By: Crimson Essence
A/N: The character's point of view will change occasionally from 'Chi's point of view to Fai's without prior warning. Sorry for the inconvenience, but you'll see soon enough.
Also, I've never actually done this before, but I thought it might be nice for a reader to listen to some nice music as they read. So for this chapter, I think a really good song that will go along with this would be
'Just Be Friends' Music Box version.
She sat silently by the window, hoping to spot some sort of life out in the storm of snow, a familiar figure trudging towards the palace gates. Sadly, no matter how hard she tried to squint and focus her gaze, she could not see through the thick sleet. Finally, the girl turned her gaze away from the darkness and let out a soft sigh, her eyebrows furrowed in worry as she crossed her slender arms over her equally slender chest, fuming silently as she watched the heat from the fire her servants had stoked earlier to warm her room. She could have done it herself, what was magic for if not used for one's own convenience? Still, she didn't really give much thought to that. What she did care about was the fact that he wasn't home yet –a thought which worried her due to the fact that he had not informed her of his departure.
Taking one last glance out the misted window, she exhaled softly and stood from the comfort of her window sill. Then, taking rather large unrefined steps, the young girl flung herself onto the large four poster bed which was pressed up against the ice blue colored wall. If her governess were to see her now, she would be in for an earful of lectures. She was a princess of the kingdom of Celes. Not that being a princess was all that it was cracked up to be. What was the fun of being an only child with no one of her age group to play with? The only people she had were the maids and servants, and they were no fun since they were all so busy and never did understand her. Her father, whom she loved dearly, was the king. Because of this, he was constantly busy with running his kingdom and had little to no time to play with daughter.
She needed someone to play with. A toy.
A few moments past and within that amount of time, the aromatic smell of vegetable soup and garlic bread wafted to her nose. The girl sat up and as expected, spotted a silver tray with the food, carefully arranged with a small vase with a single white rose, her favorite sort. Every morning, at the exact same time, a different sort of breakfast would appear on her little dining table. The servants never came. They never did. But that didn't matter; at least she didn't have to feel obligated to eat breakfast. She never did. Though, she had noticed that her portions were beginning to diminish day by day. Sooner or later they would just give up; after all, it was just a waste of food.
Picking up the rose, she noticed something new else as well. The thorns on the rose had been shaven off. So the maids must have found out that she had been pricking herself with it. But could she really be blamed by that? Her world was so lifeless and dull with only hints of excitement. Studying, practicing magic and learning of the country's history, all while keeping a dignified pose and stoic expression befitting of a noble. Until she was first hurt by a single thorn, she had only heard of the meaning of pain. After all, her nannies had been so careful in taking care of her that anything seemingly dangerous was disposed of. She was the only heir to the throne.
As she twirled the single flower with her fingers, contemplating on whether she should begin dressing in her magician apparel or her regular white robes lined with threads of blue, a soft chime of bells could be heard. Like a soft ring of tunes drifting through the air. It was definitely magic, powerful magic.
Shooting out of bed, the young girl quickly grabbed a plain white robe which had been placed by her bedside, neatly pressed and folded. Without a doubt, he'd returned, but there seemed to be another presence with him; one with such strong amounts of magic that it could have belonged to a prince of another country –a power that actually rivaled hers.
Dismissing the thought of a visitor, she tightened the silken robes that draped over her cotton nightgown and let out a deep breath. Shutting her eyes she chanted a soft spell as magic exited her finger tips, creating symbols in the air around her. Within seconds, they enveloped her entire being and scattered.
She was gone.
There was a strong feeling of uneasiness in the air. After a week of travel, His Majesty had returned but with him was an unfamiliar face. A young boy, around the age of the princess, with long golden locks and skin so thin and pale he that looked as if he were a walking corpse –or at least and half dead, half starved child. The boy wore a torn shirt that was long enough to be considered a dress, but it was clearly one worn by criminals. His fingers were cut and stained with blood as were his clothes. It was a sad sight to behold and it was near impossible for anyone not to feel any compassion for the young boy. Still, why was the king with such a child in the first place?
