First of all, I want to thank you for your review. It really motivated me to continue this story.
Secondly, I'm sorry for all the typos, spelling and grammatical errors. I'll try my best to reduce their existence in this, the next and the previous chapters (I edited them a little so there will be some parts that are different or missing).
Lastly, to Guest(s) who asked where I get my ideas and how I come up with the OC's name: errr…to tell you the truth, the ideas just come to my head before I went to sleep. I start imagining something and I think that this imagination will be fun if it was played by certain character. You just need to select which character will be most suitable or it will come suddenly when I was daydreaming or staring at the monitor with open and fingers above the keyboard, as for the OC's name, I choose names from another character that I like but change it a little. Hehehe… as for what happened to Karin's sister and for what I mean by "she wished what were to come won't bring so much grief and misery to everyone and to both of them"; you just need to find out in the story. Hehehe (I know I'm being cruel and annoying, but where's the fun if I told you here, right? *wink*). I hope you're satisfied with the answer and I hope it can help you (one way or another) :)
If you have any questions don't hesitate to asked or PM-ed me. I checked my mail everyday so I'll know if there's any notification from ffn :)
Disclaimer: La Corda didn't belong to me.
The figure sat at his desk with chin on his intertwined hands. Papers which contained some information, some that like a map and some which contained some plan scattered all over his desk. His eyes were closed to make him more concentrated in his thinking. The room was dark with its only source of light is the only large window there. There was a sudden knock on the door. Without turning on the light, he told his visitor to come in. He's been waiting for them.
Etou and Kimiko walked into the dark room silently, stopping in front of their master's desk to bow to him. They were standing up straight after their master gave them a signal. Before anyone could speak, Etou bowed to his master deeply and said "I'm sorry milord. Please forgive Karin, she was ashamed of herself and she regretted it."
Kimiko turned her gaze toward him. First, he fought her and gave her a nearly fatal injury and then he told her that she was stupid and shouldn't let her emotion be in the way, the next thing she know he visited her at the infirmary and brought her favorite food and flower and now this. She didn't know what's going on her childhood friend's head but one thing was for sure. She didn't regret what she had done. If anything, freeing her sister was the best thing she had done.
Their master just raised one of his eyebrows. He didn't know that his right hand man still care about his childhood friend. He didn't expect him to bow and apologize on her behalf. Someone knocked the door. This time, a woman came through the door.
Etou glared at her when he saw her. He didn't like the woman. She had this kind atmosphere around her and a kind smile on her face but anyone could tell it was fake. He knows that underneath that appearance lies a very terrible and cruel woman. It didn't need a genius to know what his master was doing, calling this kind of woman to come to their meeting to decide on Kimiko's punishment. Their master wasn't evil but he wouldn't call his master kind either. Etou knew that Karin would be working under her. He didn't know what his master was planning but he hoped it wouldn't hurt Karin anymore than he had hurt her. She was once his precious childhood friend, that's why if he could, we wanted to change her punishment for Etou knew, anything else were better than working under that woman with his master planning something.
Ryoutaro couldn't believe his eyes. The view in front of him was…ridiculous, crazy and couldn't be comprehended by his common sense. Aoi who stood beside him was as surprised-or maybe broken-hearted-as him. Only Kazuki who stood beside Aoi had that ridiculous expression on his face, a dreamy expression with sparkling eyes and an annoying happy sigh that escape his lips.
After Kazuki ruined their game of chess because of Azuma, they decided to take a stroll around the castle. They wanted to have as much peace and happy moment as possible before the upcoming battle that would be taken place two weeks from now but that time was still a probability for they didn't know when the enemy would make their moves. It could be sooner or later. But when they went by the kitchen, they heard some maid giggling and gossiping about certain redheaded knight and her prince. Apparently Aoi and her brothers were curious to what the maid had said so they decided to ask around and got a similar answer from a lot of kyaaa-ing, squealing and dreamy-looking-let-out-a-happy-and-dreamy-sigh maids thus bringing the three of them to their current condition.
