For hundreds of years the Avian and Vampire Kingdoms have been at war against each other. Kaoru's father, the Avian king, dies at one battle leaving Kaoru as the sole heir of the throne. Meanwhile, in the Vampire Kingdom, the ruthless king Kenshin is determined to crush the avians, beginning with the new young queen, Kaoru. However, neither of the two counted on falling in love. Both are faced with betrayal, conspiracy, and deceit as they struggle to end the war between the two kingdoms. BK
Hi again!! Didn't take so long, did I? Here is the first of the new fics I plan to write. As usual, few things to note:
- I was inspired to write this a year ago while reading a novel called "Hawksong" in this novel the avians are in war with the serpents and the people there are more like shape shifters i.e. avians turn into birds. However, in my fic avians are people who can produce wings at well. The only aspect I have copied from the novel is the idea of a constant war between 2 kingdoms. I might borrow another idea later on, and I will clearly state it when I do (don't wanna go around claiming other people's work as my own). Otherwise, the plot and the entire world created here are my own ^_^
- And just to eliminate confusion, the first part of this chapter (the part written in italic) will take place sometimes later as the story progresses.
- The way I imagine the settings, clothes and everything is more like the medieval time, but of course this is an AU fic.
I would like to thank my beta reader otakuusa for editing and pointing out my countless mistakes!
The piercing angry voice was somehow all what Kaoru could hear despite the loud noises of the surrounding battlefield. Cries of pain, anguish, and death filled the valley where the battle was taking place, and to some soldiers, those voices of torment filled the whole world.
Kaoru stood on high ground. From this position she could look down on the battle field. Kaoru stared at the spot where the furious warrior shouting her name in challenge stood. He was standing on a huge rock in the middle of the battlefield; his body erect, his red hair dancing in the air and his sword unsheathed.
King of the Vampire Kingdom
The man she loved.
And he wants her dead.
"My Lady." Kaoru tore her eyes from the red haired king and looked at the man beside her. He was her personal guard, as well as her trusted friend.
"After all this time you insist on calling me your lady." Kaoru said with a sad little smile.
"I beg your pardon…Kaoru," he apologized, before looking down at the battlefield. "Perhaps I should go and end this---"
"No Soujiro. I won't allow you to fight him." Kaoru began to unbuckle the pin holding her cape, a distant look appeared in her sapphire eyes "After all, I am the one who had killed her." she finished solemnly.
Kaoru suddenly turned to face him "Soujiro," she said in a solemn voice "If anything should happen to me…" Kaoru faltered. "Please take care of my people, hold the council off."
Kaoru moved as of to give him a hug. The thought of never seeing him again filled her with a great sadness. "Thank you for everything, Soujiro." She said instead and leapt down the high hill and towards the battlefield.
She saw the king of vampires still standing on a huge rock at the middle of the field. All around him vampires and avians alike were dying, fighting, and crying in agony. The wind ruffled his red hair and his cruel amber eyes were fixed on her as she made her way on the field. He was carrying his unsheathed sword in one hand and Kaoru noticed blood covering the length of the blade.
At the sight of him Kaoru felt exhausted. The weight of the day pressed down upon her. It had been a very long battle. She had fought and killed, and her side was burning where a vampire had slashed her earlier on.
And now as she made her way in the battlefield, almost no vampires came at her. There was few who attacked at her but she managed to deflect their blows. She didn't have to worry about them for long though.
"No one touches the queen!" the vampire king bellowed.
Despite the deafening noises, Kaoru was certain that the vampires could hear their king quite clearly. After all, their senses were very keen.
Now all vampires parted and made way for her. Kaoru felt her heart beating so fast that it nearly drowned out the other noises. Despite the cool day, she was sweating and her palms felt damp. She urged herself to calm down. She was closer now to where Kenshin stood, looming over the huge rock. She felt his cold gaze wash over her.
Suddenly he jumped down causing the earth crack beneath him.
He was very powerful.
He remained crouching on the ground, glaring at her from under his red bangs like a predator ready to spring at her, his golden eyes blazing. All the traces of the love he felt for her were now gone. Kaoru was some distance away, but to her horror blood stains were clearly visible around his mouth.
And it wasn't his blood.
