• Princess Sasame walked out in the direction that Tatakai had pointed out to her and she soon came across the house he described. It was a simple one level house which looked no bigger then her room in the palace. But that was excusing the fact that her room took up a third of a wing anyway.
    She gently opened the gat that was the entrance to the property and closed it again to ensure the chickens that were roaming the garden would not escape. She heard a man grunting and the sound of wood breaking. Slowly and silently she approached the source and found that there was a man chopping wood in preparation for the oncoming cold season. She could not see the face of the man but his back was battle scarred and his hair has a vivid brown and spiked up like he slept upside down.
    She approached the man but was careful not to get close enough to get accidentally hurt by the axe. She cleared her voice and asked “Excuse me but are you the Mr Ookami that the villagers told me about?”
    The man continued with his task and responded “Who needs to know?”
    Sasame’s voice became shaky out of nerves but she managed to reply “I am someone who was hoping that you could help them find someone.”
    Still swinging his axe the battle scarred man asked “I am but a simple farmer. Who in all of Enkotsu could you need my help to find?” Sasame’s voice at this point was a near whisper so the man did not hear her response the first time around so he said “Speak up, I did not catch that.”
    Sasame took a deep breath and said as loud as she could “Zenjin Kuroken.”
    The man stopped doing what he was doing and asked “How do you know that name?”
    As he asked this he put down and turned around to see the face that was asking him all of these questions. Although he was armed with a number of cleverly though up responses to his inquisitor he froze here he stood. It took him a moment to realise whom it was that was standing before him, and he was dumbstruck when he did. “S-S-Sasame?” he asked in a voice full of surprise and sounded like he had just come up for air after a long time underwater.
    Sasame instantly started crying tears of joy and said “Zenjin. I have finally found you after all of these years.”
    Zenjin gained his composure after a few seconds, but instead of kindly greeting Sasame he turned his back to her and asked “What are you doing here?”
    Sasame took in a few breaths and said “I have been looking for you for the past five years Zenjin. Since after you left me in the castle.”
    Not moving Zenjin asked “Who is looking after it now in you absence?”
    “Tsumekon is looking after it…” she replied
    Zenjin let out an annoyed sigh and said “Are you sure that is a wise idea? For all we know he might be planning a way to prevent you obtaining it back when you return.”
    Sasame shook her and said “I am not going back.” She then embraced Zenjin by sliding her arms between his and putting her hands on his collar. She then elaborated by saying “At least not without you. I will not return to the castle without you”
    Zenjin simply buffeted off the embrace and took a few steps further forwards before saying “Princess, we cannot be together.”
    “Why not?” Sasame asked through her tears. There however were not tears of happiness but tears of sadness and confusion.
    Zenjin placed one of his hands on the wall to support himself as he said “First of all you are a princess and I am a poor vagabond at the best of times.”
    “I was just an escaped slave when you first met me.” She responded while kneeling on the decking and with her hands on her knees in a humble position.
    Zenjin continued by saying “Secondly there must be a large number of suitable me vying for your hand.”
    Sasame looked to one side like she was ashamed to look at the man in front of her and said “I do have suitors coming to the castle often that is true, of all races. One time an avian prince came and he said ‘Princess Sasame if you will be my bride I will help you fly higher then any mountain in the world’”
    Still keeping his position he asked “And how did you respond to this winged charmer.”
    Sasame rose up and held a fisted hand to the middle of her chest. She said “I replied that he could take me into the air and above the clouds but he could never make me fly.” She then screamed out “Only you can do that!”
    Zenjin at this point turned to face her. This time he leaned on the wall with his shoulder and said “Last of all there is noting I can give you. All I have is a house just big enough for me and Tatakai, ragged clothes, poor man's food, and a constant threat of retaliation from those that I have defeated in the past and left alive. You have a castle, good clothes, nice food, servants to wait on you hand and foot, and the safety of the palace guard. So if you weigh things up you are better off leaving now and forgetting about me.”
