~ The 4th King~

Chapter 13

Do not own POT!


0.) Karupin - Ryoma's pet/friend. For some reason I wanted her to be first! hahaha

1.) Ryoma Echizen - The Hero of the story! ^_^ need I say more? (... in case I do, please ask ;P)

2.) Syuusuke Fuji - The first prince and heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Seigaku.

3.) Rinko Echizen - Ryoma's mother (deceased), she was named the witch of the immortal forest when she was still alive.

4.) Nanjiro Echizen - Ryoma's father (deceased) a former soldier of the kingdom Seigaku

5.) Ryoga Echizen - Ryoma's older brother (missing)

6.) Amarasarit(Amara or Ama)- The spirit of the eternal stream

7.) Logan - An ex-mercenary turned priest that lives in the immortal forest

8.) Sumire Ryuuzaki - A powerful winged stardust (race) and the head lady of the Mystic village in theForest of Immortals.

9.) Sakuno Ryuuzaki - A wingless stardust (race) and the granddaughter of Sumire Ryuuzaki

10.) Kojirou Saeki - Loyal servant to the first prince of Seigaku, Syuusuke Fuji

11.) Yumiko Fuji - The princess of Seigaku. Syuusuke's and Yuuta's older sister. She can see glimpses of the past present and future though she cannot control when.

12.) Yuuta Fuji - The 2nd prince of Seigaku and the youngest child of the Fuji siblings.

13.) King Rustam - The king of Seigaku.

14.) Kunimitso Tezuka - A commander of the Army of Seigaku

15.) Eiji Kikumaru - A nobleman and friend of the first prince Fuji

16.) Shuuichirou Oishi - Eiji Kikumaru's personal servant and lover -wink-

17.) Takeshi Momoshiro - One of the Knights of Seigaku who serve under Commander Kunimitsu Tezuka

18.)Kaoru Kaido - A knight of Seigaku who serve under Commander Kunimitsu Tezuka

20.) Hajime Mizuki - A merchant

21.) Kippei Tachibana - A blacksmith in seigaku and the best in the three great kingdoms.

22.) Ann Tachibana - Kippei Tachibana's little sister and Takeshi Momoshiro's girlfriend

23.) Akira Kamio - A soldier of Seigaku

24.) Shinji Ibu - A soldier of Seigaku

25.) Sadaharu Inui - The castle doctor Chitose Senri

26.) Chitose Senri - A soldier of Seigaku and a spy for the rebels.

27.) Keigo Atobe - The king of Hyoutei

28.) Munahiro Kabaji - King Atobe's loyal servant.

29.) Sinn - Hired Assassin

30.) Krill - Sinn's henchmen

31.)Yuushi Oshitari - king Atobe's right hand man and tactician.

32.) Aoi Hanamura - The Oracle

33.) Soul Ventin - A young master wizard

The Hyoutei Kingdom

Inside the Castle Library

Ryoma's 12th day

Ryoam took a deep breath, held it in for a few seconds then exhaled. Slowly, he opened his eyes and smiled.

"I did it!" She said with a smug grin on his face. Soul, the young wizard, gaped at Ryoma then gave a huge smile and clapped his hands.

"Thats amazing, Ryoma! In just three days, you've already got the hang of it!" Soul said, admiration evident in his voice. Ryoma had been on an indian sitting position for hours. Hen he stood up so suddenly, Ryoma's knees nearly buckled from under him. If it weren't for Soul's quick reflexes, Ryoma would have had an ungraceful fall. Soul just laughed at Ryoma who was pouting.

"Ryoma, i know i've already asked this of you but... Are you sure you've never done this kind of training before?" Ryoma nodded. Soul raised a hand to his chin, thinking. Then his eyes widened, figuring something out.

"Didn't you tell me you were an excellent swords man? Perhaps it is due to your sword training that you have also unknowingly training your mind focus and discipline, also~" Ryoma stared at Soul. His lips twitched, threatening to form a smile. 'He's a great kid but he sure talks a lot' Ryoma kept on listening listened to Soul continual analysis of Ryoma's potential. As noisy as the wizard is, Ryoma find his company strangely comforting.

When they heard the double doors of the library open, Soul went silent. King Atobe walked in, followed by his guards. Ryoma saw Soul's eyes widened and then his cheeks went red. The wizard bowed low, stuttering a good evening to the king.

'Oh yeah... Soul told me he's in love with...' Ryoma turned to look at King Atobe who was heading his way. '-that guy' For the two days Soul had been in Ryoma's company, and soul being the talkative guy that he is, Ryoma by now pretty much know everything about the life of the young wizard... It was quite amusing and for Ryoma's training, very distracting. The reason Ryoma took longer to finish his training than necsessary.

