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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.


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.
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."
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.
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."
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.'"
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."
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."
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.
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?"
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."

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?"
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