Ryuusei Den – Chapter 5, “The Pride of a Seishi”

Pallet Bunko

Fushigi Yuugi Novel #4

-Ryuusei Den-

(“The Legend of Shooting Star”)

Based on the comics by: Watase Yuu

Written by: Nishizaki Megumi

Chapter 5: The Pride of a Seishi

“Enter…”

Shunkaku appeared in Tessoh’s tent and waited impatiently for what Tessoh had to tell him.

“Don’t give me that look, Shunkaku. I’m not giving you a scolding today; I’m giving you an order.”

“An order?”

When Shunkaku heard this, excitement bubbled up inside of him. Was Tessoh finally going to give the order to attack? He tightly clenched a fist around his ryuuseisui, and anxiously awaited Tessoh’s order.

“I want you to follow Toka.”

“…….Wha~at?”

“I said, I want you to follow Toka.”

“What the hell?”

“I noticed she’s been leaving camp a lot lately. I’m worried about her.”

“……..Shit!” All energy deflated from Shunkaku’s body. “Why don’t’cha have Chama do that?”

“Chama has more important things to do. He’s giving us our final intelligence report.”

Scowling at Chama Lee, who was at his usual place by Tessoh’s side, Shunkaku turned his nose up in the air.

“Hey boss, isn’t it obvious she’s sneaking out to see her lover?”

“Shunkaku!…” Chama reprimanded.

“If that is the case, then you may deal with him as you wish,” Tessoh told him.

“Cool. So I can kill him if I want, huh.” Shunkaku fondly fingered his ryuuseisui and laughed through his nose. “Don’t worry, little ones, you’ll soon get to taste blood again.”

“Anyway, once you’ve discovered where Toka has been going, report that to me. Okay?”

“Hmm, seems like I’m a detective assigned to find out if your wife’s cheating on you.”

After Shunkaku had swaggered out the tent, Tessoh whispered to his assistant.

“Lee, if the revolution is a success, what will you do?”

Chama Lee thought for a while before he spoke.

“I will tell you and Shunkaku….about my past….”

“I see…”

Tessoh knew that Chama Lee’s past was a subject which could not be dealt with until there was peace in the country.

“What about you, Tessoh?”

“Hmm, good question… I guess the first thing I want to do is buy a pretty kimono for Toka…. Hmhm, what a stupid dream, huh.”

Chama looked on silently at Tessoh as he laughed.

A while later, after the sun was just peeking over the eastern side of the mountains, Shunkaku followed Toka down the trail.

And then, from the opposite side of the mountains surrounding Basara’s camp, another person entered. The person scanned over the military base and secretly smiled. Then, the person quietly slipped into the farthest tent to the right.

*

“Damn! Why the hell do I have to do some pussy job like this!” Shunkaku grumbled profanities as he sneaked behind Toka.

They had descended the mountains and had passed through several villages. When Shunkaku noticed Toka’s unusually cheerful gait, he thought Gotta be a man… to himself.

But what concerned him more was that when Toka had talked to him the night before, she had seemed to know everything about him. She knew about his brother. Why, all of a sudden, did she bring this up when she had not once even talked to him before?

Shunkaku was jolted away from his thoughts by his surroundings. All of a sudden, he had run into a dead city full of rotting houses.

“Shit; lost her…” Shunkaku cursed as he stomped his foot.

Shunkaku prowled through the debris, looking for her, but in the maze-like marketplace, Toka had vanished into thin air.

*

The two young soldiers were speechless when they saw what had suddenly entered their tent; all they could do was open and close their mouths like fish.

First they rubbed their eyes. Then, they pinched each other’s cheeks.

“He, hey, this, this isn’t a dream…”

“Y, yeah…”

What stood in front of the boys was a feverishly sexy young woman. Her voluptuous body was scantily clad, and her long hair shimmered down past her waist. The woman leaned forward and pushed her cleavage up for the boys to admire.

“H, hey….This woman’s…for real…”

The woman spoke to the soldiers in a husky voice. “My measurements are 35-22-34. What do you think? Am I s-e-x-y?”