"Soul! How is my Ryoma doing?" Ryoma cringed but didn't let it show.

"Oh, he's doing magnificently! If fact, he's pretty much done! Ryoma just has to train at least an hour a day to get used to it." King Atobe turned to Ryoma and graced him with his most proud smile.

"I never doubted he could! I thank you for your help, Soul! You have served your king very well!" The king said pleased with everything, Soul's eyes glittered with joy at the praise, Ryoma didn't say a word.

"The honor was mine, My lord" Soul bowed once more.

"Tonight, you shall join me and Ryoma for dinner. Tonight, He has finished with his mind training. For the next few days, Ryoma will be taught to use what he has learned from you, Soul, to fight." Soul nodded, a little sad that he will have to part with his new friend, Ryoma.

"So then, We shall all head for the dining hall." Ryoma, a bit sluggishly, followed the king. 2 days of minimal physical activity was making him feel so slow. Soul walked next to Ryoma. he had a silly smile on his face, so happy to be eating dinner with the king. Seeing Soul smile so goofily. 'What a happy kid' Ryoma thought but it made him make a small but gentle smile. So unlike him.

Dinner went by slowly for Ryoma, more than once, he had to stifle a yawn. The king was mostly telling/ boasting about his great tales and all that. He didn't mind much. Although he still gets irritated by the king from time to time... Ryoma was starting to get used to it. The king had not tried to control him and allowed Ryoma to roam freely as he wishes. The condition was that he continues to train. Ryoma liked that.

Every now and then the King would try to get intimate with Ryoma. At first it really annoyed him but he realized after the 4th os 5th time, all in one day, that it was all just for fun and nothing serious. That just how the king was.

After Ryoma had retreated back to his room, he had wanted to take a bath right away. The maids had stopped him saying they must prepare a new bath for him. Thinking it woulb be easier to just let them have their way, Ryoma nodded and waited for the maids to bring warm water, clothes, etch... It was when They told Ryoma they must help him while he bathes that he had to draw the line. Once they had left his room, he breathed a sigh of relief. 'Some alone time at last.'

Ryoma slowly got into the tub and nearly purred at how great the warm water felt against his cold skin. For 30 minutes he did nothing but lay there until he started to feel drowsy. He had attempted to sit up but his body felt heavy so Ryoma back against the tub and leaned his head back. 'Just a few more minutes' He thought. Before long, he had fallen into sleep.

Two Days Ago

The Immortal Forest

When Logan regained consciousness, the first thing he became aware of was the sound of people talking. He tried to move but he couldn't nor could he speak or see... He was tied up to a tree. The memory of what happened flashed back and Logan went still, hoping no one had notice him move. Too late. He could hear footsteps heading his way and there was nothing he could do. The foot steps stopped in front of him.

"Your finally awake, huh?" Logan heard a young males voice but he did not respond. He heard a chuckle.

"No need to pretend like your still unconscious! I saw you trying to get loose" Logan still did not respond. He heard the man take a few steps back and hear another pair of footsteps coming closer.

"Gene- I mean- S-Sa... He's awake" Judging from the way the first man was speaking to the one who had just arrive, the later was of higher rank.

"Alright, takes his blinds off and take him to the tent" Said a deeper voice. A few moments later, his blind was off. Logan squinted, his vision still adjusting. The moment his sight was back, he knew instantly that hey were somewhere in the deepest and oldest part of the forest. It was as dark as night but Logan could tell it was late in the morning by the smell in the air. He turned to the man who was currently cutting of the rope that bound him to the tree. After a quick analysis of his surrounding Logan opted not to struggle.

There were at least 20 soldiers and about 10 hired rogues. Even if they all wore the same armor, Logan could tell by the way they stand and move who were trained and who weren't.

"Come on now, on your feet!" He was grabbed by the arm and pulled to stand up then was lead into a big Red tent with exaggerated golden prints. Inside the tent sitting on a mountain of pillows and looking relaxed as can be while holding what seemed like a jewel was, Logan presumed, the mastermind of all this.

"King Rustam, This is the man who I found following us yesterday." Said the young man who had brought Logan there. He was on a kneeling position and had forced Logan to kneel as well. The king lazily looked up and stared at Logan.

"Who are you and why are you following us?" He asked Logan, his voice low and threatening. Logan kept his cool, careful with his choice of words. 'I must not let the existence of the magical creatures be exposed or else they would surely be in danger!'

"My name is Logan and i live in the forest. I just happened to come across your men while out to hunt! Thats all there is." He said, pretending to be scared and confused. The kings face brightened.

