Prequel to: The Princess's Dreams
Plot from a Doujin named The Sleeping Forest.
Disclaimer: I do not own KHR! nor do I own the Doujinshi
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$&*~*~*~*~*~*~*The Sleeping Forest: The Beast's Prayer*~*~*~*~*~*~*&$
A long time ago, within a deep deep forest, there was a girl; a princess with long flowing brown locks and skin so fair. On a bed of flower's she lay, cursed to eternal slumber due to her overflowing kindness and beauty that the Gods wanted to preserve.
In a cradle she slept, undisturbed for over a century, protected by nature. There is but one way to break this curse. However, no one has ever gotten near enough to be able to do anything.
No one has ever dared.
For a barrier surrounds this magical forest, one that can put any soul that enters to a deep endless sleep.
Only the birds and the animals that have resided here long before have ever been near enough to see the eternal beauty, but of course, they can do nothing but watch and wait.
One night, a beast so fierce and powerful, that even the Gods themselves feared, has wandered its way into the forest, unaffected by the barrier, and not knowing of its purpose.
As he walked through the silent forest hunting for food, he came across a cradle of flowers, shrouded in the light of the full moon. The beast approached the cradle, a delightful aroma tickling his nose. He grinned, his vicious fangs glinting under the moonlight, malice showing on his blood red eyes.
It has been a while since he's had a feast, and a longer while since he's eaten a living human being.
At last something to satisfy his hunger, to quench his thirst for blood.
He walked slowly and silently, so as to not awake the being.
But when he entered the circle of light, near enough to see, he froze.
Long brown locks that looked as smooth as silk, pale skin that glowed under the moonlight, a kind, calm face, a petite figure, in a pure white gown.
The very vision of innocence and calm.
Untouched by the moon, the sun. Untainted and pure.
A peaceful silence surrounded him. Only the rustling of leaves and the howl of the wind could be heard.
He couldn't help but admire the sleeping figure, never has he seen such beauty. His heart filled with remorse as he took unsteady steps back 'How could I have ever thought of hurting this precious one'
He stared at his hands, his blood stained filthy hands, and couldn't help but feel disgusted with himself. Staring at the figure one last time, he retreated into the darkness.
Every night he watched her. From the shadows, just watching, waiting. He never dared go near her, for darkness is never allowed to go near the light.
He guarded her every night, hunting the human's that dare enter in an attempt to harm the place. He settled for wild animals and fruit for food. He just waited, wondering if she would ever wake up.
His left eye, which used to be the color of blood, has turned blue. His lust for blood has disappeared.
Then came a time when he could not help himself, he strayed. He broke the boundary, nearing her. His feline ears quirked up, just in case.
He halted a few steps before the sleeping figure, making sure he does not touch her, making sure he does not taint her. He simply observed, admiring her radiance.
As the days went by, he began to feel a strange feeling within his chest; One that isn't so new, but never familiar.
He was a beast, a monster; born to be alone and feared by all living creatures, one that has lived in the darkness and can never escape.
He was alright with that.
He was used to it… being alone.
Fear was normal. Sensing the fear of his victims was the highlight of his hunts, it was something he enjoyed, craved.
But that was in the past.
Why was he feeling this now? What is this feeling of sorrow? What is this… longing?
As he looked at the sleeping figure, sitting meticulously at the foot of her bed full of flowers, keeping his distance. He noticed something, tear stains. Fresh tears were slowly flowing down her porcelain face.
By instinct, he reached out to wipe it, but stopped. I can't, I cannot touch her. My hands are stained and can never be cleaned. I cannot touch her. I cannot taint her.
He withdrew his hands, running them instead on his hair the color of night.
He watched her, tears flowing down her cheeks. And he felt pained to see them.
"You must be lonely too" he spoke, so softly it could have just been the wind "Being here where no one can find you"
Her tears ceased.
He watched her, and smiled softly, different from the hungry grins he used to give his prey before he feeds or the smirk when he sees a being cower in fear. It was an action he has never done before, but for some reason, it felt… welcomed.
"I'll keep you company" He said. "I don't know if you can hear me, but I'll be here. I won't leave you alone" he told her. "I promise" And by the slightest, He saw her smile.
For many days, he sat there. Talking to her while she sleeps, telling her stories of his life, his adventures, how he lived. He left out the parts which drew blood. Those were not meant to be told nor heard.
He keeps talking to her, never receiving a reply, but it was alright, he knew she was listening, just by the slightest change in her expression.
Days turn to weeks, weeks to months.
The animals have even warmed up to him, ferocious he might look with his fangs and claws.
But always, he wondered. 'Why is she always asleep? Will she even wake up?' These thoughts flow into his mind, all questions unanswered. Frustration seeping into his being.
By now, he no longer eats flesh. Only fruits and greenery, he became friends with the animals and nature has also warmed up to him.
As he wandered through the forest, lost in his thoughts as he searched for food, he could not help but ask aloud.
"Why is she asleep?"
"Asleep for over a century, cursed to eternal slumber by Somnus himself, God of Sleep"
It was merely a whisper from the wind. The nymphs were always so kind.
The beast was crestfallen upon hearing this. A sudden rush of anger coursed through his being.
"Why is she cursed? What had she done? What could she have done to earn such cruel fate?" he growled, unable to hold back the rage building up inside of him.
No answer was given. And he calmed himself. There was no need for him to know, he himself knew this.
"Is there a way to break this curse?" he asked more calmly, pleading for an answer.
"There is but one"
The beast's eyes flashed with newfound hope. 'She can be woken?'
"A kiss from a prince—"
Before the rest was even heard, the Beast has already disappeared.
