Sirwin
Sirwin

The Xena Scrolls: Scroll #131: A Friend In Need

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 6 Jul 2021


The Xena Scrolls

By:  Gabrielle Bard of Potedia

Scroll#131:  A Friend In Need

September, 14 B.C.

The universe is full of wonder and of mystery.  It is a tapestry woven with such complexity yet larger in simplicity.  I found myself awakening in the early morning hours.  Wondering about these mysteries and wonders as I looked upon the stars before they began to fade into a new day full of promise.  As I spoke aloud to myself and contemplated these powerful thoughts enjoying the many sounds of serenity the orchestra was unexpectedly interrupted.  It was interrupted by a most unlikely source.  Xena rose from her sleep to interject her opinion of the universe and her thoughts on what it was all about.

     I was quite shocked that she had even been listening to me for the warrior princess rarely ever had time to stop and take in the beauty of life.  She was always seemingly wrapped up in the noise of it all.  But that was okay for I had known it to be her nature.  This philosophical episode was not.  Of course this wonderful moment we shared together in contemplating the stars and our vast universe passed so quickly that if one weren’t paying attention to stop and gawk all would have been lost. 

     The conversation quickly shifted to the warrior princess expressing her boredom with our ongoing quest to seek out and find the most dangerous adventures doing good as we always had.  I hadn’t really ever thought about that much myself.  In fact, I was quite content with fighting alongside the beautiful warrior princess preserving good for all the ages.  She frolicked around in her blankets a bit and sat up closer to me and asked me what I thought about the idea of taking a vacation from all of this nonsense.  When one stopped and took a better look at our situation it really was quite absurd that anyone would want to live the kind of lives we had lived together.  Who would be crazy enough to seek out danger for the sake of saving the world for it was indeed a large place.  It really was kind of strange, but it was who we were and had always been.  It was what our lives had been about.  We had chosen these lives for ourselves long before we had ever taken our first breaths into this world  which we had been born.  Though separate in the first breath I always knew that we would be together in our last breath.  That was a comfort to me if nothing else in the world could be.

      Xena continued by suggesting that we go to the land of the pharaohs and do some damage there for Greece was becoming a bore.  She had heard of course that they were in need  of  a girl who knew how to use a chakram.  Of course this was the extent of the warrior princess’s wit, but it always made me laugh inside.  And then suddenly I wondered how long Xena had been awake and listening to me.  I asked her if maybe it had been that she had heard the person who was still circling around our camp in the woods nearby.  She agreed that she had indeed been listening to that sound too for at least half past an hour or so.

     We decided that we would come out of hiding from him for if he had been a threatening soul he would have found us much sooner.  Xena and I walked in the direction of the one who so desperately wanted to find us and caught up to him within a few moments or so.  It was obvious that our arrival had startled him at first.  I could tell by his clothing and his manner that he was from the lands of the far east.  In fact, he was a monk for he wore pure white robes.  He bowed before us almost nailing me with his travel gear, but that had been the extent of the fierce battle that usually followed an unexpected visitor to camp.

      And of course this man as all who had come before him seeked the warrior princess.  As always Xena was candid and amused that yet another who came in search of her many skills.  It was strange to see her so light upon her feet and it was very unlike her to almost blow someone off, but once again it was obvious to me that maybe a vacation was just what the warrior woman needed.  Yet her light heart soon turned serious when a familiar name from her past came up during the conversation between herself and the young monk.  He mentioned the one they called Akemi.  Xena was quite familiar and very shocked that this man had seen Akemi.  Then the monk sung to us his tragic tale.

     He and a fellow monk had been traveling a great distance during a violent storm near the far eastern land of Higutchi.  They desperately seeked refuge inside of a nearby sacred tea house.  Once inside there were three young women dressed in pure white robes as were the monks.   Yet these women were not just women they were spirits trapped between two worlds.  The women bowed their heads as the monks entered to dry their soaked clothes and rest their weary bodies.  Kenji described an eerie feeling that had come over him and then suddenly the woman bowing before them in the center of the three rose before the monks.  Kenji described his experience as if he’d seen a ghost.  In fact, that had been the explanation as to Xena’s grave reaction when he had mentioned Akemi’s name.

     Akemi and her companions invited the two young monks inside to enjoy life’s greatest pleasures.  Kenji spoke of how beautiful and tempting Akemi’s spirit had been.  He had said that the temptations had been quite overwhelming, but he did not allow the flesh to give into such pleasures.  Yet his traveling companion had been unable to refuse these wonderful seductions as the other two women shared in their company.  As Kenji sat next to the gentle spirit of Akemi he listened to her play a beautiful song.  It was a comforting overture that filled him with desire yet he could not allow himself to follow it.  Akemi turned to him and smiled as Kenji complemented her music unaware of the danger that he and his companion were about to face. 

      Though Akemi had only been a ghost Kenji spoke of how real his experience had been.  The young monk then spoke of a soft bell ringing.  When he looked up he saw that one of the other women had been wearing a brilliant golden anklet.  Then he looked to Akemi whose comforting song suddenly stopped.  She looked very upset and was concerned for Kenji’s safety.  Then she warned Kenji of the arrival of a power greater than could be imagined.  Akemi told him to run away and hide yet Kenji was confused and did not understand.  He ran outside as Akemi had instructed, but he  could not allow himself to leave.  He hid just beyond the white curtains which floated gracefully in the wind. 