Kaoru halted several paces away from the red haired vampire. Everyone around her seemed to have grown silent.She glanced around and saw countless winged-bodies scattered on the green field.
She was losing the war.
She had failed her people.
But no matter what happened, she would take responsibility for her actions...
The king straightened from his crouch slowly, a great animal ready to pounce.
Regardless of whether she was ready or not…
Kaoru gripped her sword tightly
She would fight
Kenshin ran to meet her
Kaoru felt as if time itself stopped. It seemed as if she was moving in a slow motion. Maybe her mind was trying to delay the inevitable, but everything around her was moving very slowly. She was approaching both her lover and her sworn enemy very slowly. Well, it didn't really matter if her mind was playing tricks on her, or if things were actually slowing down around her. One thing for sure…
She would meet her destiny with a sword in her hand.
He was getting nearer
She would not go down without a fight…
His sword reflected the bright sun
She was the queen of the Avians
The king of vampires was close now…
She would die fighting for her people…
---Their blades connected---
…and she would take the man she loved with her.
Chapter 1: The Avian queen
I'm, unfortunately, the queen of the Avians…
The sky was crying.
Or so it seemed to Kaoru. Because of the grief building inside of her, it seemed even nature was mourning Kaoru's loss. All around her were corpses, bodies of both the enemy and her people. But Kaoru wasn't aware of that. She wasn't aware of the pouring rain, soaking her hair and clothes, wasn't aware of how it washed the blood away from the green field, wasn't aware of voices calling her name, wasn't aware of the blood staining her left shoulder. She was on her knees, staring at a man lying on the wet and bloody ground.
The Avian King.
And he was dead.
He had fought bravely for more than twenty years.
And now he can finally rest.
Kaoru reached out; though her mind was currently unaware of the movement. Everything seemed unreal, as if she was living inside one of her nightmares. But as her hand touched the cold cheek of her father, she knew this wasn't a nightmare.
He was gone.
The vampires had succeeded in killing him and the one who had killed him lay dead only two meters away. Her father was a warrior; he had died fighting, just like the way he had lived.
Kaoru began to cry, or maybe she had been crying since the moment she saw her father's body but the rain kept intermingling with her tears. Through her blurry vision she thought she saw something on the left side of her father's neck, before she could focus on it someone spoke.
"Lady Kamiya," One soldier said tentatively, "Please, allow us to care for your wound."
Kaoru tore her eyes away from her father's body.
"Soujiro?" she enquired worriedly.
"He's fine, my lady, he's helping to find the wounded."
Kaoru nodded as she looked back at her father's body. One of the many cruelties of war, was that there was no time to mourn your loved ones. She leaned down (with some difficulty) and planted a gentle kiss on her father's now icily cold brow.
"Farewell, father." she whispered, trying hard to hold back the tears that threatened to fall.
There would be time to cry later.
Kaoru stood, and a man came with the umbrella she had refused earlier. As she stood, the other men immediately went on one knee. Kaoru was puzzled at this. Why would they bow to her? People only knelt before Kings or Queens.
Her eyes took in the exhausted men, four soldiers and one physician. They all seemed entirely drained.
They all had seen too much in one day.
If Kaoru hadn't been exhausted herself, she would have realized the reason behind their confusing actions.
"Why are you kneeling? Do rise."
The men glanced at each other uncertainly.
"Why my lady, we have to show respect to the Queen of the Avian Kingdom"
Kaoru blinked. Queen?
Then it dawned on her.
Her father was dead. She had no brothers or sisters.
She was the only heir.
She was now Queen of the Avians.
And she was barely seventeen.
Two months later
Kenshin walked inside his private quarters and slumped heavily on an oversized armchair. A heavy sigh escaped his chest as he leaned back, closing his eyes, and with his hand clutching a letter from the Lycans Kingdom.
So soon it will be the time…
Had it truly been this long since the battle between his people and the Avaian kingdom? It seemed only yesterday that the Avian King had been slain by one of his vampires.
And soon their Queen will ascend the throne…
And she was only seventeen.
The truth was, she hadn't even reached the age of seventeen. According to his sources, her seventeenth birthday was sometime later this year.
