The next brightly-lit morning, the children are unable to get out of bed as they are too sore from training; and fighting the Shomi.
Everyone laid still in bed, with almost nothing on their minds as the Academy is at recess for two days. There was one, however, who was up and ready as soon as they could smell breakfast cooking.
Ryukyuka sits alone in the dining room and feasts with no one but her thoughts. Everyone else could tell what was happening as they could hear the slight clamors of moving dishes in the distance. Nevertheless, 15 minutes go by, and no one has moved a muscle, and by this time Ryukyuka has finished eating.
“Good Morning, young mistress.”
“Did you enjoy your food?” Ruri says happily.
“It was delicious as always, thanks alot.” Ryukyuka replies with a smile.
“No thanks needed, young mistress.”
“Do you plan on attending Seigen Fest today?” Ruri asks.
Ryukyuka looks at her confused.
“What’s that?” She questions.
Ruri is slightly taken aback but she is sure not to show it, remembering that the children are not from the Chuoto or West.
“Right! You may not know.” Ruri replies.
“I’m sure you are aware of the 3 Great Elder Sages.”
Ryukyuka nods in agreement.
“Yeah, there was a celebration for the Great Elder Sage of Monouma in the South.”
“That’s right,” Ruri responds.
“And here is the West, we celebrate the Great Elder Sage of Seigen.”
“Oh right!” Ryukyuka responds with clarity.
“And in the East, the Great Elder Sage of Seimi is celebrated right?”
“Correct,” Ruri replies.
“The 3 Great Elder Sages are the main reason why we are alive today.”
“It’s only right that we honor and commemorate their lives.”
“That sounds really fun... will there be food?” Ryukyuka asks in a shy tone.
“Certainly, lots of it, and most for free!” Ruri responds excitedly.
“Say no more!” She responds nearly cutting Ruri off in a triumphant manner as she hurriedly makes her way to the others rooms.
“Thank you, Ruri!” Ryukyuka says as she leaves.
Ruri accepts her gratitude with a kind smile and continues with her daily tasks. “These children are so sweet.” She mumbles to herself.
After hearing the news of Seigen Fest, Ryukyuka rushes over to her brother's room to share the exciting news.
She bursts open the door and jumps on top of him.
“Get up, get up!” She replies happily.
“There’s a festival today!”
After the word free vibrates down the hallway, a body quickly dashes into the room.
“Did someone say free?” Aori asks in a searching tone, after entering.
The sudden presence of another jolts Ryukyuko awake.
“There is a festival today, for the Great Elder Sage of Seigen.”
She pauses for a second.
“And... there’s free food!” Ryukyuka replies thrilled.
“Sounds great! I’ll go get Ya-” Aori is cut off as soon as she turns around to leave the room.
Before she can finish, Yama swiftly enters.
“No need.” He says, interrupting her.
“I’ve heard it all.” He says in a haughty tone.
Everyone begins to chuckle a bit.
“Ya-chan! Took you long enough!” Ryukyuka replies.
“Let’s get a move on.”
At this time all of the children had gotten out of bed, they seemed to have forgotten the pains of their sore bodies in the face of carnival and free meals.
Off in the Sonmyō’s Chamber, Itama is speaking to another member of his special forces.
“Has it been handled?” Itama states.
“It appears all traces of any coalition have vanished.”
“Our intel was aware of a slight uptick in Demonic Energy, however that signal disappeared quickly.”
Itama is silent.
“We currently have no reason to believe a threat on the Village is imminent.”
“The Festival for the Great Elder Sage of Seigen will proceed smoothly.”
“Hmm.” Itama thinks for a second.
“Yes, no matter.”
“Stay vigilant, and let me know immediately of any new developments.”
He waves his hand away.
“Yes, My Great!” The special ops instantly vanish into thin air.
Mumbling aloud, Itama prepares to ready himself for the festival as one of the other maids enters the room to help.
“Great Master, please let me.” Rurui states as she begins dressing him.
The both of them are quiet for a few seconds as she fixes his undergarments.
The Sonmyō takes a deep breath.
“The soil sings a wonderful melody today.” He states.
“This will surely be a Seigen Fest to remember.”
“I agree.” Rurui replies humbly.
She finishes dressing Itama and he makes his way to finish his arrangements for Seigen Fest, as Ishinnoji’s Sonmyō.
At the same time, the children are ready to leave the castle to enjoy their first festival in the West. They start by walking aimlessly outside the castle grounds.