     Suddenly, there was a loud crash as evil had just entered into the tea house.  Kenji described this evil as horror that could paralyze the mortal body with fear.  He stood watching this spectacle of horror unfolding before his mortal eyes as a powerful chilling whirlwind emerged from the mouth of this nasty creature.  The being shot out his power and froze the unsuspecting victim who now found himself alone within the steaming bath.  His companions had disappeared and his pleasures had suddenly ended.  The other monk was chilled to death and then upon death’s grip came a worse punishment for his misdeeds and misconduct.  The evil being then sucked the spirit out of the monk imprisoning it for eternity.  Kenji realized that he had to leave for he did not want to fall into the hands of this evil.  He took one last look and saw a dirty smile spread across the wretched face of the lord they called Yodoshi.  It was as if Yodoshi fed his inner hunger by imprisoning the dead within his own misery.  No one could defeat him and no one could come close to touching him. 

  As Kenji ran for his life back out into the storm he was startled as Akemi came back to him once more.  She then revealed to him why she had spared his soul from her master lord.  It was because she had seen within him a compassionate soul.  Then Akemi asked of him a favor.  She told him to find the samurai warriors and take the great Katana.  Kenji was confused for he was not a great warrior and could not possibly defeat this being alone.  Akemi then spoke of a great warrior in the west that he could find who would know how to use the Katana.  Kenji was full of confusion and questions for there were hundreds of warriors in the west.  He did not know how he would find this great western warrior until Akemi revealed to him that it was not a powerful man, but a warrior princess that he would seek.

     After hearing of this I was immediately intrigued myself for this was  a part of that wonderful mystery I had been contemplating before the sun rose over the valley.  I knew that it would be a wonderful story and another chapter to add to my collection of great battles and triumphs won by the warrior princess.  Every thing she ever did she had always done to undo what wrongs that had been committed before our time together.  I admired her for her perseverance and determination to make right those parts of herself that had once gone wrong. 

     Soon we found ourselves traveling with Kenji upon a ship sailing toward that great land they call Chin in the east.  It had once sent a demon to the Norse, but now the demon would face a light more powerful than darkness could ever become.  I practiced my warrior exercises on the deck of the ship with the young monk who himself was not bad.  I felt the focus of the warrior as I listened to more of the story and history surrounding the magnificent weapon known as the Katana, and of the mysterious samurai warriors.   Of course my fascination distracted me and the young monk would have killed me had I been in a true battle.  Just as I began to return to focus I asked Kenji to tell me more about Akemi.   She seemed quite powerful in her own right from what I had heard so far.  Suddenly, Xena interrupted and asked me to join her upon starboard.  She was serious in tone and began to share another tragedy from her past.

      Though the warrior princess had many tragedies from her past they always made for the best adventures.  We always did our best work when we traveled outside of our homeland.  Maybe that was why she had wanted to travel to Egypt.  Yet I realized that she was now quite serious like the time she told me of Lao Mao.  Little did I know at this moment in time that the warrior princess had been on her final quest of the spirit.  It was the last piece to her light that had been incomplete from its damage up until now.

     Xena spoke of her relationship with Akemi.  Her meeting had come upon another of her conquests with her lover Borias just after they had ruined Lao Mao’s dream and the promise of peace to the land of Chin.   Borias had heard of a girl on the island of Higutchi whose father had a ransom out for her.  Xena and Borias were in need of more funds to fuel their conquests so the two found themselves face to face with the coward  known as Kao.  Kao had been the one that kidnapped Akemi.  Of course Kao had planned on obtaining the ransom for himself, but Xena offered him 50 gold pieces for Akemi.  Kao refused her not willing to make a deal with a women.  Xena was insulted by this and threatened to take Kao’s life if he did not take the gold.

     Akemi  entered into the conversation expressing her excitement, and of how she had wanted to join the great warrior princess.  She desired to be the student of the warrior princess asking Xena to teach her everything she knew as did a once youthful Gabrielle.  She had been a very young girl like I had been upon meeting Xena.  Akemi had wanted to join Xena the great warrior princess as I had done.  It was a strange irony to know that I had not been the first crazy kid to want to follow Xena, but I could understand why. 

     Naturally Borias scoffed at the idea that Xena could be someone’s teacher.  In fact he was a bit jealous that Akemi wanted to follow Xena instead of him.  He didn’t want to share the warrior princess for their passion for one another was of a lustful nature.  Xena’s ego was boosted as she smiled and thought what a great challenge it would be to have a student.  She was intrigued by this young innocent girl.  Akemi had great confidence in Xena’s ability to teach her the craft of the warrior, but she proclaimed that Xena had been seeking more than just riches.  She proclaimed that it was love which Xena had been truly searching for.  Both Borias and Xena were amused by this although Xena did not deny it.  Instead she stated that she was only firmly interested in conquest.  Suddenly, Kao was enraged and thought that he could defeat the warrior princess.  Yet Xena had decided that if he wasn’t going to take the money offered to him then she would take his life.

       Xena quickly used her infamous pinch for she did not have time to play games with Kao, and preferred not to do combat with the samurai who was a fraud.  She had always followed a strict warrior code even in her days of darkness.  The code was to live and die by the sword with honor.  Kao was not an honorable warrior.  Akemi watched with great interest as Kao lived the last 30 seconds of his life.  Just before he was to take his last breath Xena took Akemi leaving Borias to remind Kao that he should have taken the gold.  Borias then took back their offering to Kao and left him to die. 

     Soon the three were setting sail toward the island of Higutchi.  Borias was still amused that Xena thought that she could be a worthy teacher.  Of course Xena had not really been interested in teaching, but her ego had been challenged yet again.  She could not allow Borias the satisfaction of his words.  Xena called Akemi to her attempting  to prove him wrong.  Akemi was a very willing student although Xena said that her first lesson had not been a truth.  Xena played the part of the enemy and instructed Akemi to defend against it.  As Xena began the exercise she betrayed Akemi’s trust to prove a point.  And thus the false lesson was to trust no one.  Borias found himself to be amused which made Xena even more determined to succeed at teaching her new student.