"Oh? YOU live in the forest? How have you survived all this time? Aren't these woods infested with blood thirsty beasts?" careful not to give anything away, Logan shook his head.

"I have lived here all my life and have never encountered such beasts" The King gave a low laugh that sent shivers down Logan's spine.

"I take it you want be to believe that since you have been in the forest all your life, monstrous beast such at the ones my men has slain are really just animals and that there is nothing unusual in this forest... Then?" Logan held back a growl. 'You people are the only beast i see!' He thought viciously. The a corpses of animals Logan had seen were in deed big and frightening but they were no monsters. It was the man with cold heartless eyes that stood before him that was the monster.

"What do yo u mean?" Logan feigned ignorance. The King moved and adjusted his sitting so he could face Logan completely.

"Do you know of a witch that lives in the forest?" Logan face did not betray him.

"No, I have never seen a witch in these lands before"

"You have lived here alone all?" Logan nodded

"I was left here when i was very little. I learned to survive quickly to this place. I rarely leave the forest for i prefer living alone"

"So you are telling me you can enter and leave the this place as you please? Without a hint of magic or sorcery to aid you?" Logan shrugged. That part wasn't a lie anyway.

"I suppose? Forgive me but I don't believe in such things"

"I see..." The king nodded at his servant who stood to his right. "Then i suppose you don't know anything about the human like creatures living in his forest" The king. Just then, two men came in, holding a small body and making the little one kneel. "We found this creature lurking about close by. I am not with enemies, you see, so for my protection i had this little one captured. Imagine our surprise when it suddenly grew wings!" The King laughed.

Logan had gone stiff and his blood went cold as the words the king said became clear. He was no more than 2/3 of the size of a human and by the looks of things. His face looked like a young child but Logan knew him, he was Ryoma's age. Covered in bruises and breathing heavily. but the worst part, the part that drove Logan to the edge was that on the boys back...

The boy was from the butterfly village and his wings were cut off.

"YOU BASTARD!" Overcome with furry, Logan jumped up and lunged towards the king. In a flash, before he could reach the king, he felt a fist come in contact with his stomached. He fell on his back gasping for breath. Instantly, he was surrounded by men with swords.

"Now now. no need to be so excited. I am not going to kill this creature" The king said in an amused tone.

"You might as well have! You gut off his wings!" Logan retorted, earning a painful kick to his side. The king shrugged.

"I did not know that. Never the less he it still alive and as long as he is, there is always a chance to cure him... Isn't that right? Mr. Logan" Logan gritted his teeth in anger. He turned to his right and saw that the young butterfly had turned to look at him with exhausted eyes. very weakly, he mouthed something to Logan that broke his heart.

'Sorry' Logan shut his eyes tight and after a few moments, opened them again. He turned back to look at the king who was still looking a him. With a slightly shaky voice, Logan asked.

"What do you want from me?" The king smiled and he raised his left hand to show Logan the jewel he had been holding all this time.

"I want you to lead me to the ancient ruins of this forest. Lead me and my men through a safe path to the ruins and i will not let this little one die"

"How will you be able to do that?" Logan asked through gritted teeth.

"The stone in my hand is a very powerful magic source, It will not make his wings grow back but it can prolong his life. Perhaps, just enough for you to bring him back to his people who might be able to save him?" The little one was trying pathetically to shake his head, trying to tell Logan not to do as the evil king said but Logan was not looking at him.

"Fine. You want a safe passage to the ruins, i know a way but leave this cild in my care" The king shrugged again in an uninterested manner and waved a hand at the men who were holding the little creature. With a curt nod, the soldiers pushed him towards Logan who had now sat up and caught him just in time. The butterfly stared up at Logan with frightened eyes.

"I wont let you die" he said in a low voice so only the butterfly could hear.

"And so with that, the deal is sealed" Said the king who has stood up and turned his back on them.

"Now then, guards, go tie them together somewhere where i wont be bale to see them" He said and walked out of the tent. 'Finally' King Rustam thought to himself, unable to contain his excitement any longer. 'I am so close now! This life time definitely, I will find the lost kingdom and all its secrets will be mine! The only thing remaining a threat now is that cursed witch' King Rustam stopped for a moment and looked into the darkness of the forest.

"I know you are watching me, witch. But as you are now, you cannot touch me!" He went silent as if waiting for a response but he already knew he will not get any and walked back to join his men.

