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This article, Kaede's New Warder, is a short one-shot featuring some of the history of Kaede Saitou, Rosuto Shiba and Ranmaru Shibata Sr.; with the first as the point-of-view character.

To his credit he didn’t seem to be lying; though he didn’t seem to be completely forthcoming with his tale either. There where a lot of moments when he held back. He started to speak and then went silent before taking the tale up at another point. If she had to hazard a guess it was because the memories where either fresh in his mind or where still too painful for him to relive. This Rosuto Shiba certainly seemed to have a chip on his shoulder for whatever reason.

“I wasn’t exiled; not officially at least.” Rosuto said. “But my brother’s actions alone convinced me of the Central 46’s decision. They wanted me erased.”

He told of how he had to battle his older brother for his freedom but something within the tale caused Kaede concern. There didn’t seem to be any identifiable compassion in Rosuto’s words. When he spoke of releasing his Shikai on a member of his own family all she could determine in his voice was hatred; raw and exposed hatred, like a nerve.

“Next they found me in the Human World.” Rosuto continued. “I killed them all save my sister.”

Now there was a different reaction! He almost seemed to be in tears when he spoke of his sister. If Kaede was any judge his relationship with her was much better than his relationship with his brother.

“How I came to Heisekai I have no clue.” He finished, shrugging.

“You deserve to be executed.” Ranmaru added.

“And if you try it I’ll leave you a cold corpse at the bottom of the ocean.”

“That’s enough you two!”

What was she to do? There’d be potentially massive repercussions if word got out Heisekai where harbouring a known fugitive of the Soul Society. This was especially so since Heisekai was supposed to be a realm in isolation. The consequences would be many and deep… but what could she do? Could she condemn this man to certain death? Though the odds where high that he would most probably escape from any captivity anyway. No. There was another option. One that meant he’d be more an asset than a threat.

“Rosuto Dastan Shiba,” she began, “I hereby appoint you my Warder. Do you accept?”

“You can’t be serious!” Ranmaru snapped.

“… What’s a Warder?” Rosuto asked, confused.

“Essentially you would become my bodyguard. We’d also be linked – mind and soul. Your thoughts would be mine, mine would be yours and we would be fit to tell where the other was in relation to ourselves.”

The look he wore was certainly hilarious. His mouth was agape and his yellow eyes where as wide as saucers! Every time he tried to speak he merely started a bit of stuttering and Ranmaru wasn’t much better. He was shaking his head angrily; his dissatisfaction quite clear. But as time passed Rosuto began to clearly connect the dots.

“You’re a devious one.” He said finally, smiling. “I’ll admit I don’t see how this benefits you but… It'll help you keep tabs on me.”

“You don’t really have a choice.” Kaede said. “What say you, Rosuto?”

“I say you’re bloody mad! And I like mad. Oh, what the hell! Sign me up.”

She laid her hand upon his arm and activated the relevant rune. Orange light like purgatorial fire surged along his limbs before settling on his neck. The resulting spell inscribed tattoo-like lettering on his neck that translated to fire. He touched the skin briefly in disbelief.

“It wasn’t that painful you big baby.” Kaede whispered.

“But I didn’t say- Oh, right. Thoughts; right, this is gonna be a pain in the ass.”

Next Story > Kaede's Looking Glass.