     Upon arriving at the island of Higutchi the season had changed to winter.  Xena of course was impatient for time was standing in the way of the ransom money.  What the young Xena had not realized was that instant gratification is no replacement for love.  Not only was she impatient with that, but impatient with her student as well.  It was a lesson that she herself had yet to learn.  As they walked down the path into the woods Akemi did not complain though she still had bruised ribs from her teacher’s brutal lessons.  According to Xena Akemi had a great power for listening to more than just the sounds of life, and of war.  She had the power to hear the emotions of the trees, of people, and of the spirit.  Akemi had told Xena that the entire universe was able to be heard in this way and that it was bound by these sounds. 

     Then Akemi gave Xena a special gift.  It was on a piece of parchment.  Xena took the gift, but did not understand the foreign language which it contained.  She did not know how to react upon receiving this wonderful gift.  Xena reluctantly thanked Akemi, but Akemi could see that her teacher was confused.  Akemi took the parchment and turned it so that it could be translated.  She had written Xena a beautiful poem within her own language although it truly was done through the universal language of love.  At the time Xena had not understood this.  She was more concerned with gaining payment from Akemi ‘s father for Akemi’s return.  The two traveled a great distance together.  Days turned into weeks and then weeks into months.  In fact, Xena had said that two seasons had passed before they had stopped.  Within that short time she had taught Akimi many skills of the warrior, but it had taken several weeks before she had actually gotten the hang of it. 

     I was in awe as I listened to Xena’s beautiful story of the student that had loved her the way I had always loved Xena.  My heart was full of joy for it was as if Xena were telling me my own story only someone else had lived it.   Yet my joy was quickly put out when Xena expressed darkness within her voice.  Xena said that although Akemi had expressed to her beautiful words of love Akemi had broken Xena’s heart.  I didn’t understand at first how someone who seemed so much like me could ever do something that would break Xena’s heart.  

     Xena continued the story by explaining to me that during the winter season as the snows fell Akemi had led Xena to her grandfather’s home.  Yet her grandfather was dead.  Xena found herself frustrated and enraged that she was wasting her time with this young student for all that she really wanted was to receive her payment and move onto her next conquest.  Xena felt that Akemi had betrayed her so that she could learn the art of the warrior.  Yet Akemi knew something about Xena that Xena did not know about herself.  Akemi heard what Xena’s soul truly seeked.  It seeked love though Xena didn’t know it yet.  Her conquests were merely a pleasurable substitute that lasted for a moment and then passed.  A young Xena could only have learned that falsehood from Caesar. 

     As Akemi knelt down before her grandfather’s alter to seek his blessing Xena prepared to take Akemi’s head with her sword.  Yet as Xena raised it Akemi could feel that to kill her student had not been what Xena had truly wanted.  Akemi drew her hair back without facing the warrior princess and waited patiently for her to strike.  Xena did not strike though she was still frustrated.  Akemi then turned to Xena explaining to her that though her grandfather was dead she could still speak to him for she heard things that Xena could not hear just as Xena’s warrior ear could hear things that Akemi’s ear could not.  Xena waited for a moment contemplating Akemi’s words though still enraged.  Then Akemi stood up and proclaimed that she had indeed received her grandfather’s blessing. 

     Akemi  then wanted to show her teacher how true her love really was.  She spoke of a gift for Xena though it was forbidden for women to carry it.  It was a special samurai sword that only the greatest warriors of the east carried.  It was called the Katana.  Naturally the young warrior lusted for it and was impatient as Akemi received her blessing.  Then the two continued onto the valley of the samurai.  Upon their arrival Akembo requested the blessing of the samurai for permission to give this wonderful gift to her teacher.  When it was revealed that her teacher was a woman of foreign blood the samurai leader flatly refused the request.  Yet Xena would not allow that.  She challenged the samurai leader to a battle to prove her worth of this great weapon.

      Of course she won the duel sustaining an injury to the chest though not by the sword of her enemy, but by a machine meant to torture using sharp pegs to kill its victim.  It was a weapon unfinished as was the soul of the warrior princess.   Yet Xena spoke of something special that happened during this particular battle.  For the first time she had found herself coming to the aid of her student for the leader of the samurai had tried to kill Akemi for bringing Xena into his sacred house.  After displaying her great skill , saving the life of her student, and defeating the samurai she was granted this gift, but only because she had stolen it.

     As the teacher and the student continued onto their final destination Akemi once again expressed her great love and appreciation of her teacher.  She thanked Xena for saving her life back at the house of the samurai, but Xena had difficulty accepting this love.  The young warrior princess did not understand it and did not feel that she was capable of returning this wonderful gift of love to her student.  Xena tried to tell Akemi that love was not something that she could return to Akemi as she felt guilt for her reasons of traveling with Akemi.  Yet Akemi was confident of Xena’s potential and reminded her of this.  Xena began to feel a joy that she had not felt for a very long time.  It had been before Caesar, and before Cortese sometime, but she couldn’t really recall it.  Then Akemi asked Xena if she could teach her the pinch move.  Xena was delighted to be asked and realized that the gift of the Katana was certainly worth the lesson of the pinch. 

     Then I interrupted Xena’s story for I was finding myself slightly jealous that Akemi had been taught Xena’s pinch move after only knowing Xena for a few short seasons while I had known Xena for more than six winters.  But as I argued this point with my bruised pride we were interrupted by the voice of the ship captain declaring that he was going to have to turn around and go back out to sea.  Xena and I looked out over the waters in the night and saw that the city of Chupa was illuminating the black waters as it burned to the ground.  The screams of its people could be heard from our ship in the sea.  The captain could not take the ship into port for the intense flames.  Xena and I could not ignore our duty.  We quickly acted jumping overboard into the water and swimming to shore.

