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He did notice that his hair wouldn't lay down straight, and that the collar of his black undershirt shirt kept drooping down his neck. It was only mildly irritating, at first. He brushed his hair down with his hands, pulled his collar up, and kept reading his paper. His hair kept falling in that weird position regardless, and the back of his shirt wouldn't stay in place either. When had it gotten so loose?

Eventually, it bothered Sanzo enough that he got up and changed his shirt, only to find that the shirt he changed into was doing the same thing. It annoyed him, so he gave up trying to read his paper and went out for a smoke instead.

He's got his back to the wall for now, but anyone who catches a glimpse of the ink on the nape of Sanzo's neck will clearly be able to read the name Cho Hakkai.

Comments

exquisitum
Aug. 14th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
"Aah, Genjyo - may I call you Genjyo? - Amber is from The Chronicles of Amber, a brilliant work by Roger Zelazny. One of his best, I think!" Tenpou says with great enthusiasm. "It's about parallel universes, each a shadow of the real thing - Amber, the one true world. And the inhabitants of Amber can move through shadow to other worlds; even meet other versions of themselves! Quite imaginative, really. You ought to read it...I highly recommend it."

Tenpou nods, as though to emphasize his point.

"And of course, I should very much like to meet this Hakkai someday. Are you very close?"
brat_monk
Aug. 14th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Sanzo doesn't respond to the first question. It doesn't matter what people call him. The monkey had decided on "Sanzo" and the other two idiots had followed suit, but it was only his title. Technically, Genjyo was his proper name. Still, he didn't hate being called Sanzo.

And the book sounded completely ridiculous, but he didn't feel the need to comment on it.

"We're... close enough."
exquisitum
Aug. 14th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
It seems Genjyo is not a fan of Zelazny, but that doesn't bother Tenpou very much. He has enthusiasm enough for the both of them. Or maybe he is just accustomed to people reacting this way to his random quotes and references. Konzen sometimes humors him and asks him to explain, but only when he's in a good mood. Kenren tends to give him a 'There he goes again' look.

"Perhaps we're always meant to be close, whatever the universe," Tenpou says with a smile. There's nostalgia in his expression, and a little sadness too.
brat_monk
Aug. 14th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Sanzo doesn't care for anything unless it's useful, and that doesn't sound useful for anything. Maybe Konzen is different? Anyway, Sanzo is definitely not in a good mood right now, not with all of these tattoos showing up all over the place.

He huffs at the comment about being 'meant to be close'. It's annoyingly sentimental... and a lot like something that Hakkai would say. But it also made sense that the two groups had some kind of connection, considering all of their similarities. What Tenpou was saying was entirely possible.

"Maybe."
exquisitum
Aug. 15th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC)
Tenpou tilts his head as he looks at Genjyo. He feels there is something very much the same about him as Konzen, and it is not just his face. It's that intangible 'something' that can't be explained in a simple word but can only be felt in your heart.

"Konzen would have told me I was being ridiculously romantic," he says with a laugh. "I suppose it comes with reading too many stories."
brat_monk
Aug. 15th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
"You were, and you probably do." Sanzo wouldn't mince words if he was asked about it directly. "But that's not the point."

Although, he wasn't entirely sure exactly what the point was. Wasn't sure he wanted to know, either.
exquisitum
Aug. 15th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
"Hmm." He sucks on the cigarette - which is coming down to a small stub at this point - and exhales, letting the smoke waft up around them.

"So what is the point?" he asks curiously.
brat_monk
Aug. 15th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Damn it. How did he know you were going to ask?

"The point is that if there's a resemblance between us and the people we know, then there must be a reason for it."
exquisitum
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
"Divine providence, perhaps?" he chuckles at this, but not very cheerfully. His eyes grow cold and hard for a moment, which he tries to hide by taking out a fresh cigarette from his coat pocket. He lights it from the dying ember of his cigarette stub and takes a few puffs.
brat_monk
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Now that response is-- well, annoying, that's what it is. But Sanzo doesn't want to know whatever it is that you know and he doesn't, so he won't ask.

"Tch, whatever. Divine bullshit is more like it."
exquisitum
Aug. 15th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
"Perhaps," he replies, vaguely. He knows the gods are useless. They are merely observers and bureaucrats, bound only to order and protocol. If there is anything divine in this world, it is not in heaven. He has lived enough years and seen enough of the world to know.

"But do you really think so?" Tenpou looks back at him intently. "You are a sanzo priest, are you not? I wonder what you make of this divine 'bullshit.'"
brat_monk
Aug. 15th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)
"I don't believe in the Gods." It hadn't changed, not since he was thirteen years old. "The only thing I believe in is myself."

