Heart of the Dragon Ch. 00byAurora Black©
Author's Note: The main characters (Gabriel Knight, Grace Nakimura) are the property of Sierra / Vivendi Universal and Jane Jensen. Okay, moving on... This takes place after the events of GK2: The Beast Within, and it's part of a fanfic that I never finished.
I wrote this when I was 19, so it's rather rough compared to my later stuff. Enjoy.
* * *
The Journal of Nakimura Sayuri
I write in this journal for what may be the last time. My beloved sister is dead, and I feel numb and hollow. I have not been able to find her body, and I doubt that I ever will. It has been washed away into the cruel sea, and her soul cannot be saved from the fires of Hell.
Oh, merciful God, aid me in my attempt to make things right. Help me to destroy the being who is responsible for this. He is Belial, one of the most powerful minions of Satan; a high and powerful Lord in the realm of the underworld. He is a Shapeshifter; he has the power to disguise himself as any living creature, and he exists for no reason but to make others suffer. We are among his victims.
He was not disappointed in his quest to slaughter us all; his victory over us is nearly complete.
Oh, poor Matsuri. He took the form of a foreign nobleman, and under this guise he tempted her, seduced her, and corrupted her. She thought that she was in love, but it was the pull of Belial's evil charm that affected her instead of passion.
Belial did not love her; he used her in an attempt to destroy our family. I fear that he may have succeeded. With the passage of time, his true nature was revealed. Her lover turned out to be a monster; a maniacal and manipulative serpent beneath his beautiful mask. I discovered everything; the affair and its dire consequences. It was a secret that was kept from me until the end.
Due to this deception, I was too late to aid my twin and I was powerless against the evil seed which had taken root. Matsuri was so revolted and grieved that she threw herself off a cliff and into the sea. She was damned by this lowly being, this Belial. She knew that she could not be saved, and she sacrificed herself to save the rest of us.
Now I, Sayuri, shall go to destroy Belial. My soul will never find rest until this score is settled. I will send my remaining family, my youngest sister, into safety. If I should not return, let the Nakimura line somehow continue, so that the next Dragon may succeed where I have failed.
Let the Light pierce the darkest corners of the Universe.
* * *
Tatsu Island, Japan
Sayuri put down her quill with a sigh. It is done. Now there's only one thing left to do.
She got up, and took a lingering look at her secret library, knowing deep down that she would never see it again. The candles flickered in their holders, casting everything in a surreal glow. One by one, she blew out the candles, and she made her way through the darkness towards the entrance and the hallway beyond. She removed an object from a chest by the door, and she left the library.
She kept her back to the vacated entrance, listening for the scrape of rock and the click of heavy iron to signal the door's closure. She was rewarded by the sound, and she touched the smooth surface of the wall where a door used to be.
Let the next Dragon find the means to destroy him. He will not get away with this, I swear.
Sayuri's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a scraping foot on the stone floor in the distance. She immediately unsheathed her sword and hid in a nearby alcove. In the shadows, her eyes narrowed as she saw an outline of a person walking towards her. She held her breath as the intruder tiptoed past her hiding place. She then left the alcove and she crept behind the figure, her sword in tow.
Like a flash of lightning, she grabbed the intruder and placed the razor-sharp blade against the stranger's throat. The intruder gasped, and Sayuri's voice was fierce.
"Who are you?"
The blade edged up and down as the intruder struggled to breathe.
Sayuri tightened her grip around the figure's waist and was rewarded with another gasp.
"Let me ask again. Speak if you value your head! WHO ARE YOU?"
A whoosh of air escaped from the stranger's lips. "Sayuri, it's me. Hana."
Sayuri breathed a sigh of relief and quickly sheathed her sword.
"Hana, why were you sneaking around like that? I could have killed you, little sister."
She re-lit some of the hallway candles that she had blown out before hiding. The candles illuminated the hallway once more, and they shined upon a frightened young girl.
"I am sorry, my sister. I was only trying to be careful."
