Day/Theme: April 30 - Searching for the future
What kept him alive, after all those centuries of sadness and devastation, was the future. He made an enormous effort in order to put the past away -yes, it is a part of what he was now, and he could never forget himself for the catastrophes he had caused; but it was also true that, in order to compensate the shed blood, he had to make himself even more useful than he was able to be. If he dwelled too much in the painful memories, and the nightmares haunting him every night, he would definitely lose himself from the path.
He built his own mission, and the actions to take, and the attitudes to inspire in others. Besides of just waiting –waiting for her, waiting for that day-, he worked for decades to get the easiest approach, and took every small fry down he stumbled upon with the help of Pillowtalk's blade. Waka wasn't going to depend blindly on the wheels of fate, and then find at the most inappropriate moment that a cog was rusty. He already did that once, and a whole race died. His visions weren't quite trustworthy, nor was the whole answer going to be given to him. That's how prophecies work: they forget to snoop on the important details, like deaths you wouldn't approve of.
Still, it was all about the future. His mind was set on events yet to come.
But what he found mortifyingly funny was the fact the keys were all linked to the past. It wasn't just that history repeats itself; no, that he took for granted. It was just that the past was literally everywhere.
Waka couldn't find an alternative method to return to the Celestial Plains other than using the Ark again. Sleepless nights were wasted in vain, and there was still no way out of it. He'd ended up accepting it in resignation when the time was up, but that didn't mean he liked it one bit. Twice he had been on that accursed ship, and twice a civilization had been wiped from existence; he truly didn't like that vehicle. But there was no other choice, c'est la vie. So he kept the traumas to himself and hoped the third was indeed the charmed.
There was also the part-time job as Tao master, for more irony. He was fond of it, since his talents for divination and magic, and his natural charisma, were well put in use. However, the emperor at that time had become obsessed with the so-called “artifacts from the moon”, and would bring what he'd find to Waka and his peers –with the orders of using their mystical powers to make them work. Most objects in those piles of junk were fakes. To his delight, though, there were real deals such as custom-made iron tablets, parts of rockets, and even a computer network, between them. It wasn't that shocking if he thought about it: most Moon Tribe refugees were targeting to escape to that world when their realm was dying.
He didn't just know how they'd work, and was able to show it to the emperor, but also kept some of the best ones for his personal use. He never thought he'd live to see the day he'd be using lunar technology again. He made an enormous progress with the city finances, thanks to the computing systems only he could understand, while he wasn't busy with monster slaying. Suddenly, he was gaining a nobleman's wage, and was in charge of a new Taoist department specialized in the paranormal –it was strange to see science and electronics labeled as such, but that's Nippon to you, my friend. He used his wealth to have the most luxurious headquarters they could build for him. It was priceless to see the faces of the visitors, and even better after he could get some floating foundations installed. Still, it looked so ugly and lunar and metallic he had to decorate it with a Celestial flavor. It only made the place look more esoteric, with the strange gadgets and the artistic depictions of flying gods.
For Waka, it was an ironic combo. But, after all, so was his nature. He was working surrounded and aided by his past, and yet, his goals were in the future. No matter how comfortable and pretty his office was, and how interesting his recruits –all generations of them- were, he'd return twice a week to the Moon Cave, make sure the seal was in its place, and say a prayer for the errant souls of innocents Lunars –not all of them had been sinners-, Celestials, and mortals.
Then he'd look forward to tomorrow. There was no present, just a past to be avenged and a future to be concluded; and a god to come back to life and join them three, to whom he'd give his everything. That's the resolution that kept him sane. That was all that mattered, contradictory as it was.
Notes: The artistic licenses I took with the Tao Troopers' purpose seem kind of random, I know. Nonetheless, in Japanese the group's original name could be translated as "Onmyouji Special Investigation Troop". So the way I see the troopers, they could do more than the average onmyouji (Tao master)/esoteric fields, especially since Waka has these holographic screens -obviously lunar- in the headquarters and no one seems to fret too much about it. Maybe when the artbook is translated to English, we could understand better what the Tao Troopers truly do. But on the meantime? I'll improvise :D