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The sins of the father

Chapter 6: Your justice (it isn't mine)

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Day 169 第 169 天

"Hey, Rin? ...Are you awake?"

"...Hm?" “……嗯?”

"I can't sleep." "我睡不着。"

Since king Isagi's second brush with death, he'd been, for lack of a better word, roommates with Rin. They'd come to a mutual agreement that he'd be safer sleeping somewhere other than his bedchambers... That was, until the traitor was found.

So Isagi had reign over Rin's bed while Rin slept in a bed roll on the floor.

Isagi had insisted that they share the bed, but it wasn't an idea well recieved. This brought about the subject of a persistently awkward thing still hanging between the two of them...

Something so glaringly obvious that it charged each and every moment of silence or eye contact they shared with heat and static.

They were in love with eachother.

The knight remained steadfast in his rejection, though. So by this fact, Rin would absolutely not sleep next to Isagi in his bed.

Truthfully, he didn't want to give Isagi any ideas, in any way shape or form. He only wished for the king to forget about his feelings and everything else that had been said and done between them.

"... Not my problem. Why'd you wake me up? Idiot."

"Sorry, I just... Wanted to talk."

Rin sighs. "Talk about what, at this time of night? You're better off just trying to sleep."
Rin 叹了口气。“这么晚了,聊什么?你还是尽量睡吧。”

"Well... Yeah. Probably."

There's a bit of a pause and lingering silence, wherein Rin thinks Isagi may have fallen back asleep. Not the case, though.

"I'm glad you're here with me, Rin."

Rin stares up at the ceiling with blurry, sleepy vision.

"It's just like you to say such lukewarm things, idiot-king."

"... Yeah. I'm lukewarm aren't I?"

Rin hears shuffling and looks up to the bed to investigate. He's met with possibly the most gentle gaze he's ever recieved, and it makes something inside of him hurt.

"I don't know if I'll ever be safe..." Isagi whispers, "But... When I'm with you, I feel safe. That's pretty lukewarm, isn't it?"
"我不知道自己是否还能安全..." Isagi 低语道,"但... 和你在一起时,我感到安心。这听起来挺平淡无奇的,不是吗?"

Rin silently stares back, gaze softened. He doesn't exactly know how to respond.
Rin 默默回望,目光柔和。他不太确定该如何回应。

"Go back to sleep, dumbass."

He turns his body away but still feels Isagi's eyes on him. The stare doesn't break and he starts to feel a little uncomfortable. Self-conscious, even. He's not used to this sort of thing and it throws him off a bit.

Isagi's eyes remain focused for a few minutes before his eyelids begin to flutter... His love finds him feeling at ease. His eyelids eventually become heavy as he stares and after a few minutes of this he's gently pulled off to sleep.

Rin, however, isn't tired. He hadn't actually been woken up by Isagi.

He hadn't slept yet that night at all and the time was past midnight.

You see, there was a growing difference between the two of them that was starting to present itself in ways such as this.

Isagi's love for Rin filled him with warmth and comfort, such emotions that would often lull him to a restful sleep.

Rin's love for Isagi, on the other hand... It was something else.

Mingled with his deep need for a purpose, his desire to protect the king, yet still deeply conflicted about his change of heart, and ultimately about the fact that his hatred had somehow turned to the opposite... Rin's love was growing into something far different than Isagi's.

With time it was warping and distorting. All these things paired with his borderline maniacally obsessive personality was transforming love, something normally wonderful and beautiful to behold, into other things far darker...

Rin's love for Isagi was driving him down into the abysmal depths of obsession... Borderline into madness.

So rather than fall asleep, Rin lay awake with his eyes trained carefully on the ceiling above him.

You see, there were many things Rin had done over the past few weeks that he'd kept secret from his king... There was much he now knew that Isagi did not.

And he'd continue to keep these things hidden away under lock and key... Inevitably to his detriment.

Day 204 第 204 天

King Isagi sits on his throne, his posture stiff from a day on the ridiculously lavish yet somehow still uncomfortable seat.

The doors from outside slowly open. Isagi sits back and waits for who enters to present themself. He grimaces when he sees the unexpected yet familiar visitor.

The nobleman from day 9 is storming across the throne room toward the king, clearly upset.

