Of Swords, Spells, and Karma
The Beginning and One's Introductions
Disclaimer: DGM © Katsura Hoshino
The red-head did not look up from his work as the blue-haired man strode into his workshop.
"What is it Yuu-chan?" he asked pleasantly as he carefully poured the contents of a bright green vial into a test tube.
"Che. Don't call me that." The man took up residence on the couch beside the wooden door with his legs crossed, leaning back, and bored expression on his face. "And I want you to get rid of them."
"Who?" The red-head feigned innocence in his voice but a smile crept onto his face.
Behind him, the man snorted. "You know exactly who I mean."
"Ah. Well, I'm afraid I can't. I'm not allowed to."
"So? I'm the prince."
"Yes, and your father's the king. Example of a higher ranking, Yuu."
The man made a face. "So? I don't care. And he knows I don't want them around, yet he insists."
The other shrugged. "Like you said. You're the prince, heir to the throne. When the time comes you'll need an heir."
His scowl deepened. "I'll pick when the time comes."
They sat in a silence before he spoke again. "Oi. What are you working on now?"
"Meiser's Potion. But the contents are secret~" there was humor in the red-head's voice.
The prince strode to stand beside him, peering at the book on the counter. He scanned the contents of the page with dark-blue eyes. "Che," he scoffed. The spell-books were always confusing when they talked about potions and their ingredients. How would one ever find the eye of a black-tongued water-breathing python these days? He was pretty certain it wasn't selling in the markets, whether in jars or alive.
Some pounding footsteps could be heard and the prince retreated from the red-head to turn to the door just as several soldiers clad in gray armor appeared. "Prince Yu!"
Kanda scowled at them. "What? And haven't I told you to address me as Prince Kanda?" As the heir to the throne, most of the guards of the castle had taken to addressing him by his first name at the request of his father citing proper etiquette. He disliked this, because his preferred name to be addressed by was his middle name. This is why he went through great lengths to correct those who insisted on calling him by his first name without his express permission. Though most castle staff members knew better, there were still a couple people who had to be reminded, particularly new members.
The soldier at the front raised his arm in salute to him. "Your father the King requests your presence in the throne room right away, sir."
Kanda's eyes narrowed. "What does he want this time?" He clucked his tongue in annoyance. "Fine. I'll go in minute. Leave me."
The soldiers bowed and exited the room, leaving Kanda with the only other occupant of the room. Said occupant had been steadfastly doing his work, unfazed by the interruption.
" . . . "
The red-head chuckled. "You'd better get going now, Yuu."
"Che. I know." Kanda emitted another scowl, but he made no motion to leave.
"What do you want?"
"Something to repel them."
"Geez—you say that like they're insects."
"That's what they are. An annoyance to me."
"Well, I'll look into it." The red-head said reassuringly.
"Hmph. You'd better, Lavi." Kanda strode out of the room without another room.
Kanda walked into the throne room, wondering what his father could possibly want and hoping at the same time it wouldn't be another order to choose a princess to marry.
"So you've arrived, my son."
"Yes. What have you summoned me for, Père?" The prince said politely before the king.
"Well, your mother and I," the king gestured beside him, motioning the queen. "Have decided that you should really think about your future wife. We have already given you many opportunities and choices, yet you still ignore them like one does to an annoyance."
"That's what they are. I don't have any intention of marrying anytime soon. Why can't you just let me be? I'm pretty sure that I don't need a queen to rule!"
The king clicked his tongue. "It's necessary. Anyhow, Princess Ida von Herring of Palauhikila is coming to stay in four days. There will be a ball held in her honor upon her arrival. During her stay, you will be expected to be her escort and guide."
Prince Kanda grimaced. A princess coming in four days and a ball held in her honor was a big deal, especially since she was of that rich island country that didn't even seem like an island. He had noticed the extra furnishings and other things but had dismissed them because they weren't important enough for him to think about at the time. Now, he knew why his parents had chosen not to tell him earlier.
"How long will she be staying?"
"For about two weeks."
"How long have you planned this?" Kanda asked.
"We've only received the news two days ago." The king said, sidestepping his son's question.
"May I go?" Kanda asked and his father nodded.
"Yes. If there is anything else, I'll let you know."
Kanda turned and stalked out of the room.
Lavi hummed to himself while he worked. As much as he loved to tease Kanda, he really was serious about his profession, and thus why he hadn't been very Lavi-like when Kanda had come in earlier.
But the red-head knew there were plenty more opportunities to bother Kanda; especially with that upcoming ball His Majesty was planning to have.
He chuckled to himself. By now, Kanda most likely knew of the ball and would be in a rage. And he was almost done with his work . . .
Kanda was on the training grounds of the palace with his sword. His opponent was the Master Swordsmith, Master Zhu Mei Chan. After he had worked off his anger through rhythmic drills, Kanda had the fortune of running into Zhu, and began a light battle.
Though he was old, the man was skilled, and had in fact forged the legendary Mugen, Sword of Illusions. Once, Kanda had been lent Mugen after Zhu's yearly check up with it to make sure it was in a good condition. Of course, this was just an excuse for Zhu to see the sword he created in the fresh air of freedom. Mugen was not a sword meant for display—it was a sword meant for use.
