to his skull. Despite the morphine, his wrinkled face was a grimace of pain and misery. His half closed grey eyes looked up to the red moon in the sky, fearing, detesting, and begging for forgiveness. He coughed up blood, and groaned of pain. His nurse cleaned his mouth.

"Are you okay, Sennin-sama?" She asked worried.

"I have not been okay since this moon appeared, my dear," Sennin whispered softly, he kept starring at the moon, moving his head to his last servant was too painful.

His nurse didn't know what to do. All the others had abandoned the noble's palace, his forces had deserted him and plundered the area around the dome. She was the only one left.

She was walking next to him, carrying some heavy books for her lord, when he suddenly stopped. She asked what was wrong, but he only stared to the sky. When she looked to the sky, she saw it too. The moon was red. She wanted to ask him what it meant, but her lord collapsed. The doctors said he had a mild heart attack, and he would recover. They were wrong.

Sennin-sama couldn't walk anymore, so they needed to drive him around in a wheelchair, but all day life went on.

A few days after his heart attack, he started to act weird. He didn't listen anymore to his officers; he didn't care anymore what happened in the world. He only wanted to sit before this window and read an old book.

A few days later he also didn't care anymore for the household. Whoever spoke to him, he didn't seem to listen.

Another few days later he didn't wanted to neither eat nor drink. They had to use force to make him eat something, but he couldn't keep down anything. That's where the drips came in.

Then, one by one, servants started to leave. Some asked permission to visit their family, some just left without a word. Sennin must have noticed the number of people around him decreased, nevertheless he granted the servants which asked him to go. Even his army left him, all the officers left and never returned.

Only one officer stayed loyal to him. He asked Sennin-sama for permission to visit his family outside the dome. Contrary of the others who went away for visits, he came back. He was the oldest of them all, served Sennin-same the longest. He had no soldiers to lead anymore, but he came to deliver provisions, medicines and news. Then he quickly left again.

It wasn't as much food as she was used to, but it was enough, the medicines didn't take away her lord's pain, but kept him at least conscious. The news was bad, the world seemed to go mad, forces deserted their nobles and plundered, attacked each other without real reasons or orders. The nobles didn't seem to care; they put on their finest clothes and left their domes.

But she couldn't abandon her lord, the old noble may be weakened, he always used to be nice to her. She had heard gossip of other nobles how touched their servants, but Sennin-sama only looked to her eyes and her face. If she would leave, Sennin-sama would be entirely alone. The day after the last other two servants left, he asked her why she didn't went home.

"Milord, you will not survive the day on your own," she answered simply.

"I cannot leave someone who is so depended of my aid, alone. My family will understand."

From that moment he started talking. About the past, before her time. About the politics and military conflicts of his younger days, what he had did and thought. About his goals and dreams, the people he loved and lost. He started to speak about the end of the world, about some legend and wolves. He felt the end of the world was coming, that he had made mistakes. She understood only the half of it. He spoke casually to her, as if she was an old dear friend. She felt privileged and more convinced that her decision to stay was the right one.

With a lot of difficulty, he started to move his head. He groaned hard, stopped halfway to get some air; even such a small movement took a lot of effort. She just helplessly waited till his exhausted eyes met hers.

"I want to tell you my last wish, my dear," he said weakly.

"Don't talk like that, Sennin-sama," she said desperately

"Don't worry, my dear. I'm not planning to die right now," he panted heavily, "Perhaps I better called it my last order. I want you to place the best wines and other liquor you can find on a table next to me. I expect a guest this evening."

She didn't understand. How could he know someone would come to visit? She received no messages, and she was the only one Sennin-sama had seen in weeks.

"Furthermore, when you are finished with this task, I want you to leave this palace to go to your family in the dome," he continued.

"But Sennin-sama!' she protested.

"I cannot accept a no, my dear. The end is near, and I want you to be with you loved ones when the end is finally here," he panted.

When he had enough air he continued.

"I'm an old man, my life is over. It's hard to understand for somebody as young as you, but death can be better than life. I'll make it to the end of the evening without you. That will be long enough. The only wishes I have left are you to be with your family and to see this red moon when I die."

She didn't understand, it didn't feel right. But she always respected this man, and she would not disobey his last order. It was harder to find some quality spirits as she thought it would be; many had been stolen by the leaving personnel. She placed some bottles of wine and liqueur on the table; she had found a forgotten bottle of vodka as well. Finally, she placed some crystal glasses on the table. Sennin-sama watched her working from the corner of his eye. He nodded approvingly to her.

"Thank you." he said, it was merely a whisper.

With tears in her eyes she bowed for her lord, said goodbye and left.

Sennin stared to the red moon, when the huge door at the other side of the hall opened. He couldn't turn his head that far that he could see if his expectations were right. But by the sound of the pace, it must be a man, and he probably was wounded.

