ECHOES OF THE PAST


Chapter One

“No!” The tortured scream of agony echoed throughout the palace in Kutou. Suboshi fell to his knees in the courtyard, tears streaming down his face. “No…” he whispered in a pained voice.

The young celestial warrior failed to notice the pounding of footsteps and the conversation around him, focusing completely on his grief. “What is it, Nakago?” Priestess Yui asked, looking at her general. “What’s wrong with Suboshi?”

“It’s Amiboshi…” Nakago started, but Suboshi’s cries interrupted him. “I can’t feel him! I can’t feel his chi! Amiboshi is dead!” Suboshi screamed. “No!”

Yui stared at Suboshi, her heart softening to him, his tears touching her. She knelt beside him, pulling him gently into her arms. “I’ll hold you…until you’re finished,” she said softly, pulling his head against her chest.

Suboshi clung to his priestess, sobbing, grieving the death of his twin, the other half of his soul. What was he to do now? Soon anger replaced the grief and he stood abruptly, pulling away from Yui. “They did this. I will repay them in full…” he vowed, moving away to retrieve his meteor balls and other necessities that he would need to travel to the border of Hong-Nan. It would be a short trip.

“You’re being foolish,” Nakago said coldly, stopping Suboshi. “You are not yet ready to face the Suzaku warriors. You do not have as much control of your powers as Amiboshi did; you cannot expect to win against them.”

“I do not plan to fight any of the seven. I plan to take from Tamahome what he took from me,” Suboshi said simply, leaving quickly. Nakago shook his head, muttering about what a fool the boy was. He was too young and lived by his emotions.

~~~

Suboshi hid not far from Tamahome’s small hut. He could hear the cries of anguish and laughed to himself. ‘Yes, feel my pain, Tamahome,’ he thought. He took out Amiboshi’s flute; maybe he would play with the warriors a little. Tamahome would hardly be in the condition to fight. He could use this to his advantage.

Slowly, Suboshi pulled a flute from his cloak, placing it to his mouth. He closed his lips as he placed it to them, playing the melody Amiboshi used to play so often. Tears welled in the corners of his eyes. Tamahome deserved this, and he wanted the other to know who had killed his family.

“Do you hear it? It’s a flute! I know that song! Amiboshi!” Miaka called, running towards the sound. Nuriko stared after her, soon following, telling her to stop. “Miaka, don’t!” he cried.

Miaka stood before Suboshi, the boy staring at her disdainfully. “Amiboshi! I thought you were… How are you alive?” she asked, hardly aware of the hard glint in Suboshi’s eyes.

Tamahome trudged out of the hut, his face void of emotion. He staggered forward his fists clenched. “Do you know how I feel now?” Suboshi asked once Tamahome was in his sights. “Do you understand how I felt when you killed my brother?” he yelled, glancing between the three servants of Suzaku. “I hate you!”

Suboshi threw off his cloak, revealing his red tunic over his dark blue undershirt. He took out his meteor balls, deadly weapons that he controlled with kinetic energy.

“Is that how you killed them?” Tamahome grunted, raising his eyes to meet Suboshi’s. “Is that how you killed my innocent brothers and sisters? My father? Is that how you killed Yuiren? She was only five!” he screamed. “I will make you pay,” he vowed, running forward, transforming into something terrible: a relentless monster intent on his revenge.

Suboshi fended Tamahome off for several minutes, giving him several serious injuries with the meteor balls, but the warrior kept coming back for more. Finally, something broke in Tamahome and his chi increased phenomenally.

A groan passed through Suboshi’s lips as he slammed back into the wall, Tamahome charging towards him. Nuriko and Miaka were yelling at him to stop, but he wasn’t. Suboshi struggled to get up, but fell back to the ground. He managed to rise to his knees, reaching for the meteor balls.

Tamahome let out a loud war cry just as a figure swooped down, taking Suboshi up in her arms. She jumped up higher, looking down on the three. “I will not fight you now, but remember me,” she said, her brown hair flowing.

“Soi…” Suboshi mumbled, looking up at her.

“You foolish idiot; Nakago warned you. Why aren’t you like Amiboshi?” Soi said, shaking her head as they made their escape, leaving the three Suzaku followers behind.

Chapter Two

‘Mommy, no, come back! I didn’t mean to…Come back’ the little blond boy cried, clinging to the dead bloody body of a woman, four other soldiers surrounding them . “Mommy…” he sobbed.

The scenery changed; sounds of moaning and sobbing could be heard, a grunt of satisfaction here and there. The little blond boy tied to the bed, his legs spread eagle as a large man used his body. The boy screamed…


Nakago sat up straight in bed, hoping he hadn’t made a sound. Sweat covered his toned body, only clothed in low hung sleeping pants. He closed his eyes, trying to catch his breath. His sleep was the only time he was vulnerable. It was the only time he was weak to emotion.

The general of Qu Dong’s mighty and vast army stood up, walking to the window, gazing out over the courtyard. Empty at this time of night. Nakago shivered, moving back to the bed, crawling beneath the blankets. He hated feeling weak, but that dream brought back his memories; this happened almost every night.

At the tender age of five, Nakago had accidently killed his mother in an attempt to protect her, His untapped, untamed power breaking loose. He had had no control and had killed her along with her attackers. Nakago closed his eyes, a tear slipping from the corner of his right eye, quickly wiped away. He was not that weak; he would never cry.

A soft knock interuppted Nakago’s thoughts and he pushed the blankets back, throwing on a tunic. No one but Soi had seen him without a shirt since he was a child. Annoyed, he opened the door, crossing his arms. “What do you…?” he started but then saw Soi standing there, holding the limp body of Suboshi in her arms. The boy was injured seriously. The sorceress had done her best to treat him, bandaging the wounds.

“He was fighting Tamahome when I caught up to him. The Suzaku warriors are gaining more power,” Soi explained.

Nakago growled. “Take him to his room, he’ll be fine,” he said, feigning heartlessness, though secretly he was concerned for his warrior. He did truly care for the other six, even if he was reluctant to show it; Except maybe Ashitare, but he was hardly human.