"A familiar face, your grace," the king hears from Taro behind him.

"Indeed." “确实。”

Now what on Earth brings you back to me after all these days? Isagi wonders.
这些日子过去,究竟是什么风把你吹回我这儿来了?Isagi 暗自思忖。

"You," the nobleman snarls up to the king, his plump round face showing displeasure.

The king already feels himself getting a little pissed off just looking upon the guy's patchy red complexion.

There are a few people in tow behind him, too... Some of them sporting weapons. Isagi already thinks he knows what's going on.

"Come here to intimidate me, have you?" Isagi asks with an intentionally bored tone to his voice.

"You are no king of mine. I'll have you know, I've caught this plebian you've had me hire into my service stealing from me on multiple occasions. Multiple! Occasions! And—"

"Ask me if I give a shit."

The king's unbothered demeanor seems to act as a catalyst. Now fuming, the round man stomps his way up to the stairs in front of Isagi's throne with his thugs in tow and proceeds to ascend. Isagi remains unmoved from his place and stares on.

When he reaches the top, the nobleman finds an imposing person standing between himself and the king.

"Back off you waste of space," Rin snarls menacingly.
"滚开,你这个占地方的废物," Rin 恶狠狠地咆哮道。

"Out of my way you troglodyte. This brat who calls himself a king needs to be taught a lesson!"

Rin shoves the man back with both hands, however, he hears from behind him:
Rin 用双手将那人推开,却听到身后传来:

"Let him approach." "让他过来。"

Rin looks back to see Isagi had pushed himself up to his feet. He now stands, staring with cold eyes intently fixated on the imposing nobleman.
Rin 回头一看,只见 Isagi 已经挣扎着站起身来。他现在站立着,冷眼凝视着那位气势逼人的贵族。

"Your grace—" "大人——"

"Hold your tongue, Taro."

Rin steps to the side.
Rin 向旁边迈了一步。

"You... You brat... I'll have you know—"

"Bring him here and the king's justice will find him," Isagi interrupts, "There's no reason for you to make a scene like this."

This doesn't seem to placate the man at all, though. He only seems to grow angrier.

"No... No. The king's justice is worthless. I'll teach you a lesson, you brat." The man waddles forward and stops in front of the king. He's a bit taller than Isagi but the difference in their stomach size is quite the disparity.

"Teach me a lesson? And what, exactly, would you presume to—"

Thwack. 啪。

The sound rings sharp across the walls of the throne room... The sound of a back-handed slap, which had landed dead center on Isagi's cheek. The nobleman's ring left a red mark where it struck.

"You..." Isagi snaps his head back around to the nobleman, but he's shoved back and out of the way.

Rin now stands between them again.

"Rin, it's okay, I—" "Rin, 没事的,我——"

"Sit back down, idiot-king."

Though Isagi doesn't see Rin's face, the tone of his voice is quite unsettling.

"You again? Protecting your brat of a... Brat... Of a..."

The nobleman's former conviction is depleting by the second as he looks into Rin's eyes.

Thud. Thud. Thud. 咚。咚。咚。

Rin steps forward and the nobleman tumbles back. He stumbles, hands flailing, clearly panicking.
Rin 向前一步,贵族踉跄后退。他双手乱舞,显然惊慌失措。

The eyes he finds himself looking into are hardly recognizably human.

"W-wait..." "等...等等..."

When they stop at the top of the stairs leading down, Rin's left arm shoots out and grips the nobleman's thick neck. He squeezes his fingers tighter and tighter.

"Rin... Stop..." Isagi begs. He steps forward and puts a hand on Rin's shoulder but its shrugged off.
"Rin... 停下..." Isagi恳求道。他上前一步,伸手搭在Rin的肩上,却被甩开了。

"Guh... Geh..." the nobleman squirms at the increasing strength of Rin's grip. His thugs are now walking up the stairs toward Rin. The other king's guard watch on but do nothing.
"呃... 咯..." 贵族在Rin不断加大的握力下挣扎。他的打手们正走上楼梯,朝Rin逼近。另一位国王的护卫们只是旁观,却未采取任何行动。

"You have no right to lay your filthy paws on the king," Rin hisses. His hand reaches down and draws his sword from its sheath.

