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DiMENSIONS

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“How are you two doing? I’ve brought some snacks!”

A short orange-haired young man stepped through an automatic glass door, holding up a large plastic bag in his hand. The room he set his foot on was relatively dark and had several large strange machines, each connected to some sort of computing devices. There, two scientists wearing proper lab coats were focusing on their tasks. One of them had his sharp grey eyes fixated on the monitor and a large keyboard. The other one was wearing glasses and sipping beer from the can while writing up reports.

The raven haired man stopped his hands from rapidly typing when he noticed his own big brother stepped into the laboratory. “Ah, Nii-san. Are you done with work already?” Two of them walked to a large white table. Whenever someone sat at that table, people knew it was time for a break. Soon, the green haired man joined them.

“Yea, I don’t have that many patients today for once. Come on, Ossan you’re walking too slowly. It’s time to eat!” After answering Iori’s question, the short male turned around to shout at his best friend, Nikaido Yamato.

Izumi Mitsuki was a doctor even though he was only 21. His skills as a surgeon and his thoroughness got him this job. In this world, Silica, science conquered everything. Respect was earned by showing skills through inventions or well written research. In Mitsuki’s case, he was able to recognise the patients' symptoms and led other older doctors to the correct diagnoses since he was 16.

Nikaido Yamato was the head scientist researching space distortions. He was hoping his research would some day be a step forward to transport. If space could be altered, an object or a person could be sent from one place to another. Life would be so much more convenient, perfect for a guy like him. Izumi Iori took an interest in his research and so Yamato recruited him as a part-timer. Iori was still in high school and he was a perfect student when it comes to studying.

“Onii-san is tired, you know? Go easy on me” Yamato yawned. Before he took the seat, an idea sparked in his head. It was probably no good. “Mitsu, want to see our progress?” The green haired male spoke as he acted cool by adjusting his glasses.

Mitsuki was intrigued. “Yea, yea show me!” The three then walked to the corner of the room with a huge machine five times Iori's height. Yamato started operating it right away. Iori put a random box on the machine and closed the glass door.

“Nii-san, this is our first step to moving objects by distorting space” Iori smiled at his big brother. Mitsuki felt proud even though he had not yet seen the machine operate.

“Once I press start, this box is going to disappear and appear two metres away from its original position.” Yamato said excitedly as he hard pressed the start button. What seemed like a mini lightning strike hit the box. However, the box was not the only thing it hit. The machine malfunctioned and the lightning was misdirected.

It hit Mitsuki.

“WWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! IORIIIII” Mitsuki screamed. What the doctor felt was not pain. He felt like he lost the control of his body and that gravity was flipped. He floated from the ground. Mitsuki reached his hands out trying to grab Iori’s, but he only floated higher.

Within seconds, the lightning disappeared and Mitsuki was nowhere in sight. The two scientists looked at each other in total shock.

~~

“Make sure no one step onto this ground. Now go!”

The silver haired man with fierce eyes ordered 8 guards to start patrolling around what seemed to be a mansion of a rich family. The whole mansion was made of wood in traditional Japanese style. It was surrounded by a carefully designed garden. The man ordered the guards to cut down anyone who trespass this beautiful ground.

Yaotome Gaku was a butler serving a certain highborn family. Not only he was capable of using magic to heal minor cuts and wounds, he was especially skilled with magic shuriken. Yaotome lineage had been serving this family for over 100 of years and he was proud to inherit that blood.

A glow appeared in the garden, near the large pond full of colourful carps. It grew larger and larger, until the orange haired boy appeared and fell onto the ground on his bum.

“Owwww” Mitsuki groaned as his landing was not the smoothest. After a few minutes, he looked around him. “Huh? W-where is this? A garden?” Mitsuki tried to stay calm and thought about what happened. He came to a conclusion that he was probably transported to some place near to Yamato’s facility. However, he was woken up from his train of thought when suddenly, a large sharp shuriken was pointed right at his neck, ready to slice it into two.

“Who are you!?! How did you get in here?!” Gaku was filled with rage. The guards were all trained by him so not even a single rat could sneak into the house and yet the boy was sitting in the garden.

Mitsuki trembled with fear. Part of the shuriken already touched his skin, making him bleed a little. Gaku shouted at him again, demanding answers. It seemed Mitsuki forgot how to use his vocal chords. No words came out of his mouth. Gaku decided he was not going to get an answer, so he raised his large shuriken high up in the air, ready to strike down a fatal blow to the doctor.

“That’s enough, Gaku!”

Gaku’s eyes widened and lowered his weapon immediately upon hearing the voice he knew too well. He still kept it in his hands as it was his job to always be on guard. Gaku would bend down on one knee and lower his head in normal situation, but he had to keep an eye on the intruder. “Nanase-sama, this intuder trespassed your holy ground” Gaku explained.

“He’s only a young boy, Gaku. Look, he’s terrified.” A man with crimson hair and fiery red eyes walked closer to Mitsuki. Gaku was trying to stop him only to be halted by his master who ordered him to stay on the spot.

Nanase Riku was the head of the highborn house 'Nanase'. This is the world called 'Majabah'. In Majabah, magic was the rule. Nanase house was famous and feared for their terrifyingly powerful black magic.

Riku bent down to the ground right in front of Mitsuki. “Are you alright? From where do you hail, boy?” His genuine lovely smile had a mysterious calming effect to Mitsuki.

“S-silica, I’m from si-” Mitsuki got his voice back and answered the best he could only to be stopped by the red head who touched the cut on his neck with care.

“You’re wounded.” The master turned to his butler. “You did this to him, didn’t you? Heal him now!” He demanded. Gaku was trying to oppose when his master commanded again. “Heal. Him. Now.”

Mitsuki was beyond confused: what did they mean by heal? He was expecting bandages and disinfectants as a doctor when Gaku put away his shuriken. He was surprised when the silver haired man raised his hand and a green glow surrounded Gaku’s body. After mere seconds, Mitsuki’s cut disappeared completely without a trace.

“What? N-no way!? H-how!?!” Mitsuki touched his neck. No blood got on his hand. He did not feel the sting from the cut. It was like the cut was never inflicted. Gaku frowned seeing the boy’s reaction.

“It was just basic white magic, why are you so surprised?” Gaku snapped.

Mitsuki was shocked to hear the word ‘magic’. Such fantasy does not exist. Could it be he was transported into a dream world, or an artificial world? Mitsuki’s head was exploding. Panic hit him and made him pass out.

“Boy!” Riku shook Mitsuki’s body to find he was not moving. “Gaku take him in!”

“But Nanase-sama..!” Gaku did not like the idea one bit.

“Just do it!” Riku snapped.

 

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

Mitsuki gasped loudly and shouted the familiar names as he sprang his upper body up from the futon. “Iori! Ossan!” He reached one of his hands forward. Perhaps it was a nightmare. It was dark all around him.

“Gaku, light the room up”

With a snap of his fingers, sunlight could penetrate through the thin traditional decorated sliding doors. The doors had a wooden frame. They had cherry blossoms and branches printed on them. The room they were in was relatively small compared to others. It was near empty with just Mitsuki’s futon in the middle and a random cabinet in one corner.

Mitsuki looked to the right to find Riku sitting on a chair and Gaku on his knee beside his master. Mitsuki’s eyes met with Riku’s and so the red head smiled. Immediately Gaku was not pleased. “Someone needs to teach this commoner manners” Riku sighed. He hated to use his authority power, but with Gaku around, he must. “Gaku, quiet or leave” With just one line, Gaku bowed his head down, not saying anymore.

“Now, boy, tell me about yourself.” To Riku, Mitsuki was wearing some strange clothes. He was wearing a short sleeved collar shirt and a trousers. They seemed light. Both Gaku and Riku were wearing westernised clothes despite their mansion being traditional Japanese-looking. Gaku looked elegant in those stylish butler clothes. As for Riku, do not even start, he was flawless from the top down wearing clothes and attitude of a noble.

Mitsuki felt intimidated. The young doctor was not left with many choices. “M-my name is Izumi Mitsuki, sir. I’m 21 and from Silica District One” Riku was surprised, not because of the Silica part. He thought Mitsuki was surely younger than him. Boy, he was so wrong.

“Silica. Never heard of it.” Riku shook his head. As a Nanase, he had read an extensive range of books and learned much about the world, the history of Majabah. Yet, he had never once heard nor seen Silica in any of the records. He decided to change his question. “What magic can you use?”

“Magic?!?” There’s no way I can use magic!” Such a thing does not exist, Mitsuki thought. Then again he witnessed Gaku healing the cut on his neck in an instant. If that was not magic, then what? Gaku frowned. Riku’s face was painted with worry.

“That is absurd!” Gaku shouted, trying his hardest not to use the word ‘brat’. “Boy, you are before Nanase-sama, lairs will not be tolerated!” Riku snapped at Gaku again. Seriously, why could he not have a less stuck up butler.

“But I really don’t know magic! I’ve never seen it before in my life!” Mitsuki explained genuinely. Gaku would probably have cut the boy if he was not under Riku’s order. Riku remained in his calm posture then spoke “What of the place you spoke of then? Are you saying there exists no magic where you hail?”

“Yes, sir. Our place is run by technology, science and all that” Mitsuki was in total shock when the word science went unrecognised by the two men. Just what is going on here?!

Riku saw that Mitsuki was in a panic. “I can tell you spoke the truth, Mitsuki.” The noble sighed. “Though a strange incident it may be. Perhaps you are from another world entirely” Gaku bit his lip. His master was being way too open-minded. He was worried Riku would one day put himself in danger because of his kindness and naiveness.

Is this another world entirely? I mean, scientifically, if our world Silica exists, there may be a possibility that another world exists. And somehow, Iori and Ossan’s machine got me here by distorting space... Mitsuki thought hard.

“Gaku, tell Tsumugi to prepare a proper room” Gaku looked at his master in disbelief. “Nanase-sama, please reconsider!” Riku only replied “He has nowhere to go. We know not of his world nor how he would get back. Plus, he would not survive in Majabah without magic.” The noble stood up and offer a light smile to Mitsuki.

“As a lord who rules Majabah, I, Nanase Riku, must treat our visitor kindly.”

~~

Mitsuki felt horribly uncomfortable as the so called ‘lord’ offered to give a mansion tour himself. Gaku had some other duties to carry out. He hated to leave his master alone with a total weird stranger. Then again, his guards were patrolling the mansion. He could trust them to some extent.

There were not many people in the mansion but, as soon as someone saw Riku and Mitsuki passed through, they stopped what they were doing and bowed before them. Mitsuki could hear gossips about him. He partly wished he could run away. Another part of him was grateful the lord was kind to him.

“U-um your..majesty? Where are we going?” Riku giggled at Mitsuki’s words. “Just call me Riku”

“I think your servant will kill me if I call you that” Mitsuki felt a chill when he recalled the time his neck was pointed by a shuriken.

“Mhmm hmmm~" Riku hummed. It was as if he had turned into a different person. He seemed more approachable, and a little childish. “Simple, just don’t call me that in front of Gaku~! Ehehehehe” Riku spun himself with joy. “This is the garden where we found you. Well, another part of it. We grow some plants here”

Mitsuki stood in front of a large area of decorated plants. There were several field of herbs in between lines of lovely shrubs. Mitsuki took a sudden interest in the herbs. He bent down. Most of the herbs looked just like the ones back home. Mitsuki happened to know a lot about medicinal herbs. He wondered if they had the same properties as well. “Riku, this purple leaf here, does it help with constipation?”

Riku got closer to Mitsuki and said yes. The lord beamed. “Is this not a great start? You found something you kno-“ Riku’s sentence was interrupted by a series of coughs. Mitsuki, being a doctor, his instinct acted. “Riku, are you okay?”

“I-I’m fine!” Riku smiled. “Let’s continue on with the tour~" Mitsuki was not fully convinced, but he played along with Riku while keeping a close watch. It took around half an hour to do a full tour of the place. The doctor noticed something was not right. The mansion was not isolated or covered with a wall. How come no birds fly through? They would love the garden with food lying around. As if Riku could read Mitsuki’s mind, he said the mansion was protected by a magic barrier.

The two were sitting by the carp pond Mitsuki was first found. One of the maids brought them icy sweet drinks and food for the fish. Once Riku turned back to grab a drink and said thank you, the maid’s hands shook slightly. When she left, Mitsuki blurted out what he was thinking. “She seems scared of you...” The doctor quickly covered his mouth when he realised what he had done.

“Yeah...they all fear me” Riku tightened his grip on his glass. His eyes turned sad. “After all I tried to burn them all down...”

“You did WHAT?”

Riku began his tale. Long long ago, Majabah had a royal family who cared nothing about their people and so the rebellion started. The royal family was annihilated by its people, leaving the world in chaos. People started fighting each other to become the next ruler of Majabah. Three houses including the Yaotomes had their exceptional talents in magic. Each gained their own followers. The war between houses was never-ending until one day, a man bearing the name ‘Nanase’ appeared. He single handedly shut down two houses with his monstrous magic power. The Yaotomes surrendered and swore to serve Nanase. Nanase became the ruler of Majabah and so the house Nanase stood as lord of Majabah since then. However, for the past 100 years, the Nanase left most of the authority duties to the Yaotomes. They only remained as public figures and performed some important rituals. Still, Majabah was the world of magic. An ugly truth remained that people who knew little magic were discriminated.

“Because of this, my twin brother was abandoned by our parents. He was born with little black magic capabilities. Even with vigorous training and dedication, he was ignored. When we were 15, he was forced to leave the house.” Riku’s body started shaking. “Not long after that, our father passed. Our mother passed away long before. I was consumed with rage.” Tears started welling in Riku’s eyes.

“I tried to find Tenn-nii. He was nowhere to be seen and so I fell into resentment. I used my magic to set the mansion on fire, intending to take my life along with it. Tsumugi helped evacuate the maids and butlers so only some of them suffered minor injuries. Gaku used his protection magic to cover himself so that he could fight through the fire and find me. My fire magic dispelled his protection spell every few minutes yet he did not give up. He suffered burn scars throughout his body.” Riku could picture that day so clearly. He remembered his anger, his emotional and physical pain as he coughed his lungs out. He remembered how Gaku carried him out of the mansion and ran into town shouting for help despite his injuries. Riku finally let himself cry, but kept his composure. “I am a monster...”

Mitsuki was taken aback by Riku’s words. A young boy sitting next to him had been through so much more than he could imagine. The young doctor hesitated a little before carefully put his arm over Riku’s shoulder, making Riku jump a little. Luckily, Mitsuki did not let go as Riku started to relax. The lord wondered how long it had been since someone reassured him like that.

“Riku, I’m sure if people know of your situations they would understand why you did what you did. You regret about it. A real monster wouldn’t, so don’t say you are one. I can already see you are a kind person. You helped me. You always smile to your servants.” Mitsuki felt the urge to ruffle Riku’s head like what he usually does to Iori, but had to refrain from doing so. Riku thanked Mitsuki, making the shorter boy smiled. “I have a younger brother, you know? I wouldn’t be able to bear it if I lost him. Although...right now he’s probably trying to find me.”

“I will help you find your way home” Riku turned to look at Mitsuki and smiled lightly. “But since it is likely you will be in Majabah for some time, I should show you around...”

“And teach you some magic”

~~

“Just how far have I wandered away from home?”

A young boy, white haired with a slight tint of pink sitting down by the large rock on the mountaintop looked up to the bright blue sky. He was feeling a little lost. He was more than tired. The boy had been travelling for 3 years. Never had he stayed in one place longer than a month. He made a living by accepting small jobs here and there using his magic. As he travelled the lands he became capable of using several types of magic and acquired a lot of skills, but no matter how hard he tried he could not master any of them.

“Riku...”

This young boy was Nanase Tenn, a twin brother of the lord Nanase Riku. Since he was disowned by his parents, he went by the name Kujou Tenn instead as he roamed around the lands. No one would have believed him to be a Nanase anyway, with that little magic power of his.

“I’d better get moving, it’s going to get dark soon. I need to find an inn around here” Tenn grabbed his small pack of essential things and started walking towards the river. He decided to follow it, hoping it would lead to a town.

Something was off. Tenn felt like someone was following him. He quickly turned around. Looked to the left, nothing. Looked to the right, also nothing. He thought maybe his mind was playing tricks on him since he was so tired. He sighed as he closed his soft pink eyes.

As soon as he opened them, a blinding light flashed before him. “Argh!” The light burned his left eye. Tenn covered it with his hand. The pain was so great that he could not run. Even if he tried he would not escape the light that engulfed his whole body in milliseconds.

“ARGGGGHHHHHHH!!!”

 

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

Riku wanted to show Mitsuki to his room and then around town but as they walked from the garden back into the mansion, Riku was out of breath. Of course, the doctor noticed that it was not normal. They were only walking at a moderate pace, no one should be tired, yet Riku was drawing in deep breaths in attempt to steady his breathing.

“Riku, let’s stop for a bit” Mitsuki pulled Riku into a kitchen. No one was there, luckily. “Sit down, Riku” Mitsuki ordered as he pulled a chair from the table for Riku.

“Eh? What’s going on Mitsu- *cough!*” Riku was interrupted by a minor coughing fit, just like before.

“You’re sick, aren’t you?”

“I-I’m fine!” Riku denied even though he was clearly panting.

Mitsuki sighed. “Look, I’m a doctor back in Silica” When Riku gave him a confused look, Mitsuki explained “I help sick people” Mitsuki then pulled another chair and sit in front of Riku. “I can tell you’re unwell. Let’s see if I can help. Do you have any known conditions?”

Riku hesitantly answered “Um...I have asthma” He paused a little. “Only Gaku knows though”

Mitsuki’s eyebrows shrugged “Do you carry around an inhaler, or some sort of medicine?” The doctor asked. He was not sure how this world works yet, but surely if they could heal cuts instantly, there should be ways to help with illnesses right? Well, he was wrong. While white magic could heal even near fatal wounds, illnesses were a little tricky.

Riku explained “If it gets really bad, Gaku calls a healer who can make potions” Mitsuki was shocked to hear but tried to keep calm.

“Right...this can’t be good” Mitsuki thought hard with his hands on his hips. Then an idea came to his mind - the herbs! Some of the herbs in the garden could be converted to natural, traditional medicine which may help with Riku’s asthma. The problem was, how would he convert them into medicine without proper equipment? The doctor thought maybe a dry powder could work.

“Riku, can I use the herbs in the garden?” Mitsuki asked. He did not know if his idea would work but it was worth trying when Riku was clearly struggling.

“And just what are you planning to do with those, disrespectful brat!?!”

Gaku stormed in and grabbed Mitsuki’s shirt on the chest. His gaze was so fierce it felt like it could cut Mitsuki in half. Riku shouted for Gaku to stop but it turned into a series of violent coughs. “Nanase-sama!” Gaku released Mitsuki and turned to support his master right away. Luckily, it did not escalate into a full blown attack. 

Mitsuki regained his balance and fixed his shirt. “Look, I’m trying to help your lord here so don’t work him up!” He scolded Gaku like when he scolded his naughty patients. The doctor was ready to counter all arguments for his patient and was surprised when Gaku’s did not try to argue back or cut him with a shuriken.

“Can you truly help Nanase-sama?” Gaku’s face was filled with concern. He cared deeply about his master. He hated to see his lord suffer every day and not being able to do anything much.

