Hakkai laid the score on the rough sandstone and carefully unrolled it, positioning it about a foot from where Genjo stood. "Here are those spots we spoke about yesterday," he told Genjo, and he pointed out Kanzeon's changes and additions to the score. Genjo nodded with approval; they would start with this more modest village, and expand when needed.
Genjo looked over and saw his father and Goku standing at the rock's base. "Yes?"
"I have something for you," Koumyou said, and he held out a long, slender wood case.
Genjo took the case from him and opened it. Within, on a bed of soft velvet, lay a carved wood baton, inlaid with swirls of silver wire. "But… this is yours."
Koumyou grinned. "Yes, and now it's yours. A Conductor needs a baton."
"You're not going to help?"
"Oh, I'll be helping—I'll be out there making sure everything follows your score. Sharak and Hassan will be back soon, and they will assist as well. But this is your score, Sanzo Genjo, and you should conduct it." He strolled off, stopping to chat with the Section Leaders.
Genjo lifted the baton from its velvet bed and set the box down. As a young boy he had loved to watch Koumyou conduct, captivated by the way the silver in the carved wood would glow with Koumyou's power, leaving ghostly trails in the air as Koumyou's hands flashed up, down, left, right, while he guided his Musicians through a score.
And now he would guide these Musicians, raise power with them, and make magic.
"This is going to get turned into a city? With buildings and houses and stuff?" Goku rested his elbows on the ledge while he peered at the score. "I just see a bunch of dots and squiggles."
Genjo bent down and touched the preview button, amused at the way Goku jumped back when the mini-hologram of the city appeared. "The 'dots and squiggles' are the music, Goku, and with your energy it will become magic that will create the buildings."
"I want to be up there with you," Goku said. "I have some energy left, I want to help."
"Come on up, then—but be careful of the score," Genjo said as Goku clambered up onto the ledge. "Sit here, at my feet; you won't get in my way and you'll see everything."
"Okay!" Goku sat, cross-legged, on the rock and leaned back against Genjo's legs.
Genjo felt Goku's now-familiar warmth seep through his pants leg, into his skin, and he was reminded of how Goku's naked back had felt against his chest while he had taken Goku from behind in a rough, hungry coupling earlier that morning. Stop it, he told himself, and he focused on the tiny city at his feet. This was for real, and he needed to concentrate fully on the task at hand.
He surveyed the area around him; the Section Leaders were almost done getting their people ready, and when he looked across the meadow Koumyou waved at him. He glanced at the opposite end and saw Sharak and Hassan cresting the hill, and he waited while she took her place outside the crowd, standing opposite Koumyou.
When everyone was ready Hakkai returned to the rock, holding a violin. He raised the instrument to his shoulder, tucked his chin against the rest, and drew his bow across the strings.
The sound of an A note filled the air, and when the earth pulsed beneath them Genjo felt its power curl at the base of his spine. Goku gazed up at him, his golden eyes glowing.
An excited murmur rose up around them, and the air was soon filled with the dissonance of hundreds of instruments tuning to that single note. When the newly assembled Orchestra played the note again, it was fuller, richer, and as the sound swept over him Genjo felt the small hairs rise on the back of his neck.
He raised his arms, the wooden baton pointing toward the sky, and silence fell across the valley.
The score began to glow, and its edges rippled as power flowed into it. Ghostly, pale blue outlines of the city appeared around them, faint at first but gradually brightening until the outline of every building, every walkway, and every stone of the central plaza shone brightly around them. There was some rustling as the Musicians moved inside the perimeter of the plaza, and then there was silence once more.
Genjo met Gojyo's gaze across the meadow, and when Gojyo nodded Genjo brought down the baton.
The bass drums were first, sounding off with deep, resonating booms that repeated in a syncopated beat. The earth beneath them trembled as a network of underground pipes were created in a variety of sizes, from the wide pipes that would used for the city's septic system to the water lines that would bring fresh water from the river that ran through the valley. Genjo's hands moved, adding more percussion to lay in the drain fields at the far end of the valley. Rough-hewn fieldstone appeared beneath their feet as the central plaza formed, and a maze of cobblestone walkways appeared and wound their way throughout the city. The rock where Genjo stood morphed into a paved platform.
Energy flowed through Genjo, from both the earth below him and the Locus who sat at his feet. He found it interesting that not only was Goku glowing, but so was the entire valley floor.
It was time to lay the foundations. Genjo lowered his left hand to quiet the percussion section, and he looked over at Kougaiji and pointed the baton in his direction. Seconds later, the deep, sonorous tones of dozens of tubas, euphonium and horns began their work of creating foundations for the hundreds of homes and buildings that would fill the valley's center. The city's outline shimmered as those portions solidified, and Genjo added the bright, bell-like notes of the xylophones to lay in radiant heating that would warm the buildings in the winters to come.
He scanned the clearing to check on the other Sanzos; he saw Koumyou assisting Gojyo's group with finishing off the plumbing work, while Sharak checked the larger foundations, with Hassan's help.
Genjo turned to Goujun in the woodwinds section, and gestured for him to begin. The silver wires in Genjo's baton glowed as he led them in a swift, steady rhythm, and walls rose from the foundations and began to form, capped by ceilings and roofs. Flutes and oboes trilled as electrical wires ran within the new walls and ceilings, and when the saxophones joined in, doors and windows appeared.
They were almost done.
Hakkai was ready for him, and at the flick of Genjo's baton music from the strings section joined with the rest of the Orchestra. A myriad of colors splashed on the walls as the bass and cellos played in tandem. The violas joined in, creating shimmering, gleaming glass in the doors and windows of each building. Hakkai stood with several dozen violinists, bows at the ready, and when the last sheet of glass was in place Hakkai raised his bow in the air.
