My name is Gozen Tomoe. I am the head of the Gozen Clan. The Gozen Clan is a famous lower noble house for many reasons. The first being our structure. Clan heads and warriors are always females. Those who run the house and businesses are always the males. My father for instance as the husband of the previous head is in charge of the main estate. It is how this structure came be that is an epic tale told over and over again to the residents of Soul Society.
My ancestor Ran existed in a time when women held no place in the family and little in Soul Society as a whole. However, there was much strife and issues between the social classes at the time. Her brother, Raidan, was born with a weak and frail body. The only thing that kept him alive in a warrior dominated clan was his status as the son of the patriarch. Warnings had arrived that the waves of strife would soon reach the Gozen Clan’s doorstep.
The legends on how Ran acquired her Zanpakuto are varied and all sound unrealistic. However, it is said that she traveled to the entrance of the Soul King Palace and fasted 30 days. It was when she was about to collapse to death the door opened and a single man walked out. There are no records about the man but that he handed her a sword before disappearing. Ran was the first wielder of Kage, the zanpakuto that bond itself to sacrifice and blood. This sword is the sword that is passed down from Clan head to Clan head to this day.
However, being passed down isn’t as pleasant as one would assume it would be. The sacrifice the Gozen Clan pays is a feeding on its bloodline. Those who give birth to a girl will die in childbirth. Having a male is extremely rare and will result in a pregnancy that is so painful anyone else would die; they, however, are always alive at the end of it. No matter whether you inherit Kage at birth or not the curse of the household will continue. It takes five generations apart from the clan to be free. Freedom resulting in infertility.
It is probably due to this that my clan has had to form strong ties with a set of fellow noble houses to continue. My father was originally the head of the Ise Clan. His marriage to my mother was arranged from birth. Since I’ve never met my mother I cannot say if they got along or even liked each other. He doesn’t talk about her much. I myself have had a fiance since birth. His name is Yasushi and is the only son of the Patriarch of the Burizado Clan.
In terms of an arranged marriage I don’t think he is bad. We have known each other since we were children and we get along. Plus, he is pretty handsome. Many of the females around us get very excited to see him. Kage doesn’t seem to like him very much. It’s a bit awkward at night when Kage is very active.
Kage is the closest person to me. He has all the memories of his past wielders and of our household. He is also a drunk who likes to talk. Maybe it’s because of him the others and I don’t crumble from the weight of knowing when we’ll die and what are life will be. Just being near him is soothing. Kage somehow always understands us and makes us better.
Though, his help always does come with a cost. Those who wield him are not talented warriors but blood thirsty ones. When I use him the excitement of violence consumes me. I want to tear everything up and feed on it as Kage does. I want to play jump rope with their innards, add their blood to my sake and carve their bones as decorations. Kage makes me wild. All of us wielders seem most comfortable when we are also ‘released’.
I hear that scared a lot of people outside our household. When I look into Yasushi’s eyes I know he isn’t scared, but determined to temper it. Perhaps, fiance like him assume that is love and care. Maybe that idea is what the disconnect between us and other people is. We don’t want to be tempered. I just want to love my life. My short life will be wild and full of fun. Every experience an explosion until I pass these loves on to my daughter. When Kage tells her tales of me as another former wielder like he did with my mother.
Although, Kage has had favorites. I’m pretty sure I am one of them. He did enjoy when I challenged the Kenpachi before me and left him a shredded bloodless mess for the others to clean up. When Yasushi froze me to stop me from doing more Kage almost rampaged at our wedding ceremony. Since Kage takes the form of a man in front of others due to boredom that would of been a huge problem. Can you imagine the four noble houses having to step in? My father would have been furious at me. Thinking about that… it could of been fun.
Now that I’m pregnant I think I should of let Kage have more fun in situations like these. During these 9 months he will get sick himself on and off as his soul is slowly drained to my daughter’s. That’s how I know she’ll be the next wielder. Kage begins to separate from me; my soul splits and is removed from me.
I was told by my Aunt that there was something more painful and wrong with my pregnancy. Apparently, I was the first in history to have twins. Two beautiful girls were forming inside of me fighting to survive. The one who would wield Kage was already living as a consumer. While, the one won’t was living to live. The thought of it made me giggle. Both of them were inheriting two distinct parts of me. If they both survive I want them to know that. That they are both inheriting a part of me so they belong together. Don’t separate them from each other.
Even though their will be many reasons too.
By the time you find these notes I wonder if you will have discovered the truth. I wonder if your father has? I want you to know that if you have problems with your father it was true I hurt him. It was true that I was the troublesome fiance in this story. Your father started out as a laughing kind boy before he fell in love with me. Having to temper Kage hurts people. Having to temper me probably also hurt him even more.
The problem is fate is never so perfectly arranged. You’ll never get a proper follow through. It isn’t your father’s fault I met a boy and fell in love with his madness. When he knows what I did to have you two his reaction is my fault. Don’t be so hard on him okay? I really did love Yasushi. He was always such a kind and gentle soul. So it is my fault daughters! Remember this, it is my fault for hurting such a kind soul and delivering him as another sacrifice.
One of you is his child. You will no doubt be beautiful like he was. I bet you will be gentle and kind as well. The fact you are the one to have my desire to live is perfect. You will get the chance your father never had because of me. You will live to live. I know you will have a good life. You’ll make all the fun decisions and get the most out of the time we Gozen women are given. My little Mizuki, you are my joy in my soul. Please bring your joy to others as well. They need you in their lives.
You, the next wielder of Kage, I apologize to. I wanted you so badly I hurt many people to have you and I’m not even the one paying the price for it- you are. I don’t know if you know how you came to be but that part isn’t so important. Your father may end up doing some crazy things. You may even know I was helping him. I want you to know you don’t have to like him or do what he does. I did it because I found my soul mate. Turns out he was also a sacrifice. Little Suimin, you aren’t just the consuming part of my soul. If Kage picked you then I know you are my determination of my soul. The one who follows their own path till the end. We may wield Kage and his sacrifices but we also wield the power to choose. Not everyone has that chance. Use it well.
I talked to Kage today. He told me what he felt about you two. Turns out my joyful little girl actually has quite the logical mind. Don’t fall into the same trap your father did alright? Things don’t always have to be a logical game.
Little successor, I hear you will be quite the sarcastic child. My mother was like that when she was young apparently. Don’t be too mean to people okay? They don’t all get to be like you and your sister.
I can feel my soul fading. We all know I will be gone soon. That means you will get to see the world soon! Mizuki… Kage says you will have your father’s blue hair and my eyes. I hope that looks good! I was told you will be very beautiful and I don’t want my boyish features to ruin your future. You can use that beauty to get the husband you want! Suimin… Kage says you will probably end up looking like me. Sorry. Your father was handsome but I guess Kage insisted Gozen looks prevail. Don’t worry though! Aunt always said men find our type attractive too! You just have to win him over. Since, you don’t have your father’s personality completely you should be fine. If not ask Mizuki. Since Kage says she will be scarily smart and great at using people. Mizuki help your sister okay! She may be able to cut things up well in the future but it seems she doesn’t quite know how to use the brains she was given right. You two are definitely the most perfectly matched and adorable twins ever!
I love you two so much. Thank you for being born.
I had a dream last night. In it I saw Kage holding you in his arms. That creepy smile was on his face as he calmed you down from crying. The strange thing was I saw a beautiful crane besides him. He was holding my little one in his wings and bowing his head against yours. Your crying also stopped. What a blessing to know both my bundles of love are beautiful and blessed.
Be well, okay?