“Yeah, I can try. " Mitsuki quieted down seeing Gaku's behaviour change. "Say, butler-san, why don’t you help me get some herbs in the garden? And are there paper and pens around here?” With that, Gaku casted some sort of magic on himself. He dashed super swiftly out of the room and reappeared with pens and some pieces of paper. “Whoa, that’s amazing speed...” Mitsuki shook his head. He had to focus on Riku right now. He wrote herb descriptions, took care to make sure his handwriting was readable, and handed to Gaku. “Can you fetch these for me? I’ll look after R..your lord. Oh and get like a piece of wood too if possible?”

Gaku once again left with super speedy dash. Mitsuki then sketched a design of a circular inhaler. “Thank you for doing this, Mitsuki” Riku spoke. Mitsuki told Riku not to worry and that he should focus on keeping his breaths steady.

It only took Gaku 2 minutes to come back with an armful of herbs and a block of wood. Mitsuki smiled as those herbs were exactly the ones he was looking for. He showed Gaku the inhaler design. “Think you can make this out of wood while I make the powder?”

“Hmph, easy” Gaku smirked and used his shuriken to craft an ‘inhaler’ in a flash. Mitsuki did not even start yet. He decided it would be quicker to just ask Gaku. “Uh can you turn these herbs into a very fine powder?” Mitsuki placed the herbs in a large mixing bowl.

“Powder...we need wind magic” Gaku eyed his master sympathetically. “Nanase-sama, I hate to ask this of you but can you please cast a little wind magic?” Riku smiled and effortlessly created a mini whirlwind which was just small enough to fit in a mixing bowl. “I don’t know wind magic, you see” Gaku explained to Mitsuki.

And soon they had the super fine powder. “This is perfect!” Mitsuki beamed as he loaded the powder into the crafted inhaler. “Here, Riku breathe this in through your mouth” Gaku’s hands twitched when he heard ‘Riku’ but he contained himself.

Riku felt better almost instantly. “Uwaaah It’s so easy to breathe...! Thank you so much Mitsuki!” He said childishly as he put his hand on his chest. Gaku’s mouth dropped. “I-Impressive!” He shouted.

“Nice” Mitsuki beamed while standing in front of the lord. “Now we just need to make sure to have a stock of those powders. And maybe we can make some drinking medicine to control the sympto-“ Mitsuki was interrupted by Gaku who lightly bowed his head in front of him and said “I am Yaotome Gaku, faithful butler of Nanase-sama. I apologised for my rude behaviour earlier today.” Mitsuki told Gaku it was okay. Riku could not help laughing at the two.

~~

-Silica-

“Fwah!?!”

Iori went back home after a long, tiring day of trying to locate Mitsuki. His head was filled with worry. How is he going to tell the hospital that his Nii-san suddenly disappeared and will not be working for a while? Is Nii-san even safe? Why did the machine not record the location he was sent to like normal?

The Izumi family consists of just Mitsuki and Iori. They live in a relatively small 23th floor apartment with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The kitchen, equipped with all cooking appliances, is combined with the living room. The have a dining table next to the house door. Sofas and a TV were placed near the clear huge glass wall. It is possible to see a nice Silica district One view from there. The whole apartment was decorated with black and white theme. Three years ago, their parents went on a vacation. On their way back, the bus they were on fell into the river because the brake was stuck. There were no survivors from that tragic accident. Mitsuki was just 18 and was studying to become a doctor. He did a great job looking after Iori by himself. Iori was also a mature 14-year-old who never caused big trouble for his brother.

Iori would never admit it to people but he gets lonely incredibly easily. Right now he wished he could go stay with Yamato just to be with someone, but Yamato is a scientist with a mysterious past. He never talks about himself except for the fact that he is married to a man named ‘Ryuu’.

The high school student was sitting on his sofa, drinking some warm milk with honey when all of a sudden a glow of light appeared before his eyes. Iori put his mug of milk down on the low table and quickly stood up. “What in the...?” Forgetting about being a scientist, he reached his hands towards the glow of light which was getting larger and larger. No warmth was coming from it and it did not hurt his eyes at all. It was as if he was in Virtual Reality.

A second later, that light disappeared to reveal a boy about as tall as him. He had very light pinkish white hair with a bang on one side longer than another. He was wearing strange clothes: a brown robe covering from his shoulder to just below the waist and a darker brown trousers. The boy opened his eyes to reveal a beautiful crystal-like pink pair. It was when Iori went “Fwah!?!” and almost fell backwards in surprise.

“W-where is this?” The boy looked around him quickly. It was full of strange stuffs. His face then went pale as he slowly lifted his shaky hand up to cover his left eye. “I can’t see...!” He lunged forward at Iori and shook the scientist violently. “What the hell did you do to me!?!”

“Please stop shaking me!” Iori snapped, making Tenn freeze. “I should be the one asking. How did you get into my house!?! What was that glow of light just now?”

“Your house?” Tenn looked around once more. He tried to tell himself being in a panic won’t solve anything. He then looked at Iori. Both of them had worry painted over their faces. “You really know not of how I got here?”

The scientist shook his head no. “Are you saying you got...teleported here?” Iori was concerned. Yamato was the only scientist well known in Silica for researching space distortion. Who was capable of sending his person here? In the world of science, the first person who publishes their discovery gets all the credit. There is no room for the second.

Tenn decided it may be best to explain what happened. “I was walking along the river to the town of Lakka when a strange light hit my left eye and before I could do anything, I appeared here”

Iori sat back down on the couch. “Lak-ka? Which district is that in?” In Silica, the world is divided into zones called ‘district’. District One is the city centre, where Iori and Yamato are living and working in. There are 8 districts in total, the eighth being the furthest from the city centre.

“District? I do not understand.” Tenn stared at Iori. They both locked eyes for seconds before Iori could say anything else. “This is Silica district One, the city centre.”

“Silika? What is that?” Tenn narrowed his eyes. Iori was in shock. “Did you hit your head or something? Silica is the name of this planet. Our world!” He spoke sternly. He did not like where this whole conversation is going at all.

“Planet? World? This isn’t Majabah?” Tenn was starting to panic again and grabbed Iori’s shoulder. Still, he was trying to confirm the situation he was in. “Tell me who rules the world!” Tenn was hoping for the answer to be ‘The Nanase’ when it wasn’t.

“Did you lose your mind or are you retarded?” Iori being classic, he was not able to stop his sharp tongue. Still, he was a young scientist who tried to make the connection from the information he had. He sighed. “So you are saying you are from this Majabah, which is potentially another planet, and in Majabah a certain lord rules the world?”

Tenn sat down beside Iori. “Correct...” He touched his left eye seeing only darkness again. “So I somehow end up here huh?” A green glow surrounded Tenn’s body as he attempted to cast white magic on himself, hoping to cure his blindness. It did not work.

Just when Iori thought he could gather more information he witnessed another strange phenomenon. “W-what did you just do?”

“Hah?” Tenn looked at Iori and narrowed his eyes. “It’s just a simple white magi-“

“MAGIC!?!” Iori cut Tenn off. He was the one panicking this time. Such a thing only exists in fairytales right?

After a long, long talk. Iori finally came to an understanding that Tenn was from a world that uses magic and somehow got teleported here. Tenn also got that magic does not exist in this world. What he did not understand was - how do people survive without magic? Iori was not sure what Tenn meant by ‘magic’. They had a lot to learn about each other.

Iori sighed. What a weird day. He then got up, went to his room and grabbed some clothes. He handed them to Tenn. “Change into this, people will think you are wearing strange things. Then we’ll go to a doctor. See if they can fix that eye of yours.”

Tenn stared at the clothes in his hands for a while “...why are you helping me?” During his travels, Tenn had met a lot of nice people who taught him several things. In this case, he ended up in someone’s house. A normal person would have chased him out and called a guard to capture him, especially when he was speaking ‘nonsense’ to them.

Iori wondered why he was helping this person too. He should have called the police and let them deal with him. At the same time, he felt sympathetic for the guy. Perhaps because his brother was also missing and he wished someone would treat him kindly. Plus, Iori did not mind a company when his house was near empty.

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

“This is certainly a problem”

The lord Riku, his personal butler Gaku, and Mitsuki walked into a room Tsumugi prepared for Mitsuki to stay in. However, since Majabah is a world of magic, there are no electrical appliances. Mitsuki cannot light up the room himself at night. He cannot make tea without fire magic even if there is a mini kitchenette in the room. Gaku touched his forehead like it was hurting. He mumbled to himself “To think this brat saved Nanase-sama...”

“My lord if I may” Tsumugi bent down on one knee and bowed her head to speak to Riku. “I am happy to serve Izumi-sama during his stay”

Takanashi Tsumugi is the head of the maids serving Nanase house. She is capable of using a wide range of magic and is able to make basic potions. Not only that, she is skilled with one-handed rapiers so she can protect her lord if need be. Her maid-cafe-like uniform may seem delicate, but it is actually protected with magic for combat.

Mitsuki was taken aback hearing he was addressed as ‘Izumi-sama’. Before he could say anything, Gaku snapped. “That is absurd! Why would you serve a commoner!?!” Even though Gaku may have sounded rude, it was the truth. Mitsuki was just a 'normal' citizen back in Silica. Silica has no royal family so the people with authorities are politicians who are expert scientists with several famous publications. Mitsuki, though talented, is no where near that. “Like Yaotome-san said, I don’t have a title or anything. Please just call me Mitsuki. What’s your name, maid-san?”

“Tsu-Tsumugi desu. Takanashi Tsumugi.” She seemed nervous. Not sure if it was because she was before Riku or she was unsure of Mitsuki’s ‘class’.

“Well then. There is one way to solve the problem.” Riku spoke formally as a lord so Gaku bent down to listen.

“Mitsuki can stay in my room”

Gaku looked up at his lord in total shock. “NO! Nanase-sama, consider your position before you speak!” Gaku shouted. He was probably considered very rude if he was in public, but technically, he was older than his lord and grew up by his side. Riku considered him as a friend, but Gaku would not dare step over the line.

Riku let out a sigh before turning to Gaku. “Why must you be so difficult? Then what is your suggestion, Gaku?”

The butler bit his lip. He hated the idea in his mind but he had no choice. “He will stay in mine.”

~~

-Silica-

As soon as Tenn stepped outside of Iori’s house, he gasped. “Whoa...!” It was already dark outside. While he could not see his surroundings very clearly, it still amazed him. Several tall buildings lined up, forming a busy business area. There were cars driving everywhere. Not that he knew what they were. People were walking past with weird devices in their hands. Some people wore some sort of ‘ear accessories’. Just a few steps away, there was a black box with three colours of lights. His head started to spin. His mind was totally blown when he saw a big train running in the sky.

Tenn started sweating so much. He had never been so terrified. He had established he was in another world, yet he had never seen anything so bizarre during his three years of travelling. “Are you quite alright?” Iori walked up to grab Tenn’s shoulder when he saw that the boy went really pale.

“How is something that size moving in the sky...?” Tenn had several more questions in his head but the ‘sky train’ really confused him.

Iori did not quite comprehend. What was so shocking? “It works like a normal train, just the rails are up in the sky, so it’s called ‘sky train’. What about it?” Tenn just looked at Iori with his wide eyes.

“What do you mean by ‘What about it’? How is it flying in the sky?” He pointed at the street. “What are these metallic thing with wheels? How are the buildings so tall?” The boy was in a total panic, but the one who panicked more was Iori. He did not know how to begin his explanation. He grew up with these things. No one had ever questioned WHAT they were.

“C-calm down, Kujou-san. How about I explain things as we go? It’s likely you will be here for a while so you need to learn things anyway.”

Tenn seemed to have calmed down a little upon hearing the word ‘learn’. He had always been learning things. That was something he was capable of. He nodded and followed Iori. The high school student was not sure what Tenn knew and what he did not so he explained everything, from traffic lights indications, how to cross the road. Iori was glad it was nighttime because people would look at them really weirdly if they could hear their conversation. There were still several things Tenn had not seen such as how to shop using contactless cards or even simple things like how to operate a lift.

To Iori’s surprise, Tenn took in the information pretty well. He was a fast learner and was able to ask relevant questions. He would probably have become a great scientist if he grew up in Silica. Also, he was grateful Tenn understood the consequences of using magic in public. Soon, they arrived at the sky train station.

“Ah!” Iori shouted. He forgot an important process. “We need to get you an ID card first before we can go to the hospital!” Tenn followed him out of the station to the police station. As soon as the two entered the building, an AI robot came to greet them and asked what they were there for. Tenn could not take his eyes of it. “A speaking...box?”

The whole thing was strange to Iori. He thought magic was something out of this world yet here,  a magic user was being fascinated by simple everyday stuffs.

The two were led to a biometric machine which took Tenn’s picture, his blood sample and his fingerprints. A card then was produced which showed Tenn’s information and picture. “No way..!” Tenn’s eyes sparkled as he stared at his new ID card.

“Not happy with how you look?” Iori asked. Most people seem to hate their ID photos. Tenn shook his head “I’ve never seen something like this! It’s like using a mirror!” Iori laughed dryly. Oh, they don’t even have a camera...

They finally got to the hospital after teaching Tenn how to use the ticket machine at the sky train. Iori sank in the chair in the waiting room thinking about Mitsuki. What if Nii-san somehow ends up in another world like Kujou-san? Would there be someone to explain things like what he is doing? What if he ends up in magic world? Will someone kill him?

Tenn’s eyes were welling up with tears when the doctor told him that his left eye was blind for good. When Iori saw the magic user slowly walked out of the examination room with that expression, he knew there was bad news.

“They...couldn’t fix it” Tenn said.

“I’m sorry” Iori looked away. He wished he had something better to say. Mitsuki would know what to do in this situation. Tenn sighed and smiled a little. “At least I still have my other eye.” That was what Riku would say. The boy was always so positive. Tenn really wanted to see him, but the chance was even more slim now that he ended up in Silica.

The two did not say anything to each other on their way home. Tenn only followed Iori quietly until the moment Iori tapped his key fob on the house door to unlock it.

“Unfortunately we don’t have a spare room so you would have to sleep in Nii-san’s room” Iori told Tenn as he held the door for him.

A certain word caught Tenn’s interest. “Nii-san? You have a brother?” Tenn saw when Iori’s expression changed from neutral to a little sad. Iori pulled a chair at the dining table closest to the door and sat down so Tenn did too.

“Yes but he went missing around lunchtime today.” Iori proceeded to explain about the experiment. To his surprise, Tenn actually understood vaguely what happened. He felt sympathetic for the boy. It reminded him of the day Riku screamed for him when he was kicked out of the house. He cared more about his younger twin brother than himself.

“Are you two close?” Tenn relaxed in his seat and asked. “I guess we are.” The scientist told Tenn about the accident that took their parents’ lives which made Tenn freeze. Tenn wished selfishly for a moment. He wished there should have been some sort of accident to take his parents’ lives, and he wished Izumi’s parents lived. Tenn decided to tell his side of story. “I have a younger brother. We are twins actually.”

Iori leaned forward slightly as he listened to Tenn’s family situation. It sent Iori into anger. “How could someone do this to their child?!? That is terrible!” He settled down after blurting the words out. “I’m sorry to hear that, Kujou-san or should I say, Nanase-san?”

Tenn felt a bit alarmed hearing someone call him by that name. He missed it though. “I guess you could call me that here.”

Tenn changed the subject. “Majabah is not a bad place, but it is a harsh world to those with low magic power. Honestly I hope your brother does not end up there.” Iori gulped. Even without any evidence pointing to it, there was still a tiny possibility his Nii-san could end up there if Tenn could get teleported here.

While the two were thinking of what to talk more, a sound of loud rumbling stomach distracted them. Tenn’s face went pink. The high school student had to cover his face with his hand because Tenn looked really cute when he was embarrassed. “Let’s get a late night meal”

Tenn followed Iori into the kitchen saying he wanted to know how people in this world cook without magic. Fascinated by cooking appliances, he watched intently. One thing he noticed though, was that Iori did not seem like a good cook.

The raven haired boy stared at the onion sternly. Just how do I use this..? When Tenn saw Iori grabbed a knife, about to cut an unpeeled onion in half, he pulled Iori’s arm. “Wait. That’s going to be disastrous to your eyes” Holding his right hand out to the onion, Tenn cast wind magic to remove all the peel and sliced it nicely in an instant.

“Unbelievable...” Iori watched in awe.

“So what are you going to do with these onions?” Tenn looked around him and did not see any other ingredients. He then looked at Iori and got his answer. Tenn giggled. “Pffffttt I see you don’t know how to cook”

Iori blushed in embarrassment. “I-I am able to do such things!” I never cooked! Nii-san always had the food ready!

“Then tell me what you can make” Tenn pressed further with a smirk on his face.

Iori wished he could dig a 100 feet deep hole and jump down. “.....sandwiches”

“Hopeless” Tenn took over the cooking duty right away before they both ended up food poisoning themselves. “Teach me how to use these...machines”

Iori showed Tenn how to use the hob, the microwave and the oven to his best abilities. “How convenient!” Iori swore he could see soft pink sparkly eyes when he heated milk in microwave in 30 seconds. After that, Tenn cooked using the combination of science and magic. It was like watching a kid’s fantasy cooking TV show to Iori. They both enjoyed the nice chicken breasts with white sauce. Tenn’s cooking was on par with Mitsuki’s if not better.

~~

-Majabah-

Tsumugi casted magic to move the belongings in what was supposed to be Mitsuki’s room to Gaku’s. Pink glows surrounded the objects and made them float in air. “Whoaaaa” Mitsuki was in awe as he followed her down the hallway.

“That is time magic” Riku turned to Mitsuki and explained. “It is one of the most difficult to master. The name is slightly misleading. While you can cast time magic on a person to make them move faster or slower or to manipulate objects, controlling the flow of time itself is impossible.”

Riku turned his head to his butler trailing behind him. “Even Gaku cannot move this amount of objects at one time.” Yes, the lord did mean to tease Gaku and it worked. The silver haired man bit his lip and let out a little ‘Grrrr’. When Mitsuki laughed, he shouted “Magic takes a lot of physical and mental strength, a brat like you would never be capable of such thing!”

Tsumugi placed everything neatly on one side of the room. Gaku sighed. He did not think he would ever have to share a room with a disrespectful commoner. “Ri...Nanase-sama, I don’t get it. How-"

 Gaku suddenly punched Mitsuki’s face with full force, making him fall to the floor. The short boy landed hard on his bum. “When are you going to learn to bend on one knee and bow your head when you speak to Nanase-sama!?” Tsumugi started panicking seeing Gaku was being violent. "Yaotome-san!"

Riku hardly ever gets angry. This time he had enough. He had been yelling at Gaku all day today and he was tired of it. Seventeen blue orbs surrounded his body which was a sign that he was casting powerful magic. The butler gasped and cast protection magic on himself. It was useless. Riku opened his palm in front of Gaku’s head and instantly, Gaku was frozen into an ice cube. Then the redhead cast a strong wind magic which blew Gaku out of the room, destroying the sliding doors and sending the butler to the far wall somewhere as they could hear the sound of ice breaking.

“Phew” Riku sighed in relief before turning to smile and sat down cross legged with Mitsuki. He touched Mitsuki’s face and casted healing magic. Tsumugi excused herself from the room and ran to Gaku. “We have around 10 minutes before Gaku recovers from the impact. What was your question?”

Mitsuki had never been so terrified before in his life. It was even more scary than when Gaku pointed a shuriken at him.