"Rin, stop!" “Rin,住手!”

Rin thinks he hears the king begging from behind but the words don't reach him. The reasonable side of him is being buried beneath the welling inferno of his unfathomable bloodlust.

It's that side of him coming out now. The side of Rin that most people would never see. The side of him that always slumbers in the dark confines of his heart, waiting patiently to surface itself when it's set off... The side of him that would turn him into a single-minded killing machine.

The only ones who had seen this side of Rin in the past had ended up dead after.

His jaw falls slack and his tongue drops out from his mouth. The shape of his lips curl gently up into some vicious mockery of a smirk. He raises his blade but feels something pushing his arm down.

It's of little consequence to him now. Whatever it is, he shoves it to the side.

There may have been screams or shouts but Rin doesn't notice... Everything around him is all reduced down to a blur. The blade in his hand lashes out and strikes to kill. He then drops the limp and bloody body from his grasp and slowly paces down the stairs.

The embodyment of carnage sees movement... The thugs are running from him.

They will not escape.

Trapped in the abyss of his trance, Rin's blade plunges into one man's heart without hesitation. Two more are decapitated. One's neck is sliced open though his head remains on his shoulders.

The final target had been knocked to the ground and is laying on his back on the floor, weapon beside him, arm out in front of him trembling. His mouth is moving but Rin hears nothing.

Rin pulls the horrified person from the floor. Though he can feel the tremoring of the body gripped in his hands, it doesn't sway him from his path. He yanks the head back, watches as the man's eyes bulge in terror, and draws his blade across the thugs neck, thereby removing his head from its body.
Rin 从地板上拽起那个惊恐万分的人。尽管他能感受到手中紧握的身体在颤抖,但这并未动摇他的决心。他猛地将那人的头向后拉,看着对方因恐惧而瞪大的双眼,随即挥刀划过恶棍的脖子,将其头颅与身体分离。

From his place beside his throne, Isagi is paralyzed, frozen in place by dread. All he sees now is Rin, dripping crimson from head-to-toe, back still facing him.
站在王座旁的Isagi 此刻如遭雷击,恐惧令他僵立原地。眼前所见唯有Rin,从头到脚血迹斑斑,背对着他。

"Rin... What... Why—" "Rin... 什么... 为什么——"

Rin's head whips around to meet the sound of Isagi's voice. When they make eye contact, Isagi flinches and recoils in horror.

The eyes he's looking into, the strange and deeply disturbing expression he's met with, Rin's posture... It was something Isagi never expected to see.

The Rin he now sees, eyes blackened with bloodlust, tongue hanging from his mouth like an animal, does not look human at all. The Rin he sees is a grotesque immitation of a human.

Monster. That's the first word that crosses Isagi's mind.

"R-Rin... You..." "R-Rin... 你..."

With startling swiftness, the knight is back up beside the king. Though it isn't easy to get a rise out of Isagi... He's clearly very freightened.
骑士以惊人的速度回到了国王身边。虽然要让Isagi情绪波动并不容易... 但他显然非常害怕。

They look across their shoulders at eachother, palpable tension in their eye-contact. Isagi's hands close into fists at his sides as he attempts to calm his nerves.

Rin doesn't say or do anything else. He dashes off into the castle, leaving the king and his advisors in the wake of his carnage and in shocked silence behind.


Isagi places his housecoat over over his body and departs the ensuite.

Tonight, he's decided he'll sleep in his own bed. Today he doesn't care about the danger posed by assassins... The happenings in the throne room earlier in the day have disturbed him. Truthfully, he doesn't think he can bring himself to be alone with Rin, either.

It's late in the night but the king hasn't slept. It's the second bath he's taken in hopes of calming his nerves.

He plods across his room to his vanity and seats himself in front of the mirror to examine the mark on his face. The place where the nobleman's ring had made contact with his cheek is now red and swollen at its center with a purple bruise encircling it. He leans in closer to get a better look.

Maybe something cold would reduce the swelling... he thinks.

As he touches at the bruise, his eye catches the reflection of something in the mirror, in the corner of his room... In the darkness.

He jumps, startled, and snaps himself around.

The figure shrouded in darkness steps out to reveal itself.


