Chapter 1: Wishful Thinking
The slender, tall figure sat down on the soft mossy earth. It was now full night, and the stars were illuminating the sky. It was like the dark velvet was on fire, with the light of millions of miniature candles. He sighed, removing a strand of raven hair from his eyes. "Why did life have to be so cruel? Why did his emotions have to throw him into a tormented swirl? How come that even after all these years he could not find peace?" The figure stretched onto the soft patch of moss, looking up into the sky longingly. The two moons were shining in the distance. Another sigh escaped his tight throat. It had been two years since he had seen her. Two long years, full of work, responsibility and mostly longing. It was true, he longed to see her again. To have her there beside him, even if she couldn't love him was enough. If only his sweet, sweet angel could be there with him, and share the joy of rebuilding his country. Hmm... but she wasn't there. She had decided to return to her home. To that glistering orb that shined so invitingly in the sky. He wondered how the two years had set their mark upon her. How much had his darling changed? He couldn't know. She stopped talking to him about three months after she went back to the Phantom Moon. He had a feeling something happened to her, but since she wouldn't open her mind to him, he decided to respect her wishes.
"Lord Van! Lord Van, where are you?" an all too familiar voice sounded close by.
"Over here Merle," Van answered. It was no point to keep the silence. Merle would find him anyhow.
The ground trembled under him as the cat-girl came running towards him full speed.
"Lord Van! What are you doing here? You missed supper!" she criticised.
"Just because you're on my advisory council, doesn't mean you have to act the same way those bozos do Merle," Van said slowly.
"I'm not acting like them! I'm just concerned about you Lord Van," she told him, and snuggled closer.
"Merle, you don't need to worry so much. I'm fine," he told her tensing up.
"No you're not. Sometimes... I watch you, and you seem so far away. You're not ok Lord Van. I know it."
"Really! I'm fine," he told her chuckling. Merle was so overprotective sometimes.
"You miss her don't you?" she asked quietly.
"Miss who?" Van's voice quavered.
"Hitomi. You think about her day and night. I know Lord Van, I see you. If you miss her so much, why don't you go back for her?"
"Because she stopped talking to me. She probably wants to forget me. That's why I can't go back." Van said stressing every single word.
"I don't believe that. Hitomi wouldn't want to forget you. Never. She cares about you too much. What if something happened to her? Have you ever thought of that?" Merle asked inquisitively.
"Well... no... I didn't." Van admitted.
"See, that's a possibility. Why do you always have to go and look at the dark side of things?" Merle asked cheerfully.
All of a sudden, the pendant Hitomi gave Van started to feel hot against his skin. He took it out, only to see that it was glowing brightly. Van sat up, and took the pendant off his neck. He held it in the cup of his hands, but it was too hot. Holding it by the golden thread, Van watched the pendant swing to and fro. He watched the precise one second swings that Hitomi had explained to him. God he missed her. Why did life have to be so unfair? He hoped she wasn't hurt.
"Lord Van, are you all right?" Merle asked after a few minutes of undisturbed silence.
"Yeah, I was just thinking." He replied.
"Hmm... more like wishing to me. Anyhow, I think you should go see if she's all right. Maybe she wants to come for a visit or something. After all, you guys are still friends." Merle said and got up to leave.
"Maybe I'll do that," Van told her. After Merle left, Van stretched back down on the mossy earth. The idea was starting to appeal more and more to him. What if Hitomi wasn't all right? Maybe she would come visit or something.
There was something Van knew for sure. He missed her. He missed her a lot.
"I want you to be here with me, Hitomi," Van whispered to the wind.
The pendant was glowing strangely now. It was also very hot, and when Van touched it, he could feel immense sadness and pain coming from it. Something was definitely the matter with Hitomi. The pendant reacted to her emotions, and it never did that before. Van got up, and held the pendant in his hand. He could feel it burning.
"Hold on Hitomi, I'm coming," he said as he felt the familiar column of light come down from the sky and embrace him. Van started to rise off the ground. He just hoped that he would be in time to help Hitomi if she was in trouble.
From the castle, Merle saw the pillar of white light shoot down from the sky. She knew that Van was on his way to see Hitomi. Merle felt a sting of jealousy bite at her side, but she pushed it aside, excitement bubbling in her. Maybe now they would finally share the feelings they had for each other. She knew one thing for sure. If Hitomi were to return to Gaea, she'll see to it that she'll finally understand how Lord Van feels about her. Merle didn't like her "protégéé" to suffer just because he was shy. With a grin on her face, Merle walked away from the window. She was already thinking up of explanations for the council as to the sudden disappearance of their king.