Seiran sat under the huge plum blossom tree, gathering his thoughts together and strengthening his heart for what he was going to face. The wind blew past, tousling his hair, and he caught the falling pink petals in his palm while he involuntarily recalled his past.
When he was 3,000 years old, a baby in terms of dragon years, his eccentric parents kicked him out of their home, saying, "Go and see the world."
"But mother, where will I go in Heaven? What else is beyond this mountain?" Seiran nudged himself against his mother's scales, but even this cutesy act could not change her mind.
"What else is beyond the mountain?" His mother said as she poked her husband's side with a claw. "Husband, he's asking what's beyond the mountain."
"Beats me," her husband replied, his whiskers trembling as he laughed. "That's why I want him to see what we cannot see."
"But you can just leave the mountain with me," Seiran insisted.
"Huh? No," his father scoffed. "Your mother and I are having our 888,888 year anniversary! Your ten older siblings have a family of their own, and your mother and I want to try for another---ouch!"
"Shut up, husband!" His wife hissed, her claw digging in between his scales. "You're not supposed to tell him the secret details! You're such a bad influence on our kids, I don't even know why I married you!"
"Because I have beautiful glistening white scales?" Her husband wrapped his tail around his wife's.
"And my teeth are sharp? My jaw is chiseled? My horns are the color of your eyes, my eyes mirror your soul, and my whiskers are captivating?"
The wife rolled her eyes at him, and patted her son on the back. "See here, son? I want you to develop your own kind of personality, without your father's roguish influence. As much as I also want to have the house to ourselves when you're gone--ah", she turned her son around to face the door of their cave. "I mean, we want you to explore the world. Perhaps you want to become someone's soul beast? She can finally give you a name. Your father and I don't really care about names, but wouldn't you want your own identity? Oh, and you can also marry your master if you want. Your father and I don't mind interracial marriages, you know."
His father nodded his head earnestly. "That's right, that's right. Despite being sacred beasts, we're not that narrow minded you know. You're free to love whoever you want, even if that person is of the same gender."
"That's difficult, husband," his wife turned to him. "I want more grandkids."
Her husband sidled up to her, and licked her neck. "Once we make more children, more grandkids will come naturally."
"Fufufufu~ oh stop it, you."
"Ah...mother, father, I'm going to leave now..." Seiran said dejectedly as he stood at the door.
"Goodbye son~ Fufufu~"
"Search for that one person who will steal your heart away as much as your mother has stolen mine! After that, come back when you have won your bride!"
"Fufufu~ you have such a way with words, husband. Let me hear your sexy roar~"
Seiran left the Sacred Dragon Moutain immediately when his parents' shadows started merging into one.
For 2,000 years, Seiran walked about Heaven with his new friend, Sying. She was a white fox, a heavenly beast such as he, so he was able to communicate with her without any problems. He had met her upon one of his walks, and since she was much older than he, and did not have kids of her own, she took him under his wing and treated him as her own son, despite their different races. Because Seiran did not want to look too out of place with her, he used his powers to shape-shift into a baby fox, one that looked like a smaller version of her. This was one of the innate skills a dragon had, which required little energy expenditures.
Sying was truly different from his own mother, and although his mother was also a nice person, Sying acted with more affection and love, making Seiran feel like this was what true familial bonds were like.
Which was why, when the tragedy befell Sying, Seiran thought his heart would never mend.
The deity who killed her was one who recently cultivated to become a celestial, and one month in Heaven, he had found her, tracked her, and tried to coerce her into becoming his soul beast. Naturally, she did not comply, as being tethered to a deity was not the road she wanted to take. Although Sying had not reached the 8th stage of Nascent realm yet despite her advanced age, she was still a beautiful white wolf who the deity wanted for aesthetic purposes.
When she was confronted for the umpteenth time by the deity, the deity suddenly turned his eyes to the little baby fox behind her, seeing him for the first time.
"What is that? I sense something divine in your child," his eyes narrowed as he felt the essence of a sacred beast.
"You can be my soul beast instead," the deity said as he stepped closer towards Seiran.
