Live for Me
Chapter 1

Nasuti looked up to the night sky and tears streamed down her cheeks.

Arago was dead. The Samurai Troopers saved the world from devastation,
just as the legend predicted. She had done her job; she had led them
to their armors and each other. Her mission is now complete; the
world is save once again.

But what does that leave her?

Nothing. Nothing to celebrate. All was rage and torment for her.

People she loved were dead.

Nasuti stood on the balcony, wearing only a simple black dress over
her extremely pale skin. The tears bled into the fabric unnoticed,
just like depth of her grief was unnoticed by her friends.

Her mask of cheerfulness fooled them all. She was even able to
convince the ever so sensitive Seiji and Shin that she was just
as happy and content as the rest of them. She laughed, joked,
fooled around with the rest of them; she kept it all inside her,
ignoring the feeling that she was going to burst with all the grief.

Tonight, it finally exploded, overwhelming her like a vengeance.

She didn't want to stop crying; she couldn't. Tears blinded her eyes;
the world swirled around her. She couldn't see anything but her tears,
couldn't hear anything but her own sobs; couldn't think of anything
but one name…


It was the worst thing. The fact that she couldn't bring herself to
forget him, or at the very least, forget her love toward him, although
they never actually crossed that boundary beyond friendship. In the
past she had feared him, hated him, and distrusted him. But those
feelings were long gone. Then, when they lived together in her house
trying to find a way to help the Samurai Troopers, another feeling
toward him developed, expended until even her stubborn mind can not
deny its presence. She wished it would die out like her previous
negative feelings toward him, but it insisted to stay in her heart,
even after his life came to an abrupt ending.

The love refused to go away.

Nasuti choked the tears in. Slowly she rubbed her eyes with her sleeves,
and turned her gaze toward the small table beside her. On it, two
objects shone in the moonlight.

A glass of water, A bottle of sleeping pills. Together, enough to
claim a life.

She sniffled as new tears welled up in her eyes. She picked up the
bottle, absent-minded, her numb fingers found their way around the
cap and twisted it open. Deathly white pills spilled onto her ivory
palm with a strange grace.

She stared down at them for a long time, as if they were the most
fascinating things she had ever seen. Briefly she wondered how the
guys would react when they return from party, to find her in her
eternal sleep, gone without an explanation.

But then, that's what people did to her. Her parents, her grandfather,
him. He had left her without even a goodbye. One minute he was there
and the next, he fell of the bridge, gone. His last words were for
his successor, not her. He just… left.

So then, maybe, it's her time to leave now. It's the easy way out,
isn't it?

She picked up the glass and glance into the forest, briefly wondering
if the world would be any different without her.

Then it happened.

She saw fireflies dancing in the dark. In the same instance, the Jewel
of Life around her neck starts to glow.

For a full three minutes, Nasuti could only stand there, transfixed,
as the lights emitted by the jewel enveloped her, as the lights of
the fireflies reflected in her eyes.

A scene from not long ago was triggered, and played itself in her mind…

"You shouldn't be out here alone Nasuti, who knows when or where the
Dynasty soldiers would appear."

"If they come, I'll just scream." Turning her head slightly, she greeted
the slender form with a smile: "Shuten."

He sat down beside her, frowning disapprovingly: "I may not be able
to hear you in time."

She laughed a little: "Oh believe me I scream loud, real loud. I'm
having plenty of practice lately."

He smiled and murmured: "You don't sound very thrilled."

"No, I guess not." She turned her gaze back at the starry sky; a slight
frown of distress crossed her delicate feature. "You know, I wish I
can fight like you people, or at least be able to protect myself,
instead of screaming for help all the time, like some witless, brainless…
damsel in distress."

"Witless and brainless? I don't think those descriptions quick suits you,
Nasuti." Shuten coughed with a sound of amusement, then turned serious;
"Believe me, you are not a liability. You are the one who helped us gather
the information we needed to fight against Arago. Without you the Troopers
didn't stand a chance in the first place. Besides, no one expected you to
fight six feet tall undead soldiers, much less Mashos, without the proper

"Still, I wish I could do more for them but… Thanks, Shuten." Nasuti was
rather pleasantly surprised by the former warlord's words. Even after he
switched to their side he always seemed so distant and all-business.
She never expected such encouragement from him.

He nodded and asked gently: "Do you wish to go back inside now?"

"No, I'd like to stay here a while longer, if that's okay." She said
softly, "It's been a long time since I last did this, laying on the
grass, watching the stars and fireflies."

He cocked his head to one side thoughtfully: "When I was a boy, they
used to say that the fireflies' lights are guides for the spirits…"

She looked at him curiously: "You still remember? I, I don't mean to
be rude, but… hmm… aren't you…"

"Yeah, I'm actually over four hundred years old." He waved her apologies
off, "No, I don't mind, really. As for my memories… Some things don't
go away, Nasuti, they stick to you forever."

