The Exiled Prince – Chapter 25: The Journal of Tationy

This will be my last journal entry. Sesiago is telling me that it is time we abandoned the forest. The armies of our enemies are advancing upon us quickly. This was not how my life was supposed to be. It has been ten years since my arrival to Forest of the Ancients. I suppose some might think me an old woman now that I am approaching thirty so quickly. I do not feel old until I look upon the girls, and see how much they have grown. They were just children when I first laid my eyes upon them, with their big brother Kin. <Tears Drop to the Paper> Forgive me, this is going to be all smudged before I finish it, but I wanted to write this last entry for anyone that might find it. I do not know who it will be, maybe an Anami Priest, Maiba Warrior, or spy from the Matsuo. It does not matter, this is my life and my words, this is me, all of me.

Sesiago tells me not to fear anything that as long as he is breathing nothing will happen to us. He says things like that a lot, I suppose that is how men are in this place. Their pride is to protect a woman. It took me a long time to understand that. I wish I could say I have been a good woman to him, but the truth is, I haven’t been. When we left the Land of Souls, I had chosen Iashi not aware that he was already dead. It was a massive blow to Sesiago’s Kari pride, then to make matters worse he had to denounce being Kari and accept his role as the Lord of the Shima. He thinks I do not understand that he will not be going with me when I leave. He along with many of the men and the Elder Council, Kuro of the Ishi, Takuya of the Waichia, Tien of the Kensuku, and Chee of the Hamara are going to stay behind and surrender themselves to the enemy. They will without a doubt be executed. It makes my heart hurt thinking about it, but I know that I cannot let him see it upon my face that I know his intent.

I hate him for doing this to me. I know that is selfish. I know it is a terrible thing to say. I feel like he is abandoning me. Even though he has barely looked at me in these ten years, I have…<Tears Drop on the Journal> Look at me making a mess out of this, forgive my tears. Please, understand that in my own way I love him more than life itself. I wish to stay at his side, but he will not allow me to. I would rather die with the Lord of the Shima, then live without him. Those are the words I should have said, a hundred times over, but I am too weak. He is much stronger than I am, I think that is why I fell in love with him. Even if the enemy holds me over his head, he will not flinch. He accepts what is to come like a true Kari man. Please protect him Kazuma, please keep them all safe.

I know it is such silly wishful thinking that the Gods will hear my cry. After all, we are them. Chee of the Hamara, Takuya of the Wachia, Mikio of the Ishi, Sesiago of the Kari, and myself, Tationy of the Tylo are the reincarnated Gods, Hisoka, Ryozo, Rin, Kazuma, and Tearra. A lot of good it does us, we are still mortal even with the power we gained being in the Forest of the Ancients we are nothing more than flesh and blood. I was so selfish.

I cannot tell you about all of the people that have come to the Forest of the Ancients with me, but I can at least tell you who some of them are so you understand us a bit better.

When I met Sesiago he was married to Eri. It was a loveless marriage and he was cold and hard. He had children, three girls and a son. His son belonged to the Elder of the Kari, Erobus and there was even some question later on regarding his oldest daughter, Elizie. He was everything that it meant to be Kari, cold and hard, emotionally unavailable. I know he loved me, well loves me. Even though we both keep our distance, I know what his feelings are. He is a brave man, the bravest I have ever met. Do not think you will break him. He is not the type of man that can be tortured. He will never utter a word. You cannot threaten his family to make him talk. He is Kari, even though he was forced to become the Lord of the Shima and lead our small nation, he is and will always be until his very last breath, a Kari man.

I wish I could tell him how I feel. I am too weak. Perhaps this is the true reason I never had a boyfriend when I was in my modern world. I was too afraid to take the step forward and say what I wanted, what I feel. So I will say it here, I want him. I want him more than anything. Nothing in this world matters, I wish I was not so foolish and selfish. I should have chosen him instead of Iashi. I love him. I have never said those words to anyone before and even now I am writing them as my final thoughts before I abandoned our nation. I love him, not because he is Kazuma, not because he is there, but because he is Sesiago. He is my Sesiago even if I have been so terrible to him, he has never once left my side. He has kept his word as a Kari man and even though our marriage has been loveless, filled with silence and distance, I have never doubted his feelings. I hope that he has never doubted mine, but the truth is he probably has.

He is not a confident man when it comes to love and romance. He has only been forward with me once, how I wished for him to be forward with me again.

