Omoi Wars 4
I followed the path up to the Scroll Sanctuary, breathing deeply to gain necessary calm if I were to deal with an apparently very stubborn Seikou. The building was impressive and at the same time it irradiated an aura of tranquility that soothed me.
The frontal doors were surprisingly opened, so I continued my journey to the atrium, noticing the beautiful murals in the walls, but only then it hit me that such gracious illustrations were indeed very, very sassy, they actually stirred something very naughty inside me.
I looked at pictures of enormous Omoi and little delicate Seikou in all kinds of situations: walking down the beach, picking flowers, playing music, fighting many enemies at once, and even kissing each other.
“You should go now!” The pitchy high tone suddenly snapped me out of my own thoughts.
I looked down and saw this particularly agitated Seikou with red spiked hair dressed in big roomy powder blue silky robes.
“Oh, good day, friend, my name is Kenta and I’m looking for Osamu…”
“I know why you came here, but I’m telling you to go out now.”
The little lad carried a bunch of scrolls neatly folded in this wooden box, which he set in the ground and I could tell by the strain in his pretty features that he was struggling to lift such heavy object, but as I motioned to pick the box for him, the little guy simply jumped in front of me.
“What are you doing?” He asked in flaming rage.
“I was just gonna help you, little friend. It seems a very heavy box for you…” I tried to explain but his moody expression remained.
“Yeah…like I’d let such precious treasures in the hands of an Omoi! You’d probably crush them without even realizing!”
As much as I hated to attest, he did have a point. But I still had an alternative.
“Fine, then you go ahead and lift the box.”
The little lad smirked and did exactly as I expected, but before his little body could struggle with the weight, I simply lifted his body off the ground, gently supporting the box’s weight with my fingers underneath his gentle forearms.
“There, this way you can make sure I’m not ruining the box content, while I make sure you’re not hurting yourself, my pretty Osamu.” I said in a gentle tone, but the answer was not much more receptive than the previous ones.
“Fine…do it if it makes you feel manlier.”
Osamu replied harshly, but I decided to ignore his lack of manners by the time being and walked inside the main part of the Sanctuary. We walked towards the patio and entered the Scroll Halls.
There were countless rows of enormous shelves filled with scrolls, books and diagrams of all sizes, forms and purposes. I let the image soak inside my head as I kindly lowered Osamu and his box in the ground.
Judging by the way the little Seikou displayed the material inside the box over the huge wooden table he seemed to know exactly where each piece should be kept.
“What are you still doing here? I told you’re not welcome here, now get away at once!” He tried to dismiss me with a gesture of his beautiful hand, but I wouldn’t give up that easily.
“This is a very nice place, my friend. I can almost breathe the wisdom contained in these famous rooms. One would be very lucky to spend any time here and have some wisdom.”
Osamu looked immediately outraged.
“Look, just because you carried me inside, it doesn’t mean that I’ll let you even touch my precious scrolls. And you don’t dare to try anything because I can have Haruki here faster than you imagine!” The little lad seemed a bit arrogant, but I could also tell he was just protecting himself.
I smiled. “And why would Haruki be on your side, if you also kept the scrolls from him?”
The Seikou seemed infuriated as I called his bluff.
“Because unlike some ignorant rookie students, he knows he has to follow Sensei’s orders!”
I crossed my humongous arms. “Sensei Akimitsu sent me here after the Jinchi Scrolls, but he had warned me about your…peculiar temper. So, I guess we’re both following his orders huh?”
Osamu’s brow rose.
“Well, Omoi, it seems you still didn’t get things around here. It doesn’t matter if in your little village people used to think you’re some kind of massive savior, in here you’re just like anyone else, and you must hear the older students, which means I get to say who is qualified to borrow scrolls from the sanctuary, and I don’t think you’re qualified!”
He once again tried to dismiss me, and this time I got a bit upset with his annoying habit.
“How did you get to this conclusion if you hardly talked to me?” I rebelled against his lightning-fast judgment.
“I just know these things. Omoi come to the Dojo looking for one thing and one thing only, which is growing even bigger and more muscular because of Seiryoku. All they do is pretend to fight each other and then groping the first ass that moves!”