 

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

Mitsuki was confused as different people seem to be capable of using different types of magic, but what if someone were to be in need of magic skill they did not have for basic operations? For example, when Riku was about to have asthma attack, if Riku himself did not cast wind magic then would Gaku need to run out of the room to get someone else to cast it? Seemed awfully inconvenient for a world with ‘magic’.

“Ahh I understand” Riku smiled at his new friend. “Each person is born with a different aptitude for magic. For example, us Nanase is the strongest at black magic, but we are required to learn other types of magic as well”

Riku stood up as he thought it was best to show it to Mitsuki. “The basic types of magic most people are required to learn to survive are Black and White.” Riku snapped his finger and a small flash of lightning struck outside. “Black magic are mostly elemental. Fire, lighting, water, earth and ice count as black magic.” The lord made an ice rabbit figure and handed it to Mitsuki. It was actual ice. So Gaku really was frozen solid just now. Yipes.

“You have already seen a number of white magic in action. It is for healing and protection. Strangely, wind and light elementals count as white magic.” Riku sat back down, still beaming. “Then we have more advanced types such as time magic” The redhead cast what seemed like a ball of darkness in his hand. Being curious, Mitsuki reached his hand towards it and found out it was a void as his hand disappeared in it. He quickly retracted his hand in surprise. Riku was certainly amused.

“People take these magic skills and develop their own speciality. You can see for yourself in town.”

Mitsuki was getting excited. He still felt quite scared, but curiosity took over his heart more than anything. One question remained in Mitsuki’s head. “So how come Yaotome-san can’t cast wind magic if it is one of the basics?”

“That” Riku tilted his head in a cute way and put his index finger on his chin. “remains a mystery. The Yaotomes have been experts at white magic for generations. From what I know, Gaku is traumatised by something in the past that I do not know of.” His eyebrows dropped a little with worry.

Speak of the devil. About a minute later, Gaku came back to his room with one of the guards assigned to fix the door his lord destroyed. Riku stood back up just before Gaku reached them so Mitsuki would not be in trouble. “I trust you know not to treat our visitor terribly by now, Gaku?”

Gaku bent down on one knee and bowed his head like usual. “Yes, my lord” Getting frozen solid was painful enough, getting thrown into the wall and stabbed by ice shards was even worse. He was lucky Tsumugi was there to cast healing magic on him, otherwise he might have been in serious trouble as his whole body was bleeding and felt numb.

Riku walked to the front of the room. “I originally planned to take Mitsuki to town. Although, evening shall come soon. Perhaps tomorrow morning is better. Gaku, take him to the barracks.” With that, the young lord left the two to bond. Riku had something he wanted to take care of that evening.

~~

-Silica-

“School?”

Iori nodded. He had told Tenn that he is a student and needs to attend his school everyday. Well, it would not be a problem if Tenn knew how things work in this world, but he literally just got here that evening. Iori did not feel safe to leave him on his own, even inside the house.

The school boy had no choice. While he hated to bother people, he video called Yamato hoping to get some advice.

“Yo, Ichi what’s up?”

Yamato was of course having a can of beer in his hand. Tenn stared intently at the screen, again, fascinated by the technology. “Oh, a friend?” Yamato noticed an unfamiliar face and asked.

“Here’s the thing...” Iori tried very hard to explain the situation. Yamato’s mouth dropped. “Oi, Oi seriously?” He did not want to believe it, but when Tenn cast a mini fireball in his hand, Yamato almost fell off his couch and send his can of beer flying.

Iori explained that he needed to go to school tomorrow and said he could not just leave Tenn on his own. Yamato thought for a while before shouting “Ryuu, come here for a bit?”

“What is it, Yamato?” Ryuu came to sit beside Yamato. The tall man with brown hair noticed two young boys in the video call. “Oh hello, are you Iori-kun and Mitsuki-kun? I heard about you sometimes from Yamato” Yamato then explained the situation to Ryuu. To everyone’s surprise, he listened and took it in without questions. “Ah, I see” He smiled at Tenn and waved. “I am happy to take Tenn-kun out for a city tour.”

“Is that really okay with you, Tsunashi-san?” Iori asked again and Ryuu just laughed and nodded. He seemed like a kind man. “Of course! I usually work at night anyway.”

Tsunashi Ryuunosuke works part-time in the pub as a bartender, but actually, he is a powerful programmer who has created several applications for large companies, including Yamato’s space distortion machine software. Yamato never knew how Ryuu survived working in a pub as he is good looking (not being biased) and tends to attract women. Ryuu is absolutely clueless and hopeless when he is around them girls.

After the plan was arranged, Iori took Tenn to his brother’s bedroom. He pointed to the small grey device placed on the wooden table. “That circular thing is an AI assistant. Order it to turn off the lights, set an alarm or ask about weather. It can do many things. Just say ‘Kinako’ to wake it up”

Tenn quite liked the room. It was simple and clean. As he looked around, Iori said “I’m off to bed. I will need to be up early tomorrow but you don’t have to be. Tsunashi-san will come near lunchtime so just let him in when you hear the doorbell.” With that, Iori left Tenn on his own. Tenn ended up spending half of his night talking to the AI Kinako. He wanted to check out the TV and speakers but his eyes refused to stay open.

~~

-Majabah-

“Pick your weapon”

Gaku led Mitsuki into another large wooden room. On the left hand side, there was a long wooden rack with different kinds of weapons including spears, swords, kunais, shurikens, bows and many more.

“....what?” Mitsuki looked at Gaku expecting some sort of explanation on why he was taken here and why he was told to pick a weapon.

“Ugh why must I explain everything? Gaku rolled his eyes. “We mainly use these to hunt for food but there are times we need to defend ourselves.” Gaku swiftly took a shuriken out of who-knows-where and pointed at Mitsuki’s right eye. Mitsuki gasped. “I have a sacred duty to protect Nanase-sama with my life.” The butler put away his weapon, still staring at Mitsuki.

“...huh?” Mitsuki still did not quite get it. Gaku sighed “Our lord is showing his great generosity towards you. It is his wish to ensure that you are able to survive our world should anything happen.”

Gaku walked towards the weapon rack and picked up a huge spear. “Magic means uncertainties. Many have lost their lives or their mentality trying to achieve their goals” He spun the long weapon then stabbed it to the hay dummy nearest to him. “You may encounter people who mean harm to you.”

Mitsuki gulped. He had never seen these weapons in his life, let alone hold them. His body started trembling from fear.

“Do not worry” To Mitsuki’s surprise, Gaku touched his shoulder as reassurance. “While Nanase-sama wishes for you to learn the basics, you can choose your own path afterwards. There is no pressure.” Gaku inspected the doctor’s physical features. “I think a greatsword or a spear would be to heavy for a small person like you. Try something light.” Mitsuki’s eyebrows twitched a little hearing the forbidden word ‘small’.

Gaku picked up a small throwing knife and handed to Mitsuki. “Try this” He went behind Mitsuki, grabbed the shorter boy’s hand and showed him how to hold it. The knife had some weight in it despite its small size. It was perfect for throwing. “Throw it at the dummy in front of you”

Mitsuki threw it like a baseball, making the knife spin 180 degree vertically and not pointing straight at the target. It landed nowhere near the dummy.

Gaku let out his loudest laugh ever. “Interesting. VERY interesting BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHA”

~~

Riku’s movements were very limited due to his severe asthma. Normally, he would be sitting down in his room in the evening trying to keep steady breaths, but since Mitsuki made him the miracle medicine that afternoon Riku felt like he wanted to do something. Sure, Breathing was still a little difficult but it was nothing compared to what he had endured everyday for years.

Riku followed the recipes Mitsuki wrote to make more of his powder for the ‘inhaler’ and drinking medicines. When two maids chatting happily together stepped into the kitchen to find Riku, they gasped and quickly kneeled down to bow. “P-Please forgive us for s-sudden intrusion my lord!”

Riku felt sad seeing them so terrified of him. “Rise. Come in. Do not mind me.” The redhead smiled at them but they were too scared to notice his sincerity. The poor Riku decided to turn his back to the kitchen counter and continued working on his medicines before leaving the kitchen.

The lord got the similar reaction when he stepped into the dining room where the butlers were preparing the table for dinner. He only wished to help but it seemed it would be better if he was not there.

Back to his room, Riku sat down on the sofa and started to cry. Even if he did not try to burn the mansion down, people still feared him just because of his last name. Other than Gaku, and now Mitsuki, he could talk freely to no one else. Tsumugi was stiff around him. Most people outside of mansion do not know how he looks so perhaps he could have gone outside and make friends. Then again he was never well enough to do so. Plus, Gaku would panic if his lord were to suddenly disappear.

~~

-Silica-

Tenn only had three hours of sleep when he was woken up by a strange smell. He rubbed his eyes. It took him a minute to register that it was a smell of smoke which woke him up immediately. He sprang out of bed and ran out of the room.

Iori was running left and right in a panic. “W-water! Fire blanket! Where is it?!? Oh no. Oh no!” Soon, an extremely loud fire alarm started.

“What’s going on?!?” Tenn ran to Iori and shouted while covering his ears. When he turned his head to the right, he got his answer. In the kitchen, something in the pan was on fire. “What the..!” Tenn quickly ran towards it and cast water magic to put it out, leaving only smoke coming from the hob.

The fire alarm did not stop, making the sprinkler on the ceiling activate. The two young men ended up soaking wet in their pyjamas. It took around good three minutes for the alarm to stop. Tenn’s ears were still ringing.

Iori flopped to the kitchen counter and had to lean his back on it to keep standing. “I’m saved...” When Tenn demanded an explanation, Iori sat in Seiza, looked down to the floor and admitted he was trying to make pancakes for breakfast. Tenn facepalmed. “And you said you don’t trust me in your place...”

“I’ll make breakfast. Do you need packed lunch too?” Tenn sighed. Iori quickly looked up. However, the first thing he saw was EVERYTHING underneath Tenn’s light translucent soaking wet pyjamas. Iori’s face went red “AHHH GO GET CHANGED FIRST NANASE-SAN!!”

Tenn looked down to find his frilly clothes became a see-through. “WAHHH!!” He casted object manipulation magic in surprise which sent Iori flying to the other end of the room.

Sitting shyly at the table, Tenn casted white magic to heal Iori’s bruises and scratches from the impact. “Sorry...here’s your food” He handed a bento box for Iori to take to school. Iori was also embarrassed with the fact that he almost burnt down the whole house. The high school student left after saying a quiet thank you.

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

Mitsuki was on the ground, panting heavily from an hour of harsh weapon training he received from Gaku. He got to try all sorts of weapons, even the heavy ones. Throwing knife was the best one he could wield. Well, he was still hopelessly terrible at it.

“Enough for today.” Gaku sighed. “Unbelievable. You did not even hit a single target.” The butler shook his head and started to walk away. “You are free to do as you like for the rest of the day. Dinner should be ready soon” Gaku waved and left the room, heading back to his lord’s side.

Riku’s room was relatively large. It had a king sized bed on the left side of the room with a translucent white curtain around it for privacy. There was a door in the back leading to his private outdoor natural onsen. Two large sofas and a low table were in the middle of the room, where Riku was sitting down, crying.

Riku’s eyes widened when saw a shadow behind a sliding door and heard a familiar voice. “Nanase-sama, it’s Yaotome Gaku.” Riku wiped his tears with his hands before resting one of his palms on his chest to steady his breathing. He did not expect Gaku to slide the door open so soon.

“Who gave you a permission to enter!?” Riku shouted angrily, slightly panicking. Gaku was taken aback by it. His lord never minded his presence except for when he was upset. He rushed to Riku’s side and kneeled before him. “My deepest apologies. Are you unwell, Nanase-sama?”

“Sit here” Riku ordered his butler to sit beside him on the sofa. Gaku paused for a moment before replying “I cannot, Nanase-sama” Gaku denied. As a butler he was not allowed to be on the same 'level' as Riku.

“Why all of you must act so distant?!?” Riku stood up and lashed out at Gaku. “All you servants ever do is bow before me! Never had I asked for it. I only wish to talk yet you listen only because I am your lord!”

Gaku bit his lip. Having grown up with Riku, he knew how much Riku hated the highborn-lowborn system, yet there was nothing a simple butler and a young lord could do. Majabah had been operating in such a way for generations. Gaku was already the boldest out of all the people. Being able to speak his mind to the lord of Majabah was already an achievement.

“My lord” Gaku looked at Riku even though he was not supposed to. “We only wish to show our respect.”

Riku sat back down, no longer looking at Gaku. “And I only wish for a friend. Is that so much to ask for?”

Gaku froze hearing so much bitterness from a reply. Perhaps it was because Mitsuki appeared and associated with his lord so casually that Riku felt even more lonely than before. Not knowing the best course of action, Gaku rose and moved to sit beside Riku. He kept his head low. “Excuse my rudeness, my lord.”

“I thank you” Riku sat quietly beside Gaku. He was satisfied with the first step Gaku took.

~~

-Silica-

“How do you earn money in this place?”

Ryuu and Tenn sat in a small cafe near Iori’s house. It was where Tenn learned people here did not use rings as money like in Majabah, but a ‘plastic’ card to make purchases. He also saw some people use 'paper' as money which surprised him. Ryuu explained that those were not just any drawing paper and  said he will take Tenn to open a bank account after their lunch. Immediately, Tenn as a boy who survived on his own for three years, asked about how to make a living.

“Ahahahaha Shouldn’t you get used to the place first?” Ryuu laughed while waiting for their orders to come.

“I can’t very well rely on the kid forever. I need to pay for my own things, find somewhere else to live and repay him, right?” Tenn said with a serious face. He hated owing people and he genuinely wanted to repay Iori for his kindness. 

“You are a good person, Tenn-kun” Ryuu kept his sweet smile, adoring a young man in front of him. Tenn blushed and looked away. “Is that something you say to a person you’ve just met?”

“It’s quite hard to think of a job that does not require science background...hmmm” Ryuu thought hard when the waitress came to serve them beef burgers. Even a painter in Silica is required to learn concept of physics to produce realistic piece of art. Ryuu thought it was ridiculous and he was not the only one. Ryuu was about to bite into his burger when he stopped half way. “Ah!” His sudden shout surprised Tenn. “Tenn-kun, can you sing?”

“...so random” Tenn waited until he swallowed his last bite. “Probably” The former noble used to sing for his bedridden little brother when he had the chance. It made Riku happy. No one else ever complimented him though so he was not sure. No one but Riku and Gaku really acknowledged his presence in that mansion.

“Maybe you are cut out to be an idol!” Because Silica is such an academic world, not many kinds of entertainment exist. Younger people are getting bored and so entertainment businesses are the only thing that do not involve science and is on the rise. Ryuu inspected Tenn's face and figure before smiling nodding in approval. “I know a senpai who can give you some advice!” Ryuu suddenly got so excited that Tenn could not continue to eat his burger. It was easy to see that he was into music. In fact he had developed several programmes as music composing tools.

Ryuu showed Tenn around more for him to learn survival skills before taking him back to Iori’s. The programmer managed to arrange a meeting for his senpai and Tenn. Tenn was not sure how he felt but he certainly did not mind the idea of entertaining people. He would get all the attention he never had in the past and he craved for them.

Iori was already home since it was 6PM and Yamato did not need him today. The boy was doing his homework at the dining table. Normally, Mitsuki would be sitting opposite to him and looking up some videos to further develop his skill as a surgeon. Iori never used to talk during his study time, yet he felt so empty at that moment with his Nii-san missing. Well, until Tenn took Mitsuki’s usual spot. “What are you doing?” He stared at the school boy.

“Homework. Do you need anything, Nanase-san?” Iori answered without looking up. He wanted to just focus on his work so he did not have to think about anything else.

“I want to listen to some music, where can I go?” Tenn did not waste a moment to start his research about ‘idol’ and music. He wanted to know what people here usually listen to. What kind of instruments do people use? 

“Just ask Kinako. I am afraid I cannot recommend any songs since I don’t usually listen to music.” That baffled Tenn. “Kinako can sing...?” Iori facepalmed hard. “No, she can play songs sung by an artist or a singing synthesiser that are pre-recorded. Same concept as a ‘movie’, Nanase-san” Iori smiled a little. Curious Tenn came off as adorable to him.

Seeing Iori was busy with his work, Tenn asked “Will I disturb you if I listen to some now?” Iori said he didn't mind. It was actually getting too quiet anyway. Immediately, Tenn’s attention was drawn to ‘pop’ music. He really enjoyed it. The beats were fun and catchy. The magic user how such sounds were arranged. Decided he could not just stand still, Tenn started dancing, letting himself get lost in the music.

Iori looked up when he heard the sound of moving footsteps. It was that moment when he dropped his mechanical pencil and let his mouth hang open. His heart was captivated by the beauty of an angel before him.

~~

-Majabah-

“You must let me accompany you, Nanase-sama!”

Riku was about to take Mitsuki to town when Gaku came dashing after them. The lord turned back and sighed. “Gaku, I thought I have said no escort is necessary” Gaku insisted saying he could never be sure what may happen to his lord during the time. No, he was not being paranoid. Majabah really was a 'magical' world with several uncertainties.

The stubbornness of both the lord and the butler was high. The two were staring into each other’s eyes for a whole minute. Riku was the first to back down. “You leave me no choice, Gaku.” Gaku was about to rise when he thought his lord gave him an approval. 

Dark violet orbs surrounded Riku’s body. “...!” Gaku’s eyes widened. Before the butler could do anything, Riku cast time magic on the butler's body, making Gaku unable to move.

“Let’s go, Mitsuki” Riku turned to smile at the shorter boy, took his hand and dragged him forward. Gaku was frantically shouting for the two, but he could not do anything else. Not until time magic wears off. The one Riku cast probably would last around 20 minutes.

“Nanase-sama! Nanase-sama! GOD DAMN IT!!!”

~~

Riku acted like a bird being set free from a cage. He skipped and hopped around town, which was surprisingly only a 10 minute walk away from the mansion. Mitsuki had thought the mansion would be somewhere isolated. Well, he was wrong. It was just protected from outsiders by a large barrier the super maid Tsumugi put up.

“Uwaaaaah Mitsuki, look! They are crafting candies!” Riku’s eyes sparkled as he checked out one shop after another. "Ahh! And those! Those ice bars look absolutely adorable!" The lady who was making animal figure ice bars smiled and waved at the two boys when she heard excited Riku's voice.  

Mitsuki laughed seeing Riku being his cheerful and childish self. “HAHAHAHA Riku! I’m supposed to be the one excited here”

“But” Riku hopped back to Mitsuki and pouted. “I hardly ever got out of the mansion...and I never had anyone to hang out with either...” He became pretty sad. Seeing a quick change in Riku’s expression, Mitsuki touched Riku’s shoulder and smiled “C’mon let’s go, sheltered princess!” It made Riku’s eyes went wide before he beamed “Yes!”

Mitsuki learned a lot of things. The streets in town were made of bricks which were crafted by alchemy. It was the closest process to science they had in Majabah. The streets, main or mini, were packed full of different kinds of shop. People used different kinds of magic to do their job such as perfectly controlling the power of fire to make decorating glass figures. Potion makers use natural ingredients found in the wild and mix them in a cauldron. Some kids were sparring with each other using wooden weapons and magic skills.