The two boys saw not only cleavage, but an exposed thigh as well.

“You’re hella sexyyyy!” they said as they slurped up their drool.

“Realllly? Okay, so do you boys want to play with meee?”

The boys’ minds were too enchanted to ponder over why this woman was even here, let alone why she was making an outrageous proposition such as this. They nodded their heads dumbly.

“Okay, then you boys take off your clothey-wothies, okaaaay?”

“H, hye~es ma’am!” They agreed gleefully, as they ripped off their battle gear.

The woman quickly scanned her eyes over the boys’ naked bodies, clicked her tongue to herself in disapproval, and spoke to the boys once again.

“Oh, my goooodness, what nice little boys you arrrre. Okay, if you’ll just excuse me, I’ll be back in a sec, okaaaay.”

One of the boys hoarsely yelled after her before she left the tent.

“Um, hey, babe, can you at least tell us your name?”

“Who, meee? The woman faced them and smiled bewitchingly. “Haku Kaen.”

After the woman left the tent, and the spell over the boys was broken, they let out agonizing shrieks. Haku Kaen proceeded to enter her tenth tent.

*

Shunkaku faintly heard a girl screaming and his feet pounded along the ground. After rounding two corners, Shunkaku’s feet stopped. There were three street-toughs surrounding Toka.

“…..Shunkaku.”

The men turned around when Toka said this. These were the three men who had attacked another girl of the same age in this alley two days ago.

“You’ve been following me, haven’t you. Did Tessoh tell you to do that?”

“Hmph.” Ignoring her question, Shunkaku shot back, “What the hell are you doing in a place like this anyway? Don’t tell me you’ve been coming here everyday to get raped by these men…”

“Who the hell’re you! You lookin’ for trouble?”

“No; are you?” Shunkaku’s eyes gleamed as he spun one of his ryuuseisui around his index finger.

Shunkaku suddenly charged at the men, his weapon letting out a low moan.

“Ah!….” One of the men was tripped by the rope and fell to the ground.

Facing a counter attack coming from behind, Shunkaku threw his ryuuseisui out again. Once again, one of the men was tripped and toppled over.

“Ha! This’s too easy!” Shunkaku cackled. “Well, enough small talk.”

Swiftly whisking his ryuuseisui out from under the men’s feet, Shunkaku grinned evilly.

“Now I think I’ll rip your heads off!”

Horror ran through the men’s blood when they saw the madness in the boy’s eyes.

Shunkaku faced his target and whirled his weapon above his head once, twice; he suddenly opened his eyes.

“Stop it!!!!!!!” Toka’s scream was so shrill that it could break glass.

Without thinking, Shunkaku looked at Toka.

“AH!…”

While Shunkaku was distracted, the men seized hold of his weapon, and pinned him against a wall.

“Why you shitty little brat!”

Smack! The man growled as he socked Shunkaku’s gut.

“Hey….haven’t we seen this prick around before?”

Whack! Another man nodded as he gave Shunkaku an uppercut.

“Isn’t he the guy we met here two days ago?”

Whomp! The third man kicked Shunkaku’s back and answered.

“But he had more respect for his elders that time!”

Not understanding a word from the street-toughs, Shunkaku yelled. “Ru….Run away! Get the hell outta here!!…”

“….Shunkaku…!”

Toka tried to retreat, but was grabbed by one of the men.

“Let go of me!”

“Hey, Sis, No one’s coming to rescue you in this deserted town. Don’t worry; after we finish taking care of this little asshole, we’ll take good care of you.”

*

Looking at the few tents she still had to deal with, Haku Kaen heaved a sigh.

I didn’t sense any ki coming from this place to begin with. He must not be here, Kaen thought to herself as she stepped into the thirtieth tent.

In that tent slept an overweight soldier. As with the other men, Kaen prepared herself to seduce the man, make him remove his clothes, check to see if there was a mark anywhere on his body, and move onto the next tent if there was no mark…

“Ah!….” But Kaen was grabbed with the strength of a genuine man and her wrists were held back firmly. “Who, who are you!…”

At Kaen’s question, the pudgy soldier smiled. “ I, I, I’m Shunraku. Fe, fe, females are all, all, all my friends.”