"Oooh~ what an envious sight." The voice behind them kind of brought them back from their stupor. Ryoutaro just scratch the back of his neck, embarrassed to be caught staring and spying on his fraternal twin sister. Kazuki just give a nod and smiling widely, happy for the couple while Aoi…
"Yeah, it was so envious it kinda made us want to find our own special someone huh?" Kanazawa raised an eyebrow to Aoi's reaction. He didn't know that his idiotic of a prince could take it well. He even went as far as masked his own feeling. "Aoi…"
"Nah, don't worry Kanazawa-sensei! I'm alright; beside I have Fuuyumi-chan right? Even though I'm sure she's more suited with Kei-kun than I am besides, as fellow student of yours, I should be happy for my senior right?" Aoi said, smiling a forced smile.
"Who said I was worried about you? I just called your name to invite the three of you to go and disturb Lenny's peaceful slumber." Aoi looked at him with disbelieve. He heard from Ousaki that Kanazawa's hobby was to annoy Len to no end and he thought that after Len had come back to his own kingdom, Kanazawa would stop his hobby on annoying his student but apparently, he would annoy his other student and see them as a replacement to his 'favorite victim'. The only reason he didn't annoy Aoi was because he annoyed Kanazawa with his bubbly self so, seeing Aoi as his kind of punishment for annoying his student, Kanazawa stopped that hobby of his but after seeing Len again, his hobby came back in full-force and fortunately or unfortunately, it only hit Len…hard.
"Count me in Kanayan. I'm afraid if we didn't remove his head from Kahoko's lap soon, her lap will become numb because of his weight." Ryoutaro answered Kanazawa's invitation readily, cracking his fingers in excitement.
Kazuki sweat-dropped at his little brother's behavior "Don't you think we should let them be? Len looked so peaceful and comfortable. You know it was rare for him to be like that and Ryou, don't you think you should stop that complex toward Kaho-chan?"
"The way you said that make me want to wake him up more, nii-san. And for your information, I don't have any sister complex toward Kahoko." Before Kazuki could stop them, Ryoutaro and Kanazawa started walking toward the couple. He just sighed and wished that Len wouldn't slice Ryoutaro into pieces for disturbing his moment with his sister.
Fuuyumi couldn't believe her ears. The news was so wonderful it made her heart leap. She couldn't wait to congratulate her brother and she couldn't wait to tell their mother about this. She would be delighted to finally know that her one and only son had achieved the goal he most desired. If only she could find her only one like her brother did, she's sure it would be nice. It's not like she didn't like being Aoi's fiancée, she already accept her fate. It was for the good of her Kingdom and she would do anything for her beloved country but she also wanted to experience on searching and finding the one she loved, besides…
"FUUYUMI-SAN, WATCH OUT!"
Karin's warning came too late as Fuuyumi felt herself ran into someone and about to fell when someone grabbed her shoulder to prevent her from falling.
"Are you ok, princess?" Aoi asked. He then gave his thanks to the maid who saved Fuuyumi. She was about to thank the maid when she realized that the maid was already gone.
"Aoi-san, who is she?" Karin asked. She didn't notice the maid was nearby. It was like she concealed her presence. Karin didn't know why but she had this uneasy feeling when the maid walked by her and strangely enough, she had a feeling that she had met the maid before.
"She's the head maid. It was rare to see her here because she usually very busy inside. I wonder why she's here."
"Uum…A-Aoi-san, why are you here? Sh-shouldn't you be wi-with Kazuki?" Fuuyumi asked curiously.
Aoi hesitated for a bit. He couldn't find a way to describe the event that just occurred before he ran into Fuuyumi. In the end, he just pointed his finger toward where Len and Kahoko at. Karin who saw the discomfort of her mistress didn't think twice before rushing toward Kahoko.