     As we rushed to the aide the people of Chupa the powerful blaze intensified.  It was like no other I’d seen before.  The situation seemed impossible yet it wasn’t really.  All we had to do was release the water from the tower across the way.  As the warrior princess formulated her plan she suddenly asked me what I would do.  For a moment I was surprised, but the moment passed as I began to tell her of the acrobats I had seen once.  Then she interrupted me and asked me not to tell her, but to show her.  It was a glorious moment for me for the warrior princess had never asked me to lead in this way before.  I had led armies, but always upon her command, and never in front of the warrior princess always behind.  This time she was asking me to take command of the situation.

     With pride and great confidence I began.  I ran across the fire into the grace of the warrior.  We grabbed hold of a rope together and swung around to knock out the legs from underneath the tower.  Then we flipped together in unison from the rope back across to the other side.  I then ran down into a burning building toward a ladder below.  At first Xena called for me concerned.  She had always worried for me and for my safety no matter the cost.  Xena could be facing an entire army alone still putting me first above all.  I reassured her with a smile appearing beneath upon the ladder.  I had made a simple contraption like the one she had used to save me when we met Callisto in her camp as I hung from a burning rope.

     I asked her to jump down as she hurled me back across onto the water tower.  Then I released one of the valves rejoining Xena upon the ladder.  We used the ladder the way that she had done while fighting Callisto.  We moved across the battle upon the legs.  It was art just like Xena created every time she came up with a battle plan.  Each plan she had ever used was never exactly the same.  Though I could paint a canvas in words Xena could always paint a better canvas in battle.  I would never have realized how beautiful a battle could be had I not traveled with Xena.  We were as one as our eyes met upon the ladder and then we arrived back at the tower.  I climbed up onto the tower with Xena right behind me to release the final valve.  It was a struggle to twist it around and though my own painting had been beautiful Xena could not resist adding the final brush stroke upon our canvas together.  She drew her sword and jarred the valve loose as the waters came rushing out, and the warrior princess had signed her final painting alongside the bard.

     We were triumphant once again.  Another adventure together had been a successful one.  We had saved an entire village and driven out the enemy as one.   The moment had been surreal.  Though feeling triumphant I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Xena had taught Akemi the pinch.  So I asked Xena once again to explain it to me so that I could understand.  Then she continued on.

     Xena was taken to the fortress and home of Akemi’s father.  Though Xena’s intentions for doing good had been for the wrong reasons this indeed was the gift that Akemi had given her.  She had given Xena her first adventure for the greater good.  Upon their arrival Akemi charged into her father’s chambers past the royal guard.  Xena did not understand what Akemi had set out to do.  She watched in horror as she could not control her student.  Xena had been so eager to prove Borias wrong that she had taught too much to her student too soon.  It made sense to me now why it had taken Xena so long to want to teach me.  She wanted to be certain that she would not give power to someone who was going to abuse it.  Yet Akemi had wanted to learn the ways of the great warrior so that she could avenge the deaths of her sisters, her mother, her brothers, and grandparents.  All had been killed by  Akemi’s father Yodoshi.  Akemi charged forward on a mission.  She used Xena’s pinch on her father and sentenced him with death declaring to him his last thirty seconds to live. 

     Xena was shocked at this action.  She was stunned and unable to move until the royal guard charged at her sending the warrior into battle mode.  As Yodoshi took his last breath he perished and Akemi’s personal  battle was seemingly over.  She had done what it was she had set out to do .  Vengeance had been committed and now the penalty for killing one’s father had to be carried out.  Akemi took Xena back to the alter of her grandfather’s home and knelt down before it.  She spoke with him in silence as she had before receiving guidance.  Xena found herself still trying to understand what had just happened and what had gone wrong.

     Then Akemi pulled her hair back once again.  She instructed her teacher to give her the honorable death.  Xena could not believe what was happening.  For the first time in a long time she had begun to trust someone and had begun to love someone with her great loyalty.  This was asking too much.  She could not kill someone she loved.   And then as Xena refused Akemi pulled out a dagger and thrust it into her own chest.  Akemi knew that her loving teacher would not allow her to suffer.  She knew that Xena would do what she had been asked to do.  As the blood began to flow upon the purity of her student Xena watched in horror.  Akemi gave her last instructions to her teacher.   She struggled to speak her words as she told Xena that she must burn her body and take her ashes to the top of Mount Fuji.  Once there she was to take Akemi’s ashes to the family shrine on the island of Higutchi.  The distraught warrior princess realized what she must do.  She reluctantly drew the gift of the Katana from her side and gave her student the honorable death requested. 

       It was in that moment of regret, and sadness that I realized what Xena had meant when she had said that Akemi had broken her heart.  Our joy together in triumphant battle had been short-lived as many things in life are.  We soon found ourselves interrupted as we were approached by the leader of the people of Chupa.   His name was Harukata and it was clear that he was very angry with a lack of appreciation.  But this was a typical response whenever Xena and I would get involved.  Many people could never understand the beauty in what it is that Xena and I have done together.  Yet the reward is not in their reaction, but in knowing that good has won in the end. 

     Harukata was an older man who looked weary as if he had been fighting a losing battle himself.  And it was true.  He had been doing just that.  His anger was directed toward Xena.  He proclaimed her to be responsible for imprisoning over 40,000 souls.  These souls had once been people of this village.  And though lives were saved many souls were still lost.  I was confused for a moment and almost offended that he did not appreciate Xena.  But then the rest of Akemi’s story was painfully revealed. 

