Subaru wandered into the garden. It must have gone for years unkept, but for some readon everything seemed as it should be. His hand ran along the ladel resing on the stone basin and his eyes took his mind away as they watched a lazy petal edge accross the water. It must have fallen recently, as it was soft and ripe pink.
"Admiring my roji, young Sumeragi-san?"
Subaru started. He spun around to find no one. A ripple in the air tugged at his jacket like the gentle urging of a small girl. Then he saw her - moving slow and deliberate with her long ebony hair trailing behind. Her kimono was pale and her large dark eyes, unmoving, gazed deeply into him.
"You finally came - the one my son loved - ne?" she asked him with a soft giggle.
"You are - you are his mother? I - Is it true then?"
"Oh you will find out," she said, figure moving past, with eyes that never moved off of him.
"Find hout how? When? Who would tell me if not he or you?" Subaru snapped, desperation weakening him.
"And who said I understood my son, Seishirou at all?" she replied cooly, still smiling.
Subaru frowned and exhaled without speaking.
"I know you are feeling lost." She said. "But you must not begrudge him of his fate. You, also had wished for the same - so it was for he, too. And me as well. He recived his wish, as I had."
"And what of my own? Why was he the one to die and not me!?" the onmyoji demanded with angery despondancy.
The Lady Setsuka stopped. She turned her face fully toward him and said with a doll-like expression: "When the heartless discover love, what is there left to do but succeed them with someone without those restraints. Our family cannot do their job well if they're mind is consumed with other matters, ne?" She smiled widely - a smile that appeared so innocent but belonged to a bloodthirsty Sakurazuka. "Don't worry. "You're part is not fully played yet. You may find that Seishirou did not truly leave you yet."
Subaru could not speak, but his eyes pleaded.
"Those marks of his, they are still there, ne? When Seishirou's spirit is truely gone from him, those will disappear along with him."
Subaru clutched his hand and felt his eyes burning. "What are you talking about?!"
Setsuka cocked her head at him, blinked. "Your hands - may I see them?"
Subaru shrank back and glared at her. "Why?!"
She laughed; and then her mood rolled over to empathetic sadness.
She sighed and said: "I, too, love that man."
In confusion, Subaru stood motionless as the spirit drew near him. Setsuka extended a willowy arm and took Subaru's hand in hers. Her eyes fell shut as she nudged her face against the marks. Those stars seemed to glow with an eerie light against her, casting the gleam on her face. Subaru remained still as if in a trance.
Setsuka opened her eyes and looked into Subaru's face. "You have been good to my son." She moved his hand to his chest and held it there. "He always told me that he loved me, but he only did that to be filial. With you, though..you.. I envy you for all the time you shared with him."
Subaru was feeling tears coming on - he couldn't breath - couldn't move - his hand shook as it laid accross his heart.
"But I have nothing to complain about," she added with a sarchastic smile as she released Subaru's hand and turned to the Camelia beside him. She tenderly took a branch of Camelia flowers in her hands and said,"This is not the end for you, here. This place bears other's blood but it will not accept yours."
"Such an odd thing.." she said, detached. "That the successor and the succeeded feel such for each other. If only it had been thus for me..truly. One can say things that they do not mean..and for many reasons..."
She blinked back her melancholy and said to Subaru: "May you find what you have come to seek. I believe you may."
"I can never find what it is that I desire..." he retorted.
She smiled "You may yet."
And then she disappeared.
Subaru looked about but she was gone. He took a deep breath to calm his quaking heart. "No," he thought, "I have nothing further to hope for. I killed him. I saw him die in my arms. And he is all I had devoted my life to. There is nothing left for me to do."