Sanbou Den: "The Legend of the Three Talismans

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Concept by: Nishizaki Megumi, Watase Yuu Written by: Nishizaki Megumi Illustrated by: Watase Yuu Summarized by: Tetris no Miko Compiled by: Annz ‘n’ Dipz

They are two novels that are located between the two parts of the sleeve, that is to say, between volumes 13 and 14. The protagonists are Tasuki and Chichiri (the two only stars of Suzaku who are alive, to this height of the sleeve, except Tamahome that is in the human world).

Character List
Raimon

A boy who was abandoned as a baby and adopted by an elderly lady who worked in a circus. He learned how to be a trick knife thrower and became a popular act in the circus himself, but was abused by the head of the circus after his adoptive "mother" died.

Karin

The elder of two sisters who were sold to the circus by their debt-ridden parents. She performs acrobatics with her sister and is the optimistic and encouraging one of the trio. Raimon has just about always been in love with her and she with him, but naturally, nothing's happened yet… Incidentally, her name means some sort of Chinese blossom (the kind that turns into fruit) Anzu

Karin's little sister (by one year). Unlike her gentle sister, she is very spunky, outspoken, and a bit crass… so it's no wonder she falls for Tasuki ^^; And her name means "apricot" (and for you GTO fans, it's written with the same kanji as "Anko" from GTO…yeah, forgot to mention her name also means "apricot". Hooray for apricots!) ************

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Summary
Ahhhhh, just when you thought it was over, Watase wrote a part 2. Then, just when you thought it was over, 2 OVAs were made. Then, just when you thought it was over, novel prequels were written. Then, just when you thought it was over, the Eikou Den novels were animated. Then, just when you thought it was over, Tamahome, Mitsukake, and Chiriko got prequels. Then, just when you thought it was over, Watase started making a Genbu manga. THEN!! just when you thought it was over!!… It's a sequel to part 1 of the manga and a prequel to part 2 of the manga (yet has nothing to do with the first OVA of the anime), Sanbou Den!! And "part 1" at that!! (Yes, I also own part 2. Check out my summary if I've written it yet by now ^-^v). This one focuses on Tasuki and Chichiri, since they are the only two remaining Suzaku-dudes alive (no, Taka doesn't count : p) The "Talisman" in the title is in reference to the "shinzaho". I'm not sure how this was translated in the official translation of Fushigi Yuugi, but a "shinzaho" is a talisman that the priestess wears when summoning her god. Actually, the talisman becomes known as a talisman AFTER the ceremony, not before. So the talisman Hikitsu and Tomite were guarding was just a necklace that Genbu no Miko wore during the ceremony when she summoned Genbu, then Genbu left his powers inside the necklace, turning it into a "talisman". So! That means that Miaka and Yui also created talismans from their ceremonies! If you read my summaries for Eikou Den, you'll know what Miaka's talisman turned out to be… but we still don't know about Yui's. So this book is about three talismans, not all four. So anyway, anyway, the premise is that Tenkou (the evil devil dude who Nakago worshipped) wants to collect the three talismans, since they all have godly powers in them, to use them for evil stuff (what else? ^_-). Houki tells Tasuki and Chichiri of the missing talismans and they decide it's best to try and return them all to restore order to the world. They're unsure of Suzaku's talisman, but Chichiri and Tasuki go to the Seiryuu mausoleum to try and find Seiryuu's talisman… but Nakago's spirit had set a barrier around the place, so they give up. Chichiri decides he and Tasuki should keep their eyes open to find the talismans of Genbu and Byakko and return them to safety (as of now, they're both missing, too). So Tasuki and Chichiri part their separate ways, but promise to look for the talismans and to come help each other if needed.