Even though the plants here were mostly similar to Silica’s, some animals looked different. As in, they were no ‘fantasy beasts’, just that physical features were a little ‘off’. Rabbits had fluffier and bigger tails. Ravens were the size of the robins. Everything was fascinating to Mitsuki. He thought Iori would question every single thing in this place (but would definitely jump in to cuddle the rabbits when no one else was in sight.)

The lord and the doctor took a break at one of the small cafes in the narrow alleyway. Mitsuki hesitated to order as he had no golden rings - this world’s money, so Riku took over and ordered two sets of proper brunch plus a kettle of warm rose tea. The food at that place was average. Mitsuki thought he can cook a lot better. The problem was, he couldn't do it here without magic. Come to think of it...is Iori doing okay? I’ve never seen him in the kitchen much.

“Ne, Riku” Mitsuki ate a little more slowly when his mind was heavy with thoughts. “What sort of job do you think I can do? Can I really learn magic?”

Riku suddenly stopped raising a tea cup to his mouth and gave Mitsuki a hurt look. “Eh? I-Is there something wrong?” Mitsuki stuttered.

“Mitsuki, are you thinking of leaving my mansion?”

Riku’s facial expression changed completely. When Mitsuki looked at those sad, begging puppy eyes, his heart was overwhelmed with guilt even though he did nothing to be blamed for. “W-What? I can’t have you pay for my things right?!” Mitsuki quickly waved his hands.

Riku pouted, still with an ultimate sad face. “It is true I wish for you to find your own path. However I have never said you have to leave the mansion...”

“...It is too lonely”

Mitsuki went silent for a second before bursting out into a laugh. “What is so funny?!?” Riku puffed out his cheek. He grabbed Mitsuki’s hand and cast ice magic to make an ice cube. He then pressed it on the doctor’s hand. “HAHAHAC-COLD COLD COLD!!” The shorter boy quickly pulled his hand away and checked the state of it.

Mitsuki continued to giggle after knowing it was just an ice cube. “You know, it’s funny. You have the power. If you just made me your servant, then I wouldn’t be able to leave right?”

Riku sighed before smiling. “I cannot have you turn into another Gaku” Besides, Riku did not like controlling people. He wanted friends, but not because he ordered them to be friends. Mitsuki would laugh more if he didn’t have a long lecture about ‘how to present yourself before Nanase-sama’ from Gaku last night. 

“Very well” Riku regained his lord composure. Whenever he did that, Mitsuki felt as if the person before him really was on a higher level. He hated to admit it but Riku had this truly terrifying aura. He could totally control the atmosphere around him with his act, power and emotion.

“How about becoming a Beastmaster?”

Chapter Text

-Silica-

"...What?"

Tenn stopped dancing when he noticed he was being stared by the young student before him. Iori could not be blamed. Tenn's movements were beautiful and flowing so nicely it would be rude not to watch.

Iori coughed to regain his composure. "Sorry, your dance was great..." He then picked up his pencil and pretended to resume working when his mind was everywhere else. "Why thank you" Tenn smiled lightly before continuing to dance for a while longer. Perhaps it was a good start to his 'idol' career.

--

"Re:vale"

"Huh?" Tenn looked at Iori in confusion when the boy suddenly said a strange word during dinner.

"Nii-san used to listen to them a lot. Maybe you will like them." Iori then asked Kinako to play their latest hit song 'Mikansei na bokura". Instantly, Tenn came to love that song. He asked Kinako to repeat and already, he started singing along. Iori was just putting food in his mouth when he had to slow down as he noticed Tenn's voice was also as angelic as his dance.

"You...are talented, Nanase-san"

Tenn blushed hearing a complement from a guy who did not seem like the type to be easily impressed. "T-thank you" Tenn had never got many praises. He appreciated Iori's comment.

~~

Tenn walked into a dimly lit bar, almost knocking into a large pillar in the middle of the place since his left eye could not see. He was not used to estimating distance with one eye yet. The boy kept walking to the counter where Ryuu was working as a bartender. A man with shoulder-length blue hair and another with short silverish hair were talking with Ryuu. Since it was pretty early for clubbing, there were no other customers.

"Ah Tenn-kun!" Ryuu waved to Tenn as soon as he noticed the pink eyes. The brunette smiled then introduced the two men. "This is Ogami Banri-san and this is Yuki-san. Together they are the famous idol Re:vale!"

Tenn's eyes widened when he heard that name. He really liked their songs and spent his evening listening to their album. "Kujou Tenn. Nice to meet you both." Ryuu proceeded to explained that Tenn 'got into an accident' recently and 'lost all his memory'. He was not a good liar so he turned his back to Yuki and Banri, pretending to wipe some wine glasses. Only Iori knew about Tenn's blindness so it was not revealed.

"Fufufu how bold. Wanting to step into a cruel business world without any memories." Yuki turned around and looked at Tenn with his neutral face. "My advice, forget about it."

Tenn was taken aback. He frowned. "Yuki! Be nice" Banri looked at his partner disapprovingly "Sorry, Tenn-kun, Yuki is not very good at talking. He did not mean-"

"Oh but I did" Yuki cut Banri off. Tenn was not the type to be affected by those words. Maybe a little, but he was used to it. "Well then, why don't I show you what I can do?" Tenn smiled to indicate that he accepted the challenge from Yuki.

The magic user stepped backwards to find a large room space. He signalled Ryuu to put some music on. Then, he began dancing. Yuki seemed disinterested at first, but soon he leaned forward to watch every move. Ryuu and Banri were in awe just like Iori from last night.

"Hmph" Yuki took a sip from his cocktail. He finally smiled. "Isn't that great?" It was a real compliment. Banri then told Tenn he would need to keep an eye out on internet for auditions. The four were chatting happily. Night came and the club got busy before they knew it.

~~

-Majabah-

“Beast...master?”

Mitsuki stopped eating completely. He was intrigued by what Riku said. “What is that?”

“I originally planned for you to learn magic but...” Riku started explaining everything from the beginning. “It is dangerous to both mind and body, especially for a person with hardly any aptitude for magic.”

“I went through some records last night to find the right art for you to learn. And Beastmaster is the one.”

Riku explained that Beast mastery is a very ancient art where a person called Beastmaster befriends or controls animals in the wild through the power of songs. For some strange reasons, people who can use other types of magic cannot become a Beastmaster unless they learn the art before picking up those magic. This means, it is likely that the current Majabah has no Beastmasters.

“Wait!” Mitsuki leaned forward. He liked the idea of befriending an animal. Think how he could summon a horde of fluffy rabbits to surprise Iori, the idea was awesome. However...”Okay I get the idea but I don’t get how it will be useful?”

“Hmmm? Oh” Riku looked like he had forgotten to say something. “Do you realise that animals have powers similar to magic?”

According to the lord, animals have magic power in them but only a very small number can use them. In the olden days, Beastmasters tamed animals and brought forth their powers. It was pretty surprising to Mitsuki but he had already been surprised too many times since yesterday.

Riku got out of his ‘lord’ mode and rested his chin on both hands. “With those animal powers you are free to do anything. You will still need to hone your combat skills in case the animals or people try to harm you. Uwaaaah!” Riku’s eyes suddenly went sparkly. “I would love to see Mitsuki on a dragon’s back one day...” Riku seemed to be picturing a cool orange haired boy on a long white legendary dragon. Unfortunately, they say dragons went extinct centuries ago...

“Ahhh but” Riku panicked slightly when he woke up from his dreamland. “I do not intend to force yo-“

Mitsuki quickly stood up from the table and shouted excitedly. It seemed Riku was not the only one imagining the fantasy stuffs. “It sounds totally cool! I want to do it! Please teach me!”

~~

Mitsuki and Riku just got back to the mansion from their trip to town. The lord told Mitsuki to meet him in his room in half an hour so the doctor decided to make a stop at his room to rest his legs.

Mitsuki slid the door open and was met with an unexpected sight. “Fwah?!”

A topless man stood behind his closet in the middle of the room. His lower body was covered with a white towel. It seemed he just had a steamy hot shower. The man looked totally hot with nice muscle and a tall feature but...

his whole body was full of burn scars.

“What are you staring at? Never seen a man naked?” Gaku huffed when Mitsuki just stood still and did not enter the room.

“Oh..sorry” Mitsuki closed the door behind him. “That...must have been painful huh?”

Gaku took out his butler uniform and started dressing up. “Did Nanase-sama tell you?” Mitsuki nodded slowly. He could not take his eyes off those red scars, not until he saw pain in Gaku’s eyes. “I failed to protect my lord”

“What do you mean, Yaotome? You saved him right?” Mitsuki was confused. Before he could asked anymore questions, Gaku shouted. “My lord has always been going through much pain!! He had to endure harsh training from high lords despite his frail health. He was prevented from associating with Tenn.” Gaku sat down after he was done getting himself armed. He slammed the floor with his fist. “My lord always cried. I couldn’t do anything. My lord still cries. As a lowly butler, I can’t do anything!!”

Mitsuki put his hands on his waist and frowned. “Then start doing something” He did not mean to be rude, but he felt the need to knock some sense into this strict butler. Gaku looked as if he was about to kill Mitsuki. The young doctor simply stared back. “Listen, I only got here yesterday. I get the idea of how this world works though. Riku might be a lord, but he is still a person who needs love and attention! He is a kid who lost his parents and his brother. Do you have any idea how happy he was in town today?”

Mitsuki understood the pain of losing someone dear to him. The time he and Iori lost their parents, Mitsuki was suffering, but he felt hurt even more when Iori cried. Seeing Riku in a similar situation without anyone by his side made him sad. The fact that he tried to take his own life should have said it all.

Gaku was in rage. No one had to say it to his face. He understood Riku’s feelings more than anyone else. He stood back up and grabbed Mitsuki’s shirt collar. He argued back “Do you think I didn’t know that?!? And it’s Nana-“

“Oh cut that crap, Yaotome!” Mitsuki used all his strength to push Gaku away. The butler hardly budged though. “It’s because you are like this. It upsets him! I get it, tradition and all BUT if you are truly his butler, won’t you go against everything for your lord?.” Mitsuki refused to back down. During those hard times, he would do anything for Iori to make the boy happy. Gaku was the only one with that power here, especially when Riku was the sole lord.

“Then ‘the hell am I supposed to do huh?” Gaku spoke, though frustratingly, he did listen to Mitsuki’s words.

“Just be his friend. Starting now. Worry about the rest later.”

~~

Mitsuki was given a thick book on Beast Mastery when he met Riku. Obviously no one knew the art so Mitsuki would have to teach himself. Although, Riku, Gaku and Tsumugi would be able to provide some guidance on some points. Mitsuki spent the rest of his day studying.

Gaku made his way to his lord’s room that night. He paused to take a deep breath before announcing his presence and entering the room. Normally, he would never disturb Riku at night except when the lord had trouble breathing.

The butler could not believe he actually took Mitsuki’s advice. While he hated to admit it, he never liked Majabah extreme tradition about highborns and commoners.

Riku looked slightly pale sitting on his sofa, perhaps from extra walks and excitement today. He stopped drinking his green tea and gave a reserved smile to Gaku. “What is it?”

Shoot. Gaku froze on the spot. He came without preparing any excuses beforehand. The butler was sweating internally. Riku tilted his head in confusion when Gaku did not answer. “Is something wrong?” Gaku remained speechless so Riku started to panic. “U-um Gaku? Is it about this morning? Or Mitsuki? Is there a problem in town?”

Gaku was bursted out of his frozen mode when he noticed Riku’s breathing got somewhat louder. “My apologies, Nanase-sama.” He approached Riku and went on one knee. “I simply...wanted to have a chat with you, my lord” Gaku’s cheeks had light pink blushes on them. He was way too honest to come up with a lame excuse.

“Eh?” The lord was quite shocked. This was new. Riku put his hand on his chest and sighed in relief. “Ahh you had me worried for a minute there...” He then gave Gaku his real smile, which the butler found to be blinding. “Very well. Sit next to me, Gaku” Riku stayed composed. Both the lord and the butler would have to learn more about how to act around each other if they wanted their relationship to change. Gaku went to sit next to Riku without rejecting this time.

“Did my lord enjoy your time in town?” Gaku started. Riku got up and went to the kitchenette to pour some tea. “Yes. You should come next time. That is, if you promise to walk beside me.”

Gaku’s eyes widened. It meant Riku wanted him to act equal to his lord. “My lord...” Gaku swallowed his argument when he thought of his conversation with the doctor. “I understand”

“I am happy to hear” Riku walked back to the sofa and handed a cup of tea to Gaku “Here, your tea”

Looking bewildered, Gaku took a cup from his lord’s hand. “You made tea for your servant?!?”

“Mou Gaku it’s fine!” Riku pouted while flopping into the sofa. It seemed he was letting his childish side come out and using informal speech. Riku sure adapted faster than Gaku. “I don’t understand how you can call Tenn-nii by his first name but not me”

Gaku looked away, taking a sip from his tea. “That was high lord’s order” Tenn was a ‘disgrace’ to the family as said by his parents so he was not treated as a Nanase.

Riku sighed thinking about his twin. He became fidgety as he spoke his mind. “You should do this more often, you know, being your true self around me”

My ‘true’ self. Gaku was not too sure how he would act if he wasn’t like this. As a Yaotome he had always had to act proper. He was trained strictly by his father, Yaotome Sousuke, whom he hated. The high lords also used to punish him harshly if they saw anything inappropriate from the butler. Gaku bit his lip when he realised how right Mitsuki was. He bowed his head to Riku to hide his facial expression. “If that is my lord’s wish, I shall try”

~~

-Silica-

“Here click on this, it is a browser. Uh..click twice, Nanase-san. Quick double click...oh my head hurts...”

Iori had never thought he would be stuck with teaching someone how to use a computer. EVERYTHING about it, from using a mouse, touch-typing to browsing the internet and using software. The high school student had been teaching Tenn after school and his part-time job every late evening. Iori had to facepalm around 10 times a day. Tenn struggled with typing quite a lot at the start as he lost part of his sight.

In return, Tenn cooked delicious meals, made cute decorated desserts, cleaned the house and most importantly, sang and danced for Iori everyday. The aspiring idol’s performance could take away all of Iori’s fatigue in an instant. Even better, Tenn could cast some magic such as floaty blue water or bubbles while dancing to make it look like a special effect.

“Nanase-san, I don’t understand why you were disowned. You seem capable enough with magic. Or is it normally much more powerful?” Iori asked Tenn who was approaching him on the couch.

“I worked extremely hard to get where I am now. Riku’s magic is probably 10 times stronger.” In fact, Riku’s magic could probably destroy an entire town if he went all out. Tenn sat right beside Iori and set down two cups of rose tea on the low table. “My parents don’t appreciate it.”

“Is that why you are seeking attention?” Iori asked bluntly, making Tenn blush lightly before looking away. “S-so what if I am..?”

Iori smiled warmly. “Don’t worry, you have my full support.” He took a little pause “Since I have been teaching you things anyway, why not let me help schedule your practice?” The magic user turned to look at Iori in surprise. “You mean...you will be my manager?”

“Yes, well, I guess until you find and sign a contract with an agency”

While Tenn did not know of Iori’s reasons, he decided to accept. He had deemed Iori to be an organised and proper, just the way he liked.

“Make me a superstar, Izumi”

Chapter Text

-Silica-

Yamato sighed loudly as he let body flop onto a lab chair. His neck rested on the back of the chair. Energy was only leaving his body. Iori put his head on his palm at the lab table. The two scientists had been researching about Mitsuki’s whereabouts and ‘Majabah’ and unsuprisingly found nothing. All other researches were halted as this one took priority.

“Nii-san...” Iori felt like he was losing all hope. Yamato was trying his best to console the younger boy but he himself was also discouraged. They just needed a single small clue and they would be able to begin their search properly.

“Welcome home, Izumi” When Tenn saw Iori’s sad expression, the magic user knew it was another day of failure. Tenn set the cups of warm milk with honey down on the table before going to grab Iori’s arm. “Come with me”

Tenn led Iori into his room and sat on the bed. He signalled for Iori to sit down next to him. “Nanase-san?” As soon as Iori sat down, Tenn reached his hand up and patted Iori’s head gently. “Fwah what ar-“ Iori was taken by surprise at first. A few seconds later he stopped flustering and welcomed the contact.

It was a mutual benefit. Tenn wished he could do this to Riku, telling the boy that he loves him no matter the circumstances. Back in Majabah, touching Riku’s head would mean death sentence to Tenn. As for Iori, he missed the times Mitsuki gave him head pats whenever he was proud of his perfect little brother.

They both lost their brothers and that tied them together.

Tenn had started earning money by performing in pubs. Since then he had been spoiling Iori. When he saw Iori’s eyes glimmering while staring at the cat cafe, Tenn pulled the boy’s arm and dragged him in. “N-nanase-san, I don’t-“

“Oh you do” Tenn spoke teasingly and told the staff they needed a table for two. “You’re just one big Tsundere, Izumi” Iori went totally red. Even his poisonous tongue could not find words to counter Tenn. That day, Iori’s cool and sharp image was destroyed by the fluffy cats inside the cafe. Those furry critters also warmed Tenn’s heart. If Mitsuki was there, he would keep snapping pictures of Iori trying to lure cats with toys. Seeing as Iori was distracted, Tenn went to the counter to buy a cat treat, which was a yellow thick liquid loaded in a stick. He went behind Iori, tore open the treat and shoved it in Iori's hand. Within 10 seconds, Iori was surrounded by 14 cafe cats crying and cuddling his body. Tenn smirked before stealing Iori's phone and snapped pictures of the 'golden moment'.

Iori thought Tenn’s kindness was unnecessary and even said it to the magic user. Then again, the scientist accepted any offers and opportunities presented before him. In return, Iori showed his gratefulness passively. The other day Tenn saw an amusement park advertisement on TV and he was clearly intrigued. Iori acted disinterested but he silently went on his phone to buy tickets online. The next morning, the two rode the train out of the city to that amusement park. "Isn't today is my day off according to your plan, Izumi?" Tenn asked, not having any idea where the manager was taking him. "It is, Nanase-san" Iori said no more. 

Tenn acted composed upon arriving at the massive park. “Why did you take me here, Izumi? I have no interes-“

“Oh you do” Iori cut Tenn off the same way Tenn did to him. “You’re not very honest, Nanase-san”

Tenn’s cheek was flushed pink before he argued “You of all people have no right to tell me that” He huffed. “Well...can we go in now?”

Tenn grabbed Iori’s arm and dragged him here and there inside the park. As mentioned before, the park was huge. It was a good idea that Iori and Tenn got here in the morning. Tenn was fascinated by the attractions especially the extreme ones like roller coasters. Iori found himself looking at the adorable Tenn more than his surroundings. Tenn laughed when Iori freaked out and screamed loudly when they went on a ‘tower drop’ ride. (Actually, Tenn was so tense he could not make a sound.) Iori had to sit on the table with his head facing down on it after going on a roller coaster right after getting off the 'pirate ship' ride. The boy was starting to regret taking Tenn here. At this point, Tenn was too thrilled to feel the tension from the rides. 

“Aren’t you a little kid?” Iori turned around to tease Tenn when they were on a haunted house ride and Tenn screamed when a massive obviously fake spider dropped from the ceiling. As soon as Iori turned back to look forward though, he let out a super loud ‘AHHHHHHH’ because a ghost suddenly appeared out of no where. “Who is a little kid now?” Tenn giggled.