"—whose heart is as pure…" a soft breeze blew by as an Aura appeared. Tears free falling from her transparent bright eyes. "I am sorry, but you are not the one"
As the beast approached the delicate Princess, he hesitated.
'I have never touched her. I do not wish to taint her. A being of darkness is not allowed near the light. And light this pure is not meant to know of the darkness'
He looked at his hands. 'What will she think of me? I am a beast, a vile creature not meant for this world. Will she be afraid? I do not want her to fear me"
Staring at the figure that lay before him, he resolved to swallow his cowardice. 'If she can wake up…'
He leaned down, ever so slowly, stopping just above her soft pink lips, hesitating once more; he gently placed his lips on hers in a feather light kiss.
He drew back slowly, waiting for her to eyes to open, but as the hours passed, she lay asleep.
'It did not work…'
He hurried through the woods, not even looking where he was going. He rushed back to the cave in which he resides in, anger and frustration flooding his very being; he gripped the mouth of the cavern, the rocks crumbling under his shaking hands…
A thunderous howl echoed throughout the entire forest.
The earth shook; the ground nearly splitting. All the living creatures hurried, trying and hoping to get as far away from the source as possible.
Night came and went; the beast stayed immobile, curled up in the recess of his cave. He had calmed down considerably, but his mood stayed the same.
'Why did she not wake up? Why do I feel so alone? I have lived in the darkness for as long as I can remember, so why am I craving so much for the light which was never meant for me?'
His hungry stomach was the only thing that forced him to come outside. As he scavenged for food, he sensed something strange from not so far away; the gallop could be heard, and a scent was in the air.
A Human was in the forest.
Realizing this, he immediately hurried for the center where she lay, running as fast as he could. If the human were to find her, what might it do?
Once he got there he hid behind the trees, keeping his presence unknown as he watched.
There, in front of the cradle, was a boy. He had short black hair and ashen blue eyes with skin as fair as hers; however his handsome face was void of emotion, as if he was not moved at all by the sight that lay before him.
The beast watched silently from the shadows as the events from the night before was reenacted, lips connecting as soft as a caress.
He felt a stab to his heart as he watched the boy place a kiss on the princess's delicate lips. But he did not move. He could not.
For her eyes opened.
Beautiful caramel orbs revealed themselves to the world just as the boy pulled away.
The beast stood there, stunned beyond all words. He watched as the boy took off with his princess, unable to move nor speak.
'He was able to wake her. His kiss was able to wake her' he was rooted to his spot.
'Why? Why was he...'
The sky had dimmed considerably, dark clouds engulfing the heavens once so blue…
That was when cold realization dawned on him. 'I... I am not her prince'
'But of course not'
'A beast like me'
'Can never be a prince'
"KUHAHAHA!" He laughed, laughed so hard that he met the ground in a fetal position, he laughed until he could not breathe.
But even his maniacal laughter cannot mask the pain and sadness beneath those eyes.
"KUhaha~ Kufufu Kufufufu"
Tears slowly fell from cerulean orbs as rain poured from the dark night sky.
Looking up at the sky, through his tears and the rain…
With all his heart… he prayed.
To the Moon
To the Gods
And even to the Devil
No Matter how many decades, no matter how many centuries may pass
Just once more...
Once is enough.
A beast like me deserves nothing but this pain
And Yet I pray…
I pray for only one thing
Please let me see her again
'A Dream?' He stirred as consciousness seeped through, bringing him back to reality once more.
'No... A memory. From so long ago'
Slowly cerulean eyes opened to meet gentle yet worry filled caramel orbs staring down at him.
"Mukuro! Are you all right?"
A smirk grew upon my face as I sat up.
"But of course Little Vongola, You didn't think that an attack that weak would harm me now did you?" I teased him.
It became a normal occurrence now; ever since this boy, (no, he was no longer just a little boy) released me from my prison. He inherited the Vongola becoming the Tenth Generation Boss; and though I despise the Mafia, I was greatly indebted to him.
"That's great" he said as he breathed a sigh of relief. "You suddenly sprung out from nowhere, I would have been fine, you didn't have to protect me" he continued looking at me with that same warm smile on his face.
"But isn't that my job as your Mist Guardian?" I questioned him jokingly.
A pout adorned his face after that and I felt my smirk grew.
"Well, yes, but it would have been worse if you were hurt" he said. He was so kind. So… Naive
Cupping his chin, I leaned closer "Why? Could it possibly be that you're worried about me Tsunayoshi-kun?" I asked playfully. I was surprised though, when an obvious pink hue spread over his face.
"O-o-o-f course not!" He denied, quickly turning away.
"Kufufu, Tsunayoshi-kun is really cute when he's blushing" I teased, and indeed got the expected response when the brown haired boy's face flushed once more.
He quickly stood up and left to see if any of the other guardians were injured. The enemies weren't that strong, but I got too careless and let them attack me.
I turned towards the brunette questioningly; he was heading back towards the base, the cloud guardian by his side. I couldn't prevent the frown from forming on my face, but it soon disappeared as I looked at the Tenth Generation Boss of the Vongola.
"Thank you" he smiled at me, and then disappeared behind double doors.
I sat at stunned silence. Looking at the place where the young Vongola was, just moments before...
And I couldn't help but smile.
It was not because I was indebted to him that I stay by his side.
It was not because it was my duty that I would willingly use my own body to shield him…
It was something else…
'After seven hundred years of waiting'
I looked towards the starry night sky, the moonlight shining across my face as I smiled.
And I closed my eyes.
"Thank you. For granting my Prayer"