"Yeah, I suppose…" She muttered, and decided to venture a little more,
"So, do you remember your family?'

"Somewhat. I can remember my mother's face clearly. She had red hair
just like me, and she loved flowers…" He sighed, "When I was under
Arago's control those things didn't mean much to me, but now… I know
it doesn't change anything, but for what it's worth, I'm sorry for all
the loss me and other mashos caused you."

Nasuti's expression was momentarily hardened by the nightmarish
encounters in the past and the death of her grandfather, but then she
sighed, her eyes softened: "I don't blame you, or the other Mashos. I
understand you were under Arago's control and I don't hold you
responsible for your actions then."

Impulsively she reached out a hand to him: "Don't be too hard on
yourself, Shuten. I'm sure you are doing your ancestors proud."

"I hope so." He admitted, looking up at the night sky, "Sometimes I
feel like I can not go on, but then I would tell myself that my
parents are watching me from above, or maybe… maybe they are even at
my side, led to me by the fireflies. Then I know I have to go on, try
my best and… and just live."

He looked at her straight in the eyes, holding her gaze for a long
time as if longing to tell her something, but he only sighed at the
end, and stood up, offering his hand to her: "We should go back to
the house. Take a good night rest Nasuti, and tomorrow we'll see what
we can find to help the Troopers. I have a feeling we are getting

"Hai." She gave him a tiny nod and let him pull her up, walked back
to the house side by side.

Stepping out of her brief trance, Nasuti lowered her gaze to the
Jewel of Life around her neck, which is still glowing softly.

"…Are you trying to tell me something? That I should live on?" She
muttered, "Are you watching me from there Shuten?"

The jewel flashed once.

Glass dropped to the floor and shattered, water spilled on the stone
floor and pills rolled in like crystal tears. Nasuti clasped both
hands around the jewel and whispered: "Alright, if you say so…"

Her words are soft, almost inaudible, and choked by tears. But the
resolution is there.

"I understand now…"

To live on, to continue going, to walk this earth for those who
can't, is a reward in the disguise of a burden. He had died defending
the mortal realm; it is only right for her to live on, for both him
and herself, and try to enjoy the peace granted to her, the peace
that he gave his life for.

The pain is there, but so is the love. Let the memory of him stay in
her heart, become a part of her…

Let him become a part of her.

To walk this world, to breathe, to sleep, to watch, listen, smell,
laugh, cry, and dance… With him always living in her heart…

That, is the true "jewel of life."

The glow around the Jewel of Life quietly disappeared. Nasuti smiled
through tears. She gazed up and sent a whisper to the one in her

"Please know I love you; till the end. And that I'm looking at the


Startled, she whirled around to the source of the voice, and stared
directly into the shocked faces of Seiji, Ryo, Shin, Touma and Shu.

Shocked gazed traveled from her tear-stained face, to the shattered
glass, to the sleeping pills on the floor. No one spoke a word; there
was nothing to be spoken. A silent understanding was all there is and
all that is needed.

Suddenly Nasuti collapsed. Seiji leapt forward and caught her in his
arms before her knees hit the floor. He gently pressed her head
against his chest, without a word, as she dissolved into hot tears.

There was no point of hiding any more. She wept violently that her
whole body shook.

Ryo knelt down before the two and put a comforting hand on Nasuti's
shoulder, followed by Touma, Shin and Shu.

The five Samurai Troopers surrounded their beloved friend in a circle,
silently offering her their compassion and strength, and determined
to help her through the long night.

Shuten lowered his head from the glittering lights in the sky and
gazed back at the shining, golden reflection on the magical lake,
where the image of his love is shown. She is sleeping peacefully on
her bed. Ryo and Seiji crashed on the floor, making sure she will be
all right.

Shuten fixed his eyes on her tired, delicate face. His expression
saddened. Slowly he put two fingers on his lips, knelt down and then
gently touched her lips. Where his fingers touched the water, small
ripples formed and spread out, the image was distorted momentarily.
Sighing, he got up and looked to the heavens. A silent echo escaped
from him:

Please know I love you; till the end. And that I'm looking at the

"It's a good thing that Juu left the Jewel of Life with her."

"Hai." He answered quietly, knew it could be no one else but the
Ancient one. Still looking at Nasuti's image in the water, he asked
with a hint of anxiety, "Do you think she will be all right from now

"She will live. I think she understood your message pretty well."
The Ancient said soothingly, "Have faith in her Shuten, she is a
strong young lady. After what happened tonight, she'll survive."

"I just wish I can be at her side a little sooner. Exactly when are
you sending me back, Ancient One?"

"All in good time, Shuten, all in good time."

Shuten gritted his teeth: "Ancient One?"


"Some times you get on my nerves." He said in as calmly a manner as

His white-haired mentor chuckled in amusement: "Have a little more
patience, Lord of Cruelty. After all, we do need someone in that
armor of yours. You will be sent back, all in good time…"

Shuten sighed and muttered under his breath: "I just wish it would
be a little sooner."