~The Man Slayers~ Chapter #8~ The Lasto Battle Of Lasto Lalaithamin, the Man Slayer~
(not last chapter)
Why? Why did another have to die by my hands once again? Why did it have to be one of my own friends? Why? Why? Why? Tomoe died, when it should have been me die. Me, not her! I was so close to death anyway, it should have been me! I was expecting to die on my last charge, and yet I didn’t!
Poor Kenshin, he has lost another loved one…because of me too…. Why? Why did she have to die, and why did I have to go on? Is it my fate to kill, and never be killed? Is this what my grandmother had in store for me when she said that I would suffer much before peace was found? To many questions, too many bitter questions……..why can’t I die? All I do is kill, why can’t ever be killed for my sins? Why do I have to go on?
Lasto and Saito Hajime stood there, their swords out, and at the ready. All it would take now would be one simple flinch, one slight movement, and the battle would begin. A surprising light ran began to fall, almost as though the Valar were crying. `no,’ Lasto thought, `they would not cry for me…’
Hajime suddenly laughed, breaking into her thoughts. “let us get on with it, unless you are afraid Lasto Lalaithamin.”
“If I were afraid, I would not be here. No, I am not afraid, I’m not afraid of anything, not you, not the Battousai, not death. I have feared nothing for a long time, so do not think that I am afraid to die for one second, because I prey for death every day, so no more will have to die by my sword.”
“Well, if you are not afraid, why have you not attacked yet?”
“You are yet young and naïve to the world about you, young caption, just the way the Battousai is. I, on the other hand, am not. You, though, have a choice on wether or not you want to keep taking this path, I do not, for I was cursed long ago, by one I called my family. I will give you all one more chance to leave, and change your lives, if you don’t go then I will have to kill you.”
“Well then, let us begin then shall we.” Hajime, having grown tired of waiting for her to attack first, charged forward. Lasto, having pushed all senses of her pain out of her head, charged forward as well. Their swords clashed, and, having more experience in fighting then anyone else, Lasto knew how to evade, counter, and press an attack against every move that Hajime made. Easily, she was able to kick at his knee, sending him down to the ground, then went to stab.
Hajime rolled away, just barely being missed by Lasto’s blade. He rolled back onto his feet, and pressed his own attack. Lasto jumped, and spined away, Hajime’s sword just merely clipping her side. She then turned, and leapt towards him, sword coming to preform her famous Nakamlug. Hajime, too, charged, preparing to preform his master technique. There was a sound of swords meeting flesh, and they both stood there for a moment, gazing unbelievable at each other. Slowly, Hajime fell to the ground. Lasto turned her head, and looked at Kenshin, “…B-B-B-Battousai……” blood began to come from her mouth, and she fell to the ground, landing next to Hajime.
The Next Day…
Kogoro walked into the room that held Lasto’s body. Kenshin sat by the bedside in which they had lied her in, sobbing lightly to himself. Slowly, Kogoro walked up to Kenshin, and put a hand on his shoulder, “….Kenshin….I know that this is hard for you….it’s hard for all of us. She was a great person, but a deadly assassin too, loved by many that she could not love back. Maybe it’s just best that she is gone…”
Kenshin sat up start, wiping the tears from his eyes, “what about Mononoke, should we not tell him?”
Kogoro nodded, “I will tell him, he was, after all, probably the only one who got really close to her…” Kogoro gave Kenshin a small, comforting pat on the back, turned, and walked out of the room. Kenshin put his hand onto Lasto’s cold face, her blood-red hair framed it well, her two cross scars, one on both sides of the face, and the slash mark over her right eye felt rough to the touch, as all scars like that should feel.
Another tear fell from his eyes, and he buried his head into her shoulder, which was cold from death.
Lasto woke up, and looked around. For a moment she wondered if she had even opened her eyes, for it was as dark with her eyes open as it was with them closed. She stood, and began to feel around, her eyes just beginning to make things out. “Could it be……am I in the Halls of Mandos?”
Suddenly, the area she was in was filled with a wonderfully soothing light, and a voice that Lasto had not hear for ages filled the air. It had the soothing sound of a thousand fountains, and put a smile upon Lasto’s face as she turned to face the one speaking.
“Luktiene Fuia, too long has it been since I last saw you my granddaughter.” Lady Varda of the Valar said, her form took a step forward, and embraced Lasto.
