Well here it is the next chapter things are getting good! :)
My Shaking Heart
"Congratulations on your success in bringing him back, but more importantly did you complete the mission I gave you in secret," Rima asked coolly.
I twitched nervously hearing the threat behind her words. Good thing I did complete it and had a few ideas I prepared for her and Nagihiko. I nodded my head in response to her question.
"It's fine to speak you have permission," Nagihiko stated noticing my lack of any quick response.
"I found out by Kairi's behavior mainly his reluctance toward me and his obedience to his king improving that he bargained with his King to have approval of his marriage with Yaya. I found out from King Nikaidou that he was quite interested in my past with Roth and only barely declined my offer on insight of King Roth. I therefore assume that he is secretly or planning to work with King Roth against our country. I suspect that as soon as the wedding is over chaos will start. I figure they will have assassins try to kill us after the wedding, but a wedding of this high of a social class is unavoidable. We cannot refuse to show up."
"Do you have a plan to keep our citizens safe," Rima asked, "I want every person who goes to the wedding to be invited or there to protect our citizens."
"You want to send in a crew of disguised knights," I asked, "Most of them wouldn't dare to fight without their armor."
"That and most of them aren't that good at being discreet like a tracker," Nagihiko added.
"Yes it is because only a few knights are taught to hide, most only know how to break down barricades and enemies, but to actually sneak up on the enemy is much rarer than I would like to admit," Rima sighed.
"We will have to go with that plan after all," Nagihiko said watching me carefully for my reaction.
My mind flickers with many thoughts as my right hand has the smallest of a tremble. I open my mouth to respond and only hesitate quickly enough for an expert to notice. "I will prepare for it then your highness. I will take my leave."
Forcing one foot in front of the other and blocking any thought other than my footsteps I exited the room. When I reached my room I shut the door and slid to the ground panicking. My whole body shaking so much that my vision blurs and I can barely breathe. A panic attack it has been a while since I last had one.
I don't know how long I sat there shaking and I don't remember slipping into sleep, but that is what happened.
"Amu rise and shine. It's morning and you are late," I called out.
"She has never been late to train me. Do you think something is wrong," Hiro asked quickly looking about all around.
"She did go through a lot of work to make our plan to save Fuyuki work out. She probably just needs a break." I knock hard three times on the door. A shuffle of feet can be heard and the door opens slowly revealing Amu with black rings under her eyes along with frizzy hair.
"Amu you look like crap! What happened," I asked.
"I had a nightmare. I couldn't get much sleep. Let me get changed and I will resume the training," Amu yawned closing her door behind her.
"It must have been a bad nightmare if it kept her up all night," Hiro paced.
"Do you think she will be okay for training us today?"
"I don't know I have never seen her like this. If she isn't fine than this is really bad," Hiro replied.
The door of Amu's room opened and she was dressed in her gear
"Amu what did Ri mean when she said to walk carefully for the red's consumption is upon you," I asked discreetly telling her the message.
Amu's shoulders shot up and she turned quickly to give me a look of horror, "Why didn't you tell me she said this as soon as we left?"
"Ikuto look what you did Amu's really angry when she gets like this she is dangerous with or without a weapon," Hiro whispered as he watched Amu walk briskly in front of us.
"Sorry I just didn't know how to bring it up," I apologized. Amu gave a slight nod of the head and continued to walk to the training grounds. I just want to be close to Amu, but she has but a big distance between us ever since she went to see Kairi and Nikadiou, maybe even a little before then.
We reached the training field and Amu turned around abruptly facing away from Hiro and I. "Are you two going to join us for some training if not you must leave," Amu stated loudly authority ringing through each word and pause.
"I wasn't sure if you were still willing to train me now that I've got my brother back,"Akiyo said smiling sheepishly.
"Also we were wondering if you wouldn't mind another student," Fuyuki asked not showing any sign of worry unlike his brother.
"Nice to see you are doing well your brother worked really hard to make sure he could rescue you," Hiro grinned, "My sister is fed up with dealing with him so I'm sure she'll be glad to hear you two are going to live with your sister."
"Been a while since I've seen you Fuyuki this is are second time meeting excluding the rescue. I still can't tell the two of you apart. Other than you seem more mysterious than your brother," I smirked, "but that is probably because your more simple than complex."
"Still rude as ever I can see, Ikuto," Fuyuki smiled, "Manners was never your strong point."
"Fuyuki, you can train with us, but you will be working with me after I get these guys started. No more talking I am busy and have little time to waste," Amu sternly handed each of us a sword and walked in front of Hiro.
"I feel I have neglected making your training difficult enough because of the rescue mission. I'm about to teach you a few new tricks. Pay close attention," Amu stated. She seemed motivated to train and teach, but there was no joke no hint of a smile in her demeanor. Something serious must be going on. As I was thinking this the practice began.
Amu had taken off the metal armor and was unprotected by anything but light material easy to move in. "What is she doing a knight is never to fight without his uniform and protection," Fuyuki asked me with shock.