“What did you saaaay!!”

“Mi, Mi, Miss, who, who, who are you sp, sp, spying for?”

*

One of the street toughs pulled out a dagger, and raised it towards Shunkaku.

But then…

The sound of a flute could be heard.

“…..Kotoku?!” Toka raised her head up hopefully. She saw the men were falling to the ground as they grasped their heads in pain and writhed in agony. Toka noticed that the melody flowing out of the flute was completely different from what she was accustomed to.

The owner of the flute that was playing an uneasy and eerie melody took a step out from behind the wall where he had been hiding.

“….You…You son of a….bitch…”

Taking one look at the flutist slowly approaching them and the boy they had just captured and comparing the two, the men’s faces twisted in terror.

“What the hell’s going on….Aaaaah. Ha, ha, have mercyyyyyy!!!” The men cried with their hands over their ears.

After the flutist was sure the men had repented, he lifted his lips from the flute.

“If you guys dare come back to this place again…I’ll make you listen to the rest of that song…”

“Co, co, come back?! Who’d be crazy enough to come back to this fucking crazy town!!”

The street toughs fled the scene, tripping over their heels as they went.

Kotoku, Shunkaku, and Toka were left alone in the abandoned alley.

The two brothers stared at each other for a while in silence.

“…..Shunkaku…” The name finally escaped Kotoku’s lips. “Are you okay?”

Kotoku extended a helping hand out to his little brother, who was still on the ground. Shunkaku just stared at Kotoku without moving a muscle. Kotoku reached out further and took Shunkaku’s hand.

Shunkaku shoved the hand away. “Who the hell are you. I didn’t need your help, ya know,” Shunkaku said as he stood to his feet and wiped his bloody lips with his sleeve. “Toka, don’t tell me this’s the guy you’ve been leaving camp to see all this time…”

Silence.

“Tessoh told me that I had his permission to kill your boyfriend, if I found him.”

“…No…” Toka trembled. “Can you really do something like that?”

“’Course I can!” Shunkaku yelled. “This guy betrayed….and ran off…without…without me…”

Toka walked up to Shunkaku and aggressively slapped his face. “You have no idea how much pain and suffering Kotoku’s gone through! He spent these past three years wandering all over Kutoh looking for you! While you were off at Basara, whirling your balls around and showing off, Kotoku’s been overcome with guilt and begging for your forgiveness…!”

“Stop it…Toka, don’t try and defend me anymore…” Kotoku pulled Toka off Shunkaku, whose shoulders were shaking. “Shunkaku has every right to hate me…”

Kotoku looked sadly upon his little brother. Though Shunkaku’s body had grown brawny like a man’s, his heart was still in great pain. Kotoku had also heard rumors about the “Basara” Toka had just mentioned. It was the only guerilla group left in Kutoh; composed of over thirty well-trained boys. The black cloth each wrapped around his face was their trademark. According to the rumors, Basara’s final goal was to overthrow the government.

Those who disapproved of the country’s government sympathized with Basara, but they did not like the fact that Basara resorted to thievery of innocent villages.

So Shunkaku is a member of Basara….and Toka’s brother must be Basara’s leader.

“….Toka, sorry, but….can you leave us alone for a bit?”

Toka answered softly. “Okay. I’ll go wait in the marketplace.”

Dust clouds danced in the air of the deserted streets.

“Shunkaku…” Kotoku spoke to his younger twin, who was avoiding eye contact. “The reason I left you at Kou’s house three years ago was so I could look for Seiryuu no Miko.”

Shunkaku whirled around and stared into his brother’s eyes. “Seiryuu no Miko?? Cut out the jokes, will ya?”

“I’m not joking,” Kotoku said as he gently tugged down on Shunkaku’s shirt collar.

“Don’t touch me!”