In the distance, they can see bright colored streamers, charred-smoke from restaurants, and floating figurines, surrounded by festive and upbeat music.
“Do you think that’s where it starts?” Yama says pointing towards the center of the streamers and smoke.
“I think so, it sounds pretty lively.”
“I guess we’ll have to find out!” Ryukyuka replies.
The children head towards the boisterous area of the village, in Shon, the main marketplace. With Shon being the center of the celebration, bits of the festivities began to branch out from its epicenter.
Leaving the Iwa district, the children shortly find themselves at the heart of Seigen Fest. They see souvenir stalls, games, dancing men and women to joyous melodies, and other children running around blissfully.
Such a scene leaves them speechless, Yama in particular. A part of him couldn't stand to see such joy in others' faces, the images of carelessness spread before him caused his eyebrows to furl.
Aori takes notice of this and quickly focuses Yama’s attention on some clothing.
“Hey! Don’t you guys think we should dress the part?”
“I mean, just look at everyone!” Aori says energetically.
They take a look around and notice almost everyone in some form of traditional attire, resembling a kimono with sandals for women, and a yukata for men.
Pointing to a stand where she saw some interesting garments, Yama gets a little interested.
“These look nice…” He says quietly.
The children pick out their outfits and show them off to each other one-by-one.
The first to come out was Aori. She chose a near sky-blue colored kimono, plastered in sunflowers.
The Twins and Yama were quick to express their pleasure in the outfit.
“You look amazing Ao-chan!!” Ryukyuka says excitedly as the others agree.
Aori thanks everyone for their comments, and Ryukyuka is now up next.
To complement her size, Ryukyuka decides to add-on a matching colored jacket to hang off her arms. The kimono she chose shined like a polished ruby, encrusted in green chrysanthemums.
No time was wasted in showering her with compliments.
“You’re so beautiful! Kyuu-chan!!” Aori expresses happily.
Ryukyuko is meek and nearly silent.
She gleefully accepts the compliments, and Ryukyuko is the next to choose his outfit.
As quickly as he went in, Ryukyuko leaves the shop in a simple, all-white yukata with black trim.
“Lovely!” Ryukyuka says as he exits.
Expecting the same results; Yama leaves as fast as he entered but comes out with slightly more style.
He chooses a dark-lush green yukata covered in fanciful white stripes, he also leaves with his hair tied-up, sporting ornamental-like earrings.
Ryukyuko looks to him plainly, as the girls fawn over him.
“You look wonderful Yama!” Ryukyuka says happily.
“Yeah, I didn’t even know you had earring holes!” Aori joins.
Yama takes the compliments which add a colossal boost to his ego. He begins to walk the streets like he owns them.
As they make their way through the festival, they garner looks from passerby's but pay it no mind. Small talk soon becomes imminent as they walk together.
“Where is this free food?” Yama asks Ryukyuka.
“I… don’t know.” She replies plainly.
“Wha-” Before Yama could finish he is interrupted by something Aori notices.
“Everyone, look at that!” She points towards a statue.
The children make their way to what Aori has pointed at and the Twins quickly come to realize that it is the Great Elder Sage of Seigen.
However, because Aori and Yama were raised in the Samurai Nation of Kannoji; a lot of Shinobi history has been hidden from them.
“Who is this?” Yama asks.
Confused by his question at first, Ryukyuko quickly remembers Yama’s situation and answers simply.
“This is one of the 3 Great Elder Sages, the Great Elder Sage of Seigen. He helped bring Humans to the West and is one of the Progenitors of Shinobi.”
“Great Elder Sages?” Yama questions.
“Yeah,” Ryukyuko replies.
“The story is, there were 3 Great Sages hundreds of years ago when humans were trying to find their foothold in the world. They are thought to be directly descended from the Preeminent Gods of Origin.”
He pauses for a second.
“The Great Sages of Seimi, Seigen, and Monouma helped get humanity to where it is today."
"Some say they also bred with the other races which is why there are hybrids now.”
Yama takes it all in and is very interested in the explanation.
“Wow, that's insane! Why have I never heard this before.”
Aori jumps in.
“It’s probably the Samurai’s fault, I didn’t really know about any of this either.”
"They’ve taken so much more from us than I thought.” Yama says, biting his lip.
At that moment, he hears a troupe calling everyone to gather around. The small history lesson quickly became a thing of the past as his entire attention is on the spectacular group in front of him.