However, Sying did not want any of that either. Seiran was her child, and she did not want him to be in the clutches of this man. Even if she were to die, she would never hand her son to him. She bared her teeth and growled.
"Hmph, you think you are a match for a deity such as myself?" The deity fleered. Once the deity took another step closer to Seiran, with Seiran himself prepared to attack despite his meager baby strength, Sying leapt over and caught the deity's arm between her fangs.
"Foolish wolf!" The deity was outraged, as he had just purchased his new embroidered silk robe yesterday from the Fairy Kingdom, and he was sure his sleeve was now punctured by the wolf's fangs. Without thinking of the consequences, he raised his index finger and zapped her chest with lightening, shattering her soul into pieces.
Seiran was rendered immobile. He was too stunned to move, as he saw the dead corpse of Sying in the snow, red blood accenting her white fur.
"Damn it!" The deity realized what he had done. Killing any person or any beast in Heaven was considered taboo, and he didn't know what sort of punishment he would face once this was known. He didn't know what to do, so instead, he fled from the scene of the crime, rushing to find a covert to conceal himself within, hoping this would help even a tiny bit.
Seiran pawed at Sying's corpse as he whimpered. He wanted to hit himself for not being able to save her. Even if it happened less than a second and he did not have time to retaliate, he still thought that it was due to his incompetence and his measly power. Because he was still a baby dragon, his cultivating powers were quite slow. Because he also did not have a proper teacher to guide him, cultivating for him was a chore. Now that he realized how useful gaining powers and saving the ones you loved really was, he regretted not putting the effort to do so.
While he was crying and pawing at her corpse, he felt a presence hovering above them.
He looked up and saw a girl with flowing silver hair, riding on her golden leaf. When she descended and came closer, he bared his fangs and growled viciously. If she was here to take Sying's corpse away, or perhaps kill him as well so that there would be no witnesses to the deity's killing, then he was prepared to attack her.
"Calm down. I'm not going to hurt you. I think it's best to bury your mother. Don't you want her to have a proper grave?"
Seiran retracted its teeth, and whimpered. Could she be able to bury Sying for him? His broken heart started to be filled with hope.
"Alright, then." The girl smiled at him happily as she clapped her hands in preparation for her magic. She melted the snow and dug into the ground. Seiran trailed behind her and peeped into the hole she had created. He nodded his head slowly in appreciation. She lifted the carcass in the air and paced it in the hole gently.
"There needs to be some sort of marker here. We'll need to pay respects in the future, so the bigger marker, the better it would be for us. I actually have a branch here of my favorite plum blossom tree. Do you mind if I use it on your mother's grave? Once it grows, it will become extremely beautiful. I'm sure she would like to be remembered that way."
Seiran was shocked. How did she know that Sying loved plum blossoms? Sying would be happy to become one with such a beautiful tree.
While the girl petted Seiran's head, he thought of a plan. Perhaps this person could take him in, and in that way, he could learn from her. He didn't know who she was, but she was obviously a deity in Heaven. He wanted to be stronger. Stronger, so that next time, he would be able to protect the people whom he loved. Next time, he was not going to stand idly by while he looked on at their deaths. Next time, he was going to love with a full heart. He bared his teeth and bit her arm.
He performed the ritual of becoming someone's soul beast, his and her soul merging into one, easily delivering emotions through an invisible communication channel which only they could hear.
"You didn't even ask my permission!" The girl squeaked.
He looked at her pitifully, as he scratched his ears and whined. This was always the best ploy to take, as he knew many deities could not go against the cuteness. He had gone around Heaven with Sying after all, and many of the young and even the old deities could not stop themselves from petting him and stroking his fur, their eyes twin hearts.
While riding back on the girl's golden leaf, it was then Seiran decided that he should show his master his original form. He had entirely forgotten to change back into his original form, and it would be bad to lie to her, after all. The girl almost threw him into the air, but Seiran looked at her pleadingly. He didn't mean to lie to her, honest.
The girl still couldn't win against the cuteness, and she sighed as she wrapped his arms around him.
Seiran could feel his broken heart starting to mend bit by bit as he snuggled closer into her embrace. He was very grateful to this girl whom he decided to be his master. If she did not happen to come by at that time, perhaps he was actually willing to follow Sying in death. This girl, had more or less, saved his life.
