Only Time: The Sacred Power
By J. Marie
Warning!!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17 (for the moment, but the rating is subject to change). Well, here we are again. Are you still reading these things? I would just like to say, that even though this is solely a continuation of the anime, I use a little bit of influence from the manga. ReiRei, the relationship between Kouji and Tasuki, and some other info was gathered from Genrou Den. And though reading my fanfiction Wo Ai Ni is not necessary to read this story, it might give you, well, a little background on some scenes in this chapter. :) And it was mentioned to me that I had my yin/yang principles messed up in the last chapter. Yin is actually female and darkness, while yang is male and brightness. Obviously, I'm having it as Yin is male and darkness, and Yang as female and brightness in this storyline. The basis for which is Yu Watase's creation of Taiitsukun and her Yin version (a male, if your remember from the FY series). Kinda backwards, and partially me being misinformed, but that's the theory. Let's just say that in the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho, that the Yin/Yang principles are not the same as in the real world. That jive with everyone? Works for me!
Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time
And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time
Who can say
why your heart sighs
as your love flies
- only time
And who can say
why your heart cries
when your love lies
- only time
Who can say
when the roads meet
that love might be
in your heart
And who can say
when the day sleeps
If the night keeps
all your heart
Night keeps all your heart
And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time
Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time
Who knows - only time
Who knows - only time
-- "Only Time" by Enya
Red light engulfed the Suzaku Seven, drawing them into the world of their conception.
It was unbearably hot. Tasuki felt his blood boil within his veins, and felt his flesh melt and tear from his bleeding muscles. He felt like he had just been cast into a molten lava pit. He opened his mouth to scream, and scream he did.
It was a heart-wrenching scream of pain, the scream only those who are burned alive can utter. It was a scream one would imagine to hear issue forth from the bowels of hell, not from a Celestial Warrior en route to a world that existed within the pages of a book.
Flesh seared away, melting into gooey liquid. Blood burst forth from veins, muscles seared and charred. Eyeballs popped and sizzled. Tasuki screamed until his tongue curled into a blackened crisp of meat, and his throat was burned into a bleeding black tunnel.
Only then was he allowed to awaken.
Tasuki snapped up, his eyes wide, his scream fading away, hurting his own ears. His friends stood around him, concerned and frightened.
Tasuki felt his face, checked himself over. He was all there, no burn marks, no melted flesh. He felt like a recently cooled off piece of lava rock.
"I.... I was burning...." he choked.
Chichiri was kneeling beside him, and Tamahome, in whom Taka's soul resided, was holding him up. Only then did Tasuki realize he was so weak he couldn't even sit up properly. Miaka rushed up with a broken cup full of water, and Tasuki gratefully gulped it down, appreciating the clean, cool taste of it. The water reminded him of Nakago, and he felt comforted.
"You.... were attacked while we were in the red light. By the redheaded fire Demon Elemental... Nicky, or whatever his name is. He just came out of nowhere, and you were encased in fire...." Chichiri explained softly.
"When we got here, you were out of it, screaming your head off and writhing in pain. The fire was gone, and not a mark on you.... But we were all pretty freaked.... You alright now?" Tamahome asked gently, making Tasuki close his eyes. How different father was from son. Yet he loved them both, and for different reasons.
"I'm... okay. Where are we....?" Tasuki asked as he shakily stood up, slowly regaining his strength.
"Thought you could tell us that, buddy," Tamahome smiled.
"Don't you remember, Tasuki? Don't you remember this place...?" Miaka asked quietly. She held the broken cup and it caught Tasuki's eye.
And then he looked around.
"Oh... by Suzaku!! It's Mt. Reikaku!!" Tasuki exclaimed, looking around in wonder.
It was indeed Mt. Reikaku, in particular the bandit stronghold where Tasuki lived before Miaka recruited him for the Suzaku Seven. But it looked a little different from the last time Miaka was here.
"What happened here, Tasuki? Why is it empty and run-down? I know we're most likely in the future, but this is....." Miaka asked, and trailed off.
The building was in shambles. Paint had peeled off in many places, and cracks littered the walls, ceiling, and even floor. Holes were evident just about everywhere, and debris and trash were littering the floor. And it was completely empty.
Tasuki hung his head. He wore a red t-shirt and a pair of Jnco jeans, and he suddenly looked even more out of place to everyone. He should be wearing his black trenchcoat and jewelry, or at least his purple outfit with the belts.... He didn't fit in at his own home in his modern garb.
