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Thread: Palingenetic Descension ("Tsukihime" one-shot)

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    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Palingenetic Descension ("Tsukihime" one-shot)

    Originally posted as part of Kirby's 2019 Secret Santa Contest. I have nothing but thanks for You and Prix of Heroes, who beta read the original version, and for TwilightsCall's criticism which led to this slightly reworked version! Also, the line "even a corpse’s hair and nails live longer than a man’s pride" is a direct paraphrase from Kurosawa's Throne of Blood.


    Palingenetic Descension
    Content Warning: sexual assault, violence.

    He remembered his grandmother scolding him.

    “Samurai do not cry,” she told him sternly, then slapped him. They were entertaining a visitor from the imperial court, a cousin of the ailing Emperor Horikawa, and his crying shamed them.


    In between sobs, the boy told her how the visitor’s children were openly cruel to him, mocking him because he was called Hachirou – “the eighth son” – even though he was his father’s first and only son.


    She made her contempt known by slapping him again. “Is that it? Were those petty insults the only reason for you to behave in such a disgraceful manner?”


    Hesitantly, he told her what the servants spoke of him when they did not know he could hear, and more importantly, what they spoke of his mother. When his grandmother heard that, her eyes narrowed, and he knew: people would die for the disrespect to her late daughter.


    Finally, he admitted he once went to his father and begged him for a new name. The father, in his rightful anger as lord and master of their house, violently let him know he would not even be allowed to choose a different name after the coming-of-age ceremony. He would forever carry his father’s displeasure as Hachirou, the firstborn who would never be acknowledged as such.


    At those words, his grandmother’s eyes, until then full of nothing but annoyance and disappointment, finally softened. Showing uncharacteristic kindness, she kneeled beside the boy and spoke with him long into the evening, telling him about Minamoto no Yoshiie and how the great samurai had once been entertained by his parents…


    Hunger. He remembered feeling hungry, once. Not for anything as mundane as food or drink, no – he hungered for power. For his birthright. His mortal father (a lord among lords, weak though he may have been) had taught him how to ride, to lead, to kill, but it had been his grandmother who taught him his destiny: to rule above all, as a true son of Hachimantarou rightfully should.

    Yes, he once felt real hunger, a yearning which burned like poison in his very bones. He still remembered that feeling in some way, a shadow of an echo of a dream, but now he was ruled by a different appetite – one much less lofty, but much easier to satisfy, and he found he did not miss his old cravings.

    He mused on those thoughts as he idly chewed on a leg bone, letting the marrow run down his throat. It used to be a young soldier's leg. The meat was too hard, too lean, but it had dulled the pain – and the look on the young man's eyes as life had been slowly torn from his body had even brought him... Happiness? Yes, that was the word – happiness. How fleeting! How elusive!

    Neither the sounds of battle all around him nor the sight of enemy warriors barging into the room broke through his musings, much less the dying screams of his remaining soldiers being killed right over the next room; it was the sight of her. Kouyou. Her armour bore marks of heavy fighting from shoulders to toe, and the inelegance angered him. At least her face was fully exposed, and he drank in the sight of her amber eyes: the fierce determination in them, their captivating beauty. His daughter, his firstborn child. Her long black hair had several strands of a bright, vivid red. That pleased him, for gods should never hide their true nature.

    He threw away the leg bone and walked to her. Her soldiers charged at him even as she tried to hold them back, but he barely even spared a glance and they immediately fell to their knees. That was only natural: he was Bushin-Tenka, War God of All Under Heaven, grandson of Yahata-no-Kami. Even the most impure beings in existence would never be able to raise arms against their heavenly sovereign.

    All around him, the fallen warriors strained desperately against their own treacherous blood as it assaulted them from inside, but he paid them no heed. He only saw her.

    “Father…”

    He sternly reprimanded her lack of respect when addressing Bushin-Tenka.

    Father,” she insisted. “Your actions have brought our family to the brink of disaster. The other clans tell stories of you and your vile deeds. They fear you as they would fear an ogre from their childhood legends, but soon they will hate you more, and then we will be destroyed.”

    He scoffed at her fears and showed nothing but contempt for the other clans. Even if they gathered all the swords and spears between Heaven and Hell, they would still be like ants trying to break down a mountain. He was Bushin-Tenka, and they would submit to him as was only right.

    She nodded, already prepared for that answer. There would be no more words between them: raising her naginata, she attacked, fast as lightning, strong as the hurricane.

    She might as well have been trying to escape the palm of Buddha.

    With nothing but a thought, the very bones of her followers were forcibly drawn out of their still-living bodies and shaped into spears with a speed which put hers to shame. The polearms flew as if thrown by an invisible force, bathed in killing intent. Her naginata moved as if it was the Heavenly Jeweled Spear itself, parrying every strike without fail, but the invisible force was relentless: every time she destroyed a weapon, it simply reformed itself and resumed the assault.