That was a speech with such hatred content that I even doubted Osamu was a Seikou.
“And what if I was Seikou? Would I be granted access to the scrolls?”
Osamu chuckled. “Do you really think any other Seikou would rather spend his time taking care of this place than being courted by lustful Omoi? The Sanctuary was pretty much abandoned upon my arrival in the Dojo because Sensei was too busy and no one ever seemed to care, so I was responsible for making sure this knowledge was not lost!”
“Well, you’re a Seikou and you preferred tending to the Sanctuary than joining your friends in naughtiness, so you will have to rethink your prejudicial assumptions. I want to be tested by you about my qualifications.”
The little red haired Seikou breathed fire trough his nostrils.
“You…are just one stubborn giant aren’t you? Why do you insist in this matter? It will hardly have any effect upon your development. Once you start enko you will be imbued in such power that you will only want to challenge your growing muscles, and everything else will become minor.”
I really didn’t want to bring my virginity matter to the discussion, especially because I felt it was keeping me from having the best time of my life, so I just kneeled in front of Osamu and asked very sincerely.
“Why don’t you help me to follow Sensei’s orders? I’ve just pleaded my loyalty to the protection of the innocent people, and for that reason he sent me after the Jinchi Scrolls. Why is it so hard to believe?”
For the first time, I’ve noticed Osamu’s eyes softening; he simply turned his back on me and continued to display the contents of the box over the table.
“Sure, in the beginning you all plead loyalty to the Nations and to protect the innocent, but as soon growth starts, you forget the noble intents and just want to spend time in…despicable ways. Now get off my way because I am busy with real serious matters.”
I was suddenly furious, but before I raised my tone, I remembered Sensei’s advice, realizing that Osamu was probably playing with my emotions to get his intent. Instead of yelling I actually took a deep breath and asked once again.
“I’m here to be tested, noble shiju (scholar), and I won’t leave until I’ve officially failed. If I don’t correspond to your high expectations, I’ll leave and never return.”
Osamu heard a term which he probably never expected to come from my mouth, after all I was just a simple peasant from Old Provinces. He did seem intrigued enough to drop his current activities.
I could see his clever mind probably assumed I’d never be a match for his skills.
“Farewell. There will be just one question, then. Why blue is not red?”
He grinned, expecting me to be offended by his question, but he was still far from tricking me.
“Because back in the time when sounds were not written, Wiseman Sadao created our language assigning a symbol to everything that had a name, and thus he gave a symbol to the color blue which couldn’t be the same of the color red, or people would never guess one from the other.”
Osamu was surprised, although I knew in advance that wouldn’t admit his loss that easily.
“That was just to see if you were paying attention, the real test comes now.”
“And am I also supposed to believe there will be only question?” I asked in fake innocence that easily got on his nerves.
“There will be as many questions as I judge fit! If you don’t like it, just walk away.”
“I never said that, shika. I’m ready.”
Osamu smiled, he sure considered the battle over before it even begun.
“How many words are there for the same meaning?”
“The same number of solutions for one same problem!” That was actually very easy because my grandpa used it as his personal motto.
“What is the highest number one can write?” He asked, doubting I had knowledge of mathematics.
“There are two answers for this question. Keeper Shiro considered it the same number times one’s heart beats, but Wiseman Takeda once affirmed that one can only write as high as the number of times he breathes.”
I humbly responded and Osamu almost lost it.
“What is the difference between everything and nothing?” He dared me to answer it, but I was already having lots of fun.
I smiled; he was really getting despaired to see me fail.
“The very same between truth and lie, because although one may say he knows everything, if that wasn’t a lie, he could only affirm that he truly knows nothing.”
“You knew that too? But I thought I had invented that…” Osamu sat in the bench behind him, speechless and astounded.
I didn’t gloat, as more tempting as it felt; because I knew that little Seikou was indeed one very wise scholar, and he could help me to unveil tremendous power through his vast Jinchi.