"Tasuki! What happened to the Bandits of Mt. Reikaku?? Where are they?? What happened here??" Nuriko demanded, her voice only slightly higher pitched than before.
Tasuki looked up at his friend and tears streamed down his face. They were tears of shame.
"I disbanded them," he said simply and turned his back to his friends, wanting to hide his tears.
"Why on earth for??" Hotohori asked in surprise. Tasuki loved his bandits as much as he did the Suzaku Seven.
"After..... Kouji died.... I disbanded them. I sent them all away," Tasuki said, his voice slightly muffled.
Chichiri placed a comforting hand on Tasuki's shoulder, letting him continue.
"I couldn't do it anymore. Everyone I loved was dead or gone. I just..... I just sent them all away after he died. There was no point anymore," Tasuki said quietly, and turned around, his eyes red, but dry now.
The group was silent for a moment, each startled in their own way by Tasuki's uncharacteristic act of defeat. It was Tamahome who broke the silence.
"How did Kouji die, Tasuki.....?" Tamahome asked gently. "He was still young...."
"The same illness that killed Hakouro, my old boss. It was slow and painful for him. His life was sucked away from him even before he died...." Tasuki said, his lip quivering, and another tear escaping out of his eye.
"And you? How did you die, Tasuki? I know both you and Chichiri had to die in order to be reincarnated... But how?" Tamahome asked.
Tasuki looked away. "Oh, that was simple. I killed myself," he said evenly.
Eyes went wide and a few startled cries escaped some of his friends lips. Chichiri's grip on Tasuki's shoulder tightened.
"Why?" Nuriko asked.
"Because I had nothing left to live for. I guess you could say I gave up. I was depressed, real bad, at the end......" Tasuki answered quietly.
"I.... came back and took care of your body.... I felt your passing. I should never have left you...." Chichiri said sadly.
"Not your fault, Chi-san. I gave up. Nobody's fault but mine....." Tasuki shrugged.
"And you, Chichiri? How did you die?" Tamahome asked, giving his redheaded friend a sympathetic look. Tasuki was far more complicated than he thought.
"Ten years after you left to be with Miaka, my friend. I died in a fight against a rogue demon.... But I took the bastard out with me," Chichiri said with a sad smile.
"I wish I could have been there to help both of you...." Tamahome said, looking ashamed of himself.
"We wanted you to be with Miaka as much as you wanted to, Tama-chan. Don't beat yourself up. What happened was not your fault. Everyone has to die....." Tasuki said quietly.
"Well, I think it best that we rest here for the night, and then maybe head to the capitol tomorrow. We're supposed to scrounge up members of the royal family. Boushin must be a man by now, Hotohori!" Chiriko said brightly, trying to push back the sadness that swallowed the room.
Hotohori's eyes lit up. "Oh yes! And I can see Houki, too!! It will be wonderful to see them!!" he said with a happy grin on his face.
As Tasuki's friends started chatting about Hotohori's son, Tasuki escaped the room, heading for small building where the coffin of his friend lay. He didn't want to pretend and be cheerful at the moment. He had too many dark thoughts floating around in his head.
There was a poison river in his soul, created by the heart-breaking disappointment of his love life. In his past life, he loved many, but none loved him back. Soon came the self-hatred, the loathing of himself, the destruction of his self-worth. Tasuki hated himself, because if no one else loved him, then there had to be something wrong with him....
It was dark inside the small building, and the braziers had long since burned themselves out. There were two coffins in the building, laying side by side. In one was Tasuki's best friend in his past life, Kouji. Tasuki had fallen in love with his friend, but Kouji had no desire for other men. Tasuki kept his love to himself, and let it eat out his soul, as he did with his love for Tamahome and Miaka.
Tasuki put a hand on Kouji's coffin, a tear falling from his face and onto the coffin's lid. Hours passed, and Tasuki never noticed, just letting himself cry over his friend's coffin. How many people did Tasuki fall in love with that never loved him back?
In the second coffin was Tasuki's own body, but Tasuki never turned to it. The part of him that hated himself hated his past incarnation now. It was funny, but the dark unhappiness that had been settling over Tasuki had disappeared when he was with Nakago the past couple months.
