Arc II: Hana Maizou – Flower Burial (花葬)

By Hal

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Inoue Takehiko. I do not own them and I won't dare to say the ideas for this novel are purely original. No literature work nowadays is purely original; we all get our inspirations from somewhere.

A/N: ermz……………….you can kill me, I guess? O_O Sorry for the super duper long delay!

sillyme: thanks for the support all the while. ^^

NeVerChanged: Girls? Did I hear girls?? LOL. They think…they might? ._.

COMPLICATED!!: Still a long way to go before ending… I guess.

nertz : thankies!! Woozhing: Thankies.

Canine: Ruhana forever!

Lack_Honesty: Sendoh!! Yay! As for Rukawa, we are going to switch to his story soon…I hope.

Choco_Capri: The second half is here. It didn't go by the air mail, it went by surface shipping so yar, it took 2 months. –gets bricked-

Mikage Resha: Sendoh is so gentle. I love how he pampers Hana.

RuHana-Lover4Ever: SenHana is cute ne!

Chapter 4B: A Night Visit - B

"Shall we make our move to the palace now, Prince Sakuragi?" Sendoh said with an unusually formal tone.

"Ok, let's go, people," with that, Hanamichi stepped out of the inn and Kogure led him into the carriage with Sendoh. The rest of the Generals mounted their horses and the group made their way to the heart of the Shogyoku, the Jade Palace.

"Are you nervous?" Sendoh asked Hanamichi, without turning his head to look at the red hair boy.

"N…no, I… I'm not nervous," Hanamichi stuttered.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure your eyes regain their sight, no matter what," Sendoh grabbed the shaking hand and gave it a squeeze.

"O…ok," Hanamichi felt a warm flow surge to his heart and was suddenly a lot calmer. He rested his head on Sendoh's shoulder but when he realized how "un-manly" it was, his face burnt again and quickly sat straight up. Withdrawing his hand from Sendoh's, he tried to make himself appear normal.

Sendoh was in deep thoughts, so he did not notice Hanamichi's flustered actions. Feeling relieved at first, Hanamichi then began to wish that Sendoh would hold his hand again. Sensing no movement from the other Prince and too embarrassed to do it himself, Hanamichi secretly cursed Sendoh in his heart throughout the journey.

"Hana," Sendoh finally spoke and turned to look at Hanamichi. He was shocked to find Hanamichi's brows knitted on his red face and mumbling to himself. He held the boy's shoulders and asked, "Hana, are you ok? Are you feeling unwell?"

"Yes, I'm ok!" Hanamichi replied loudly and shrugged himself out of Sendoh's reach. His face turned redder at the thought that Sendoh could have heard his mumblings. "Are we there yet?"

"Ah yes, we've reached, come on," Sendoh lifted Hanamichi's arm and was about to help the blind Prince down the carriage. Hanamichi shook off Sendoh's help, with a slight pout, and got down himself.

A palace servant guided them to the main hall where they waited for the King. Hanamichi had his head bowed, the nervousness swelled in his body as the time passed, his hands were cold and sweat trickled down his back. This would be the first time since he arrived in this world that he would be meeting people of higher authorities, not to mention the fact that he needed their favour. Soon, at the announcement of a strong voice, the King of Shoyo arrived together with the King of Kainan.

"Welcome to Shoyo, Prince Sendoh, Prince Sakuragi and your generals," a gentle voice rang from somewhere in front and above them. The King sat on his throne at the center of the platform at the top of a short flight of stairs. King of Kainan was sitting at a smaller throne beside him drinking a glass of wine, as if he was unconcerned with the situation.

"Thank you, King Fujima. I didn't know that King Maki would be here too. Allow me to pay my respect to the elders, King Fujima and King Maki," Sendoh's lips curled into a smile and bowed graciously.

"Prince Sakuragi, won't you pay respect to the Kings too?" Sendoh placed a palm on Hanamichi's back and applied a slight force.

Taking the hint, Hanamichi took a small rigid bow.

"I am told that Prince Sakuragi was blinded in an accident, but I am not aware that he injured his vocal cords too," King Maki said with smirk as he twirled the wine glass in his hand. "Or… was he born dumb? Pun intended."

"Hey OLD MAN!" Before anyone could react, Hanamichi raised up his head, his red hair seemingly in flames, and pointed his finger at the direction the voice was from. His eyes, though seeing blanks in front of him, tried to glare at person who had just scolded him dumb. "No one insults the Tensai! I don't care if you are a King, is your thousand-year-old skin itching for a beating? Come down here and fight me then!"

"You!" King Maki was about to jump up from his seat when King Fujima stopped him.

"Now, King Maki, calm down. I don't want fighting in my court." King Fujima then leaned over and spoke in a soft tone, "Shinichi… I need to talk to you in private for a while."

"I'm sorry, gentlemen," King Fujima stood up. "I'm afraid I need to attend to something for a moment, please do take a seat in the mean while. My men will bring in some refreshments in a moment."

With that, he gracefully walked out of the room and King Maki followed. When they reached another smaller hall, the young King Fujima turned to look at the older King Maki with confusion in his doe eyes.

"You felt that too, didn't you? You felt it here…and here, like it's a tug," Fujima asked as he pointed to his heart and head.

"Yes, I did," Maki sighed as he pulled Fujima into an embrace. "I don't like this feeling. It is as if I have forgotten someone important. That Prince Sakuragi…that boy…"

"His hair is red…like blood. Those eyes and his face… and that Kimono is so beautiful on him. I must have seen it somewhere before, the design is as if specially made just for him. I know this is the first time I am seeing him but it is like I had known him before. Like…like…" Fujima rubbed his cheek against Maki's neck.

"Like in a dream," Maki continued for him.

"In a dream…" Fujima repeated softly. Removing himself from Maki's embrace, Fujima made up his mind. "Ok. I'll use Gogyoku. Maki, I can sense a strong current of power running through that boy, but it seems like this power is behind a barricade. He is a wild and strong beast chained, can you…can you use your Ryuu no Gan(竜の眼, literal meaning: Dragon's Eye)…?"

"Don't worry, I will help this cute boy. I want to see his potential too," Maki patted Fujima's shoulder.

"If you held no hostility against him, why did you provoke him just now? That was not like you," Fujima questioned.

"The tug I felt made me want to see him agitated, like an angry little kitten. Hehehe."

"Hmph!" Maki's low chuckles irritated Fujima and he turned his back towards the tanned Maki.

"Now, are you jealous that I called him cute?" Maki spun Fujima around and gave him a peck on the nose before whispering into his ears. "I only have eyes for you, my dear."

"Haha, ok ok! Stop talking into my ears, your breathes are tickling me. Let's go then," Fujima tidied his clothes and prepared to return to the main hall.

In the main hall, Hanamichi was hissing at his friends, anger adding on to his nervous.

"Don't worry, Hana," Sendoh calmly drank his tea and took a bite into the sweet cake, his eyes closing to slits in enjoyment."We have succeeded."