Sasuke held his cup by the rim with long fingers, twirling it in a slow circle. The sake in it swirled in a slow eddy without escaping to the floor. The room was dimly lit and the shadows vied for purchase in stakes to which they had no claim. The Kakita lounged with uncharacteristic slouch on sumptuous cushions while Kitsu Awentengu loomed over Sasuke’s katana. The sword sat on a small stand on the table between the Lion and Crane. Awentengu’s eyes had rolled back white in his head, and his voice came in ragged whispers audible only to himself. Not that Sasuke cared to hear what the shugenja muttered. He only cared about the outcome. Kakita Sasuke would have all that was due him. The respect of his family. The prestige of an Imperial position. The fear of his skill by others. The love his offers of compassion demanded. All these things and more would be his once the Kitsu awoke the story locked inside his blade. A story he would recite to any foolish enough to demand challenge from him.
Awentengu had long since finished his commune with the sword. The whispered words were not for Sasuke’s ears, but rather for the one whom he conversed with in the dark places of his mind.
“You have done well, Awentengu. Soon my descendant will share my voice as you do. You have given him the cup?”
“He drinks from theBlood Cup-Submission even now My Lord."
You have done well, servant. Your implementation of the merest secrets of my art will bring Sasuke and his Passion fully together…soon."
“…and then My Lord?”
“Then, he will come to me.”