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Let You Go

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The teachings of the Shambali monks said life was what people made of it; that it was someone's choices and decisions that shaped the person's paths through life. Genji used to believe in fate: some things were inevitable; trying to escape them was simply delaying what would come to pass. He knew this from his own past, looking back and seeing the weaving lines of the intersecting paths that led to the fate that had found him at the edge of his brother’s sword.


He perched on the edge of the roof, crouched low in the shadows as he stared through the open doorway into the Hall of Dragons opposite him, where a lone figure knelt in front of a chipped sword and a bloody tapestry. He had lost count of the number of times he had sat on this same rooftop, staring at the same figure in the same room. Every year, on the same day, down to the very hour of this solemn ritual Hanzo held.


Once, it had angered him. His fingers had itched for his blade, the desire for revenge so strong he could taste it in his mouth, imagining the rush of vindication as he visualised striking the final blow. Disgust had coiled in his stomach at the sight of Hanzo praying for his poor, dead brother, who he had murdered himself. He had despised watching the rise and fall of Hanzo’s shoulders as he quietly wept, scoffing at the uncharacteristic display of emotion. Hatred had wrapped around his soul so tightly he did not think there would be a day it no longer consumed him. Yet, over the years, the rage had ebbed so slowly he hadn’t noticed until it no longer crushed his chest like a heavy weight. Now, he couldn’t identify the feeling that remained. Pity? Perhaps. The Shambali pitied their anti-Omnic aggressors, it was possible Genji had also adopted that worldview of Hanzo after all the years of separation.


He stared across the courtyard into the silent hall, watching Hanzo pray for him, trying to control his tears – not as violent nowadays, but Genji could still see the occasional suppressed hitch of his shoulders. No, not pity. More than anything, he wanted to comfort Hanzo, and tell him he still lived. He wanted to give his brother a second chance. The realisation did not come any easier now than it would have when he had still been angry and full of hatred and vengeance, but he did not recoil from it.


“Ah, Hanzo,” he sighed, rubbing his hand over his helm. Straightening up in one fluid motion, his eyes never left his brother as he spoke Zenyatta’s teachings aloud for the very first time and believed it. “I need to let you go.”


He turned away, leaving Hanzo to the privacy of his ritual. He needed time for his own contemplation on what to do next, and how the next choice he made would change his path once again.