    The one who called himself Bushin-Tenka saw that, and he was pleased. Those who would not bow to him would be killed by this onslaught; such was his will.

    Kouyou could do nothing but hold her defensive stance as she was steadily driven back. She felt her anger rise, not at the enemy she could not reach, but at being forced to retreat in the first place. Wounded pride exploded outward in a primal scream of frustration as her hair - brighter than the crimson skies under a blood-red sun - moved seemingly of its own accord, as if pulled by invisible strings, and lunged at the flying shafts like an entire nest of vipers. As soon as they touched the spears, the bones crumbled into dust and fragments, as if whatever power animating them suddenly vanished.

    She would not waste the opportunity. She rushed toward him, a streak, her weapon poised to deliver what was sure to be a killing blow…

    …And was pierced from behind by nearly a dozen spears formed out of the crystallized blood of her dead warriors.

    Her naginata clattered uselessly to the floor as she staggered to the wall for support. Bleeding from open wounds all over her torso, barely able to stand, the only reason she still lived was the enhanced constitution granted by her inhuman ancestry.

    Bushin-Tenka’s victory all but assured, he briefly felt another unfamiliar feeling stir in his chest as he approached her. He had other children, but this one – his firstborn – was stronger than all the others. Special. What an empress she would have made! This emotion whose name he could no longer remember weighed heavily on his heart, and he was angry. He had just eaten, but he felt the pangs of hunger again, and wondered how long she would survive while he consumed her flesh even as he extended his arms, ready to kill.

    By the time he saw she was smiling, it was already too late.

    Countless were the little gods residing on Earth under Heaven, beings who were at once both above and below humans in the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Those who walked the way of the Yin and Yang could forge pacts with them, but there was a fundamental principle at the root of all such practices: equivalent exchange, a sacrifice of life force or magical energy. Kouyou’s hair, every strand of it, was rich in both.

    “All hail the glory of Bishamonten,” she chanted, her voice echoing with the force of thunder. “May the presiders over warriors be my vanguard!”

    Dozens upon dozens of shikigami of the highest order were unleashed upon the one who had been her father, fierce death gods who attacked not his body, but his spirit, and he felt himself being invaded by them, his very essence being violated. He tried to stand his ground, to shout, to assert his heavenly will, but before such an assault, what was the hollow authority of a false god? The aimless pride of the fading memory of a mortal man?

    The cold wind of the mountain cut into his flesh despite his armour as he stepped into the abandoned temple. There was a time when it housed a living buddha, which made it a popular pilgrimage site for neighbouring villages. The monks who tended it grew fat and wealthy on the offerings, but the ever-looming threat of war cut those off, and the temple was abandoned.

    Hachirou cared nothing for that as he surveyed the temple’s interior. Unlike the outside, it had been well-cared for, with floating eyeballs covered in foxfire providing the lights and tapestries made of human skin hung on the wall. At the centre of the room there were women with skin white as porcelain but who wore no makeup performing some dance from Chuugoku, their long, slender arms and legs – much longer and slender than any he had ever seen – moving in an almost beckoning manner even as they covered themselves from view with ribbons and fans. All around them, dog-faced courtiers sat cross-legged and watched the dancers with pure, naked lust, dripping saliva from their half-open mouths. Off to the side, stinking of blood and sweat, little pigs who walked as humans scurried all over the place, pouring something which looked like sake for the men and throwing assorted pieces of meat and guts into a huge cauldron filled to the brim with water that had already turned red. He could see the heads of children bubbling to the surface.

    He cared nothing for that, either. Instead, he looked to the sandstone dais which had once housed the living buddha and was now occupied by six people. One of them was a woman of such beauty and dressed in such finery anyone would believe her to be a princess if not for the eight eyes on her forehead, her neck twice as long as the size of her head, or the claws growing out of her hand; she was surrounded by four other women equally dressed in elegant clothes, but no one could say anything of their beauty, for their faces were completely smooth and devoid of features. The last person seated at the platform was an impossibly elderly man, so old and wizened it was impossible he had ever been alive. He was a tall man, half as tall as a cherry tree, and his clothes were of such quality that next to him, even Emperor Sutoku would have looked as if he were dressed in rags.


    Hachirou moved with purpose, quashing all fear and doubt with sheer pride and rage at his unfulfilled destiny. No one seemed to take notice except for the creatures on the dais, and they only regarded him with interest and amusement. He stood before them and spoke long and proudly of who he was and his many deeds, and above all of his father – his real father –, then asked for his boon.


    The old man who was half as tall as a tree laughed at him with pure delight, clapping his hands and hopping in place with joy, an exuberant demonstration of childish glee which only looked all the more grotesque on one such as him. “My child, my silly child, my wonderful, wonderful child! The stories you little people tell yourselves! You do everything in your power to convince yourselves you are important, but you do so by borrowing that importance from others!”


    He fought back his anger at the old man’s words and asked for his boon again.


