Author: SetsunaKou PM
Set 5 years after, Shimon & Ran are getting married! Swept up in romance, Fujihime also wishes to win the heart of the man she loves, Takamichi, but it's not to be as the Emperor commands her to marry his brother, Eisen! Will true love conquer all?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Fantasy - Chapters: 15 - Words: 42,225 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 05-22-07 - Published: 11-01-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2643118
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"I think congratulations are in order, don't you?"
An elegantly dressed man with dark purple hair suddenly says out loud to the other occupant in the room.
"Congratulations? To me? For what, your Majesty?"
In a timid yet kind voice, the younger man replies in wonder at the puzzling words just put towards him.
"Of course to you, my dear little brother! I have just decided that it's time you were married."
"Married! Um, but...married! Wh-why so suddenly?"
Prince Eisen was certainly more than shocked with his older brother, the Emperor, and that outrageous thought. He takes a minute to collect his mind and try to put into words his objection. Certainly, he couldn't marry someone right now! The feelings he harbored for the Ryujin no Miko were still unresolved. What could his brother be thinking?
"Eisen, listen to me, we need to carry on our royal bloodline---you know Kougou and I have not been blessed with children---and it's the perfect time for a royal wedding, besides. The people need some excitement and this will more than appease them. I have already decided whom you will wed."
The Emperor was dead serious and he was not giving Eisen a chance to respond, rebutt or reply. He had already planned the whole thing out and a little thing like uncertainty was not going to stop this wedding. No, he knew that Eisen had been lonely and desolate lately since Ryujin no Miko AND his childhood friend, Lady Chuuguu, had both disappeared, and this was his chance to not only create a royal spectacular for the people but also make his little brother happy, even if said brother didn't know a thing about his idea!
"No buts about it. I have decided this is the path to follow and that's my final word."
The Emperor says severely to his younger brother, who had been stammering and sputtering in utter shock during this entire coversation. His look softens as he gazes at Eisen and his next words are filled with kindness.
"Eisen, this is for your own good----I've noticed how lonely and distant you've been lately. You need someone to care for and someone to care for you in return. It's for your own good----trust me?"
"Now, don't you even want to know who I've chosen your lovely bride to be?"
The Emperor regains his jovial attitude, even as Eisen was still unsure about the entire affair.
"Ah! She is the most treasured and lovely of creatures in all of Kyou! Many nobles and even those from far away lands seek her hand, yet I have just decided that she is to be reserved for you."
"B-but, Brother, you mean that she doesn't even know about this? H-how could you know she would even want to marry... gulp me...?"
"Nonsense! Why would any girl NOT want to marry you? You're a prince for heaven's sake! Besides, you have nothing to worry about. As soon as I give the order, she cannot refuse."
Eisen was horrified at his brother's words. How could he be so dispassionate and cold for the girl's feelings? No, he could never agree to force someone to marry him. That would be wrong...and would be something he could never forgive himself for.
"What is the matter now, Eisen? Have I not given you the means to create a happy and prosperous life for yourself at last? I just want you to be happy, that's all. What could possibly be wrong with that? "
The Emperor was truly a good hearted man and did not by any means intend nor mean any cruelty or coldness in his machinations. Yet, he was a royal, pampered Emperor who had the power to do anything he chose. And he just couldn't see that which he felt was proper and good might just not be the correct path for everyone involved.
"N-nothing is wrong with your desire to help me, Your Majesty, but, can't you see that---"
"No, I'm sorry, my brother, but this is the way things will be. I have decided that you are to marry and nothing will dissuade me from this."
The Emperor then turns his back upon his brother and waves his hand, a gesture that meant he was dismissing Eisen.
Eisen stands dumbfounded, then sighs with regret and turns to leave. He could not go against the wishes of his brother and Emperor. He must do what he was ordered to do.
"Ah, just one moment more...in our debate, I've forgotten to tell you who the lucky girl is. It is the lovely Princess Fuji. Are you not pleased? If you cannot have her sister, then she will do just as well!"
The Emperor turns his head towards Eisen with a curious, inquiring look, trying to find from Eisen's expression his true feelings about Princess Fuji.
Lady Chuuguu's little sister?...No! I can't...I don't love her and I...can't betray Chuuguu like that...
"Fu-fuji! B-but, she's our cousin and I know for a fact that she's not in love with me! Your Majesty, no, I can't--"
"Eisen, remember, my word is law. If I tell the girl it is her duty AND an honor to her to become your wife, she will, without hesitation, comply."
"But, but, she's---"
Eisen was desperate. He had to find some way to get out of this situation. Being forced to marry was one thing, but having to marry a good friend who happened to also be a cousin, whose SISTER he had once been betrothed to, and one whom he KNEW was in love with someone else----he just couldn't do it!
"Eisen, that's enough. This is proper. She is nobility and near royalty. She may be a cousin, but a distant one and that's never been a problem before. You were going to marry her elder sister before all the Ryujin no Miko appeared, so why not Fuji? She is lovely and well-loved by the people, even moreso than Lady Chuuguu was. What more can you ask for? If she is not in love with you yet, she soon will be. You will take care of that, I'm sure. Now, that's all we're going to say about the matter, isn't it? I'm your older brother and I'm much wiser than you in such areas. You must take my advice...and my command."
The Emperor looks meaningfully at Eisen with those final words and Eisen, while still not agreeing, bows his head as a symbol that he will do as his brother requests.
"Now, if you would be so kind as to direct General Tachibana here to me so I can share with him our good news and have him bring the announcement to Fujihime immediately. I'm sure she will be thrilled by her good fortune."
Thrilled? Well, she'll be something, all right, though that may not be the correct term to use, brother. Probably, she'll feel the same way I do...poor thing...
"Yes, Your Majesty. If you'll excuse me?"
The Emperor watches as Eisen stiffly bows to him and then departs in search of Tomomasa. The Emperor murmurs to himself, cementing his belief in his decision.
"Eisen, you will thank me later for being so firm with you. I know this is what's best for you---and all I want is for you to be happy."