But Nakago was gone. And Nakago was his former enemy. Tasuki couldn't bring himself to accept Nakago's past life completely. It still hurt him to know that he loved a man that killed his friends without impunity, and would have easily have even killed Tasuki. Tasuki loved the Nakago he knew, but hated the old Nakago. He wasn't ready to be with Nakago yet, he knew that.
Not that it matters. He doesn't love you either. Give him a day or two, and he'll find someone else to warm his bed. He wasn't going to stay very long with you anyways. You were just a diversion.... a niggling little voice in the back of Tasuki's head whispered.
And Junko was gone now, too. And she took with her more secrets than Tasuki wished to discover. He had no one....
Tasuki heard the door creak open, and he sank to his knees, his back to the door. Chichiri must have come to comfort him. He could count on Chichiri to be his friend, though the blue-haired seishi could never fill the void in Tasuki's soul.
"Oh, Chichiri..... It hurts so much, even now. I loved Kouji so much, but he would never have loved me back. I... just had to die when he died.... It seemed there was nothing left. I'm so sorry I gave up like that..... But it hurt. It still hurts, Chichiri....
"Why won't anyone ever love me back? What's wrong with me, Chi-sama? Do you know that every person I ever loved has never loved me back? Kouji.... Tamahome... Miaka..... None of them. And even now, in this life, it doesn't change. I love Taka, and his son, Tamahome..... And I love Nakago. And none of them love me back.... Only Junko loved me, and she's gone. At least with Nakago, when we were alone and together, I could pretend he loved me. And sometimes, when he kissed me and held me, it felt like he did...... In truth, no one loves me....." Tasuki sobbed, pouring his heart out to his best friend.
"Tasuki..... Why didn't you tell me how you felt?"
Tasuki's eyes widened. That was not Chichiri's voice. It was....
"Tamahome!" he cried in surprise, his cheeks burning as red as his hair.
Tamahome stood just behind Tasuki, looking surprised as well. "Chichiri.... Chichiri was going to come, but I told him I would. I wanted to see how you were holding up....." Tamahome said gently.
Tasuki thought he was going to die of embarrassment. Tamahome wasn’t suppose to know how he felt! He tried to run past Tamahome and out the door, but the raven-haired seishi grabbed Tasuki's wrist, gripping him with all his considerable strength.
"Let me go!" Tasuki cried, turning his face from Tamahome and trying to struggle out of Tamahome's grip.
"Not until you let me talk to you, Tas-chan. You were my best friend in our past life. Did you even realize that I had no real friends until the Suzaku Seven showed up? And that there was no one, no one, but you that I could count on to comfort me when my family was murdered? Do you even know how much you helped me? Made me stronger, by letting me pour out my grief? That your friendship helped me stay strong for Miaka? I can't speak for anyone else, Tasuki, but your love made me and Miaka stronger. And we both love you, but not in the way you want. Don't ever take that love for granted, Tasuki. You would have died for us, and we would die for you, my friend. There is nothing wrong with you!" Tamahome said firmly, his voice rising throughout his speech, until he practically shouted at the end.
Tears poured down Tasuki's face, and he stared at Tamahome in dumbfounded shock. "I...." he started to say, but Tamahome's face was stern, his purple eyes burning a little redder than normal in his passion.
"Don't argue with me, Tasuki. Kouji loved you. He loved you as a brother. That much was obvious. My son loves you, as his friend. And if nothing else, Nakago cares about you. He cares about you so much that when you ran away from him after touching the book, that he fell apart. You are his whole world. Whatever he feels for you, he needs you. He needs your love. And it's made him a better man to be with you. I don't care if you’re gay, Tasuki. You should know by now that love means something to me. Love is the whole reason I live. My love for Miaka keeps me going, and makes me strong. It doesn't matter if she loves me back. It just makes me happy to make her happy. And it's the same for you and Nakago. Stop hating yourself, Tasuki. You're a good man, and if Nakago doesn't love you back, than he's even crazier than I thought he was back when he was trying to kill me!"
Tasuki stared at Tamahome in shock. And then he fell against his friend, sobbing like a child. Tamahome wrapped his arms around Tasuki, hugging his friend tightly. "Don't hide any more secrets from me, Tasuki. I can't help you if you don't tell me what's wrong," Tamahome whispered into Tasuki's hair.
"Thank you for that, Tama-chan. Thank you so much," Tasuki whispered, resting his head on his friend's shoulder, grateful he had a friend as wonderful as Tamahome.
