Once upon a time there was a Prince who lived in a distant kingdom. Who, all through his young life had never ventured out of the Castles walls. He grew up, raised by the Castles loyal servants and his older brother. Though he once had a Father, a King worth looking up to but had perished in battle. Though once he had a Mother, a Queen of beauty and kindness, but had slowly withered away at the news of the death of her beloved king, Illness claimed her at her weakest and she too perished. Now the young Prince had a brother wise and kind, but the loss of his parents made him harden his heart. Viewing the world too dangerous for his little brother and fearing that he may lose him too, he had forbidden the young Prince from going outside the castle, going as far as placing an attendant to always watch over the prince, though the Prince could be mischievous at times, always trying to hide and escape his watch. The little Prince though young understood why his brother made such precautions and so he went with it obligingly. Years past and the little Prince could no longer be called that of a little Prince, for he had grown up into a fine young man. His once short dark brown hair had grown out now reaching past his shoulder which he keeps in a ponytail with his bangs just slightly inches above his warm golden eyes, his body well-toned through the training he had undergone remained lithe. His handsome face well angled though despite all his good looks and his wealth he still was a Prince with the most compassionate heart and one full of kindness, loud and exaggerated he might be at times, his people adore him. The sunshine child of the kingdom. The castles servants, attendants, cooks, guards all cant help but love and adore their Prince. But even with all those people he grew up with in the castle could not fill up the emptiness he feels from time to time whenever he gazes out of the castles window from the highest tower thinking, thinking of what lies over the horizon.
"What lies beyond this Castle?" Prince Eijun pondered glancing out from where he was sitting from the window sill of his chambers. Over the years after reading hundreds upon hundreds of books, hearing stories of what beauty and magnificence it holds and more untold stories that are yet to be heard from his friend Haruichi and Ryousuke, Haruichi's older brother and his personal tutor, he couldnt help but crave to explore the world outside. And so, he decided, one way or another he would see what lies outside his home. And that opportunity came when his brother —the now crowned King— was away on a trip to visit the neighboring kingdoms of Inashiro and would be gone for about a month to strengthen their ties. With his strengthened resolve, he snuck out into one of the coaches heading into town. Once there he slipped out unnoticed by the coachman and ventured around this new world.
It was stupendous; the town was lively and buzzing with life, people moving about doing their businesses, children running around, mothers conversing about mundane things. He wondered around the town clear amazement reflected through his bright golden eyes.
"Such a sight this is!" he exclaimed at awe. He watched as people exchange smiles and stories, as the market buzzed with life and the scent of delicious fresh baked bread wafted the street. So different from the subdued noises of the castles ground.
He kept on wandering, pausing at stalls to take in their products and asking how their day has been for them. At one shop he purchased the most tastiest steamed bun he had ever tasted. He kept it in mind the name of the baker, Yoshikawa Haruno, and took note to have someone from the Castle to inquire about having her work for the him as his baker, if not send someone to buy some of her breads from time to time. He continued with his wandering, absent minded to the direction and so taken in with what he was seeing till he found himself lost in a forest. How he got there, he had no idea. But he still was amazed at the sight. The forest was filled with woodland creatures frolicking around, he had never seen this much green and beauty before, seeing that his garden was only filled with little trees and bountiful flowers. He had never breathed such crisp and refreshing air like this before, and he had never felt this free before. He smiled; he was overjoyed. Then he heard the most melodious voice he had ever heard and followed where the sound originated. He continued his path until he came upon a clearing and what greeted him took his breath away. A waterfall lied beyond, displayed for its beauty, the water cascading sparkled from the suns rays, but that was not what had grabbed his attention, but twas the young man with the gleaming wet light brown hair enough to rival the most polished bronze metal, with the most blinding smile. He stopped his singing when he noticed he had company. Bright tawny orbs that matched the moss-colored shirt and earth toned pants he wore stared upon sparkling golden ones; he held his breath, tilting his head he smiled or rather smirked at the Prince. His smirk growing larger by the audible gasp Prince Eijun let out. He came forward replying with a nervous smile of his own and sat beside the stranger. He offered his name to him.