"Can I offer you a drink, Darcia?" Sennin asked when the visitor was close enough to hear his weak voice.

"None of you beverages can quench the thirst of which I am dying," said Darcia calmly and emotionless.

"You're here because Jagara's paradise wasn't the real thing, aren't you?" Sennin asked.

"Yes, I am," Darcia answered.

"Did you kill Jagara?"

"Yes, she is."

Sennin coughed up some blood. Darcia took advantage of this to ask his own questions.

"Didn't you told her out of revenge?" he asked

"When she took my power away, she also destroyed most of my memory. I honestly didn't know. I thought the Lunar Tome was a fairytale until this Red moon appeared."

"She took your power away?"

"You didn't think I moved to the far end of civilisation to retire, did you?"

"So you know the words of Red Moon?" Darcia wanted to know.

"Yes, in fact, I just read it recently. I hope to find some loophole to get out myself."

He sighed.

"I didn't found one."

"So there is no other way to go to paradise?" Darcia asked as calm as ever.

"Oh yes, if you are a wolf, that is. The wolves you encountered recently will probably know how to get there. But as long as you are a human, you cannot enter. Even if you get to the end of the world, only wolves can enter." Sennin coughed up more blood.

"Then I shall become a wolf, humans are used to be wolves." Darcia said.

"You are a human, and you should die as all the other humans." Sennin said severe.

"You know how I can become a wolf, don't you?" Darcia said.

Sennin lifted his arm, it hurt clearly, but nonetheless he managed to take something out his pocket. He lifted a purple gemstone.

"This will transform you in a wolf," he explained.

"Give it to me," Darcia said excited. But Sennin closed his hand.

"I won't," Sennin said.

"Why not, you old fool?! I'll take it from you if I must!" Darcia screamed furiously, he was losing his self-control.

"You mock the gods with these unnatural longings of you. You are not supposed to reach paradise. It's unfortunate that you saw paradise by mistake, it's for the wolves, and for the wolves only."

"Then I shall become one!" screamed Darcia, he took out his gun and aimed.

"Look at me, do you think I fear death, Darcia?" laughed Sennin softly, his laughter made him cough up blood once more.

"Don't laugh at me!" Darcia shrieked hysterically, he fired. The shot hit Sennin in his shoulder.

Sennin groaned, his arm relaxed and the gem stone fell on the floor, it rolled in the direction of Darcia. Darcia picked up the stone, looked at it. He calmed down by the look of the stone. He put his pistol and the gemstone away, turned around and walked to the door. At the door, he stood still for a moment, looked over his shoulder, and left.

Sennin still sat in his wheelchair, in pain. He felt the warm blood out of the wound wet his clothes. He looked up to the red moon.

"I placed my money on the wrong horses." He whispered to himself.

"I should have listen to that Indian, I shouldn't believed Jagara's lies. But it's all too late for that now. This world is slowly dying, and I'm dying with it. I guess I'll just die a bit earlier, it's all over now."

Sennin closed his eyes.

"It's all over."

Darcia laughed madly as he walked, but suddenly, he spit green blood.

"What flows through this one's veins… is poison." Cheza said softly.

"And you are not protected by the flowers. The poison is within you now."

Hardly able to breathe, Darcia walked on.

"This is it. The entrance to paradise." He laughed madly.

As he touched the pool, he screamed of pain. Millions of volts electrocuted him and annihilated every last tissue of Darcia. Only his wolf eye stayed in one piece. The only part that was truly a wolf.

Darcia was completely, entirely surrounded by darkness.

He saw nothing.

He heard nothing.

He smelled nothing.

He tasted nothing.

He felt nothing.

Where am I?

What is this?

How did I get here?

What happened?

He even didn't know if he was still a wolf or not. The only thing that proved he was not dead was the fact he could still think.

He heard footsteps coming near; he saw a shadow coming near. When the shadow got closer he recognised Sennin. He wasn't old and weak anymore. He was young and fit with long dark hair. Darcia tried to speak up, but couldn't make a sound. Sennin stood in front of him and looked down. So he lay on his back.

"I told you, fool, do not mock with the gods." Sennin said.

"You are ambitious were too high for a mere human. When I read the lunar tome, and even now that I know everything once more; I don't feel the desire to go to paradise. I know I cannot reach it. Hopefully, I will have a second chance on the reborn Earth. But you, you shall be punished for your pride. You mocked the gods, you tried to beat Nature. Here, you will suffer till the end of these times."

Sennin tuned around and vanished.

Darcia was completely, entirely alone in the darkness.

He saw nothing.

He heard nothing.

He smelled nothing.

He tasted nothing.

He felt nothing.

The only thing that proved he was not dead was the fact he could still think.