"Ummm...... Is this an intimate moment?"
Tasuki and Tamahome jumped apart, and found themselves staring down at Miaka, who smiled brightly at them both. The rest of the Suzaku Seven stood behind her, smiling at them.
"Hey!! What do you take me for?? He's married!" Tasuki cried, blushing again.
"And I'm not even in my own body!!" Tamahome cried, blushing as well.
"Aren't they cute when they blush??" Miaka giggled.
"Adorable!" Nuriko grinned.
"I could just gobble them both up," Mitsukake deadpanned, his voice as monotone as ever.
The whole group collapsed into fits of laughter at Mitsukake's comment, and exchanged hugs with Tasuki, giving him the love, friendship, and support he needed to feel better about himself.
After all, that's what friends are for.
The countryside had changed little.
The Suzaku senshi wondered aloud how long it had been in the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho since they had left. It took them a full day and night before they realized that the forests had less trees, the rocks were sparser, and there seemed to be little or no insects around. When they went hunting, finding game was a near impossible task. It seemed most of the animals were gone.
But what really shocked them was when they found an empty town. There were no people, no animals, nothing. The group scrounged up what food they could find that wasn't spoiled. They were all quiet now, a morbid silence falling over them.
It didn't take a genius to figure out the world was dying.
After a couple days, the Suzaku Seven arrived at the capitol of Konan. They were relieved to find people there, so the city didn't seem as crowded as it once was. And if they didn't know before, the mood and attitude of the people confirmed the impending death of the Shi Jin Tenchi Sho.
They walked all the way up to the gates of the Imperial Palace, and stood before the guards. It was Hotohori who stood before the other Suzaku warriors, as proud as an Emperor should be.
"I am Hotohori of the Suzaku Seven. I bring with me my fellow Suzaku seishi, and Suzaku no Miko. I demand an audience with the Emperor of Konan. It is a matter of life and death," Hotohori commanded, and the imperial command to his voice was undeniable.
Normally, such a command would be scoffed at. But the state of the world caused the guards to promptly send off the message. The demand of the imperious man before them was nothing to laugh at. He bore a striking resemblance to the Emperor Saihetei, the former Hotohori, as did all the others resemble the heroes of past. And the strange clothing they all wore was another item for thought. In truth, Konan was desperate for heroes. No one would be turned away...
A somber guard led them through the sparkling halls of the Imperial Palace. Whatever else was happening in the world, it took away none of the grandeur of Konan's Palace. Hotohori walked ahead of the rest of his friends, looking stiff and formal. His lips tugged into a frown, and he seemed troubled.
The palace was too quiet.
The doors to the throne room were thrown wide, and the Suzaku Seven were shown inside. On the throne sat a middle-aged man, with long black-brown hair streaked with gray, and hazel eyes. He was tall, and his beauty was exceptional, even at his age. Even at the age difference, the similarity between him and Hotohori was uncanny.
The man stood up, his mouth dropping open at the site of Hotohori. Beside him stood a slightly shorter youth with long pitch black hair and bright purple eyes. His similarities to Hotohori were even more marked, as their ages were closer together. The older man, obviously the Emperor of Konan stepped forth and took Hotohori into a fierce embrace.
"Father... It is you, isn't it??" the man said in a husky voice.
Hotohori was taken aback, and completely surprised. Had it been so long...? "Boushin? My son?" he asked incredulously.
"I am Emperor Boushin of Konan. You are Hotohori of the Suzaku Senshi. You are my father. Or at least you were...." Boushin grinned, pulling back and staring at Hotohori fondly.
"But you're so..... old...!" Hotohori exclaimed.
"Old? Well, at the age of fifty-two, I am older than you, but I prefer not to think of myself as old..." Boushin laughed.
"Has it been that long? Fifty years.....?" Hotohori asked incredulously.
"I'm afraid so, Father. Fifty glorious years.... But the last one has been harsh, Father. It is good that you have been reincarnated..... And mother as well?" Boushin asked gently, turning to Nuriko with a smile.
"Eh? Who, me?? I'm not your mother!!" Nuriko exclaimed.
"But you look just like Empress Houki....." Boushin said in confusion.
"This is Nuriko of the Suzaku Seven, a seishi, and until just recently, a male. Houki resembled Nuriko strongly, but they are two separate people...." Hotohori sweatdropped.