He looks in awe and inspires the others to get excited with him, they soon make their way closer to the group and discover that it’s actually a theater band that will be performing a play. The band introducee themselves as Demi and announce that they will be reenacting the story of the Great Sage of Seigen.
The troupe quickly set-up their stage as the children and the audience prepare for what appears to be one of the main events.
[At this time, the Sonmyō has nearly finished his preparations for his gift to villagers of Ishinnoji.]
The audience for the play is a mixed group of various ages, some sit, and some stand. Yet, all of them stare intently like they had never heard the legend before. Soon the troupe begins and the surrounding area goes nearly silent.
The play starts with a retelling of the Creation Legend, the Sōzo, at the part when the Beasts, Demons, Goddesses, and Spirits received their Godchild(Zenōko); leaving the other three children per their agreement.
[Some of the children in the audience are excited.]
The actors then move on to the next part and three of them sit on stage by themselves for a few seconds in a fetal-like position.
Slowly, like a blooming tulip in spring, the actors raise themselves to signify the rapid growth of the Zenōko.
Almost as soon as they could walk, the Zenōko began to speak, and as soon as they could speak, they began to create.
[Having never heard this side of the legend before, Yama and the rest oggle intensely at the stage.]
By the end of their first day, the Zenōko had already matured to an age reminiscent of adolescence; however, at this time, their spontaneous growth would begin to slow.
[The actors emerge as a full-grown flower ready to spread its spiritual essence across the rich lands of Atarachi. Each of them a different color to signify the individuality of the Zenōko; one was red, the other blue, and the last, green.]
The morning of their second day, the Zenōko who have no names, speak to one another through their minds as their spirits are linked.
One of them promptly shows displeasure at a feeling of detachment, another one shows empathy, while the third remembers what is missing.
Feeling sorrow for their estranged brethren taken from them, the Zenōko just as easily discharge those emotions.
Soon they all develop their own senses of morality and individualism due to their enhanced growth.
Peacefully, it causes them to go their separate ways, the one who found the answer heads directly South.
The one who showed empathy aims for the North-East; while the one who longed for their brethren followed a path North-West.
Before they could all go their separate ways however, the one headed North-West, takes two strands of hair from each of the other Zenōko unbeknownst to them.
[The red-flowered actor moves South of the stage, while the blue one shifts North-West taking a petal from the others, as the green aims North-East.]
[The red and green flowers soon exit stage as the focus of the story is now on the loyal blue flower.]
The Zenōko headed North-West still could not shake the empty feeling they had in their chest as they were traveling aimlessly in the beautiful lands of Atarachi.
Several weeks soon pass and they find themselves at a brilliant location surrounded by glamorous and sturdy mountains.
After days of feeling the other Zenōko find some form of attachment.
They spring upon this land of fertile soil, pristine water, and exuberant greenery.
It appeared as if this area had been untouched, even by all the other races.
[The blue flower has an epiphany.]
Finding this sublime territory, they decide to settle here for the time being. A few more weeks go by and the Zenōko matures a bit more spiritually.
Over time, they began to tinker with the inner workings and mechanics of Chi.
Being children of the Preeminent Gods of Origin, the Zenōko could essentially manipulate anything they could will, from time to matter, space, and everything in between.
Even their own root essence.
Reaching this conclusion, they figure out a way to create another being reminiscent of themself by using a piece of their essence in each creation.
[The blue flower prepares to bestrew its seed.]
After several attempts, the Zenōko successfully creates Sen’na’s first Zenōko-born human, which would in turn make them almost a new species entirely.
They praise their creation and begin to reproduce as much as they can; with more trial and error they ultimately birth 13 humans.
[Several different colored flowers of the same type sprout from the stage like magic.]
Soon they find themselves incredibly weak and notice that even though they managed to create beings like them; that’s all they would ever be.
They quickly remember the strands of hair they took from the other Zenōko and they begin to mix their spiritual essence with their own, in an attempt to vary the gene pool of the new humans they’ve made.
[The blue flower shakes off other seeds, and they begin to sprout different kinds of flowers with various patterns, styles, and colors.]
With this, the Zenōko was able to birth 13 more humans of different types, without expending a life-threatening amount of energy. Seeing their passion completed, the Zenōko happily nurtures the children for years until it is time for them to do the same as they once did.
Many years go by and the 26 Zenōko-born children have begun to make names for themselves in their own rights. As they are directly descended from the Zenōko, the firstborns were able to manipulate various elements, laws, and physics of the world.
Seeing as they have taught them everything they can with language, mathematics, architecture, infrastructure, and the like. The Zenōko decides to leave and continue their exodus to the far reaches of the North-West.