With a sweep of his hands Genjo silenced the other instruments, and then he pointed at Hakkai.
The violinists began to play. Pebbled mosaics appeared as some of the players plucked at their strings, and intricate arabesque patterns curled and twined along the upper edges of the common buildings when the other players drew their bows across the strings. More decorative flourishes came next, adding individuality to the hundreds of houses that surrounded the Plaza.
The final notes of their melody finished, then Genjo brought the entire Orchestra back in to finish the score. The music was full and rich, filling the valley with its magic, and the as the earth rumbled once more beneath them, Genjo felt the power rise in him. He raised his hands, releasing the power throughout the city, and the houses and buildings shimmered brightly as they were finalized.
The power returned to the earth, and the Musicians stood, silent, in the middle of their new home.
"Musicians," Koumyou said, striding into the Plaza, "you have all performed brilliantly. Look at this beautiful village you have made." He gestured at the bold curves of the tall building that stood behind Genjo. "Genjo designed this building as our new Concert Hall," he said. "This place is for us to make music—for ourselves and no one else, whether we use it to create magic or we simply to share our music with each other. Because we are now free, and no one will ever force us to use our Gifts against our will again."
A thunderous cheer rose up from the Musicians, and they set down their instruments and applauded.
Hakkai's gaze met his, and Genjo nodded, raising his baton one last time.
The sweet, bright sound of a single violin quieted the crowd. As Hakkai played, a gold spire emerged from the top-most point of the Concert Hall, twisting and ascending until it tapered off to a high, shining point that seemed to touch the sky.
Genjo lowered the baton, and the score at his feet ceased glowing and rolled itself back up. He held out a hand to Goku and helped him to his feet.
"Welcome home, my friends," Koumyou said.
The Musicians applauded again, and then they began to disperse, happy, excited chatter filling the air while they explored the buildings and began choosing their new homes.
"I want to pick a house too!" Goku said, and he ran off to explore.
"We did it!" Gojyo exclaimed as he joined them the the Plaza. "We really did it. Got to hand it to you, Genjo, you made a damn fine place to live."
"Thanks," Genjo said. He replaced the baton in its case and tucked it in his back pocket, and then he stepped down off the platform.
"That was a nice touch at the end, there, Hakkai," Gojyo said.
"Thank you, Gojyo," Hakkai said.
Genjo extended a hand. "I couldn't have asked for a better Concertmaster," he told Hakkai. "I appreciate all the work you put into my score. I think it went so smoothly today because of your hard work."
Hakkai shook his hand. "It was my pleasure. I think will always consider what we've done today to be one of my life's greatest accomplishments." He turned and shook Koumyou's hand. "Sanzo Koumyou, thank you. Without you, we would not be standing here today."
"You play that instrument beautifully," Koumyou said. "Have you ever used it to create a sculpture?" He pointed to the platform where Genjo had conducted the Orchestra. "I would like to create a memorial here, honoring Sanzo Goudai and Sanzo Tenkai."
Hakkai gave a slight bow. "It would be my honor."
Gojyo glanced up at the pink-tinged sky. "We ought to start looking for our house, babe—I'd like to sleep under a roof tonight."
"Hey, Genjo!" Goku called from the other side of the village. He was leaning out of the upper-floor window of the house Genjo had designed for himself, a small, cozy place that was nestled in the woods, right in front of the gently rising slope of the mountains. "Let's live in this house! I like it, it reminds me of you. It already has furniture in it!" He disappeared for a few seconds, and then he came back again. "There's a bed in here, too, and it's super comfortable."
Genjo felt heat rise in his cheeks as he became the focus of a number of speculative gazes.
"Looks like Goku picked his housemate," Gojyo said, and he dropped an arm across Hakkai's shoulders. "Me, I've already got mine. Hakkai, there's our place, over near the river."
"You're right, and It looks perfect," Hakkai said. "Plenty of room for a garden." They waved to Goku and walked off, leaving Genjo and Koumyou standing alone in the plaza.
"It's my house," Genjo muttered. "That's why there's furniture. And it's my bed."
Koumyou smiled at him. "Somehow, I don't think you'll mind sharing your house and bed with him. Go, make your new home—and your new life—with Goku. I'll be just over the hill." He patted Genjo's shoulder and walked away.
Genjo watched while Koumyou walked along the newly made walkway toward the small cottage that awaited him at the top of the valley. Genjo heard him whistling, and he watched in amazement when the ground at Koumyou's feet glowed. Behind him, flowers began rising and blooming along the sides of the cobblestone track, and dozens of tender tree saplings came up around the main plaza.
It looks like magic will stay, for awhile, anyway, Genjo thought. He looked over at Goku, who still stood at his bedroom window, watching Koumyou's antics with a pleased smile on his face. Goku glanced back at him, his smile widening, and then he winked and jerked his head toward the inside of the room before he pulled off his shirt and disappeared from view.
Genjo's gaze remained on the empty window. There were so many things that needed doing; while the Musicians were settling into their new homes he should walk through his new village and inspect his work, and then he should probably talk to Sharak and Hassan about their unscheduled trip back to the Domes.
But the sun was beginning to set, and Goku was in his bed, naked and waiting for him. Genjo wanted nothing more than to join him there; to shed his clothes and responsibilities and lose himself in Goku's body, where he would spend all night making music from Goku's moans of pleasure.
He wondered what kind of magic that would make.