One would think he had his victory more than two months ago when the Avian King had perished. But the truth was, neither of the two kingdoms had actually won. Kenshin had lost many of his soldiers in their last battle. His loss was so tremendous that he couldn't even take advantage of the confusion and chaos in the Avian Kingdom during last two months. The Queen was underage, they too had massive losses, and Kenshin bet that the Avian council members were fighting amongst themselves. He almost pitied their new young queen…almost. Pity was a sentiment that he could no longer indulge in.
Kenshin reopened his blazing amber eyes.
After years of continuous war, Kenshin was a man of few sentiments. He lived to fight and crush every Avian. But one particular scene had been haunting him since the last battle.
A raven haired girl, kneeling at the body of her father in the pouring rain
Her face had been too shocked to display any emotion at first, but he had watched as her young features broke down in grief.
Kenshin abruptly sat up straight and crossed his booted legs. He turned toward the small table at the right side of his chair and poured himself a drink. He choked down the red liquid in a single gulp.
Why in hell am I thinking about this? People die in war, and she might as well start getting used to it now that she'll be queen.
In his other hand he still held the letter. Kaoru's coronation ceremony would be held in a month in the neutral kingdom of the Lycans. All kings and queens must attend according to the letter. This means he will be travelling to the Werewolves' Kingdom in few weeks.
A smirk appeared on Kenshin's ruggedly handsome face.
He was curious about the young queen, and the ceremony would allow him to know his enemy in a more civilized manner. Kenshin didn't expect much about her, after all she was only a child. Though he must admit, the girl knew how to fight.
For two years she had been participating in many battles between the vampires and avians, but he had never fought her because she was never in the front lines. But this was expected. No father would send his daughter to the front lines, where death was a constant companion to every soldier, certainly not one as young as she.
Kenshin poured himself another glass but this time he sipped slowly.
Kaoru was certainly a good fighter, but the raven haired girl was young and inexperienced in the matters of running a kingdom. He looked forward to meeting her and making her aware of exactly whom she was facing. His kingdom needed time to recover, but once they were ready he would crush the Avian Kingdom and make this young queen his slave.
A small smirk played on Kenshin's lips and he raised his glass in a mock toast.
"To the new queen"
The sun was shining brightly in the sky, throwing golden rays across the vast green field.
Kaoru stood among the tombstones staring down at her father's grave. The wind blew gently, ruffling her hair and lifting the hem of her cloak. Even though it was against her county's traditions for a girl to wear a man's clothes, Kaoru could care less. She was dressed as the other soldiers. Black boots, dark breeches, blue linen tunic with a leather belt around her slender waist where her sword was safely secured.
She never go anywhere without her sword
Kaoru sighed and glanced again at the crumpled letter in her hands. In few weeks I will have to go to the Lycan Kingdom. The fact that she was going to the werewolves' territory did not disturb her, however the coronation ceremony…that was what she was truly worried about. She was only sixteen, and she didn't feel ready…she was terrified.
"Oh father, why did you leave me?" She knelt by his grave. The two month mourning period was over, and today she had to meet with the council to discuss many pressing issues. Although she was the only heir, she couldn't rule the country alone until she was eighteen. Until then, she couldn't make any decision without the approval of the council. Kaoru heaved a great sigh again and straightened her posture; her eyes scanning the horizon. As far as he blue eyes could reach, white tombstones filled the green field. So many had died in the recent years, and more in the last battle, where her father had perished. Her spies claimed that the Vampire Kingdom suffered the same tremendous loses, but at least their king had lived.
The vampire king…
Better known as Battousai…
Kaoru had not met him, but rumors claimed that he had hair as red as blood, eyes the color of gold and anyone who looked into them can lose control of his own body and be under the red-haired demon's whimsy control. Kaoru didn't know if the last claim was correct, but she knew that he was lethal, his swordsmanship skills had no equal in all the five kingdoms. He could face a score of men and still beat them singlehandedly. His strength and skills were celebrated across the Five Kingdoms. Even her father had once mentioned that the vampire king's fighting style was designed to kill countless opponents at a time and no one but he- the vampire king- had mastered it.
Kaoru didn't care about the rumors. She hoped to fight him one day, and beat him. After all, she was good with swords. Ever since she was a child, when other girls her age would play with dolls, she used to practice swordsmanship instead. She would show this king what a good fighter could really do.
