Touga

"You want me to teach you sword-fighting? Hrm. You would be learning from the best, then. I can teach you some of my style, but the intricacies will be for you to discover on your own. But you will need to commit. My lessons are not for the curious. Are you sure you are ready?" Kiryuu asks, that smug grin still creeping on his face. The glint in his eye belies more experience with the blade than many soldiers, with countless wounded hearts and not a single drop of blood. But underneath, there is something nervous brewing in Touga's mind.

Are you sure you are ready?

Am I?


Something pulls and tugs at the councilman's mind, making the words reverberate. A ghost from the past locked away in his room, where not even Alex could find it. He had gone to his room to retire after transporting Nunally to safety. The girl gave him an awkward goodbye before he departed. Kiryuu opened the door to his dorm to find another rose-sealed letter. With almost a little disdain, he opened the envelope and began to read the familiar curling handwriting, inhaling the scent of roses. It took him a moment to reach the shocking conclusion that this was not his former master.

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Touga,

It has been almost a year since we last spoke. But we were never either for words. You always knew my place, and I yours. The connection still runs deep, though.

My search continues. I have wandered far, and sought the strange places of this world for her. I fear she may no longer be in this dimension. But have no fear; she is not dead. I know.

My searching has not proved fruitless, though. In the wild country, half way between death and dreams, I found something. It nearly cost me my life. I gladly payed the price for this. I have split it into five pieces. Each of you has one to guard with your own life. Even your sister.

You may be wondering why I have entrusted this to you. I know my brother still speaks to you. You could easily deliver the piece into his hands, and undo all my work. I see so much of him in you. It is no wonder that you were his favored disciple. But above all that, Kiryuu, I see much of her in you as well.

You still love her. So do I.

I have faith that you will do the right thing.

I have faith that you are ready.

Signed,
The Rose Bride


Within the envelope was something that shook Touga to his core; a shard of a sword, that shone rose-pink in the light.

Alex

"Blue John! Look here!" Alex cries out. "Lil' light readin' for the road to keep us from goin' barmy. Looks grazzy as all hella, too." Alex opens the tome, admiring the craftsmanship on the binding. "Now where do you 'spose this dengy razmazz came from? Think it could get us some jink?" The Britanian anarchist opens the book as he says these last few words, voicing the bare want of every man into the malevolent grimoire.