Kazuki somehow pitied Len. Because of Ryoutaro and Kanazawa, his peaceful moment with Kahoko didn't last long. He couldn't believe that Ryoutaro agreed to Kanazawa's plan on disturbing Len. The lad was sleeping so peacefully on Kahoko's lap that his face almost looked angelic, and that angelic face was turned into its usual-more annoyed-face just because of Kanazwa and Ryoutaro's antic.
"Ryou, What are you doing?" he could hear Kahoko questioning her brother's motive on sitting between her and Len.
"Nah, he's just protecting you from some bugs, Tsuchiura." Kanazawa replied as he sat beside Len with sandwich that he took from the picnic basket on hand.
Len wanted to spend his time with his girlfriend but when they just found the peace they needed, his former teacher and his long time enemy came and ruined it. He still respect Kanazawa, he really still do but what Kanazawa did sometimes irked him, and this is one of it, as for Ryoutaro, he just wanted to pounce him. He understood about his feeling of protectiveness toward Kahoko but he didn't have to see Len as some kidnapper that kidnapped his sister. Len must find some way to distract Ryoutaro's attention from him and his sister. Thank God that Kazuki was supportive.
"Ryoutaro-san, please move from that spot. Can't you see that Kahoko-sama was uncomfortable?" Karin's request fell into deaf ears as Ryoutaro didn't move from his spot.
Karin was saying the same request for the 5th times but the lad still hadn't moved from his spot.
"ARRGGH! I don't care if you're Kahoko-sama's brother. NOW MOVE!" Karin finally lost it as she grabbed Ryoutaro by his collar and tried to move him from his spot.
Karin's action made the others surprised as they didn't think that she would do something like that. Kanazawa and Kazuki continue eating the snacks, Len continue drinking his tea and Kahoko continue reading her book. Aoi could only chuckled and Fuuyumi was a little worried but couldn't do anything as they watched from the distance.
"Are you ok with this Kimiko?" Etou asked with worry in his voice. They were on their way to the music store at Violoncelle Kingdom that Etou used as his post.
"There's nothing you can do Kiriya. Master had already decided on this. You or I couldn't do anything to change it."
"Kimiko-chan, could you come here for a sec? I need to tell you about my plan." The feminine voice called her.
Etou still didn't like it for one bit. The fact that Kimiko should work under Azuza was enough to make Etou worried about her. Azuza was known for her skill with spear and poison and she wouldn't hesitate to use her weapon and poison to kill someone who betrayed her master and disobey her and his command.
"Kiriya-kun, could you please open the door? We will attract an attention if we stand in front of this store for too long, wouldn't we?" Azuza spoke with a sweet voice and smile it made them forget her true nature for a second. "Please rest and prepare the best for our mission. Both of you know that failure was not an option, don't you?"
"In case you forget, Azuza. My mission and yours were different so don't drag me into your mission."
"Oh, I'm sorry Kiriya-kun. It must have slipped from my mind." Azuza said it with a sweet voice full of sarcasm.
Etou just glared at her before went to his room. Now, he wished he could turn back the time and stopped his old self from making Kimiko and Karin suffered something unnecessary. He couldn't change the past to free them but maybe he could do something to free them now. Etou didn't have any choice but to meet that person and negotiate with him. He knew his master or Azuza would kill him if either of them found out about what he was about to do but he'll do it no matter what. He was not suited to become a villain after all.
Len stood under the tree where Kahoko was kidnapped and where he confessed to her. To tell the truth, he wouldn't want to leave Kahoko's side if someone hadn't sent him an urgent letter. Ryoutaro went as far as called him his sister's loyal dog, following her where ever she go and never leave her side. Len couldn't help it; Kahoko was the most important thing for him. If only the letter didn't find its way to him, he'll be at the palace listening to Kahoko playing a violin or maybe they'll play a duet. It's been a long time since they play the violin together.
Someone who came caught Len's attention. He narrowed his eyes and drew one of his twin swords as the person was approaching him.
"What do you want?" Len asked coldly.
He dropped his weapon-a pair of tonfa-to the ground and raises his hands, indicating he wouldn't do anything funny to Len. Seeing Len didn't put his sword back to its sheath, he sighed and scratched his neck.
