The Will of the Fighter

Chapter 18

Side Chapter: Ayame and Koenma


For the past couple of months I have had troubling, conflicting thoughts centering on Koenma and Botan. As children the four of us, Botan, Hinageshi, Koenma and I used to play together. In humans years Koenma was the oldest at eleven, then me at nine, Botan following at eight, and Hinageshi was the youngest at the age of six.

Koenma was the loud, rash prince, Botan was the joy and teaser of our group, Geshi was the innocent, sweet little girl, who also was energetic and often hyper, while I played the part of a young woman, reserved and logical. Koenma would sneak us into the kitchens for midnight snacks, and gathered keys to locked rooms in the palace. Our pastimes revolved heavily on exploring, looking for secret passageways, hidden doors, and searching as many rooms as we could. Many of the rooms in the Rekai palace were rooms of storage that were absolutely amazing to have a good time in. It was incredible how some of the objects in the room could be used for playing pretend. Our favorites were usually dressing rooms, piled high with numerous articles of clothing.

We would play for hours dressed up in kimonos and pretend we were well-respected princes and princess (well Koenma was a prince, but that was beside the point) that had come to balls or parties. Sometimes the older girls would even slip us cheap jewelry but as children, we couldn't see the difference so we didn't care. Koenma would pull down a curtain or use a towel to make into a cape. The ogres that acted as Koenma's bodyguards were forced to play the role of servants or maids or even just as another dancer.

Funny, out of thousands of Reikai people, the four of us scored top positions and rankings at the palace. Koenma, of course, was the heir to the throne, and gained more responsibilities, as he grew older. I chose the path of a researcher or a scribe against the more common task of ferrying souls. My dedication and reliability paid off because four years later I became the head of the researching division. Botan had exceptional skills that almost made her legendary. So quick was she in learning and flawlessly completing her grim reaper assignments, that King Enma was forced to have her graduate and become upgraded to a trainer, where she taught none other than Hinageshi.

Geshi, under Botan's careful watch, grew into once of the class A ferry girls. She was moved to the Human world at fourteen years of age, where she remains in charge of preserving a holy shrine. Some may even call her a priestess now.

Botan moved up again until she became head ferry girl of the palace, directly under Koenma. Her reputation could only grow once word got out of her impressive healing powers and divine assistance to the Human world as Yusuke's assistant.

Geshi, Botan, and I were all ranked first class, which was so high and rare we were practically royalty as well. Promotions are rare in the Spirit world, and only through hard work and talent could one achieve a high position.

The good times were not to last as Botan was assigned a new, risky job the Human world. That was all I was able to find out. If I, the head of the Spirit world's research team, could not find out more, no one could.

Botan was my best friend and her situation was not at all fair. We didn't even have time to say a proper goodbye. Heck, I was still wondering about her disappearance until four days later she had gone, I found a note from her.

I was angry and marched off to Koenma promptly after that. On the other hand, I knew Koenma cares for Botan; he would not have sentenced her to Ningenkai without a good reason. Even if he had hated her, which I was certain he didn't, he could not reassign her anywhere except her area of expertise. Enma would not allow it; she was too valuable for Reikai. So some grand reason must have come up for Koenma, with King Enma's permission, to lose his best ferry girl.

Also, I harbor deep feelings for my prince. I fear I have fallen in love with him; no matter what he did, I could not hate him. I knew beneath his childish, rude, arrogant exterior lays a man of great knowledge and leadership. I admire him greatly, but he only thinks of me as a friend. Still there may be a slight chance that he feels the same. I am nervous, feeling as if I was walking on glass, the temporary calm before the storm. But he must be aware of my love. I can no longer hide it.

Even if he does not feel the same, I must admit my feelings to begin to get over him. I would regret it forever if I didn't do this no matter the consequences. So now why was this so hard?

I stood outside my lord's room. I gulped hard and shakily banged the doorknocker. I heard something that sounded like a 'come in' from inside so slowly, I entered.

"L-lord K-koenma?" I curse myself for my stuttering but it was hard with my whole body trembling.

"Ayame? Are you all right? You look awfully pale," Koenma said looking up from his desk that was stacked high with countless papers.

"Did one of the ogres send you? I'll sentence them to one hundred spankings if they did."

"N-no sir. I came of my own free will. This is something I need to tell you."

Koenma studied me for a moment then nodded and left his desk to stand by me.

"Is it that important? I have a meeting that I must attend in a few minutes." He looked at the clock.

"It is important. At least to me it is."

"Then speak," he ordered.

"Koenma, for a long time I felt myself drawing closer to you. I feel happy when you are near and miss you when you are not around. Koenma, what I'm trying to say is I love you."

He stared at me a good while before pressing a button on his desk.

"Ogre, cancel my meeting."

For a long time, he didn't move nor speak, just stared at the wall, looking everywhere except for where I stood. I was far beyond uncomfortable and felt incoming impatience was on the way. I had just given my heart on a silver platter and this is how he responds?

"Koenma, have you nothing you can say?" I asked, surprised at how sturdy it sounded.

"I do not want to speak, Ayame, because I cannot tell you what you want to hear. I love you, but I am not in love with you," Koenma told me sadly in an even voice.

"It's Botan, isn't it?" I said without jealousy.

He looked away, but I knew that I was right in my assumption.

"Then why did you send her away?" I wondered.

"There were…circumstances in which I had no other options left. I care for Botan too deeply to let anything happen to her. I do not regret my decision. If having her detest and hate me is the price I must pay for her safety, then it is a small price to pay for the woman I love."


Reviewer Responses:

Kitsune Kit-You got a new computer? Awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter!

Crystal Koneko-I agree Hiei/Botan is much better than Kuwabara/Botan, but it's simply too much fun to make Hiei jealous. I must admit that in both my fics Kuwabara has a one-sided crush on Botan, but it's a lot of fun to write and it gives more interaction between characters.

Kuwabara99-Poor Kuwabara's sick, you can't expect him to think very clearly can you? Hiei and coffee…I can see Hiei becoming a coffee addict somewhere in my mind…Koenma/Ayame will be something as a side pairing. Hopefully Koenma will try to let go of Botan and instead will change his affections to Ayame.

Keke-Kikyo's-Daughter-Thank you, I will!

MystiKoorime-Hey! Thanks for reviewing! Hiei/Botan should be in the anime more I believe, as Yusuke/Keiko, Kuwabara/Yukina, Kurama/Shizuru (I swear there are hints, you just need to look for them!) are all hinted. There are a few Hiei/Botan hints but I think the pairing came from people liking those two characters and thinking they would look cute together to be honest. The anime just doesn't have enough hints!

Silver-arrow-kitsune-girl-Thanks for noticing my mistake! I don't know how I managed to screw up the chapters, but it's fixed now!


It's true this chapter is dreadfully short, but it is important because you learn of Reikai's point of view on Botan's departure to an extent. Ayame and Koenma's feelings are revealed as well, which I'm sure will bring up many new questions! Plus you get a little more info on how Botan's childhood was and their roles in Rekai. So a small, yet important chapter.

I'll start the next chapter when I have 447 reviews.