River of Stars Ch 2 bit – inheritance

Early morning sunlight and a light breeze finished off the ache in his head; distance turned the volume of others’ emotions down a notch. He grabbed the respite and shook it ’til its teeth rattled.

Basics. Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out. Hold. Let the thoughts come, but let them go. Listen to the water….

Ow.

It was as bad as the first days in the temple, trying to dodge the jealousy, careless arrogance, and deep-seated infighting of the real monks. Worse; he was used to having some degree of control over what he :heard,: and… controlled, this wasn’t.

And they wondered why Koumyou couldn’t stand most of them. Hell, I’m surprised he could stand me.

But that was the past. Focus on now. He stalked off toward the nearby stream, deliberately ignoring the :wary curiosity: and :worry: tiptoeing along behind. Flowing water was one of the few physical phenomena that could mute emotions at all, to the point that Koumyou had drilled into him the habit of paying particular attention near rivers, in case of ambush.

Oh, please ambush me. I’ve still got bullets left.

Nothing. Damn it. He sighed, and turned toward rippling water, shaking out a cigarette and lighter. Might as well look the new killer straight in the eye, after all. He didn’t know what he should be feeling, after a catastrophe like the castle, but no one could kill as many people as he had yesterday and not be marked by it-

No.

“Gojyo was apparently raised somewhere very far away, so I suppose he didn’t realize what it meant,” Hakkai said levelly, still carefully yards away. “But it’s said the crimson chakra is the sign of those chosen by Heaven, and closest to the gods.”

No. Hell, no. He didn’t – he couldn’t have-

“Master,” he’d said once, months ago, “I know I’m picking things up as fast as I can. But how can anyone think I’m qualified to be your apprentice? The temple’s full of people who’ve studied their whole lives-”

“Studied,” Koumyou stated. “Not lived.” Silver hair shook. “The power of the sutra should never be held by one whose only view of that universe is the straight paths of the temple grounds. Who has never threaded their way through the twisting, bloody trails of the world, that all men and youkai walk in sorrow and joy.”

“Master….”

“Kouryuu. There are no requirements to be a Sanzo priest,” Koumyou had said bluntly. “I seek an apprentice with a strong body, and stronger heart. The temple can say what it likes. The choice of my heir is mine, and only Kanzeon’s to approve or deny.” He’d smiled then, setting the topic aside. “Now, shall we practice that throw again? You’re getting too perilous for the acolytes, poor boys….”

The sutra stretched itself out of being a scroll, rustling from his sleeve to settle over his shoulders like a contented tiger. The way it had for Koumyou. The way it should only do for a-

Be strong, priest Genjyo Sanzo.


No, Hakkai thought, almost wincing as he recalled the resulting indignant yell that had all but shattered his eardrums. The SGC really doesn’t need to know about that.

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14 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 2 bit – inheritance

  1. I’m really enjoying these snippets – thank you for posting them! I’m looking forward to reading the whole story when you start posting it. 🙂

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    1. *Rueful G* IRL I have gotten into so much trouble by making what I thought was an obvious observation. The most dangerous question of all? “But what do you really think?”

      …Yeah. The one question no one wants truthfully answered.

      “Sarcastics Anonymous. Like we need your support!” 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Poor Sanzo, empathy is one of the hardest psychic gifts to deal with. Added to the fact that he really doesn’t like getting close to anyone ,hates being touched,and is grieving Koumyo it’s no wonder he’s having a hard time.

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  3. Some of the wisest advice I’ve gotten is “If someone asks you what you think or for you’re opinion, they’re actually asking if you agree with them.” That has saved me many times (mostly by making me stop to think of their opinions, why they have them, whether or not I agree with them, and is this person sufficiently sqishy that I should attemt to spare their feelings.) Personally, Zuko’s “I tell them the truth, why won’t they believe me?” in Embers hit me so close to home that I’m charging it rent. (I learned pretty young that “obvious” is apparently the best hinding place ever, because I kept saying it and it would either be a revilation to those around me, or I’d get in trouble. Now I just sit back and smirk to myself, often.)

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  4. Yeah, indignant yells were expected. And Hakkai, there will be more. Like when he realizes that he’s adoptive parent to a monkey.

    Sanzo: “Who I can’t just get rid of, damnit, because Goku is too . . . . Goku and nobody else will treat the monkey right and I’d have to kill them for it and arghh!”
    *after much cursing and silent acceptance of his newfound parenthood*
    Sanzo: “As the gods as my witness, someone is going to pay for sticking with the job of being his (mostly) responsible adult.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t help but imagine that Sanzo feels that he is the responsible adult for all three of Those Idiots. (in his words) It’s just that Goku is the first/most extensive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. Sanzo has been divinely stuck with Being Responsible.

        …At least he has a gun to shoot at other annoying things. That has to help keep the case of the grumps from going completely homicidal.

        Er, more homicidal. Kind of….

        Liked by 1 person

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