The children are sad to see them go, but by this time, some of them were already preparing to have children of their own.
[The blue flower exits the stage as it goes dark.]
[The lights turn back on and a single actor is on stage draped in a magnificent royal-blue robe, symbolizing evolution.]
The Zenōko marches NW with an immense peace in their heart. Albeit, a sense of sadness hung tight as they could just barely feel their connection to the other Zenōko anymore.
They decide it is time for them to rest and after years of trekking. The Zenōko finds a small budging volcano, encased in a purging island. Nothing but the vast oceans of Sen’na surround this sprout of land for nearly hundreds of thousands of miles.
[A luxurious bed is pulled around on stage and the actor readies himself to lay in it, showing how weak his body has gotten over the years.]
As soon as they touch land, they create a small home so that they can rest comfortably for however long they need.
And just as peacefully as they came into this world, the Zenōko peacefully resigns themself to a tranquil and regenerating slumber.
[The actor sleeps slowly and dramatically, as the light of the stage slowly turns off.]
[Backstage some of the actors express how they’ve never had an audience this enticed before.]
[The lights turn on again and there are now 26 actors on-stage representing the firstborns of the Zenōko.]
Most of the children are saddened by their Creator's departure, but some of them don’t feel anything at all, while others are somewhat relieved.
Time quickly passes and several of the children have now had children of their own, powerful children.
Years fly by and small invasions from Beasts, Spirits, and Demons have occurred over time, however, fatalities were low as the humans continued to grow at an exponential rate.
Nearly 100 years of fighting go by and during that time humans have spread thoroughly through the continent of Atarachi; with the majority of its in the West.
Beasts, Spirits, and Demons have been held off for years, until one fateful day when the reigning Demon Lords' Right Hand decided to decimate the human fortress in the West; seeing them as a threat.
[A towering actor dressed in all-black enters the stage and begins terrorizing the others.]
The Demon Lord's Right Hand revealed herself to be Jaem.
She begins preparations for a giant Demonic-based attack and gathers large amounts of Chi from the vicinity.
To the firstborns and their children and so on, it appeared like a miracle, their Creator has abruptly come to their aid after such a time.
The pungent demonic energy from Jaem could be felt reverberating all the way around Sen’na.
Such devastating energy jolts the Zenōko sleeping in the North-West awake.
Worried about the Kāiku(Demon Energy), they quickly arrive in front of the source of the disturbance slightly dazed, wondering how long they were asleep and what has changed in such a time.
They couldn’t believe such an evil energy could exist in these lands and soon a fierce battle ensues.
Taking into account the loss of their root essence, the Zenōko know they cannot defeat this evil being in front of them in their current state. So they decide on a last-ditch effort to show the being that they don’t stand a chance.
The Zenōko starts to gather Chi around them in vast amounts, it was so great that it began to sap the color from the leaves on the trees.
Jaem had never seen such energy, not even from the Demon Lord himself, she quickly decides to retreat.
[The blue-robed actors defeats the one in all black-garb as it exits the stage.]
With the fateful moment being over, the weakened Zenōko goes to see their children one last time before returning to sleep, never to be rocked awake by such actions again.
[By this time, the Sonmyō has finished his special preparations for the end of Seigen Fest.]
The children praise them as their savior and their God.
The Zenōko takes the flattery with humility and slowly makes their way back to their budding island.
The children can be heard yelling “Seigen!” “Seigen!” off into the distance and nearly out of earshot of the Zenōko.
[As soon as the actors reenact this moment.]
[Magnificent fireworks of different colors and shades of blue to the forefront, surrounded by smaller ones of red and green sparkled brilliantly in the sky. The Sonmyō’s surprise is in full effect.]
[Clamors and cheers of praise and awe and be heard resounding throughout the entire village as they stared in wonder at the fireworks; even some of the actors on stage]
With their savior's departure, the children mark this momentous day to be a celebration of their Sage and Sheperd, the Seigen Festival.
[The actor's bow and the curtains close as the lights are shut-off to finish basking in the shimmers of the fireworks.]
“This is amazing.” Yama says to himself as he reaches to hold Aori’s hand.
Aori looks at his hand, and smiles intensely, she grabs Ryukyuko’s and he grabs his sisters.
They stand and stare at the sky in complete bliss.
“Aren’t you guys glad we came out today!” Ryukyuka says softly in a cheery tone.
They all agree in silence as they soak in the rest of this wonderful moment.