Well although I didn't get feedback on chapter 25 I have received much appreciated feedback for chapter 26.

Chapter dedications to:


Creek Where Snow Falls



This chapter is dedicated to you thanks for the feedback and I hope you continue to enjoy.

Tracking the Past

"What do you mean we can't go and save her," I shout.

All of us had just finished explaining what happened at the wedding and this was not the response I was expecting.

Not at all.

"Ikuto, while it's true that we have let you go on a rescue trip once, it was under different circumstances," Queen Rima stated in monotone looking rather superior.

"A war is about to begin and King Roth is a lot deadlier than King Nikaidou is to us at the moment. There has been evidence that King Nikaidou has been pressured into siding with King Roth," Nagihiko explained.

"How did you come about that information," Utau asked suspicious of their claims.

"Most of the information came from Amu herself, however, we made a few of our other spies to gather more information on the matter," Rima answered.

"I still don't see why we can't just go and rescue Amu," I complain.

"I'll be there to help," Hiro adds determined.

"I can sneak in as a servant or maid," Utau adds.

"I understand, but if King Roth is as dangerous as you say wouldn't it be best to get back our strongest knight," Uhara sighs.

"No it would be worse," Rima answered.

"How so," Hiro asked confused along with the rest of us.

"Amu is King Roth's favorite toy. Sure Amu is highly valuable as a knight, spy, and her close relationship with me, but she is even more valuable because she was the only person to be so near and close to Roth to escape from his grasp and live with information on him," Rima sighs.

"I thought she was from this kingdom though," I replied with shock.

"She is," Rima answered.

"It seems rather unlikely that she would know Roth, but they did seem to know each other," Utau pointed out.

"My father wasn't the first person to notice Amu's skills as a knight," Rima started, "The first person to notice was King Roth who was only a prince at the time he visited the Boding Rain Kingdom."

"So you're saying she was bought by Prince Roth, but then how did you end up with her," Uhara asked, "Her skills are impeccable."

"Look even though Amu remembers everything that has happened when working for Roth she is unable to release much information. What she did release was that when she worked under him she often was used as a spy. She said that Roth is not a man neither she nor anybody would want to mess with. She also said she had somehow escaped him and ended up being stuck back into the program," Rima explained.

"Where she later met your father," Utua finished.

"Yes," Rima agreed.

"As for Amu, we will try getting her back after the war. If we win she will be ours again," Nagihiko explained before they could ask.

Anger was burning inside me and the only reason I am able to hold back is because of my clenched fists slowly digging into the palms of my hand. How dare they!

"Ikuto don't," Utau whispered grapping hold of my arm. I understand why she is trying to restrain me. They are royalty not a prince or a princess anymore.

Not only anger, but now a big dose of sadness at the separation in our friendship has me only get angrier at the world.

"Fine," I mutter, "but Amu is not property. Sure you bought her and yes she does follow your orders, but honestly we all know that if she didn't have a shred of respect or love for you she would have just tried to run away."

I had kept all emotion out of my voice, but it was all the more reason everyone could feel my anger and my intent. I had to take my emotions out of my tone of voice…it was just that bad.

"Ikuto—" Nagihiko started.

"Excuse me, but I am tired and need to take my leave," I say as my voice turns a little harder. Before anyone can say anything else I am out of the room with tears strolling down my face.

The anger and sadness I feel are so overwhelming. All I want is to protect Amu, I promised her to never leave her and yet I am told I cannot go to save her until after the war.

Who's to say I'll even be alive after the war?

Finally, I reach my room within the castle and grab everything necessary for the trip I'll be making.

"Ikuto, where are you going," Utau panics.

"I have to go find her and while I understand that I cannot ignore my kingdom's orders, I understand I will just have to become rouge," I answer.

"They'll probably send Hiro or Uhara to go and chase after you," Utau tried to reason with me, "You won't survive if they are ordered to kill you!"

"Utau take what's left of my stuff and go live with mom and dad for a while. I won't die I am the best tracker the proof is my records. No one finds me who I don't want to find me," I smile.

"If you die I won't ever forgive you," Utau sobbed as she hugged me.