The two took a break from all the thrilling rides and got on the slow Ferris wheel, the biggest one in Silica. The two sat opposite to each other. They did not say anything until their carriage got about half way up in the sky. “Izumi Iori”

“What is it Nanase-san?” They boys were staring at each other with their neutral faces. Something felt different though. Iori felt slightly uneasy. Tenn probably did not know but Ferris wheel was said to be one of the most popular spots for 'confessions'. Wait, what was he thinking?

“Thank you” Tenn looked away. He said the words so quietly they almost went unheard. Iori sighed a little before smiling. “It’s fine” 

“You know” Tenn went back to staring at Iori again. Iori thought it was too early to feel relieved. “I used to think of you as my brother’s replacement.” Iori’s eyes widened. It should have hurt but somehow it didn’t really. Tenn continued. “Back in Majabah, I was separated from Riku most of the time. He was such a sweet kid. I wanted to take him to places, buy him things. I wasn’t allowed to do any of that. Riku was the next lord. I was an unwanted servant.”

Tenn closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “So when I see you being lonely, I couldn’t help it. I wanted to act like a big brother. I didn’t do it for you. I did it for my own selfish reasons.” Tenn bowed his head to Iori lightly. “I’m sorry”

“Nanase-san”

Iori reaches his hands to grab Tenn’s shoulders, making the older boy look at his face. “If you are guilty, then I am too. When you appeared, true it was shocking, but I couldn’t help thinking that I won’t be alone. You can’t replace my Nii-san, but at least I won’t be lonely. If you think you were using me, then I was using you too.”

Tenn looked away. “How is teaching me things and coming up with my practice routines using me?”

“Then how is dragging me to a cat cafe, making me the best desserts and putting on spectacular shows using me?” Iori returned a question with another. He smiled lightly.

Tenn finally gave in. “Fine” He looked away and smiled. “Let’s go to dinner after this”

~~

-Majabah-

“Heading to the forest again, Izumi?” Gaku thought he was always the first one to wake up in the morning, but ever since Riku gave Mitsuki the book about Beast Mastery two weeks ago, the butler always woke up to find Mitsuki already geared up and ready to head out. The doctor had been visiting the forest nearby, in the opposite direction of the town. There were a lot of animals in that forest full of large evergreen trees.

Mitsuki was armed with throwing knives. His skill with it improved very little even though he was trained by Gaku every evening. The butler was baffled by how bad Mitsuki could be at handling weapons (need I remind you that he was a surgeon in Silica??). He hoped for the boy to never have to face anything dangerous during his Beastmaster practice or he would have to deal with his lord crying.

10 minutes after Mitsuki set off, Gaku heard a rush of footsteps while he was getting ready. His room door was suddenly slid open without any notice, which annoyed Gaku. “Oi! Mind-“ The butler choked back his words when he saw the one who opened the door was the familiar redhead. “N-Nanase-sama?” He quickly went down on one knee. “My apologies-”

“Save those words, Gaku! There is trouble.” Riku spoke while panting. “Lightning struck the village by the sea. There were over a hundred casualties.” Gaku’s eyes widened in shock. Riku was just as shocked when Yaotome Sousuke’s messenger rushed to the mansion and requested an urgent audience with him. “How is that possible!? How could a simple lightning hit the whole village?” Gaku questioned.

Riku put his hand on his chin, making a thinking pose. “It was not a natural occurrence for sure. Then again no magic users should be capable of causing a tragedy of this scale” He then shook his head. “This can wait. Gaku, prepare a carriage at once!”

Tsumugi was in charge of looking after the mansion. The lord and his personal butler got on the carriage in order to get to the village. Gaku cast time magic on the two horses that pulled the carriage to speed them up. The journey took them 20 minutes.

“...! This is terrible!”

Riku was stopped by Gaku when he was about to step out of the carriage. The whole area was full of ashes and smoke as the lightning burnt every single thing in it. It would be bad for Riku’s asthma. Corpses were everywhere on the ground, completely burnt. There was no sign of survivors. The village that was once full of life and beautiful sceneries was wiped out in an instant. “I cannot...believe it. Everything was destroyed...” Gaku pushed the devastated Riku’s shoulders and sat him back down in the carriage. He had to. The lord was on the verge of tears. “All of my people...”

“My lord please stay inside. I shall check the area.” Gaku spoke.

“No I am coming!” Stubborn Riku spoke with his shaky voice. “But my lord” Gaku thought it was a bad idea. “Let me, Gaku” Riku demanded.

“I understand” Gaku bit his lip and bowed his head. “Please at least cover your face with this towel” Riku grabbed a towel from Gaku’s hand, covered his nose and mouth then stepped down from the carriage.

Gaku almost vomited seeing several corpses which were people burnt alive around him. The butler was surprised his lord was still holding up. Soon, an old man with short silver hair and 6 people behind him approached the two and all went on one knee. “Nanase-sama, I am afraid there are no survivors.” The old man reported after having his men checked the area.

It took everything in the young lord to not have a breakdown in front of those people. “...Understood. Thank you, Sousuke and the healers. All of you may leave. Gaku and I shall survey the area for a while longer.” Sousuke and his men simply bowed again and left as the lord commanded.

Riku and Gaku walked quietly on the dry ground. Riku wanted to hold onto hope and believed there were some people who had perhaps managed to flee. The lord could have left as soon as Sousuke made the report, but he felt the need to take responsibility. His people went through pain and lost their lives. He must shoulder some of it: the despair of the dead and the grief of the relatives of the dead. “My people. Rest In Peace”

Most wooden houses were simply piles of burnt wood on the ground. “Damn it!” Gaku kicked a pile of black wood in frustration. After a few more minutes of raging on, he went back to Riku’s side. “My lord, we should leave and plan out the village restoration.”

All of a sudden Riku’s mouth dropped. He cast time magic on himself and took off running. “Nanase-sama!!” Gaku panicked. He quickly took off after his lord.

“*ha ha huff*” Riku came to a stop at a certain spot a few metres away from where he was. He crouched down in front of a large pile of burnt wood and dirt. He started frantically digging the pile with his bare hands, throwing woods to the side. His breaths were laboured but he kept on digging.

“My lord wha-“ Gaku caught up. He would have pulled Riku back up if he didn’t see what seemed to be a finger poking out from under the pile of dirt Riku was digging. That finger still showed colour of flesh. Seeing as a person could be buried under the pile, Gaku also crouched down and dug. Using object manipulation magic would be to dangerous as they did not know what to aim at. Riku and Gaku’s hands were being burnt from touching hot wood but they both persevered in hope of rescuing a sole survivor.

What was strange was, after the two cleared away the burnt woods, underneath was pure dirt and dried soil. Under the soil buried a body of a gravely injured man. It was as if he was being protected by the ground. He was unconscious but at least he was definitely not burnt. “*huff* Ga-Gaku!” Riku cast magic to move the boy out from underneath and placed him properly on the ground. “He may..be alive”

Several green orbs surrounded Gaku’s body as he cast the most powerful healing magic he could muster. The cuts and wounds on the man started to heal, meaning he was alive, otherwise the magic would not have worked. Riku felt so relived even though he was exhausted. “That is good...*ha* take him to the carriage at once”

Seeing Riku sitting on the ground with his chest heaving, Gaku gave him a worried look. “I am alright, Gaku. Take him” Gaku nodded and carried the man on his back while walking back alongside Riku.

Chapter Text

-Majabah, 3 years ago-

SMACK!

“How dare you stepped into my private room before getting my permission?!?”

A young boy with soft pink hair was slapped so hard in the face that he lost his balance and fell to the ground. He would have bowed his head and apologised if there was not an emergency. “Young lord Nanase-sama is struggling, high lord!”

Nanase Tenn knew what he had gotten himself into. He knew there would be heavy consequences to his action. Glaring into his father’s, no, the high lord’s eyes was a crime, yet he chose to do so for his little twin brother, or rather, the young lord Nanase Riku. “The healer is tending to him, is she not? There is no need for you servant to come here!” The high lord roared. His anger surged.

“But!” Tenn went on his knees and begged. “He truly is unwell, high lord! Please consider calling a potion maker.” He pleaded. Anything for his little brother’s life. Riku was wheezing and coughing heavily in bed as of now. His attack was getting more and more severe despite having a healer tending to him with basic potions.

The high lord only became more irritated when Tenn talked back to him. “There is no need to inform me. Tell Yaotome.”

Tenn bit his lip. How is he so cold? Does he not care at all that his son is dying?!? “Gaku is staying by young lord’s side, tending to his needs, high lord. I do not have the authority to summon the best potion maker in town thus your assistance is required” Tenn bowed with his forehead touching the floor. Riku had been having a fever this whole week. Still, he was made to take part in his usual harsh training routines by his merciless father. Riku had been constantly casting ice magic on himself to cool his body temperature down. Not only that, he cast time magic during archery and magic practice so he would not collapse to the ground. And now, Riku’s body was suffering a recoil. Tenn definitely did not want Gaku to leave Riku’s side. He desperately needed his mental support. Riku had to survive even if it meant Tenn's life would be in danger.

“You are giving ME an order?!?” The high lord pulled Tenn’s head up by his hair, causing the boy to wince in pain. Tenn knew he must bear not. “N-No high lord. Ow! It was merely a h-humble request”

The high lord cast object manipulation magic on Tenn, sending him flying out of the room. Tenn’s back hit the hard wall somewhere on the mansion outer wall. “Tch learn your place, servant”

The impact left Tenn unable to stand up. “N-No...Riku” His whole body was hurting so much. His lower body refused to move. So he crawled. Using his fingers to dig in the garden soil and dragging his upper body forward. “Riku”

Fortunately, the high lord did summon an expert potion maker. The strongest potion barely helped Riku yet the young lord would not have made it if he did not drink it. After two days, Riku was well enough to be on his own providing he did not move around too much. Riku was in his room with Tsumugi tending to his needs, not knowing of what was happening around him.

“I have received the report on the situation. Nanase Tenn, you are to face execution for overstepping the boundary.”

Yaotome Sousuke appeared at the mansion to arrest Tenn after Tenn’s behaviour to the high lord was reported to him. Tenn knew his fate. He knew this was going to happen, but at least he had saved Riku’s life. That was more than enough for him. Tenn stepped into the carriage with Sousuke. No one had to tell him where he was being taken to. There was a place specifically for this action.

While Yaotome Gaku was patrolling the mansion, he saw Tenn stepping onto the carriage with his father. Gaku’s eyes widened in horror. The butler did not waste a moment to cast the most powerful time magic on himself and chased after the carriage which took off in high speed.

Once the carriage was in Gaku’s sight, it was already in an isolated place. Gaku cast time magic on his shuriken and threw it to cut the horses’ necks in order to stop the carriage. Yaotome Sousuke quickly stepped out to find his son to be the one interrupting the procedure.

“Idiot son what do you think you are doing?!?” Sousuke drew his sword. He was a servant of the high lord. He would stop at nothing to carry out his duty.

Gaku readied his big shuriken. “I am Yaotome Gaku, faithful servant of the young lord Nanase Riku. I am here to stop the execution in order to prevent my lord’s health from deteriorating!” The butler declared a war on his father. Riku would be devastated had he found out Tenn was to be executed. He was here to prevent that. Plus, Tenn was one of his best friend, but he had to use his lord’s name to ‘reason’ with his father.

“Very well, Gaku. Do not expect me to spare your life.” Sousuke accepted the challenge and the two stepped off the road to the open cliff area.

“No! Gaku!” Tenn slammed the carriage door several times with his fist. It was locked tight. Tenn’s magic power was not enough to crack it open. He screamed for his dear friend, and Riku’s only trustable butler.

The two butlers exchanged blows time and time again. Gaku possesses more agility and strength while Sousuke was better at using tactical magic spells. The battle depended largely on their stamina since they had similar ways of fighting.

In the end, Gaku pointed a shuriken at Sousuke’s neck. Just when he raised his hand about to slash the old man’s neck, 8 whirlwinds emerged from the ground, completely surrounded Gaku’s body.

“Arrrrgghhhhh!!!” Gaku screamed in pain as the strong gusts of wind cut his arms, legs, and body like a Samurai sword. Gaku’s body parts went flying out of place. Blood were spilled everywhere throughout the area as his body was slowly being blended alive.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” Tenn let out his loudest scream. A yellow glow of light surrounded his body. Power was being poured out of his body in a form of an aura. The magic lock on the carriage was destroyed. Tenn’s body floated upwards. Light yellow ring expanded from his body and engulfed the area in bright light. Whirlwinds completely disappeared. It was then Gaku lost his consciousness.

“Nggghhh” Gaku’s eyes twitched. huh? I’m still alive? He sat up to find himself fully clothed and with all his body parts still intact. Gaku checked his body. “H-how?”

“Dispel magic” Gaku quickly jumped on his feet when he saw Sousuke standing right next to him. The man’s eyes was not on him though. It was on Tenn who lied face down on the ground. Sousuke walked towards Tenn, so Gaku immediately followed.

“Dispel is regarded as the most powerful magic of the entire world” Sousuke touched Tenn’s back of the head and started to cast healing magic on the boy. “It can destroy any magic and undo some of the consequences of that.” After healing Tenn, he turned to face Gaku. “No wonder why this boy was thought to have little magic power despite being a Nanase. His true strength was power by everyone including himself.”

“Old man” Gaku bowed to make a request with his shaky voice. “Please...don’t kill him”

“Gaku” Sousuke sighed. “We both lost the battle. Go back to the mansion. Inform the high lord that the execution is done.”

“...!” Gaku quickly lifted his head in shock. “Father, what...?”

“Should the boy discovered his true strength, he would return as a lord” Sousuke pulled the necklace Tenn was wearing. “Hand this to High lord Nanase. Nanase Tenn is now declared dead.”

“Father....” Gaku was at a loss for word as he accepted Tenn’s necklace.

“Go now Gaku”

“Yes, father” Gaku bowed deeply to Sousuke in gratitude before taking off.

That day, my lord Nanase-sama cried so much I could not leave his side. And that was by telling him Tenn was cast out of the mansion. Only the high lord was informed of the ‘execution’. Only my old man and I know the truth. Even though we were not able to locate Tenn after the high lord’s passing, I knew he was still out there somewhere. And I swear until Tenn and Nanase-sama could reunite, nothing shall harm my lord. I shall protect him even if I am unable to cast wind magic, even if it costs me my life.

 

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

Mitsuki’s singing voice filled the part of the forest he was in. Light breeze was blowing through, making the leaves sway like they were enjoying Mitsuki’s sweet voice. The young doctor put his whole heart into his song, unaware of the tragedy in the village. The songs written in the book had to be sung perfectly to draw out their power and reach the heart of the animals. The Beastmaster must also clearly set their motive and concentrate fully.

The purpose of the song Mitsuki was singing was to call small animals to him. Ever since Mitsuki started practising, he had never managed to attract one.

“Myu?”

Well, not until now.

Mitsuki finished his song and opened his eyes to find what seemed to be a pink fluff ball with long ears. It had very short legs and a mini poofy bunny tail. Mitsuki stared in awe for a while before his o shaped mouth turned into a wide smile of pride. “No way...I did it! I called a...rabbit?”

“Here, come here!” Mitsuki hummed a quick tune. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a bag of small food pellets. Tsumugi helped him make them by following the recipe in a book. The scent from those was said to calm the beasts. There were several different recipes for different purposes such as amplifying the beasts’ power or charming the toughest ones. Most of the advance recipes could only be crafted by getting help from animals.

The rabbit curiously stared at the pellets in Mitsuki’s hands. “Myuuuu?” It slowly moved in step by step. Finally, it sniffed the pellets before eating them. “Myu! Myu!” It jumped up and down excitedly.

“It is sooo cute. I can’t wait to show Riku!” Mitsuki petted the rabbit’s fluffy fur. His eyebrow dropped a little. “Although, the fur is bad for his asthma.”

“Right! I will need to go back and look up what this creature can do.” Mitsuki was totally hyped. He couldn’t wait to find out what sort of magic this ‘rabbit’ can cast. “Well then, I’ll see you tomorrow. Make sure to come out when I sing okay?”

“Myuuuuu~!” The rabbit replied and disappeared into the deep forest. According to the book, once the Beastmaster befriends each creature, some sort of a ‘pact’ is formed and the Beastmaster will be able to call for that particular creature again. Moreover, the pact improves the success of calling other creatures of the same species.

“Tsumugi-chan!!!” Mitsuki pretty much ran back to the mansion. He was so excited to tell the news. However, that excitement quickly faded when Tsumugi walked towards him with a frown on her face. “Mitsuki-san...” The doctor was shocked to hear about the horrible tragedy. At that time, Riku and Gaku were still at the village. No one at the mansion knew about the man they found yet.

~~

-Silica-

“Anesagi Productions...”

Tenn stared at the business card in his hands while walking back home after putting on a mesmerising show on the big busy street. He easily stopped people in their tracks especially when entertainment was much needed in such an academic world.

A certain lady (or a man?)...Tenn had no way of knowing by looking at her appearance or listening to her voice. Her bright pink hair was easy to spot among the crowd when she walked forward confidently to approach Tenn.

“Hello, charming boy, are you interested in becoming an idol?” She handed Tenn her business card. “I am Anesagi Kaoru. President of Anesagi Productions oh! And for the longest time...” She started letting more of her feminine voice out “I’ve been looking for a star like you!”

“Well thank you” Tenn kept his perfect composure and acted professionally even though his heart was pounding from excitement.

“Give me a call if you are interested okay?” An audition will be held soon so you’d better be quick” With that, Anesagi took her leave. She sure was fast at getting straight to the point.

~~

Iori open the door to his own home and found himself drawn in by the sweet smell of dessert being baked.

“Tadaima.” He shouted and set his bag on the table. As expected, he found Tenn singing and dancing in the middle of the living room while waiting for the roll cake to bake in the oven. The older boy used light magic to create kirakira sparkles, which added to his attractiveness.

“You have improved a lot, Nanase-san” Iori complimented after Tenn finished his song.

“Partly thanks to your guidance and management, Izumi” Tenn wiped off his sweat with his towel and smiled gently.

“Couldn’t you have dropped the ‘partly’ part?”

“Now, now you can’t have all the credit. I’m the one putting on a show here.” Tenn winked and that was enough of a fan service for this high school student. The magic user used the opportunity to get close to Iori and showed him the business card he got earlier today. “I was scouted.”

“Anesagi Productions?” Iori inspected the details on the card. He wished he could help verify if this was legitimate with his limited knowledge on entertainment industries. “I guess if they are holding an audition, it is worth a try.”

Tenn was left standing still when Iori walked away to the kitchen to grab some water after that line. He felt disappointed. He could hardly wait to tell Iori the news earlier and that was all the attention he got? Unacceptable. Tenn kept his straight face and normal voice to hide his bitterness. “Is that all you have to say?” Ironic when the sentence was full of it.

“Ah” Iori stopped drinking water. “Congratulations...I guess? You still have an audition to do though.”

“Hmph fair enough” Tenn looked away, not noticing how Iori looked at him with a pair of sad eyes.

Iori was a busy person. During the time when he had to teach Tenn about common sense of this world, he was hoping for it to be over. He had school, homework and his part time job. Now that Tenn started to settle in properly, not counting special occasions like going to cafes, the two had been talking less. Iori secretly enjoyed being Tenn’s ‘manager’ as at least they were having a conversation. If Tenn successfully became a part of Anesagi Productions, the older boy would have his own manager, meaning he would no longer need Iori.