     After she had given Akemi her honorable death Xena had prepared to follow through with Akemi’s final request.  Yet as Xena tried to complete her mission word had spread like fire through the lands in the east that Xena was honoring Akemi.  The one who had been responsible for the death of her own father.  This was very dishonorable for the people of Chupa.  It would not be tolerated and so the people of Harukata’s village fought to stop Xena.  And that was where she had committed her worst crime of all.  The villagers had succeeded in stopping Xena from carrying out Akemi’s final request.  Akemi’s ashes were lost forever in the stormy night as Xena avenged her loss with their 40,000 souls.  It was clear to me that Xena had come to join forces with this old warrior of the east, but he was not so trusting of her.  Something inside me told me that this situation was very serious.  I tried to reason in my mind how Xena could have committed such a crime.  All I could come up with was that it was an accident.   Yet that wasn’t good enough.  Xena had to convince Harukata of her desire to undo her wrong.   This was my greatest fear for I was unaware of what it would cost for Xena to redeem herself this time.

     As Xena and I stood upon the walls of the fortress in the village she contemplated what it was that she must do in order to succeed.   I always loved the peace that I felt when Xena was in deep thought.  It was a special moment for it always meant that her spirit was becoming peaceful inside.  For me she was always the brightest light in the morning sky.  And then she broke this silent moment and asked me to listen and tell her what I heard.  As I listened I knew that she was talking about the three massive armies approaching from the distance.  Though we could not see them their sounds were unmistakable.   And though I was right in my answer I had not heard everything for she asked me to listen to what I heard behind them.  I realized that she had been talking about the emotion, the intention, and their souls.  It was truly amazing to realize that one could hear the vibrations of all of these intricate details.  What I heard was quite serious.  These armies were of a dark intent and it was obvious what I must do.  I told Xena that I would warn the village and I left to play my role contributing my part. 

     Upon returning to Xena I found her in the Buddhist temple.  It was an unlikely place for her, but it pleased me to know that Xena was finally getting in touch with that part of herself which had been lost to her for so long.  It was that part of the warrior princess which had drawn me to her the very first time I had met her in  a battle.  My heart leapt with joy, but only for a moment as I began to listen to her.  What I heard was confusing.  It wasn’t as straight forward as the three armies had been.  I knelt down before her and saw a large tear welling up in her eye.  It was magnificent.  Her eyes were more blue than the most wonderful sea.  Those eyes had been the ocean that Poseidon could never have conquered.

     And then she asked me to put my hands upon her neck.  She guided me to the pressure points that have sent many to their agonizing deaths.  My heart pulsed with confusion and my spirit thrashed within my chest as she continued the lesson.  She asked me to feel the blood flowing beneath the veins beneath her warm skin.  I wasn’t certain that I wanted to learn this and I asked her why now after all of this time.  She never taught me anything unless it was of necessity.  I couldn’t find a need for this lesson no matter how deeply I searched my heart and listened to her soul.  Then she finished the lesson guiding me to use this move upon her.  I could feel the physical suffering yet I heard joy in her heart.  She was so proud of the eager student who had become her loyal best friend and soul mate.  And as the blood began to run out of her nose gently she said to me that if she had only 30 seconds to live that seeing me and being able to look into my eyes would be what she would want it to be like.  Softly she said that she would always love me as a gentle smile moved across her face.  Her tears fell and I could suddenly sense pain, but I didn’t understand.  And then she guided me to release her as she was about to take a final breath.  Her smile spread brightly across her face.  I felt something very strange about this moment.  As if the final moment had passed between me and my soul mate together as one in this life.

     And then as I was tuning into the music I heard emanating from her soul a new sound interrupted.  It was the sound of duty and preparation.  The wise old warrior from the east entered reminding us that it was time.  And so as they united to do what it was they had been meant to do.  I took command of  his small militia leading them toward where they would most likely be engaging in battle according to the warrior princess.  As Xena and I parted on our separate paths I never knew that it would be our last.  As I listened to the soldiers around me I listened beyond and heard a faint song of memory.  It was soothing, and sweet.  This song was sad like the sounds that a harpist makes.

     I was very impressed with this new skill and new lesson and I knew that I would be able to use it much more effectively than I could ever use the pinch.  Listening to the universe in this way made me realize that I would be able to heal so many other parts of myself that were left to heal.  After hanging onto this thought for more moments than I can recall my thought was interrupted yet again by the sounds.  First it was the sounds of a battle which were the easiest sounds to pick up.  There were the sounds of a waterfall, and of deer, and of leaves budding from the trees.  Then just beyond those sounds I heard Xena.  She was faint yet again, but I could still hear for it was her passion in battle that I could hear.  Many times I had felt it, but I had never heard it in my soul in this way before.  It was like the sound of an Amazon ceremony only the beat was like that of the east.  It all melded together and I realized that these were all of the places, and people that she had experienced that made up this music. 

     Then I imagined in my mind what her battles must have sounded like in our early days together.  The progression of the music would have been even more brilliant than the sights and sounds could ever be.  The beat raced through my ears almost like a heart beating.  It was getting faster within each moment of time.  Yet time was not important.  Then I heard something that horrified me.  It was the sound of suicide, but I couldn’t believe that.  I was confused again for maybe I was over compensating and overly excited about this new discovery.  Then flashes from my memory flooded over me almost like a drowning sensation.  The first vision was of our most recent adventure together when Xena asked me what I would do.  I ran faster.  Then I saw once again the lesson of listening to the universe being replayed within my mind.  My pace quickened even more.  Finally the worst vision recalled itself within my mind.  It was our last moment together when she told me that her last 30 seconds of life should be spent looking into my eyes and that she would always love me. 

     Suddenly my mind was interrupted by a horrific explosion which came from the nearing physical battle.  The force was so powerful that it knocked me off of my feet like a twister in late spring.  Yet this violent sound calmed the mind and allowed me to tune in once again to Xena’s orchestra.  As I listened again I heard pain, but it was physical pain and not emotional.  Immediately I knew that it was Xena who was in physical pain.  I called out to Xena though my voice could never have carried the distance that my soul could.  My spirit knew that Xena could hear me as I ran frantically toward the battle.  There were at least 1000 men though Xena had fought  five times that alone before when she had rescued me from certain death by a poison arrow, and saved Athens from falling to the Persians.  My worry was an overstatement as my mind tried to reason with all of the information that it had been receiving.