"I see," Boushin said in disappointment. "And I think I shall not explore that comment about her gender."
"Best to just leave it alone," Hotohori said with a worn smile. Nuriko blushed and stared at the floor.
"What's been going on, Emperor Boushin? We've been reincarnated in the Priestess' world, and haven't been in the Universe of the Four Gods in some time. Taiitsukun has sent us back, but we're a little out of sorts...." Chiriko asked.
The Emperor frowned. "I think I'm beginning to understand.... I cannot tell you the meanings and imports, but I can tell you what has been happening to the Konan, and even the Kutou Empire. Things, people, animals, everything, just seems to be randomly disappearing. Holes in the ground that have no bottom have appeared. Crops have disappeared, livestock, even people. With no explanation. The world seems half empty...." Boushin said sadly.
"So that's why we found an empty town. Everyone disappeared...." Chiriko said, more to himself than to anyone else.
"Do you know the meaning of this? My country is suffering, and I know from my meetings with the Empress Nurong of Kutou, that Kutou is suffering just as greatly. Please, Father, honorable warriors of Suzaku, Priestess of Suzaku... Can you help us?" Boushin pleaded, his face a mask of concern for his people.
"Better sit down. It's a long story...." Chiriko sighed.
Boushin took the whole story rather well, all considering. He had grace and wisdom, beyond that of even his father's. However, the Crowned Prince, Boushin's first-born son and Hotohori's first-born grandson, took it rather not well at all.
"It's all nonsense. How do we know these are even the real Suzaku Seven? You are far too trusting, Father," the Prince spat.
"Langrui, be silent. I know who my father is, and this man is his reincarnation. I am not a fool, regardless of how you feel about the matter," Boushin sighed.
"They want us to lead them to Mt. Taikyoku? What is this idiocy? We need to do something real, not play silly child games and running away to mythical mountains," Langrui complained.
Boushin massaged his temples, looking weary. "If you have a better plan to save our country, Langrui, I'm listening," he said patiently.
"If you want a better plan, Father, why don't you ask your beloved Kuotian? After all he's perfect!" Langrui hissed and stormed out of the room.
Hotohori's eyebrow twitched. "It seems my grandson is rather opinionated," he sighed.
"What a jerk! Who needs 'im anyways?" Tasuki growled. Nuriko swatted him on the back of the head for his comment, glaring at him.
"Please forgive Langrui. Though he the my firstborn son by my wife, he is not my firstborn child. I was forced to marry my wife to consolidate the royal line, but I do not love her. My love is for my concubine, a girl I found as a young man in Kutou, one of the few survivors of the Hin Tribe. She bore me a son, and though I love Langrui, Kuotian is the son of my love..... It is my fault really. I shouldn't play favorites..." Boushin explained sadly.
Hotohori looked mildly troubled. "One of Nakago's tribe? Your concubine is a foreigner?" he asked, sounding mildly offended. Tasuki's attention was caught by Nakago's name and he raised an eyebrow.
Boushin smiled softly. "Her name is Kunyan. She is as lovely as the morning star. When I was a youth, I was sent to Kutou, to woo and marry the Empress there, and solidify our countries. But instead, I found Kunyan, Empress Nurong's handmaiden. The Empress had no interest in me either, and I came back to Konan with no wife, but a concubine I loved very much. The council refused to let me marry her, and I was forced to take a wife. Langrui is my only child by my wife, while Kunyan has born me eight fine children. In all honesty, if I had my way, Kuotian, who is far wiser and kinder, would sit on my right, as the Crowned Prince of Konan," he said, folding his hands and staring at them.
"Well, leave Mr. Sourpuss here, and we can take you and this Kuotian person with us!" Tasuki suggested brightly, before he was smacked by Nuriko again, which caused his forehead to bounce of the wooden table they sat at.
Boushin looked mildly alarmed. "I cannot leave Langrui in charge of the country! He is moody and impulsive, and angry enough to do something stupid. I shall leave Kuotian here, and bring Langrui with me. Perhaps it will allow him to think things through better," Boushin sighed.
"Think what through?" Hotohori asked.