Sayuri hugged her tightly, afraid to let her go.
"And I thought that I was being careful enough for the both of us."
She remembered her task, and her voice was somber.
"Hana, I need you to do something for me."
Hana perked up at the idea of helping her big sister with something important. Her eyes twinkled and the dimples in her round cheeks grew more prominent as she smiled. Sayuri envied her innocence; she wished that she could collect some in a bottle to prove that it still exists in the world.
Please God, let her be well when I am gone.
She reached for the thick chain around her neck, and she pulled an object from underneath her armor, from where it rested over her heart. It caught the light, and its radiance was as brilliant as the sun. She felt its weight in her palm as she looked at it for a long moment. This will ensure her safety. She then placed it around Hana's neck.
"I want you to have the Heart of the Dragon, Hana."
Even at her young age, Hana had the perception of a woman of many years. She could tell that something was wrong. Hana's smile evaporated as if it hadn't existed.
"But the Heart is YOURS. I cannot take it from you."
Sayuri wanted desperately to cry, but she had to be strong for Hana.
"It is a gift, little sister. It will protect you."
It was at that moment that Hana understood the situation. She would never see her sister again. A few tears escaped as she shook her head in denial.
Sayuri knelt down and held her.
"Please do not make this harder than it already is, sister. It must be done."
A sob escaped from Hana's throat.
"There is always something that must be done! But why does it always have to be YOU who must do these things? The Lord of Hell wants us all to be no more, do you not see? Let us leave this island together, so that we may find a place where he cannot strike us any longer! Please. He has already taken Matsuri away from us; if you go to fight him, you too will perish! I do not want to lose you, Sayuri! You are all that I have left! The presence of so much death in our family ravages my heart with each passing day. I cannot bear it if I were to lose another sister. The pain would be too great."
Sayuri shared the same feelings of anger and grief, but she knew that what she was about to do and the sacrifice that she was prepared to make was only a part of a divine plan to breathe life into the dying Nakimura legacy, to return it to the splendor that it once was.
Sayuri felt the sting of unshed tears in her eyes.
If I were to turn away from my duty now, future generations would share the same needless, tragic fate as the Dragons of this era until the end of time. I cannot let that happen. I must break the cycle of destruction.
Sayuri slowly pulled away from Hana, meeting her eyes.
"I am sorrier than I can ever say, my dear sister. I cannot run away and allow all the deaths in our family and of Matsuri to go unavenged. I must try to set things right, Hana. I know that you do not understand now, but someday I hope that when the time comes for you to become the Dragon you will know that..."
"NEVER! This damned legacy has done nothing but drive us all into early graves! It brings only madness and death, and I will not be a part of it!"
Sayuri had expected Hana's reaction, but she hadn't counted on how much the words would hurt.
Her soul is in agony, and I can do nothing to help her find peace.
She knew that time was running out, and that soon she had to say goodbye.
Sayuri's voice was thick with her grief over Hana's prejudices as she spoke.
"If only you knew how splendid the Dragons were long ago, before the evil came. Before we began to fade from the earth. The sight of spilled blood and the stench of death is all that you have ever known of our family, and that in itself is tragic. But Hana, our legacy is worth saving; it is so much more than just you or I, more than our fallen sister. It is everything; it is who we are and all that we will ever become. It is our nature, our birthright, our destiny. It is unchangeable, undeniable, and everlasting. I can only hope that one day you will realize that."
She looked away from Hana then, to fight back tears. Outside one of the castle's windows, the moon was visible from where Sayuri and Hana knelt together on the floor. The radiant sight helped Sayuri to compose herself enough to look back at her sister.
"You will never lose me, Hana. I will always be with you in here."
She placed her hand over her sister's heart, and beneath her palm it pounded like thunder.
Hana was very quiet, and Sayuri knew that she realized that they were in their final moments together. Hana was sorrowfully resigned to her sister's fate and to her own as well.