     Once again I heard memories, but they were pleasant ones.  These sounds were mixed in with the sounds of immense physical suffering, and passionate emotion.  It was so complex yet all so very simple.  Words could no longer describe  what I was hearing.  And then as the music climaxed I could faintly hear my name within the flowing depths of the sound.  Suddenly all was silent.  I struggled to hear Xena once again, but could not.  Maybe it had been because I was close enough to the battle that the physical sounds and atmosphere had drowned her out.  By the time I had actually reached the battle with the Harukata’s militia it had come to an end.  There were hundreds of dead and the smell of death was quite stagnant.  It was as if these men had been here decaying for an eternity.

     Then I listened again and I heard a very faint vibration.  It wasn’t of organic origins.  It was the sound of Xena’s chakram as if it were soaring gracefully through the air.  This sound became louder as I followed into that direction.  And then it was so loud that I looked down to find it there resting peacefully upon the ground.  There it lied in the mud covered in blood like the way a dead man lies in peace after death.  It was only recognizable to me by its shape and by its music.  As I picked it up to examine it the young Kenji  implied the worst, but I could not give up hope for I had seen Xena live through worse than a decaying battlefield.  I had seen what she had been able to survive.  This had been nothing for her. 

     Then I saw Harukata.  He was still fighting this battle, but he was fighting it within the realm of the spirit.   Kenji explained to me that he was doing his job and that he would fight for Xena’s soul in the same way.  I was not convinced that Xena would leave without me.  Alone I set off into the woods beyond the battlefield to find her.  Something inside guided me toward the sounds of that waterfall that I had heard earlier.  There was something mystical about this place as I stepped across the stones through the flowing water of life.  Yet there was something eerie.  It was almost like the feeling described by the young priest when he had seen Akemi.  There was definitely a presence just beyond the trees first behind me and then in front of me.  The presence was  familiar like the comforting feeling of being home, but there was something distinctively different about it.  There was something missing from it. 

     Just beyond the waterfall into the woods there before me I saw something that made my heart stop beating for a moment.  There before me was Xena.  It was strange for she had just suddenly appeared as I turned around.  I reached out to embrace her so that I could feel that she was truly there.  My soul trembled with joy for I had been reunited with her once again as I knew in my heart I would be.  Despite all that I had seen Xena had returned to me.  Then I looked at her again and noticed that she was dressed in a strange red robe.  It illuminated of the warrior’s passion, but it wasn’t typical attire for battle.  Once again I was confused and uncertain.  Xena tried to ease my tension explaining to me that it was all part of her quest that she must complete with Harukata. 

     Suddenly I realized that I was holding her most important weapon.  I reached out to give her the chakram that she needed to do battle.  What the warrior princess could do with this weapon was more amazing than the greatest verse ever written by Sappho.   It was in that moment of stillness that I realized what I had been denying for what seemed an eternity.  My heart was filled with disappointment, and my spirit with sadness for it had been real.   The great warrior princess had been killed in battle just the way I had heard it.  My soul wanted to weep, but couldn’t for the anger that boiled within from my stomach.  She left me without telling me that she was going to leave.  But I couldn’t stay angry at her for I realized that she had not left without telling me.  She had been telling me that she was leaving since we had landed upon Chupa. 

    Then I realized that our last great adventure together had been at the water tower.  I tried to reconstruct in my mind what those final moments of sharing joy had sounded like, but I could only recall them through what I had felt inside.  She taught me those final lessons while telling me that she was going to leave without me.  Her noble responsibility to those 40,000 souls had been the reason, but she reassured me that she would return to me.  There had always been a way and there was a way.  Her spirit led me to the tea house where I met  the radiant Akemi for the first time.   Akemi’s light was brilliant.  My admiration for her was infinite for she had been the one that had reminded Xena of what it feels like to love.   

      The soul of the warrior princess was proud to introduce her soul mate to her first student.  The moment did pass as Harukata warrior of the east reminded us all that time was growing short.  If Xena were to return to life and be reunited with me I had to set off on the most important journey of my life.  The wise eastern warrior asked me if I was ready for this journey and if I would give my life indefinitely for Xena’s.  I accepted my quest without hesitation.  He then revealed to me what I must do. 

     My quest was to find and retrieve Xena’s body and burn it.  Then I was to take her ashes to Mount Fuji where I would find the water of life.  There I was to pour them into the water and Xena’s soul would be brought forth back into life and the earth realm.  I had to accomplish this quest before the sunset two days after death.  A half day had already passed and the eastern warrior knew that I would have to confront the enemy in order to succeed with my quest and my journey.  They would stay within the spiritual realm and fight Yodoshi while I was to continue my journey through the physical realm.  Just as I was about to turn to go Akemi stopped me and offered me a gift.

       She took me into the sacred tea house where I was given a special mark upon my back.  It was the mark of strength represented by the dragon.  As I lied there listening to the tranquility which had been described by Kenji Xena’s ghost was right there with me.  She stroked my hands softly lying next to me without words.  Words were not needed to feel her presence for she was warm and she was soothing.  I did not want to leave this place for it was even greater than the Elisyan fields.  It was close to heaven like going home.

       Time was our enemy as it interrupted this peace and I was sent away to carry out my mission.  I was saddened to know that there was nothing I could do to help Xena , Akemi, Kenji, and Harukata with their battle against Yodoshi.  My battle was in the physical world while theirs was to be in the spirit world.  It was a lonely feeling welling up inside of me, but I knew that I must go.  I embraced with my friend tightly holding her in my arms for it was difficult for me to leave her side.  Just before leaving I promised Xena that I would find her body and get it back.  I guaranteed that we would meet again before the next setting sun upon Mount Fuji at the fountain of strength. 