“They were right about you, shiju. Your knowledge exceeds your beauty.” I said gently lifting his delicate face; he was so shocked he didn’t even flinch when I caressed his cheeks with my finger.
I seized my time to give some tenderness to such beautiful lad. I couldn’t tell if he was cuter when he looked all fired up and angry or when he showed me all the innocence and vulnerability like after being defeated in his own game.
Osamu finally looked at me with those big turquoise eyes, still puzzled how one peasant Omoi could beat such clever questions, but I felt particularly merciful after seeing how sweet he truly was.
“My grandfather is Fusao Ichikawa.” The simple phrase suddenly revived the fiery spirit inside Osamu’s body.
“AHA! I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG! You were hiding a very important fact about yourself, which makes this whole test null!”
The little lad jumped in the air, waving his little hands very nervously and I busted into laughter.
“Don’t mock of me! I’m a full-fledged scholar and demand to be respected! You are a liar and a deceiver…you just wanted to fool me!” He protested, but I continued to laugh just by looking at his angry cute face.
“Stop that…Kenta…I am not asking again!” He said in a very low tone, and since the lad truly sounded honest I took a deep breath and managed to control my disrespectful laughter.
“I’m sorry, Osamu…I didn’t mean to disrespect you but the way you’ve just acted was indeed funny. Especially because you know that it won’t change the fact that I’ve proved my value as a fellow shiju. I could take as many tests as you can imagine, and I’d pass them.”
Osamu looked up at me and sighed. “Fine, you are right…but it wasn’t still fair to hide the fact you had Keeper Fusao as you master.”
I nodded. “Well, take it this way; I’ve spent all my life failing my grandfather’s own tests so I’ve picked up enough knowledge to be a Scribe if people weren’t so scared of me.”
The little Seikou didn’t smile, but I could tell he amused himself with the idea of my huge figure feeling stupid time after time.
“So, does it mean that I can count on your help to study the Jinchi Scrolls?” I asked in a much happier tone.
“And why would I drop my studies to help you? If you call yourself a shiju, you’re perfectly capable of finding your way around them.
I grinned, picking his little hand; likewise a Seikou would do to an Omoi.
“True, but why would I let pass the opportunity to learn everything I can at your side, Shinju?”
Osamu quickly retrieved his hand.
“Oh, I’m not so shallow like these Seikou you’re used to deal. I’m not into this whole courting futility. I’m here to study and that’s what I will keep doing. Everything else is just stupidity, so don’t even try to stick that humongous monster of yours in me, because I’m not here to enko.”
I noticed how serious Osamu seemed about this, which felt really different from the other Seikou, including Sensei Akimitsu. I could also tell Osamu didn’t feel so comfortable with my humongous figure so close to him, so I decided to respect his feelings.
“I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable, shiju. I truly mean to learn more about the Jinchi Scrolls and the Omoi capabilities like Sensei instructed me, if you can help me that would be really an honor for me.”
I replied in the most polite tone as possible.
The red haired Seikou looked at me and sighed.
“Fine…I don’t think I’ll get rid of you otherwise huh? Oh well, at least you can help me clean the place…there’s some heavy lifting required as well. All the things you Omoi love to do, but don’t expect me to be cheering neither playing a fool just because you’re capable of lifting heavy things.”
“I’d be honored to help you in any way I can, Osamu-san.” I respectfully replied.
“Don’t you call me that anymore, just Osamu is fine.”
“Why?” I asked dumbly.
“You from all people should know better that one record keeper named Osamu would just be very convenient huh? This is not my name, just my title here in the Dojo. And the reason for that is that I wanted so. My real name is not of your concern, just bear in your mind that I am an Osamu (Chronicler).”
For such a little guy he surely required some high maintenance. I spent the next three hours of the day lifting the shelves while he swept the corners and rearranged the displays according to his own mind. I didn’t mind being more than a cleaning helper to him, as long as he told me where I could find the Jinchi Scrolls.
After everything seemed clean enough for his tastes, and I asked about the Jinchi Scrolls for the thousandth time, Osamu finally looked up at me, cleaning the sweaty forehead of his, smiling very charmingly.