Kaoru shook her head. Don't get so carried away Kaoru, you're not a child anymore. You're supposed to think about peaceful means to end the war, not dream about beating the best swordsman in the Five Kingdoms.
Kaoru smiled bitterly. I am the queen now, no time for dreams anymore…
The sound of beating wings drew her out of her reverie, and she turned to see the newcomer. Her mouth curved up in a smile when she saw Soujiro.
His brown wings disappeared as his feet touched the ground.
"Soujiro!" Kaoru smiled.
"My Lady." he knelt on one knee before her.
Kaoru rolled her eyes "How many times do I need to tell you?" Kaoru complained. "Drop the formalities, I'm still Kaoru."
Soujiro smiled and stood up "it's hard to believe you're the queen now. Or maybe…" his brown eyes moved to the king's grave. "It is hard to believe that King Kamiya…"
Kaoru bowed her head "I know…my father was a great ruler, and I want to be loved and respected just like him but…"
Sojiro's eyes softened. He understood the hardships she was going through, she was still young, yet she was forced to grow beyond her years to rule an entire kingdom. Soujiro went on one knee again, this time closer to her and reached for her free hand. "You know…" He pressed his lips on the back of her hand "…that I will always be at your side, my lady" He kissed her hand again gently.
Kaoru was surprised at that. This was the first time Soujiro pulled something like that. They had known each other since she was eight and he ten. His parents had been dead when he had been found in the forest. He and Kaoru had been inseparable since then. He had always protected her, and had become her personal guard at the age of fourteen. One would be surprised at how a child could protect the sole heir of the Avian Kingdom, but Soujiro was a gifted swordsman. He could easily beat any Avian knight twice his age and size. His speed and agility were his main strengths, and compensated for the brute strength many other soldiers counted on. Now, feeling his lips on her skin, Kaoru felt her cheeks becoming hot from the rush of blood. Kaoru was unfamiliar with such gentle acts from men. She lived her childhood as a tomboy, playing with the boys and beating them occasionally with a wooden sword. And of course many kept their distance just because she was a princess.
Soujiro smiled, as he let go of her hand and stood up. "Let's go back, you've had enough of this place for a while."
Kaoru immediately nodded and bowed her head, trying to hide her blush.
"Would you rather fly to the castle?" Soujiro asked.
Kaoru shook her head. "I prefer to walk." She hated her wings.
Soujiro nodded, and they started to make their way among the tombstones. "The coronation party is in less than a month." He glanced over at Kaoru. "You should give orders to prepare for the journey to the Lycan's Kingdom."
"I know." Kaoru looked down at the letter in her hand. "I will be discussing this with the council today…"
"You seem nervous." Soujiro remarked, as he noticed her gripping the letter tightly.
"You know me…I hate formal parties…" She grumbled.
Soujiro chuckled softly. "But you're the guest of honor!"
"Don't tease me Soujiro."
Soujiro kept chuckling and shaking his head. "Forgive me, my lady." He stood before her and bowed low.
"You know, it's hard to be mad at you for long." Kaoru smiled at him.
Soujiro straightened, and his face was serious now. "I know what you're feeling now, Kaoru. But I had known you for years and I can say that no matter what obstacles you face, you will be a great queen, one who will lead her people in the right direction."
Kaoru stared at his gentle brown eyes. His presence beside her gave her strength, and she knew that she would need all the strength she could muster up in the coming months…or years.
"Thank you, Soujiro."
The bed rattled, making the headboard almost bang against the wall. Rapid successions of short, sharp gasps filled the bedroom before being replaced by a moan and a deep breath.
Kenshin rolled off the ebony haired woman and lay on his back as his breathing began to calm. The woman moved closer to him, settling her head on the crook of his arm and resting her hand on his bare chest.
"You seem absent minded, my lord." She tilted her head and kissed his jaw.
"Hmmm…" Kenshin murmured, his eyes closed.
"Is it because of the journey in two days?" She asked, stroking his chest.
"I suppose so." Kenshin said, opening his amber eyes to look at her. She was a beautiful woman, with lustrous black hair and matching eyes. Her skin was pale, characteristic of most vampire females.
She had pure blood in her, making her of the royal family. They practically had known each other all their lives. Kenshin considered her a special person to him. Before he had become a king, he had challenged and killed anyone who dared to disturb her. But did he love her?
