Chapter 5: The seal
“We can’t wait any longer!”A rowdy voice shouted angrily and the person whom it belonged to knocked over an one-of-its-kind vase.
“Patience, Masaru,” his father, Takuya Gensai, tapped him on the back, “Come with me.”
“How much longer do we need to wait?!” Masaru snarled, kicking the table that the vase had been placed on before he followed his father out on the balcony of the office. “We’ve waited for years already! Are you sure we’re not just wasting our time?”
Takuya ignored his son’s complaints and smiled, looking at the Sapphire scouts –starter ninja – on the training grounds. They all seemed motivated and determined to become strong ninja of the Gensai clan. A clan that was once known for their brutal power, but had faded into the background because of multiple ambushes by their alliances, one in particular; the Sakurai clan.
The Gensai clan had been especially known for their ninja being able to reach the level of an uncontrollable beast and being able to adopt animal traits after letting a certain animal bite them or by drinking a drop of the animal’s blood. Despite their strength, they had never been a power- hungry clan, but other clans had always felt inferior and eventually started attacking.
Takuya was certain that most clans were convinced that the Gensai had ceased to exist, but he was planning to give them a huge surprise by making the best comeback ever. It was only a matter of time.
Masaru narrowed his green eyes as his temper raised. He hated being disregarded and not being taken seriously. He banged his fist against the stone balcony railing, “How can you be so patient?!”
“Masaru, I told you the seal will break when he meets the person who can help him, then Tama-”
“…will awaken and lead him to the sword! I know!” Masaru let out a growl of frustration. “But when will that day come, it’s already been twenty-one years! There are only three full moons left. How do we know for sure that he’ll meet that person?”
“Anticipating it won’t make that day come any faster.”
“Sitting here doing nothing won’t either!”
“Then don’t just sit around and go help the ninja train.”
Masaru gritted his teeth for being disregarded but obeyed anyway. He really couldn’t understand how his whole clan could be so passive and wait for this person to come along and help them. They didn’t need any help and he couldn’t understand why they were insisting on it. There were so many other swords they could use, what was so special about the one they wanted to have in their possession so badly?
“Gensai-sama!” An exhausted ninja quickly bowed to Masaru before he ran to Takuya, “You were right! It seems like the seal has broken!”
Masaru’s eyes widened, “What?! You’ve been keeping an eye on him but you never told me about it?!”
Takuya sighed, “I didn’t need to keep an eye on him, you foolish boy. I put the seal on him of course I’d know when it’d break.”
“Who is that person, how did he find them?”
“Hisa of the Imai clan,” Takuya said thoughtfully, “Kazuhiko’s seal weakened when he was in her village. After making certain it was her, I had our ninja ambush them and got them separated from the others on their way to the Sakurai clan. Now that Tama has awakened, he can guide Kazuhiko.”
Masaru’s impatient side took over again, “Is this Tama even capable of doing something like that, maybe someone else should go.”
Takuya refused, “Tama is very capable.”
Hisa scrunched her nose up when she felt something hairy brush past her face. She rolled her head to the side and grumbled an ‘uuuh?’ in annoyance, before slowly opening her eyes. She blinked a few times, trying to adjust to the light and focus her vision on the blur. “What is that thing?”
Kazu’s eyes fluttered open as soon as he heard the scream. Without observing the situation first he found himself beside Hisa in less than a second, kunai drawn and ready to strike. Taking a deep breath,Kazu relaxed when he saw the ‘threat’. Was she for real?
Being wide awake from the scare, Hisa stared at the creature for a few seconds, allowing her still-clouded-with-sleep-mind to register the image. She scrunched up her nose again and bit her lower lip in embarrassment. It was just a puppy.
“Eww, what is that?”
Kazu’s eyes widened a little upon hearing the voice in his head but relaxed again when he remembered what had happened yesterday. He wanted to say ‘Let’s have a serious conversation’ but wasn’t that what crazy people did…talk to voices?
“I can hear you!” The voice shouted, “My name is Tama…Ta-ma! Tama the Great, Tama the magnificent, Tama the-”
“…Yapper?” Kazu thought, silencing it.
Before any of the two could say anything else, Hisa gasped and lifted the Shar-pei puppy from the ground. She held it in front of Kazu’s face. “Look how cute!!!”
“How does she know?” Tama asked dumbfounded, “That thing has no face.”
Kazu slightly lifted an eyebrow at the puppy’s wrinkles falling not only over his eyes but his entire face. He was chubby and you couldn’t make out the puppy’s form because wrinkles …or fat flaps were covering his body. You could only see his paws and ears clearly.
Not getting a reaction from Kazu, Hisa moved the cream-colored puppy up and down in front of his face, “Isn’t he cute?”
