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Chapter Three

It had been a dark, cold night, one of the few he had been kept outside after the fascinated and fearful villagers had all gone home. He sensed that they were close to the heart of the country; there seemed to be many houses, and as the wagons had passed through the countryside he had smelt animals that would not be found in such numbers in the less habitated snowy wastelands to the north. He had smelt sheep in great numbers, and even occasionally cows. These smells, despite being overlayed by the omnipresent stench of his own filth, had almost brought tears to his eyes, the pain of hunger had been so strong.
At the time, he lay in the corner of the cage furthest from the most recent pile of excrement, his head in his hands, his eyes watching the night sky with a feverish longing to run under those awesome stars just one more time... he had felt the hate and rage at his confinement stronger than ever, almost exploding from his veins at any moment it seemed. Then he had heard footsteps behind him, and jumped as some strange electricity ran the length of his body. It was not an entirely unpleasant feeling, and was similar to the feeling of the courage-breath, as he had named it, that flowed through his body most of the time. Cautiously, he turned to see a tall, heavily built and heavily armoured soldier standing staring into his cage from narrow yet piercing, cool blue eyes; eyes that chilled him to the bone more than any Sairou winter ever could. It took a moment before his wolfish instincts realized what was wrong with the stranger; he did not bear any weapon, despite the obvious battle armour with its ominous claw chaped shoulder guards. The man looked at him from those deadly, killer's blue eyes for many minutes before finally murmering quietly as if he didn't want anyone to see him (although he didn't know why, his very presence told him that few men could stop the soldier if he willed it).
"So, you are the one... it's taken me a long time to find you, but I see it is you. No... I feel it."
His words were just as cold and ruthless as his eyes suggested, and despite the relative warmth of the village and the burning rage inside him he shivered. The man had an air about him that said he valued no life other than his own, and would stop at nothing to achieve his own desires. If anything was to be feared in the world, it was this man.
"I will free you now. Take your revenge; it would not do you good to travel in my presence with so much built up chi. Then you will come with me, to Kutou."
Filled with shock, he realized the man held a medium sized key in his hand now. The end of the key was stained red, as if a token of its price. The tall, blond haired man put the key into the padlock and turned it. There was a click, then the cage door slowly swung open outwards, with just a hint of squeaking metal.
Free.
Why?
He did not know, and at the moment he did not care. Filled with growing determination, he let his rage flow through him, igniting the courage-breath with a strength never before felt. With a roaring, broken howl he threw himself at the nearest wagon, a faint feeling of surprise at the back of his mind as he passed through the wooden walls like paper. Inside two men that lay sleeping on their bunks awoke suddenly, shocked expressions on the faces he recognized for two of his most common torturers. With a snarl of hatred, he slashed downwards to the first man's head; he realized that the air around him appeared to be burning in a cold, blue fire that somehow he did not fear whatsoever, for it was his own fire. Then leaving the mangled mess of skull, brain and blood he spun and slashed across the second man's neck, half decapitating him. The man slumped back into his bunk; his head lolled at an unnatural angle, the deep gash through his neck spilling blood onto the floor. The blue fire around Ashitare, Seiryuu Seishi, slowly died back down as he eagerly buried his face into the carnage and hungrily began to feed.

The End.

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