brokenworld01: (youkai)
[personal profile] brokenworld01
So, um, yeah. Yosh. >.< Bastard. How the hell did you do that anyway? *growls* It'll get explained shortly. In the meantime, trust that I am not losing my mind. aheh.


~*~*~

Prince Rajesh, heir to the youkai throne, was not one to either admit defeat or go seeking advice too frequently. His lady mother had taught him that advisors were not to be trusted; that each had his own agenda, and unless you were certain of it and how to turn it against him, it was better not to heed such youkai. His lord father had conquered the known world with the largest army known to youkai or men. The prince himself had found his tutors to be unworthy imbeciles, with the exception of one.

And it was to that one he turned when he found himself continually thwarted in his attempts to win over one woman.

"I do not understand her!" he railed at Yosh, one rainy afternoon. "I have been kind, I have been patient. For a year and a half now, I have treated her with all due respect. I have not forced her into my bed, nor taken advantage of her in any way. And yet she refuses to accord me even the most basic courtesies! Refuses, time and again, to even address me properly!"

Yosh watched the young prince pace and rant with half-slit eyes and no little amusement, which he kept strictly from his features. "Your Highness," he soothed, when the Prince's ire ran down. "Some women may not be won."

"I do not want to win her!" the Prince exclaimed impatiently. "Not in the sense of wooing or courting or --" He cut himself short with a sharp wave of one hand. "I simply want what is mine."

Folding his hands in his sleeves, Yosh hummed under his breath. "Forgive this old one's impertinence, Your Highness, but... this one wonders if you have made your noble intentions clear to her."

Rajesh stopped in his tracks and, for the briefest of moments, his shoulders slumped forward in an uncharacteristically defeated pose. "You are saying I should explain myself to her?" he said softly, turning slowly to face Yosh. "That I, heir to the youkai throne, should make my intentions plain to a prisoner, a traitor to our kind?"

Yosh hummed thoughtfully. "How is it that she is traitor still, Your Highness?"

Frowning, Rajesh paced slowly forward again. "She fought against my lord father."

"Mmhmm. She fought for his son -- your pardon, Highness," he added, as Rajesh's eyes snapped fire at him. "But that one is also a son of the King's blood."

The Prince acknowledged the point with a sharp nod, gesturing for him to continue.

"And now you demand his title, as if it were simply a matter of blood."

"Is it not?" Rajesh asked, curious despite himself.

"If it is, Your Highness," Yosh replied slowly, "Then that one still has as much claim to his title as you do."

"Oh," Rajesh murmured, turning away. "I see."

~*~*~*~

The rain continued through the afternoon and into the evening hours, growing steadily heavier as the night grew darker. The Prince wandered the castle restlessly, finding no peace in any of his usual haunts. Even his favourite books failed to distract him long enough to drown out the sound of the rain. He should not have been able to hear it, so deep in the castle as he went, but it was in his head, echoing against the inside of his skull. His head ached with sharp, stabbing pains, particularly behind his right eye, and he found himself pressing a hand to his abdomen, though it gave him no pain.

Returning to his rooms, he was met by the bright sound of two female voices raised in laughter. He stopped in the outer chamber, somehow unwilling to intrude. The younger one was familiar to him; there was no mistaking Illa's cheerful chatter. But the other.... It took him a moment to realize it was, in fact, Yaone.

He'd never heard her laugh before. It was a beautiful sound.

Turning away, he let his restless feet carry him back into the corridor while he argued with the ridiculous ache in his chest.

~*~*~

The Prince's wandering carried him past Yosh, in a hallway that ran to one of the outer doors of the castle. The old youkai watched him from the shadows, smiling to himself as he hummed a little beneath his breath. He could have stopped the young Prince, could have prevented him from walking out into the storm, but he remained where he was.

There were answers the Prince would not find indoors, after all. Eighteen years he had lived in this castle, and how many times had he set foot outside? In this he was his mother's son, not his father's, but that was true in the case of more things than the royal family cared to admit.

Of course, in another sense, the young Prince could be said to be Yosh's entirely, as it was his tutor alone who could sway his heart and mind these days.

Rocking back on his heels, Yosh watched with silent amusement as Rajesh paused on the threshold, door held open and rain splattering the ground at his feet.

Karma, you see, is not linear, not straightforward in any way that a youkai or human mind can grasp. And yet it holds to its own ineffable rules. It flows like a river, and one can never step in the same river twice. A soul can be doomed to repeat its mistakes only if it stands still, becomes unmoving in the flow of karma.

Yosh smiled as the Prince stepped outside.

His Highness would not understand this. Not yet. But karma was a river in full flood these days. They would all be swept along.

~*~*~

The rain soaked through his robes, sank with icy fingers all the way to his skin, and still he stood, eyes closed, head bowed. Water streamed down his face, along the lines of his ears, and dripped in steady beads from the tips of his bangs. Raising one palm to the sky, he curled his hand and inspected his claws as if for the first time.

The thrum of his blood in his ears was a familiar tattoo turned alien. With every beat of his racing heart it rang louder, drowning out thought, obliterating will.

He could smell blood, as strongly as if the sky were filled with it. The metallic tang was in his mouth, strangely bitter; not human blood, but youkai.

Lightning cracked across the sky, stabbing downwards to split and spew the earth in a sudden gout of mud.

Somewhere, he lay dying.

Somewhere, someone had saved him.

He was alone now.

Falling to his knees, he buried his face in his hands. It did nothing to stifle the primal scream that ripped from his aching belly.

~*~*~
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August 2011

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