“Sawamura Eijun is my name and you?" he omitted in telling him of the fact that he is a Prince. The stranger just smiled at him with a tilted head and said. "and should I offer mine to you?"
"Ehh!! Of course, you should. It's only proper to introduce oneself!" the Prince exclaimed loudly which caused the stranger to erupt in to laughter. Eijun felt himself getting irritated by the other man. Who does he think he is!
"You know you shouldn't be wandering around alone in the forest and chatting up every stranger that you meet, what if I were a bandit and was only stalling so I could get your guards down so I could rob you, huh?" Eijun scooted away from the man with apprehension which only made the other man breakdown to another fit of laughter.
"Ma~ ma~ calm down, I'm not a bandit, but god you should have seen your face," he said as he wiped at his tears, Eijun bristled eyes going cat eyed as he pointed at the man.
"Y-you, you damn trickster!"
"Miyuki Kazu what now?"
"My name, you idiot. I'm Miyuki Kazuya." Okay, pretty voice and face or not the man —Miyuki, was a bastard.
“So, what brought you at this part of the forest?"
"I uhh everything looked so pretty and I was busy looking around that I uhh wondered out here and now I don't know how to get back to town. Also your uhh I heard your voice and it brought me here."
"Heh~ you were enamored by my voice?"
No I wasn't!" Eijun exclaimed, his face burning red.
“So you don't want to listen to me sing more? Kazuya asked slyly.
"I-if you want to sing go on ahead. I won't stop you but that doesn't mean I like listening to it!"
The two sat down under an old oak tree which offered them refuge from the suns heat. Kazuya began to sing again which completely mesmerized the young Prince. They chatted in between the singing and bickering and before they knew it the sun was already setting. It was about time for the Prince to go back to the Castle or else risk the chance of the servants sending in the guards and turning the whole Castle upside down in search for their missing prince. Kuramochi, the head of the guards will probably end up wrestling him. His title as a prince doesn't hold much against the people who he and his brother treats as family and aside from the head his personal guards, Shinji and Toujo will nag him to death if they found out he wasn't really studying but rather escaped the castle walls and ended lost in the forest. He really needed to get back, he thought sadly. And so, with a heavy sigh he bid his farewell. He started walking away but then paused.
"W-will you be here? I-I mean that if its not an inconvenience may we meet up again tomorrow?" he asked hopefully though he didnt turn around for his face was red from embarrassment. Kazuya’s laughter reached his ears and so were his words of agreement. He smiled to himself and continued his step, thinking of how he will leave the Castle grounds again without arousing suspicions. But before he could take another step, he turned back to Kazuya who was picking up his discarded bag.
"Which way is it back to town!?" he shouted which sent the other man into hysterics once more. "Sh-shut up! Stop laughing you bastard and just point me to the towns direction."
"What kind of idiot are you?"
"I'm not an idiot, don't call me that you- you tanuki or else I'm not coming back here again!"
"You're the one who asked me to meet up again you idiot."
"J-Just show me the way MIYUKI KAZUYA!"
"Okay- okay such demanding young man you are," Kazuya said fondly before directing Eijun back to town. Halfway towards his home the thought dawned on him of how he will enter the Castle.
Despite his earlier worry, he was able to sneak back inside the castle. He let out a grin remembering how he got back. A wagon responsible for delivering fresh produces and restocking the kitchens pantry was due to come in and so he was able to hitch a ride on it without being detected by anyone. The grin that he didnt seem to notice hasnt left his face.
"Oh, what luck I ha-"
"Eeep!" Abruptly his words were cut off from the sound of someone coughing from behind him. Prince Eijun jumped in surprise, his posture immediately going rigid. Ever so slowly he turned his head to face his company which made him regret his decision. Upon facing the person his blood completely run cold, his face losing color.
“Yuuki-senpai!" he stuttered out.