Present Time

Kingdom of Hyoutei

Ryoma's Bathroom

He made a mistake. Ryoma knew that the moment he had regain consciousness. He had fallen asleep on the bathtub. He was shivering violently now and the once warm water had become icy. Tremblingly, Ryoma struggled to sit up. It was painful but he managed. Emerging from the water, Ryoma was met with the even colder air. Shocked at the chill, he fell beck down.

"D-d-d-d-d-d Damn!" HE said through chattering teeth. 'This is so embarrassing... Damn!' Ryoma had seen this happen to Logan once when he was younger. Logan had fallen asleep in the giant wooden barrel they had used as a tub back in the forest. Ryoma had found him in the early icy morning. His skin was blue, shaking violently and his eyes had rolled up. Ryoma was petrified and ran to Amara for help. Amara had given Logan a good lecture after that.

'I'd definitely get en earful if they ever found out i did the same' Ryoma thought, making a small smile. He slowly leaned his head back again to rest on the side of the tun. 'Have i turned blue as well?' For a moment Ryoma thought it was strange but the cold water against his skin wasn't as cold anymore-

"WHAT IN HEAVEN-?" Ryoma jolted in shock at the sudden booming noise. A bit upset that he was shaken away from the fog of sleep that was bout to consume him again. He opened his eyes to try and see where the loud sound had come from but everything was blurry. Ryoma felt a hand on suddenly embrace him then listed him up from the water. The next thing Ryoma became aware of was being wrapped into something really warm. He snuggled deeper into the warm, no longer aware of the loud voices around him. Pretty soon Ryoma fell back into sleep.

After what seemed like a long sleep, Ryoma was awaken by someone lifting up his head. He then felt something touch his lips and forcing him to drink. Ryoma groaned in annoyance 'Ugh! leave me alone, i want to sleep' Ryoma had meant to say that out loud but his mind was still foggy from sleep and had not realized that his throat was so dry he couldn't speak. His irritation didn't last long. The moment he had swallowed the warm drink, he wanted more.

"More.." He managed to say in a small raspy voice. After a moment he was given another glass and he drank greedily.

"He's finally got some color back. Thank goodness!" Ryoma heard an elderly male voice say. The person holding hid head up for him to drink slowly put him down. He felt the bed shift as this person stood up.

"He is no longer in any danger. We just need to keep him warm. I will comeback later to check up on him" said. Ryoma did not open his eyes but he turned his head slightly so he would be facing the people talking in his room.

"Doctor, I think its best if someone should stay and watch over him until he wakes up. This will also put the king at ease as well." The man who said that sounded young and delicate. 'That voice' Ryoma thought to himself 'Its sounds... So familiar...' A bell was ringing at the back of his head. Who...?

"Hmm... Your sight, your right. He's been very busy these past few days. If doing so it would lessen out kings worries than it shall be done." Said the doctor.

"Thank you sir."

"Honestly, its a good thing he didn't drown! Anyway, i have to go now but call me as soon as he has awaken."

"Understood sir." Ryoma heard the door shut and inwardly sighed in relief ' I can go back to sleep no-' He felt the bed shift again. Someone was sitting next to him. He felt hands gently striking his hair. It was a relaxing rhythem and Ryoma did not mind. About a minute or two later, the same fingers now traced his eyebrows, the side of his face and his lips. Frowning, Ryoma tried to turn away from the hand. The bed shifted slightly and he could feel someone leaning over him.

"Ne, Ryoma... You're awake aren't you?" The voice was near Ryoma's right ear, making him shiver.

"You recognize my voice... Don't you?" Ryoma thought could tell the owner of the voice was pouting somehow. He's face crunched up. 'Sleep' He thought '5 want to sleep'

There was a sudden shift on the bed. The man had stood up. Just as suddenly, to Ryoma's shock, the think warm blankets that had been used to cover him was tugged off of him violently. The sudden loss of warm and the feel of the icy air made Ryoma snapped his eyes open. He turned to the culprit, wanting to get the blanket back before he started shivering. The moment he saw who it was Ryoma froze.

The man gave a slow and wide smile as he stepped closer to Ryoma. he sat back on the bed beside him and wrapped the blanket around Ryoma, making sure he was snuggled in. Ryoma could only stare in shock. The made raised a hand and gently caressed Ryomas cold cheeks.

"Hello, Ryoma" The man said in a whisper. "I missed you" Ryoma parted his trembling lips to speak while his eyes never left the man. Half afraid he would disappear if Ryoma lost sight of him.

"Did you miss me too, Ryoma?" Said the man in a teasing voice. Ryoma's eyes softened and allowed a small but genuine smile to appear on his face.

"... You... found me"

"Saa... I found you"

... Bwahahahahaha! =D

I hope you enjoyed it~

Thank you for reading!