Despite their confusion, the servants, maids and butlers followed standard protocol. Standing in two straight rows, men and women were separated equally amongst each row in an orderly fashion as they bowed to their king, greeting him at his arrival. Their uncertain faces were quickly replaced with warm smiles and greetings. At least, those didn't seem fake.
Although the boy's face held no feeling, he too could sense the tense emotions and confusion. He didn't care. Now that he was free, he could use magic to protect himself from whatever may happen next.
Sadly, he had not calculated a forced that would turn his entire life upside down.
It was that one voice, that one person who would change everything for him; that one soul who was so similar yet different from him. That single human being that would someday rip the carefully stitched fabric of his life to pieces and twist everything he had once known as truths to lies. One day he would ask himself, 'what would have happened if I had never met her?'
Almost instantly was the young boy overwhelmed by such a force of magic that he almost lost his balance. Until then, his gaze which was been fixed to the floor –almost as if it were nailed into place—was immediately turned to the figure that practically visualized right in front of him. Had she really opened a portal, ripping through the carefully woven fabric of time and space, just to greet the king?
Still, there she was. A simple sheet of silk wrapped around her slender frame, over her flimsy nightgown, tied together with a single ribbon as she walked towards the two of them, calm and composed. Although her long golden locks bounced against her back and were curled in different fashions like she had just woken up. Her skin, pale in complexion, looked as if she lacked the nutrients of food and vitamin D, but her eyes shone with so much life that they resembled two polished sapphires.
"Welcome home father!" the young girl exclaimed as she wrapped her arms around the King as he knelt down to accept her hug before lifting the little girl in his arms.
"Thank you, Chikaze," the girl's father responded before turning his attention to the young boy who stood, watching the happy family in silence. Although it didn't show on his face, Ashura was sure that what the young boy felt was jealousy and longing; a hidden desire that he had had a much happier life with his own family. Knowing this, the king set his daughter on the floor, trying not to notice the pout that had formed on her face.
"Chikaze, meet Fai, he will live with us from now on," he said as he gestured to the young boy in tattered clothing, missing his daughter's look of incredulity. The servants were surprised by this announcement as well. Did the king mean to adopt this pauper off the streets? Still, they did not utter a single syllable for they respected the king and his decisions; no matter how sudden or unorthodox they were. Moreover, they too heard the firm yet subtle tone in His Majesty's voice and had sensed the boy's magic prowess. Since it was uncannily similar to the princess's, they suspected that something interesting was bound to happen in the near future.
"So I do hope that the two of you could be friends," King Ashura continued as he gently pushed the two children a step closer to each other.
Friends. That one word caused the two acquaintances to stare at each other, exchanging similar looks of uncertainty at the foreign word. Obviously, they have heard of that species of creature, but they had never met one in the flesh. Clueless on how to respond to this proposal, the two remained silent. Be friends? Was it really that easy?
The young princess didn't know what to say. After all, she'd never met someone her age before. She never had a person that she could call a 'friend', someone to talk to when she's bored and share happy times with.
Finally, breaking the air of tenseness that hung overhead, Chikaze nodded her head before parting her lips. "Hello." Her voice, though, hinted a sort of uncertainty she was masking with a kind smile.
The boy mimicked her actions and words but unlike her, his voice was dry, raspy and his face lacked a smile.
Through his actions, Chikaze immediately understood that this boy lacked a proper childhood, like her; but unlike hers, his was filled with much more trials and hardships than she had faced in her short ten years of life. It was easy to tell that much from the thin apparel he wore in the dead of winter as well as his bloodied and bruised body. It was from this simple observation that gave the young princess the desire to be this boy's friend and give him the childhood he (most probably) never had. But first, he would have to be her toy.