Tenn could easily leave after debuting and getting paid. The two would have no other reasons to talk to each other.

Why did this thought hurt Iori so much?

~~

Tenn carefully put fresh cream on the roll cake while Iori went to take a shower.

Something is off. Tenn thought. Iori and him never talked much, but Iori was acting strange. First, he would always sit on the table and do his homework or revision. He did not even touch his school bag today after setting it down. Another point was, while the boy had tried to hide his excitement, Tenn knew Iori was always eager to eat his deserts. Tonight, the high school boy seemed disinterested. When Tenn asked, Iori insisted he was only tired. Lastly, he was taking an unusually long shower.

Tenn wanted to let it slide and ask the boy tomorrow. However, “Nanase-san, I’m not feeling too well. I’m going to bed early.” pissed Tenn off. “Tch, if you’re going to lie, do it properly” Tenn mumbled when Iori closed his bedroom door.

The magic user finished off decorating, cutting the roll cake and putting it in the fridge. He went to his room to get his pyjamas and toiletries. On his way to bathroom though, he could hear a strange sound coming from behind Iori’s door.

It was a sound of a person crying.

~~

-Majabah-

On the way back to the mansion on the carriage, Riku took off the rescued man’s clothing and used a wet towel to wipe off all the dirt on the body. The man had a similar body size to Riku except he had a short dark hair with white highlights. The redhead did not give an opportunity for his servant to do the job. “Why is he not waking up?” Riku spoke with a worried tone. He sounded like he was about to cry from experiencing the downright depressing scene today.

“Nanase-sama...we did all we could” Gaku was trying to console his lord. “White magic can heal wounds but not fatigue. He is perhaps too worn out.”

Riku shot Gaku his teary eyes before he ended up burying his face in Gaku’s shoulder. It took Gaku by surprised. “*sniffle* Gaku...*sob*

If Riku wasn’t a lord, Gaku would have hugged the boy, or patted his head. He could only remain still. After a while, Gaku lost to his own heart. He gently and very carefully touched Riku’s shoulder as a reassurance. “My lord, please let this humble servant take some of your burden and share your pain”

Riku cried even louder. The good thing was...it meant he was not bottling his feelings up.

As soon as Mitsuki saw a carriage arriving at the mansion, he ran to Gaku who was carrying an unconscious, almost naked man. Mitsuki’s doctor instinct ordered Gaku to set the patient down in the nearest room and proceeded to do the check ups to his best ability. Both Gaku and Riku were watching intently. After a few minutes, Mitsuki turned to smile at the two. “He should be fine when he wakes up...physically anyway” The three frowned. The man must have witnessed a disaster, or possibly a massacre happened in front of him. They left him to rest quietly. Mitsuki went to the garden to read the Beastmastery book on his own while Gaku and Riku were discussing about restoring the village. Well, they weren’t even sure how to restore the area yet since all the people were...wiped out.

~~

gasp! Wh-where!?!?”

The man quickly jumped up to standing. His breaths were rapid. He looked at his own body to find he was wearing a different, much more fancy clothing made of expensive fabric (again crafted by the super maid Tsumugi). “What are these...? Noble clothes...?” He gasped when the memory of the tragedy hit him. “No...No..! Subaru-san. Suzuki-chan. Shizuka-san. They’re all...!”

“NOOOOOO!!!!” The man slid the door open violently, almost destroying it and dashed off into the decorated garden. Panic rushed through him as his eyes could only see a beautiful village going up in flames. The man forced his eyes shut and kept running. Soon, he felt a strong impact on his body. He had bumped into someone. Hard. The man himself fell onto his bum. “Owowowowow”

“Ow....” When the panicked man could grasp his surroundings, he saw an orange haired boy on his bum. “Watch where you are going geez!” Mitsuki scolded the man before even looking at him. “Oh wait, hey you are awake!” He immediately stopped frowning and smiled at the man.

Sadly the survivor seemed to be extremely terrified. He was under the impression that he was being attacked. Who could blame him?

“Hey calm down” Mitsuki noticed that the man was hyperventilating. “You’re fine. You’re safe.” Mitsuki slowly got up and offered his hand to the villager, but the man ended up crawling backwards in fear. “No don’t hurt me please! NOOOOO!!!”

“No, no I’m just trying to help. I’m not hurting you” Mitsuki put both his hands up to show he had nothing on him, forgetting that Majabah was a world of magic. Magic users did not need weapons to hurt people.

“NOOOOOOOOO!!!” The man was not in a state where he could process those words. He screamed again, very loudly, and it was as if the plants in the garden could hear him. The grass in that small area started growing rapidly. The rose bushes behind Mitsuki were branching out non-stop. Those branches quickly surrounded Mitsuki’s legs before making their way up to his waist. Those were strong, thick and thorny branches.

“What the..ow!” Mitsuki looked around himself to find he couldn’t move. Because if he did, the thorns would cut or stab his body. The small rose bushes were turned into a wall of tough branches. The ones that surrounded Mitsuki’s body did not stop growing. They were growing up and wrapping loosely around Mitsuki’s shoulders now. “ow ow please stop!” Mitsuki shouted when some of the thorns cut his skin.

Because of the man’s loud scream earlier, Gaku and Riku came rushing to the scene. “W-What is this?!?” Gaku came to a stop when he saw the walls of extremely overgrown roses. Both Gaku and Riku were even more surprised when the cut grass turned into knee-high long wild grass.

“HELP!!”

Mitsuki’s yell woke the lord and the butler up from their train of thoughts. Gaku quickly cast fire magic on his shuriken and chopped of the branches surrounding Mitsuki’s body, but they kept growing back rapidly. “What kind of sorcery is this?!?” Gaku used time magic on himself to cut faster, but it did not help.

Riku locked his eyes with the trembling survivor on the ground. “No, no...” The man’s eyes were full of fear. Riku decided he needed to act. It was only logical that the villager was the one causing these plants to grow wildly. After all, no one in the mansion had the ability to do so. In fact, Riku did not think he would ever meet a person capable of this power in this era of Majabah. He raised his hand and cast time magic to stop the man’s action. Bingo. The plants stopped growing so Mitsuki was rescued. Gaku was tending to Mitsuki’s wounds when Riku looked down sympathetically to the survivor who was unable to move. “Tell me your name”

Somehow, to the villager, Riku had a warm and seemingly kind aura around him. The man found him to be beautiful, angelic even. The noble attire with several embedded gems added more to his beauty. He was glowing, even without a smile on his face. Finally, the villager was able to find his voice. He took a deep breath and replied

“Sunohara Momose, sir”

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

“S-sir” Momose stumbled onto his knees and bowed his head deeply to Riku. Gaku and Mitsuki went to Riku’s sides, bending on one knee. “I’m so so sorry. I’m really sorry! I didn’t mean to hurt him. P-please-“

Momose was clearly shaken. He was a commoner incapable of using magic, making him an easy target for insults and abuses from the highborn. Momose was an orphan, found as a baby near the village by the sea. None knew of his lineage. Even when people treated him terribly, Momose’s kindness did not disappear. He helped everyone whenever he could.

Riku cut him off. “Sunohara, raise your head.” Momose slowly looked up. He gasped when he saw Mitsuki and Gaku bending down by Riku’s side. Momose thought the red haired guy must be on a very high level in the society since he seemed to be served by other nobles.

“If you truly did not mean to harm my guest then apologise to him, not me.” Riku spoke in a calm, lord-like manner which made Momose feel more at ease, strangely. The nobles he had met all acted like scums who enjoyed boasting about their power and influence. Momose immediately turned to Mitsuki. He apologised and bowed endlessly. Mitsuki said it was fine. He wasn’t badly hurt and understood why Momose would be so afraid after all that happened to him.

“Very well.” The lord finally gave a reserved smile. Momose found it to be pretty. “Now, it seems you have turned my garden into quite a...fantasy” Riku walked towards the wall of roses, almost tripped because of the knee-length wild grass. Gaku’s swift reaction saved his clumsy lord from falling. Even though the branches were thick and thorny, the red roses were oversized but elegant.

Momose looked like he was in a pinch again. “...I-I can’t...turn them back” He dug his fingernails into his palms.

“Do not worry. I did not expect you do.” Riku turned around and gave that reserved smile to Momose again. The lord walked towards the kneeling villager and offered his hand. Momose took it and stood back up. Gaku signalled for Mitsuki to rise. “You are a Geomancer, am I correct?” Riku asked Momose. The villager seemed confused. “Geo...mancer?”

Riku shrugged his eyebrows. It indicated that Momose did not know what he was capable of. After all, Geomancy was similar to Beastmastery in a way that they were both forgotten ancient arts used by non-magic users. A Geomancer can control nature to a certain extent using the power of songs.

Momose explained that he had never managed to figure out how to handle his power. It seemed to run wild whenever he felt something strongly. It had always caused trouble to people such as turning a small calm river into one full of waves.

He was trembling. “I-I sensed something just before the lightning hit our village. It was such an uneasy feeling that I lost my power control, making the ground underneath me open up and swallow my whole body. After that I heard a super, super loud thunder and everything went black.”

“What a miracle! Your power protected you!” Mitsuki spoke. Both him and Gaku were amazed to hear what happened. Momose learned he was saved by Riku and Gaku so he thanked them several times.

“There must be a way to control and make use of it.” The butler turned his head to his lord. Gaku saw Momose as a golden opportunity. Some of the herbs needed for making Riku’s medicine do not grow in Winter. A Geomancer may be able to make them grow instantly regardless of the season. Since Riku knew about Geomancy, surely he had records on them which Momose could study from. Still, Gaku was different from Sousuke. He would never force Momose to do something he did not wish to do even if he could use his authority.

Riku couldn’t read Gaku’s mind but he could tell that his butler was interested in the villager’s ability. “Sunohara, I am sorry you had to go through such a horrible tragedy. While this may not be the time, what do you plan to do from now on?”

~~

-Silica-

Instead of heading to the bathroom, Tenn came to a stop in front of Iori’s bedroom. The scientist was clearly crying. It wasn’t loud but Tenn’s hearing was sensitive enough. Tenn placed his hand gently on the door handle.

He took a deep breath. “Here goes”

Without knocking, Tenn opened the door and walked inside, heading straight for Izumi’s top bunk bed. Luckily the room wasn’t locked or it would be terribly awkward.

“Nanase-san?!?” Iori did not have time to dry his tears. His cheeks were still slightly wet and his eyes were a bit swollen. Tenn climbed up the ladder and sat on the edge of the bed without hesitation.

“Why are you crying?” Tenn demanded answers.

It’s because of you! “I’m not-“ Tenn glared at Iori’s face and cut him off right away. “There’s no use denying it when your face is wet. Tell me. Now.”

Iori remained quiet. The younger boy tried to avoid Tenn’s gaze. Tenn huffed. “Look, Izumi” He gave up trying to make an eye contact with Iori so he stared at the basic white wall in front of him instead. “I know this isn’t about your brother.”

“...how?” Iori asked with his shaky voice.

“It’s obvious, kid” Tenn let his leg swing in the air. “I’ll move out as soon as I have enough money. Then I won’t be a bother to you anymore. Of course I’ll repay you for all you’ve done to me.”

Iori froze on the spot. His eyes went wide. He ended up looking at Tenn with a surprised face of his. No that’s not it at all! Iori thought, but he failed to find words in his messy mind. He wanted to say something. Anything. He needed to tell Tenn he was thinking the opposite. He wanted Tenn to stay.

“Well then, Izumi, have a good night”

When Iori did not object, Tenn climbed back down and left the room, closing the door gently behind him.

Tenn let the water from the shower hit his face fully. I have been travelling for three years and never have I stayed in one place for longer than a week. I’ve stayed here for over weeks. It’s normal to have some feelings of attachment. Tenn tried to tell himself it was only right to leave. This was not an inn, it was a stranger’s house. A stranger who did not want him here.

Somehow Tenn did not want to believe it.

Tenn put his chin down and stood under the water for a good 10 minutes.

~~

The air became awkward around the magic user and the scientist. Both of them continued their daily routines without really saying anything much to one another. They had dinner together every night in silence. The only times they talked were when they exchanged their greetings.

One morning, Tenn added extra lines to his greeting. “Good morning, Izumi. I’m going to an audition today. I just thought I should let you know.” With that, Tenn went back to his room to get ready.

Iori had the same surprised face as that night. audition... That word sent reality to smack his face. It was a painful reminder that Iori only had a limited amount of time to clear up this misunderstanding...

before he lost Tenn.

Tenn left home before Iori. The high school student went to grab the packed lunch on the kitchen counter before leaving.

3 hours in school and Iori could not concentrate at all. The teacher even called him out for spacing out. Him. The perfect high school student. His mind was picturing the day Tenn would turn his back to him and walk away.

All because he was too afraid to say what he thought.

Tenn was sitting on one of the chairs near to several other aspiring idols who came for an audition. He definitely came prepared and focused. He was a man of talents after all. Those talents shone even more with Iori’s management and analytical skills.

Tenn shook his head. True, he was definitely focused enough to do his audition, but the name Iori came to his mind from time to time during a quiet and uneventful moment such as waiting.

What's with that face? It was just like the other night.

“Kujou Tenn”

Tenn stood up and walked confidently forward to the staffs who called for him.

Well, there's no turning back now.

The next class was about to start for Iori. Students were finding seats in their classroom. Iori was already there, but he was very restless.

It felt like that day. 

“Have a safe trip, mom, dad.”

Iori recalled the day his Nii-san and him waved goodbye to their parents who were going away on a vacation. The parents hugged their sons before saying “Be good okay boys? I love you both”

“I love you too mom, dad!” Mitsuki shouted and smiled happily. Although, Iori remained quiet and hid behind his brother.

If Iori had known it was the last time he could express his love to them, he would have said it a thousand times.

Iori suddenly slammed his school desk before standing up. He hurriedly packed away his stuffs and bolted out the door. His teacher was on their way in the classroom. Iori only bowed and took off running like a mad man.

It’s not going to happen.

I refuse to let it happen!

~~

-Majabah-

Momose stood in front of the lord in his thinking pose. He thought long and hard. There was nothing left for him at the village. He had nothing valuable on him except for the power which he could not control. Finding jobs has always been the biggest challenge for Momose. He no longer had a home to go to and would definitely be in danger sleeping outside.

The villager looked up nervously at Riku, Gaku and then Mitsuki. They all were waiting for answers yet they had no demanding aura around them. Momose could be very wrong. What if they saved him because they had hidden evil intentions? What if they were just pretending to be forgiving?

No. Momose shook his head internally. I should be grateful for these people.

Then the reality hit him hard.

I should be grateful, but...but...I don’t know what to do!

“Sirs!” Momose took a deep breath and shouted. “Please take me as your apprentice! I really wanna learn magic! Or..or learn to use this Geomancy...thing. In return, I’ll do anything you ask please!” He begged with his puppy eyes.

The wind was blowing in Gaku’s way, huh?

Gaku took a step forward. His scary face was enough to make Momose feel intimidated. “I am afraid that will not do.”

The villager’s heart sank. Guess he would have to go back to the harsh world after all.

“Oi don’t give me that look. I'm not done talking.” Momose’s shocked face made Gaku feel bad.

“None of us knows Geomancy” Riku explained. “So you would have to study on your own from a book we have.” The redhead smiled.

“Does that mean...?” A light of hope was shining through Momose’s cracked heart again.

Gaku nodded. “You will be trained as a butler to serve high lord Nanase Riku-sama.

Momose smiled half way before freezing up.

“SAY WHAAAAATTTTT!?!?!”

~~

-Silica-

Iori ran as fast as he could. He didn’t care how people shouted at him for almost bumping into them. The boy just felt the need to get to the Tenn’s audition quickly. To Anesagi Productions.

Luckily Iori had researched before about where it was located. He got to the nearest sky train station and hopped on an express train.

The receptionist looked at him questioningly when he arrived at Anesagi Productions panting heavily. “Where is the audition?!?”

Iori was hit with a wave of disappointment when the female staff in front of him said it had finished a little while ago. He shook his head. “Please, I need to see someone. He might still be here.”

Seeing as Iori was desperate, the staff let him pass and go upstairs to the audition room. The agency wasn’t big at all. It just had a reception for ‘professional purpose’.

Iori’s heart was pounding hard as he approached the training room which was used for audition. He did not come across anyone in the hallway who seemed to have come for an audition. Just when he thought he was too late, someone pushed open the training room door.

“Tenn-san!”

Exactly the person Iori was looking for.

Tenn’s eyes widened when he saw the boy who had been lingering in his mind.

“Izumi Iori...”

Tenn shut the door behind him, took two steps forward when Iori walked to him and stopped right in front. His greyish blue eyes were reflecting his resolve.

“Did you pass?”

Tenn stared at Iori with a straight face before replying “Of course I did.”

“Tenn-san” Iori leaned forward a little and grabbed Tenn’s shoulder firmly, but without an intention to hurt him. “Please...don’t leave.”

“....huh?”

“Please stay with me. I-I don’t want you to leave. I...”

Iori closed his eyes and shouted

“I like you Tenn-san!!”

Iori would have looked cool if his face wasn’t totally red and if his eyes weren’t slightly teary from embarrassment.

Tenn’s face went pink after a few seconds of registering what was happening. He looked away. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

Tenn was happy. Happy that Iori confessed to him, but he was still bitter. Why didn’t Iori just say it that night. Why did he leave it until now? Tenn wouldn’t have been feeling so conflicted all the time.

“I know I am an idiot, Tenn-san.” Iori released his grip. “I am sorry.”

Tenn sighed before walking past Iori down the hallway. The high school student froze seeing Tenn walking away from him.

It's too late...

Tenn came to a brief stop and turned his head halfway back to Iori. “Why are you standing there? Let’s go home, Mister Tsundere” He resumed walking.

“...! I’m coming!” Iori ran after him.

Tenn, being a certain distance away from Iori, muttered under his breath.

“I like you too, Izumi”

Chapter Text

-Majabah-

A week had passed since the tragedy struck the village by the sea. Momose was slowly adjusting to his new life at the mansion. The noble butler uniform felt strange on him. Gaku would always scold him and tell him to walk proud.

Despite feeling overwhelmed by the presence of the Yaotome and the Nanase, Momose’s skill as a Geomancer developed greatly. With his lovely voice, he was able to make plants grow, call for a small personal rain cloud or make small heated stones. He could sense the change in humidity in the air.

“Momo-san, good morning!”

Momose turned his head to the source of the voice and smiled. “Mitsuki, Morning!” The new butler felt most comfortable with Mitsuki especially after learning the boy knew no magic. Mitsuki had to keep his Silica origin a secret for the time being.

Riku watched the two talking happily from afar. He had a sad look on his face. He wished he could have a fun conversation like that with other Majabahns. Gaku was patrolling the mansion when he saw his lord eyeing the two with such sadness and a bit of jealousy. The butler sighed before approaching his lord. “My lord”

“Fwah!” Riku jumped upon hearing his name. “You scared me Gaku!”

“M-my apologies, Nanase-sama.” Gaku bent down on one knee but kept his eye contact with the lord. “Um...would you...join me for some tea, my lord?”

Gaku may be tactless at times but he certainly was not oblivious. Well, at least not when his lord had those pair of glistening baby doll eyes on his face. He knew why his lord was making a sad face and he wanted to help.

Riku followed Gaku to the butler’s room. Riku sat down on the floor in front of the low table while Gaku was brewing jasmine green tea.

