Disclaimer: The characters of CCS belong to CLAMP. The idea of this plot belongs to me, Waltz Alone.
Short Summary: Syaoran is a deadly assassin who only cherishes Princess Sakura. When daimyos and shoguns threaten to control Japan, he must decide to obey or disobey the one order she ever gave him; to "live." His choice will determine whether they will meet again or not…
Full Summary: Syaoran Li is the country's most feared and mysterious assassin. He lives and kills only for the princess who reached her hand out to him when his family had been exterminated. Sakura Kinomoto is the country's princess, who always had a smile ready for him despite his terrible crimes. When the tranquility of the Heian Period comes to an end, the Kamakura Period takes over, and the imperial court is endangered by the threat of the daimyo and shogun taking control of the country. This is a bitter love story between a merciless assassin and the one person he could never kill.
Genre: Romance / Drama / Historical
Author's Note: A new story in over a year! I've never tried handling more than one story before, but I just HAD to write this chapter today. It was just forming in my head, urging me to type XD This story will undoubtedly challenge me to use Japanese words, something I didn't do in the past because my fics were very… Western. I also don't see the point in writing out full sentences in Japanese in an ENGLISH fic… honestly. I taught myself Japanese little by little for about 4-5 years now, btw :) But I'm going to have to look up those historical words and settings and stuff. Third person perspective will be used, since I need to get out of first-person writing :) Please enjoy and leave a review!
NOTE: I have researched a bit about the Japanese history, but I won't make an attempt to keep TOO true to the history… after all, this is my imagination :) And the title is something I got an idea from DBSK's song (mentioned below), but since I don't like just copying and pasting, I tweaked it around a bit :) A love story that lasts a thousand years… or a love story from a thousand years back, take your pick :)
Music:I started recommending Korean, English and Japanese songs in Vampire Hunter, and I will continue to do so :D For this ENTIRE STORY, DBSK's Thousand Year Love Song, Gackt's Returner and Sum 41's Pieces should go really well, regardless of chapter. For this particular chapter, though, try Epik High's Fallin', Hamasaki Ayumi's A Song for XX, and Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW! :D
ஐ + Thousand Year Love Story + ஐ
ஐ 千年戀物語 ஐ
Chapter 1 – The Day They Met
Year 1175 of the Heian Period
The sun shone brightly in the blue sky, bathing the small village below in warmness and light.
Ironic was the weather; it was as if it were trying to comfort, or perhaps mock, the inhabitants of the village, illuminating the beaten children, murdered men, kidnapped women, stolen riches… Bandits were raging from house to house, killing anyone in their way and scavenging around for valuables. Homes were being set on fire with families still trapped inside; women were screaming in despair as they were grabbed by the malicious men and violated over and over again.
It was pure terror.
A dojo was standing far from the bandits, nearing the borderline to the forests. Students of the martial arts, kendo and archery were preparing to fight the bandits, equipping themselves with the little armor and weapons available. Many had to resort to their wooden swords or farming tools as their offence. It was pitiful.
In the midst of the crowd, the master of the dojo was pulling his son outside through the back doors. His wife, a beautiful and strong woman, followed, kneeling down to embrace their 9-year old son.
"Xiao Lang," she whispered in Chinese, "Keep quiet and stay here until we return. It won't take too long."
"But I want to fight," Xiao Lang protested angrily, his amber eyes fierce with passion, "I saw what those bandits were doing. They've even killed the kind grandmother who always gave me mochi rice cakes. I want to avenge her!"
His father, with the same messy brown hair, shook his head. "You lack proper training. You have yet to use a real sword, Xiao Lang, this is no practice match."
The boy glared at him. "I know it's not! But I still want to fight, father!"
"Alright," his mother trembled slightly, her amber eyes wet, "Xiao Lang, we will come back to fetch you once we have done something about the number of bandits. Then you can fight with us."
Xiao Lang grumbled under his breath, but nodded, knowing that this was the only choice he had. "Do you promise, mother?"
At this, the woman hugged her son tightly in her arms, secretly shedding a few tears. "I do, Xiao Lang. I'll always be with you." Her husband placed a hand on her shoulder, and the other on his son's head. He silently messed Xiao Lang's hair up even more, giving him a rare smile when the boy pouted.
