mjj (flemmings) wrote,

'what rough beast, its hour come round at last'

Sunday's 31_days challenge. 'I trip along the way, I follow after Chieko.' And now we're back to the work week.

Erm- possibly a bit graphic in the blood'n'guts department. Squeamish, be warned.

'And what rough beast, its hour come round at last'

Goujun tries not to draw conclusions any more, since all the conclusions he formerly drew have proven baseless. Now he observes only what is and postpones making a cohesive synthesis for some later date. This is a new world and he's still learning what rules it follows, if any.

The kami, or rather some kami, have shown a surprising fondness for blood-letting. True, it's surprising only if you thought the kami credo "we do not shed blood" was absolute and were unaware of the rider, "but we sure wish we could." Some kami, possibly the same ones, become hysterical to the point of insensibility at the physical results of blood-letting. Thus Goujun dispenses with an escort when he goes to view the places where his subordinates died. It isn't that upsetting for him, in fact. The way these engineered beasts take their meals isn't much different from the way a hunting dragon takes his, but that's not something the kami need know. Goujun looks carefully over the blood-washed room and the enormous bodies of the other Natakus. The beast that did for Kenren was at least a tidy eater, or very hungry. Nothing remains of the general but pieces of his leather uniform and his feet; the Nataku evidently could neither deal with boots nor digest them.

Goujun proceeds down the hall to where another heap of bodies lies. These are all kami with Tenpou in the middle, marked by the curling stinking links of his intestine. There's quite a lot: the kami body has more innards than your average fish or seafowl. Goujun observes the scene dispassionately, and returns to the main hall.

"Send a squadron of men to clean up the bodies here as well."

"Clean up, sir?"

"Pick up the pieces. Bury them or whatever you've been doing with the corpses of the first and second squadrons back on the upper level." The men look a little green but obey. Goujun goes on, aware of a small lack. Dragons are mortal and have their own customs when one of their kind dies. Kami have proved to be mortal but have none. There should be some rite-- some way of marking these fallen men, his men; but there isn't. Such is the way of Heaven.

He passes a cortege carrying the body of Konzen Douji on a litter. Not one of the army; no concern of his. The kami have met the fate Goujun saw so clearly for them when he was their prisoner, and that's the end of that.

Except it's not the end and can't be. Everything is changed now. Heaven is another place than the one it's been for as long as Goujun can remember. And Goujun feels what he can only liken to an ache in his brain, a kind of stiffness, as of long unused muscles made to work, and work hard. The dragons of the oceans live for millennia. Very little changes in the course of their lives; seasons and years pass like moments, flickering as daylight does when clouds blow quickly over the sun. Therefore dragons don't change either...

'...any more than Heaven does,' Goujun thinks. And stops, and corrects himself. 'Than Heaven did.'

Change has happened now. The marble perfection of Heaven and his own cold dragon sinews have both been compelled into motion again. Simply to be is no longer an option. He and Heaven are back to the process of becoming, and Goujun has no idea what lies at the end of that.
Tags: fic, saiyuki_gaiden

  • The slowly unfolding year

    Still unseasonably cold, still winter jacket weather at 9C with no sun. A few diffident plum or cherry blossoms appear on streets that get whatever…

  • Varia, and Thursday reading

    I konmari'd my tops and t-shirt drawer the other day. Not sure if this will stick. It looks nice enough, but the refolding and rerolling when you…

  • (no subject)

    Some day I'll fire up the desktop and not only post at length but answer other people's replies. It just feels like too much trouble, even if the…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded