I have a question if you don't mind -- what do you make of the pose of Fai and Ashura in that chapter spread image? What if anything do you infer of their relationship? This was a topic of MUCH speculation in TRC fandom when the manga was still coming out, before Certain Events later made things clear; I'd love to know your read on it!
I’m so reluctant to guess, purely because CLAMP are doing that thing where they wave answers under your nose but deliberately withhold all the context you need for it to actually make sense.
Like, as a point of comparison, if this was Fai leaning on Kurogane I would have no doubt whatsoever about that that meant, but that’s because I know who Kurogane IS. I have no idea who Ashura is in this world, or who he is to Fai, beyond the fact that a) they know each other, b) Fai sealed him in an underwater coffin, c) Fai is running the hell away from him, and d) Ashura was probably the king.
I think, for the sake of the argument, if they were lovers, I would expect them to be looking towards each other instead of away. And yet Fai is visibly comforted here, and perhaps feeling protected? There’s something about his expression that says he’s entirely relaxed, which isn’t something we’re really USED to seeing on Fai. Whatever it is, they’re both used to this kind of moment and are happy to exist in the silence of the moment (which, again, we don’t see on Fai often).
So if I HAD to guess, I would suggest that maybe Ashura is Fai’s older brother, or maybe father? Not necessarily by blood, but possibly also that.