"I also promise, Xiao Lang," his father said in his calm, deep voice, "We will both always be with you."
Xiao Lang cocked his head to the side, slightly confused. But he nodded nonetheless. His father pointed at a concealing bush with tall trees around it, to which he started walking towards. Then the man gave a loud cough before turning to suddenly check the ropes tying the horses to the fence.
Xiao Lang's mother gave a long look at her son before smiling. "Wo ai ni, Xiao Lang."
"Let's go, Yelan," her husband called.
That was the last time Xiao Lang saw his parents alive.
For countless nights of his life, he would regret not telling his parents he loved them at that moment.
The boy patiently waited and waited, but the screaming did not stop. In fact, in worsened. He could hear the evil laughter of the bandits. They were enjoying the raid. More women crying. Men yelling out in agony. Sickening noises of flesh being ripped apart. Xiao Lang grit his teeth and counted to one thousand. The loud noises were gone now. He could hear the hooves of horses echoing away.
He had enough of this.
Xiao Lang finally emerged from his hiding place, a furious look in his eyes. His legs were sore from the lack of stretching, but he ran into the dojo and hurried upstairs into his parents' chambers. He knew that the only weapon available at the moment was the family sword that rested in a handsome black cabinet. So he took the sword, groaning slightly at the weight, and withdrew it from its sheath. The blade shone heroically, and Xiao Lang nodded to himself before tucking the sheath in his sash. He tested a few swings with the sword, somewhat growing used to the heaviness after the final stroke. Grinning in satisfaction, Xiao Lang dashed down the stairs and outside of his house.
The scene before him would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Xiao Lang's jaw dropped, his eyes widening at the sheer horror presented to him.
The village he had grown up in was littered with dead bodies and vandalized homes. Stores had been raided completely, and the homes were barren or burnt down. The corpses had carelessly been thrown to the side of the roads, crumpling their already broken forms. Most of all, the blood. It screamed at him in its crimson color. The red was being imprinted into his young mind as he stared at it in disbelief.
His stomach lurched when he spotted a painfully familiar pair of bodies.
His feet automatically began to run towards them, the sword dragging behind him. He fell to the ground, trembling as he reached his hand out. His mother was staring back at him with lifeless eyes. Her robes had been torn apart in a vicious way, and blood created a menacing effect on her pale skin. Beside her, his father lay, his eyes seeing nothing. Soon, Xiao Lang realized that he was crying. His heart was ripping apart; he could not think, he could not speak.
Xiao Lang screamed. His voice echoed throughout the silent village, his tears flowing down his face.
"Oh, there's still a kid alive," an unshaven bandit emerged from one of the homes, holding a pouch of coins in his hands. "Oi, Nakamura, get over here-"
Xiao Lang silenced the man with a stab in his stomach. Blood poured out of the infliction, even more so when the weapon was dragged out of his body. Xiao Lang was blind with rage and despair. The only thing that kept him alive was the sword in his small hands, now stained with the bandit's blood. He was breathing heavily, flicking his hand in an attempt to free his skin of the blood. When Nakamura answered his comrade's call, he met a similar end. This time, the sword pierced through the man's chest. Xiao Lang screamed again, kicking the bandit's corpse away from him.
He screamed and screamed until his voice was reduced to a hoarse rasp.
Still he screamed, screamed for his father, his mother, the kind grandmother, the youth who had so eagerly entered his family's dojo, the girl who had given him a single flower on his birthday… Those memories seemed so far away from him. The only vivid images in his mind were the shockingly red substance that decorated his mother's body, his father's lifeless eyes…
He was still clutching the bloody sword in his hands, standing and leaning towards it. He couldn't bear to move. He knew that if he moved now, he would collapse. He would break down. He couldn't fall now.
Xiao Lang was so caught up in his twister of emotions that he did not notice the parade of horses and men marching towards him on the road. Was it the enemy? He didn't have a single ounce of energy left; nor did he have enough resolve to run.
But the parade was that of the imperial family.
