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Death Is Our Companion

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Death Is Our Companion

It dishearten Yoshitsune when he was old enough to realize that he was destined to die one day in cold blood. The path of a warrior would always lead to death. Yoshitsune knew that and lived by it everyday now. That was the truth every warrior had to face when they picked up a sword. He noticed during that time, when he was just getting into small scuffles with the Heishi, there was always a coldness behind him. A puff of air, or a breath, the young Genji Prince always thought. He thinks it was death warning him. It wasn't the first time either. He always felt that coldness every time he held a sword. It was after one battle with a Heishi soldier that he noticed the cold got stronger. From that battle the Genji Prince had suffered a severe wound to his abdomen leaving him unable to travel for a months. It was a wonder that he survived. The path of defeating the Heishi was paved in blood whether it was his or his enemies.

That coldness had also been present at his birth, since his mother died after she gave birth to him. The ones who raised him were a old granny and grandpa in their seventies. A very old age in their warring times. His mother had took refuge in their hut while pregnant and after she died the couple decided to keep him. He begun practicing the sword with the old man as soon as he could walk. The granny taught him domestic things and how to live in the wilderness. They died when he was twelve, leaving him to face the world alone. He was taught well by them and survived nonetheless. It was after the first battle with the Heishi, when they came to take away his only heirloom linking him to his mother, that the coldness came back again.

Unlike a person of his status shouldn't have, he lived a rough life. Yoshitsune was so overwhelmed by everything when he found out that first time that he just wanted to cry. But there was no room for that. He was a man, a samurai warrior, and the hope to hundreds of suppressed people. Now the young samurai was in Oushu under the care of Fujiwara no Hidehira. The town of Hiraizumi was peaceful and quiet. The pure white snow made it all the more beautiful. Yoshitsune and his partner Benkei were wounded (again) from Heishi warriors, though the Prince had taken more damage. Benkei being giantic and pure muscle had only gotten two semi-deep slashes across his chest. Besides that and some bruises the warrior monk was fine.

Yoshitsune on the other hand, had small cuts here and there, a stab wound on his side, and a big bruise on his back from kicks the soldiers gave him. Heishi soldiers (and some warriors in general) liked to target him because of his small stature. His slim frame and long silky hair would make others mistake him for a woman if not for his armor and speech. The Genji Prince was currently resting in his assigned room alone. He was wearing a plain white kimono underneath furs covering the soft futon. It was daylight however, so he wasn't sleepy but the threat from Minazuru kept him still. Depressing thoughts plagued his mind as he was alone for hours. Sometime later he heard his door slid open.

"Yoshitsune-dono." Shizuka's soft voice called. "Time for lunch."

Yoshitsune grunted a bit when he sat up. His stab wound had scabbed over since it was his second day of recovery, but the flesh was very soft and easy to tear if he wasn't extra careful. "Thank you." He says gratefully.

Shizuka hurriedly brought her tray over and sat it down. She helped Yoshitsune up fully and placed some pillows behind his back. "Are you feeling better now?"

The Genji Prince gave a kind smile. He didn't like it when the others worried about him. "I'm fine. Just sore is all." It was a lie both knew. Shizuka then chatted with him as he ate his rice and fish. She filled him in on what she heard was happening from the palace maids. Half way through sipping his green tea, Yoshitsune suddenly felt tired. "Shizuka?" He asked, stopping her happy chatter. "Did you..." The prince's eyes dropped lowly as he slowly put down his cup.

The priestess smiled mischievously and took the cup from him. "Minazuru said it was the only way you would take your medicine and get rest." She placed a hand on Yoshitsune's back as he started to lean backward. "I see it takes effect quickly." She then helped the warrior lay back down and re-covered him with the furs.

"That's so dirty of you..." Yoshitsune whispered sleepily as fell into a unconsciousness. He guessed Minazuru knew about his sleepless nights. Those nights were the ones plagued with nightmares and Death when it breathes its frozen chill over his skin causing him not to sleep at all. Right now though, it was warm. Warm because of his full stomach with hot food and tea, the furs over his body, and the motherly fingers threading through his hair.

"Good night." Shizuka whispers as she watches her prince fall asleep. She felt guilty placing her hopes in a boy younger than her. She plays with his hair as the serious lines in his face disappear. This boy was so young and was made to grow up quickly because of how their society was made. It sickened her at times. However, looking at his peaceful sleeping face she thought maybe there was hope yet for this young man. She kisses his forehead before gathering up the leftovers of the meal.