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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): In the Shadows of the City - Summoning Trouble - Free Period [FIN]

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They finished another training session and she could feel the strain coursing through his young body, strong as his spirit was. She was running out of time again. She was afraid of what was going on, because it was an unknown for her. There was only one way to allay her fears and that was to ask him.

“Kenobi, we train much more now and I like this. You grow stronger and more confident and I can feel my old powers coming back to me.”

She hesitated.

“Yes?” Ken asked.

“You don’t summon me to fight anymore. I know you go out and face off with the demons. What is going on?”

“I’ll summon you when I feel you are needed, Lindh. The demon fights have not been … taxing.”

“I would like to fight them, Master.”

“I know that, Lindh, but now is not the time. We’ll wait until … until They return.”

So we can die together.

“I don’t understand,” she said, irritated hands running over her bow. She had spent so much of her life being a weapon and now she wasn’t being used.

“It takes a lot out of me. You know that. Now I save you on the chance we face a major threat. It’s not my fault it doesn’t come,” he said evasively.

Lindh looked around, torn between the desire to call her Master in a lie and he Ancient ties of obedience. Had he lost faith in her because her failure against Kyohime? After that things had been different.

“I failed you and I am sorry,” she tried. Ken’s head swung around rapidly and looked at her, hurt in his eyes.

“You didn’t fail me, Lindh. I failed you and everybody else. I thought I knew better and I thought we couldn’t lose. Now I know better and I know we win by playing smart … and smart is not getting you killed.”

“I can no die in a conventional sense in this World, Master.

“I can’t take losing you again, Lindh,” he whispered.

“We must fight the Oni, Master Kenobi. It is our destiny.”

“Screw Destiny, I won’t repeat the same mistake again. Don’t you get it,” he almost shouted, “one of them took out all of us. ONE. I got you killed. I could have gotten everyone killed.”

“Well, I can’t do anything about them, but I can do something about you.”

Lindh felt the transitional transformation overcoming her. She was out of time. She was still confused because only two answers made sense. Either he was afraid, and she didn’t think that, or he was in love with her. That just could not be.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ken was dead weight on his patrols and he knew it. No one said anything except to ask about Lindh. They beat around the bush as to her condition and to why they never saw her, but while the patrols remained easy and she wasn’t needed, they let the matter lay. Ken, for his part, seemed inordinately brave in confronting the smaller demons when they encountered them he wisely avoided the larger ones. Since Ken didn’t tend to buy into more trouble than they could get him out of, they were pleased with the way things were going. Monsters were fewer in number and the Oni Lords were no were in sight.

Still, it wasn’t like no noticed.

“Ken, when are we going to see your girl on the battlefield again? We shared a few words last time you brought her around to show up and she looks ready.”

Ken turned away.

“Dude, she told me she was ready,” James continued.

“I know she feels ready, but I do not feel the time is right.”

“So I’m going to have to keep sticking my sword into you, is that it? Seems a pretty stupid way to keep ruining your wardrobe. Seems a pretty stupid way of risking your life.”

Ken refused to look at James.

“She comes back, Kenobi. None of these things can kill her.”

“None of these things …” Ken let trail off the ‘but the others can.’

“This is a dumb way to live your life, Man. This is what she was born to do. You being her summoner is what you were born for. It’s your destiny. Just like I don’t think it’s my destiny to keep healing you every night,” James added. He was somewhere between cross and worried. Ken was a decent friend, but he was damn phobic about Lindh getting hurt and that was no way for him to live.

Finally Ken looked up at James.

“You don’t understand. You don’t have that that kind of link. You don’t know what it feels like to … lose your sword and see it broken. Even if you can rebuild it one day, would you look at it the same way?”

James looked at his sword and back again.

“Not the same thing Ken and you know it,” he lied. Ken had given James a bit of a shock with that vision. “Lindh CAN NOT be killed permanently as far as we know. She’s a weapon … an arrow to be loosed at our enemies.”

Ken turned away again. People just didn’t understand.

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Lindh waited. She wanted to be summoned, it was simply what she was for. She watched him train day in and day out, trying to become stronger.

One day a voice called to her. "You know you shouldd be training too."

She turned and saw the Old Man. "He won't summon me."

"Because he's affraid of losing you."

"He can't. He still has his five Command Mantra on his arm, and he's yet to actually have to use one of them."

"True, but he doesn't even know what they really do."

"I can't tell him."

"I know, nor can I really, I can simply allude to their power, and their limits, not what happens in the end."

Linh looks down, knowing what happened if he used all five command Mantra.

"You have much more potential Lindh, even without his Mantra. While I cannot simply give it to you, you can earn it."

She looked at him. "How?"

"It will not be pleasant warrior. You will have to suffer defeat many times. Your Pride will take blows that no mortal could suffer, and few legends even could endure as well."

She looked at Kenobi. trying so hard to be the warrior, to have the strength of her last master, and looked back at the Old Man. "Whatever I must Do, I will Do."

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‘I can not let people die. Not when I could save them,’ Ken thought as he saw the hounds go after some people on the fifth floor of an office building. There was nothing anyone could do because no one flew on this patrol. No one but …

The prayer was barely above a whisper,

“Lindh, I need you.”

She was there in an instant, giving every impression having been waiting impatiently for her chance for battle. She was close to him, hovering there with her wings flapping.

“Save them,” he said quietly, the rest of the patrol already running into the building. He motioned with feebly with his arm. Lindh took of like an arrow from her bow. Ken got the misguided impression that she was smiling. He couldn’t follow the team in. He didn’t want to see her in battle, no matter how confident he was that she would come through this unharmed.

Sure enough, she glided down soon enough, the evil vanquished.

“Master,” she said uncertainly. Monsters were easy. Dealing with them bought clarity and purpose. Her master on the other hand was the source of much confusion, and though she hid it deep in her heart, frustration.

“Don’t worry,” he said defeated. “You can stay around until you must leave. We may yet run across something I can not deal with.”

“Master, this is not a contest. It is not a matter of you not being able to deal with something. You are the Summoner and I am the Summoned. We are united, not at odds.”

Ken looked down at the ground.

“You are not a weapon to me, Lindh. You are much more than that.”

“I … I am not a weapon, my Master … Ken, but I exist – no – I am vengeance for all of those who can not have it in this life. It is what I live for. It is what gives me the greatest pleasure. Can’t you understand that? Holding me back … hurts me.”

Still not looking up,

“Then I can’t win. Keep you safe, but hurt you. Bring you to fight for me and see you killed again.”

“So,” she said angrily. “In time, I shall return. We are partners. Stay alive and I can fight. Die and I am barred from fighting for a generation.”

“Master … master your fear. This is what I live for. Except it … please, for both of us. We can not know happiness while you remain trapped by your fear.


“Master, it is time to grow up and realize nothing is eternal. If it is my fate to meet my doom, it is foolish to stand against it. Instead, revel in every day we have left. Live life, not live in fear.”

She reached out and touched him. Ken looked up at her magnificent form.

“Ken, if you love me, you will let me fight, for that is when I am fulfilled. I promise you, I do not want to see you sad. I want you to see the struggle the way I do. Revel in the fact that through you, I am able to vanquish our foes and send them to hell. Through you, remember that. Please.”

Ken reached up and touched her hand. He had no words so he slowly nodded his head. At least one of them would be happy.

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