"I won't let you down. It's sad that Nagihiko one of my best friends has to have the duty to restrain me, but as long as I have Amu even that doesn't matter," I sigh.

"I understand. Kukai is just as important to me. Even if the whole world was against us being together I would just need him to be happy," Utau relented.

"Take care Utau, I don't know when I will be coming back or if I'll even be allowed back. I hope you become a famous singer so go and find your dream, don't wait for me," I smile sadly.

"You need to play the violin again Ikuto it's a part of who you are…you've always expressed how you feel better with music than with words. I won't wait for my dream I'll pursue it now, but when you get back you better pursue yours," Utau smiled.

"Now go," she mumbled pushing me out of my room and racing to the exit of the castle. We reach the edge of the castle and quickly I kiss my sister on her forehead.

"I love you and mom and dad. Stay safe," and then I was gone into the town.

Amu's POV

Well since suicide wasn't possible for me: 1 because I'm stubborn, 2 because King Roth needs to die or lose all his power for all the innocent people he has killed, and 3 because Queen Rima and King Nagihiko need me to spy on King Roth.

Honestly since I am Rima's slave I could and can die from being insubordinate. She knew I hated this plan. She doesn't know what I'm sacrificing and I wish I could have told her the details, but as soon as Prince Roth had bought me he had placed a magical spell that cannot be removed unless a powerful almost unheard of magic is cast on me.

That is extremely unlikely.

"Grab her and chain her to the metal table and then leave," King Roth ordered two of his men.

These men worked out and there was little chance of me ever escaping them, plus the after effects of the drug that put me to sleep is still in my system.

This was different then her first time of being tamed by Roth.

"What are you going to do," I asked emotionlessly. Honestly, I would take being chained up and a brutal beating any day over his usual tactics.

He replied as the guards walked me to another room just which had held the small imprisonment room. I could already see the metal table.

"We are going to be spending at least 10 hours down here to clean up the claim mark Queen Rima casted on you," King Roth sighed, "Since it seems her father had removed the one I placed on you quite a long time ago. It's sad, but you probably already know this is a long and painful process."

Damn it figures he would go straight to taking Rima's claim off of me. I was dropped painfully on my back and chained to the table before I could recover.

"Now where would Rima leave her mark," King Roth smirked as he examined me up and down, "I don't want her to kill you when she hears about your capture so we got to find it quick."

"Try looking at the back of her neck," a guard questioned.

"You're an idiot! I don't have the time for that," growled King Roth, "Strip her of her clothing!"

It's not like this was the first time I was seen naked in front of him and a few of his men, but each time it hurt all the same; eyes that dug deep into my insecurities and treated me like a play thing.

The only good news is I have never been touched sexually. I close my eyes and imagine I am elsewhere. I'm at home with mom, dad, and Ami working on trying to make a cake, but batter is everywhere except for the bowl.

"Where is it," King Roth demanded slapping me hard on the cheek and bringing me out of my trance.

"I refuse to tell," I spit in his face. This time I am punched in the same place I was slapped. It hurt, but I have dealt with worse pain.

"We have checked everywhere though, sire," his men responded. I feel sick just hearing that.

"Hmm…wait! Shave her bald! We have yet to check her head," King Roth ordered.

"No need to sire! I have found it here at the side of her forehead," the taller of the guards said jabbing his finger at the mark.

"Well Amu, since you're lovely Rima placed it on your head this is going to take a total of 12 hours, so you can blame her for your pain," King Roth smiled.

What bothered me more than the pain I was going to face was my clothes, but asking him would be pointless.

"Look the royal families crest is the shape of the mark. Now we'll have to get rid of it and we'll even add are own touch after it is gone," King Roth growled.

Roth placed his hand above the mark and his fingers pressed on my head just around the mark. A slightly blue white light tugged at the mark and I couldn't think from all the pain that was erupting as pieces of the mark are being dragged out of me…so slowly.

Hours passed and I would've fainted the minute the pain erupted, however, King Roth wouldn't allow it. He controls and tames his underlings with pain. Not just physical, but emotional pain as well.

The metal table is cold and slick with my sweat, my mouth is dry and I can no longer scream, which only makes the pain that much worse.

