2016.10.30 - The unwritten
I realized I never posted this here. It's linked to one entry in Kuro's journal 'Hansei' and is, as the name implies, the unwritten part of what happened after 'The Link' community event GMed by Nvida Noire. Tagged as NSFW because of blood and self-imposed punishment.
There were places, deep in the Dragon's Coils, that few knew about. And those that discovered them were either privileged or very unlucky. To Kuro, it was the former, even if he did came here to receive his punishment.He entered the room willingly and bowed deeply to the seasoned man standing there.
"Katsuro... my dear Katsuro. I understand why you requested for this but.. are you really sure? It pains me to be the one to make you suffer. I've known you for a long time and you are much like a son to me." The man, speaking Korean, sighed. Asian - most likely Korean - with gray hair and a well trimmed beard. Long and deeps lines adorned his visage, showing his age, yet his eyes were as sharp as ever and his stance conveyed strength. His voice, a deep baritone, was calm yet full of concerns.
"I'm sure, Sun Hyeon-nim. You know me too well and most likely foresaw I'd ask such a favor of you. Suggoku gomen ne." Katsuro answered in fluent Korean, though his deeply felt apology was better conveyed in his native Japanese. Another deep bow toward his mentor and handler and Sun Hyeon could only shake his head.
"Ye... It was to be expected. Since there is no changing your mind, I shall honor your wish and be the hand that'll cleanse you of your great shame and restore your honor."
That being said, Katsuro handed his blade, the Shinku Hogo-Sha or Crimson Guardian, to his handler who took it with deep respect, bowing his head slightly. Sun Hyeon then slid the katana out of its scabbard slowly and admired it as the light danced on its perfect blade, tracing his fingers on the tsuba in the shape of a coiled black snake, and couldn't help but smile softly. Meanwhile, Katsuro didn't waste time and began to remove every piece of clothing, even the few jewelry - his mother earring and his father's ring - and handed it all to a Mute Monk who respectfully accepted and kept the man's belonging until he'd request them again. Now stripped of any worldly possessions, Katsuro followed Sun Hyeon through a door on the other side of the room that lead to a small secluded space outside. The ground was compacted dirt and a single wooden pole adorned with a metal ring was the only thing out there. One would expect to see blood on the ground but with the rainy weather known for Seoul, this probably washed it away every time. It wasn't raining at the moment, but the cold could be sensed in the air. Katsuro didn't flinch, neither from the sting of the cold nor the sight in front of him; he knew of this place. There was no point tying him to the pole as he was here willingly. Instead, he kneeled some distance from it to leave plenty of room for his handler to walk around him. The sun was now low upon the horizon, giving a reddish hue to the scene. Katsuro's full-sleeve tattoo seemed almost alive, the black snake wriggling under the skin. He sat seiza-style, his hands palm down on his upper thighs, and took in a deep breath, his eyes closed. When he opened them again, his gaze met the one of his mentor and they both knew the time was now.
A Mute Monk soundlessly made his way toward Katsuro, offering him a strip of leather to bite unto, which he accepted gratefully, before stepping back into the shadows. The piece of leather at his lips, his head bowed, and the sacred blade in the hands of Sun Hyeon traced its first path of crimson on his skin. They were not really deep cuts but, much like a paper cut, they'd sting and burn, the cold air not helping at all. His regenerative powers kicked in, healing some of the scars yet it was for naught, as it only made the punishment go on longer. Over and over, the blade danced in the hand of his mentor, beads of blood rolling down the tanned skin. As the steel began to bite deeper, his whole body shaking from the endured pain, Katsuro couldn't keep his position any longer and crumbled upon the cold ground. He never let go of the leather gag though, biting on it until his jaw hurt. But it was better than to voice his pain, even if the tears at the corner of his eyes betrayed him. He was a bloody mess when he finally began to lose focus and the world went dark.
*****When Katsuro woke up, he was bandaged from the neck down, resting in a comfortable bed. The room was small but private, a single window opening to a garden outside. There was a small table near his bed with fragrant incense and a pitcher of water - though even if he wanted to, he couldn't get a drink by himself, his whole body still aching. There was something heavy by his side... moving painfully his right arm, he managed to touch it; the Shinku Hogo-Sha. He could feel the sword humming, warmth radiating from it and a wave of peaceful bliss washed over him. Their bond was stronger now; quite understandable, with all of his blood the sword had drunk. With a sigh of contempt, Katsuro drifted back into sleep.
It took almost a week for Katsuro's injuries to heal. He could have moved back to his home before that, but he wanted to make sure he was completely healed in case he'd stumble upon his beloved. His mentor and handler, Sun Hyeon, came to see him many times every day.
"Are you ready to step outside the Dragon's Coils, Katsuro? I can feel the weight you'd place on yourself has vanished; I'm please. And I do hope I'll never have to do this again." The old man smiled, placing a hand on Katsuro's shoulder.
"Hai! I'm ready for duty again sah boo nim. I can never thank you enough. I know it has been hard for you... Domo sumimasen, arigato gozaimasu." Katsuro smiled back at the old man, again mixing Korean and Japanese, before he was pulled into an affectionate hug.
"Take care of yourself, Katsuro. And please... if that man is truly the one, don't hide this from him any longer than necessary."
It took a moment for Katsuro to grasp what his handler was talking about, but then he offered a sheepish smile.
"I'll try. But... it's a very strange side of me. I'm not sure he could understand. And I certainly don't want him to resent you either. Well, I'm off. Thank you, for everything. We'll stay in touch, as always." Katsuro added, a grin on his lips as he pocketed his phone. And he was gone, back into the streets of Seoul - a Dragon on duty.