The Tenno Fujitaka Kinomoto had been riding across the imperial city of Kyoto with his court, only to come across the unfortunate village. The kind emperor's heart constricted with pain at the sight, immediately signaling his men to inspect the village. The Kotaishi Touya halted his horse to yell at the exquisite carriage behind him; "Sakura, don't look outside!"
Inside the carriage, the 6-year old Shinnohi, Sakura, had already been looking out the curtained window. She gasped at the ugly, horrible sight of bodies piled across the road, smoke rising up from burning homes, animals loud and jerky with fear… She immediately turned away before she could get a clearer view, setting her eyes straight ahead. Then, she saw him.
Her emerald eyes fixed upon Xiao Lang's figure, taking in the sight of the older boy gripping his bloodied sword, standing before a pair of motionless bodies. She didn't know why, but she felt a pang of sympathy and pain at the sight, and instantly called out, "Stop!"
As soon as the carriage halted, she gathered her exquisite kimono and jumped down, running towards the boy in pure curiosity and instinct. Her brother was yelling at her; her father frowned before motioning for Touya to follow her. Sakura came to a stop when she was within touching distance from Xiao Lang.
He looked at her.
Her auburn hair was adorned with elaborate and precious jewels, but none of them shone as brightly as her innocent emerald eyes. Her royal robes flowed behind her like cascades of water; its intricate designs were enough to keep one occupied for a good amount of time. But Xiao Lang was unable to say anything to her, nor think about the fact that she might be from the imperial household. He was frozen in his position, unable to move.
Sakura gave him a bright smile that stunned him despite his state of mind. She hastily bowed as she was taught to do when she greeted those older than her, moving closer to Xiao Lang. "I'm Sakura-hime! What's your name?"
Xiao Lang blinked. "Syaoran," he answered quietly, realizing that the girl was Japanese and that he should give her his Japanese name. Due to his confusion, he had not realized that "hime" was not a name, but a literal term.
"Pleasure to meet you, Syaoran," said Sakura innocently, "May I ask who these people are?" She shyly pointed at the bodies in front of him.
Syaoran swallowed hard. His hands grew sweatier than before. "They're my parents."
The girl did not understand the gravity of the situation, and she gave a gentle smile. "You should close their eyes for them. That way they can sleep peacefully."
Syaoran stared at her. Her innocent words took away the force binding him to his frozen position, and he finally untangled his fingers from the sword, slumping down to the ground. He was vaguely aware of Touya standing behind his sister, ready to defend her if Syaoran behaved ruthlessly. Instead the boy reached his trembling hands out towards his mother, closing her eyes. Then he closed his father's eyes.
"Now they look like they're sleeping," Sakura said in a gentle voice.
Syaoran attempted to smile for the girl, but all he managed was a twitch of his lips. He struggled to pull himself up and finally spoke up, "Yeah, they do," he sighed, "Arigatou."
"Oi," Touya frowned, "It's "arigatou gozaimasu" to you. She's a Shinnohi."
Syaoran finally seemed to take in the meaning of the word, because he dropped down into an appropriate bow after a few moments of confusion. He began to apologize profusely, but Sakura stopped him.
"Onii-sama, that's weird though!" she pouted, "Syaoran looks older than me! Shouldn't I be using honorifics instead of him?"
Touya rolled his eyes. "Status comes before age, Sakura." The prince cautiously examined Syaoran. It seemed that the boy had finally snapped out of his trance. There was something very eerie and disturbing about the sight of this little boy standing beside his parents' corpses. The lack of emotion in Syaoran's eyes startled him too, despite the fact that it was an understandable situation. He was too young to have such a look. Touya gathered his hands and muttered a few prayers to take his mind off the unsettling thoughts.
Fujitaka stopped his horse in front of them, stunning them all. "It seems that you are the only survivor," he said to Syaoran with a bitter smile, "Do you have any other relatives?"
Syaoran bowed his head, clenching his fists. "No, my mother and father were my only family."
Sakura clapped her hands together. "Could he come live at the castle with us, Otou-sama? Please?" she grinned up at her father, her eyes sparkling with excitement.