“Ah it smells so nice” Riku smiled while sipping his tea. Gaku who sat in front of his lord found that smile to be adorable. He wished the people of Majabah could see that his lord was different from several other lords before him.

“Thank you, Gaku” Riku spoke after a moment of silence. “For trying to make me feel better”

“Anything for you, my lord”

~~

Gaku excused himself to return to his duties after 20 minutes. Riku was sitting by himself in Gaku’s room, enjoying his warm tea when Mitsuki slid the door open.

“Uwah, Riku?! What are you doing here?”

Oh crap! He’s a lord. He can go wherever he pleases. Mitsuki just realised what he had said.

“Ah Mitsuki, Gaku invited me for some tea but he had to get back to work.” Riku placed a cup on the table before turning his head to Mitsuki and smiled.

That Yaotome. “Hey, Riku. Are you free? I’ve been wanting to show you something!”

Mitsuki had been wanting to show off his achievements to Riku but Riku had been quite busy with formal meetings about restoring the village and his own trainings. Now was the perfect time.

“E-eh? Yes I have time, Mitsuki.”

Mitsuki led Riku into the forest he had been visiting for the past weeks. He took care to not walk too fast and chose easy paths without overgrown grass. The doctor used his throwing knife to cut down any smaller tree branches poking in the way.

They came to a stop when they reached a clearing in the forest. Riku sat on the big log to catch his breath. After a few minutes, Mitsuki began singing.

“Such passion behind his voice...” Riku stared in awe. It was as if Mitsuki was under a spotlight created by the sun itself.

“Myu myu!”

Soon, a pink fluff ball rabbit came jumping into Mitsuki’s arms. “Hey, Kinako you’re back!” Kinako was not the only one attracted to Mitsuki’s song. Other rabbits, small robins and chinchillas started gathering around the boy.

“Uwaaaah!” Riku’s eyes were sparkling. “They are all so cute!”

Riku reached his hand to try to touch one of the animals, but they all ran behind Mitsuki and gripping the doctor’s legs with fear.

“Oh...” Riku felt sad. “They fear my magic...”

Mitsuki tried to hum a tune to calm the forest animals’ nerves and to convey the message that Riku was harmless. The animals settled down and remained a certain distance away from Riku. However, the rabbit that Mitsuki named Kinako did not seem to be frightened. So, Mitsuki sat down on a log next to Riku and let Riku pat Kinako in his arms.

“Don’t get in too close, okay? The fur might trigger an attack.” Mitsuki warned Riku. If Riku ended up with a severe attack, Yaotome would surely have his head. Plus, Mitsuki was a doctor. It would double his guilt.

“Uwaaaahhh I’ve never touched anything so soft before. It is softer than cotton.” Riku blushed from total cuteness. “Why did you name it Kinako?”

Mitsuki put his hand on the back of his head. “Hehe I’m not sure actually. Kinako is the name of an AI assistant back home so”

Riku tilted his head in confusion. “AI...assistant?” He stopped petting Kinako and went into his listening mode.

“Oh...” Mitsuki was not even sure how to begin his explanation. The two ended up talking for two whole hours. Mitsuki introduced a lot of concepts which did not exist in Majabah from simple things like skyscrapers to technology related stuffs such as internet. Riku listened intently like a child who was read a nighttime story.

The air was starting to get slightly chilly which made Riku coughed a little. After it passed, Riku turned to Mitsuki. “I haven’t had this much fun in a while, thank you Mitsuki!”

Ah.. Mitsuki felt sympathetic. Riku was younger than him, yet his life was controlled by his family name. “I thought you would love them, Riku. A shame most of them won’t come near you but maybe next-“

“Even the animals fear me...huh?”

Mitsuki froze when he heard a sentence full of bitterness. Riku kept his smile, but there was pain in his eyes. The kind of pain Mitsuki could not bear to see.

“Riku” Mitsuki made a direct eye contact with the lord. “You said people are scared of you because of your name, your status and your power.”

“I think it’s normal” Mitsuki continued. “Like you have that bow-to-me aura around you.”

Riku’s eyes went wide. “What?” His voice came out much more demanding than intended.

“See?” Mitsuki hopped off a log to stand in front of Riku. “People can’t see who you are, partly because you were groomed to be a lord, party because you’ve never let them.”

“But..” Riku looked away. He was about to cry.

Mitsuki touched Riku’s shoulder. “You need to get out there and show them, Riku. Generosity and power can coexist. You just need to prove it.”

The redhead looked up. “How?”

“...hmm maybe a little trip will do you good” Mitsuki smiled.

~~

Gaku grabbed Mitsuki by the collar with one hand. Mitsuki was no longer fazed by Gaku doing this to him since it happened around three times a week. “Brat, stop giving Nanase-sama false hope! What the hell is with this stupid idea?!” Gaku reached for a shuriken in his other hand. He glared directly into Mitsuki’s eyes like a silver wolf ready to attack its prey.

Mitsuki argued back despite his feet floating an inch above the ground. He knew Gaku would not cut him. At least not in front of Riku who was watching the scene. “It’s not stupid! Is there a rule saying the lord can’t leave the mansion?!? Don’t you want him to be happy?!”

You see, after getting back to the mansion from a forest trip, Gaku, with his worried face, rushed to the two. “Where have you been my lord?!?” When Gaku saw Mitsuki behind him, the butler gritted his teeth in anger. Riku then picked a very wrong timing to tell Gaku he wanted to travel. Gaku did not need to ask how Riku got that idea, the butler grabbed hold of Mitsuki. There was no way Riku could travel. What about his lord duty? Well, technically Gaku, as a Yaotome, could fill in for him but he refused to leave his lord’s side. He was never letting his sheltered lord out in the wild alone. Or absolutely not with the strange orange haired ‘broken healer’. (It really touched Mitsuki’s nerves whenever Gaku called him that.)

Mitsuki’s intention was for Riku to travel and learn about the world by experience, not just by reading from books and getting reports from Sousuke and Otoharu. The doctor wanted the young lord to interact with people directly so they know they could be proud of their lord’s kindness.

True, this whole thing had nothing to do with Mitsuki as a Silican. Still, the young doctor could not stand seeing a miserable young lord whose age was as close as Iori’s. He treated people’s illness so they could be happy and Riku was his patient, but not just that. Riku was his friend. Very simple.

Mitsuki and Gaku kept arguing until Riku shouted for them to stop. “Would you two stop fighting as if I am not here!?!” They both shut themselves up, bent down and apologised to Riku as he was ready to freeze them into ice sculptures at any moment.

“I-I do want to travel, Gaku, but not alone! You are cruel to think I would abandon my faithful butler.” Riku did not care about his lord image right now. He just pouted. “Tsumugi will remain at the mansion. We shall contact her regularly. Otoharu and Sousuke will be informed of our absence.”

Gaku shook his head. It was a bad idea. “But Nanase-sama what about your health? What if you get hurt?”

“Gaku, I am aware of the state of our world. All the more reason to see it with my own eyes.” The lord bent down, his face was close to the butler’s. Riku took Gaku’s chin. “Will you not protect me?” Gaku felt totally intimidated but at the same time, he was pleased with a special treatment.

“And I can watch his health, Yaotome.” Mitsuki added. He should be happy seeing Gaku sweating but somehow he wasn’t.

Gaku was slightly taken aback. He was not fully on board with the idea. However, he knew there was no stopping his lord now. “I understand. Nothing will come to harm you, my lord.”

~~

-???-

“Nggghhh. My head. It hurts. It hurts so much.”

“No..No....NOOOO I’m losing it again NOOOOOOO!!!!”

“Get yourself together, Sou-chan. SOU-CHAN! OWWWWWWW!!!”

~~

-Silica-

“So you skipped school, and not to come to my audition but to say your lame confession to me?”

Tenn was drinking his mint chocolate milkshake while looking at Iori who was sitting on the opposite side of him, his face as red as a tomato. The two of them were at a cafe on the outside, enjoying some sunlight.

“Y-yes...” Iori could only stare at the vanilla milkshake Tenn bought for him. The whole event was so embarrassing he wished his existence was erased from this world.

“Really now, Izumi” Tenn looked away, pretending to be people-watching. “I’m glad you did...” He muttered under his breath.

“Huh?” Iori straightened up.

“N-nothing. Drink your milkshake already.” It clearly wasn’t ‘nothing’ if Tenn’s cheeks were blushed pink.

Just when Iori was about to reach his hand to grab his tall glass of milkshake, his body shook uncontrollably. However, it was not just him. Everything around him was shaking. The tables, the parked cars, the buildings!

“Earthqua-Wahh!?!” Tenn quickly pulled the surprised Iori under the table. The high school boy was shocked. Earthquake had never happened in Silica District One to Three because it was located in a place where geographically, an earthquake should not be possible.

Even worse, it was not just any earthquake. The magnitude was severely high. Tenn cast protection magic to create a barrier around himself and Iori to prevent objects from hitting their bodies. Tenn held Iori’s shaking body tightly. Both boys could hear the sound of people screaming and glasses breaking. There were people lying on the ground, bleeding around the two. Tenn prayed for it to stop before he would run out of magic power.

Some small, old buildings had started to collapse. Tenn strengthened his barrier and hugged Iori tighter. They could be buried underneath the rubble at any moment and Tenn did not want that.

Perhaps the two boys had devil’s own luck. The earthquake finally came to a stop. Tenn kept casting his barrier for a while longer in case there was an aftershock.

“N-Nanase-san...!”

Both Iori and Tenn’s eyes widened in horror when they looked forward in the distance not too far from them. A tall building was falling down. Not just any tall building, Silica’s tallest building was falling like a large tree being chopped down.

CRASH

A sound of a ringtone woke both Iori and Tenn up. “Ichi, are you safe?!?” Yamato spoke as soon as Iori pulled the phone to his ear.

“Yes, me and Kujou-san are fine. Yamato-san, what about you?” Iori put the phone on speaker before answering.

“I’m safe but I can’t reach my husband at all. He said something about meeting Re:vale this afternoon at the SkySilica.” Yamato explained.

Iori almost dropped his phone.

“Yamato-san...” Iori spoke in a lowered voiced. “SkySilica...collapsed.”

~~

Tenn and Iori ran towards SkySilica, formerly the tallest building of Silica. Everything was in chaos. Ambulances and police cars ran wild in the city. The sounds of the mourning, crying and screaming were way too loud. Several buildings were now piles of rubbles. Right now, nowhere in District One was safe. Iori and Tenn arranged to meet Yamato near the collapsed building, hoping to find Ryuu, Yuki and Banri.

“Ichi! Kujou!” Yamato ran to the two. The green haired man got small cuts on several places but he was indeed okay. Tenn bit his lip when he could not use magic here in public as panicking people would start gathering around him. The barrier was a necessity plus people could not have noticed that among the chaos.

Three of them ran around together, shouting the names of the people they cared about. “RYUUUU!!” “Yuki-san!!!!!” “Ogami-san!!!!” They might not even be here, but it was the only clue Yamato had. He was too worried to just sit in the lab and waited. The lab stood tall but some of the equipment inside were damaged.

Yamato was getting more and more worried. “Oh come on Ryuu where are you?” He muttered. Tenn put a hand on Yamato’s shoulder. “Don’t lose hope. We search.” Tenn took the lead and ran. “Let’s go, Nikaidou-san” Iori touched Yamato’s arm before running after Tenn. “Right...” Yamato adjusted his glasses and took off. “Just what I need, thanks” He said to himself.

Soon, the three came to a stop when they saw a familiar figure. Yamato’s face lightened up immediately. “Ryuu!” He called out the name and dashed to his husband. “You are okay! Are you hurt anywhere?”

“Yamato...” Ryuu turned around to face the three. He had a grim look on his face. Not good. Ryuu was physically in a similar state as Yamato. “I am okay but...”

“Ban, Ban! Answer me Ban! Why aren’t you moving? Ban!”

Yuki was kneeling and touching the man in front of him, shouting his name frantically. Ogami Banri was lying there in a pool of blood, unresponsive. The ambulance was coming, but with the situation being so hectic, the delays were severe.

“Why did you shield me, Ban? Why?” Yuki screamed.

“Cover me” Tenn immediately stepped forward to crouch next to Yuki. Iori, Yamato and Ryuu used their bodies to hide Tenn’s power. The boy cast healing magic on Banri. Countless green orbs surrounded Tenn’s body. He was using all the power he had left to heal Banri.

However, the wounds did not heal.

“He’s...gone”

Chapter Text

I’m falling.

My body...I can’t move anything.

I feel so numb.

Ah. Everything is going black.

Sorry, Sou-chan. I couldn’t stop you.

~~

-Majabah-

“This sure is a lively place”

A week later, Gaku, Mitsuki and Riku arrived in a distant bustling town with several canals running through. The bricks used to make roads in the town were white so overall, the town looked nice and clean.

The three set off in a carriage with their own personal driver. Gaku insisted it was for safety. Momose was asked if he wanted to travel. He declined the offer saying he wanted to focus on mastering his power and that someone needed to keep the decorated garden beautiful. Tsumugi was in charge of the order in the mansion. Several other servants were relieved of their duties because, with soon-to-be-powerful geomancer joining the team, the remaining general jobs were easily taken care of by the Tsumugi and Gaku.

The plan was to travel from town to town every once in a while. The three would let Tsumugi know of their whereabouts and tell Tsumugi to send things such as medicines as needed.

“Um..Gaku and Nanase-sama” Momose spoke while having afternoon tea a few days ago. “Your clothes might be...too flashy? Like they’re a total giveaway that you’re high ranked nobles.”

“Hmm?” Riku observed his own clothing before giving a confused look. He was wearing his ‘comfortable’ attire and even that, those clothes had complicated golden patterns sewn on with buttons made of carefully polished opal gemstones. “Do they? How so?”

Gaku took a good look at his lord’s clothes and for the first time he noticed those delicate details. He knew his lord’s clothes were expensive but damn, those were something else. “My lord...do you really need to ask?”

Momose couldn’t help but laugh. He had gotten much more comfortable around the two and Riku liked that. Gaku was happy as long as respect was shown to his lord. “How about you let me design your clothes, my lord and Gaku? I can’t weave them but I know Manekko-chan can~” Momo winked.

“Wait“ Gaku’s mouth dropped a little. “I agree Nanase-sama needs some new clothes but-“ He looked down. He was wearing a black suit with a white pleated scarf. The scarf had a big green jade pinned to hold it in place. It was a butler uniform, sure, except it was way to ‘extra’. “This is my pride, you know? How are people going to know I am Nanase-sama’s faithful butle-“

“Oh Gaku stop it. You may be my butler but you are to be my travelling friend.” Riku knew the uniform Gaku was wearing had been passed down on the Yaotome bloodline for generations. Of course, Gaku was proud to have earned the right to wear it. “I have been seeing you in those clothes for years. Time to change to something else.” Riku smiled.

“And and-!” Excited Momose smiled widely. “You can’t be wearing fancier clothes than our lord, Gaku!”

So at present, Riku, Gaku and Mitsuki were wearing clothes typical nobles would wear, except the designs were quite unique thanks to Momose’s creative mind.

Riku recalled one more thing. While Momose was measuring his sizes with his green vines, “Nanase-sama, it would be better if you speak casually. People will feel much more at ease.”

“Let’s go in!” Mitsuki could hardly wait to see what other towns were like.

After the three got a room booked in a 4-star inn, they went to explore the town for the rest of their evening. Mitsuki of course handled checking in as he had to give a name. “Yaotome” or “Nanase” would shock the innkeeper too much. Now, the two did not mean to hide their identities, they only wanted to blend in as much as possible.

Gaku and Mitsuki had the hardest time keeping an eye on Riku. The boy was so excited he kept hopping around from one place to another. Riku did not go in any of the shops knowing it was getting late and food was their priority right now.

“Hey how about that place?” Mitsuki pointed to a relatively large wooden, dimly lit tavern which did not seem too busy. They served both food and alcoholic drinks at a cheap price.

“Hmph not bad” Gaku nodded after reading the chalkboard menu. He then pulled Mitsuki close to him and whispered. “Stay close to Nanase-sama at all times. I doubt my lord has ever been in a place like this.”

Mitsuki whispered back. His eyes were on Riku who was watching people rowing boats along the canal. “Can Nanase-sama drink?”

“Isn’t it obvious? Nanase-sama is 18” In Silica, drinking age limit was 20, but Mitsuki knew about this difference already.

“Not that, I mean, HOW MUCH can he drink?” Mitsuki doubted such as innocent soul could survive a single shot.

“Well, from what I know my lord has never tasted alcohol. If my lord wishes to drink, we have to be on our guard.” Gaku frowned.

“Don’t you want to drink, Yaotome? I’m sure you don’t get to drink much as a butler.”

“True. I can’t deny that I crave an icy cold beer.”

“What are you two talking about?”

The butler and the doctor felt shivers down their spine when they felt Riku’s presence right behind them. Gaku quickly straightened himself. “Nothing of importance, Nanas-mmhmpphh“

“Baka!” Riku covered his butler’s mouth with his hand. “Riku. Ri-ku.” Gaku wasn’t extra loud but his normal voice was certainly not quiet. People passing by were turning to look at them.

As expected, the tavern only had a handful of customers. Since Riku’s aim was to connect with people, the three sat behind the barkeep’s counter so they could chat with the locals.

Riku went for tomato sauce fried rice with a sunny side up. Mitsuki was asked if he wanted a kid’s meal and he got so angry Riku had to calm him down while laughing at the same time. Gaku settled for the classic fish and chips.

Gaku had been staring at the drinks menu as if the piece of paper in front of him was a target. He wasn’t kidding when he said he CRAVED beer. In fact, it had been so long since he last drank he wanted everything from wine to sake.

Riku sighed. He called for the barkeep without waiting for Gaku. He ordered the food everyone wanted and added “2 pints of beer” in the end. Both Gaku and Mitsuki’s eyes went wide hearing that. They stared at Riku who was sitting on the leftmost side. Riku caught their gazes. “What?”

“Riku...are you drinking all that?” Mitsuki leaned forward since Gaku was sitting in the middle. Nice timing as the barkeep set two beer glasses in front of the redhead.

Riku smiled and Gaku’s face went pale. My lord, you can’t be serious.

He used object manipulation magic to move each beer glass to Gaku and Mitsuki. He then rested his chin in both hands. “It is for you two.”

“What about you, Riku?” Mitsuki asked, though tempting, he had not touched his beer glass.

“I’m alright with this tonight.” Riku lifted a glass of his orange and red mocktail to show to the two. “Both of you drink your fill. Lifting your unconscious bodies back should be easy enough with my magic” The lord hummed happily. He had never tasted alcohol before and as a lord, he did not want to get carelessly drunk in public in case someone knew his true identity. More importantly though, he knew his butler deserved this humble reward.

Gaku looked between the icy cold bubbly beer in front of him and his lord’s face. “But my- Riku I-“

“Mou Gaku, just drink it already!” Riku pouted. With that, Gaku lifted the glass and had a mouthful of the drink he longed for. The butler smiled, welcoming the bitter taste of the foamy and refreshing alcohol on his tongue.

“This is the best”

Around an two hours later....

“BWAHAHAHAHA Man this place is great! The beer here is to die for HAHAHAHA”

Gaku’s super loud voice turned heads to the three of them.