“So, here you have the answer of your over repeated question.” He pointed to the whole re-arranged room.
“I only need the Jinchi Scrolls, Osamu.” I said almost rolling my eyes, but noticing the seriousness of his look, I suddenly noticed that the task ahead of me was much bigger than I first anticipated.
“You don’t possibly mean that…”
“The Jinchi Scrolls were organized by countless generations of Keepers over the course of Koudou’s history. They contain the most precise facts of key events of our society including the earlier reports of Omoi and Seikou and their importance in the Rise of Fearsome Hordes.”
“But how…many are of them?”
Osamu rejoiced as he revealed the truth. “According to my most recent check there are 1,787 scrolls divided in 259 different groups.”
I gagged. “That’s easily the biggest record ever made…why haven’t Grandpa Fusao ever told me of them?”
Osamu seemed less arrogant when he got the chance to explain something.
“The Jinchi Scrolls were believed to be destroyed many decades prior to the age of Heirless Emperor; but Keepers were divided about its existence, most of them considered them to be some kind of misinterpretation of the oral reports. But Sensei Akimitsu have somehow uncovered all of them and stored them in the Sanctuary. Since my arrival here, I’ve been responsible for organizing them, because the information is scattered.”
I was in awe with the amount of information Sensei wanted me to apprehend.
“But you didn’t actually read them all, did you?” I asked Osamu in shock.
The red haired man sighed. “I could say three times or none, because the result was the very same…the language is so different from each scroll, and they don’t exactly fall into any category I’ve tried so far, and if you don’t get them organized correctly…their meaning is far too complex.
I could sympathize with the little red haired Seikou; he did seem weary and frustrated, the undeniable amount of stress his mind suffered certainly reflected in physical strain.
At the same time, I felt an irrefutable duty of mine as grandson of the Great Keeper to make sure that knowledge was formally catalogued.
“Shiju, you don’t need to do all of this by yourself. I understand now that Sensei’s intentions.”
Osamu’s demeanor was a bit softened but he still felt very suspicious about my presence in the Sanctuary.
“Huh…you think just because your grandfather taught you some parlor tricks, you’re already are a match for everything I’ve done? You Omoi are so full of yourselves!” He would continue to protest if I didn’t smile and easily hugged his tiny body.
“I’m here now to help you, Osamu, and you know how good I am. I’ll catch up with your developments and soon enough we’ll share this awesome burden Sensei bestowed upon us.”
He was quiet for one moment; I could feel his little body melting under the contact of my humongous musculature. But the moment was gone all of a sudden; Osamu managed to slip through my arms and jumped to the top of a high shelf.
“You…stay…away…from me! I don’t want you to touch me like that ever again you hear me? I don’t care if you’re huge and muscular, I’m not gonna be downsized like the rest of these imbecile Seikou!”
I looked at the shaking little lad and sighed. “I was being friendly. You look so tired and frustrated; I just wanted to make you feel better.”
“And why do you care about my feelings? I am NOT gonna bond with you or any other Omoi in the Dojo!” Osamu declared out loud.
“I care about you regardless the fact you bond with me. That’s just the way I am, now will you get off there or must I go rescue you?”
Osamu stared down at me for a few seconds, but he was back in the ground with just a few agile movements of extreme grace. He then made some gesture indicating that he would not allow any further physical contact between us, and frankly I was more comfortable that way, at least one Seikou wouldn’t be trying to become my ichiban.
“So, if there are so many scrolls, where should I start?” I asked, trying to ignore his even cuter face.
“You’ll start by following my directions, you big muscle ape! Now stay here and don’t move, the last thing we need is a monster like you moving that immense bulk of yours among the shelves. I’ll go find the material you must study.”
Osamu disappeared in the multitude of hallways and shelves, but I could hear his high pitchy voice mumbling as he moved around them.
“Can you speak Teisen dialect?” He asked me from a great distance, since his voice got much farer.
“Not very well, but I can learn pretty fast.” I decided that being honest was the best way to deal with that chronicler.
“Then, we should leave these for later, you wouldn’t get through these shelves without knocking them over…” He mumbled.
