Through the Cracks Ch3 bit – Lost

A/N: I’m going to want to revamp some of the sparring aftermath before I post anything on that. So, have some lost Sano, years ago….


Cold, cold; cold and snow and air so mountain-thin it ached in his lungs, how in the Havens had he gotten from that weird blank spot in the Pelagirs to here? Wherever the hells here was….

A fire-blast!

Sano slogged his way through the snowy pines toward the noise, reaching out with his senses for any trace of his Chosen. He could still feel the Call, the youngster had to be here. Somewhere.

Nothing. Just blank, empty nothing where the feeling of life should have been. If his nose and eyes and ears didn’t swear he was in a living forest, he’d have thought he was walking over lifeless rock.

So think, oh great and wise Companion. He’s a Chosen, right? Where else is he going to be but up to his ears in trouble?

Right. Toward the big boom it was.

Make that big booms. Sano flattened his ears at the concussion of air, stopping cold at the scent of fire-powder and blood. Here… the first blast site. A bloodstained metal dart lay half-buried in disturbed snow, and a thin red trail led to and from the muddle of footprints and torn branches. Someone was hurt. Badly.

And from the fragments of flesh and blades scattered through here, at least one someone was dead.

One set of footprints, leading off toward that second blast. Small. A woman, or a young man. And blood. Oh gods, blood….

Sano charged off toward the second blast, not thinking, not caring what sort of hopeless battle his Chosen had gotten mixed up in. Once he had the kid on his back, they were getting out of here.

Two more bodies. Bigger pieces – ugh. Deep breath, and look again. Bloodstain around one neat stab to the chest on the big guy; sword-wound. Don’t recognize the clothing. Dark cotton shirts that wrap around, some kind of weird leather guards for the backs of their hands… they were armed, that’s all that matters. The big one with an axe, his partner with – gods, are those metal claws?

Razor-edged metal, long as his muzzle. Stained with blood.

Not a random attack, Sano realized, tasting a scent all too like the Artificers’ blasting powder. This was an ambush.

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39 thoughts on “Through the Cracks Ch3 bit – Lost

  1. So think, oh great and wise Companion. He’s a Chosen, right? Where else is he going to be but up to his ears in trouble?

    They are walking trouble magnets the whole lot . . . so any of the Kenshin-gumi would fit right in that respect.

    This was an ambush.

    Oh no . . . this is sounding an awful lot of like the trap that ended up with Tomoe dead . . . if that is right, unless it was one of the ninja he was searching for . . . what a mess.

    Could be wrong . . . but I don’t think I’m wrong about the mess part.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep.

        It was on a 2-disc set calling itself the Rurouni Kenshin Ultimate OVA Collection.

        Granted, I don’t remember re-watching it much. Mostly because it was kinda of depressing. Interesting but sad. And I have to be the right mindset for that.

        And I much prefer your version of Seisou Hen.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. >Poor Sano. He had a very bad time in Yamato.>
      Between a large amount of the ‘wildlife’ seeing him as lunch/something that needs to die and the locals trusting him about as far as a newborn human can throw a mountain, yeah it probably wasn’t a walk in the park.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not to mention if anyone ever suspected who, exactly, he was Searching for.

        Because regardless of their opinion of Companions one way or another, there are people would happily maim or kill anything even remotely connected to the Hitokiri Battousai.

        Now granted, Sano would have needed to get a decent look at his Chosen to be able to describe him well enough . . . and he might have assumed the red in his hair was something other than it’s actual color. OTOH, he might not have any idea how unusual red hair is in Yamato. At least for humans.

        Still, looking for a red-headed swordsman would make many people go “Eeek!”

        And it’s not just enemies of Kenshin he would have to look out for. Because Kenshin’s allies wouldn’t be enthusiastic about the idea of this particular hitokiri leaving.

        And given what happened in that Forest, Kenshin at that moment might have been let Sano talk him into leaving Yamato. He has a duty he’s sworn to but he also just suffered a very painful loss and is so tired of killing people . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm. Pretty much everybody – myself included – is assuming his Chosen is Kenshin.

    So who else could it be if Sano wandered into this mess?

    I was thinking maa~aybe Tomoe for a moment, but you said previously Sano’s Chosen /wasn’t/ dead.

    So if it’s not Kenshin, the only other person who survives this mess is Enishi. God. I /really/ hope it isn’t Enishi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. >I was thinking maa~aybe Tomoe for a moment, but you said previously Sano’s Chosen /wasn’t/ dead.>
      Well if she died/was killed before he could actually Chose her would she actually be considered his Chosen?