“Yao-Gaku has gotten really drunk!” Mitsuki had a pint of beer and stopped there. He was slightly woozy but still knew what he was doing. This Majabahn beer was much stronger than any Mitsuki had in Silica.

Well, Gaku had 4 whole pints. His face was red and he could hardly remain on his small, round seat without falling over. Riku’s mouth hanged open. He had never ever seen his butler acting this way.

It was rare to see Gaku smile, laugh and let loose of himself. Riku wished he could watch the guy forever.

“Seriously this guy” Mitsuki laughed and spoke to Riku. “He said we need to protect you. Now look at him. I doubt he could even stand! Hahahaha”

“Whaaaat? You said somethin’ brat?” Gaku shot Mitsuki his scariest sharp glare before going back to laughing like a mad man. For a second, Mitsuki thought he would lose his head.

“Ahaha...perhaps we should head back” Riku was calling for the barkeep to pay when Gaku shouted. “No! I want more!”

“Come on Gaku you’ve had plenty” Riku placed a bag of golden rings on top of the bill then tugged his butler’s arm. “Let’s go”

“Nanase-sama is so meannn” Gaku mumbled. He unwillingly stepped off the chair. He wrapped his arm over Riku’s shoulder and leaned most of his body weight on his lord for support. Riku almost fell over. Mitsuki wanted to help but he himself was also tipsy.

“Hmph. Calling me mean after I bought you beer. Talk about ungrateful.” Riku spoke teasingly. With that, the lord said thank you to the barkeep before dragging Gaku out the door. Mitsuki was following closely behind. Riku then used his magic to lift his butler all the way back to the inn.

~~

-Silica-

Tenn and Iori sat quietly on a couch with their heads down in a large living room at Yamato’s. Yuki had shut himself in one of the bedrooms, refusing any food Ryuu brought to him. It was a day after the earthquake hit District One. A part of Izumi’s house was destroyed, so here they were, staying at Yamato’s.

The TV was kept on and the only thing showing on it was about the disaster. The number of reported injuries and deaths were only rising. Yamato went to the meeting for elite scientists regarding the incident. The scientists simply agreed on running an investigation of how the earthquake happened and whether there could be another.

“Must be tough being a Regulator at a time like this” Upon leaving the meeting, Yamato turned to his old friend.

Oh Yamato” A man with blond hair and sky blue eyes responded. Somehow, he could still smile despite having his hands tied with meetings and plans. “I am merely a figure, a person who supports the public when it is needed and a person who smiles when things are at peace.” He bowed gracefully. “With the help of wonderful scientists like you, I am never alone.”

Yamato rolled his eyes. “I don’t know how you always come up with those cheesy lines. Suits you I guess, Regulator Nagi” He waved his hands and left the room.

Nagi went into another soundproof room with AI broadcasters. The automatic metallic door shut behind him.

“People of Silica. I am your Regulator, Nagi Valhart Von Northmare.”

Nagi Valhart Von Northmare held a position of great pride called ‘Regulator’. A regulator was not a lord, but a person of authority who governed Silica with the help of elite scientists, academics and AIs. Nagi watched over the operations in Silica, identified any problems and suggested improvements to be put in place. He was elected to be a regulator two years ago, yet he did not seem inexperienced.

Nagi was giving a live formal speech to let people know they were doing all they could to find out the cause, plan preventions and restore public spaces.

Another day had passed, all the rubbles were cleared out. Nagi and his team had deployed several AI units to rebuild the buildings. Within one week, Silica District One was renewed as if the earthquake never happened. However, grief and sadness remained as a painful reminder to the people who survived. Tenn and Iori moved back home, but someone remained still.

“Yuki-san”

Yamato opened the door to find a pale person curling in bed. His eyes were so swollen he could not cry anymore. “Ban...Ban...” He muttered.

Yamato pulled a chair and sat in front of the idol. “You look awful. You know you need to eat something.”

“...”

Ryuu and Yamato had been trying to take care of Yuki who had been drowning in grief. Yuki wouldn’t leave the room or ate anything, so Yamato had to buy nutrient tablets and put them in water for Yuki.

Tenn and Iori started to function normally. Tenn was contacted by Anesagi so he began his idol training while Iori returned to school.

A few days later...

“Tadaima, Nanase-san”

Iori was sitting on the couch instead of the table this evening. “No homework today?” Tenn asked while setting his duffel of stuffs down. The student shook his head in reply. Tenn sank into the couch next to Iori. For minutes, silence filled the room. The only movement was from people walking in the streets seen through the glass window.

“Nanase-san, will you go back?”

Tenn slowly turned his head to face a pale boy who was glancing at him with a pair of sad eyes. “To Majabah. If we found a way for you to go back...”

Sighing, Tenn replied. “Am I not supposed to?”

Iori bit his bottom lip.

“But if I could choose, I would stay here. Majabah is nothing but hell and my existence is never welcomed. Even with Riku there, I’m not sure how long I would last before reaching my breaking point.”

Tenn was looking straight at Iori. “For everything I did, I was in the wrong. Wrong for being born with little magic. Wrong for trying to save my brother’s life. Here, people are being treated as human beings and I am overwhelmed. Sometimes I doubt if I deserve to be treated so well like this...”

Iori could hardly stand it. According to what he had heard from Tenn, he disliked Majabah. He disliked the Nanase for not doing anything to change the system. “Of course you do. This is your life. Your birthright cannot determine your fate, especially now.” Iori touched Tenn’s shoulder and moved closer to the magic user. “You deserve to be loved, Tenn-san”

Tenn closed his eyes, breathed out and gave a little smile. "Why are you asking me this now?"

"Probably because of Yuki-san" Iori's eyes turned sad. "Ever since Ogami-san was gone, he became unable to do anything." There was a flush of redness on Iori's cheek. "So if you were gone, I honestly don't know how I would react"

Tenn raised his arm and gave Iori a gentle head pat. "Let us see if we can do anything for Yuki-san"

I can't promise you anything, kid. The only thing I can show you is that we have to keep moving... no matter the circumstances.

Chapter Text

Gaku

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-Silica-

“How long are you going to keep hiding in here, Yuki-san?”

Tenn stormed into Yuki’s room (or rather, Yamato and Ryuu’s spare bedroom). Iori was following behind.

“....get out” Yuki said with a straight face. He was sitting on a bed in the dark room with messy hair, thin stature and pale skin. His eyes were lifeless.

“Do you think Ogami-san wants you to end up like this?” Tenn did not spare his thoughts.

“Ban is gone. Nothing matters anymore. It’s the end of Re:vale. The end of me.” Yuki answered, not really looking at the two boys. Iori had a sad expression on his face as he was reminded of when he lost his parents. He cried so much back then. The only person who could ease his pain was Mitsuki.

And Mitsuki was now ‘gone’ too. Tenn became his next saviour. Were these kinds of attachments unhealthy? Iori did not want to think of that right now.

He did not ever want to have to think about it.

“Listen, Yuki-san” Tenn crossed his arms on his chest. “If you are saying you don’t care anymore, how about doing a favour for me?”

Yuki looked up to indicate he was partly listening.

Tenn explained. “I need a manager and I want you to fill that role.”

Iori’s eyes widened. He felt a stab in his heart. Why had Tenn never asked him even though he had been putting a schedule for Tenn’s practice all this time before he auditioned. Tenn seemed to have come prepared however. “I would have asked Izumi if he hadn’t got school and his part time job.”

Yuki stayed silent.

Tenn said with a neutral expression. He looked pretty intimidating this way. “You don’t have to be alive to do this job. Just tell me my schedule. Watch me practice. The rest I can handle.” The magic user took a few step backwards and touched Iori’s shoulder. “And I’m sure Izumi can also help, but the main job is yours”

Iori smiled a little.

“What a pain...” Yuki muttered, but he never objected. Tenn signalled for Iori to leave while they could before Yuki changed his mind.

~~

Because all the buildings were restored back to their original state, most elite scientists kept their focus on researching the cause of the earthquake. Yamato felt there were enough people working on it, so he went to the building of official personnel to meet with the Regulator Nagi.

As soon as he entered the modern-looking building, an AI came to greet him and led him to Nagi’s office. Nagi sat in the middle of the room behind his large grey desk. The room had several projected screens, showing stats of operations running in Silica. The blond told his AI to turn all of them off once Yamato stood in front of the desk. The whole room would give off a dark, official vibe if it was not for a large limited edition MagiKona plush sitting on the table, facing Nagi.

Both Nagi and Yamato were wearing suits with ties. Nagi was supposed to wear that on his job. In Yamato’s case, he wore it because he had to meet Nagi. Otherwise he would be in his usual white lab coat.

Hello Yamato” Nagi gave a little smile. “What brings you here today?”

“Hey Nagi” Despite wearing those formal attire, they spoke rather casually. “Actually I have a request”

Oh? What is it, my dear friend?” Nagi leaned forward and blinked.

“I think there are enough scientists working on the earthquake thing already. I would like to get back to my original research...” Yamato trailed off at the end knowing it sounded like a selfish request.

Oh Yamato, you know other scientists feel the same way you do...” Nagi looked sympathetic, but he wasn’t about to grant his permission that easily.

“Please, Nagi. It’s..um..urgent.” Yamato tried to not spill information which made the request even harder to answer to.

“Or...Is there a problem?” Nagi’s face turned serious as he looked straight into Yamato’s eyes. Even that, his charm did not decrease at all.

“uhh...” Yamato hesitated. Finally, he sighed and began to explain how Mitsuki had gone missing and how Tenn had ended up here from another world. He said he wanted to locate Mitsu as soon as possible especially now that weird phenomenons were happening.

“OH MY GODDDDD!!!” Nagi screamed loudly, got up and ran to shake Yamato’s body. “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME MITSOOKI WENT MISSING?!?!?”

“Whoa Nagi” Seriously this guy...he’s shocked by the wrong part. The truth was Yamato, Nagi and Mitsuki were close high school friends. They just went separate ways afterwards. Plus, Yamato knew back then Nagi had special feelings towards Mitsuki, so he didn’t want to worry his otaku friend much more than necessary.

“Oh Yamato next time please tell me right away” Nagi sounded a little hurt. “You may resume your research”

With that, Yamato was ready to take his leave. He turned his back to Nagi when...“wait

“Take all the earthquake footage with you.” Nagi spoke while typing on his computer to share the files.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Yamato asked.

Yes. All of these events were too strange to be unrelated.” Nagi hit send.

Yamato nodded. “I’ll keep you in the loop” Then he waved. “Thanks” and left.

Mitsuki...”

~~

-Majabah-

Riku flopped onto his bed, panting heavily when he arrived at the inn and placed the unconscious Gaku on another bed. It was a tiring day for the young lord.

Mitsuki’s head felt much clearer by the time they got back. He went to get Riku some water and drinking medicine. “Hey, are you alright?” The doctor sat down beside the lord.

Riku slowly got up and took the medicine bottle from Mitsuki’s hand. He sipped it little by little because he was quite tired. “Thanks, Mitsuki”

“He’s out like a light” Mitsuki looked at Gaku who slept peacefully on his bed.

“Gaku needs this more than anyone else” Riku set the empty medicine bottle down on the bedside table before walking to sit on the edge of Gaku’s bed. The lord reached his hand to gently fix the silver hair strands that were out of place. “He’s done so much for me. This is the least I could do for him to make him feel less restricted.” Riku touched Gaku’s warm cheek with care. His eyes were full of sorrow. “He is stuck with me.”

Mitsuki felt a pang in his chest watching the scene in front of him.

“Riku, I asked before but this time, answer me truthfully” The orange haired boy looked down on his loosely clenched fists. Riku directed his attention to Mitsuki. “How come you’ve never asked me to be your butler?”

“Like” Mitsuki took a deep breath. “When Momo-san came, you let him learn his art while serving you in return. So how come you didn’t ask anything of me?”

“Why am I always referred to as a ‘guest’?”

Riku was a sensitive soul. He could catch the bitterness and hurt in Mitsuki’s voice. He was clearly bothered by it.

Mitsuki didn’t want to go as far as to devote his life for Nanase-sama, but he wanted to feel like he was a part of this life in another world.

He wanted to feel like he belonged in this foreign place.

“I wanted to protect you from this terrible system of our world...” Riku started to answer. “A commoner. A noble. A lord. They’re all just titles, yet they have created so many problems, so many differences in levels within the society.”

“I apologise that my selfishness and my little ideal has kept you from fitting in. It must have been...confusing.” Riku looked as if he was about to cry. “I just don’t want you to change, Mitsuki”

“Hey, Riku, it’s all good.” Mitsuki went to touch Riku’s shoulder. “I’m happy that you’re trying to protect me. I know you’re kind and you care.” His eyebrows dropped and he smiled. “But I’m strong!” He flexed his non-existent biceps before bending down on one knee.

“So let me serve you, Riku. I will adapt, but my friendliness won’t change. I’ll still call you Riku, touch your shoulders, or argue with you....when appropriate”

Riku froze for a bit. Then he chuckled. “Pfftt that’s not how you talk to a lord, Mitsuki!”

“My deepest apologies, Nanase-sama.” Mitsuki imitated Gaku’s expression, voice and speech. The lord and the doctor ending up laughing together loudly.

Riku tried to regain his composure to make things formal. “Very well, Mitsuki. Make sure to let Gaku know of this news once he wakes up.”

Mitsuki suddenly held his breath. Oh shoot...I forgot about Yaotome!

~~

The sun was starting to rise. Riku and Mitsuki were already up as they were used to getting up around this time. Mitsuki got ready and left to find a place to practice his art for a few hours while Gaku was still sound asleep.

“Ngghh” Gaku started tossing and turning in his bed. He seemed to be having a nightmare as he was gritting his teeth, groaning and sweating. "Owww my..limbs...tearing...zZzZ"

Riku frowned. Those words his butler were mumbling were disturbing. He wondered why Gaku was having such a seemingly scary dream.

"Gakuuuu" Riku went and tried to shake the guy awake. Gaku did not wake up. "Hmmm..." He did not want to cast magic on Gaku. Not knowing what to do, Riku pulled the blanket and sat on the bed beside Gaku.

"Protect...zzz...my lord..." Gaku shifted his position. His head ended up on Riku's lap. His face became magically peaceful all of a sudden. Riku took this opportunity to adore his butler's sleepy face and played with his soft, silky hair.

"nnnghh...hm?" After around 20 minutes, Gaku's consciousness finally came back to him. His vision was still pretty blurry. What was he sleeping on? What a weird shaped pillow. Curious, he reached one of his arms to grab Riku's slender thigh.

"Wah!?!" Riku was taken by surprise. The boy was reading some magazines provided in the inn. "Ah, Gaku you're awake"

Gaku was stunned for seconds after his eyes adjusted to the light. He looked up to find his young lord smiling at him. It was then he realised that his head was on Riku's lap. "MY LORD!" Gaku's eyes widened, his cheek went red. He sprang himself up so fast, he fell off the other edge of the bed and landed on his bum. There, Gaku kneeled and bowed with his forehead on the ground. "My lord, I apologise for my rudest behaviour!"

Riku only laughed. "Gaku, raise your head. It's fine, really. Seeing you drunk is rather enjoyable."

"But Nanase-sama!" Gaku immediately objected. "It was incredibly dangerous. What if someone targeted you on the way back?!"

Riku sighed. "Well then, stop being so strict and call me by my first name already. Otherwise, I'm going to have to force you to drink every time I want to see the real Yaotome Gaku"

Gaku gulped. He himself cared much about his lord physically, but he often neglected his lord's feelings without meaning to. A part of him also felt grateful his lord wanted to get closer to him. "I under-, no, alright, Riku" Gaku nodded and smiled. In return, Riku gave his, which was 10 times brighter.

~~

Gaku was surprisingly accepting when Mitsuki told him he wanted to serve Riku. The personal butler's smirk indicated he would probably enjoy seeing Mitsuki suffer during harsh training. Plus, Gaku was happy his lord managed to make someone like him enough to serve him.

The three had breakfast at one of the local cafe before having a wander around town. Riku loved any shops with cute crafts and he managed to charm the owners with his smiles, kind words, and innocent curiosity. Gaku always spent the longest in weapon and spellbook shops. Magic users did not need those spellbooks to cast magic but it may help to learn some advance techniques. Mitsuki stopped by at odd shops with rare food ingredients so he could use them in cooking food for attracting and controlling animals.

By the afternoon, they got to the quieter, more isolated part of the town with more large houses and mansions. They followed a certain neat, narrow nature path because Riku was curious where it led.

"Unbeleivable!" Mitsuki stared in awe once they got to the end of the path. There was a large, beautiful waterfall and lake. Bushes of colourful wild flowers grew around them.

"I was not expecting this" Gaku was also taken by the pretty scenery. "Perfect spot for a rest"

The three sat down on a clear grassy area near the waterfall which had a cave underneath. Riku wanted to explore the cave but Gaku said he needed rest more than any of them, so Riku pouted and sat. Mitsuki brought out the snacks he bought from several candy shops. While he let Gaku and Riku enjoy snacking on sweet milky toffees, he sang. Soon, birds and harmless friendly animals surrounded them. Riku was over the moon seeing some spotted deer wandering around them. Mitsuki kept humming tunes and feeding the animals. A short moment later, he sang a calming song so the animals would not fear Gaku and Riku. It worked like a charm on Gaku. Woodpigeons and robins landed on Gaku's head and shoulders. "Fwah?! Wah! Oi! What the-" Mitsuki and Riku laughed seeing the butler so flustered. The doctor wished he had a camera or a phone to capture these memorable moments in Majabah.

What interrupted them was an echoing cry coming from a cave. It did not sound like any typical animal cries. Mitsuki had learned the cries of common animals found throughout Majabah. This one was new. "Hey, did you all hear that?" Mitsuki paused and asked. Gaku and Riku both nodded. "Do you know what that is?"

"I have never heard something like this before." Riku shook his head.

"It must be loud if we could hear it all the way over here from that cave" Gaku went into thinking pose.

"Well then, what are we idling around for? Let us see what is inside!" Riku sprang up on his feet in excitement. Gaku knew there was no stopping his lord now.

"Alright, Riku. Izumi, watch Riku's back. I will lead." Gaku checked his body to make sure he had all shurikens ready in his mysterious hiding places.

"Roger that"

The travellers entered the cave and it was not as large as they thought for it to be. Riku lit up the cave using his light magic. The path was long without forks but not narrow so there was wind blowing through. Gaku and Mitsuki were relieved since they were worried Riku might have trouble breathing deep inside the cave.

Before long, they got to the end of the tunnel. Three pairs of eyes glittered as they saw glowing crystals and gemstones embedded in the walls around them. "Whoa...these are so pretty..." Riku stared in awe.

"What the hell is that?!" Gaku instinctively stepped backwards when he saw something in the middle of the area. It was small, white, round...

and it certainly was alive.

"Be on your guard everyone!" Gaku shouted as he took out his shuriken.

"Wait!" Mitsuki shouted as soon as he got a good look at the mysterious creature. "It's badly injured"

"You're right" Riku's eyes widened. Right away, he stepped forward to get close to it. Gaku panicked. "My lord, careful!"

"No way...!" Riku was shocked once he got very close to the creature and identified its species.

"Riku, are you okay?!?" Mitsuki and Gaku now also surrounded the creature. Gaku's face went pale. "Holy- my lord, is this-?"

Riku looked at Gaku with a serious expression. Mitsuki did not quite understand why until the next sentence left the lord's mouth.

"It most certainly is a baby dragon"