Sesiago and I never had children of our own. I suppose, it does require us to be intimate with each other and in these ten years he has hardly given me a second look, at least I have not noticed. The girls at first were distant from me as well. I suppose they thought I was trying to replace their mother. It was difficult with their big brother Kin standing as the shield to the Lord of the Kari, Baito. He would stop in now and again, but for the most part it was just me and the daughters of Sesiago. They all had their own unique personalities. Hana was rather quiet. She believed highly in the traditions of the Kari and embraced the fact that when she was of age, she would be put into a union. Elizie even though she was older by just a bit, tried to play the big sister, but really Hana and Asuka were taking care of her more than she was taking care of them. She was rather emotional and afraid. She always tried to put on a strong face, but she wanted to be free to live her life not trapped. She told me once that she did not want to be like me, a skittish girl trapped in a loveless marriage, but she feared that was going to be what happened to her. Asuka was probably as tomboy as they came and her father was none-to-happy when he found out I was training her in combat and letting her play sport like activities with the boys of our nation. Out of all of the girls, she looked the most like her father.

I suppose talking about them as little girls is not fair to whomever finds this and reads it, seeing it is now 10 years later and they are hardly little girls any longer. I would like to take credit for the young woman they have become, but I think I learned more from them than they did me. It would be a nice thought though to think that I played a small part in their lives. They did come to call me mother, though I never asked them to or even expected them to. Asuka was the first to call me it. They grew up so fast and did all of the things I never seemed to be capable of doing.

Elizie was the first to marry. At first Sesiago was none to happy that she had fallen in love with someone without his expressed written and verbal permission, but eventually he came to see that it was a good union. Toshiro of the Waichia loved her unconditionally. His position as the right hand to the Lord of the Waichia, Takuya meant that Elizie never had to want for anything. If anything happened to Takuya, Toshiro would certainly be made Elder of the Waichia. Much to her father’s dismay, they never had children. Elizie told me many times she was not interested in being a mother right away and Toshiro seemed to respect and understand that. She just wanted it to be the two of them for a while. Her father does not know it yet, but she has opted to stay behind with her husband. They all know that it is futile that they will be executed, but still she wishes to stay with Toshiro. I suppose that is what real love looks like.

Hana would also marry. I was rather unhappy that Sesiago placed her into a union at such a young age, but Hana did not mind and preferred it. The union was between her and Oro of the Ishi. That was another reason I was not happy with it, knowing that Oro’s preference was not women and Hana would most likely be in a loveless marriage for her entire life. I asked Oro why he would go along with it and he told me simply that such unions are not accepted and he was given no choice in the matter by Kuro, who was the Elder of the Ishi. I was shocked, but they pretended well. No one on the outside would have guessed that their relationship was not perfect. They had five children, which Hana spent the majority of her time taking care of, I suppose that gave her something to do other than be around Oro who had an on and off again relationship with Yayoi. That relationship should never have transpired. She and her children have already left. Oro told her not to tell anyone where she was going that it would be easy to blend in as a refugee of the war being that she has Maiba blood. He plans to stay and fight.

Asuka fought her father. She was unwilling to marry and did not wish to have children. Sesiago was beside himself and ordered her. It did not go over so well with the stubborn Asuka. She left the Forest of the Ancients and to be truthful we never saw or heard from her again. I wish she would have written so I at least knew she was alright, but I understand why she did not. She needed to be a bird and free of the cage she was locked in. I had often wished I had her strength. There were many times since my arrival in Aslann that I just wanted to fly away and never be seen again, but I am certainly not as strong as Asuka. I pray every day for her. It is hard to believe that I am down on my knees praying, I have never been the sort of girl to even bother with such a thing, but she is my ‘daughter’ and I hope wherever she is that she knows that I love her so much.

I admittedly hated Lord Waichia when I first met him, even called him a jerk. He demands perfection from everyone he meets and he is not afraid of making people feel bad if he thinks they are beneath him. Takuya has many sides to him though and he did work very hard to train me to use the cursed eyes of the Tylo along with the other Gods. Ryozo loved war, though Takuya amazingly enough is very different from the god he is reincarnated from. He hoped that we would have peace for many years and remain hidden and safe, when that did not happen he was instrumental in protecting us. The Waichia are a mighty force under his command, but even their strength cannot stop the inevitable. He promised me that he would stay at Sesiago’s side until the very end. It was more than I could have asked for. I never imagined Takuya and Sesiago would have become friends in these ten years, but they did. Their strict, hard ways. Their devotion to their clans and the old ways of doing things brought them together. I am grateful for Takuya. In Sesiago’s final hours he will have his friend at his side until their last breath.