Okay! so part 1 is mainly about Tasuki. Yay. He decides to return to Mt. Reikaku to lead his bandits again. Apparently, half a year had passed since he'd entered Miaka's world for the final battle (remember, time flows differently), and he's worried the bandits might think he's dead. On the way back, he visits Hakuroh's and Reirei's graves (read Tasuki no Miko's translation of Genroh Den!!), then riles himself up to get a big warm welcome back from the bandits… But when he enters the stronghold, there's no answer. He calls out, but no one comes happily up to greet him. For a moment, he's worried maybe the Reikaku bandits disbanded, but he comes into the banquet hall and finds them all seated there. But something's weird… They're all silent, and a few of them are tending to a little girl, sitting in HIS chair. She introduces herself as the leader of the Mt. Reikaku bandits, "Anzu". Tasuki protests, but then Koji steps forward and tells Anzu cordially that he'll "take care of the intruder". Koji marches Tasuki off into another room, then, once behind closed doors, finally stops the act and cries for joy to see his friend. Koji explains to Tasuki that he came across Anzu on the path a while ago and tried to get her to pay the toll with an expensive-looking necklace she had around her neck, but when he tried to grab it, he suddenly forgot what happened and the next thing he knew, he had taken Anzu back to the stronghold, told her everything, and let her take over as leader. All the other bandits agreed as well. Tasuki figures she has some sort of mind-controlling powers and wants to overthrow her, but Koji begs him not to (because if there's a struggle, Anzu will just order all the bandits to kill Tasuki). So Tasuki grudgingly agrees to be nice. Anzu takes an immediate liking to Tasuki and lets him be her "sub-leader" ^-^ Later, there's a bit of a struggle and Anzu's necklace falls off. Suddenly, Koji and the other bandits come to their senses, but when Anzu retrieves the necklace, they fall back under her command. During the confusion, Tasuki is about to burn her with his tessen (iron fan), and Anzu tells him to just kill her, since she has nothing to live for anyway. Tasuki prepares to shoot fire (at a tree nearby her, just to scare her, but she thinks he's actually going to kill her)…but that's irrelevant anyway, because a knife-thrower comes to Anzu's rescue! The knife-thrower is none other than Raimon, a man who belonged to the same traveling circus she and her big sister Karin belonged to. He was also Karin's lover, and sort of like an honorary brother to Anzu. He also has a monkey (forgot his name… it's written in weird kanji…). He, Karin, and Anzu had escaped from the circus (or something like that… I don't really remember), but then

Karin was captured by some landlord dude and forced to marry him half a month earlier, so Raimon had promised to rescue her and Anzu was going to help him... but somehow, they'd lost each other or something like that… anyway, he's back and came to rescue Anzu! Blah! So anyway, he is very civil to Tasuki and the others (unlike Anzu, who's kind of a little brat… well, she's only 15…) and convinces Tasuki to let Anzu stay and lead. How does he do this? Good question! Apparently, he'd been at the rival stronghold (forgot the name… it's also written in weird kanji…) the same rival stronghold from Genroh Den! Eiken joined up with them and they have loooooooots of bandits on their side and they're planning to invade Mt. Reikaku and kill Tasuki. So, since Anzu has mind-controlling powers, she could control the minds of the opposing bandits and create an easy victory for Tasuki and his bandits. Raimon also promises he would help fight (being a master of knives and all). So Tasuki agrees (grudgingly) and lets them stay. Meanwhile, Chichiri (yeah, he's in this book too! ^^;) is wandering along and stuff. And meanwhile some more! Karin is locked up in a cell by the landlord dude's house. Even though she was forced to marry him, she refused to…er… consummate the marriage, so he's kept her locked up in squalor the whole time until she agrees to sleep with him. hah… She's just about to give up hope, but she has a special mirror which always shows her the face of Raimon, her lover, and she imagines him comforting her and encouraging her. (it was Raimon who originally gave her this mirror, and Raimon who gave Anzu the necklace). After he'd left the circus, he was arrested by Kutoh's government for something, and in exchange for his freedom, Karin agreed to marry the landlord who he supposedly wronged. But she still believes Raimon will come rescue her. One night, the mirror tells her to get up and walk to the guard, then tells her to point the mirror in his face. White light flashes out of the mirror, and she escapes. Wow. So she's running, and the landlord-dude's guards are chasing her and she's about to be caught… and whaddaya know, but she's come right up to Rising Dragon River! (read my translation of the Chichiri novel, Shouryuu Den!!) It's a horrible storm and the waters are raging, and she trips and her precious mirror slips into the river. She dives in after it and nearly drowns…but Chichiri grabs her hand and rescues her. Next thing we know, they're alone together in a little abandoned hut. The dudes chasing her are gone; Chichiri assumes they took her for dead and gave up. Then, Karin opens up and tells Chichiri everything about her predicament, then she asks Chichiri to tell her about his past, and he decides he might as well (but he leaves out