“Too long indeed my Grandmother.” Lasto embraced her grandmother back, allowing a tear to fall, as it had been too long since she had last seen any of her family, from whom were all mainly dead now.
“Luktiene, as happy as I am to see you, this is not a good situation. You will be going through a trail, though I do not believe that you’ll pass it for all the sins you have done.”
“What do you mean? I do not wish to go back, why do you wish to put me through this trail.”
Varda waved a hand, and a small mirror like thing. For a moment it was clear, then it showed an image of Kenshin, face buried into Lasto’s dead body’s shoulder. Then it showed a teary-eyed Kogoro give word of Lasto’s death to Mononoke and Yuki. For a moment, it made Lasto want to cry, but she put her emotion block in, not allowing her emotions to show, though she knew that Varda knew what she was feeling.
Varda turned back to her, “as you can see, your friends are deeply wounded, and we fear that this might destroy them, and make them do things we intend for them not to do.”
Lasto looked down, “why should they care if I am dead or not? I am the one who caused all of them great harm, I’m the one who killed many right before their very eyes. Why do they cry for me like this? Why do they want me back? It makes no sense…”
“Lasto, they love you, you have given them strength, you have given them hope. Are you going to give up now? Are you going to throw your life away without giving it a shot to save it? They love you, Lasto, they love you. Give it a chance, take the chance, take the trail. Your friends need you…you need them… there is no getting away from this. Take the chance Lasto…” Suddenly, Varda disappeared, making everything go dark again, her voice trailing behind her, “….take the chance, my Granddaughter.”
Lasto sighed, and sat down, tucking her knees in underneath her chin. “she just doesn’t understand, no one does.”
Kenshin looked up as Kogoro walked back into the room that held Lasto’s dead body in it. Kogoro sighed, and walked over to Kenshin. “Kenshin, we have just received word that Saito Hajime is still alive, but in critical condition. It appears the Lasto’s last attempt to win her battle caused great harm to the Shogunate. We now have a good chance of winning this war, but only if you can keep your mind clear, only if you can keep the mind of the Battousai that has grown within you.”
Kenshin looked back down at Lasto’s white face, and ran a hand over it again. It felt smooth, and cold from death. “I only wish that she were here now to see what she has helped us accomplish.”
“I doubt that she would want to be here to see it. Lasto was different, but then again she was not human, she was one who never wanted to be remembered forever, just to have her name be known for the period of time that she was here, then to just disappear as quietly as she came. Just as quietly as her race came and went too.”
“Was she truly the last of her kind?”
“Yes…she was…that’s why I did not want her to go with you yesterday, because I knew what would happen…” Kogoro hung his head low. “I miss her, she was a great friend… a wise leader…yet, then again, she was also a killer…”
“I am a killer too, I should have died next to her… I want her back… I want her back now!” Kenshin began to cry again, all the emotions that he had kept looked away for so long now coming out.
Suddenly, the room filled with a great light, and an image began to form. Within moments, the image of a woman, with the light of the stars shining upon her face, stood there. Slowly, she moved forward, placing a hand on Kenshin’s shoulders. “Hello, Himura Kenshin, do not despair over this, for Lasto is going through a test to see if she can come back.” Her voice sounded with the beauty of a thousand fountains, and brought an untold joy to his heart.
Slowly he stood, lifted by her voice, and bowed his head. “Though I do not know who you are, you bring great joy to my heart. Might I ask about this test Lasto is going to take?”
“The Valar are going to test her soul, if her killer side proves to be no more then a mere illusion to her, then she can come back. If her killer side is still the dominate side, she will never be allowed out of the Halls of Manos again…She does not want to take the test because she fears that all she’ll ever do is kill people if she comes back…That is, in a good way, a good sign, as it shows that she no longer wants to be a killer…My poor Granddaughter…”
“Granddaughter? Um, may I ask who you are?”
“I have many names, to the Elves I am Elbereth, Queen of the Stars, to my fellow Valarians, I am Varda, creator of the stars. Lasto is my Granddaugher…though, she does not carry the love that she once had anymore.” Varda put hr head down, and tear, that glistened like a star, fell from her eyes. She then held her head back up, “Her fate will be decided in the next few days, do not give up all hope yet. Little hope there is about her coming back, but there is still a chance. Namarie Himura Kenshin.” And with that, Lady Varda disappeared.