"Well Amu good news is that the mark is finally gone," King Roth smirked and pulled his hand away from my forehead.

I can't speak with my mouth so dry, but I don't even try in the first place.

A sharp burn heats my skin, but the pain is nothing compared to 12 hours of torture I had faced only seconds ago. My head is throbbing harshly and I can't really hear much of what he is saying.

"Well now that my mark is on. I wanted to brand you with fire, but it seems you will die if you take anymore torture today," King Roth sighed with the disappointment of ending his torture early, "Take her back to the room and before you leave give her this to change into."

Figures it's a really short rag dress. I look down and see his mark on my chest right above my heart. It is in the shape of sword stabbing my heart.

'If only it really did,' I think wistfully.

A small cup of water is handed to me before I am forced back into the small dark room. I drink it slowly until it is gone and place on the stupid rags I was given.

The sad thing is knowing that today's torture was light, considering King Roth's ideology. The second day is always one of his worse days.

I'm not looking forward to it. The pain in my head increases after the water is in my system. Then there is nothing.

Amu's Dream of the Past

"Amu, I need you to sneak into the Landslide Kingdom and get into the jail and kill this man," Prince Roth ordered. He held up a picture of a man with a sharp chin and the highest cheek bones I had ever seen. His eyes a dark brown that seemed black and his nose was pointy.

"Yes my lord," I answered numbly. With eyes that looked dead of emotion and feelings.

"He holds some important secrets from our kingdom and if King Nikaidou were to find out, well then I'll just have to kill him. Basically if you succeed you'll save a life," Roth smirked at me.

"I see," is all I say.

"Oh yes, I almost forgot; if you fail well I'll just have to kill another innocent child…maybe Ai's little brother," he grinned.

Finally I feel a sting of emotion. I feel guilt. Then I feel gross and disgusting like a monster.

I bow and respond with, "I will not fail you my lord."

"Good, now we'll have to disguise you with some magic."

King Roth snapped his fingers together and instantly I felt a change.

"You're name is Melodia, your parents have sixteen children and have sent you to work in the castle's kitchen to earn a little more money for the family. You are a hard working girl willing to take on any difficult tasks. You are polite and tell people what they want to hear," King Roth said creating a profile.

I look into the mirror and see that my hair is brown and curly, my eyes sharp and grey. Also I'm really short.

"You won't have any weapons when getting the job so be creative or steal a sword," King Roth advised.

"Yes my lord."

"Go now," he barked. Then I left wearing the clothes of a poor girl. My hands are already rough from training with swords; no one would ever say I am rich.

Nagihiko's POV

"Um I know you told me to go and get Ikuto…but he's missing," Hiro said fearfully after entering the throne room.

"WHAT!? How long has he been gone," I ask shocked and angered by his disaperence.

"Evidence seems to show he left last night, most likely after he left the throne room," Hiro answered.

"Do you know where he is headed," I asked.

"There is only one place I can think of," Hiro sighed, "Amu."

"Bring Utau here and then go search for him and stop him in any way possible," I ordered.

"Yes, sire," Hiro bowed and then exited quickly.

"Things are looking very bad," Rima groaned.

"Yes, but even so I don't think he will find or reach Amu before the war," I sigh frustrated with all the complications.

"To think the day would come when Ikuto would disobey you," Rima said apologetically and patted me on the shoulder.

"Time is distancing us along with responsabilities," I state.

"Makes me feel as if we're the bad guys, sometimes," Rima says with regret.

"We may have to, but what we are doing is for the best of our kingdom," I reassure her.

"Yes, but I don't think they see it that way."

"Then we will just have to hope they will," I say drained with worry.

To be continued….

Clarification: A claim mark is created by magic and is used on slaves. It is useful in the fact that if a slave disobeys orders or if caught by someone else they can be killed. It is necessary to have magic to create a claim mark so only royalty can use it since they are the only ones who currently possess any magic powers.

I hope the clarification helps since I felt it wasn't explained as properly as it could have been.

Thanks for reading and please review so I can get some much needed feedback.

I hope you enjoyed getting a peak at Amu's past with Roth.

I won't update until I get some feedback. See you soon!