Muse – Moments After the Storm

Every morning the Ishi congregated at the elders estate. The number of Ishi varied, but by eight in the morning most of them had wandered off to handle work and errands leaving three of the Sons of Rin. Today, however, was unusual due to Bak’s late arrival.

“Bringing her to the estate of the Elder of the Ishi was an unwise decision,” Kin argued. “Dragging her into…”

Bak cut him off, “Considering a meteor nearly dropped on my head and hers, I would say she is involved. Do you really think that Kazuma cares about the life of some woman?”

Kin sighed, “You are completely missing the point. I am sure your emotions are running wild, but how do you expect to explain her presence to Kuro?”

“He will understand.”

“I do not think he will,” Kin argued.

“What was I suppose to do? Leaving her there was not an option. She has not stopped trembling since it happened; people were not simply killed they were turned to ash by flames that burned so hot in moments. What she witnessed cannot be unseen. Not to mention…”

Bak noticed how his brother pursed his lips before anticipating his thoughts, “Considering how hot you said the flames were, it will be a miracle if any DNA can be recovered to identify the bodies. I am sorry that Ameya is among the missing and presumed dead, but there is nothing you could have done. It, also does not change the fact that you should not have brought Mao here.”

“I get it,” Bak snapped, “What you are really saying is I should not have expelled as much energy as I did to protect the two of us. I should have let her die.”

“That is not what I said…”

“You didn’t fucking have to.” Bak was irritated, despite the snorted laugh, “What about you? Got something you want to add?”

Never did he let his attention fall upon his brother Mikio; it was a complicated relationship. He was kin and yet far more than that. Within him, resided his father, the Death God Rin. Certainly he thought him foolish.

It took far more energy than he had reserved to protect the two of them. Even though he was covering it well, if it came necessary for him to protect himself again, he would not be able to do so. “Kin and I have matters to attend to so we will be leaving. You can explain this to Kuro…”

“That is it? No lecture?”

Mikio stood and Kin quickly fallowed suit. His two older brothers stopped at the archway of the kitchen. Bak knew this because he could feel them looking upon him. It would be moments of silence before Kin departed and Mikio finally spoke, “Risking your own life to protect her was foolish; I am sure she is grateful and frightened. However, there is no way she could possibly understand how close you came to killing yourself. Even now the seal on your forehead is fading. I placed that mark upon you as a boy; taught you how to weave magic into it for shielding. This was for war; to fight Kazuma. It was to protect your blood…..”

Those words were not the ones belonging to his brother, but instead to his father. “What was I suppose to do, let her die? What type of man would I be?”

“Do not set your moral compass right when it needs to be askew. There is a reason you alone stood at my side. When the need comes; I trust that you will make the hard decisions when no one else is capable. Do not let big eyes and a curvy body derail you from your path.”

“My path…” Bak repeated, “What does Mikio have to say on this matter?”

“Who knows,” The voice of his brother rang out as he departed the room.




  1. Wow, this is a heck of a thing to put in a muses, Michelle HAHA. Seems like there is a lot going on, or a lot being set up, for the next chapter? Anyway, I have questions. First, IS Kazuma going to be concerned about some American woman? I know we had discussed something particular about Kat at one point, and am not sure if you were going to run with that or not. Maybe you are, I should probably ask you elsewhere HAHA.

    Then, okay, what is with Bak’s mark fading? Does that mean his magic is just about gone? If his mark is meant to protect him in times of war and meteor strikes, how long would it take for the mark to right itself? Just based on how much both Kin and “Rin” looked down on Bak’s decisions, I am guessing it would take too long for the magic to fill back up in time for whatever Kazuma has planned. That…worries me greatly, for a lot of the characters.

    Also, what the hell, Rin? “There is a reason you alone stood by my side”? Oh? Is that because you want Bak to be as big of an asshole murdering bastard as you? Rin, I like you…but I detest you. Besides, your wacko grandson is already capable of doing what Bak might not want to do… er, unless Togore is not who he was in TEP? *scratches head*

    Ahhh, and I get the point of the last set of pictures. Please don’t tell me Bak is going to have to make a choice, because if that is what Mikio is seeing, then I fear Kat might have gotten in way over her head with this group HAHA. I am completely looking forward to seeing how she handles it…er, them…er, him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Yes there is quite a bit for the next chapter. As you can see I have been building with muses for a while.

      Once Kazuma realizes that one of his kin was nearly killed we might very well see an unhappy Kazuma though is it because she was nearly killed or because she wasn’t…hmm, we will have to wait and see.

      No it is fine to ask me here. Kat of course is Kari through her great Grandfather Kyo. So there is of course reasons to be concerned. ^_^ How that plays out though, you will just have to wait and see. *Dangles in front of you*

      Bak spent many years infusing magic into that seal. The fading of it indicates that he depleted all of the magic that he had been building within it.

      We shall do a little magically gathering here. Bak had that seal on his forehead in the Christmas muse when he is 13. Rin/Mikio states he put it on him as a boy, taught him how to weave magic into it, so we know that prior to the age of 12 that mark was put on him and he had begun to put magic into it.

      Additionally we know that Bak is quite young in comparison to his siblings, being only 54 years old. In that span of time he was able to fuse enough magic on a daily basis to protect from a single meteor and even had to go beyond that seal and use some of his own unsealed magic to assist in keeping his shield up.

      Physically Bak is spent and he is running on reserves at this point. His body alone will take quite a bit of time to require, but without a magical boost his seal will fade away and be gone completely. While Bak is quite talented with magic, that seal belong to Rin and aside from Rin there is only one other that could put that kind of magically shielding seal upon him or reinforce the one he has and that is Togore.

