Hand of Destiny
Chapter Six: Dragon Dreams
She ran as fast as her feet could carry her, jumping over fallen trees and crunching leaves in her wake. She didn't know why she was running; she just knew she had to. Finally, she broke through the trees and into a clearing. The sight in front of her horrified her.
Dead bodies lay across the blood soaked ground. Each of the bodies had one thing in common; they were all blonde. Jennifer fingered her golden strands self-consciously. "How terrible," she said, tears appearing in her sapphire eyes.
Cruel laughter brought her attention to a group of dark-haired men surrounding a campfire. Their armor and blood stained swords told Jennifer that they were the ones to cause this massacre. Fearing that she would be discovered she unconsciously stepped backwards and straight into a solid, male body.
She gasped in surprise before swinging around, her adrenaline pumping. Starring down at her with an amused expression was a gorgeous man with light blue hair. A lightly glowing blue symbol on his forehead confirmed his identity. "Seiryuu!" Jennifer said, stunned. "What are you doing here?"
"To see you, my priestess," he said, softly.
She frowned. "I am the Priestess of Suzaku, not yours."
He chuckled, much like a parent after their child did something they found amusing. Jennifer put her hands on her hips and said with an edge to her voice, "And just what is so funny?"
"My dear, you have yet to realize your greater importance than being a simple priestess to one of the beast gods," the Kutou dragon god said.
"What do you mean?" Jennifer wondered.
"Not yet, you're not ready for such an explanation." Seiryuu held out his hand. "Come, I must show you something."
She put her hand in his, being careful not o scratch herself on his impossibly sharp nails. He started walking with her in tow towards to the group of drunk, blood covered men. She faltered a little in fear. The handsome god glanced at her. "Do not worry, we are invisible to them."
She nodded, relieved. "That is very, very good."
He took her passed the men toward where they had set up their tents. "I am ashamed that this is what has become of my people," he told her with a weary voice.
"You're their god, can't you do something about it?" she asked.
A painful sadness filled his eyes. "I am not permitted to interfere directly unless summoned by the chosen priestess. But you can do something about it."
"How?" Jennifer asked, guardedly.
"By taking one step at a time." They had stopped walking. "And the first step is in that tent." He pointed to the said tent.
Jennifer glanced at him and to the tent. I suppose I've got no choice. Letting go of his hand, she cautiously entered the tent.
In the middle of the tent, crying was a little blond-haired boy. He was chained both at his wrists and ankles. Young as he was there was no way Jennifer could not recognize the blond hair so much like her own and those brilliantly sad blue eyes. "Nakago," she whispered.
Those eyes trained on her. "That's what those me called me after I-" He broke down into tears again.
Jennifer recalled that Nakago had first discovered his powered when he accidentally used it against his mother and the soldier sullying her. Her heart ached for him and the pain he must be suffering. She didn't know why he could see her but she wouldn't question it.
Jennifer knelt down, wrapping her arms around him. He buried his head into her embrace, sobbing. "Do you know what your symbol means?" she asked, brushing her fingers through his hair in a calming motion.
She felt him shake his head. "It means Heart's Lodging," she told him.
"What good is a heart when it hurts so much?" he demanded.
She bit her lip. "Oh, angel heart, you hurt, I know. But that hurt tells you you're alive."
"I'd rather be dead."
That statement hurt Jennifer more than she would admit. What he must be going through! "You don't mean that."
"Yes, I do."
She forced his chin up so that she could look into his eyes. "Listen to me, angel heart, you have to be strong. You need to survive."
"You are Nakago of the Seiryuu Seven, last of the Hin Tribe. You also are one of Kutou's last hope for redemption," she explained gently, kissing his forehead as she finished.
"I understand," he whispered, "though I wish I didn't."
She kissed his again, only this time on the cheek. "You'll do fine."
With those words the scene around Jennifer faded away as did the little boy in her arms. Soon she appeared in what looked like a lavish bedroom. On a bed of silken sheets laid a naked Nakago. The boy, years older that she had last seen him, was starring off into space with dull eyes.
Jennifer realized what had happened to him. The old, perverted emperor of Kutou had a thing for children. "Oh, angel heart," she whispered. The was not something she was used to dealing with. Is this what made Nakago so cruel?
The boy in question looked at her with narrowed eyes. "Go away, spirit," he growled. "I do not need any of your foolish advice."
He sounded broken to Jennifer. "So you've given up?"
"Leave me alone," he demanded.
"No, not until you get over this slump of yours."
"Slump? Slump!" he cried, rising from the bed. "Have you ever been raped? Forced to endure an invasion of your body and helpless to prevent it?"
By this time Nakago was face to face with Jennifer. He was almost her exact height being right in the middle of his major growth spurt. Jennifer got an eyes view to his finely honed body before she glanced away, a blush on her face. "No, I suppose you wouldn't," he whispered as he looked at her averted eyes and red toned face.
I don't think I can call anyone with a body like that a boy! She thought.
Without warning, Nakago grabbed her wrist, pulling her into a close embrace. "What are you doing?" she demanded.
Nakago didn't answer right away. Instead he fingered her golden strands curiously. "Why do you take the form of the Hin, dream spirit?" he wondered.
"I'm no dream, you are, angel heart," Jennifer told him.
He looked at her with a strange look. "I assure you, I am no dream." He gently brushed his hand against her cheek. "If you are real, I will find you. One of my race should not have to be alone like I have," he promised.
Jennifer didn't have the heart to correct him. After his making of his vow, Nakago leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers. It was a hungry kiss, as if he was trying to suck the very life from her. When he pulled back, Jennifer found herself gasping for air.
They stared at each other for a while before the scene around her changed once more, this time into a blackened void. Then...
She woke up.
Looking around her, Jennifer recognized herself in the camp that her warriors and she had set up. In the bag next to her, Jennifer could see Nuriko's sleeping form. On a log by the campfire sat Chichiri, who was taking his shift of guard duty.
Silently, Jennifer got up and sat on the log next to him. Neither one spoke. They stayed that way until dawn.