Tale of Souls Chapter Twenty Five
Terrin fell asleep at the table writing notes, and I left some leftovers by his face to eat when he woke up. He may be at this stage beyond redemption, but he’s risking his life holding an illegal tome of ancient data. The amount of information he scrawled out was enough for me to find Makoto and try and sort the next steps.
I’m just hoping for how quiet it’s been around the common area, that we’re not too late, that I’m not about to walk into a trap. I know what I’m looking for at least if I do. I’m looking for the version of Yasuo I’m used to seeing – which isn’t Yasuo at all. I’m looking to make sure that the older Aura hasn’t tried to take control of herself in our time.
“Justin, you’re fine – ETA isn’t until morning, ‘she’ stopped at a motel before coming home. We’re safe enough for now.” Makoto walked into the room and noticed the paper stack in my hands, “These are the notes Terrin has made?”
“Well not all, he fell asleep.”
“It’s enough to go by, and it’s enough with the decipher key he’d made me last year to find the rest of the information in my book. I can read your mind without one, I can tell you’re at a sense of unease about his presence.” Makoto quickly peered through the notes and looked back at me, almost staring into my soul. “Yea, I know – I know too what he’d done, and I know more of what his soul mirror had done to me at times – Most of the timelines I’m dead, which wasn’t Tensei’s fault – he was cleaning up his act just like Terrin was. I was carrying his child, and the Makara faction blew up the carriage I was being carried in at the time. That was one of the last times Terrin and Tensei were bonded.”
“Neh, Mako.. I’m not saying he’s not worth the forgiveness, I just am angry he wants it so soon. There’s not enough time to save the world, let alone sort through all the emotions he just trudged up.” I looked at the papers in Mako’s hand and looked back up at Mako, “Are we going to make enough progress?”
“Dude, we won’t be dying with this information. We won’t be winning in the classical sense, but we’ll be steps ahead of where we were. That’s why there’s people at the front lines, the inbetween and the outside lines. They’re working on tweaking everything, and as soon as I have the data i’ll send the word back to them. We just have to work on preventing the next battle – and even if we minorly fall – we’ll still have tomorrow.” Makoto smiled, and motioned for me to follow to his office just a few doors down from the common area. “I carved out a study space for me, in one of the timelines I was in Izuchi’s place. Well, ok I’m far older than him, so maybe more like a great great grandfather on crack or something – but in the tier of where I am in the family – we’re first cousins despite that.”
“Are you Saitou’s father?”
“GOD FUCKING HELLS NO. Good god I hate that, please… stop letting people assume that. I may be a lot older than Sai as well – but no, I’m only his older brother. My pink hair is natural, and Sai wasn’t meant to be born blonde but a defect happened and he had white blonde hair as a child with liquid gold eyes. What was left of our kingdom didn’t agree with the differences in how our family was set up, and they dissolved the royal court and merged with the Clan Arashi court. Saitou is about the same age as Tensei, though neither remembers being around each other. Tensei had an older sister Lúile, but she died not long after we got there from complications of a lung disorder.” Mako opened the door to his office and walked to the bookshelf inside. He gasped as he noticed someone sitting in his seat.
“Uncle Mako. Trying to deny me my right to come visit, ne?”
“Ya. Yasuo I didn’t – “
“Cut the shit Mako, you know that’s not Yasuo.” I rolled my eyes and walked to the desk where Yasuo was sitting, knowing full well it was Aura riding behind the red eyes. “Why the hell are you here?”
“You think you’re so damn smart.”
“No, I’m actually that asshat who failed high school algebra, you want to spell it out for me?”
“Uncle, the one I have fond memories of… Maybe I’ll spare you first.”
“No more like spare me the fucking shpeel, I’m aware you turned – and i’m aware you’re working for the otherside. Which one of us are you trying to flip the switch off first, and why are you trying to kidnap your own self?” I had a feeling I was just spouting bullshit, but there wasn’t much more to it than that.
“I’m assistant to General Hanako Kanasagi, who sadly lays to rest on the sands of Hoshii after the last folding. My grandmother’s death is to be avenged, and yes – indeed I am here to set off a couple of unwilling bombs. As for my younger self? I intend on getting rid of her, none of the weapons were meant to have children – and you’ve broken every rule in the book you naughty naughty little girls.” Aura cackled and opened the book on the desk, “I’ve been studying our history Uncle Mako.”
“You do know that you’ve got the wrong book.” Mako nervously laughed, hoping she wouldn’t notice he’d grabbed the correct book off the shelf.
“I’m not dumb, I’ve been here for hours – I already locked Father and myself away for later – and I tied up Uncle Rana- I put Cousin Psilas in a deep sleep, as well as Mister Terrin, and anyone else that’s been in my way.” Aura flipped through the pages, “Oh if you only knew how to decipher this in full and you’d last until tomorrow morn. You’ll be lucky with me to even last the next ten minutes.”
Makoto started coughing, blood coming out of his mouth and within seconds he passed out on the floor in front of me. I’m hoping this isn’t the end, because I’ve got a wicked sense of what I’d love to do to this bitch in front of me. I don’t mean that i’d do anything utterly disgusting – fuck that sort of power trip.