Seiran trained hard in the Jade Palace grounds. He trained hard for this new master of his, cultivating even beyond the Xian Profound realm. He did not stop even when he was able to take on human form, as he wanted to achieve higher power. Even as thousands of years passed, he could still vividly recall Sying's death in his mind. Every week, he would pay his respects to the blooming plum blossom tree, talking to Sying as if she were still alive. Dying in Heaven meant a different thing entirely, as if one's soul was destroyed, one would never be able to come back. He was envious of the mortal realm, as they could reincarnate. Heaven was the last stop in the journey of souls, and dying would obliterate you from existence.
Hence, he would try his best in this new life.
Seiran had just finished sparring with his beast trainer, and he sat at the side of his courtyard in his human form, wiping the sweat on his brow.
"Seiran!" His master called out as she dashed towards him. She had just come from school, and there was a load of homework in her arms. The hairs on his arms started raising, as he knew what would commence.
"Seiran!" His master dropped her homework on the wooden seat beside him. "
"What do you want, master," his tone was wary as he looked at the pile of homework, then at her face.
"Help me with my homework pleaaaasee~" she gripped his hands in hers, as she looked at him with a sorrowful expression.
"Master...I did not become your soul beast for 4,000 years in order to do your homework for you," Seiran said exasperatedly.
"But you can remember anything you've read once! You can easily answer these questions just by poking your brain for less than a second," his master gripped his hands tighter, her eyes glowing.
Seiran sighed heavily and grabbed a booklet.
"Yay!" His master hugged him around the neck, and Seiran could not suppress the blush that crept up his face.
"M-Master is so indecent," Seiran choked out.
"Call me master Juju!" She declared as she walked to the courtyard house and sat on the side wood. "I'm sleepy. School is draining. Good night." She laid her head against the wooden floors and promptly fell asleep.
Seiran was dumbfounded as he clutched one of her homework booklets. His master was very odd yet interesting at the same time. He did not quite know how to feel about her, but he was glad that she was his master. He would not pick anyone else but her.
He went over to her side, and picked her up in his arms. It was no good if his master was just laying at the side of the house looking like a vagrant. He brought her inside a vacant room and closed the door. He looked at her face and for the first time, he felt a sudden pang in his heart. Was his master this adorable? He pushed back the thoughts in his head with full force. Now he was the indecent one.
He gently laid her on a pallet and placed a blanket over her sleeping form. He sat beside her and continued to stare at her face.
Why was her face making his heart beat like so? He wanted to know. He covered her face with his hand, thinking that perhaps this would stop his heart from its hurried palpitations.
It did not.
So it wasn't the face after all? Juju was considered a beauty in human form, but for a beast like himself, he looked at aesthetics with a mere cursory glance. Physical beauty did not mean much to him, though he initially had thought that his master's face was the leading cause of his heartburn.
Seiran wanted to tear his hair out in frustration. What was this feeling that hurt his chest? This was different from the time when Sying died. This was more of a warmth that surged from his heart, filling every vein in his body with joy. However, it also made his heart ache with reasons unknown. It was a paradox of feelings he could not even fathom.
Seiran stared intently at Juju's face. Perhaps this ache in his chest would disappear if he were to stay like this for awhile.
But why did he suddenly want to kiss her?
Seiran wanted to bang his head against the floorboards.
He grabbed a random towel from the closet and placed it over her face, in order to cover her image from his eyes.
...mmm, somehow, his master now looked like the deceased.
Seiran was suddenly met with a colossal problem.
His master, whom he thought was going to be a spinster forever, suddenly fell in love at the old age of 50,000 years!
"Seiran, I'm in love~"
He wanted to smack the dreamy expression off of her face.
"With whom?" He wanted to know.
"I don't know~"
Seiran wanted to shake his master and bring her back to reality.
"Master..." Seiran looked at her helplessly.
"He's sooo amazing~" His master was laying at the side of the house, her arms spread wide as she stared fixedly at the wooden beams of the ceiling.
Shut up, master. Don't look at anyone else but me.