Sometimes it is hard to be honest with oneself. The truth is, there has always been an attraction between myself and Lord Hamara. It is his power I think and the fact that he is Hisoka’s reincarnate. Under any other circumstances I cannot even imagine being attracted to him. Things between us were never resolved, we both just avoided and ignored it all. It was easier that way. He told me once that I had enough burdens to carry without adding one more, though when I thought back on it I believe there was more he wished to say to me. I should have given him the chance, but it was easier to avoid it all. That was probably a mistake. Maybe I would know how to use these eyes if I had worked out all of this chaos that seemed to continue to surround me. Chee, along with Takuya of the Waichia, Tien of the Kensuku, and Kuro of the Ishi sat on the Elder Council and gave Sesiago advice. Sesiago never liked Chee, he was too relaxed or maybe he reminded him to much of Iashi. I am not certain. Sesiago told Chee to leave with the rest of us that his clan was too small and would most likely perish into non-existence if he and the others stayed. Chee told him he did not care about his clan, such things were unimportant. The only thing that mattered to him was standing with the remainder of his nation to fight. I would expect nothing less from Chee. There is a small part of me that wishes he would have listened to Sesiago, but our nation is filled with stubborn men.

The bulk of the force of the Kensuku perished in Aslann. If they were at their full-strength, I imagine this final push would be nothing. Unfortunately they are not and while they are strong, the sheer volume of enemies waiting outside the Forest of the Ancients, will certainly overcome our small nation. Tien has ordered Taku to leave and not join in the fight. The Elder of the Kensuku was insistent even though Taku had argued with him that his strength would be needed. Tien more than anyone else understands and accepts the fate of those that remain behind. He wants Taku to survive and carry on the legacy of the Kensuku. That is all we are, those that depart are legacies of what was. We are what remains of our clans. Those clans that choose to remain and fight, will most likely fade into extinction. It is a hard fact to accept, but Tien has tried to drive it home to all members of the council and the nation that this is their last stand. If we want anything to survive of us, we need to make certain those that depart escape.

Taku had saved my life after Shimragata had been attacked. The Kensuku even though they had worked with the Dragon Lords, stood by the Prince of Aslann. Tien and his men were instrumental in helping us to escape to the Forest of the Ancients. I find it truly amazing sometimes that the slave clan was as powerful as they are. They were oppressed and held down, sometimes I think because they chose to be. I know that no one would want such a life, but certainly a clan as strong as they are could have risen up numerous times. I always wanted to ask Tien why he never pushed again, but I imagine his answer would be that it is futile to make such an action if there is no chance of victory. Next to Mikio he is probably the smartest person in our nation and he was certainly the most vocal about the reincarnates of the Gods leaving as well, though he was trying to convince the wrong men. If Sesiago, Takuya, and Chee did not sit with him on the Elder council, he might have been able to convince the group, unfortunately those men are too stubborn to run from a fight so the only thing they could agree upon is that Mikio and myself would depart the nation.

Moochie died five years ago. It was so horrible. She had several miscarriages during that time and Chochi had continued to tell Abe to kill her. Abe wanted an heir I think. I had asked him many times why, but he refused to answer me. In the end, Moochie finally carried a child to full term, only for her and the baby to die during childbirth. I think, it is the reason Abe made his decision to leave and not stay behind and fight. It seems out of character for him honestly, I never imagined him to be the type to backdown, but with the loss of Moochie he seems to wish to soldier on, just not in any way I would have expected.

I find it hard to be honest with myself entirely, but I am doing my best. I asked Moromari not to stay and fight. We have been close. Nothing happened between us, I am married to Sesiago after all, but we spent much time alone together talking and he has become my closest friend.  Certainly, if circumstances had been different, I could see myself with him, but it is so nice to have someone that understands what it is like to be a freak. That is what I am. Tylo clan members are looked upon with a suspicious eye, even by clans that seem to trust them. I think it is probably worse for me seeing it was difficult to hide the fact that I am also the Prince of Aslann. With knowledge of what the Prince did, people did not trust me. Understandably so, but I could not help, but wish to make this journey with at least one person that did not look at me and see the Prince of Aslann. Regardless of how I feel, he told me that the only person that could keep him from staying is the Lord of the Shima. Such an answer from him is not surprising.