“So you’re going to not stop until ever-”
“I’m done, you’re one of the last, and it was grandma Hanako’s greatest will to be able to set off the rest of the weapons. She failed with the first, which is where I failed – I was meant to kill Papa Yasuo – but instead I think I’ll go for Grandfather and my other Uncles. Why? Because you’re all toys of the Makara’s. You’re not the American Government’s toy, you’re not even on their books anymore. They think Lillian Merideth Hotchstettler died in experiments in 1999. They have a photographic record that this is just a dying fleeting memory and you’re nothing but a shot in some woman’s mouth in 1983.” Aura was being quite graphic, and he wasn’t even being runic – or mysterious for that matter. She was being to the point.
“Bang i’m dead then?”
“Hah, if it were only that simple.”
“Then why us, why not do what you’re told – why not go down the line of succession?”
“Because Papa Yasuo is of Grandma’s lineage, not Grandfather’s. I wish to keep the lineage where it should be – because the Warai are impure.” Aura flicked her fingers between the pages as if it were that she couldn’t read them at all.
“Wait, you can’t read that any better than you could read that in this time. What changed?”
“Grandfather’s blindness was an impure, disruptive hand me down I could live without. I can barely see with Papa Yasuo’s eyes – but I can manipulate the machines the Makaras force me to use on a daily basis. I’m assuming that’s a Kanasagi thing, though, because Grandfather was never documented as anything more than a weak shifter.”
“You’re a shifter, Eer-ra, you’re not yourself – you’ve summoned yourself as if you were the legend of the reapers. But because your English is broken, and you’ve been losing your own mind due to the shit the Makaras put you through – you can barely focus on your journey. Why are you giving into it?”
“How do you know that name?”
“I read the translation. I read the pages that had you as a single dominating source of soul reaping. What happened, who died that caused you to become Eer-ra? It can’t have been your grandmother, not in all formats of time – she died not long after Saitou had Yasuo – because the Makara’s found out she’d done that to him and murdered her and tried to take Yasuo.” I didn’t even realise that I knew that fact, but when you’re at 1001% ability to use all memories and everything over time and space and where you’ve fused and not – then things get weird.
“What happens is nothing of importance.”
“Sure it is, you have a grudge just like your Uncle Rana. Who died, and who made it worse. I’m sorry that I’m trying to treat you like a child, but you’re my niece no matter what time that you’re from.”
“My grudges are none of your business.”
“Ok little fart, spill the baked beans – or i’m going to go untie your Uncle and Unlock your younger self and your father out of the other room. You got ten seconds to start cooking them, then spilling them.”
“How dare you mock me.”
“You can’t hold a grudge and let time fold in on itself, you aren’t so young in this current time that you can’t learn the lesson of staying above water. Why did I just call you that? It’s Ryes’ other nickname for you, because you are also named as Gentle Breeze. You’re naturally a glowing ball of hyperactivity that only eats pop tarts and rinsed off spaghetti o’s.” I sat down in the chair in front of the desk that Aura was sitting near. I had no intention of letting her win, but I had no clue how to stop her in her tracks.
“Yet you grew up a Funeral Flower, which is appropriate for when you blow up like a bomb during the next Tsunami. A white dying flower, unlike the Lily of the Valley which spreads it’s wealth across the ground. At least it’s relative to the asparagus which is food – all you’re good for is being six feet under. You’re not even a real man, you’re just a memory split into several broken pieces.”
“Yet you insult your own father.”
“There’s no proof I am of human descent.”
“Oh there’s every proof, poot-head, your grandmother on your father’s side was still alive when you got to go on a field trip to meet her. You look like my cousins, and you look like your grandfather on that side. Yasuo told me once he was relieved because he didn’t want you burdened by the horrors his mother was put through. She became the same sort of pawn you’re becoming by believing in a Makara twisted tale.” I grumbled, “ Eer-ra isn’t a murderous reaper, she was a reaper of souls that were already on their way out. If I remember correctly she was a shared legend on earth with the Irish, with Lúile being the daughter of the legend on our earth. Lúile and Eer-ra would plant the flowers after the souls had been reaped, so they could nurture the soil and let the future begin.”
“Eer-ra isn’t a nurturing legend, she was a battalion that reaped the souls on their way to hell. What kind of hyped up moldy potato legend were you selling?”
“Aura, you’re going to lose this battle. I know that you’re thinking i can’t handle what you’re taunting at me and what you’re doing around me – but trust me, I’ve been to fucking hell and back in my life time. Bring it.”
“If I kill your husband?” She grinned.
“He was going to divorce me eventually anyways.” I mean, i’m lying – i’ll be devastated. But she’s not a psychic and her reading of my emotions only goes so far. “My parents are gone, Saitou and Makoto’s parents are long gone – If you murder yourself in this time, i’l lbe without your angry turning off the electrics hwen you lose a mortal kombat game. I’ll lose the joy of watching you scream when someone eats salad. I don’t care what you’re up to, do your worst and we’ll still survive.”
“I don’t have to do my worst.”