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Unexpected
By: Souken

Chapter 1
Haunted By The Past


Standard Disclaimers Apply.

~~~~~~~~

Seta Soujirou stood on the edge of the street, staring blankly at the house before him. It was a place that he had never wanted to come back to, filled with memories of a childhood that he never wanted to remember. He was afraid of it, afraid of the emotions that it invoked in him. And the fact that it was raining did nothing to help the situation. All it did was remind him of the rain that fell that night, and how it had hidden his tears so well. He was so tempted to just leave, and forget what he came for. But he couldn't. What was hidden here was far too precious, too important for him to forget.

Cautiously, he took a step onto the property and stopped, as if waiting for something to jump out at him.

Nothing.

Letting out the breath that he had unconsciously been holding, he slowly started walking. Soujirou kept his eyes off the house, looking straight ahead. He didn't want to remember. He didn't want to think about what had happened there. It was no use. As he walked passed the house, he began to feel heavy. Each step he took sounded thunderous to his ears. And as hard as he tried, he couldn't keep images from flashing in his mind.

...a cold rainy night...

...the glint of a sword...

...blood...pools of blood...

It was all coming back to him in full force. He could feel himself begin to panic. He could hear them, although faint at first. He could hear their screams, getting louder with each step he took. His breaths came out in broken gasps and he felt like he was suffocating. He began to run, the incredible speed he possesed not seeming fast enough.

In only a few seconds he reached his destination, throwing open the doors of the shed and collapsing inside. Huddled on the ground he waited until his heart had returned to it's normal state and his breathing calmed. Taking a deep breath he stood and in the split second that he looked up, he could have swore that he saw Shishio-sama, lounging against the rice barrels. His heart stopped and when he blinked, the vision was gone.

Once again calming his nerves, he walked over to the corner of the dark shed and cleared away all the barrels that sat there. Dropping to his knees, Soujirou felt for the small x that he had engraved into the wood years ago when he was a child. When his fingers finally found the mark, he took a rusty piece of metal and pried open the floorboard. He reached inside and drew out a small, wrapped package. Tucking the package into his gi, he put everything back in it's place. He was filled with a sense of relief. He had found what he was here for and now he could leave. Taking one last glance at what used to be his home, he ran out of the shed and away from the house.

And this time, he would never come back.

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