the part about being Chichiri; just tells her he's Hojun). He's about to be a gentleman and sleep outside, but Karin insists he stay inside the hut with her, so he does. Then, the next morning, Karin wakes up a bit before Chichiri and gets dressed, then checks her mirror. Chichiri pretends to be asleep to give her some privacy…but she apparently doesn't want privacy. She slides up next to Chichiri and wraps her arms around him. Thinking this is very uncharacteristic of her, Chichiri uncomfortably stammers to know the meaning of it… and she admits that she is very doubtful Raimon will come to rescue her, so Chichiri can "do with her as he pleases"… then she even starts to take off her robe O_o… but Chichiri pushes her back and demands coldly, "who are you." Karin seems to think there's nothing amiss, and says she wants to marry Chichiri and travel around with him… especially to Seiryuu's mausoleum…but Chichiri gets a good look in her mirror and notices 2 things. One is that the mirror is actually Byakkoh's talisman, and the other is that her lover's face is not in the mirror; instead it's two evil glowing eyes… He knocks the mirror out of her hand and she returns to her senses. Chichiri decides they must find Raimon as soon as possible and also that Karin must not look in the mirror again. After a gaudy feast in Anzu's honor (which Tasuki hated), it's time for bed. Anzu is going to sleep in the leader's room and Tasuki has to bunk up with Koji ^-^; Raimon comes to talk to Anzu and finds out quickly that she's in love with Tasuki (yeah…big surprise…). But Raimon insists Tasuki has no feelings for her, especially since he was about to burn her to death (yeah… he noticed Tasuki wasn't really aiming at her, but he didn't bother telling her…gee, wonder why…) Anzu admits that after her sister is rescued, she wants to join the Mt. Reikaku bandits to be with Tasuki and just because she likes it there. Raimon tells her he wants the necklace back right now. Anzu is puzzled and says, "but I thought we needed me to use it to defeat the other bandits?" Then Raimon assures her Tasuki's tessen will be more than enough to defeat them. Anzu is reluctant to give him the necklace, since it's the only way for her to keep being the leader, but Raimon leans in and whispers another way for her to be leader… Then, they hear footsteps and Raimon decides to hide in the room to protect Anzu (who still keeps the necklace on). Tasuki sneaks in to the room to try and steal the necklace form Anzu. He'd talked it over with Koji and concluded it was the necklace that was behind her powers, so stealing it would be a pretty good ideaaaaaa. So he goes in and sees she's "asleep", and slooooowly tries to raise her up off the bed so as not to wake her…but she mistakes this for "embracing her gently" and throws her

arms around him and drags him under the covers with her. She makes him stay most of the night with her, listening to stories of her past and Tasuki grudgingly stays (not wanting to admit to her that he was trying to steal her necklace) The next morning, the opposing bandits invade and everyone gets ready to fight. Tasuki is about to go out with his fan, but Anzu asks him to let her try it. There is that rule at Mt. Reikaku that whoever can make fire spout from the tessen is the true leader, so Anzu wants to try it so she really can be the official leader. Tasuki goes ahead and lets her try (knowing she'll just fail), but for some reason, she knows the incantation and makes fire spout out. So now Tasuki is left with just a sword…but he's still kicking ass… I mean, come ON; he's TASUKI >: )= But Anzu is running out of energy… and Raimon is nowhere to be seen…Eventually, Anzu gives out, Tasuki tries to rescue her, but is captured by the opposing bandits in the process. Why doesn't Anzu just use her mind controlling necklace to control the opposing bandits, you ask? Because Raimon's monkey had just stolen it! Yeah, yeah, he was in cahoots with the bad-bandits all along. As if we didn't know… So again meanwhile some more, Karin and Chichiri are in Kutoh, asking around for the whereabouts of Raimon. According to Karin, his sentence should have been finished a while ago. When Chichiri learns he had been in jail, he demands Karin that they go to the jail to ask. When they get there, the prison guard is uncomfortable and reluctant to tell them what happened to Raimon. Chichiri suspects he had been bribed by the landlord-dude, and begs that he spit out the truth… Meanwhile meanwhile, meanwhile!! Tasuki, Koji, Anzu, and all the Mt. Reikaku bandits still alive are gagged and tied up and being mocked by Eiken and the leader of the bad-bandits. Anzu works her way out of her gag and yells at Raimon, demanding to know why he's betrayed them. Tasuki accuses Raimon of being an impostor/monster/whatever, but Raimon insists that he IS Raimon… just not the same naiv Raimon he was before "that" happened to him… Tasuki is bound to a wooden cross and is about to be burned to death with his own tessen. He calls out desperately to Chichiri for help… Finally, the guard tells Karin and Chichiri the truth, "Raimon was executed… burned at the stake." Ba-ba-BUMMMM!!