"My Prince." acknowledge the older man, his face stoic.
Yuuki Tetsuya, a man of only a few words but none the less is one of the most skilled swordfighters in the whole kingdom and is the Kings most trusted attendant tasked with watching over the young Prince. With his sharp dangerous, almost yellow eyes and built frame standing over 5'11'' feet tall, whats more distinguishing about the mans features is his midnight black hair that reaches just above his shoulder that seemingly blends in the night and the jagged scar that adjourned the left side of his face. People would think twice before engaging into battle with him. Maybe it was due to his intimidating appearance that he was charge with Eijuns safety? Or maybe it was because of the Kings utter trust in the man.
"A pleasant evening to you." he said in a flat tone.
"Oh, yes same to you.” Eijun greeted back. Tetsuya didnt spoke right away; his gleaming yellow eyes stared upon the younger mans golden ones. An awkward silence hanged around them well maybe for the Prince, with Yuuki Teysuya one couldnt really tell. They stared at each other for some moment before Tetsuya opened his mouth.
"My Prince If I may so ask of you, please do tell me what you have been up to the whole day?" The younger man started to sweat bullets at the question.
"Uh w-well I- uhm was in the library the whole day." he said praying to god that his nervousness didnt slip. His attendant only raised an eyebrow at that.
"So, uh I'll be retiring in my chambers then. Good night Yuuki-senpai." He said rather too quickly before making his grand escape by the means of running towards his room at full speed leaving only dust at his wake. The man didnt bother on stopping the prince only watching Eijun escape his inquiry before letting out a sigh. Oh he knows fairly well that the prince was lying about his whereabouts. Eijun cannot fool him, for Tetsuya saw it himself how the prince snuck back in the castle though he made no move to confront the young man at first but seeing the smile present on his face made him change his mind.
Oh, how will the King react to that? Hearing the news that his younger brother was out wondering off the castle grounds might cause the King an aneurysm. The attendant suppressed a snort at that. Honestly, he may be loyal to the King to a fault but even he can admit that the King is way too over protective of the young prince. He shook his head not wanting to have a headache from thinking this kind of stuff. But then again, the prince was purely happy.
"Just this once, My Prince." he whispered to himself before moving on to continue his patrol around the castle. Perhaps in the month that the King is away he might already have forgotten about the young princes endeavors.
Eijun came over the next day and Kazuya was there as promised. Miyuki upon seeing the young man grinned and silently gestured him over.
“Wha-" he was cut off when Kazuya shushed him.
“Shhh they're sleeping." Kazuya pointed at the sleeping bunnies at his feet.
"C'mon I want to show you something." He stood up and quietly made his way towards some bushes and passed through them, Eijun not far behind, curious as to where he wanted him to follow. They stopped in front of a wall of high hedges. The young man moved to the corner where orchids met together and went through it. The prince was startled. How did he pass through? he questioned only to come through the answer itself. The colorful orchids were arranged in a certain order that gave the illusion that of a wall of plants, hiding the entry way.
“Wh- what is this place its—" no words could describe the astonishment that lied beyond. It was simply amazing and so much more.
"This is my special place." He said but his smile faltered when he saw the wide eye look Eijun had.
"I-is it not to your liking? It's-"
"NO! No thats not it this place just left me speechless. No words can ever describe the beauty it has just like you." he quickly reassured him and blushed heavily after hearing his own words in his mind. What a fool I am making myself into he berated himself.
"Thank you. I dont know why but I cant help but feel at ease whenever youre around and we just met yesterday, Isn't that weird? Have you done something to me to make me feel so?" Kazuya teased. It's true though, ever since Kaziya saw those bright golden eyes, he can't help but not think of anything else other than Eijun. He should be concerned how he immediately trusted him but the feeling of warmness that settled in his gut the longer he stayed with Eijun yesterday put his mind at ease for some reason.
"No, its not, I also feel at ease whenever I am with you. It is like we have known each other for more than a life time."