"I don't know, but Amu is not your everyday knight," I said in awe as I watched her sword slam into Hiro's who barely had enough time to block it. Hiro was sent flying back skidding across the ground.
"As you have all probably noticed a Knight's armor is heavy although it raises your defense really high it is at the cost of your agility. When wearing the armor it is important to know the pace you can work at while wearing the armor, but without it just how much can your pace increase?"
"You already move faster than most knights in armor," Hiro muttered picking up his battered-self off the ground. He charged at Amu in hopes to attack her back, but her speed was utterly amazing as she easily glided past him before his brain could realize it happened. She came to a halt six feet away.
"Well agility has its weaknesses too. It is more difficult to come to a sudden stop, but if you use your feet to push off of stable objects you can quickly use the same momentum in the switch of directions. I will show you tomorrow how to utilize the armor to the fullest extent, but first I want you to master using the skills I have offered you. Your goal is to get three scratches on me aim for vital points," Amu instructed.
"Is she crazy he has to focus on the new techniques while aiming for vital areas of her body," Akiyo exclaimed brushing away sweat on his forehead.
"This is the toughest I've seen her be to Hiro. I wonder if she thinks he's ready," an unfamiliar voice said. I whipped my body around and saw behind me a knight roughly in his thirties. He had long blonde hair that covered his eyes and went to his shoulders in uneven wisps. I didn't even feel his presence and I was tuned into those sorts of things being a tracker.
"You who are you," I asked.
"Well you haven't introduced yourself sir," he teased.
"Ikuto Tsukiyomi. And you?"
"Uhara Hiromi I'm the Knight that was instructed to watch over her and help her adapt to getting used to the armor and other things like her weaknesses," he said inclining his head toward Amu.
"Best student I ever had by far. I didn't get to teach her much or for long she learned everything quickly absorbing techniques and information as if she were an empty dry sponge. She even surpassed me easily, still I'll let it go just once," Uhara smiled.
By the time we focused are attentions back on the practice, Hiro had already shed his armor and was in the process of charging at Amu. He was pretty fast, but his movements were clumsier than Amu's as she quickly moved out of his path and turned waiting for retaliation.
There is nothing to push my feet on in the direction I had foolishly dashed at Amu from. I found a tall bush and shoved my feet against roots at the bottom feeling scrapes and scratches form on my ankles. I bounced off of it shakily but I didn't lose as much momentum as I would have slowing down. Amu is faster than me and will dodge my next attack, but if I attack her enough to force her to go in front of me I might be able to get a shot.
I didn't try to attack her, but made sure to dodge her attack as I ran past her and shoved my feet off a large stone with all my force flying at Amu through the air landing just out of her swords reach. I've learned Amu likes to attack a person in the air and avoided getting too close or too far. I took half a step my sword going at her heart.
Amu blocked and pushed her sword hard against mine so she could put distance between us. I pulled out a small sharp blade and tossed it at her eye when she forced herself backward knowing she would have more focus on her stepping than dodging a flying object she didn't suspect I would even have or use.
Her eyes widened with surprise and she turned her face to the side while moving to the left of the blade. Her cheek had a pretty decent cut quickly leaking down her cheek and onto the ground.
"Congratulations you got one scratch on me and a nice one at that. I nearly lost an eye and nearly panicked. I knew you could do it Hiro," Amu smiled warmly.
I was shocked and breathing hard from the workout. Amu believed I could get this far today? She hadn't made anyone else do this level of training with her.
"T-Thanks…I didn't think I would ever get this far," I said bashfully.
"This far, what are you talking about? You still have a ways to go, besides you're my pupil there is no telling how far you will go," Amu said pulling me into a quick hug.
"Uhara can you please help Hiro out with the rest of his practice. If I were you I wouldn't hold anything back he is my pupil after all," Amu said with a wink in my direction.
"Hey just because you surpassed me doesn't mean you should take me lightly," Uhara warned.
"I'm not. I need your help to get Hiro to be in the top ten strongest Knights of this Kingdom. I need your strength," Amu stated simply.
"Well in that case I can't decline after receiving such a nice complement," Uhara said with a grin, "Looks like me and you will be having some fun Hiro."
"Thanks for your help. You must be quite skilled I have heard many rumors about you. It is an honor to have finally met," I smile, "However, doesn't underestimate me."
"Okay the show is over now it is time for you three to practice as well. Ikuto and Akiyo you two spar each other. Ikuto your job is to make sure your feet are never planted to the ground you have to be ready to move at the slightest notice so use instinct as well. Akiyo your goal is use less drastic eye catching swings and attacks. Don't cause a flood of people to focus their attention on you unless you have some sort of strategy," Amu instructed.
"Yes my lady," Ikuto answered cheekily which earned him a painful kick in his thigh and a yelp.
"I will do my best," my brother answered hastily trying to avoid the same fate as Ikuto. I can see why he seems so whipped by Amu this girl doesn't mess around. I take note not to make fun of her or get on her bad side unless worth the price.