He regards the king's guard standing before him in the dim lamplight. Isagi notes darker patches on the man's uniform.

Blood. 血。

Illuminated by the silvery touch of the late-night full moon, the pure, angelic white of king Isagi's housecoat is a stark contrast to the black and gold blood-stained garb of his king's guard.

Rin slowly steps across the room toward Isagi, while the king rises and steps backwards and away.

"Rin... You..." "Rin... 你..."

"I what? Saved you?" "我怎么了?救了你?"

"No..." Isagi's back thuds against the wall behind him, "You... You've damaged my reputation, spilled blood in the throne room of all—"
"不..." Isagi的后背猛地撞上背后的墙壁,"你... 你毁了我的名声,在王座厅里洒下了血——"

"They would've done it first if I hadn't."

Though Isagi has stopped, Rin moves in closer. He presses himself in against the king's body, tarnishing the perfect white fabric of Isagi's housecoat with smears of blood.

"What's wrong, your grace?" Rin whispers, his voice coiling with malice.
"怎么了,陛下?" Rin低声问道,声音中带着恶意。

"Rin... Have you any idea what you've done? Any idea how this... This atrocity—"
"Rin... 你知道你做了什么吗?你知道这... 这暴行——"

The king's words catch in his throat. He notices something that freezes his blood in his veins.

The smell of blood is filling his nostrils, terror stuns him and sends his heart pounding in his chest. One of Rin's hands is reaching up to touch his face, but it's red, and not deep red, the color of aged and clotted blood...

It's the scarlet-red shade of fresh blood.

"Rin... T-the blood..." “Rin... 这血...”

When Isagi tilts his head to the side, eyes wide, he makes eye-contact with Rin. It immediately horrifies him. He drops his face away and he grits his teeth.

"Rin... Why is there fresh blood on your hands?"
"Rin... 你手上为何有新鲜血迹?"

Rin leans in even closer. Though his gaze is soft, it's not exactly reassuring to Isagi in the way it used to be.
Rin 靠得更近了。尽管他的目光柔和,但对 Isagi 来说,已不再像从前那样令人安心。

"I've killed them." Isagi hears the words breathed into his ear and he shudders.
"我杀了他们。" Isagi 听到耳边轻声吐露的话语,不禁颤抖。

God, no... Please... 天哪,不...求你了...

"K-killed... Who? Assassins?"

"No..." Rin replies, his voice seething with quiet rage.

"The traitors." "叛徒。"

The statement racks Isagi with such horror, he's stunned and frozen into silence. His hands at his sides tremble violently and he struggles to breathe normally.

One of the bloody hands touches Isagi's chin gently, pulling his face up and forcing their gazes to meet. The eye-contact would have reassured or comforted Isagi in the past, but now, it only fills him with fear.

"God... No... Rin, please tell me... Tell me it's not true..."

There's tears welling in the corners of Isagi's eyes now. Rin notices immediately.

"Why do you cry, your grace? You're safe now."

"Safe...?" Isagi can barely bring himself to cough the word out.
"安全...?" Isagi 几乎无法将这个词咳出声来。

"I—I... Trusted you... Rin, I..."

Rin's upper lip curls ever so slightly into a menacing expression. "And I've—"
Rin 的上唇微微卷起,露出一丝威胁的表情。"而我..."

"You've what? What? You've what, Rin? Answer me?! What, exactly, do you think you've done for me? By slaughtering people in the throne room? Slaughtering... People in the castle? People who worked for me? God, I..."

"I've saved you." “我救了你。”

The king shakes his head briskly in disbelief. He rips the hand from his face and breaks eye-contact.

"H-how... How many people... In the castle...?" Isagi asks, his voice hoarse, petrified of the answer that awaits him.

"...How many did you kill?"

"How many traitors did I find? How many traitors did I save you from?" Rin snarls. He shifts his face in close to Isagi's neck, sending hot breath across the king's skin.

"Twenty-four." "二十四。"

The king shudders. 国王浑身一颤。

Twenty-four of his subjects... Murdered in their beds. All because he was too stupid to see Rin's true nature... Too blinded by his foolish love and trust to see what had been staring him dead in the eyes from day 1.