King Falaron had wielded Mugen for a while, but Zhu could tell that the sword was not for him. To refrain the king from using Mugen, Zhu created another sword for the King, one that fit him perfectly. Thus Mugen was put into the Royal Treasure and sometimes formally on display.
Once while airing out Mugen, the young Prince Yu Kanda Falaron had picked up the sword out of curiosity. Zhu watched how the prince and blade fit like a puzzle and knew that with time, they would become one. The old swordsmith took it up to the king and pleaded for the prince to have Mugen.
But the king refused and Mugen was put away once more.
Since the prince's weapon of choice was that of a sword, he began his training under the general and warriors of the castle with Zhu's direct supervision.
And in secret, when they could find time to steal away, Kanda was allowed to handle Mugen, becoming one with the sword a little at a time.
"Okay. We'll stop here." Zhu said and sheathed his practice sword. Kanda did the same, but just as he finished the action, he was assaulted by an energetic red-head.
The boy latched onto the prince tightly, and the prince glared at him.
"Argh! Get off you baka usagi!"
"Nyeh!" Lavi made a face and jumped off the prince's back. "Yuu-chan's a meanine!" Lavi pouted.
Kanda only tch-ed. "What do you want now?"
"I came to visit ya!" Lavi twirled around with his hands behind his head. "Hello Old Man Zhu!"
Zhu gave Lavi a smile. "Hello Lavi. What have you been doing lately?"
Lavi spun around once and then flopped down on the grass. "So, Yuu-chan." He said pleasantly. "What did your dad want?"
"Che." Kanda took a seat on a nearby bench. "The princess of that rich island country is coming to stay for a week or two."
Zhu taking a seat next to Kanda, said, "Really? I didn't hear of that."
"Well, it's pretty hard to miss." Lavi said. "Everyone has been talking about it, you know."
"If you knew, why didn't you tell me about it?" Kanda asked, scowling at Lavi.
"Oh, I was going to. But what would be the fun in that?"
"At least then I would've known."
"Knowing you, you'd probably find the first excuse to leave!"
Kanda rolled his eyes. "No shit Sherlock."
Zhu chuckled to himself. It was so nice to see the prince acting his age since he usually was so uptight, strict, and angry.
"So, now that you know, what are you going to do?" Lavi asked Kanda curiously.
Kanda sighed. "Can't abandon the duty of escort that easily, can I?"
Lavi considered it. "Eh, I guess not. Say, what do you think the princess will be like? She's bound to be beautiful, that's for sure."
Kanda rolled his eyes. "Like I even care. As long as she's not a nuisance and she doesn't extend her stay, I expect I'll be fine."
"And if she is and she does?"
Kanda scowled. "Don't go there."
"Okay." Lavi backed off from the conversation topic. "So what happened during training?"
"It was a draw."
The air filled with silence, and Zhu felt slightly out of place.
Suddenly, it was broken by one of the maids who was running towards them.
"What is it, Mita?"
"Spell Master Bookman wishes to see you now." The brunette told him.
"Eh? What does Jiji want now?" Lavi muttered under his breath and then flashed Mita a smile. "Thanks Mita." He stood from the grass, and brushed off any lingering pieces of green. "I'll go now. Bye Yuu-chan! Bye Zhu!" Lavi gave them a little wave as he left, following Mita to Bookman.
"There you are." Bookman said the moment Lavi walked into the Royal Library. "You may go." He told the maid who bowed and left the room, closing the door in the process.
"What's up, Old Panda?" Lavi asked with a cheeky grin, quickly sidestepping to avoid Bookman's pen aimed at his head. However, he was caught by the second pen that hit his midsection. "Oww," he complained. For such a small object, it sure did pack a punch.
"Have you finished all the assignments I gave you?" Bookman inquired and Lavi nodded.
"When have I not?" Lavi asked, but hurriedly added, "Of course I did."
Bookman nodded. "Good. You know the Princess of Palauhikila is coming in four days."
"No duh. Do you want me to do something?"
"Not necessary. Just observe for the time being, and stay on guard. We do not have sufficient information on the Paulauhikilan princess or her entourage." Bookman, who was smoking from his pipe, let out a small huff of smoke. "Having so many outsiders in the castle is troublesome."
Lavi grew serious. "Are you saying you suspect something?"
If Bookman was prone to laughing he would have let out a small chuckle. Still, the amusement in his voice was close enough. "Since when I do not suspect something?" he remarked.
Lavi scrunched up his nose. "Did you call me here just to tell me that? You could just take it up with the guards or tell the king himself if you were so worried. Aren't they supposed to have approved everyone coming beforehand?"
"Still, it is best to be prepared for everything. His Highness is not wary enough, unfortunately." Bookman let out another puff of smoke. "Anyway, I've called you here to restack the entire medicinal section in the workshop."
Lavi's mouth dropped in shock. "What? But I just did that section three days ago!"
Bookman shrugged. "It's gotten disorganized again, so you will fix it."
"Fine." Lavi walked out of the library grumbling under his breath, but complied with his master's wishes nevertheless.
A/N: Happy LaviYuu Day! Please R&R! And thanks to Oh My Fudge for the story title!
A/N #2: Edited and revised as of May 7, 2017.