The emperor couldn't help but smile at his daughter's request. "If he wishes, he may come with us."
Sakura giggled in glee, covering her mouth with her hands. "Syaoran, you will come, right?"
Syaoran couldn't help but nod mutely, to which Sakura clapped her hands with a grin.
"First, we will give these people a proper burial," Fujitaka turned his horse around, "Then we will return to the castle to take proper action for this village."
Touya followed his father, and soldiers began to carry Syaoran's parents' bodies away. Syaoran forced his eyes away from them, for tears were threatening to spill, finally, after the realization of their deaths had truly dawned upon him. He felt a strange hollow in his heart; there was a silent, dull kind of pain that constantly throbbed within him. He felt as if he were underwater, just inches away from reaching the surface. Sakura suddenly handed him a beautiful handkerchief, interrupting his dark thoughts.
"You should clean your hands," she said.
Syaoran stared at his hands; they were stained with blood. Strangely, he did not feel the lurching in his stomach anymore. It was as if his mind was disregarding this color now. He looked at the offered handkerchief. The black silk was embroidered with golden flowers and decorative lines, emitting a majestic aura in its subtle details. It looked like its price could feed a family for at least a few months. "It's too beautiful," he said, "I couldn't possibly dirty it."
"But I want to hold your hand, Syaoran," said Sakura truthfully and shamelessly, "So please use it."
He couldn't help but succumb to her honest wishes, and so, very carefully, he used the fabric to wipe the blood from his hands, trying to use as little of the material as possible. "I will return this to you after I clean it," he said quietly.
Sakura held out her hand. "It's okay. You can have it. It can be a menendo of our meeting!"
Syaoran felt a small smile on his lips. "It's 'memento,' hime."
"Ah! You smiled!" she exclaimed excitedly, "Come on! I'll show you my carriage!" She held her hand out expectantly, pulling back the sleeve of her kimono.
And so Syaoran carefully took her hand in his; it was so small and soft compared to his, which were callused from years of kendo and judo. Syaoran felt a strange tranquility with Sakura's hand in his, despite the horrors that had been embedded into his memories. Even the dull ache seemed to fade away when he saw her bright expression.
As Sakura eagerly led him towards the awaiting horses, Syaoran glanced back at the ruined village. He would never forget or forgive; he would avenge every single villager's death. But for now, Syaoran held hands with Sakura, walking behind her and watching her hair flow in the breeze.
She was beautiful enough to make him momentarily forget about his troubles. (1)
The day that Syaoran met Sakura was both the happiest and most tragic day of his life. One night he would be haunted by flashes of the images he witnessed, red coloring his dreams and threatening to never release him from its grasp. On another night he would constantly see the six-year old Sakura in his dreams, with the emerald eyes that hadn't lost their shine over the years.
This kind of experience was enough to drive one mad; Syaoran had come very close to losing his sanity in the first few days after his arrival at the castle. However, Sakura would hold his hand and tell him about things ranging from her love of animals to complains about the strict cook who would never give her sweets. This would be enough to bind Syaoran to reality and help him remember that he should be grateful.
A full moon had passed since Syaoran's arrival to the castle when he met Clow Reed, the imperial court's chief advisor. The man had heard of Syaoran's tragedy, and upon meeting the boy, he gave a mysterious smile.
"Would you like to become an assassin?" Clow had asked nonchalantly, as if he were offering Syaoran to join him for a walk.
The boy frowned. "I don't want to become like the men who killed my parents."
Clow placed a finger under his chin. "But those were mere bandits. An assassin, especially one of the imperial court, bears honor and delivers justice to the traitors and criminals of the country."
Syaoran stared at the man before him.
"You will be able to avenge your parents by preventing others from meeting the same fate as them. Who knows? Perhaps you will come across the very same bandits who raided your village," Clow shrugged, "Not only that, you would have the gratitude of the imperial court. From what I've heard, you possess a very credible amount of skills."
The young boy did not need to be convinced any longer. He did not understand how this decision would affect his life; he only understood that by accepting Clow Reed's proposal, he would be offering his services to the imperial court as a form of retribution for their generosity in bringing him to the castle; he would also be able to do away with the kind of evil men who had assimilated his hometown.