Rin's obsession with him was a ticking time-bomb. It always had been.

"This... This justice you've brought upon these people... It isn't mine, Rin."

Now, Isagi's resolve begins to return to him. He grips at the collar of Rin's uniform and shoves him back.

"You've made a grave misstep here, Rin..." he whsipers, "You... You should have known better, Rin... You should have brought this to me. It's the king who decides the fates of criminals, even traitors and heretics, this was not how the king would handle things..."

Rin's expression is slowly turning down as he listens.

"Your justice is not mine, Rin. You wear my colors and would commit such acts in my name, yet you hold no true understanding of me... Not at all. Is this how you'd show... Dedication? Love?"

One of Rin's hands flips up and crashes into Isagi's neck. The force slams the king back against the wall and shoves a grunt from the air in his lungs.

"I've done this for you, fool... Did I not give you enough warning? Did I not push you away enough? This is what happens when you love someone like me."

Isagi shoves back with both hands, with all the strength he can muster, and it throws Rin into a stumble backwards.

"You..." “你……”

Tap. Tap. Tap. Isagi's bare footfalls step across the floor.

The king's wrath is a sight to behold. Even one such as Rin finds himself the tiniest bit freightened by the flash of rage in those normally gentle sapphire blue eyes.

"You, Rin. Are the true traitor."

Rin's eyes widen. All of his previous confidence in his actions is being wiped away.

"Get out of my sight, Rin."

"No... I—" “不...我——”

"Get out! I never want to see your damned face here again! You're banished from my service!"

Rin's head shakes side-to-side.
Rin 的头左右摇晃。

"No... Do you not understand? This is for you... All of this... If you despise my methods then prosecute me for my actions... But don't..."
“不... 你难道不明白吗?这都是为了你... 这一切... 如果你鄙视我的手段,那就因我的行为审判我... 但别...”

Now Isagi's head shakes side-to-side.

"This is your prosecution. The king's justice finds you now, Itoshi Rin. Your punishment is exile. From the castle... And from the king's service."
“这是对你的审判。国王的正义此刻降临于你,Itoshi Rin。你的惩罚是流放。从城堡... 以及国王的侍从中。”

Rin's eyes widen and glitter helplessly. In that moment, he looks like an innocent child being plunged into despair to Isagi. The king can't help but feel a little guilty.

"W-wait..." Rin stammers.

"You, Rin... Are no knight, no friend... No lover to me."

The knight slowly steps backward. His face grows pale and his expression now sheds any hint of his previous anger, bloodlust, or conviction.

"Leave." Isagi's order is spoken with a tone of finality.

When he's alone again, Isagi falls to the floor on his hands and knees and cries out at the top of his lungs, until every last bit of oxygen in his lungs is used. Until he loses his breath and he tastes metal on his tongue.

Such a miscalculation... Such a terrible miscalculation on my part...

The king's fists ball and slam against the floor. He stares at the marble beneath him, wondering how he'd never noticed what was going on right under his nose.

If Rin had killed twenty-four people... That was about a third of the people who worked in the castle. That only suggested that he was selective in who he killed.

Meaning, he must have investigated this on his own... All on his own. Isagi doesn't know how but it must have taken Rin a considerable amount of time to incriminate each and every person he'd killed.

God... he thinks, biting back the tears that threaten his eyes, He was right... I really am a damn fool.

Loving this person, trusting this person, letting his guard down for this one person... Had cost him dearly.

The bloodshed in the castle would no doubt reach the ears of the common people. Everything he'd worked for to cleanse his reputation of his father's tyranny... It was all a waste.

"Damnit... Fucking damnit!"

A weaker man may have found himself slitting his own wrists or drowning himself in the bathtub that night.

King Isagi was no weakling.

He'd found himself contemplating suicide on several occasions because of assassination attempts. Because of people hating him. Because of how alone in the world he was. He'd felt he would never escape his heavily tarnished reputation.

However, as he sat there on the floor, Isagi Yoichi didn't find himself contemplating suicide again... He found himself feeling pissed off.
然而,当他坐在地板上时,Isagi Yoichi并没有再次陷入自杀的念头...他发现自己感到愤怒。

Pissed off at his own weakness.