    Sasame at this point proceeded to undo the fastenings of her cloak. She kept her head turned to the side and said “I do not care about how bad the living conditions may be, I do not care about how disgusting the food might taste, I do not care about the risk to my life, and I do not care…” at this point she let her cloak fall to the floor to show that she was wearing clothes no better then the ones she wore when they first met. She carried on by saying “About the clothes I wear. All those regal regalia feel like to me are chains keeping me from who I am inside.”
    Zenjin was dumbstruck by what had just happened and asked “Um, and, err, who are you on the inside?”
    At this Sasame’s eyes turned into practical waterfalls as she told her true feeling that she had kept in for the past five years “I am Sasame Nekohime, a runaway slave who was rescued by the master of Kenhibiki style Zenjin Kuroken and who proceeded to fall in love with him and has been in love with him ever since that day. The same Sasame Nekohime that he left because he was sorry for not protecting her and who’s heart has been suffering everyday since for the past five years waiting for him to come back into her life. And finally the same Sasame Nekohime who would do anything to stay by his side, even if it costs her life to do so.” After she had let all of these feelings out she dropped to her knees and started crying uncontrollably.
    After what felt like an eternity to her she was embraced by strong but gentle arms that came from in front of her. In these arms he felt at peace and stopped crying from the kindness she could sense coming from them. She looked up to see that these were the arms of the man who had just ridiculed her for finding him, and more then that he was crying as well. This really took her by surprise since these tears came from a man who always seemed so strong and had not even cried when forced to relive his monstrous past that would have made the next toughest man cry like a baby. She lifted her right hand and placed it on his cheek and asked “What is wrong Zenjin? Why are you crying?”
    Zenjin proceeded to hold her in a tighter embrace and said “I did not leave because I blamed myself for getting you hurt. I left because I was afraid that you blamed me for it.”
    Sasame smiled and said “I never blamed you for that. I knew you did your best and that you did not mean for those men to harm me. But right now you are squeezing the life out of me.”
    Zenjin then released his embrace and looked Sasame in the eyes for the first time since she had showed up, still with tears coming out of his. He looked at her and said “Well I did not want to be around you if you blamed me since I thought it would lead you to hate me. So I left, and everyday since I have regretted not telling you that I loved you as well. For the past five years I have shunned contact with others sine I thought I could not be with the one person who mattered the most to me.”
    After he had said this she started shedding tears of happiness again and asked “Does this mean what I think it means?”
    Zenjin held each side of her face in the palms of his hands and said “Yes Sasame I love you too. I have loved you since you stood between me and Tsumekon after he disarmed me in our first fight, even though you knew not how to defend yourself..”
    She smiled deeply and said “Yeah, but he was just going to return your sword anyway, so it wasn’t that special.”
    Zenjin sighed and said “Yeah, But still…” He did not finish that sentence since he could not prevent himself from kissing her for a moment longer. Naturally Sasame was surprised by this but did not mind it one little bit. She kissed him back and their hearts were set. For each of them then lips they were kissing now were the only lips they would want to kiss for the rest of their born days.
    The kiss lasted only a moment, but in that moment they were the only people who existed. The entire world was there just for that kiss and that moment, the moment that felt like the last five years of love and longing had come into one perfect existence.
    Once the kiss was finished and the two separated all of the tears were come and there was nothing but smile between them, and the pink Sakura petals that fell like snow. One fell into the palm of one of Sasame’s hands and she asked “Please come back with me. Come back with me and we will make this region as beautiful as this moment.”
    Zenjin fell onto his back with this head in the direction of Sasame’s feet and looking into her shining eyes. He smiled back at her and said “As beautiful as this moment. That will be an impossible task.”
    Sasame giggled and said “Good. Unless my memory fails itself we have dome the impossible before, and more then once.
    A few months passes since that kiss and a ceremony was held on the edges of Crimson Sun Lake. It was a ceremony to bind Zenjin and Sasame together until the ending of days. The service was held by the Koorimaru, now head of the Ningyo in the region, with Brogan and Ukiyo as the bridesmaids. Tsumekon played the role of best man and played it well, not getting into a single fight the whole day. An achievement in the eyes of all gathered there. At the end of the day all were partying, all but the wedded couple. They were sitting at the edge of the lake, hand in hand, looking at the setting sun and into their future together.