"His marriage of course. That is why he is so upset with me. As a wife was chosen for you, and one was chosen for me, Father, I have chosen Langrui's. The Princess Liangnai, daughter of Empress Nurong, is to be his wife in one month's time. Due to the crisis we face, tensions between Konan and Kutou have risen, and I and Nurong thought it best to wed them to each other. He is not at all pleased, because in Kutou, Nurong has established a culture where women are equals to men, and Langrui does not take well to that. Not to mention that I believe he does not wish to marry," Boushin admitted.
"More reasons to hate Kutou. Girls get rights over there," Tasuki grumped, but before Nuriko could hit him, Miaka beat him on the top of his head with her rice bowl, causing him to whine loudly about rice in his hair.
Boushin paused and stared over at the whining redhead. "And I thought I had troubles. It seems even one of the Suzaku Seven opens his mouth where he should best keep it closed," Boushin chuckled.
"Jeez, get off my case. You're starting to sound like Nakago," Tasuki griped.
Boushin raised an eyebrow, but before he could speak, Nuriko cut in, after elbowing Tasuki so hard he fell off his chair. "So!! Weren't we suppose to get our items and weapons?" Nuriko asked loudly, smiling charmingly and batting her eyelashes at Boushin.
Boushin blinked. "How much you look like my mother.... But yes, of course, we keep your items in the Sacred Temple to Suzaku... Please follow me," Boushin said regally, standing up and ushering the group to follow him.
As they walked down the many halls of the Imperial Palace, Boushin walked ahead of the rest of the Suzaku Seven, with only Hotohori beside him. The older man turned to the reincarnation of his father with a smile. "You seem reserved...." he said casually.
"I.... You must understand Boushin, that I was your father. But now I am a young man, from another world. I want to hug you and kiss you, but I feel odd doing it. Do you understand?" Hotohori asked quietly.
"Perfectly. I shall not push the issue. It is pleasure enough just to see you alive and well," Boushin beamed.
"I agree," Hotohori smiled back.
They were quiet for a while, but as Boushin led the group up to the Temple, he turned to the man who was his father in a past life. "My mother Houki... She died ten years ago," Boushin began.
"My condolences... I loved her..." Hotohori said softly.
The question brought Hotohori's full attention to Boushin's strong, beautiful face. "How much she must have looked like your fallen comrade, the Suzaku seishi Nuriko. Only my mother was a woman. And she was quite alive," Boushin said thoughtfully.
Hotohori went stiff, and utterly silent.
"It must have hurt you deeply when Nuriko in Hokkan. I heard all the Suzaku seishi are connected by their chi," Boushin went on.
Hotohori turned his face.
"Nuriko loves you, I think. You can tell by the way she looks at you. I heard you say she was until recently a man. But she is a man no longer, and a strong, vibrant woman whose beauty is second only to yours," Boushin smiled as he put his hand on the handle of the great double doors that led into the Temple of Suzaku.
"What are you suggesting?" Hotohori finally asked, slightly irritated.
"I see the way you look at her when you don't think anyone is looking. I am no fool, Hotohori, and I have been around long enough, and have loved a woman long enough to know the like when I see it," Boushin said calmly, and pulled the door open.
Before Hotohori could reply, Boushin turned to the Suzaku Seven. "Inside are your holy artifacts. A young acolyte serves Suzaku in here, by tending to the fires, and caring for the place for when people wish to come and pray. He will give you your items, and shall accompany us on our journey. I entrust you, Suzaku Senshi, with the fate of my world, and I will assist you with all my power," Boushin said, bowing respectfully and allowing the Suzaku seishi entrance.
The group, including Miaka, stepped inside the warm room, noting the warm, vibrant colors, and all the braziers with lit fires in them. At an altar decorated in red, orange, gold, and white, lay seven holy artifacts. There was a gleaming diamond tessen, two beautiful bracelets, a holy scroll, a polished staff, a pot full of holy medicine, a beautiful holy sword, and a braid of ebony hair. In the center lay a beautiful ring, bought long ago to symbolize the love between Tamahome and Miaka, the Shinzaho of Suzaku.
But before the group could react to their newfound treasure, a familiar face stepped out from the shadows, with a broad grin, oaken skin, and wild black hair. He was handsome and tall, resembling someone of Mongolian descent. He wore the robes of an acolyte of Suzaku, and the only thing missing was a scar on the side of his face.
"Kouji!" Tasuki cried in surprise.
"Hey, buddy! Ya didn't think ya was the only ones reincarnated, didja?" Kouji grinned.
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