“I appreciate your kindness, shiju, but I am sure the sanctuary is big enough for my body.” I said while waiting for his return.
“For now it must be, but I don’t want to risk ending up with a growing Omoi stuck between thousands of years of wisdom!”
I sighed; everybody seems to be expecting some impacting growth from my body, which meant I had to find an Ichiban as soon as possible.
Osamu returned with an armload of scrolls and displayed them over the table, and then he took a deep breath, looking up at me.
“If you want to give up now, I’ll just tell the Sensei I got on your nerves, he won’t blame this on you when you fail.”
I could tell my temper was rising pretty fast by the way my ears got warmer, that little guy surely knew how to get under someone’s skin.
“I will not fail, not with Sensei neither with you, shiju.” I replied, trying to sound as normal as possible.
Osamu shrugged. “Well, then, here you have the most basic material I could find. There’s at least material for a whole year of apprenticeship in these pages…” The little guy neatly displayed them in the table and showed me the seat.
“Thanks, shiju. I’ll study very, very hard.” I bowed and sat at the table to start reading, still standing much taller than the little chronicler.
“You’d better, tomorrow you will take another test on the contents which you were given today, and if you fail, no further knowledge for you.” Osamu said calmly.
“You will give me another test?” I gasped.
“I just said that, weren’t you paying attention?” He replied like I was the unreasonable one.
“Wait…you just said you’ve given me about one year worthy of study!”
“I did, and you will be tested tomorrow about the whole extent of this subject. Good luck!” Osamu grinned openly as he noticed despair overtaking my expression.
“But it’s too much to prepare in one afternoon!” I protested, my muscles already shaking out of anger.
“It is, but you’re the grandson of Keeper Ichikawa who personally tutored your studies, I’m sure your personal background will compensate this challenge. Now, if you excuse me, I have some real studies to attend.”
Instead of getting angry, I decided to get even with that little rat. I just got back to the table and spent the next hours deeply focused in the Jinchi Scrolls. Getting the right words were not the problem, but making sense out of them was a whole other matter. It felt like trying to make someone stop shaking from cold by describing a warm day of summer.
I could tell Osamu rejoiced in seeing the big sweat drops rolling on my forehead, but at the same time, he was also very impressed with my tenacity to accomplish his impossible challenge.
To my uttering surprise, after the first couple of torturing hours, I slowly started to tell the hermetic logic in those scrolls, and my body heat increased with my excitement.
The hours flew by, and when I felt Osamu’s gentle tap on the table I just snapped from a world filled with answers for my questions, like the apples from the tree that I couldn’t reach no matter how much I grasped for them.
“It’s time for Supper in the Common Halls, you shouldn’t get late for your first one.”
Osamu said, his voice tone sounded like he already guessed that I was very frustrated.
I was pacing, my heartbeat was so intense, my muscles felt sore and yet so pumped with vigor and strength, I looked at the scrolls in my hands and could barely believe in the power they contained.
“I…never thought these Scrolls were so powerful.” I said gulping.
Osamu seemed suspicious.
“Your test is only tomorrow, now go get ready for Supper, you’ll fail tomorrow…”
I simply walked closer to Osamu and without ever touching him I whispered.
“You don’t have the power to keep me from knowing everything I’ve been searching, my friend. There won’t be any test tomorrow because I’ve finished these, and now I need to know more about Seiryoku…I need to know if the Deimei Revelations are nothing but a vision Wiseman Takahiro Shimizu had about his fourth son.
Osamu took a few steps back in surprise.
“There’s no way you could have decoded this without my notes…and I made sure to keep them from you! It took me three months to even translate the words from the symbolisms!”
Osamu felt like his world was spinning.
“I saw you struggling with the words, feeling they didn’t make any sense, they were just chaotic amounts of senseless facts…you were lost, but then…you found your way to Jinchi…”
“In his Study of Weather and Constellations, he inserted a message for future men, that a Dragon came to him in his dreams and bestowed a gift upon his seed, and revealed that his next sons would carry the burden and the glory of immense power, a power that would last for many ages and be wielded to fight injustice. Takahiro died two months after finishing the scroll, leaving his pregnant wife, and the child was only born many months after his death. There are records of Takumi Shizumi, who would become famous throughout History as the most skilled artist ever known, but he had a twin brother who no one ever bothered to report, I ask you now if that nameless heir could be the first Omoi!”