Tohma and his brother the Elder of the Sweela Seiree pledged their loyalty to Sesiago. I honestly never got an opportunity to speak with either of them, not that the Sweela are very talkative to begin with. They have already sent their women and children away, but the men of the clan will stay and fight in the battle. I am told that Tohma requested that his brother stand down as Elder of the Sweela and depart along with the women and children, but Seiree refused. I can only imagine that Tohma made this request so that the Sweela would not be without an Elder.

Chochi told me it was far simpler than that. When I asked him why, he told me that the Sweela are forever bound to the Prince of Aslann. Their duty is and will always be to protect me. That was why they were staying and in-turn why Seiree refused to stand down. I am to escape while they sacrifice themselves for me. It is a heavy burden I carry. I do not want this responsibility. I wish each day, I was not the girl I am. It used to be that I just wanted to be Tationy, but there are days now that I do not even want to be her.

Yayoi and I have exchanged rather harsh words with one another over the past ten years. His decisions to engage in a relationship with Oro, while Oro has been married to Hana never sit well with me. It is not as though it is my place or anything to interject myself into their relationship, I just wanted more for Hana than a loveless marriage where her husband is sleeping around on her. Despite his personal life, Yayoi along with Moromari led the military and protected the nation. He is a strong man, whom I am grateful will be there in Sesiago’s final moments.

As I understand it there was some disagreement between Kuro and Nao. Nao felt that Kuro should also leave, along with Mikio. I can understand why and I admit there is a small part of me that wishes Kuro would join us in our escape from the forest. Kuro like all of the other men of the nation is too stubborn, and he is prepared to fight. He continued to train me during these ten years. That action alone put him at odds with Sesiago. Kuro was just trying to do right by me, but Sesiago was so stubborn that a woman needed to be protected. He did not seem to understand that sometimes a man needs protecting to. Kuro made me promise that I would leave. He knew that I considered staying and that I had at one point even decided to stay, but he and Nao would not allow me to. It took a bit of time, but I was able to forgive Nao for his part in what happened. When I got the Prince of Aslann’s memories upon leaving the Land of Souls, I understood that it was my order that forced him to do what he did. I would not say we were friends, but we certainly were no longer enemies. He promised he would take care of Kuro and I have no doubts that he will stand at the side of the Elder of the Ishi until the very end.

Hiko and I never really resolved our stuff. I suppose that he wanted Tse and I am and will always be, only a fraction of her. It was just easier for him, I think to avoid me and I really did not mind not having to deal with it. I never really forgave him for abandoning me with the Kari. Things would certainly have been different had he stayed at my side. I will be honest though, there is a part of me that loves him. I know that part of me is the Prince of Aslann, but those feelings do not go away, in fact it sometimes feels as though they have gotten stronger. Zen has sheltered me from Hiko. When we were forced to be in the same place, Zen is always there. It makes the situation tolerable, though that tension is as strong today as it was the first day I laid my eyes on him. He makes me nervous, scared, and makes my heart beat so fast I could not even put into words how much I desire him. It is because of that feeling that we have avoided each other. Zen and Hiko were both given the option to leave with me, but both decided to stay. They are Kari men, strong and fearsome individuals that will fight until there is no breath left in their bodies.

Kin is not a child anymore. He is just a few years younger than myself. He has grown into a fine and handsome young man. He stood as the Shield to the Elder of the Kari, Baito and has been since he was a teenager. He wished to remain at the side of his Elder during the coming battle. Baito made a hard decision to remain and fight, a decision that none of the Kari expected him to make. For a Kari elder to choose to protect his nation over his clan, says a lot about what we built here in the Forest of the Ancients. Against Kin’s wishes, he told Kin to go. Baito is filled with such wisdom and strength, despite being Maiba he has stood strong and proud as a Kari man.

Those of us leaving have so many regrets. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. Sesiago told me not to look back, so I promised myself that as I walk away from the village I will not even glance over my shoulder. I want to tell him, want to tell all of them how brave and stupid they are. I want to resolve everything that has ever happened, but this is life. Sometimes there are just things that never get resolved, never get said, and you regret. I would love to meet a person that has none because I would ask them how it is possible. How did they manage to move through this world without ever regretting a single thing. It is an answer I truly would like to hear. I am told though it is time to go, I wish I had more time to speak on every little thing, but whomever reads this, I just want you to know who we are. We are nothing more than a living legacy, hoping to blend in wherever we can.

To Be Continued