      In the early morning hour I reached the camp of the enemy upon my hour of greatest darkness.  There was not a physical sound, but there were many dark souls present.  In this hour of greatest darkness I was confronted with something that would break my heart tearing my soul apart.  There hanging like a slaughtered animal was the familiar form of the warrior princess.  The sight was worse than a thousand crucified men and women.  It was more heart wrenching than the day Livia thrust her sword into the gentle hearted Joxer the Mighty.  Not only was her body hanging for all to see, but it was missing the center of its own identity.  It was missing its head.  Anger boiled within rising from my center and then I demanded from the enemy the head of the warrior princess.  There was no response as I looked at the broken arrow shafts protruding through every limb and piercing through all of the lungs in Xena’s body.  I could recall what it had sounded like when each and every arrow had struck like individual notes within a ballad.  My own spiritual pain was so great that my physical body could barely keep from purging itself of the emotional horror.  

      Upon gathering the pieces of my heart and soul back together I removed this valuable carcass from its resting place and wrapped it in the rags that I could salvage nearby.  As I knelt down to honor my fallen friend the song of the enemy blared loudly through my ears interrupting the private ceremony.  I rose slowly and turned to face the enemy.  He was gloating with pride for he claimed victory and prize in being the one whom had defeated the legendary warrior princess.  As he gloated I was not impressed for I knew that she wouldn’t have allowed him to kill her if she had not wanted to find death willingly.  He was lost in his ego and all I could do was remind him that the odds of 1000 to one had not been upon a level field.  The enemy laughed in my face certain that he would defeat the student of the great warrior princess to add to his prize collection. 

     I prepared for battle.  After the music I had heard coming from his soul I knew instantly that my song was more beautiful and more graceful than his song would ever be.  That was my advantage.  It was my passionate love that would win the battle and not the ego overflowing with stale pride.  I drew my weapon and began to listen.  I heard the sounds of a nervous horse trying to break free to my left, and then the intense crackle of the fire behind me.   There were rain drops shattering through the mud.  The universe was crying for its own loss as the world was without its greatest warrior.  Then there was the sound of darkness approaching.   The enemy turned his ankle just slightly squishing the mud beneath him.  Each breath that I took sounded like waves crashing upon the shore.  Time stopped as my body moved acting upon what it felt.  The battle with the enemy lasted little more than five seconds within our physical world.  There was no fear, no thought only passion and love.  He had thrust forward toward me as I countered with the instincts of the warrior princess.  The coward found himself kneeling upon the mud with my Katana at his neck.  My enemy begged for his honor, but I could not allow it for I could not honor the man who had taken my most valued gift in life.

      Upon thrusting a blow to the back of the neck with the handle of my weapon I demanded from his army the head of my best friend.  They did not challenge me, but instead honored me with respect.  As for myself I had no respect for the wicked.  My only comfort upon finding the missing piece of my best friend was in that her face was still beautiful and unblemished.  It had not been touched by a single blade or sustained a tiny bruise.  She looked peaceful with her eyes closed as if sleeping.  Yet I knew that she could no longer hear the sounds without her soul within. 

     Soon after I rode out of camp with the body.  I took it deep into the forest and honored my friend with the funeral fire prepared for all true Amazons.  When the last embers burned out I carefully retrieved each and every ash like the grains of sand within Egypt.  Each grain held an importance as did each and every one of the ashes that had made up the warrior princess.  I began to see the universe in yet another new light.   The universe has a funny way of answering your most complex questions.  But there was little time to contemplate all of these answers which I had seeked only weeks before.   I traveled through the night until morning by horse so that I would reach the final destination in time.    

     Finally in the late afternoon I had arrived at Mount Fuji upon a most tranquil and beautiful day.  I was caught off guard by someone lurking behind me through the night and into the day.  I hadn’t noticed that my enemy had followed me for my pain was so great and determination so fierce.  The enemy shot an arrow into my horse dropping me to the ground.  Xena’s ashes were taken from me as they rolled out of my arms.  I quickly retrieved them and then drew my weapon for battle.  My enemy had come back to claim his prize and his honorable death from me.  Yet I would not allow either.  He would never hurt Xena again and he would never be respected for his murderous act of cowardice.  It was then that I truly understood the honorable warrior code that Xena had always lived by.  Even in death I was still learning her lessons.

     The enemy robbed me of my sword quickly for I was unprepared for this moment.  I was nervous for the sun had passed its midpoint in the day hours ago and the evening was quickly approaching.  There was little time for this duel.  It was the distraction I least expected.  Upon losing my sword he quickly robbed me of the urn again which contained great value.  I watched helpless as it soared through the air beyond the boulders above.  I wanted to follow Xena, but realized that I had to focus to defeat the enemy.   Without my weapon I battled hand to hand knocking him off of his feet with a simple round kick.  Then I ran up toward the boulders and he followed me.  My frustrations were building as I knew that this battle had to end quickly.  Suddenly he kicked the urn.  I heard it rolling down behind me.  One quick motion, two firm punches followed by another kick sent him rolling down to the bottom of the mountain.

      Then I ran for the urn rolling quickly out of my grasp over the cliff below.  My heart sank for a moment as it landed softly upon a bird’s nest several feet below.  Suddenly, I heard Xena’s spiritual struggle behind me.  I ran quickly toward where the sounds had come from and there lying upon the rocks was my best friend's soul.  She was injured and weak.  Her battle against Yodoshi was obviously not over.  She could barely speak to me, but she instructed me to go to the fountain of strength and drink from it.  Xena needed the water.  Quickly I ran to it and reached down into it to drink cupping my hands to bring it to my lips.  Just as I drank there was a violent jolt from behind which nearly knocked me into the fountain.  The jolt burned for a moment, but then passed as I felt the strength of the water pulsating through me.  Akemi’s gift of the dragon had protected me from Yodoshi’s wrath.