And so, at the tender age of ten, Syaoran Li began to receive harsh and routine training.
By his eighteenth birthday, he had established a reputation as the country's most feared and deadliest assassin.
But however many people he killed, Sakura always welcomed him back with a smile on her face. The smile remained unchanging ever since the day they first met, something that he marveled. The princess was too good to him. She was too innocent to even acknowledge such a tainted being like him.
And so Syaoran vowed to never abandon the little amount of emotion he still possessed; he would return Sakura's kindness by being ready to smile for her when she wanted to see him smiling. Ever since the day they met, he knew the he would be prepared to protect her with everything he possessed, and that he would not regret it, as long as she remained the way she was.
It was the least he can do in return for her smiles that kept him sane for all these years.
Chapter 1 –出合の日– End –
Author's Note: (1) The sentence does NOT mean that Syaoran is a shallow guy… "beautiful" also implied her inner beauty as well as outer appearance, and that her innocence took his breath away in a sense after witnessing such a horrible crime.
Hmm, I didn't originally intend for this chapter to be so long. This is a prologue, but I'm calling it a "chapter" because it's too long to be just a prologue... Next chapter will take ten years after Sakura and Syaoran's first meeting. It was hard to write Syaoran's childhood right off the bat :( I wanted to express how at such a young age, witnessing something will have a huge emotional impact, yet at the same time, because of the inability to truly understand or handle the situation, he would be kind of… blank, in disbelief, etc. I didn't originally intend to write this story first, either! I'm working on my yakuza story too, but I decided that I needed to get this out of my system, since when I started typing, I couldn't stop. I didn't even do my usual fore-planning… I just typed…
Ah, I LOVE THIRD PERSON PERSPECTIVE! This chapter's a lot longer than my usual first chapters, since this narrative lets me describe things further without making it weird! Woot!
This shouldn't be too long of a story. Vampire Hunter is going to have a few more chapters before it finally ends… I'll try to focus more on finishing VH first, since it's been a long time since I published it. D: As for the yakuza story, I will try to develop the first chapter ASAP. THANKS SO MUCH TO THOSE OF YOU WHO VOTED, btw. :D
Please leave a review and let me know what you think about the story! :D
Title Explanation - 千年戀物語 (Sennen Koi Monogatari)
千年 – Sennen, Thousand Year; 戀 – Koi, Love; 物語 –Monogatari, Story
Terminology Explanations (GAH, SO MANY…these are for future chapters too):
Hime, Ohime, Hime-sama, etc: Princess (note: in this era, "Ohime-san" would have been considered mocking or insulting, since "sama" is the proper and respectful suffix. Nowadays it's more so used to jokingly tease girls.)
Ouji, Ouji-sama – Prince (different from "Oji-sama," meaning uncle or addressing older (adult) men)
Tenno – Emperor, lit. Heavenly Sovereign, Tenno Heika being His Majesty the Emperor (Heika being "Majesty")
Kinjou Heika – "Current Majesty," Denka – Your Highness
Kogo – Empress Consort
Kotaishi – Crown Prince, Kotaishihi – Crown Princess (Crown Prince's wife)
Shinno – formal title for Prince, Shinnohi – formal title for Princess
Ani-ue – very respectful term for older brother or sister
Otou-sama, Otou-san – father
Onii-sama, Onii-san, Onii-chan – casual term for older brother (doesn't have to be blood-related)
Onee-sama, Onee-san, Onee-chan – casual term for older sister (doesn't have to be blood-related)
Daimyo – Powerful territorial lords who ruled most of Japan with their inheritance of land during the feudal era
Shogun – Literally meaning "general," shoguns were powerful military warlords who ruled Japan during the feudal era
平安時代– Heian Period, literal meaning being "peaceful period," from 795 to 1185. There was a peak of the arts, poetry and literature, and the imperial court had its own peak of power.
鎌倉時代 – Kamakura Period, 1185 – 1333 during which the daimyo and shogun had dominance. The Emperor was basically kept for symbolic reasons.
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Next chapter: 桜の木下で, Under the Sakura Trees