~~~

A soft groan escaped the teen’s lips as he sat up. Suboshi pushed back the sheets with his good arm, the other held closely to his chest. He bit his lip as he crawled from the bed.

He stumbled around the room slowly, forcing his clothes on. He looked towards the window. Dark. How long had he been resting? Surely it hadn’t been long for he still felt exhausted. Nakago…he wanted to see him. Suboshi had secretly loved the blond since meeting him, as had others, but Suboshi knew, unlike the others, that Nakago would never return that love. He didn’t waste his time trying to gain Nakago’s affections; he simply enjoyed the other’s prescence.

Slowly the teen dragged himself out into the hall, walking down the long corridor. He braced himself with one hand pressed hard against the wall. After a long painful walk, Suboshi found himself at Nakago’s rooms. The heavy door was open a crack.

Gently Suboshi pushed the opening wider, his eyes glancing around the room. It was empty, but then he heard a grunt from the direction of the bed. There they were. Nakago was taking Soi. It was no secret that the two slept together and Suboshi was deathly jealous of Soi, but there was nothing to be done for that.

The boy moved back against the wall and slid down, too weak to walk back to his own room. Suboshi closed his eyes, his head hitting the wall just slightly, licking his chapped broken lips. His throat was tight with emotion. How he wished to be the one in Nakago’s bed. Possessed. But it was not him. It would never be him.

~~~

“That is all I require, Soi; you are dismissed,” Nakago said, waving his hand.

Soi gathered her clothes, glancing back at Nakago. “Nakago… How…how did you get those scars on your back? You have never told me.” Her light brown eyes scanned Nakago’s face, seeing his features harden. She had struck a nerve. “Never mind.”

“You’d best take your leave quickly, Soi,” Nakago warned, his blue eyes flashing for a moment. His blond hair fell haphazardly over his eye, and he pushed back the annoying strand. When Soi had left he moved to his bath, which was directly across from the door. He ran water in the bath, slipping in the warm water, sighing distractedly at how good it felt just to relax in the water.

He was quite aware he had a spy, though he did not mind. He would never admit it, but the small part of him that was human was in love with Suboshi. He could sense the other’s chi from here and when he was done, he would bring the other in and give him a lecture on obeying his orders and listening to the advice of his fellow warriors.

~~~

Suboshi watched Nakago bathe from the door, half his concentration on masking his chi. The other portion focused solely on Nakago. The other had quite a large frame. Suboshi studied his body, admiring it. It wasn’t until the other settled in the bath, though, that he noticed the scars that covered the General’s back.

Those type of scars could only be the result of one thing. A whip. Nakago was fond of beating with a whip, could his past be the reason for that? Suboshi pondered, even more so than who would have done this to Nakago. They were faint scars, not recent. Curiousity filled Suboshi and he made a soft sound as he bumped his injured arm on the door frame. He could only pray that Nakago was too busy with his bath to hear.

TBC…

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