     Quickly I turned to catch my breath and then ran to Xena’s side for I knew that it had been Yodoshi that had jolted me with his awesome power.  I looked down into her eyes and then gave her the kiss of strength.  Upon this kiss I knew for certain that I would be able to complete my mission.  Though her ashes were far below I had great strength within me.  Suddenly, something of great power happened.  Xena’s soul strength was restored.  She was radiant in her leather uniform and her golden breastplate.  The warrior princess looked deeply into my soul with her bright light and was moved to speak.  She was about to tell me something when I looked to see that the sun was close to setting.  I had to get to her ashes. 

     While I battled to retrieve my best friend’s life from the spirit realm she battled lord Yodoshi above.  The sounds were intense like bolts of lightening sent down to earth by Zeus himself.  I could hear the power of her magnificent battle cry up against the roar of lord Yodoshi.   The warrior princess was certain to defeat him so that she could return to me in peace.  My challenge was in scaling down the steep mountainside toward the urn resting upon the bird’s nest.  The battle up above shook the earth making it even more difficult to reach the ashes.  I held on with one hand stretching my leg out as far as I could kicking the urn toward my arms so that I could capture it safely.

     It was a race against the sun as I climbed back up the mountainside back toward the fountain of strength.  It was there that I had to take the ashes to receive my best friend.  When I reached the top there standing before me was my enemy.  He again demanded of me his honor, but I refused him.  There was no time to battle him for the sun would be far west soon.  My next action was very natural and without thought.  The free hand reached down to my side and grabbed the mighty chakram which now hung there and I threw it out taking the enemy’s life with no honor.  He was struck in the head the way I had been struck while tormented by the furies.  The sound it made as it sailed through the air was like that of the soaring hawk.  It deflected off of the rocks beyond the lifeless enemy and floated gracefully back into my hand.

     I was astonished for I had only known of three others who had been able to tame the wild beast.  Callisto, Eve, and Xena the warrior princess.  Suddenly I looked there before me upon the fountain and  saw the setting sun reflecting upon the water.  I rushed over to the fountain to pour Xena’s ashes into it.  It was now time for me to be reunited with my soul mate once again.  Gingerly I opened the lid and slowly began to turn it upside down, but I felt her hand take mine preventing me from completing my quest.  She said that I couldn’t do this.  That I couldn’t restore her.  I didn’t understand why she did not want to come back to me.  The confusion rose within and my heart had been pierced by an arrow like those that had injured my friend during her final mortal battle.

     I wanted to know why she did not want to come back and she explained to me that if I allowed her to come back then the 40,000 souls that she had died to redeem would never be able to go to home to heaven.  She had been the one who had killed them and their deaths were only avenged by her own untimely death.  There was a wave of shock which flowed through me and then disappointment followed.  My own heart was truly broken.  It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair.   After all that had been sacrificed and all that I had done to bring back my most important reason for living , and now I had to let her go.   Xena knew that the choice was mine and that ultimately the fate of 40,000 souls was in the palm of my hand.  Yet I didn’t care.  I wanted to be reunited with her for how could I go on living without my other half.

     But then she told me that our time together was now complete.  My reason for being in her life had been to teach her about love and about making the right choice.  And in that moment I was reminded of my whole reason for wanting to travel with the warrior princess in the very beginning of our journey.  I had seen the light within her and longed to release it into the world for it had held so much power and so much love.  Any conflict that we had ever had was because of my desire to show the warrior princess the way.  It was why she always had told me that I was her light shining through the darkness of the world.  This was the moment in which I finally understood.  I realized with great sadness that I had to make the right choice and that I could not be selfish.   Returning one person to life only to condemn the souls of thousands was not the right choice no matter how much it cost and how much pain I would have to endure.  If I did not choose the light then all would be lost.  I would be responsible for leaving Xena’s soul incomplete, and that I could not bare.

     Looking out over the valleys I saw the great ball of orange fire.  It was the sun setting in the western sky.  I looked back to Xena to see her deep blue eyes just one last time, and that leather with the golden breast plate.  Her silky long black hair and sharp cheek bones began to show the shadows of the approaching death.  I turned once again toward the sun and sat down next to the warrior princess lying my head down into her chest one last time listening for her gentle heart beating into my ear.  I felt her chest rise and fall as she stroked my golden locks and then as the sun began to fall between the mountains her memory shun through it for she was going home to the west from which she had come.

     For days I mourned my loss as I made my journey back toward home.  Although, for me it would take much longer to get there.  With every sunset I was reminded that Xena was still with me if not in body within my heart.  I recalled that the dead could hear our thoughts.  Upon setting sail back toward Greece I found myself imagining what it would have been like if Xena were standing there with me.  I thought of all of the places that she had traveled and all of the journeys that had led her home traveling to the ends of the earth.  A smile spread across my face as I imagined I could feel once more her hand upon my shoulder.  My heart heard her ask where I would take us to next and I reminded her that we were going to Egypt.   For they still needed that girl who could use a chakram.  And then I asked her if she was going to join me and she said that she would always be within my heart.  I had known that all along for I knew that she would remind me.  She would always remind me.  Upon the end of everyday as she had been since she had left me for the sun always sets in the west.    

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Brandy Seymour
Brandy Seymour

I enjoy politics and finance and filmmaking topics.


Xena Scrolls
Xena Scrolls

Xenaverse Timeline A Brief Overview In 1940 Dr. Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas the daughter of the late Mel Pappas joined forces on an archeological dig in Macedonia. What they uncovered were the first of over 100 ancient scrolls written by a bard from the ancient village of Podedia located in ancient Thrace. In the words of the late Dr. Covington, “These scrolls will revolutionize the way we look at the ancient world.” https://brandyseymour.wordpress.com/

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