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Cetera: Fuji - Rhea

[Prince of Tennis] Et Cetera - Prologue

Posted on 2012.04.18 at 10:58
Tags: , , , ,
A Prince of Tennis fanfiction. Fantasy AU, drama/romance. Rated R (M) overall. Multiple pairings. 50,000+ words total.

Originally written 11/20/2004 - 7/18/2006, with ongoing revisions.

For Crysi, sine qua non.

High Gods, rulers of the Heaven,
Humans, creation most adored,
Sprites, that cross the realms between,
And the rest...

Et Cetera




Invisible, intangible. Leaving its only visible vestige in others, but itself never changed. The fourth element of the World. The one absolute force, to which all bowed.

All but the being that stood in the heart of what was once known as the Temple of Time. Time had never affected this being since its creation, long, long ago. And the being had not troubled itself with what lay outside the Temple for equally long time.

Perhaps, the being wondered, it might be worthwhile to explore the outside. There was nothing to be done in the Temple. In this place where time stood still, no change ever came. Once, the being had treasured the endless serenity of the Temple, but it had become monotonous after – however long it had been, since the being was created and placed here.

Gathering its consciousness within a tight, confined boundary was unpleasant, but having its consciousness diffused over a large area would be distracting once it left the Temple. So the being bound its existence into a small vessel, a physical container that could be seen and touched, and interact with the World. Naturally, the vessel should take the form of a common inhabitant living in the World, or it might draw unwanted attention. Yet the form should be fair to behold, and resemble one of the more highly sentient life-forms, so that the being might mingle with them easily.

When the being finished, it was now inside a rather neat package that held all its consciousness and powers within. Just then, the being felt a call from outside the Temple, and the pleasure at the success was swiftly replaced by curiosity. Before, while its consciousness was spread throughout the Temple, the being had found such calls distant and easy to disregard. But now the call felt urgent, and difficult to ignore. Besides, if it wanted to enter the World, answering this call was a good a way as any.

The vessel was made up of the same material as the Temple itself. It glowed faintly at first, as it focused its will to find the source of the call, and brighter as it gathered its consciousness around the call, and pulled. The call pulled the being along with it, retracting back to the source, back to the World. And the being followed, vanishing into the flash of bright light.

The being knew when it arrived at the destination, because now the source of the call felt physically close. Using the perception that came with the physical vessel, it examined its surroundings, and found an inhabitant of the World sprawled at its feet. The caller, wide-eyed, open-mouthed, stared at the being in silent wonder.

“Why have you called?” The being asked. The desperation of the call was what brought it here. It might as well attend to that first, before going deeper into the World.

“You...you really came,” the inhabitant whispered. The being had to strain its senses to hear the words; the physical vessel was already proving useful, but the sensory perception that came with it was but a pale shadow of what it used to have in the Temple.

“A child of the Gods, from the Temple of Time,” the caller continued, in a louder voice. “What are you called?” The inhabitant of the World now looked more focused, though still awestruck. The being tilted its head, thinking. So it needed a name to interact with the inhabitants of the World. Any name would do; after all, it did not remember what it was originally called.

“Yukimura,” it answered. “Yukimura Seiichi.”

The Human led the being back to his village. The being was curious to learn about the World, and the caller obliged the best he could. The reason for the call, when they got back to that, had been a wish. It wasn’t something Yukimura understood, but as repayment for the information, Yukimura granted the caller’s wish: to save his village from imminent destruction and win the affections of a woman. The Human obtained only the first part of it through Yukimura, since it was outside Yukimura’s power to grant the latter, but the second happened shortly after the first anyway. The Human remained relatively happy for most of his life. Throughout the Human’s life, Yukimura remained in contact with him, gaining more insight about the World and the role of Humans within it. It was with this Human Yukimura first learned the consequences of time on mortals. Yukimura watched, safely encased within its physical vessel, as the Human married the woman, produced offspring, grew old, and died.

When the Human died, Yukimura had no reason to remain there anymore. By this time, Yukimura had long since learned everything it could from the tiny village. So Yukimura left to answer another call. This time, it brought Yukimura to a Human Mage, who wanted to prevent a war that threatened his city. Yukimura thought of the first Human, and granted the wish. Yukimura remained with the Mage for the rest of his lifespan, and learned far more than it had with the first Human. When the Mage died, Yukimura answered another call. But this time, it was from a Human that wanted foolish things, wanted to destroy, so Yukimura left that one in favor of another’s call.

Over time, Yukimura found itself called by countless Human and Cetera callers (the latter almost always proved particularly informative). If a caller had wishes that would not harm others, and were within reason, Yukimura granted them, and stayed long enough to learn what it could from the caller. And so Yukimura learned about the World, but could not help sensing there was something yet missing. Something about the World – about Humans and Cetera – that it could not get its fingers on. Something important.

Yukimura did not remember why it had been in the Temple in the first place. That knowledge had either been lost in time or had never been present as long as Yukimura was aware of itself. That did not bother Yukimura much. It knew Humans and Cetera often sought purpose of their lives with what sometimes bordered on desperation in their limited lifespan. Yet, after watching many of those lives, Yukimura could not understand their preoccupation with any sort of purpose. Their purposes did not make much difference in the end.

Still, Yukimura could appreciate the nobility of some purposes, even when they turned out futile. For one, so many had done everything they could, even given their lives for the purpose, but in the end, nothing had stopped the war.

Thousands died each day, and Yukimura saw death and destruction all around. The lives that intrigued Yukimura so much were destroyed in droves for no reason that Yukimura could understand. Humans, Cetera, Sprites, animals – seeing so many lives wasted filled Yukimura with something similar to regret, or perhaps sadness, but knew it couldn’t be either of the two: emotion had never been within Yukimura’s capacity, even if reason was.

After the war, Yukimura ignored the calls, no matter how urgent, and simply roamed the World. Answering the calls was no longer necessary for learning, and besides, granting wishes was pointless. Wishes rarely changed anything in the end, and almost never worked out the way they were intended. If Yukimura chanced upon someone with a wish trivial enough, it granted the wish, because taking information without giving something back felt wrong, but never stayed long enough to see a familiar face die.

Sometimes, Yukimura thought about going back to the Temple. But the World, for all its flaws, still held more interest for Yukimura than the Temple ever had. And Yukimura could not shake the niggling feeling of missing something, and knew the answer could never be found in the unchanging silence and stillness of the Temple.

Besides, time had never been a problem for Yukimura. The World or the Temple, there was time enough for both.



So...Cetera has returned. Six years after initial completion of the story, and four years after being taken down from my archives. This project has remained the biggest albatross around my neck, and I still do not feel ready, but...I do not think there will be time in the future if I don't start now.

Ironic, that. ^__~

Crossposted at http://shiraume-fic.dreamwidth.org/20935.html.


(Deleted comment)
sakuran_p at 2012-05-02 13:26 (UTC) (Link)
Hey sweetie. ♥ Thanks. Sorry it took me to a while to get back to you -- I've been a bit preoccupied the past week or two.

Ahahahaha. I THOUGHT I would just repost the first few chapters. Then I actually looked at them and I was going ZOMG NEED EDITS LIKE CRAZY NOW PLZ. But, "Wall" was the worst of the problem spots, and I think we're good with that, so that's something. ^__^
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