Sayuri cleared her throat and stood up.
"I need you to listen carefully now, Hana."
The moment of conversation was over. It was time for Sayuri to get her sister to safety. She deliberately made her voice hard to get Hana's full attention.
"I want you to leave this place. Tonight. Now. Go to the Saito property and stay there. Do not come back here until Saito says that it is safe, and even then you must only visit the castle to collect your things. You will no longer be safe here, do you understand?"
It took a great deal of self-control to keep from crying as she saw Hana nod her head in acceptance, tears still glistening in her eyes.
Sayuri forced herself to continue.
"Do not take the Heart off until it is safe to; you will know when. You must take exceptional care of the talisman. It will guarantee our family's survival."
Hana pressed her hand against her chest and touched the Heart of the Dragon.
"It will be done, my sister."
Sayuri remembered the object that she took from the library. She brought forth the small jewel on a chain from a hidden fold of her armor and gave it to Hana.
"Take this ruby. It is more important than you know."
She whispered its use in her ear, and Hana nodded her head.
Sayuri went to hug her one last time, and with great sadness she said, "Go."
Hana hesitated, and Sayuri made herself scream at her to leave.
The vast hallway echoed with the sound of Hana's departing footfalls. She was gone.
Sayuri stared at the spot where Hana had departed. "I love you, little sister. Goodbye."
She turned and walked down the deserted hallway. She had no doubt that Saito, a trusted family friend and Shinto priest, would take care of Hana.
The Nakimura line will continue. I am satisfied in that, at least.
Sayuri stopped at the huge door leading to the outside world and her confrontation with Belial.
It is now the moment of truth. I am ready.
She stepped out of the castle and marched forward to meet her destiny.
* * *
Tatsu Island, Japan
"Are you sure that you want to go through with this, Hiroshi? It may do more ill than good."
The old man is really pushing it this time, Hiroshi Nakimura thought as he and his father stood in the hospital's hallway.
He trembled with anger. "Of course I want this, Dad! That monster nearly killed my little girl. I want us to be as far away from that castle as we can possibly get."
The elder Nakimura sighed. "Please consider this, Hiroshi. Do not damn your ancestral home based on an incident of the supernatural. It is the nature of the beast. Things of this sort are bound to happen sooner or later."
Hiroshi, who was standing slightly away from his father, came within an inch of him at once.
"Incident of the supernatural?! The nature of the beast?! What the hell are you talking about, old man?"
Hiroshi's hands curled into fists at his sides as he tried to contain his fury. He failed.
"Do you believe for one second that it was a mere incident? I sure as hell don't! That creature had a plan. That thing wanted my little girl. It USED my own flesh and blood to do its dirty work. And when that was not enough, it went after her ITSELF!"
Hiroshi's fists unclenched, and he turned away to look toward the room where his young daughter was resting. He wanted to scream out his rage, and make it echo along the long halls of the hospital.
"I will not expose her to any more of this. Nothing you can say will make me change my mind. After Grace is released from here, Keiko and I will take her to America. We will tell her nothing about the Dragons of Light. Nothing!"
Hiroshi started to walk away from his father, toward Grace's hospital room. The shouts of his father rung in his ears.
"Go ahead," said the old man. "Just know this: by doing this you will be robbing her of her birthright, part of her heritage, and part of her self-identity. Do you think that the monsters will melt away because you've kept her ignorant? No, if anything, they'll have an advantage when they seek her out; she won't know what to do. She won't be able to fight back if you don't tell her about the Dragons. Think about what you're doing, Hiroshi!"
Hiroshi gritted his teeth as he pushed on, ignoring his father's plea.
I will not listen to this. I must save my child from the horrors that would eventually follow if we stay here. Yes, the demon has disappeared, but what is there to stop more of them from coming if we stay? I'm doing the right thing.
The elderly man watched his youngest son disappear into his granddaughter's room. He sighed. Stubborn. There was no doubt in his mind that Hiroshi's plan would ultimately hurt Grace.
