Through the Cracks Ch3 bit – Temper

My, my; there is a temper under all those manners, isn’t there? Battousai snickered in the back of Kenshin’s mind. A very youkai temper, I think.

True enough. The swords that sealed his blood only kept the demon from taking over. They didn’t wipe away his own rage. And he was angry. Terribly, terribly angry. Angry at Jin-e, dead as he was, for threatening Kaoru; angry at himself for not stopping the assassin before he could snatch the young Herald. And deeply, painfully angry at Yamagata for hiding so much from the land they now meant to call home.

If there is an accident – if some unknowing Guard or Herald separates a hanyou from their sealing sword-

He knew his people. Knew their pride, their disdain for gaijin, their fierce, demonic tempers. It would not be if, but when.

And then there will be blood.

Yamato law would hold the hanyou blameless, no more at fault than a fire-cat dunked in ice water. Valdemaran… well. Who knew?

Kaoru knows her own people. She is trying to find the best way to guard both sides. We must not make her task any harder than it is.

He’d have to let his demon side loose a little, a very little, before his frustration roused the bloodlust. Maybe a hunt outside Haven. Rabbit would be tasty tonight. Or inside, if he were careful; roof-running soothed him, and rock dove was just hard enough to catch on the wing to make it interesting.

Either that, or we could track Kaoru down in the bath and-

It wasn’t physically possible to throttle the assassin in his head. Not that he hadn’t been tempted to try.

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43 thoughts on “Through the Cracks Ch3 bit – Temper

    1. Yeah, somebody needs to explain Hanyou to the gaijin fast and make it stick. Preferably while managing to hammer into their heads that no: every Hanyou is not a Jin-e waiting to happen and they don’t need to be forcibly ‘fixed’ by the mind-healers thank you very much.*

      It’s more of a ‘you keep poking the bear, expect to get mauled’.

      *Said fixing attempts would probably just send the Hanyou into berserk states that would end in the city streets running red with blood.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Especially since I don’t think it’s even been said if Jin-e was a Hanyou, one way or the other. And Hanyou and Hitokiri are two very different things. As Kenshin demonstrates the two can overlap, but you’ve got two major problems here, not one.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. …why do I think the Yamoto law reads something like, “If the suicidal idiot wants to die via idiocy, it’s his own dang fault”?

    I don’t think the Heralds have ever dealt with something like youkai (I guess not having read the books) which would… considerably muddle the waters in regards to laws, that it would.

    Big explosion incoming…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It would not be if, but when.

    Yeah. *wince*

    Especially since the Valdemerians doing something like that would have no idea why it isn’t a good idea.

    They can’t make previsions for hanyou and youkai and their particular needs if they don’t know they exist.

    And they might be more willing to listen to reason about it if they know about the problem BEFORE someone is dead or hurt because they didn’t know not to take a sealing sword away from a hanyou.

    Yes, there is reason to be cautious. Good reasons. But there is a line between sensible caution and creating an accident waiting to happen. No wonder Kenshin is angry.

    Selaney probably isn’t going to be amused either. Because there had to be a way from them to let her know that it was really, really important that nobody take away those swords. Maybe “I cannot tell you why now. I don’t know you well enough to trust you with that knowledge. But it is very important. Matter of life and death for my people and yours important.”

    She’d understand not trusting a foreign leader with all of your secrets right away. If their positions were reversed, she wouldn’t be the most forthcoming either about Companions and Heraldic Gifts either.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Which probably means part of the circumstances that made Yamato have Youkai in the first place required that intensely powerful wild magic field that we earlier heard described as ‘four times’ that of the Pelagirs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yamagata, you know what they say about assuming things.

        You also assumed that other lands having youkai and hanyou handled the problems such as needing a sealing sword the exact same way . . . and that is a dangerous assumption to make. It is possible that if youkai did live in other land that said other lands might have developed different methods – because for instance not all cultures are big on swords.

        Also that argument might held water at the beginning. When it became glaringly obvious (and it doesn’t sound like it would taken long) that they didn’t have youkai and hanyou, you should have been trying to make sure Selenay at least got the “Sorry, I thought you knew about this already but really, really don’t do X. After we trust each other better, I will explain why but for please, for the love of everything, follow these rules . . .” discussion.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the blame for such an *incident* should fall on Yamato for not TELLING their new neighbors/landlords about the hanyou issue. But I figure getting through their thick heads would take harder hits that Kaoru and her bokken could manage. 😛 I’m really enjoying this story so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But I figure getting through their thick heads would take harder hits that Kaoru and her bokken could manage.

      I second that notion.

