Amatsuki fanfic [Bonten x Ginshu]

8 Oct

I re-worked a Chinese fanfic in English and finally, this blog is seeing some fanfic again! The content of this fanfic is largely based on the original Chinese one so I claim no credit for the ideas.

原文出处:《夜之笙》 by 玄缟


~~~
Ever since his eyes were opened to Heaven’s Net and he gained the ability to read the future that had been woven into the skies, he had come to realise that life as he knew was but a very long play with humans and demons alike acting out the script unwittingly. They may well be stuffed full of cotton because Heaven knows (indeed, Heaven does) that the soul residing within serves no purpose since they act like they’re supposed to, think like they’re supposed to and feel like they’re supposed to. Would he be happier if he had stayed blind to all these? But the big snake was right; there was no turning back once you’ve tasted the forbidden fruit.

He sat in the shrine’s study room, penning his last words with swift strokes of the brush. He never expected himself to be this attached to this world, not least to that person. He was surprised at the rush of emotions the mere thought of that person evoked and sometimes he wondered if that was also part of his script. He hesitated when he got to the addressee of the letter.

How should he address that person? That person who was already miles and miles away, too far out from his grasp.

The fragile connection between them had been irreparably broken that day that person used the life of his kin to exchange for his. So when that person looked down upon him with unfeeling eyes and called him “Princess”, he could only force a smile in return and ignore the dull ache in his chest.

He looked up at the night sky, the thin threads of Heaven’s Net clearly visible even through the falling snow. There was a time when he looked forward to the cold winter because of the silly child that waited for him outside the shrine’s barrier. More specifically, a demon child, something that he as high priestess of a shrine ought to stay far away from because they could never be anything but enemies. Yet time after time he sneaked out of the shrine to seek the child and they played their secret games in the deep forest, where they were simply them, not demon or priestess, not right or wrong.

From the moment he took on the role of “Ginshu” to become a decoy for the real Princess, he had forsaken everything that he had been before, even his real name. They called him Princess, Esteemed High Priestess, Ginshu, Big Brother, and he played all these roles dutifully, without regret. But not regretting his choice did not make the loneliness any more bearable. Sometimes he would even forget his real name and he wonders if the day will come when all that’s left of him is an empty shell playing the parts. He knew “hope” had no value in a place where one’s will was of no significance, but still he hoped that a long, long time later, someone will remember him and call out that old name. Then perhaps he will know that he truly existed and he wasn’t just a dream that faded with daylight.

“Hey, I won the game.”

“Ok, fine, what do you wanna ask?”

“maah ne…”

“Just ask whatever you wanna, stop hamming and hawing like that,” The demon child snapped irritably and tossed his head in that haughty manner to show he didn’t give a damn.

There was a pause as he deliberated over his question and decided that he would take the risk.

“Mind telling me your real name?”

Another pause, a longer one this time, as the demon child looked down at his feet, face hidden from view by his bangs. He immediately regretted the question, and thought that perhaps he had finally crossed the invisible line between them and upsetted the delicate balancing act they had painfully set up. He was frantically searching for something to say to defuse the situation when suddenly the tree branch above them gave way and unceremoniously dumped a pile of melting snow on the child’s head. He burst out laughing at the sight and the tension dissipated.

“Ne, the snow’s melting… winter’s almost over.”

“Once spring arrives, I won’t be coming.”

“I know, you only appear during winter.”

“I’ll only say this once. My name … Hiwa.”

“Hiwa… doesn’t that mean little bird?”

“Shut up you idiot! You say that again and I’ll kill you.” The child twisted his mouth in contempt for his given name.

“If you ask me, I think Hiwa sounds much better than Byakuroku.”

The child turned his head away and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “no one’s asking you, idiot.”

“To be fair, you should tell me your real name. It can’t be ‘Ginshu’, a mere title passed down for generations.”

“Ayame*.” It was said without a moment’s hesitation and that seemed to surprise the child enough for him to turn back. “Ayame … a name that’s probably been forgotten.” His voice was tinged with bitterness despite himself.

“I’ll remember. Ayame… your name.” Even if the rest of the world forgot about Ayame, he won’t. He will be the one who remembers Ayame to the very end.

He stared at the look of determination on the child’s face and he knew for sure that it’s a promise he would keep. He wanted to smile in appreciation but instead his eyes burned with tears that threatened to spill over and he hastily lowered his head, lest the child should see.

Life carried on this way for several winters. He continued serving as Ginshu of the shrine but the child called him Ayame during the times they played in the forest and it was enough. The world may forget, no, they have already forgotten, but that person remembers. And that, was enough for Ayame.

But the inevitable came and one day the shrine finally came into conflict with the demons of the forest. They stood face to face, this time as “Princess” and “Ayakashi” and in that instant he realised that the line had already been crossed the day they reached out to each other.

There was no turning back.

He was fatally stabbed by Byakuroku but his blood was also lethal to the big snake. He didn’t mind perishing with the enemy, not when it was to protect Shinshu, but he wished it could have ended another way for he knew this scene was too cruel for that person.

But he hadn’t count on that person having the power to change this ending. That person transferred the Princess’ soul and fused it with Byakuroku’s body and so the Princess lived. But what remained was neither human nor demon, just a creature that was forced repeat the cycle of life and death each day.

“Let’s see if you can tear down Heaven’s Net before I change it.”

It was their final promise and he wondered if the sorrow in that person’s eyes was reflected in his own.

Ginshu pulled himself back from the whirlpool of memories and carefully rolled up the paper scroll, a letter that would never reach that person. He had placed his bets and no matter what comes out of his standoff with Teiten, he would at least be freed from the shackles of being Ginshu and leave behind this painful existence that straddled life and death.

It’s just that … …

Are you still crying?

Hiwa

— — — — —

The 38th generation Ginshu had the same features, the same soft smile and even the same voice as his predecessor, but it was not the same person. Destinies had been reshaped and memories rewritten but one person remembered the name Ayame.

He kept to his promise. The world forgot about Ayame but he never would. Memories of the time they shared were like prickly vines curled round his heart, hurting and weighing him down, constantly reminding him to live also for that person who has disappeared.

He wanted so much to call him again. Ayame… beautiful iris that bloomed only for his eyes. But there was no one there now that will call for Hiwa. When Ayame died, Hiwa died too, the flower and the bird forever sealed in an icy world of their own.

He gave the shrine one last look before spreading his wings and disappearing into the night.

He was Bonten, Seat of Heaven.
~~~

* 菖蒲 can be read as “Shoubu” or “Ayame” but for the life of me, I can’t get my hands on any raw scans so I went with Ayame. If anyone knows the reading intended by the author, please do leave a comment!

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One Response to “Amatsuki fanfic [Bonten x Ginshu]”

  1. Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 10:24 AM #

    稍微改過些,感覺出一種不同的味道。
    很像是每個人的演繹手法或觀點不同似的 XDDD

    阿玄。

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