"Yes indeed." He nodded. They both fell into a comforting silence. None wanting to disturbed the serene calmness and tranquility between them. Moments later Miyuki spoke.
"Ne~ Eijin Do you know about the Fairies of Nature that watches over the land? I believe that this place is their home. Well, my late mother used to say it was when I was younger. Call me crazy but I believe her even till now. Whenever I come here, I feel warmth like no other. Like Im being embrace by nature itself.”
"Yes,” he breathed out" Do you believe in Fairies?" Kazuya looked at Eijun, His eyes serious. He stared right back at him and sincerely answered Kazuya.
"I do. When I was young, Mother would always tell me stories of the fairies that govern the country. She said that Fairies love protecting the earth, for its beauty to remain and for the people living on it to enjoy and appreciate the land. Father also once said that whenever the Kings are in battle there is always a guiding presence that always lingers besides them, fighting to protect the land with them. And when a king perishes in battle for the sake of the country the fairy bestows them a choice of whether to watch over the land or to move on onto the afterlife."
"Your Mother and Father are sounds like very nics and wise people."
"They were." he said proudly though through the smile there was sadness.
"Oh I-Im sorry I didnt know.”
"But if you were one of the Kings who perish in battle would you choose to watch over the land or move on?"
"I love this country and so I will stay and watch over it. he said wholeheartedly and without a shred of hesitation."
"And if I were one of the Fairies, I would gladly watch over it with you." he said softly and then he began to sing.
This land of the free
Tis a place to see
A place full of kindness
Of Beauty that is boundless
Somehow like a reverie
That I wish not to end
This place shall remain strong
And shall be passed through this song
This land of the free
Tis a place to see
A place full of kindness
Of Beauty that is boundless
Prince Eijun continued visiting Kazuya, days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months until a whole year has passed since the day they had met. And in that year of knowing each other they had slowly fallen in love with one another. And under the sky clear of clouds, showing the moon and stars glowing at their brightest they had confessed of their love. The prince laid on the young mans lap, eyes closed as he listened to his beloveds voice. They parted soon after but without first sharing a short but tender kiss and promising to meet again tomorrow night. Bidding their goodnights, they went their separate way blissful and happy but...
Such happiness could not last long. News of war spread like wildfire overnight. The Kingdom of Yakushi had declared war upon the Kingdom of Seidou from out of nowhere shocking the kingdoms inhabitants and taking them by surprise, even the King, King Chris was taken aback but that lasted for only about a moment before he began shouting orders, gathering all his knights, and preparing for the upcoming battle. The young prince caught up with the news and had ask his brother, his King for him to join the fray as well, to fight beside him and their men, to protect their kingdom and their country. At first, he had dismissed the Princes request but after seeing his younger brothers resolve, the flame burning in those golden eyes of his and with a heavy heart he had conceded. They rode off before the break of dawn along with the thousands of knights ready to fight off their enemy and defend their King and Prince. The Prince's thoughts though were occupied as he stared at the sky empty of the sun that has yet to rise. He did not know why but there was this feeling of uncertainty stirring deep in his guts. His mind flashed into the image of his lover a small yet sad smile crept into his face as a single tear fell, he whispered to the air.
"I'll always love you.”
Night crept ever so slowly; a young man was sitting on a field of grass, his back pressed against the trunk of a tree patiently waiting for his beloved. Patient still even though as the night grew deeper and there was still no sign of the prince showing up. The allotted time passed; still he waited singing the prince's favorite, his song carrying a tone full of sweet love, voice echoing throughout the quiet forest. Midnight came when he halted; lips still parted as salty liquid rolled down his suddenly pale face. His hands clutching the fabric over his chest as if in pain, as if his heart was dying and indeed it was. He sang a new song, a song full of grief and pain, wind carrying out his heartbreak throughout the whole kingdom, the whole kingdom silent in the dead of night not aware of what had been lost.