“Did…your grandfather…No it’s impossible, the scrolls were supposed to be lost no one even laid eyes on these for centuries!” Osamu was the one pacing, for he understood that I broke into the code hidden in these Records.
I waited for my answer, but Shiju seemed just as intrigued as I was.
“I couldn’t find anything about him…other than his name, but it only happened a few days ago. Takahiro had five sons, being the last two twins named Takumi and Takao. There are reports of a local medicine man saying that the second child was taken from the family’s home in the same night he was born.”
I took a deep breath trying to calm my own massive body. “It is okay, Shiju. I understand now that you couldn’t share the knowledge with anybody else without revealing the secret code, and if you did that, you’d feel like betraying the trust of the wise men who came before us…including Sensei Akimitsu, but I have proven my worth, twice.”
“We have to keep searching, if we can trace down the first Omoi with accuracy then we finally might understand the reason for…our size.” I said in excitement.
Osamu shook his head. “You almost got it right, but you just refuse to see the whole truth huh?”
“Isn’t it all the truth?” I asked puzzled.
“Only half of it, Omoi and Seikou…are part of Seiryoku! You just forgot to ask about Takumi. He was described as the most successful archer ever born, but which war has he fought? How come no one else has ever mentioned his feats as an archer?”
“They could have been simply destroyed in time.” I shrugged.
“You’re not gonna be stupid right now are you, Kenta? Just consider the ancient forms of scribing what is the other word to designate a successful archer, someone very sharp and precise?”
My eyes opened widely “So, do you mean Takumi could have been…”
“He was the first Seikou, and although his since his looks weren’t that much different than other men, he was surely strikingly remarkable, both in skills and grace.”
“Did you find any more records about him?”
“I have been trying in vain…don’t you think I also want to find answers for my own questions?” Osamu looked just as restless as I have been until I heard about the Dojo.
I smiled and whispered in his ear. “Like I said, no one will keep me from finding the answers I seek, and now that this little façade is over, we’ll break the truth hidden inside the Jinchi Scrolls to unveil the meaning of Seiryoku and to use it in order to prevent another war!”
“Heh, aren’t you the over optimistic one?”
I just came really close from his little body and grinned.
“I sure am, now shouldn’t we get ready for Supper with Sensei?”
Osamu shrugged. “You should go, but I don’t like crowds.”
The little guy was a loner, perhaps by his own choice, but upon recalling on how Satoru, Masaaki, Fumio and Hitoshi felt about the little red haired chronicler, I realized that aside an occasional meeting with Sensei or Haruki, that guy only had the company of the scrolls for most of the day.
“Do you want to have Supper with me?” I asked kindly.
“I told you I don’t like crowds, besides all those stupid Seikou jumping around you Omoi make me sick of my stomach.” He replied bitterly.
I grinned. “I didn’t mean going to the Common Halls, we could have supper together here or anywhere you feel comfortable.”
Osamu seemed happy for almost an instant. “Are you kidding me? I’m not taking you to my own chambers, where this humongous body of yours barely fit and take any chance with that horrible monster of yours getting hard and you try to enko me!”
I just gasped. “Osamu…I’d never…”
“You’re coming from a meeting with the Sensei with ruined pants, your phallus is showing obscenely, and you want me to believe that you won’t give up to your Omoi urges with me, if you didn’t respect even the noble sensei?”
I went quiet, he was absolutely right. The slightest thing could trigger really embarrassing situations, especially because Osamu would not behave like the Seikou I’ve met so far.
“Well…I guess, I’ll see you tomorrow Shiju, we’ll continue in our task then.”
“I’m looking forward to see you tomorrow…” Osamu spoke without realizing that he had been nice to me for once.
I just bowed and got off the Sanctuary before he noticed that.