Chichiri hears Tasuki's cry for help and learns that Tasuki has found Genbu's talisman (yeah, somewhere along the way when he was captured and talking to the evil-bandit dudes, he finally figured it out; the blockhead…) and also learns that Tasuki is about to be burned to death by Raimon…who is no doubt under the control of… TENKOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Mwahahaha… To be continued… Incidentally, in her freetalk, Watase-sensei joked about how in so many freetalks for stuff Fushigi Yuugi related, she's written, "well, this's the end, I guess…" and it never is. So she vowed she'll stop writing that in freetalks ^-^

Sanbou Den ("The Legend of the Three Talismans")

Concept by: Nishizaki Megumi, Watase Yuu Written by: Nishizaki Megumi Illustrated by: Watase Yuu Summarized by: Tetris no Miko Compiled by: Annz ‘n’ Dipz

Summary
Back at the Kutoh jail, Karin is in denial about Raimon's death. Chichiri feels sorry for her, but hears Tasuki's cries for help and knows he has little time to get the talisman from Karin to go rescue him, so he uses the direct approach and just asks Karin for the mirror. He tells her Raimon has probably been reborn and is under the influence of the devil and is trying to acquire the talismans for evil… Bad move. This of course makes Karin suspicious that Chichiri is actually the badguy and why should she trust him, etc. Chichiri tries to gain her trust by telling her he is Chichiri and has special powers…but his symbol on his knee won't appear. (both his and Tasuki's powers had been weakening ever since they came back from Miaka's world), so this makes Karin believe him even less. She points the mirror at him, flashes out white light, and runs away. She thinks to herself that it's impossible that Raimon is dead and the "bad guy". She looks into her mirror and a sweet image of Raimon tells her he'll be there to see her again soon. Karin smiles and has a nice long flashback about her life with Raimon… And then we have a dammmmmmmn long chapter (over 50 pages!!) about their past. (told mainly through Raimon's eyes, actually, because he's also flashbacking as he's about to burn Tasuki) … anyway! Raimon was an abandoned baby, found in Hokkan. An old lady who belonged to a traveling circus decided to adopt him, so Raimon technically never had a "home village". The old lady was very nice to him, and the head of the traveling circus was also rather civil. Then one day, the circus leader (I wish I remembered his name… I'll just call him Kirk), anyway, "Kirk" noticed that three-year-old Raimon was pretty skilled with knives, so he decided to push some knife training on him. Raimon didn't really mind that much, but he was a meek boy anyway and would do what he was told. Soon after, the kindly old lady died, leaving a very young Raimon (I think he was only 5 or something…) in the care of Kirk… who was starting to go rotten. Kirk demanded that Raimon earn his keep by cleaning and basically doing slave-work. Raimon was frequently beaten by Kirk as well, since Kirk was an alcoholic, perpetually in debt from gambling.

