Lonely Sunsets: Chapter 7

Cye opened the letter and began reading. He could almost hear her voice saying the words as he read them.

Mouri Cye,

I was ungrateful to you as you helped me out of the fight last night and I should have been. I was wrong to have stayed here as long as I did and it was my own undoing in the end. However I was loath to leave here because for the first time ever I felt a sense of safety and calm.

Your friend Sage was correct; I did live the ways of the balance. It was the tenements of my clan and I have now taken the clan name and the secrets of its ways with me to my grave. I was the last of the Li Chuangs and now that I am resting from my journey I will tell you about the reason I had to fight.

When I was born my eyes were the color you saw them to be when we first met. I was labeled as cursed and branded with the dragon to indicate that I was in line to die. Mother took me to a place out in the mountains and left me with my Grandmother. In the years I was there I learned all of the family secrets and how to fight. The secret techniques I did not use would have killed you instantly whether you were special or not. I could not do that so I used the only one that you would survive.

I knew that I would win and be able to move on provided that your friends would have let me, or I would have died and you would receive this letter. I fought because the last time I let a person live after seeing me, the nobles of my village conquered that personís village and razed it to the ground killing everyone in it. I had no Idea that they had feared that the curse I carried had touched that village and so took the measures to keep it from spreading. I did not want that to happen again so I since then did the only thing I could.

They have followed me, always a step behind me but they have not destroyed the four villages I told you about so I stayed the balance. Never again will I let an atrocity like that happen again. You and your friends were the first to try to help me out of my fate. Long ago I would have tried, but now it is too late and I am sleeping, never to wake again.

Donít hate yourself for what you have done. It was necessary and we both know it.

I will see you in the next life, who knows maybe you will save me then.

Until we meet again.

A guardian angel

Li Chuang Nikki

Cye was completely in tears as he finished reading the letter. He had not been certain of his feelings for the mysterious woman before, but now he was certain that if they had actually had the time to get to know each other more, that he would have loved her deeply.

Looking up he nodded to the others as he could see that they were reading their letter from Nikki.

Friends of Mouri Cye,

He is lucky to have friends that will hold to his word as you all have. I would have liked to have gotten to know you all but fate had other plans for me.

Sage, you are a good friend for Cye, strong and honorable. Be there for him as I can tell that my death will hit him hard. He has ghosts in his past and I have a feeling you all know about them. Take care of him.

Everyone else. As I write this I cannot help but figure that he has more than one friend that is here to help him out. Do as you can for him. The feelings you all share in camaraderie are ties that are not broken easily. Be good to each other and know that I am resting at last. My journey is done for now but like I said before to Cye, We will meet in the next life, maybe you all can save me then.

My best to you all as you move on from this experience.

A guardian angel

Li Chuang Nikki

Sage nodded slowly as they all heard the words she wrote to them. Rowen had told them all that the owner of the restaurant owner had gotten a letter too and that in it were these letters for Cye and them. The instructions said that if she did not return then he was to give the letters to the one that brought the news of her end.

Saddened at the fact that they would never get to know the woman they watched as a wincing Cye picked up his Yari and headed for the beach. As they followed him at a distance they noted that his bandaged ribs were restricting his movements as he went through Kata after Kata.

As the sun started to touch the sea he suddenly stopped and spun the Yari around imbedding it into the sand and fell to his knees. Worried that he had hurt himself in his efforts they still held back until they saw him close his eyes and rest his head on the shaft of the weapon. In the position of meditation the others left him to prepare to go home. Their duties here were done and they knew that if Cye needed to talk to them he would call them.

The sun was finally below the sea when Cye finally stood up. Hefting the Yari to its place on his shoulder he went back home to sleep.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and Cye would lead his life on. However starting the evening he buried the woman he always went down to the beach with the Yari and went through the katas for the weapon. Meditating afterwards for several hours. He was never home before dark and if anyone interrupted the new routine he was violent in his rebuttal. No one understood what was going on with Cye, as he had not told any one about the battle the night he killed Nikki. Her face as she died was ever fresh in his mind as he tried to move beyond that moment. But he found that it was almost impossible for him to focus on anything with out seeing her some how.

Reading the letter over and over he found scant peace in the words knowing that they were her last written words to ease his mind. The evening he went to the beach to find it empty as ever, but something was different about the air. Instead of disturbing the new feeling with the katas he usually did he left the Yari on his shoulder walked along itís length with his feet lapped at by the small wavelets that came in from the peaceful waters.

Looking out at the setting sun he found his mind again on her. Not being able to stand it any more he flipped the Yari down into the ground and knelt in front of it again and wondered why he could not move beyond the moment he so wished to forget.

Minutes passed but Cye saw nothing but the Yari in front of him and the picture of the woman that had changed his life so much in one night.

So engrossed in the memories of her he was startled into looking up with a gentle hand touched his shoulder. About to burst into violence he was startled out of his anger when he saw the person who had touched him. The cloak and kasa were too similar to the ones he had buried months ago. In the other hand that had not touched him was a staff, same but different from the one he shattered in the fight.

The hand moved to his cheek and gently wiped away the tear that he had not even realized he had shed at the vision before him. "Am I that lonely in the evenings that you can not leave me be and stay in my mind?" He asked silently.

The figure dropped to her knees leaving the standing yari between them. "I am sorry. Your loss was greater than mine."

The softly whispered words were heard and as Cye looked at the figure closely she laid her staff down next to her as she sat on her knees. "Are you a spirit or a hallucination? I must know."

The kasa moved side to side. "Neither, I am as real as your or your friends. Forgive me Cye, please."

Cye could not believe his eyes and he reached out to take her hand. It was soft and warm as he thought about her. "You sought forgiveness in your death. I had no right to take your life. You did tell me that had it been earlier you might have let me help you. Will you let me help you now?"

The kasa nodded. "Hai, I will let you help me. I will tell you of my life and my curse. And I will let you help me. I trusted you once, I will trust you again. Thank you."

The softly spoken words jumped out at him like flares in the twilight. Moving slowly, so that she could stop him if she wanted to, he took up the yari from its position and set it at his side. Having done so he looked at the woman that had occupied his waking thoughts and smiled.

Moving slowly again he gently lifted the Kasa to see the very face that had haunted his dreams and his waking thoughts for the last almost a year. She did not flinch from him this time. Her eyes were still black and did not reflect anything, but Cye did not care. Leaning over he gently kissed her then whispered. "You have returned, now I am not letting you go."

She smiled softly at him the whole look taking his breath away as he stood up bringing her with him. "Stay with me, please? You will be welcome and accepted here."

She heard his promise but it did not matter. She had found the balance for her heart and it overjoyed her. Cye did feel the same way as she did and so she nodded. "I will stay. As long as I can, I will stay."

Cye untied her kasa and took it off letting her hair fall. Shorter than when he last saw her he noticed that it was the length it was when he slashed it with the Torrent Yari. Fingering it softly he looked down at her slightly smaller height and smiled as he held her close.

They released each other and as she put her kasa back on she left her hair down. They took up her staff and his yari and walked back to towards the house, their souls finally at peace having found each other.