      Maybe Kenshin and Kaoru can team up to deal with the idiots? Kaoru armed with her bokken and her sincerity + Kenshin in serious Kenshin mode is a tough combo to beat . . .

      Like

    2. I don’t know, I’d place the blame more squarely on Yamagata.

      The Yamatoans have justifiable reason /not/ to bandy this information about and be paranoid and wary. Especially once they realized that Valdemar /didn’t/ have Youkai, and had to worry about a possible ‘kill-it-with-fire first, ask questions later’ reaction. Kenshin’s own caution demonstrates that idea.

      But that’s with the populace at large and early on. It’s been /two years/ at this point, and while that’s a relatively brief period in politics, it’s more than long enough for Yamagata to have brought up with Selenay ‘off the record, you /really/ need to know this’.

      So blaming the Yamato refugees? Nah, blaming Yamagata? Hells /yes/.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They should blame Yamagata. He’s one of the people in charge. It’s his job to do his best to make sure things like that don’t happen. And he’s not.

        It is almost entirely avoidable accident – if the Guards and Heralds are told not to take away those swords no matter what, which as long as they are assured that there is a very good reason for it, even if they don’t know said reason most of them will follow it. Because they trust their Queen not to give them orders like that without a good reason.

        Now, even with the warning, could someone still be an idiot? Absolutely. There are idiots in every bunch. But the warning might prevent people doing something stupid simply because they don’t know its a darn fool thing to do.

        Unfortunately, people don’t always confine their justifiable anger toward the responsible parties. Sometimes they take it out on innocent people because they are hurt, angry, and scared and that person, unlike Yamagata, is right there in front of them.

        Not to mention, an incident like that would scare people and frightened people do stupid things.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. … I understand that if/when an incident occurs the populace is likely to be angry and irrational and so it’s probably gonna bite all the Yamatoan refugees in the arse. But I thought what we were discussing here was where the blame – and thus Kaoru’s bokken – for this current disaster-waiting-to-happen should be?

        And honestly… I have a great deal of faith in Valdemar as a country, but I suspect that if that order became publicly known – even with a ‘trust us’ attached to it – that it wouldn’t be that someone ‘could’ still be an idiot, as that someone then ‘would’ be an idiot. As was quoted elsewhere: “[…] A button with a sign saying ‘DO NOT PRESS or world will end’ the paint on the sign wouldn’t even have time to dry.”

        Liked by 2 people

      3. But I thought what we were discussing here was where the blame – and thus Kaoru’s bokken – for this current disaster-waiting-to-happen should be?

        I thought we were too . . . don’t know why my brain latched on the likely fall out on the average Yamatoan when it gets messy . . . maybe it just annoyed because there were things they could have at least tried to keep that kind of mess from happening and wanted to grumble about the aforementioned idiots . . .

        Sorry you got caught in my brain’s misfire . . .

        I vote for Yamagata and whoever else is charge over there to get a good-sized lump from her bokken. They deserve it.

        Don’t know how effective any solution put in place now will be. It might be too little too late.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. No worries on misfires (I figure dodging bullets is probably good apocalypse prep!) And ditto on targets for Kaoru’s bokken (Yahiko can cackle at them malevolently afterwards – for once somebody /else/ is getting lumps from Kaoru)!

        As for too little too late… Eeeeh. What I remember from It Takes a Thief paints Selenay in a fairly reasonable light. I’d guess she’s probably willing to be patient about this, especially since Kenshin did a good deed in saving Kaoru and trying to deal with Jin-e even /before/ the Heralds formally got involved. Frankly, while his history and training paint Kenshin in quite a dangerous light, everything he’s actually done paints him in a much more positive shade. So for formal government responses? Yamagata’s probably in hot water, but the Yamatoan refugees themselves haven’t actually done anything wrong.

        This doesn’t mean the public/populous response won’t be /really bad/, but that was probably never going to go /well/.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Unfortunately here, I suspect that he overestimates Kaoru’s knowledge. And that that is going to blow up in someone’s face.

    And yeah, not even letting Selenay know that she needs to ask “What do I need to tell my Guards and Heralds, in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed?”… That’s taking paranoia a little too far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You want an interesting read, try tracking down “Choshu in the Meiji Restoration” by Albert Craig.

      https://www.amazon.com/Choshu-Meiji-Restoration-Albert-Craig/dp/B0000CL45E/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479492998&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=choshou+in+the+meiji

      It may be old, but apparently it’s still one of the key works out there. The amount of backstabbing and paranoia that happened was… heh. Killer levels. Quite literally.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The amount of backstabbing and paranoia that happened was… heh. Killer levels. Quite literally.

