Sin’s guard went up the moment they were upon them. Mikio would be lying if he said he had hoped what he saw was false, but sure enough there stood the girl that he had seen within the veil. Her path consistently converged with three men; Miroku Tylo, Taro Anami, and Bak Ishi.
Once he was able to peel back the layers of time itself he could see clearly what sort of monster hid himself. He was no simple man; no demon, no human. Like Soti Tylo, he was a god among men, but that would not change how this day would end. Unfortunately, the girl had not been a factor in his plan.
There were many times he looked upon her future as she stood at the side of his brother Bak. Children married; that was what he thought them. Now he understood why Bak’s path always went dark. Never once did he think this sweet and innocent face would bring about the demise of so many, but one thing always remained consistent with Miroku Tylo and that was he was never able to give up his vices.
“I was wondering if we would ever cross paths. Daughter, sister, or do you prefer son? Foolishly, Tatsuya created you. Morphed nothing into something and the Queen of the Gods went along with it. I still do not understand why, but I suppose seeing you are here with him that the reasons do not matter.”
“The power you have is not yours to wield,” Tationy responded as Mikio remained silent.
“My father had such a greatness. Unfortunately, never bestowed upon me, but it tends to be the way of things. Denied generation after generation, but then Myia got it into her blackened heart she wanted what you have. Eyes that see far beyond simple men and we are here talking. This power is mine and there is no one to stop me from using it.”
“And the woman? Is she yours as well? Using your Sato blood to subvert her will. Are you afraid she will refuse you?”
“Do not talk to me as though you understand. Kill me, go ahead. I promise you, it will be the jolt her mind needs to realize who I am.”
“You are no longer the Emperor of Aslann.”
“No, I am better than him.”
Mikio ended the conversation rather suddenly, “I cannot allow the power of Soti to come to fruition again.”
“Do you really think you are strong enough to face me?”
“Foolishly, you ran away from your protector. The Nakamaru prince could have caused serious damage to me; perhaps, even prevented me from taking your life. It was an unwise decision on your part to leave his side, but from what I saw you had little choice. Run with the woman and hope you survive or stay and lose her. You are not strong enough and clouding her childish mind, has only served to doom her to the same fate.”
“Release her mind Sin,” Tationy stated.
“He brought you with him so I could not subvert his will. Aren’t you strong enough to release her?” Sin shook his head, “No, I think things are fine this way. A fitting end for the two of us.”
Mikio reacted swiftly, deflecting the blast that was approaching and countered with one of his own. Much to his surprise, Sin had not even bothered to deflect it. No, this was what he wanted all along. Forever and always he and his love would be happily together.
Mikio looked upon the orb that had been created from his blast; sealed within it were the two star-crossed lovers. For a long time he just stared. As though doing so would allow him to absorb and understand what just happened, “Do they love each other more?”
The question must have surprised Tationy because her mouth opened and then closed, “I think it is not about that. Even if he was not subverting her will, she would have chosen him. There was a moment toward the end where he could no longer overpower her and yet she did not move. Her body knew even if her mind did not understand. For some people it is all or nothing; there isn’t anything bigger than love.”
“Is there something more important than love to you, Tationy?”
“Do you mean Kuro?”
“No, all of you. There are so many paths where an Ishi has guided and influenced me. I will gladly give my life if it means the Ishi survive. Does it mean I love you all more? No. Never. It just means I am prepared to protect the Ishi at all cost because you are worth fighting for and I do not need any of you to love me for me to make that sacrifice.”
“But we do love you,” Mikio stated.
“It means a lot to me that you do,” She said as she picked up the orb that sealed away Ameya and Sin, “But it would change nothing for me, if all of you didn’t. I think that is what people forget. They think love has to be a mutual thing. Young people like Sin and Ameya are all about being noticed by that person. They need it. Without it they feel like they might die. It has to be reciprocated, but I know the difference between need and want. Being loved is amazing, anyone would want that feeling, but I do not need it. It will not change my path, but I am telling you something you already know because you feel same.”
“We should…” He reached out his hand to her as he tried to change the topic.
Not surprising she was not going to let him as she placed the orb into the palm of his hand and stated very directly, “I will be the one to tell Bak.”