Seiran reverted back to his fox form, seeking attention. He licked the side of her face, and she giggled, stroking his ears. Ah, how he loved it when she stroked his ears.
However, Seiran was disappointed to know that his master could never even forget this mystery guy. 20,000 years later, his master picked him up from the Jade Palace and brought him with her to the mortal realm.
"Master, are you really chasing after a man?" Seiran could not help but speak out, his voice dripping with disdain. How could his master lower herself to chase after someone like this? If anything, the man should be chasing her! Still, the latter did not sit well with him either.
"Don't go using that tone on me. Don't you want your master to get married already?" Juju lectured.
Seiran immediately tried to mitigate her incoming hostility. "What difference does it make if you're married or not? Master is still master."
"I'm here to chase after my husband. Isn't that a wife's duty?"
"But master...he doesn't even know you..." It was the truth. How could she fall in love with someone she barely knew? If he were to fall in love with her just because of her beauty, he deemed this to be a travesty. It was ridiculous to fall in love with a face, when what truly mattered was what laid beyond it. Even he himself had fallen in love with her spirit, her soul, her featherbrained character...
So he was in love with his master?!
He was so shocked by this revelation that he did not retaliate even when his master punched him lightly on the head.
During his master's whole first reincarnated life, he was feeling quite jealous. He had changed his appearance to that of a cat, hoping that his master would shift her affections and throw it on him instead. After all, it was a fact that she could not win against the cuteness, right?
He tried his hardest to possibly catch her attention, but it was of no use. He turned to food instead, as food would never betray him. He wallowed his sorrows in bowls of rice and fish. At least, they gave his stomach attention.
He was saddened that he could not be with his master during her second reincarnated life, and was even more saddened that his master had forgotten all about him during the third! Did she not want him anymore? He leapt into the world called Amara as soon as he had heard that his master and her lover had headed off first.
Seiran realized that his master, who was now called Alenaire, was also someone he loved right at the start. Her personality was a bit different, more tame and serious than the Juju he knew, but he still loved this different part of her. He still loved her soul.
He would sometimes wedge himself in between Alenaire and Luce, to show that Alenaire was his, not Luce's; that Juju's soul will only be bound to his, and no other's.
But of course, all his simple scheming did not have any effect whatsoever.
When he heard of Alenaire's engagement to another man, he was secretly pleased. Yes! There was to be no Luce in this lifetime! But upon realizing that she would have to be with someone else who he did not know entirely, he felt himself erupt with an anger he never knew existed within him.
As he followed her into Rhiannon in human form, he tried to dissuade her from marrying and giving up her purity to another man. He realized that he would rather have her with Luce than have her lose her chastity to a stranger. He would rather have his master love Jin for all eternity.
Seiran was not the type of person who would force his love on someone, and although he loved her very much, he did not have the guts to tell her his feelings. He would rather show his feelings through actions, not in words. Didn't that account for so much more?
And so, as his master laid on her bed breathing her last request, he vowed to follow it through.
Upon the Queen Dowager's death, the citizens of the Kingdom of Rhiannon erected a statue in her image. It was set in the middle of the town square where everyone could pay their respects to the deceased Queen who had made their lives worth living. She was given the title Goddess of War, as she had fought for the common people and healed multitudes of soldiers during the war. Although she did not fight at the forefront, she fought within the heart of Rhiannon, making her even more of a goddess to the people. She continued to live on even after death.
Seiran looked after Callel and his kingdom until Callel died at the ripe old age of 80. Callel was as astute and generous as his mother and grandfather, and he strengthened the kingdom and made it prosper all the more. He had fathered four sons with his wife who was part of The Council, and they all ruled with levelheaded might.
Seiran was quite popular in the kingdom of Rhiannon, as he was well-known for being the deceased Queen Dowager's chamberlain and the King Callel's right hand man. People sought after him for consultations on political and fiscal matters, and he always replied with an accuracy which unnerved many people, but which also glorified him. Many women in the castle fell for Seiran's stoic charm, and his white hair that moved in the wind made many of the girls want to reach out their hands to touch it. It glittered in the sunlight, looking like silken spider webs. But of course, Seiran spared no glance at these women, not even noticing their loving stares or passion filled 'accidents'.
