So this is my first step into the KKM fandom, though I am already working on another story, also centered around Daikenja. Becaue Murata is my favorite character and he and all his previous incarnations deserve a lot more loving than they get. There is heavily implied Shinou/Daikenja and Shinou/Murata towards the end, so just be warned.
I hope you enjoy.
When Murata hears his surname these days, he immediately knows who it is because only Yuuri calls him that. Everyone else in Shin Makoku calls him Geika, and back home on Earth, his teachers and classmates call him MuraKen and his parents simply Ken.
It is a special thing he has with Yuuri.
In turn, he calls Yuuri Shibuya, because everyone in Shin Makoku calls him Heika or Maoh or –Sama or some combination of the three (Yuuri learned early on just how long a title could be: "Introducing his Heika Maoh-Sama Shibuya Yuuri of Shin Makoku") and everyone on Earth calls him Yuuri if its his classmates, teachers, or father, Harajuku Furi if it's the bullies, and Yuu-chan if it's Shori or Jennifer. "Shibuya" is either too formal or not formal enough for everyone else.
This is their agreement.
To everyone else, it seems odd. Supposedly, Murata and Yuuri are best friends, the Maoh and Daikenja, just like all those thousands of years ago. They're supposed to be as close as two people can get (with the exception of Wolfram, who only allows the friendship between the two out of respect for Murata's title and acknowledgment that yes, Murata was friends with Yuuri long before the blond had even met him), so why don't they call each other by their first names? Not to mention, Yuuri has made it clear several times that that is how he wants to be referred to as. The only thing anyone knows is that Murata has his reasons and his secrets.
"Murata, can you come here for a minute? Gunter needs you to confirm something."
If there is one thing Murata is grateful for in present Shin Makoku, it's Ulrike. Her soft, wise voice is familiar to him, something so rare these days. When she calls him, yes, she calls him Your Highness, but it isn't said with the kind of reverence that the rest of civilization watches him in.
This is her way of helping.
He remembers Ulrike, from many previous lives. Eight hundred years is a long time to live, though it is nothing in comparison to his millenia. Still, it is nice to be able to reminisce with someone. It's also nice to have someone who doesn't stand in awe of him just because he's a living textbook. She treats him warmly, making sure she always pays him proper respect, but always there is a light smile on her face as proof of how familiar she is with him.
She knows she will never succeed, but she tries hard to be his friend, and he appreciates the effort.
The biggest step came when she started looking straight into his eyes. Murata has never known anyone to hold his gaze for any length of time more than a moment. The reason is twofold; one is because they are black, and the people of Shin Makoku seem too scared of disrespecting anyone who has such noble blood by being so bold as to hold eye contact – something that has annoyed Yuuri to an endless extent. The other reason is one entirely of Murata's own. Not even the people of Earth have ever stared into his eyes, because they hold too much for a person to see. They hold four thousand years of pain and misery, of waiting and hoping, of dying and living and dying and living and not knowing which is better, even now. Immortality is not all its cracked up to be, and Ulrike knows this best.
"Geika, the Shrine Maidens have another request of you. It's so nice to have a man around."
"Ulrike, this body is only fifteen years old, not that it will change anything. No rest for the weary, I suppose."
Yozak, Murata is certain, is a gift. Every time he hears that sing-songy voice calling him, pronounces each syllable of his title clearly, he feels a weight lift off of him. Yozak also prefers to call him by his honorific, just as he still calls Yuuri "Heika," but the tone he uses is so light that Murata often wonders if he's being mocking rather than respectful to them both. In fact, Murata imagines that "Geika" and "Heika" are just Yozak's versions of "-chan," carefully disguised to ensure that no one catches on.
The Great Sage, however, is not "no one," and Yozak knows it well.
He knows that Murata understands how casually he's speaking him, and that's why he does it - because no one else can. Yozak is not as skilled in swordsmanship as Conrad, nor does he have the head for strategy that Gwendal does. Gunter's intelligence is at a level laughably higher than his own, and nobody short of Yuuri himself has the level of maryoku control than Wolfram has. However, Yozak knows something that none of them know.
He knows people. He knows that Murata may be a four thousand year old intellectual, but is also a fifteen-year-old boy. He uses a light and teasing tone with the bespectacled boy because it takes him off his pedestal. He disrespects Murata because it lowers him down. He talks to Murata as though he's a bratty teenager, because that's exactly what Murata is and exactly what Murata wants. And in Yozak's presence, if only for a moment, Murata thinks that maybe he can one day understand what it feels like to be "normal."
"Captain told me you called for me, Ge-i-ka."
"Yes, Yozak, I have mission for you..."
"Daikenja, my Daikenja, my dear, precious Sage..."
In his dreams, Murata can taste Shinou's presence. He can feel his king's fingers on him, his breath lingering near his face. The smell of his skin, it's always the dewey smell of water, clean and pure and invigorating. In his dreams, Murata opens his eyes and is blinded by gold and bright blue, as though Shinou is composed completely of his hair and eyes. But what he remembers most when he wakes up each morning is the sound of sound of Shinou's voice.
In his dreams, Shinou calls to him and he immediately calls back, but something is wrong.
After four thousand years, Murata understands a lot of things, though he'll readily admit that other than his first life, his current lifetime has taught him more than any other. Perhaps it wasn't until he met Yuuri and came back to Shin Makoku that he really understood the importance of a name. He has been called many things through the course of his lives, but perhaps because he never before had any interest in any social interaction, he never understood all the things a name can imply.
A name is a definition of a person in the eyes of another - a friend, a superior, a sibling, a king.
And Murata wakes up, night after night, sweating and panting with his blood rushing and his heart going a mile a minute. He lies in his bed - which is always too hot after one of his dreams, even in the dead of winter - with his mouth open and his cheeks flushed, just trying to remember how to breathe. Even after he is fully awake, his skin will still tingle, and he swears he can still feel hands on him even while he is still calming down. It reminds him of his bond with Shinou, his unbreakable bond, and it reassures him. Even after living for four thousand years, his connection with Shinou is the only thing that makes him feel special, valuable. What he and Shinou had - have - is unique, something that no one else shares with the disembodied king. To everyone else, he was Shinou, but to Murata, to the Daikenja, he was... he was...he...
"I can't believe I forgot. You made me forget. Why did you make me forget? Why would you do that? I want to remember! I... I..."
Perhaps after four thousand years, the boy sobbing on his bed with all the sheets off in the dead of winter, the boy known as Murata Ken, as the Great Sage, has gone senile if he can't remember something as simple and important as his Original King's name.
Thank you for reading. I was rather disappointed by how much Murata hate there is amongst KKM fans, and I hope that this will maybe change a couple of your minds to liking him.
Comments and criticism make the authoress happy in her pantalones.