Just who was this person standing before him?
Kurogane wasn’t sure just who he was looking at. Was he looking at the magician who was a proverbial pain in his ass or was he looking at the broken shell of a man who was bordering on losing everything dear to him. It was like the ninja was meeting Fai again for the first time and the irritation that he’d felt then was bubbling up inside of him now.
They had just defeated Ashura and recovered the Princess’ feather. Everything should have been fine. The pork bun should’ve been transporting them to another world. The four of them should’ve been on their way and continuing their desperate searching for Sakura’s feathers. Instead, Celes was falling apart from the inside and Fai was at the very center of it.
Four of them would be able to escape Celes today but it just wouldn’t fly for Kurogane. Everything had become a blur at that point. There was too much going and there stood Fai urging him to forget him and go ahead with continuing their quest. Didn’t the damn magician realize that they were friends now? The ninja wasn’t about to dessert his comrade, his friend like this and their words were a jumbled mess in his memory by now.
Something had come over Kurogane as he cut off his own arm to leave it in Fai’s place. The ninja hauled the other out of the center of Celes in the nick of time as they were transported away from the dying world. Fai was coming with them come hell or high water. Magicians and Space Time Witches be damned to the underworld and back. Kurogane wasn’t willing to lose any more people when he had to protect them. He’d lost enough strength on that damn world as it was. Losing an arm imbued with Fai’s magic was a necessary sacrifice.
A sacrifice that left him weak and delirious with fever. He now stood in front of a mirror staring back at someone who didn’t seem like himself. In fact, Kurogane is looking at the man that he used to be. The man who had lost his way and forgotten what true strength was. He’d learned much in his travels with Syaoran, the Princess and Fai that looking back upon that surly ninja who was adamant in feeling that everything going on around him had nothing to do with him was just so different from the man he was today.
He remembered why he’d wanted strength in the first place and found new people to protect with that strength. There was a magician hiding behind a mask that wasn’t what he truly was, a Princess with no memories searching for who she was and a Kid possessing more true strength than he had possessed at Syaoran’s age. Little by little, Kurogane had come to aid the three on their quest more often than he wanted and naturally, the four of them had formed a close bond.
“You’re not who I am anymore,” he said to his reflection and watched as it faded away. “I have the power to protect my friends and Princess Tomoyo and I will never let myself go back to the way that I was. My strength may have faded after killing Ashura but the Gods be damned if I let those who would do them harm take them from me again.”
The mirror remained and to break it would surely mean he could escape whatever dream he was trapped in. With a dangerous smirk on his face, Kurogane broke the mirror in his dreams with ease. His world was slowly getting lighter by the second before he was staring up at the ceiling half awake.
It was time to face the person he had become and was still becoming.