Raimon had little will to live until around age 9, 2 new members joined the circus. A pair of sisters (yup, Karin and Anzu, ages 7 and 5) were sold into the circus by their parents (who were in debt) and were both very sad and bitter about it (especially the boyish and outspoken Anzu). Karin, more like Raimon, decided to cooperate to earn money as quickly as possible to pay off their parents' debt. Raimon was inspired by Karin's optimism and decided to put more work into his knife-throwing act. Then, SEVERAL years later (Raimon is 19, Karin is a week younger than 17, and Anzu is 15), all three of them had advanced very well in their arts. Karin and Anzu had just mastered a trick where Karin throws Anzu in the air and Anzu flips 5 times in the air before landing on Karin's shoulder (…yeah right ^^;), and Raimon has a death-defying trick he perfected with the monkey he found a couple years back. In this trick, he had the monkey hold a "karin" (my kanji dictionary says a "karin" is a "Chinese quince", but the "karin" mentioned in the trick is written in katakana, so I'm not really sure what it means… it's probably the same as the girl "Karin", but it was just written in katakana so the readers wouldn't think he was doing the trick with the girl Karin ^-^;)… so where was I? oh yeah, the monkey was holding a "karin" to his chest at one end of the stage, and Raimon at the other, with his back facing the monkey. He then threw a knife over his shoulder and hit the "karin", spilling its delicious fragrance about the theater. Karin (the person) was scared at first, but Raimon stared directly into her eyes before he threw the knife and told her everything would be okay. Raimon did this trick as a subliminal message to Karin that he loves her, and it's pretty apparent Karin understood, because she told him afterwards that his trick had "touched her". But it's not all happiness and flowers for long. Suddenly, just before the money from the audience was collected, there was a big disturbance in the sky. A huge dragon flew around, then disappeared. Yup, it was Seiryuu. The traveling circus happened to be in Sairoh the day Yui summoned Seiryuu. This angered Kirk, because the audience all ran away before they could collect any money. He blamed Karin and Anzu for taking too long with their performance and performing unnecessary risky moves. He told them they should just try and be sexy and cute and that's good enough. Since Seiryuu was summoned, Kirk assumed Kutoh would now be a peaceful country, so he decided the circus would travel there next. Raimon, having just blown another perfect opportunity to finally tell Karin he loves her, decided to tell her on her birthday. Before the company left Sairoh, he decided to go on a walk among the ruins of the temple where Seiryuu had appeared. And whaddaya know, but he found both talismans! He sensed they had power and decided to give one of them to Karin for her birthday.

Then, the company arrived in Kutoh, but found the country seemed even more warlike. Still, they decided to perform. As Raimon watched from the wings of the stage, he noticed a fat, bearded rich-looking guy staring greedily at Karin. He didn't like this, naturally… So when it came time for him to do his over-the-shoulder knifethrowing trick, he decided to use the fat, bearded rich-looking guy instead of his monkey. He had the guy hold a steamed bun and did the trick, coercing him to do it with a, "what? Are ya SCARED?" Satisfied with his victory, Raimon then asked Karin to meet with him in the square later that night to talk to her about "something important". Guessing he was finally going to confess his love to her, Karin and Anzu were very excited about it. Along with telling Karin he loved her, Raimon had another plan. He was going to make the three of them free. He would demand freedom from Kirk, and if that was denied, he would just take the two girls and escape in the middle of the night. Anzu and Karin had actually paid off their parents' debt long ago, and Raimon felt he owned nothing more to his "father", who'd neglected him so much all those years. Raimon had intended to give Karin the mirror for her present, but as he walked along, he saw a flower shop, selling karin-blossoms (a "karin" might be a fruit, actually… since I think I remember the book saying Sairoh's "karin" had all turned into fruit already, or something like that…) Raimon decided to barter his mirror for a branch of karin-blossoms, but just as he decided this, a thief holding a branch of karin-flowers ran out of the store. Raimon had his monkey capture the thief and bring back the branch… but consequently, the shopkeeper then concluded it had been Raimon that stole the flowers. Raimon tried to explain himself, but he was obviously an outsider and wearing strange clothes, so the shopkeeper and villagers nearby all decided to have him arrested. After waiting for a while for Raimon, Karin was suddenly approached by a breathless Anzu, telling her that Raimon had been arrested. As if that weren't enough, Kirk suddenly tells Karin she has to marry that fat bearded rich-looking guy (who turned out to be a landlord of the area who offered to get Kirk out of a huge gambling debt he'd just made the night before in Kutoh, in exchange for Karin). Karin refused, but Kirk told her that the landlord (I'll call him "Larry") had a lot of influence with the government and might just go ahead and have Raimon executed since he refused to admit to stealing the flowers. Kirk bargained with Karin, telling her if she married Larry, Anzu and Raimon would be freed, but if not, Raimon would probably die. So Karin agreed to marry Larry. (but secretly in her heart, she decided that once Raimon was freed, he would rescue her from Larry anyway and until then, she would keep her chastity).