      After the seal is “fixed” if it is “fixed”, it can take Bak many decades to put enough magic into it again to protect from a meteor or something worse.

      HAHA, Kat. We will have to see what kind of monster Togore truly is in the canon, I will not spoil it for you as for Rin and Bak…Well…I will just say that Rin is quite disappointed, but perhaps not for the reason it seems.

      HAHA, well we will see if Kat has gotten in way to deep. She is not the only girl that has a fight on her hand; so she is not alone in that dangerous boat. ^_^

      • Okay, good. It has been awhile since we discussed Kat being Kyo’s great-granddaughtet, and the implications of her being in Aslann, not being with the Kari, and possibly getting involved with the Ishi. That screams “trouble”, even without Kazuma knowing of her existence. So seeing that play out will be fascinating.

        So, basically, that seal is useless to Bak unless it gets fixed…or he gets another one (which is unlikely). That…is not good. ๐Ÿ™

        HAHA you are so delightfully vague. Kazuma may or may not want Kat dead, Rin may or may not be disappointed for some reason… you are so evil. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will hazard a guess to say Rin doesn’t want Bak being a straight and narrow guy, and Kazuma will not tolerate any Kari who are not in lock step with him (which makes me worry about Iashi, but that is another story).

        HAHA Kat will be okay. Tussed up, maybe broken a bit, but she will make it through. Besides, she will not have it as bad as Tationy. I fear for that one even more.

      • Yes, I keep all of that stuff always in mind,so even when I mention it then not mention it fora long time it is still there generally. ^_^

        Well we will see how that plays out with his seal.

        I do try. I am pretty good at being vague. Iashi is no lightweight. We will see him again. There is a reason in TEP there was consideration that he might actually be Kazuma and not Sesiago. He is a pretty strong guy.

        We will see how Kat is doing in the next muse. ^_^

      • Your memory is definitely better than mine, so it is good to see you do not forget these conversations we have. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, you are most likely also writing this stuff down, which helps.

        I figured Iashi is a bad mama jama in his own right. I vaguely recall that discussion of whether Iashi was Kazuma in TEP (so much to remember from that story, I need to reread parts from time to time)…

        HAHA I suspect Kat is not doing well at all. In fact, if she is upright and not passed out by this point, I would say she is doing marvelously!

      • HAHA, not as much writing down as you might think. Yes Iashi is quite strong. Which is why he and Sesiago were chosen to protect Akizuki of the Maiba during the war negotiations between Seiji Shima and Prince Tatsuya. They, Sesiago and Iashi, were the two strongest active Kari of the time.

        By active I mean they were the ones still functioning as assassins during those days.

        She is still standing at this point, for how long is anyone’s guess. ^_^

  2. Argh, I also forgot to say…I don’t see dots on Bak’s brows here, so those pictures you posted on Tumblr and on WordPress, that is going to happen? Spoilers? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Ahh… Family dynamics XD
    I’ve been meaning to ask, how do these Writing Muses fit in with the cannon story? Are they happening on the same timeline?

  4. Poor Bak, getting lectured for the good deeds. Though I do agree with his father, he should think about himself and his kin first.
    Poor Kat. Lots of people burning to ashes is surely something that will haunt her for quite some time.
    Mikio is just so done with everything as usual. Can’t blame him though. I wonder if his emotional detachment has to do with Rin using his body as a residence? Must be very odd sharing a body with your own dad, especially when he’s Rin.
    I’m curious to see Kuro’s reaction to all this. And the next chapter seems to be something really grand with all the events building up!

    • Thank you. Yes there is quite a build up. Lots coming in the next couple of chapters.

      Well Mikio is hard to say, we will learn it as time goes on what is going on with him and how much of it is Rin and how much of it is himself.

      Yes, Kat has a lot of her own conflict to resolve that she witnessed first hand as well as dealing with the fact that her roommate is missing. Bak has his own struggles.

  5. Hmm.. so, if his magic is depleted because he has used it all while he was protecting Kat and himself from the blast, can know.. replenish it back? :'( No? I guess not in a short time.. it must have taken years for that..

    This is interesting. So, like, Kat is dragged into Ishi’s place, while Ameya is over at Nakamaru’s. hehehehe. So, Ameya is presumed dead?

    Hmmm. Make the hard decisions when no one else capable.. I wonder what kind of ‘hard decision’ he meant… *_*

    • He can replenish it back, we will learn how he can do that in the chapter, but it takes a long time to do it.

      Yes at this point Ameya is presumed missing or dead. When Kat talks to the police, she tells them that Ameya was going to work the last time they spoke, but she never made it into the building to see if she arrived. So they have her missing, but presumed dead, seeing they can only assume she was in the blast or did not make it to the shop.

      Those hard decisions we will just have to wait and see. ^_^

      • Takes a long time, eh? I have to ask, how many years for the story timeline? Er.. you know.. the period of time you will be using. 10 years. 20 years. Something like that. How many?

        Hm. So, once they knew Ameya was been ‘kidnapped’, they will come looking for her. but then, I’m guessing by that time, Ameya must have ‘changed’ already. Right?

      • Tentatively, I have 5 years planned out to some degree. However, I do the story day by day, so how those five years will potentially be shown is unknown at this point.

        They will begin looking for her, but by the time they find her she will have begun to become sympathetic to Sin and the change will be in process.

      • It’s like, if they come find her on that first week she was been kidnapped, surely she would want to get away from that place and follow them, but by the time they come find looking for her, it’s probably too late and she will choose to stay. right?

      • Yeah it ultimately depends on how I wrote it and when they find her whether or not she will choose to stay. As I have it right now, by the time they find her she is sympathetic to Sin and she does not feel she can leave him at least not at this point, because he will be all alone.

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