Author: Kira Shadow
Genre: AU, Angst
Pairing: none really...Kitayama confronts Takizawa.
Warnings: DEATH, dark-ish, some mentions of war/battle and violence
Notes: Tebanasu's final Arc commences.
手放す: to part with; to release; to relinquish; to send away
A person must learn to let go of certain things if he wishes to move forward.
Confrontations will lead to truths that might have been hidden from view in the darkest shadows. And as with everything in this world, all things will eventually come to an end.
(For more of the universe, click here.)
Confrontations, Truths and Ends
Hiromitsu looked up at the castle as they approached it. He wondered how long it had been since he'd last laid eyes on it. Well, actually it was easy to tell - since the time he'd left it to go to war for Takizawa. The day he'd 'died'. But it felt like it had been so much longer. A lot of things had changed and yet they had remained the same as well. The castle still looked the same but the people inside had changed a lot. And yet it still didn't feel any different than back then.
It was all just about him. They followed him, adored him, loved him and eventually would die for him. Not necessarily physically but a part inside of them. He had seen it in other people more than once, experienced it first hand.
Seeing that the peace talks were to continue only the next day - giving them as the guests some time to recover from their journey first - Hiromitsu took the opportunity to wander around the castle. Subconsciously, he was doing so in the hopes of running into Takizawa in private. He hadn't just come to settle border issues after all but also his personal ones. Usually he pretended that things no longer mattered but a part of him had always wanted to know.
The gods seemed to have heard his request and he found himself face to face with none other than Takizawa himself when he rounded the next corner. The lord of the castle quietly invited him into one of the rooms and he followed the invitation and settled down on the offered cushion on the floor. "Takizawa-dono," he acknowledged the other with a nod.
"Kitayama-dono," Takizawa acknowledged him and then silence fell between them for a few long moments. Hiromitsu could feel the other's eyes on him though.
When the other spoke again, Hiromitsu had to will himself not to react too much, not to give himself and his true intentions away. "I never would have thought I would see you again alive, Kitayama-dono. When the news reached me that the enemy had gone to attack you with their main forces...I feared for your life and that of your soldiers. We moved out as fast as we could after the news reached us...and we saw your signals of distress."
"It must be a true shock for you, Takizawa-dono...after all, nobody of my troop was supposed to survive that maneuver from the very start..." he replied calmly.
Takizawa looked at him, "What are you saying?"
"Did you have a look at the soldiers you condemned to certain death? They were all young, most of them had just joined...I was the oldest one by far and even I hadn't been in your service for more than maybe three, four years..." Hiromitsu recalled. "I had been one of the younger generals in your troops...frowned upon by the elder, settled ones because of my age...and your praise. I was blinded by it, by the honor of serving you... If I had known your true colors back then I would have turned my back on you sooner."
His anger was rising when he saw the confused and almost innocent and truly surprised expression on Takizawa's face. The other was a good actor. That was what it was, an act.
"I do not know what you are talking about, Kitayama-dono! Never did I have the intention of betraying you in any way or condemning you to death! Actually it had been the plan to make you one of the higher ranked advisors at court...the youngest to date...Never had I known that stationing you there with the back-up troops would put you into grave danger! I was trying to save the young soldiers from getting into the worst battles..." Takizawa retorted.
Hiromitsu was almost seething with anger. "The enemy came fully prepared to break through our small defense...it hadn't looked like they had changed plans on short notice! And then when you finally arrived with the main troops, you killed your own men without mercy! On top of that you ordered for all survivors to be killed and the bodies to be burned! If it hadn't been for the beggars and scrapers I would have been burned alive with them...but I lived. I wanted to live to see the day you fall, Takizawa...and maybe be the one to make you fall. Not just for myself now but also for the many people you sacrificed for your selfish desires. I doubt you noticed the changes here at the castle...the people who stayed and the people who left you...tried to break free of you at last. People you discarded like trash even when they were trying their best to serve you..." He thought of Tsubasa and Taisuke and many others.