So Kirk and Larry took Karin to the jail to see Raimon, to tell him of their idea. Raimon was outraged to hear Karin agreed to marry Larry… but then concluded she must have been bribed. But he still refused to say he stole the flowers. Karin went close to him and tried to communicate her true intentions telepathically (they seem to have a bond), and Raimon slipped her the two talismans, telling her they would surely protect her. So Karin was carted off to marry Larry, Anzu was carted off still with the circus (yeah, Kirk had lied about setting her free…big surprise…) but Karin had given her the necklace before she left. And Raimon, the next day, was lead into the square where a wooden cross over a pile of dry branches awaited him. His monkey stayed with him while he was burned to death, and both of them thought bitterly about how evil and cruel humanity was. After a while, Raimon was revived and heard a voice telling him he would be given the power to take over the world. Wow, long flashback…okay, back to the actual story… Okay, so back at Mt. Reikaku, Tasuki is still about to be burned to death. But first, before the leader of the rival bandits can say "Rekka Shin'en" and burn him, he needs to say the magical incantation (new info that seemed to originate in this novel… Apparently, simply picking up the tessen and yelling "rekka shin'en" isn't enough for a first-timer to activate it. There's a secret incantation that needs to be said before it… and ohhhhhh my god, it's sooooooooo cheesy!!!) the incantation is none other than "mahariku maharita yambara yayaya-ma." (aside from the "ma" at the end, that's the incantation Sally-chan uses in the 60's shoujo anime, Mahou-tsukai Sally ^-^;;;) So anyway, as he's saying the incantation, Tasuki distracts him by making fun of him (because if you stop in the incantation, you have to start all over again). He looks over to Anzu and Koji, tied up on the ground. It looks like Anzu has given up hope, and for some shocking reason, Koji's eyes seem to tell Tasuki, "don't look at me!" So after some talking/mocking/blah/whatever, the leader says "rekka…shin…", but before he can say the finishing "en" and burn Tasuki to death, something comes flying at the tessen and grabs it away from him. That "something" is Anzu. She had freed herself from the rope (being an acrobat and all, she's very flexible) and had also untied Koji (which was why Koji didn't want Tasuki to look at him.) All of Tasuki's mates are also freed and now they're ready to fight again… but Raimon and his monkey are nowhere in sight.

A mini-battle ensues and only a few of the evil-bandit's minions are killed. Tasuki decides to spare the lives of Eiken and the perverse leader-dude…I can't remember why, though, but whatever. Then, Tasuki and Anzu realize they must go to Kutoh to find Karin/Chichiri/Raimon…even though it'll take them for-like-ever to get there, but what else can they do? So they both start running. On the way, they pass Reirei's grave, and Anzu sends telepathic messages to her, telling her she'll watch over Tasuki, etc. Then, there's a little flashback thingie of how when Anzu first came to Mt. Reikaku, she and Koji had alternated going to Reirei's grave every day. On the days Anzu had gone, she at first talked harshly to Reirei, criticizing her for throwing her life away for Tasuki and certainly he's not THAT wonderful, etc. but as the days progressed and she heard more and more stories about Tasuki from Koji, she realized she herself was starting to fall for him…but thought this was absurd, and often confided in Reirei, sort of like a best-friend. As she passes the grave now with Tasuki and tells Reirei's spirit she'll look after Tasuki for her, for the first time, she hears Reirei's spirit speak back, "all right! Take good care of 'im for me, please!" and Anzu is very happy to hear this. As they're running, suddenly Chichiri pops into the scene. He'd finally come to after Karin had blasted him away with her mirror, and seeing her nowhere near, decided to go to Tasuki (even though he was probably dead by then, or so he thought). Tasuki also thought Chichiri might have died, since he had been unable to rescue him, and both have a teary reunion. Anzu is very impressed with Chichiri's powers and teases Tasuki about it. Tasuki argues back with her for a while, but Chichiri (being the only adult there; hahaha…wow, I'm almost as old as Chichiri now O_o) makes them focus and teleports them to Kutoh to find Raimon and Karin (he's pretty sure Raimon has found Karin by now and that they're both in Kutoh waiting for Chichiri to get Seiryuu's talisman from the mausoleum, since Chichiri is probably the only person capable of doing so and Raimon knows this.) Meanwhile!!! (you knew there was bound to be another "meanwhile"…) Larry and his servants are looking for Karin. Though he thought originally that she had died, people reported having seen her in Kutoh wandering around asking where Raimon was. One even reported having seen her suddenly disappear into thin air while in the company of some dude. Then, Kirk comes in, begging Larry for more money. Larry tries to shoo him off, but Kirk blackmails him with Raimon's execution, so Larry grudgingly agrees and gives Larry some money… well, not really, he brings out a bag that is supposedly filled