        Trying to violently affect a change in government and/or government policy tends to be that way.

        Especially when the groups trying to do the thing are themselves filled with factions, splinter groups, etc, etc.

        Sometimes I think humans live to over-complicate things . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The thing is, standard procedure is to disarm people; especially if tempers are running high so that “accidents” don’t happen. If you tell the guards not to take away swords, you have to give them an alternative better than just “they promise not to draw them.” Maybe some sort of peace-bonding like at comi-cons. But then you would need some way to get the prickly people with swords to accept that the people with the blue uniforms have the authority to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I find myself wondering how many hanyou came over. IOW, is Kenshin the first known one? And he only turned up recently. This whole issue may only be an issue because he’s here now. In this scene Kenshin thinks there are others, but are there? And if there are, who knows about them?

    At minimum, now that Kenshin’s around someone needs to inform Selenay, agreed. I can kinda understand not, at first, given the immigrants’ experience with mages, but as stands, it’s a disaster just waiting.

    On the third hand I really don’t trust Companions to be any betterthan humans, really. I’ve found them creepy and questionable since the memory wipe in Talia’s series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve decided there might be some pretty heavy foreshadowing for some Hanyou kid. Can’t think of a particularly certain candidate from RuroKen canon, as Yahiko doesn’t seem to be. Maybe the doctor’s granddaughters?

      Like

  7. …Bit late to the party with this comment, but…

    >> The swords that sealed his blood only kept the demon from taking over.

    That… is a very interesting bit of Inuyasha canon to apply more broadly. In Inuyasha canon, I can’t even recall any other Hanyou we see who /needed/ to have their Youkai halves sealed. Inuyasha was a special case because his Youkai parent was specifically a Daiyoukai and that much Youki was too much for his human half to handle.

    Further – and hilariously – it actually wasn’t Tessaiga that sealed Inuyasha’s Youkai blood. What kept his Youkai half sealed was just an extremely powerful anti-Youkai barrier that Inu-taisho placed /on/ Tessaiga. The barrier prevented Youkai *cough*Sesshomaru*cough* from wielding Tessaiga, but on a Hanyou that same effect suppressed their Youki – which had the effect of sealing Inuyasha’s Youkai half.

    This probably sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but I figure part of what’s important is that Tessaiga sealing Inuyasha’s Youkai half /isn’t/ something that was /forged/ into the blade, so much as a( side-effect of a)n enchantment that had been cast upon Tessaiga. Theoretically such a barrier could be placed on any Hanyou, or any object that can sustain the enchantment.

    In Inuyasha we’re never told what kind of objects can or cannot sustain such a barrier or if there’s any kind of limit on how long the barrier will last. At the easiest any powerful enough magic user could place such a barrier on any old object, while at the most difficult even Inu-taisho could only do it because he was casting on a /forged/ tool that was made from something that was once /literally/ a part of him (in which case it starts to sound like blood magic).

    Alternatively /any/ anti-Youkai barrier could have that affect on Hanyou, and what intensity is required to achieve the desired effect depends on the Youki of the Hanyou in question. In /that/ case we can guess that for some of the weaker Hanyou in Inuyasha the barrier on Tessaiga would have fully suppressed their Youki rendering them effectively human – like Inuyasha on the night of a New Moon.

    As a final bit of hilarity: canon – Inuyasha was flat-out /tougher/ when his Youkai half broke free. He was out of control and was doomed to fight himself to death, but he was faster, stronger, and just plain harder to keep down. There was /one/ incident in canon that I know of where Kagome – she whose canon Purifying aura was so strong that she’s considered the /actual/ toughest member of the party – was able to use her aura to balance out Inuyasha’s Youkai-half allowing him to maintain control while also accessing his full Youki. I can’t remember if this was something in the anime – and originally in the manga – or one of the movies. If the latter than the incident is of dubious canon. Either way, you know what has a decent chance (author’s ruling honestly) of also having the level of Purifying Aura you’d need to pull off that trick? A Companion. Meaning a Companion/Herald who knows what they’re doing could not only negate the need for a sealing sword(s) in the first place, but possibly grant said Hanyou what would effectively be some terrifying variety of super-mode.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heheheehee! *falls over*
    Ah yes. The ever-helpful inner voice you really wish you could gag. Using great physical force. ^^
    I love how you’ve made Battousai a near separate entity. InuYasha would have been very interesting if they had done that with all hanyous. I can just imagine Inu sitting in his mindscape hiding behind his hands as his feral side harangued him for stringing along two girls when he’s lucky to even catch the eye of one.

    Liked by 3 people

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