"I never gave those orders! My generals told me that they searched for survivors, that they tried to bring home as many sons as they could but there had been none left...and that the dead should be burned and mourned for...that at this time we could not afford to bury all of you one by one...and that diseases would spread if we didn't..." Takizawa looked hurt. "I do not discard people...I notice the lack of their presence...I was so surprised to see many people I had believed to be dead to be alive and well at your mansion. I was glad they were alive. Tsubasa... Tsubasa is just as beautiful as I remember him to be..." his voice got quieter when he spoke those words towards the end.
It was those words that slowly made Hiromitsu sense that something was off. His anger subsided and he stared at the other lord. "Are you telling me that you truly didn't know about all of this?"
"What I told you is the truth. I swear by my life..." Takizawa nodded.
"But then who-" Hiromitsu had risen from his sitting position and had been about to step forward when he stopped and looked down. A sword had pierced his abdomen.
The same cold voice he remembered from the battle field spoke from behind him, "You would have done better staying dead, Kitayama-dono. Now I shall dispose of you for good though and eliminate your threat to Tono-sama's life."
"You..." Hiromitsu coughed blood when none other than Yokoyama Yu pulled out his sword again and he sunk down to the floor. The puppetmaster had appeared.
Yokoyama cleaned his sword and sheathed it again, sighing softly and turning around to face Takizawa, not paying any more attention to Hiromitsu behind him. "I am sorry for my negligence, Tono-sama. I should have gotten rid of him back then but apparently I failed to do so. You have my deepest apologies."
"Yokoyama! What is going on here?" Takizawa demanded, shocked. Hiromitsu knew this time that it was genuine shock.
"Kitayama-dono, as he admitted himself, was after your life. It is my duty to protect you. As back then, he wouldn't have done you any good. That is why I advised you to get rid of him. A young general rising through the ranks, past the old, seasoned ones would have caused an uproar or even revolution among the troops at a time where we needed the strength of everyone. Other young soldiers of his generation, who had started to question the seniority were put in his care and then disposed of but not without honorably serving you and the country at their end. I have been very dutiful in cleaning up for you, Tono-sama, in getting all distractions out of the way, so you could concentrate on the important things," Yokoyama replied with a calmness that was making him sick to the stomach. Hiromitsu tried to grab his sword.
Takizawa rose, in anger, "You send them away? All of them? Tsubasa, Taisuke...Was that a lie that Tsubasa was a spy from a foreign country and he needed to be executed but he ran away before it could be done? And then Taisuke...that he wasn't just one of my dancers but that he was also giving out his 'benefits' to other people at the castle and sought to come to power by sneaking into influential people's bedrooms and that I should not be charmed by him?"
"They were distracting you when you had to tend to other things, Tono-sama...I was acting with the wellbeing of the country in mind..." Yokoyama stated calmly.
Hiromitsu, holding his wound and still coughing up more blood, muttered, "What an abominable man you are, Yokoyama...you say it's for the wellbeing of the country...and yet the only thing I hear in your words is your own greed for power..." He gripped his sword and lunged forward to attack Yokoyama. He had found his true enemy now.
Yokoyama's eyes narrowed and he pulled out his sword again to ram it through Hiromitsu's body once more, avoiding his attack with ease and making him scream in pain and collapse on the floor in a puddle of blood. This would be his end. Hiromitsu could feel it. His sword and slipped out of his grip and towards the door. Towards a shadow by the door.
The shadow grew and then the sword was picked up. The footsteps of the person were quiet, his poster graceful. "I don't remember the hospitality at this castle being quite like this..."
Hiromitsu looked up to see Taisuke kneeling down next to him and felt how the other gently caressed his cheek. "...Hiromitsu..."
"...good bye, Taisuke...I shall be going ahead..." Hiromitsu's eyes were starting to fall shut.
Taisuke nodded, "I shall finish what you started, Hiromitsu. I promise."
And with that Hiromitsu's world went black, forever.