with money, but instead, he draws out a dagger, intending to just kill Kirk (cool idea), but someone stops him…none other than Karin! At first Larry is flattered, thinking she came back to be with him, but both Kirk and Larry recognize quickly that she's not herself. With disheveled hair and robes, and gleaming eyes, she looks like a mad-woman. She informs them she just came to "be sure of a few things". She had overheard Kirk blackmailing Larry and learned about the conspiracy with Raimon's death. Actually, it turns out that Kirk had asked Larry to frame Raimon to get him arrested so he'd be out of the way, so both are responsible for his death. Knowing this, Karin decides to kill them. Yay. She uses the Byakko talisman to paralyze them and is about to kill them when Raimon shows up. She suddenly gets soft and teary and runs into his arms…then falls straight through him. He apologizes and says he can't hold her anymore. Karin smiles painfully and loses consciousness. Raimon takes the talisman from her and decides to finish what she'd wanted and burns the two men to death. Yay. So Chichiri, Tasuki, and Anzu all get to Seiryuu's mausoleum and wait for Raimon to show up. Soon enough, he does, along with Karin (and his monkey). After some cool talking and whatnot, Raimon makes it clear that unless Chichiri retrieves Seiryuu's talisman for him, he will slit Karin's throat (she's still unconscious…) but then she comes to and tells Chichiri not to do it because she wants to die with Raimon. Raimon is a bit ruffled at this, but Chichiri still goes in to the mausoleum (despite protests from Anzu and Tasuki). When Chichiri gets in, Nakago's spirit is waiting for him. Chichiri is shocked that Nakago had even let him through the barrier in the first place and wonders why he even bothers to devote his afterlife to protecting the talisman of a god he hated… Nakago had no answers, but simply held out the talisman for Chichiri to take. The talisman is one of the tear-shaped earrings Yui wore during her ceremony. Chichiri asks Nakago why he's handing over what the devil he worshipped desired, and Nakago answers, "you will learn in time." Then, there's a flashback of Yui and Nakago after her ceremony. Nakago tells Yui she must choose something from her outfit to become the talisman. She chooses one of her tear-shaped earrings because she and all of her warriors are all fighting for such a sad purpose and are crying underneath. Back in the present, Chichiri hands Raimon the talisman with no struggle. No longer in need of a hostage, Raimon tries to kick Karin away, but she refuses to budge. Tasuki demands to know what Raimon plans to do next and he answers that he'll first

assassinate the two remaining Suzaku warriors. A battle ensues; Raimon's knives turn into balls of fire and set the surrounding trees and mausoleum on fire, but Chichiri remains calm. Everyone thinks that he had to fight Nakago to get the talisman, but he had obtained it peacefully and had given it to Raimon peacefully, this is because he "wanted only for Raimon to remember just how much he loved Karin and Anzu". This ruffles Raimon for a moment, and Karin jumps in and sobbingly apologizes for all the wrong that happened to him and blames herself for it and says she wishes she could have died with him, etc. After some more admonishing from Anzu and Tasuki, Chichiri then asks Raimon if making some devil strong was really what he'd wanted, and if he really did have no concern over what happened to Karin and Anzu. After a long pause, Raimon answers emptily, "I'm dead. I can't be with them anymore anyway." Then, Chichiri and the others argue that he's wrong and that spirits continue to live on. Anzu mentions Reirei, and that those who loved the dead person will never forget him and his spirit will live on forever, etc. Then, Karin is finally able to tell Raimon how much she loves him. Then, images start to appear from Seiryuu's talisman. First, it's Soi, crying over how much she loved Nakago and how much she gave for him and how he never returned her feelings, but she still loved him and died for him. Then, it's Suboshi, crying over how he was orphaned and separated from his beloved twin, and eventually died trying to protect Yui, who he fell in love with. Then, Tomo, crying over being alone and misunderstood and dying in the pursuit of helping Nakago. Ashitare and Miboshi are also crying over their failures and empty existences… Last is Nakago, crying over how he accidentally killed his mother, then killed his father, was molested, etc. and also died a meaningless death. That is what the true "talisman" of Seiryuu is; tears over having died meaninglessly for no purpose; just like Raimon had. That is what Nakago had wanted to show Raimon and free him from Tenkoh's control. Raimon breaks down, back into the gentle man he once was… but it's too late. Both he and his monkey are turned back into their true forms (rotting corpses ^^;) and violently attack/burn everything some more.

