Pain in the HeartMature


Raitoguchi leaned his head back and looked at the sky as he followed the others.  Seeing Shalius turn on his master in the way that he did had shaken him.  As a strict follower of Bushido, his inner emotions scorned the warrior.  For turning on his master, he should be ashamed.  For failing his master in such a way, he should regain his honor by killing himself.  Yet, he had already done so much.  Shalius had not only left his master for the fact that he'd been betrayed, but he'd also saved them all.

The samurai looked down at himself.  He knew that he'd done next to nothing to help his new comrades.  He knew he could fight the shadows easily.  He had been trained by Okuninushi, he knew several spells to fight such enemies, and even worse, he could also summon up an army of dead who the shadows could not control.  And now, he was even too much of a coward to reveal to his comrades that he'd been withholding this knowledge.  He didn't want them to think poorly of him.

But I have a good reason, do I not?  By using the spells, I will break the seal that my master has given me....

Okuninushi was a god of healing and magic, but he was angered by this war.  He would go crazy were the seal to break.  Then Raitoguchi would be a mere puppet for his angered master, and the god's fury was great.  In using the spells, he would only gain a small time of control.  After that, the seal would break, and the god Okuninushi would take control and kill the threat...  And maybe his comrades as well...

Raitoguchi gripped his katana and looked forward again.  To remain silent would be to betray his comrades, but to talk would probably earn him their hate and distrust.

And then there was Kalton...  that man who believed in only one god.  One almighty God.  This idea hurt him.  How could there be only one god if he had been trained by a different one?  Yet, he knew how real the gods were.  Perhaps this one god of Kalton was actually one more powerful than them all....

A red-faced fox ran up and jumped onto Raitoguchi's shoulder, breaking his concentration.  It barked out for the samurai's attention and shook his head to emphasize the fact that he had a scroll tied to his neck.

Raitoguchi smiled despite his inner conflict, "Taito!  I didn't know you were okay!  What have you brought me?"

The other warriors turned to look at Raitoguchi as he pulled the scroll from the fox's neck and began to read.

Nytahl scrutinized the fox suspiciously, "What is that?"

The fox visibly smiled at her, a feat most could not accomplish, and nuzzled Raitoguchi's cheek.

The samurai rolled the scroll up, "My master has provided me with this messanger fox.  He is a kyuubi no kitsune, so he can also be handy in battle.  I have been informed at my master will be visiting me soon...  He has told me that to the east he has set up a shrine in which we can take shelter.  It also has an onsen in it, so we can relax.  Um...  I'll be obtaining the..." he hesitated.

Shalius eyed him, "The?"

"The last of my...  The last of my magic training.  I'll be able to cast spells without fear of breaking the seal because...  He'll remove it..."

Nytahl grimaced, "What seal?  What are you talking about?  What have you been hiding from us?"

Raitoguchi frowned and put a hand over Taito's head, "My master wishes to unite the world and it's gods.  I have been sent out by him to help make this wish come into being.  I have, as a warrior of my master, been given training in the field of both black and white magic.  I can cast both healing spells and dark spells.  But I cannot yet contain them....  Were I to cast enough of these spells, the seal on my back would break, and my master's fury would be relinquished upon every present being....  So, my master will now finish my training, and I will lose the seal...  But this also means that I give myself up to my master completely.  I will...  not have a heart to anyone else's suffering...."

He picked up the fox and held it close to himself like a child.  His eyes closed as he waited for the judgement of his comrades.

The End

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