    The tall old man’s mirth did not go away; if anything, it only seemed to increase. “I can give you what you want, my petulant child, but be warned: even a corpse’s hair and nails live longer than a man’s pride.”


    Without waiting for an answer, the elderly giant turned to the demon-princess beside him. “What do you think, daughter? Will you take part?”


    Only then did Hachirou notice she had been looking at him the whole time, as if studying him. Hearing her father’s question, she smiled and replied: “Yes, father, I will. My friend Momiji always tells me I should be more involved in the lives of mortals. Perhaps this will give me the incentive I need.”


    “Wonderful, wonderful! A little help, then, if you please.”


    With a swift movement – so swift Hachirou barely saw it –, she shot out of her seat and slashed at his wrist, cutting open a vein. Wordlessly, the smile never leaving his face, the giant elderly man extended his bleeding wrist to Hachirou.


    Hachirou took the arm and drank the blood. Hesitatingly at first, disgusted by the viscous liquid running down his throat, but then greedily, like a hungry baby suckling on their mother’s teats – until it started to burn. He pushed the laughing old man away from him and desperately tried to take off his armour, screaming until his voice went hoarse. Many were the villages and castles he had burned, and none of those flames had burned as hot as the fire that was now taking his body.


    His mind almost lost in a feverish haze, he barely even saw as the devil-princess jumped on him. Her claws shredded his armour as if it were paper, and his clothes provided even less resistance. Soon he was standing there completely exposed; his manhood had become harder at some point than it had ever been in his life. He desperately tried to fend her off but failed, and she threw him to the ground and mounted him hard and fast, grunting and laughing at his pain. All around them, as if on cue, the dog-faced men were jumping on the dancers, their intent clearly visible in their bodies even through the layers of clothing, but there were not enough women for all, so the weaker ones had to avail themselves of the pig-people. Those who were attacked tried to run, but soon their squeals drowned all other sounds; the others kept tending to the chores.


    He looked away, unable to bear what she was doing to him, but his body did not care. He suddenly felt cold as the fire inside him started to recede. It first settled in his belly, then descended to his crotch, then erupted inside the demon-woman, and he dared to hope that would be the end. But no; she kept riding him, and his seed impossibly kept flowing without stop. He felt himself growing weaker by the second, but still she rode, and her belly grew big, bigger, bigger…


    She finally jumped away from him, the place between her thighs glistening white and red with his seed and blood. She laid right there on the temple floor, uncaring, still laughing, and in the blink of an eye the faceless attendants were there to help with the birth.


    His body was shaking, and he curled up on himself. He could feel something changing inside him, but he felt weak, so weak… Only the elder’s voice broke through the cold emptiness to reach him.


    “Your daughter will be a fine ruler, strong in body and mind. She will prove herself worthy of your ‘divine’ heritage, my brave child.”


    He was dying, but he still found strength to accuse, to complain. That was not what he wanted, not what he asked…


    “Oh, do not worry, my greedy little child. You will receive your boon in full. I love you all too much not to spoil you rotten!”


    Surprisingly strong hands grabbed and raised his hindquarters, positioning him so he could still see the birth of his daughter, and then he was taken with great vigour, the tall old man laughing in a child-like manner all throughout the act. He tried not to think, tried not to feel, as he watched as the faceless ladies-in-waiting cut open the devil-princess’ belly and tore a baby from inside her, the princess showing no pain as she sang loving lullabies. The long-limbed dancers were not screaming anymore, only crying, and he could hear no more squealing, only the sounds of biting and chewing.


    With a shudder and a jerk, the laughter finally stopped as the tall old man spilled his seed inside him, and with the seed came the burning once more. He finally tried to fight, to scream, to proclaim his divine lineage, but before such an assault, what was the hollow power of a nobleman’s son? The petty pride of a mortal man descending to his projected self?


    The man who had called himself Bushin-Tenka lay dying, though he bore no visible wounds, his thoughts railing uselessly against his approaching oblivion. There had been no more words between him and his daughter.

    Kouyou staggered out of the castle into her soldiers’ encampment and was met with cheers. This pleased her. Her followers praised her and loved her and served her loyally, for her father (a lord among lords, monstrous though he might have been) had taught her how to ride, to lead, to kill. He had even taught her of their destiny to rule above all, as the lineage of Hachiman should. She had learned well from the Bushin-Tenka, War God of All Under Heaven, and she would pass that lie and that curse down through the family line.

    Hachirou Tohno lay dead, his corpse left to rot.
    Last edited by SpoonyViking; January 17th, 2020 at 02:16 PM.
    My fanfics:
    The Gift (F/SN): The last duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
    Passion Acknowledged (F/SN): Shinji X Shirou lemon
    He Was a Good King (F/SN): Was Beowulf a good king?
    A Fairy Tale of Love and Death (F/SN): A meeting between Scáthach and King Hassan.
    Palingenetic Descension (Tsukihime): The origin of the Tohno family's hybrid nature.

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