He was never quite sure how much he meant that last part. Maybe more now than he had back when he had first started saying it. "But... there was one other person I believed in. His name was Koumyou Sanzo. He was my predecessor."
exquisitum
Aug. 15th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Tenpou's lip twitches a little at the corners.

"Well," he says with a slight smile, "as the great Mark Twain once said, 'We may not doubt that society in heaven consists mainly of undesirable persons,' so I hardly blame you."

Tenpou had gotten a particular kick when he'd read that passage long ago.

"Believing only in oneself is not such a bad thing," he muses. "Lonely business though, I fear."
brat_monk
Aug. 15th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
"Well, I don't think it's any good believing in religion."

He's not going to say anything about believing in others, or about being lonely. It's still too sensitive a subject.
exquisitum
Aug. 16th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
"It's structure and for some people, balance, which means comfort. But the answers aren't written in sutras or holy books, I'm sure you already know."

Tenpou takes a thoughtful pause, reflecting upon his own life in heaven, and the countless hours he spent indulging in the pursuit of knowledge in his vast library.

"Are you well traveled, Genjyo?"
brat_monk
Aug. 17th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
"It's also bullshit, brainwashing, and blind obeisance, leading people to waste their entire lives for answers that they'll never find."

Yeah, he doesn't have a high opinion of religion in general. Strange, for such a high-ranking monk.

"I'm better traveled than most."
exquisitum
Aug. 19th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
"And yet, it must do some people some good," Tenpou says, gazing thoughtfully at Genjyo's attire. His eyes rest momentarily on the sutra draped over the man's shoulders. If he recognizes what it is, he makes no indication of it. "I'm sure you have observed that in the course of your travels."

Tenpou didn't get much free time back during his lifetime to observe humanity from up close, but if there was one thing he remembers witnessing, it is the resilience of the human spirit, and their ability to believe in something greater than themselves. Perhaps it was due to the finite nature of their lives that made them want to believe in something they could not see. Some called it a soul, others said it was karma, or providence. But it never failed to give strength where there was none before. Tenpou admires this about humans.
brat_monk
Aug. 20th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
"Some people." Sanzo will agree with that part at least. It's not doing him any good, but maybe there are some people that it helps.

He wouldn't say that of most of the people he's met along the way. Certainly not the monks in the first temple he stayed at, most of whom ended up dying because they had no weapons. Those guys had been obedient to a fault. Then there was Shuuei. Religion might've done him some good, before he used a talisman to turn himself into a monster. And those little brats with the gourd? Yeah, faith hadn't helped them any. It was hard for Sanzo remember a positive example of religion.
exquisitum
Aug. 20th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Though Genjyo agrees with him, there's something cautious about his tone. It saddens Tenpou that this Konzen lookalike is a sanzo monk who has lost his faith, but he will not judge. There's a weathered look in the man's eyes that shows that he has indeed, traveled much in his young life.

It's ironic that Konzen - who knew so little of the world - could resemble someone in an alternate world who seemed to know too much of it.

Tenpou falls into a brief silence and smokes his cigarette. He thinks about Goku, the child of the earth that had changed Konzen's life forever.

"Tell me about your predecessor, Koumyou Sanzo," Tenpou says. He smiles at him.
brat_monk
Aug. 20th, 2010 04:44 am (UTC)
Sanzo could probably think of more negative examples if he wanted to. He's not sure whether his Master ought to be included among them or not. Koumyou Sanzo was never terribly devout to begin with. He drank in the temple, smoked in broad daylight, and played hooky from lectures. It's a bit ironic that his disciple has grown up to be so much like him.

"He used to make paper airplanes a lot. Orange ones."

exquisitum
Aug. 20th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Of all the things he could have shared about his predecessor, the man chooses this one. Tenpou remembers the time Goku had folded up a bunch of Konzen's important documents into paper planes, much to the god's extreme distress.

Tenpou laughs jovially.

"And did you help him make them?"
brat_monk
Aug. 20th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
It's a telling point of his master's personality that he made paper airplanes. With just one example Sanzo has already shown that his master wasn't a serious monk. Or at least, not a normal one. The fact that they were orange means something too.

"No." He never had helped make them. "But I used to watch them fly. It has to happen outside, on a clear day."
exquisitum
Aug. 21st, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
"Of course it does," Tenpou says, nodding in agreement. "The orange stands out best against a lucid blue background."

He puffs on his cigarette, looking quite professorial as he says, "Did he teach you this? Your predecessor was a very wise man, I can tell."
brat_monk
Aug. 21st, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
"Yeah, he was."

Sanzo could still remember the day it happened, and how his Master had talked about the opposites complimenting each other. Koumyou saw things that most people completely overlooked, found beauty in things that other people believed to be meaningless. He had even placed value in a wretched, discarded child.

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