Kazu looked at her happy face and couldn’t really believe how something so simple could make her that happy and neither could he help but notice how beautiful her innocent smile made her seem.
“She asked about the dog, why are you checking her out?” Tama snickered.
Kazu cleared his throat and uncomfortably fidgeted about with his bag before putting his kunai away. “We should start moving again.” He said rather awkwardly and started walking in a direction he had picked randomly.
“That’s the wrong direction, Kit.” Tama teased, apparently amused.
“Shut up,” Kazu thought in response, “I just think it’s safer to go this way.”
Hisa hugged the tiny animal against her chest and slightly pouted at Kazu’s back. She really started to hate how he had been avoiding talking with her about anything so far. It’s not like she had been asking him hard questions, she just wanted some conversation material, though the question about the dog had been a serious one. She followed Kazu with the puppy in her arms, a little faster than him so she could catch up.
Even though she had become slightly more comfortable with him now, she still found it hard to start a conversation with him. Especially because she didn’t know how to address him. Kazu? No…wasn’t that too informal ? Hmm, how about kazu-san? Probably still too informal seeing how they barely knew each other, plus she didn’t know if it was ok for her to call him Kazu…so, Kazuhiko-san?
“Can I take the puppy with me?” She blurted out eventually, all the thinking about how to address him was completely unnecessary anyway. At some point he’d probably change the subject and she wouldn’t bother talking to him again!
Kazu looked down at her and then at the puppy, “I don’t think that’s a good idea, it could be some ninja’s dog.”
“But he was all alone there, you would’ve known if there were any ninja there, right.”
“Aww, let her keep the dog,” Tama squealed. “Look how cute she looks with him! You’re so boring, I bet she’s dying to have some real company.”
“Shut up, Voice.”
“Who are you anyway? What do you want from me?”
“I’m your…” Tama paused to build up suspense before whispering, “conscience.”
Kazu rolled his eyes, he was unimpressed, “I don’t remember my conscience being this noisy. What are you and how do I get rid of you?”
“I’ll tell you once we reach the Bridge of Eternity.”
“Bridge of Eternity? That’s close to Zenith. Why there?”
“Woooo! You can see up Hisa’s skirt!!!!”
Not really paying attention to what Tama was saying, Kazu lazily turned his head to look in Hisa’s direction.
“HA-HA-HA TOTALLY GOT YOU LOOKING.”
“Dammit, you’re annoying.”
“HAHAHAHA!!!” Tama shrieked with laughter, “You went all ‘WHERE?!’ HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!”
“Shut up, I didn’t.”
“Only if she knew what kind of a pervert you were!”
“Soooo? Can I keep him?” Hisa asked again, wondering if he’d heard her because he seemed a little irritated at something.
Annoyed at Tama, Kazu grumbled “Shut up!” out loud without realizing it.
Hisa gasped, taken aback at his sudden outburst. She had just asked a simple question, why get so worked up?
“Uh…I…” Kazu stuttered, trying to find the right words.
She could see he wanted to explain something but no words seemed to come out. She’d figured by now he wasn’t a big talker hence she decided to give him some time to explain.
“I…Hisa-sama, I wasn’t talking to you not you. I was talking to…” a voice in his head, should he say that? Did that sound weird? How would one react if someone told them they weren’t talking to them but to a voice in their head. Okay, that’s weird.
Hisa frowned, “To?”
“The dog.” Tama whispered.
“The dog.” Kazu repeated without thinking twice but closed his eyes in annoyance when he realized what he had said and when he heard Tama crack up again.
“…the dog?” Hisa looked down at the dog with wide eyes, thinking how dumb Kazu seemed. Maybe it was better if he didn’t talk much after all…
“No…I mean yes…I mean,” Kazu was getting frustrated, it had never happened before thus he didn’t know how to deal with it, “Let’s keep the dog.”
“Oh my God, really?!” Hisa held the puppy away from her to see him better, “What should we name him?”
Kazu started walking again, “I don’t know.”
“You said we could keep him so I’ll let you name him.” Hisa was happy she was finally getting some kind of replies, even though most of it made no sense.
“Name him,” Kazu thought for a moment, “Dog.”
Hisa grimaced, naming a dog …Dog?
Tama roared with laughter, “Voice? Dog? You’re not very original with names are you, I can already imagine you naming your kids Kid One and Kid Two hahahahaha.”
Kazu let out a sigh of defeat, an incapable girl who was superior to him in position and a blabbermouth right in his head, his luck couldn’t get any worse.
“HIME-SAMAAAA!!!” Bekkou’s voice rang before the bushes in front of them rustled and Bekkou and Yoroi came rolling out, tangled. “WE FOUND YOU!!!”
“Looks like it can get worse.” Tama laughed, Yoroi and Bekkou wailed, Dog barked and Kazu stared at them in disbelief.