His fists tighten and his head slowly raises to stare at the door... The one he'd watched Rin depart from not long prior.

King Isagi was far from weak-minded. He'd make an example of this experience... It'd leave a perminant mark on his heart and soul for the rest of his days.

He'd prove to the kingdom 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger', and use that red string of fate to pull himself out from the deepest depths of his despair.

Day 209 第 209 天

Rin staggers forward and falls to the ground.
Rin 蹒跚前行,最终倒在地上。

He'd done almost nothing but walk and walk and walk since his banishment from the castle.

He didn't know where he was going or what he was doing so he simply placed one foot in front of the other and walked forward. However, five days of barely any food, drink, or rest was taking its toll.

Maybe this is how I die... he thinks, face downturned, staring at the dirt between his hands.

He'd failed at everything. Failed to kill Isagi. Failed to protect Isagi... Failed to love Isagi. Now, having failed at every single thing that had given his worthless life any meaning, Rin felt absolutely defeated as he sat there with his hands against the ground.

Why the hell... What the hell is wrong with me? Am I really good for nothing in this world except... Killing? Why am I like this?... I'm worthless.

Violence. It was always violence. How could he ever escape this vicious cycle he'd doomed himself to?

"Hey mister... Are you okay?"
"嘿,先生... 你还好吗?"

Rin slowly raises his head to find the source of the voice.
Rin 缓缓抬起头,寻找声音的来源。

Two young boys... Maybe five and seven are standing and looking at him with wide eyes. The younger hides behind the older, hands gripping nervously at his brother's shirt. They look poor, a little skinny, dirty, and the older brother has a basket of rice clutched against his chest.
两个小男孩... 大约五岁和七岁,站在那里,睁大眼睛看着他。年幼的那个躲在哥哥身后,双手紧张地抓着哥哥的衬衫。他们看起来很穷,有些瘦弱,脏兮兮的,哥哥怀里还紧紧抱着一个装满米饭的篮子。

Rin wonders for a moment why his heart aches to gaze upon these boys, then he realizes...
Rin 凝视着这些男孩,心中为何隐隐作痛,他一时不解,随后恍然大悟...

He's reminded of him and Sae.
他想起了自己和 Sae 的往事。

Rin is suddenly thrown back in time, to simpler days. Days when he'd grab at the back of Sae's shirt, just like this little boy... Days when they'd play pranks on the neighbors, fish in the river near their home, or buy candy from the local store to eat together.
Rin 仿佛被时光倒流,回到了那些简单纯真的日子。那时,他会像这个小男孩一样,紧紧抓住 Sae 的衬衫后摆... 那时,他们会在邻居家搞恶作剧,在家附近的河里钓鱼,或是从当地小店买糖果一起分享。

There was nothing in the world that would ever bring Sae back to him... Nothing. He'd never feel his brother's hugs or hear the sound of his voice again.

He'd never know how it feels to be loved again.

He'd lost Sae, lost his parents, and at his worst, even when he'd found one other who did grow to love him... He'd somehow managed to lose them, too.

"He's crying..." Rin hears from the younger boy. His hand brushes up against his cheek and he feels moisture on his fingertips.
"他在哭..." Rin 从那个小男孩那里听到。他的手轻触脸颊,指尖感受到湿润。

"Hey, mister... Wanna come over for dinner?" the older boy asks.
"嘿,先生... 想来我家吃晚饭吗?" 大一点的男孩问道。

Rin's gaze meets with the boy's eyes. Such innocence. He finds he doesn't even have the energy to question himself anymore. He has nothing else in the world to lose.
Rin 的目光与男孩的眼睛相遇。如此纯真。他发现自己连质疑自己的力气都没有了。他在这个世界上已一无所有。

"Yeah... Sure." “嗯……当然。”

"Mum makes the best rice!" the younger boy says.

When the kids walk past him, Rin turns back and watches them a moment. He then unbuckles his sword and scabbard and tosses them off into the trees.

"It's this way, mister!" “这边,先生!”

He rises to his feet, turns, and follows the boys back down the road he'd just walked. As they walk, it starts to rain. Though it's a bit of an annoyance, Rin can't help but feel...

Maybe, just maybe, the rain would wash the blood from his hands.