Days had passed, a lone figure made his way through the forest, stopping when he had reached a wall of tall hedges. He did not know how he came to such a place. He was strolling around town when somehow, he felt that he was being led. Still grief ridden he did not question it. He surveyed the area; his walk at the forest was not void of silence. Wind passing through the leaves of trees, chirping of birds, rustling of bushes could be occasionally heard. The subtle hum of the forest entered his hearing but his footsteps could not be heard. He took out an object wrapped in a cloth. He unwrapped it revealing a marvelous sword; unsheathing it he raised it above his head, its edge glinting. He looked at it, his features both sad and nostalgic.
The battle between the two kingdoms; The Kingdom of Seido led by King Chris and Prince Eijun Takigawa-Sawamura and the Kingdom of Yakushi led by its King, King Raizo Yodoroki was brutal and both sides had lost countless lives but the Kingdom of Seidou had taken in the upper hand, their victory was within reach. King Chris had his back turned busy fending off the enemy when the King of the opposing kingdom slowly crept unnoticed from behind. His blade drawn above his head came quickly slashing downward. King Chris turned as fast as he could from the reflection, he saw from his own blade but it was too late.
It all happened too quick. The struck man coughs out blood, his hand slowly went over to the quickly spreading wetness on his chest. His eyes were wide in shock as he crumpled on the ground. His lifeless body never to rise again.
"KING CHRIS!!!" one of the knights, Tanba, who had witnessed the attack shouted. The battle ceased. All heads turned towards the two Kings. The war has ended with the death of the King. Tetsuya pulled his sword from one of the enemy soldiers and quickly whipped his head towards his Kings general direction instantly his blood run cold.
The King of Yakushi; King Raizo is dead through the blade of the young prince who laid cradled between his brothers arms, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. He had intercepted the blade that was aimed at his brother with his own body and had struck the enemy with his own sword fatally wounding himself. 'Twas the sacrifice he made for his brother and for his country.
“Eijun you fool! Why did you do that?"
"Bro-brother forgive me but I cannot see this country that I love so much not to be ruled by you. You who is a King of rightfulness and I–” he stopped momentarily, hacking out the blood that had slipped into his lungs. "I am not that much compared to the lives that reside in our country. For your life and for this countries freedom I would gladly do it again. I will sacrifice my life over and over for this land that I grownup in and have lived in. My king, my brother. Live. Live for me, rule wisely with a smile.” Chris' breath hitched, his tears escaping as he tried to keep his baby brother alive, Eijun just smiled till his so bright eyes dulled and his head lolled sideways. His gaze far seeing, far and beyond, a light shimmering where his eyes rested. A smile was set into his face. Glad that he could see his beloveds face in his time of dying.
“Eijun!?" Chris called out, shaking the body cradled in his arms but no reply ever came. All were silent including their enemy paying respect to their fallen prince save for the cursing and anguish by the soldiers that were close to the prince and the Kings grief-stricken cries. They may have won the war but they have also lost their light.
He shook his head dispelling his memory; he had something to do here. Swinging it down he stabbed the sword into the ground. His hold on the hilt lingering for a moment before he let go of it and kneeled on the ground with one knee, he pulled out a single rose from his person at the same time and laying it besides the blade. He arose, whispering words that only he can hear.
"I'm sorry. Rest in peace now my brother and watch over us.”
A strong yet gentle wind came out of nowhere, the King closed his eyes as he felt the wind passed by him, it was warm.
" The country for which you have laid your life shall continue on and forever remember you deep within its earth and I shall too within the depths of my heart my dear brother.”
Opening his eyes, he made his way out of the forest to grieve alone, to reflect on his thoughts and the things that could have been different. When the king left, a melody played over the forest. A young man sat under an oak tree sleeping on his lap was a young man with a serene look settled upon his smiling face.
Let your loving light
Burn every night
Vanquish every shadow
Dispel the darkness that follow
Let your love and devotion stand
For your people, for your land
I want to let you know
I will follow you wherever you go
I'll be here with you
To the ends of the world,
till time comes to an end
I'll be here with you