The Kingdom of Rhiannon also became known as the Dragon Country, as the dragons roamed about the kingdom as if it were its second home. This particular scenario also happened to increase the country's internal revenue, as many tourists from across the continents wanted to stay in the country for quite a time in order to see these sacred beasts for themselves. These sacred beasts were quite tame, and one was able to touch them if you fed it a number of livestock. The dragons themselves were quite happy with this kind of treatment. Their master had told them never to eat humans even if they wanted to, so livestock became the next best thing. They didn't have the nerve to complain, as they were also fearful of their master, the Dragon God.
As the years passed, in order to conform to human life, Seiran had transformed his looks in accordance; wrinkling his skin to a near parchment kind of quality, and using a cane despite having a ramrod straight back. He already had white hair to begin with, so he did not change that. Although he appeared to be at least 90 years old, he was still agile, and his clear blue eyes exuded an intelligence, inducing any employee into speaking out only facts of verity.
After Callel died and Seiran saw the stability of the Kingdom of Rhiannon, he decided it was time to leave this world. He left a note with the royal family, saying goodbye and that it was time for him to meet his master, and he approached the forest in the distance. He called on to his dragons while he stood at the edge of the cliff, and they arrived in hordes, partly clouding the sky with their majestic forms.
They all planted their faces on the ground, vying for submissiveness.
"You called, master?" They said in unison. The dragons looked like endless scaly mountains in the middle of the vast forest.
"I am going back to Heaven," Seiran said. "You may leave this kingdom if you wish."
"Yes, master." They could not look at their Dragon God in the eye, as they thought it was too rude of them to do so. This was a heavenly entity they could not dare to enrage.
"However, I shall give you another task," Seiran said, lifting his arm forward. Initially, his commands would only be heeded at a certain range, but as the time passed, Seiran himself had built rapport with his dragons, giving them his soul essence so that he was able to create a link, following their master's commands even when he was not around.
"Anything you wish, master." The voices of a hundred dragons made the air quiver in response.
"If there ever will be a war in this country once again, protect this territory well. This is the only task I will leave for you. My own master has served this country, and I do not want this kingdom to be left in waste after all that she has done."
"Yes, master." The dragons bowed their heads even lower, if that were even possible.
"Thank you," Seiran said as he raised his arm up, raising the dragons' chins up with his movement.
"Farewell, my friends. May we meet in the afterlife."
All the dragons roared into the sky, the whole air reverberating with the sound, reaching across the countries and even the rest of the continents. The humans wondered what this was all about, as the sound not only seemed to inaugurate pain, but also one of death.
The dragons roared until they could no longer feel their master's presence in the world.
Seiran shook himself from his reveries. This was not the time to dawdle anymore. He poured the plum blossoms in his hands onto the ground, and patted the trunk of the tree.
"Sying, grant me your strength," he whispered with his eyes closed, as he clenched his heart against the pain.
When he arrived back in Heaven, almost three months passed since Jin and Juju's wedding. He had always known that he would never have his master as his bride. It was a queer notion, but even so, a little bud of hope still sprouted in his heart.
Seiran exhaled heavily as he left the plum blossom tree to walk slowly towards the direction of the God of War's palace.
He felt like he was stepping on hot coals with each step he took, but he forced himself to walk on and go through with it. The one thing he wanted to see was his master's smiling face. Simply put, he just wanted her to be happy. If that meant hiding his feelings from her, then so be it.
Seiran exhaled again heavily, feeling his throat clog up. Perhaps this was exactly what true love was. To be happy for your love for loving someone else. To be happy for someone else, despite hearing the sound of your own heart breaking.
He stopped walking when he saw that one of the palace windows were opened, as if it had been waiting just for him. Without further ado, he transformed himself back into a cat, and leapt into the window.
- The Bishie's Queen
First and foremost, I am a neko who loves to write. I'm a cat lady~ and also a medical student in the throes of insanity lol. I'll probably only write one story on here before I completely vanish into thin air, so all I can say is:
Thank you very much for reading! *bows*