"I know it was hard to believe that someone who kidnapped your girlfriend wants to meet you but…" He began on explaining but Len cut him coldly
"Just tell me what you want and what purpose you have."
"I was about to tell you that part but you cut me, gezz…" Len just glared at him "anyway, I want to negotiate with you."
Len had to frown at that statement but he kept his guard up. Taking Len's silence as his clue to continue his explanation, Etou began to speak "You see, I was one of your enemy's most trusted and treasured man and I'll tell you everything I know but in return, you'll do something I asked."
"Is this some kind of trap? You know I won't fall for that."
"Good grief, here I was offering something so valuable but you think it was some kind of trap? You're so cruel you know."
"Do you think I will trust someone who was an enemy?"
"You have a point but…"
"Let's hear him, Len-kun."
Kahoko suddenly appeared behind Etou along with Azuma. Their appearances take both of them by surprise but Len put his guard up quickly. He then glared at Etou, assuming he also sent a letter to Kahoko.
"What are you doing here? I didn't send any letter to you." Etou asked, feeling Len's glare was on him. He didn't want his negotiation become harder because of some misunderstanding.
Kahoko just scratched her head, afraid of Len's reaction when he found out that she had followed him.
"We follow you here, your highness. We've been hiding behind those trees." Azuma decided to answer Etou's question and explained it to Len.
"Kahoko, you should know better than trust an enemy." Len said in much gentler tone. He didn't know what to say when Azuma explained it. He knew he should be angry because of their action but he just couldn't be angry at her. He would have had a word with Azuma, though.
"But Len, I'm sure he's not a bad person. He said sorry before he knocked me unconscious." Kahoko tried to explain to Len. He didn't understand his girlfriend's way of thinking. How could she say that her kidnapper was not a bad person just because he said sorry to her?
"Now, you highness, you should hear his side of story. Your father always says that you should hear someone's explanation before deciding what to do to them, right?" Azuma said.
Kahoko walked toward Len and grabbed his free hand "Please Len-kun. It wouldn't be bad to hear his story, right? And besides, if he tried anything funny like trying to kidnap me again, you will protect me, right?" Kahoko then gave him her puppy eyes she knew he couldn't resist.
Len just sighed and then sheathed his sword and said "Fine, you win. Let's hear him." Kahoko then hug him as she said her thanks.
Etou thought that Kahoko had Len wrapped around her fingers if he would do what she said just because she asked him to. He was lucky that Kahoko came and persuade Len. If she were not there, he knew Len wouldn't hear him and his effort would go to waste.
Kimiko couldn't shake an uneasy feeling that bugged her. She didn't know which one made her felt that way, Azuza's behavior or Azuza's order, maybe both. Ever since Etou came back from his little journey, Azuza had been keeping an eye on him. She even had one of her underlings to follow his every move.
"Azuza-sama, I have important information for you." Kimiko heard Azuza's underling that infiltrate the palace said. Kimiko and Azuza were in the middle of making poisons on Azuza's guidance. "The mouse had decided to part ways." The mouse was their way to mention their enemies. Kimiko started listening more intently when she heard about their current enemy where her sister was at. "The dark green, brown and red mice were on their way to Pianisimmo Kingdom, the lilac and light green were on their way to Souffler Kingdom while the blue, red, brown and muddy were on their way to Violon Kingdom."
Both Kimiko and Azuza stopped what they were doing. Kimiko was happy because her sister was safe while Azuza was seen to be thinking.
"Hmp. It seems we will change our plan. Kimiko, called Etou…" Azuza told her and then she turned her attention to her informant "…told our soldiers at the castle to prepare themselves. We will do our mission tomorrow night."
The informant bowed to Azuza and then exited the room while Kimiko went to search for Etou.
Authoress' note: Chapter 16 is finished! *dancing a happy dance*. I'm sorry for spelling or grammatical errors. I tried to reduce them as much as possible. Thank you for reading and don't forget to review. See ya at the next chapter! :D