Our family traditions are too powerful to be shaken off like a bad dream. Hiroshi will find out; so will Grace, God willing.
It was at that moment that the old man vowed to watch over Grace. He decided that he would not interfere with his son's plan, but he will tell her all that she needs to know when the time comes.
It's only a matter of time, he thought. f all goes well, it will happen under pleasant circumstances; the inevitable moment of reckoning.
* * *
Tatsu Island, Japan
So, he went forward with his plan, the old man thought as he finished gathering his belongings. Hiroshi was never one to go back on his word.
He had just received the news from his friend Saito that Hiroshi and Keiko took Grace to America like they said they would. New York City.
Now that it's all settled, I'll be on my way as well.
The old man took his suitcase and left his room. He descended several flights of stairs, entering the depths of the castle. It was completely dark except for one glowing lantern on the other side of the shadowy area.
His eyes slowly grew accustomed to the darkness, and he made his way toward the end of the corridor. The old man stopped at a large iron door and unlocked it. The door creaked open, and he took the lantern off of the wall and stepped inside.
The large room was filled with many old statues, tapestries and weapons. The various objects in the room were the relics of a very powerful and ancient era.
The old man crossed the room, appreciating its contents. He stopped and stared at a very old portrait that was hanging on the wall. It was a painting of a very beautiful Japanese woman. She looked to be in her late 20s. She was dressed in a ceremonial kimono, and the only piece of jewelry that she wore was a single ruby on a chain around her neck. Her long, glossy black hair was pulled away from her face and it spilled over one of her shoulders to end where she held a white lily between the fingers of a delicate hand. Her eyes were the most striking feature of the painting; they had the look of strength and power to them.
They had the ability to touch one's soul.
The old man continued to look upon the portrait for a long moment.
You have waited so long for her. Do not worry. She will be protected.
The old man moved the portrait aside to reveal a vault that was stashed behind it. He unlocked it with one of his many keys and he surveyed its contents.
Among the objects inside the vault was an exquisite Japanese samurai sword, old-world maps, and several ancient books and journals.
Something caught the old man's eye. Of course. He reached his hand into the vault and pulled out the Heart of the Dragon. He ran his hand over the talisman, admiring it.
So beautiful, yet such a powerful weapon. Soon, my friend. The time will come when you will be called upon again.
From a distance he heard a clock chiming the hour. He knew that time was running out before he had to catch his plane. He took one last lingering look at the heart-shaped amulet he held in his aged hand, and he placed it back in the vault and locked it. He left and locked up the room, and he climbed up the many stairs to the ground level, carrying the set of heavy iron keys.
He left the castle, strolled out of the vast courtyard and locked the heavy front gates. He made his way to the road where his trusted friend Saito was waiting for him. Saito's face was grave as he handed the old man the note that his other son, Takeo, had left for him.
The old man unfolded the paper, his sharp eyes scanning his oldest son's familiar script.
Father, forgive me. I was weak. I allowed myself to be taken over by that being; to become the instrument of evil. Somehow, the demon was able to see straight to my soul, and it found something that it liked. It planted the seeds of evil into my heart, and I feel that I must go away for a while to purge myself.
I did not mean for any of this to happen, and I certainly did not want the child to be harmed in any way. I am ashamed of myself, more than you can possibly imagine. Everything was beyond my control. I regret my actions deeply, but I am afraid that it is not enough to win back the esteem of both my brother and of you that was so utterly lost in these events. Let God allow me to break free of evil's influence now that the demon is gone, hopefully forever. Once again, forgive me.
He sighed and looked up to find Saito watching him.
"He has gone away. To where, I don't know."
Saito stepped closer to the old man, patting him on the back.
"You must let him find his own way, Yukio. He feels responsible for what happened. He'll get over it in time."
Yukio smiled. "You're right, my friend."
He handed Saito the keys to the castle.
"Take care of it, Saito. I have a feeling that it will be needed in the future."