"You and I have some things to talk about first in private," she said walking a distance away from the other two fights taking place. I followed willingly until she came to a stop.
"I assume you want to finish talking about why I was kidnapped. So did you find my story to be truthful," I asked shrugging my shoulders and smiling calmly.
"At first everything you said seemed to be in order, but eventually I found reason to doubt what you told me is all the truth. Would you like to tell me the truth or are you going to make me force it out of you," Amu smiled darkly.
"Why would I tell you something that I cannot tell for I have already told you the truth," I asked grinning back. Her sword came crashing down toward my face and before I could stop myself I pulled out my sword and blocked her sword with all of my effort.
"Because if you didn't you would have died," she smiled triumphantly.
"Shit," I mumbled.
"You're better at fighting than your family knows. Just what kind of job did you take up to end up prisoner of King Nikaidou? Surely you didn't just work at a bakery for Akira Sakemoto as you claim to be the truth. The man ran a bakery as a cover and had spies find secret information to sell to other kingdoms. I suspect you to be one of them." She tilted her head and looked at me patiently waiting for an answer.
"So you believe what the King has believed of me? It's true I worked for Akira, but not as a spy. Honestly I worked as a guard to the bakery and the information and items the spies stole, but I don't actually know any of the content," I sighed, "Look at all the trouble that brought me."
"I knew that much already from my search. What I want to know is why you have lied to your brother and sister about that? They worry about you because you work too hard. It's best you communicate with them better."
"I tell them what they need to know."
"If they worry and are important to you than they need to know something like that. Forget this anyway we have some sparing to do. Just how good of a fighter are you," Amu asked with an excited grin.
"Much better than my brother and Ikuto," I say after a glance in their direction. Ikuto stayed light on his feet and missed the edge of Akiyo's sword by an inch then Akiyo calmly blocked Ikuto's counterattack.
"They are doing really well for beginners I do not have the luxury to focus all my efforts in teaching them. If I didn't have so many students it would be easier," she smiled.
"Well then how about I teach you something," I smirked.
"I would be honored if you could," she smiled blocking my sneak attack. I swerved my sword to the side using a series of intricate steps, stabs, and swings to tear a rip into the bottom of her shirt.
"You're better than I thought, though not better than my pupil or Uhara. I would say you are just below them," Amu muttered above me.
"Can you get off of me," I asked annoyed that she easily disarmed me.
"Yes only if I can count on you to help Ikuto and your brother out with their training," she smiled politely.
"I would, but then my brother would find out I kept things from him and Benny," I muttered.
"They are bound to find out someday. It is better you tell them than they find out themselves," Amu stated.
"Fine, I guess you are right. Akiyo is going to be so pissed," I sighed.
"Good they will need all the help they can get. You can't stop training them until they get to half of your talent. Got it?"
"I got it. I got it," I said shoving her off me.
"Oh and the Queen and King know the truth about your work, but have pardoned you so you should behave and work for them as payment."
"Just great I thought I was done with that kind of work," I muttered as she walked away.
"Okay everyone that is enough training for today. I suggest that all of us take baths and relax until dinner. I have things to do so I'll see you guys later," Amu said to the others still fighting.
"Okay Amu," Hiro said wiping the sweat from his brow with his arm. He had several cuts on his body and dirt covered him. I noticed Uhara was only doing a little better.
Ikuto and Akiyo both were both tired and a sweaty mess, but they weren't focused on wounds at their level. There focus was gaining stamina and skills.
After taking a quick shower I once again went to the throne room and reluctantly passed the guards behind the door that was closed behind me. "So have all the preparations been made," Nagihiko asked.
"Yes I have put much thought and have strategically planned out what is to happen to protect our citizens in case the storm does happen as and when I predict it to. Here is a map of my explanation and plan," I state. Nagihiko takes the offered scroll and silently reads the plan then silently hands it to Rima.
"This is a well thought out plan. Have you made the accommodations for the future of the Kingdom as well," Rima asked.
"Yes, my Queen. I have trained Hiro as much as I could with the time left and have set up for him and Uhara to spar with each other. I even got Fuyuki to train Ikuto and Akiyo further in their training as well," I answer stiffly.
"You haven't told anyone else of this plan have you," Nagihiko eyed me cautiously.
"No I haven't. I don't think I would even if I had the option, your highness," I reply.
"Good, then after dinner come back here so we can get the plan started. There is no time to spare. The wedding is tomorrow,"Nagihiko reminded.
"Oh and Amu," Rima added as I turned to leave.
"Yes your highness," I asked turning back to face her.
"Do your best. I'm always rooting for you," she smiled the way she did when she was a princess. The smile before Nagihiko was a sure thing and I was the sole person she relied on besides her mother and father.
"Thank you," I answer with a smile that I could only hope imitated the ones from those times. I turned around and exited the room with little hope of success with my smile.
Hey everyone sorry for the long awaited update. I haven't forgotten about it for a moment. Anyway I have a drawing of Amu as a Knight, but I think I will try to post it by next chapter.
Thanks for reading. Review, comment, and stick around.