Tearra, Rin, and Kuro
Kuro had listened to his father speak in hushed voices with the Queen of the Gods. Even though they were trying to keep their words private, he could still hear every single syllable uttered as though they were speaking naturally. There were moments he thought about excusing himself, but he had learned rather quickly that his will was no longer important. What he thought; irrelevant.
The conversation confused him, but all he could really do at that moment was stand there and remain silent.
Like a foolish child he was excited when he received word that his father, the God Rin was summoning him to his side. There was no way he could understand what that would entail for his life, his future, his self-esteem. Acknowledgement that he was the heir to the throne held by the death god was quickly shattered upon his arrival.
The Queen of the Gods was with child; not one, but two. His father barely gave him a second glance as he told him that his sole purpose in life was to protect the queen. Kuro had thought it would be different even as his uncle Kita warned him to not get his hopes up. How foolish he was to martyr himself for a father that didn’t even care.
It was far too easy to get lost in pensiveness when he was nothing more than a shadow. Unfortunately, those moments were usually broken up by the words of his father, “Hisoka’s weakness; a clouded mind with wandering thoughts. Frivolous pursuits of love and fancy. I trusted in the judgment of my queen, but I feel that you being here is still a mistake. How long will you preoccupy yourself with finding the answer to what you seek?”
As his father whittled away at a piece of wood, Kuro felt jealousy. A longing that his father might look at him with some pride. A notion that he would look upon him and say, you are my son. I am proud. No, nothing like that would ever come from Rin. “Well, nothing to say? Are you not even going to tell me that you are of my blood?”
“Would it matter if I did? My mother…”
“Do not speak to me of her,” Rin snarled as he stood unexpectedly. “That mortal woman was a means of conception. A promise I made to Tearra, nothing more. She who wanted a child, but could not have one. Your mother was nothing, meant nothing, and is nothing. The only reason you stand before me is because Tearra wishes it.”
A slap in the face. On one hand he felt some pride that Tearra wished for him to be born. The goddess certainly treated him as her son, but to hear Rin speak of his mother so disrespectfully and treat him as though he was less than nothing instilled within him an anger that boiled and festered. His insides felt as though they were rotting; symbolic in a way as he stood before the Death God.
He bit down on his own tongue as he tried to contain his anger, “Can the same be said of those that will come from this request of hers?” Rin’s body had stilled. His expression darkened. “How many women will you sleep with to build this army? How many women will you look upon as nothing, mean nothing, are nothing?” Kuro found his voice raising, “Tearra asked you to soil the beds of how many?”
The long pause that followed his questions did nothing for the atmosphere. All he wanted was some meaningful explanation and all he got was his father walking out.
Kuro in frustration would pace the floor of his father’s study looking for the answers. Never did he seem to find any, but someone found him. “A heavy heart burdens the young son of Rin,” She practically whispered the words.
“Why do you ask that of him?” It was not his place to question, but still the words left his mouth.
“She can answer that if you wish, but is it really the truth of which you seek?” The uncertainty must have graced his features, “She sees Hisoka in you. Compassion and understanding, but her eyes see also Rin. A child you are now will grow into a man that will face the same perilous struggles of your father. As each moment passes the realization will come to you; the meaning behind it all. For now, she must burden you with pain and confusion less you grow complacent. Know this…” She paused, “You are hers; always you are hers even when doubt warps your perception this is the one truth that is important.”
The incredulous look upon his face must have been something to behold. His hand came up to rub his chin as a wiry purse graced his lips, “Always you twist your words so that I do not understand. Sometimes…” He stopped speaking suddenly as his mind pondered how he wished to finish his thoughts. There were moments he felt as though Tearra was not even speaking of herself, but that her words were spoken for another. When he finally found the resolve he needed to speak further she had already turned to leave, “Did I offend you with my words or my question?”
For only a moment her body stilled as she directed, “Speak with your father.”
Kuro sighed, keeping his eyes fixed upon the goddess until she was out of sight. The last thing he wanted was to go and find his father, but always he did as she asked. Deep down he knew it was the boy in him wanting encouragement and acceptance. Still, it left a knot in his stomach as he went off in search of his wayward father.