Things are looking bleak, but Chichiri tells Tasuki to send his "ki" over to the three talisman (since they are originally meant to work for warriors of the gods; not random dead dudes with monkeys ^_-) and Tasuki and Chichiri do this… Karin tries to throw herself at Raimon to stop him from doing any more damage and hurting himself more, and this and a combination of other things seems to freeze him up and Tasuki can burn him to death (again. Hahaha…) As he burns, he's returned back to his former self (so has the monkey) and he finally says to Karin, "thank you… I love you…" before he and the monkey turn to ash. The surrounding trees and mausoleum are also ash now. Not knowing where to put Seiryuu's talisman, Chichiri is perplexed, but Nakago's spirit tells Chichiri he will be entrusted with it. He then says it is time for him to go home…back to the time when he was still pure and beautiful. His spirit then walks off to Seiran Lake to be with his mother, father, and Taria. Soi's spirit walks by his side… (nice little bit of closure for Nak-fans ^_-) So now that everything's solved, what'll they all do next?… form their own circus, of course! With fake names, Tasuki and Chichiri join Karin and Anzu for a while (it's not clear how long, really; could be anywhere from a couple days to a few months…) and do traveling shows. When in Konan, doing their first show, Karin and Anzu feel very nostalgic…that's because that was the place where they had done their first show ever. Some audience members had awarded the girls with seeds for "karin" and "anzu" trees (forgot to mention this earlier, but "anzu" means "apricot"… so it's pretty clear that "karin" IS some sort of fruit…Oh, incidentally, "Raimon" means sort of "crying thunder", because he had been found crying very loudly on a stormy night… okay, back to the story) By now, the trees are full-grown and covered in fruit. Karin and Anzu open a bag and spill the contents over the trees. The "contents" are the ashes of Raimon and his monkey. Nice little funeral. Tasuki and Chichiri stay with the girls for a while, performing, but then, one day, Chichiri does his disappearing act with Tasuki…and they never come back. Karin tells Anzu that she can go be with Tasuki if she wants to, but Anzu decides to stay with her sister, travel, mature, and become such a great woman that Tasuki won't be able to refuse her; THEN she'll come back to him. Chichiri decides to return the three talismans to Houki, and Tasuki decides to return to Mt. Reikaku. They both wonder where Suzaku's talisman is, and Chichiri hypothesizes that maybe Suzaku's talisman had been with them during the final fight

with Raimon. Houki had suggested that Suzaku's talisman might have been an intangible thing, and Chichiri concluded that maybe it was love. Oooooh… So they both go their separate ways…but before they do!! A stone materializes in each of their hands. (those of you who are familiar with part 2 of the manga should know what these are…) Neither Tasuki nor Chichiri know what the stones were, but guessing they're probably important, they tuck them away in their sacks. Meanwhile, Tenkoh is brooding to himself over Raimon's failure, etc… but he knows his plan to take over the world is still going strong. He has already assembled Renhoh, Miisuu, Kanki, Hikoh, and Yosui and is going to do…evil stuffTM Theeeeee end! So yeah, the authors don't imply another novel, but they don't imply that there will NOT be another novel, either… Dude, there's still more material; I'm sure there'll be another one… but don't hold ME to those words ^_-

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