Looking into her eyes, he knew the answer.
No he didn't love her, or love anyone else for that matter. For any girl, to be loved by him meant that her life was forfeited. The chance of her staying alive after his love for her is known was slim. Kenshin didn't want to end up like his late father. Kenshin's mother had died three years after marrying his father. Killed by an avian assassin. Kenshin had been too young to remember anything about her, but he could certainly remember the man his father had become, as a result of her death.
Not a man, but a shadow of a man
"Kenshin, are you listening?" Tomoe's voice brought him back to the present. She frowned "what are you thinking about?"
"I was distracted by your beauty?" Kenshin tried.
Her frown deepened. "You weren't looking at me."
Kenshin tilted his head and kissed her "I wasn't thinking about anything important." his kiss had the desired effect, for she dropped the matter and kissed him back.
For years now, their relationship had been purely carnal. There had been a time when she had tried to be more, to be his wife. But Kenshin had made it clear that he didn't think about marriage. Not now anyway. However his people were growing restless. They wanted an heir to secure the throne, not that they expected him to die soon. He was still twenty-six, and people in the Five Kingdoms live a very long life. But with the constant battles they were fighting, he could end up dead any day. That or targeted by an assassin. Not that Kenshin was worried about the latter. Since he was a child he had survived numerous attempts on his life without even a scratch, not only because he was thoroughly protected since birth, but because of his…certain ability.
Tomoe broke the kiss and looked down at him as she settled her head on one hand. "Looking forward to meeting the new queen?" She asked, her fingers roaming over his chest.
"Aren't we all?" Kenshin rested one hand behind his head. His long red hair was loose, and his handsome features looked in deep thought at the mention of the queen.
"I bet she's being controlled by the Council. They will make her their puppet"
"Possibly, and this would be to our advantage." Kenshin said, thinking of how corrupt and greedy many of the Council members were.
"It would be really awkward," Tomoe said "to meet the avians in neutral conditions. We haven't done that in a while."
Kenshin agreed silently. It had been about three years since he had met with Avian King in a place other than the battle field. He respected King Kamiya immensely, for he was an honorable man and a brave warrior. However, their last civil meeting was anything but peaceful.
"Now that reminds me," Kenshin said, staring at Tomoe. "Warn Enishi that I will not tolerate any misbehavior during the coronation ceremony," He said firmly. "I don't want what had happened last time to be repeated."
"Don't be harsh on my brother. He has lost so much because of the Avians," Tomoe said defensively "Besides, that Avian soldier was baiting him. I was there."
"I don't care, just tell him to control his violent moods, and not to kill another Avian soldier in a neutral kingdom. We don't want to compromise our relationship with the werewolves."
"Alright, my lord," Tomoe leaned over and kissed him again. "I will talk to him, and I'm sure he had had enough of avians' blood, after all he had killed hundreds of them two months ago"
Kenshin nodded, remembering the last battle. Indeed, Enishi had killed many Avians. He was an excellent fighter, with skills almost as good as Kenshin's. However, Kenshin had certain advantages over others.
Tomoe moved over him and straddled his waist. "I believe the night is still young…" She smiled seductively, tossing her hair over her shoulders.
Kenshin looked up at her naked body, his eyes fixed on her breasts. Her curvaceous figure had always attracted the attention of other men. And now seeing her naked on top of him made Kenshin's hands move to her waist and then feeling her body up until they stopped at her full breasts.
"Yes, the night is still young." Kenshin said huskily, his eyes blazing with lust.
There you go, don't worry it's not a KenshinXTomoe fic! Lol, I think Tomoe would be OC in this fic, then again, I think it's a hard task to pin her character down :/ sorry if this chapter is kind of boring, but things will get interesting once Kenshin and Kaoru meet, I'm looking forward to developing their relationship ^_^ it feels really strange writing an AU fic, I had thought about writing another fic in the RK universe, but after 2 years of writing Her Existence it became hard to imagine the RK world as anything else.
Now as for the other fic, I hope to release it sometimes in the coming days, Easter break has started so should have some free time!
P.S. Is anyone interested to be my second beta reader? I know I have lovely otakuusa but I'm sure there are days when she will be busy with school so I need a back up! Lol