Kotoku nodded quietly after he saw Shunkaku’s left shoulder. He thought he had seen a faint, blue light coming from under his shirt earlier when Shunkaku was fighting the street toughs, but now he was sure of it.

Kotoku exposed his right shoulder for Shunkaku to see.

“Wha, what the hell is that?!” Shunkaku’s eyes popped out when he saw the blue symbol on his brother’s shoulder.

“You have one on your shoulder, too.”

What?!” Shunkaku tucked his chin under and checked his shoulders. “Ah! ‘Kaku’….There’s the symbol for ‘kaku’ on my shoulder…!”

“Yes, there is. Because we are….Seiryuu Seishi…”

Shunkaku just stood paralyzed; at a loss for words.

“You know about the legend, don’t you?”

So that’s what had happened…. Shunkaku thought to himself; confusion swimming in his mind. Ever since we were kids, Kotoku could make that weird energy come out through his mouth. So that was his Seishi power…. But why am I a Seishi? I didn’t have any powers…

Shunkaku looked at the ryuuseisui in his hand.

Then does that mean my Seishi powers were woken up when Tessoh gave me this? Maybe even before that. It must have been the time my anger exploded back at Kou’s house… Shunkaku thought to himself.

“Do you remember what Mom used to tell us? We are her pride and joy….and…”

“The country’s pride and joy…”

“That’s right.”

Kotoku told Shunkaku everything: about what had happened six years ago when their village was attacked; about hearing from his father that he was a Seiryuu Seishi and being given the flute; and about his promise to keep it a secret until a symbol appeared on Shunkaku’s body.

And then he told him about the night when a shooting star led him back to Kou’s house, only to find that Shunkaku was no longer there… And then the next three years, he searched, and searched, and searched…

“Since I couldn’t feel your ki anymore, I thought that maybe…you might be dead…” Kotoku’s voice choked up and he stared at the ground.

“…..chan…..” Shunkaku murmured with shivering lips.

“Shunkaku…What did you just say?”

….Ni….i….chan….

“Shunkaku…. Did you just call me…”

Nii-chan!!!!” Shunkaku flew into his brother’s chest and sobbed uncontrollably.

“I’m sorry, Shunkaku…. No matter what my reasons, I shouldn’t have left you alone like that…” Kotoku held his brother tightly and begged for forgiveness.

“No! It was my fault! If only…if only I’d believed in you, Nii-chan!” Shunkaku blamed himself as he pounded on Kotoku’s chest.

“…..Shunkaku….”

“Nii-chan…!”

As if a wall that had been built between them over the years had just crumbled to the ground, the twins displayed their deep love for each other.

Shunkaku wiped his nose, laughed in embarrassment, and pulled himself away from his brother.

“I shouldn’t call you ‘Nii-chan’ anymore… ‘cause we’re not little kids anymore, right?….Aniki.

“Shunkaku….let’s not ever be separated again…”

Shunkaku nodded strongly.

“Listen, Shunkaku. The Miko is already in this country now.”

“Whaaat?!”

“We have to find her and bring peace to this country as soon as possible,” Kotoku told his brother.

“….Yeah. I guess….we do…”

Kotoku noticed Shunkaku’s evasiveness. “Revolution sheds blood…. Shunkaku, you really are a sweet boy. I know you don’t want to see blood shed…”

“….Aniki…”

What happened to me? When did I become so heartless?… Shunkaku thought to himself. It happened three years ago when I thought my brother abandoned me… When that happened, I shut my heart off and wouldn’t accept my brother’s ki anymore. And then, I joined Basara, closing myself off from others….

But now that Aniki’s here, maybe I can go back to the way I was…. Shunkaku felt in his heart.

“So you’re…Amiboshi?…”

“And you’re Suboshi.”

Shunkaku tied a thin cloth identical to his around his brother’s forehead and nodded. While admiring the shining symbols “ko” and “kaku” on each others shoulders, they firmly gripped each other’s hands and smiled.

Read Tetris no Miko’s other Fushigi Yuugi light novel translations here.

Chapter 6 →

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