      I mean if the Herald dies the Companion keels over but what happens if said person is killed before said white horse can find them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I figured it was more a matter of Companion picking first potential Herald they come across that fits X criteria. As opposed to the Companion essentially being handed (or born/built with) a sealed packet that fits one and only potential companion.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My thoughts were more ‘it /was/ Tomoe, but her choice to sacrifice her life for Kenshin /and/ use her death to… patch his curse somehow also marked Kenshin as someone Tomoe considered worthy of Sano’.

        Like

    2. I /really/ hope it isn’t Enishi.

      I hope it isn’t either.

      Part of that is that I really don’t like the character. Sorry if you do but I have an almost automatic loathing for any character who does not keep their revenge plans directed only at the responsible (or believed to be responsible) party. I don’t care how justified or not your desire for revenge is. As soon as you kill or try to kill someone whose only crime is that they happen to be some kind of relationship with the person you are really mad at, then I cannot stand you.

      Also that would leave Sano without his Chosen unless he can choose another. Because somehow I don’t think revenge obsessed, ‘I want to make that person suffer a living hell and I hope that suffering and dying takes a very long time’ is exactly Herald material.

      At least if Kenshin decides someone needs to die, he just kills them as quickly and cleanly as possible.

      I was thinking maa~aybe Tomoe for a moment, but you said previously Sano’s Chosen /wasn’t/ dead.

      There is also that Sano keeps referring to his Chosen as him. But that simply might be the limitations of the English language.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, no disagreements here: /not/ a fan of Enishi for just that reason. I mean, it’s one thing if – knowing about revenger’s beef with their buddy – they choose to stand between the vengeance seeker and the target, but even how that is handled great affects whether I still like the avenger in question or not.

        Maybe Sano can be the second Companion ever to just be like: nope. Changed my mind, you are /not/ a Herald.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I mean, it’s one thing if – knowing about revenger’s beef with their buddy – they choose to stand between the vengeance seeker and the target, but even how that is handled great affects whether I still like the avenger in question or not.

        *nods*

        WARNING!: Rant. Not directed anyone on this blog. This character type just really, really gets on my nerves.

        Taking down buddies of the person you are actually targeting because they are actively getting in your way (meaning they know you are attacking their friend and try to stop you) is one thing. I can understand that.

        It is quite another to use said person’s friends and family as tools in your revenge. Hurting or killing them simply because doing so will hurt the person you are targeting. They haven’t done anything to you, they aren’t knowingly standing in your way but since they are your target’s parent / child / spouse / friend, they have to die.

        That kind also isn’t usually bothered if totally innocent, unconnected bystanders get hurt. Because as long as the person they want to kill or hurt is killed or hurt, it doesn’t matter who else got caught in the crossfire.

        Because all they care about is themselves. It’s all about their pain, their anger. Me. Me. Me. Everyone is just a tool to reach their goal, an object in the way that needs to be removed, or a weapon to harm their enemy.

        Sin is when you think of other people like things.

        Getting off my soapbox now.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. *looks curious*

        The results of those bunnies should be interesting.

        Through a Wolf of Mibu or two as a Herald . . . if Kerowyn, Selenay, and Talia though they have a headache now.

        Through one wonders if another country’s Healers might have been able to do more for Okita’s illness . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hee hee! Actually, Soujiro would outwardly fit in as a Herald, because he is so darned charming. But Sano? Not a good fit. Ditto our Wolf of Mibu – he’d be a Herald just fine, but Sano would not be the Companion for him!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >>*G* Clue: Okita’s illness is what Valdemar Healers would call Hammer Lung.

        Wait.

        ‘/is/’?

        *Headdesk* How in the world did I /not/ notice the use of present-tense their previously?!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “Canon seems to hint that at least some Companion/Herald pairs are set up way in advance. (Gwena, I’m looking at you.) But others, eh, who knows. ”

    At least one has had multiple Heralds, .. oh, what’shisname… Rolan! from the first trilogy printed (the only one I read all the way through) ALWAYS served the Monarch’s Own Herald. His Herald died and he went and found Talia. So some can be bonded sequentially. It probably depends, given that some of them are former human souls, and some are something else.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. IIRC, there are actually 4 Grove-born (“were never human”) Companions that Choose the Monarch’s Own, and they rotate the duty. One of the reasons Elspeth wound up such a mess was that the last Monarch’s Own, Talamir, lost his Companion, Taver, in the same battle that killed King Sendar and left Selenay as a very young Queen. It’s canon that while the next Companion, Rolan, got there to Choose Talamir again and keep him from dying, Talamir was never the same after that. It’s strongly implied that if he’d been fully himself, Hulda would never have been able to sneak into the court – and even before that, Selenay would never have been fooled enough to marry the Rethwellan Prince.

      Gwena’s another of those “was never human” ones. Not sure we know of any others, besides the very first Companions after King Valdemar’s spell that got the Heralds started to begin with.

      Liked by 2 people

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