Always Rin could be found in the same location after the two had exchanged words. So, his search was not a difficult one. He inwardly sighed, it was not unexpected that his father had not turned or acknowledged him.
The words were rarely easy and when they were it was because they were heated. Kuro doubted time would change their relationship. His mouth opened to speak then quickly closed. An apology would be the most respectful thing to do considering the god gave him life, “I can practically hear your thoughts as you maul over what to do. If you have something you wish to say baby serpent, simply say it.”
“Baby serpent, how insulting. In the age of men, it is I who has more years,” Kuro barked.
“Oh, when you grow into your fangs only then can you mouth off boy. Why have you come here? Is your duty not to protect the queen as I have ordered?”
His lips pursed as his fathers tone grew hot, “The goddess asked me to come and find you. Speak with you, though I hardly see why I should put in any effort when you are incapable of showing any sort of affection for your son.”
“You are hers,” his fathers words echoed those Tearra had spoken earlier.
With an exasperated sigh he shook his head, “It is infuriating when the two of you talk in circles. Speak plainly or not at all.”
Unexpectedly his father turned, “Foolish child. You spend so much time trying to figure things out and yet are blind to what is before you. I have no use for someone who cannot see beyond his own selfish desires. Is that plain enough for you boy?”
Kuro tried to hold in his anger as he spoke, “Then why summon me? Certainly the mighty God Rin can protect the Queen of the Gods on his own. What purpose do I serve here?” Not a single response was uttered. Each day he had spent with the God Rin and the Goddess Tearra he was reminded they were keeping secrets. What he could not figure out was whose secrets they were. “I will just leave if you do not want me here,” Kuro finally relented.
“I cannot allow that.”
“Then tell me what my purpose is to you,” Kuro spat.
His father’s head tilted slightly, though he could not readily identify the expression. Was it pity? Sympathy? Whatever it was it was there only briefly as the snow cascaded down around them. “I have chosen a name. From this day forward those of my blood will be called Ishi, the serpent clan and you will be known as Kuro, first son of Rin,” His father finally acknowledged. “Your purpose is to guide those that follow. One hundred and fifty sons and daughters of Rin; the foundation for our army against the King of the Gods. We will grow, large in number and mighty in strength. A martyr you will be to your people, to your father, to your queen.”
Without further explanation he understood that his father was telling him that he would guide his siblings. A purpose; though it was hardly one he expected. Certainly he had overheard the conversation shared between his father and the goddess regarding Rin’s liaisons. It simply led to more questions, “Why is it you will not guide them?”
A brave and bold question it must have been because his father took a moment to choose his words carefully. “The goddess has seen only one path for me to walk,” He responded.
“So, this is her doing? Will you do everything she wishes of you?”
The annoyance could be discerned in the way Rin sighed, “How ignorant a child you are. Do you think you can get by in this world by beating your chest and stomping your feet? Stubborn willfulness gets you nothing. Someone so young and shallow in thought should not question so callously.”
“From where I am standing, it seems as though you have put blind faith in the eyes of the Goddess.”
“Do not speak to me boy of blind faith when you have lived a mere hundred years. That is nothing. A blink of an eye,” His father snarled then quickly composed himself. Watching his father smooth out the folds of his clothing he half expected the conversation to just end until Rin responded, “I would rather you not speak to me unless you have to.”
It was the hurt that forced Kuro to snort and say, “Oh, do I get under the skin of the mighty God of Death?”
As his father took a step there was disappointment that it would suddenly end like this. Never was there acceptance from Rin, not for him. This feeling of being lesser had overtaken him the moment he had arrived and each day that passed it had built. He wanted to leave. Run away from this place and return to the blood of the God of Love, Hisoka. Not that it was any better there, but at least he was not treated as slime from a slug.
Disappointment with each step his father took. “Kuro,” His name spoken broke up his wayward thoughts and his attention fell swiftly upon the back of his father, “This weather is not suited for serpents.”
He stammered and matched his fathers stride, taken aback by the fact that his father had shown a small amount of compassion even if it was only briefly.