Fai, by now, had taken several notes on the princess. For one thing, she closely resembled his mother from his dimension. And maybe because of how the dimensions worked, the princess was his mother, just a different person. This fact about dimensions was the confusing part of Ashura's quick debriefing before Fai entered this world. From that he had been warned of several things not to do, most of those don'ts concerned the king's only daughter. But what stuck out the most was the fact that he was prohibited from speaking of his original dimension, not that he wanted to in the first place. Still, since he felt indebted to the King for saving him from that hell hole he decided to follow the royalist's wishes.
That was when Fai noticed the princess begin to raise her arm as she took a couple paces towards him. Everyone watched in silence, wondering what the petite little princess may do to her acquaintance.
Her approach sent a sudden shiver down Fai's spine, but he ignored his mind's first response to run and remained as still as he had first arrived. The closer she was, the urge to run away and cower from her presence grew. His mind was practically screaming to him that she was dangerous. Yet, he stayed, rooted to his spot.
Finally the girl's index finger made contact with the boy's forehead, making small circles with her finger at an excruciatingly slow pace. Her large, sky blue eyes –with symbols of magic, dancing in her pupils—searched his almost as if she were looking for answers in his mind. As the words of magic in her eyes danced, quickening their pace to the beats of a butterfly's wings, the young boy could almost feel the invisible strands of magic that were wrapped so carefully around the princess like a protective wall, stir and pulsate. If her subconscious power was any stronger, that 'invisible' wall of magic may not be so invisible anymore; tangible even.
Her lips did not move, they did not even twitch but Fai heard her voice, hypnotic in every sense, as clear as day.
Who are you, really?
Where are you from?
What are your secrets?
Tell me about your past.
Tell me everything you know.
As the list continued on and on, Fai's eyes only grew wider and wider as panic filled his very being. He struggled; at least he tried to fight back, to at least move away from the girl's touch. He couldn't. It was as if she had paralyzed him with fear. But his fear was not caused by the fact that she was using some sort of link between them to communicate. It was because, with every question she asked, he felt as she was ripping through the barricades of his mind, pulling out the answers she wanted. He wanted to scream for help, for someone to save him and his secrets. But no words escaped his lips.
She was dangerous.
"That's enough, Chikaze." It was the King.
Almost immediately after those gentle but firm words escaped the king's lips did Fai feel the connection between him and the princess severe, finding himself by the king's side once again. Had the King saved him with his own magic or had the princess merely obey her father for the time being? That didn't matter. At least he was safe, for now.
The young boy in ragged clothes let out a soft sigh of relief, soon realizing that he had held onto his breath the entire time. His body was shaking, almost as if he were feeling a chill run through his body. He could hardly stand being near her and now, he had to live with her. That could not be good for his mentality. Taking this chance, the young boy took several more steps back, hiding behind the folds of the kind's cloak. No matter how powerful the princess may be, there was no way she could overpower the king.
"Come, Fai. Chikaze, the two of you can talk later. Right now, Fai needs to be cleaned," Ashura continued on speaking calmly; acting as if his daughter hadn't invaded the boy's mind like a virus.
"Okay father," the young girl spoke nonchalantly, as she too took a step back to give the young boy that hid behind the king more space. The wild state of magic that had created magic cryptograms in her irises began to subside and the invisible strands of magic that wafted about her mellowed. She was back to normal, whatever that term may mean in this world.
Although he fought the urge to do so, Fai's sapphire gaze slowly rose from the ground and soon, found himself watching the girl once again. The corners of her lips were curved upwards into a kind smile and the friendliness in her eyes had returned. Was this girl possessed by an inconsistent demon?
"Come, Fai," the King of Celes spoke as he then led the boy away from the dangers that lurked in the form of a little girl.
The ragged boy merely nodded his head once and allowed himself to be taken by the king and several maids. He was just too exhausted, both physically and mentally, from the happenings of that day. Still, as he continued to walk on, his curiosity got the better of him. Curses.
Allowing himself a quick glance over his shoulder, he saw a cynical smirk plastered across the girl's face as she waved towards him.
"Tell me more about your twin. I'd love to know more, my toy."
That was when he knew.
Once the King of Celes left their presence, the remaining servants broke from their ranks in an orderly fashion before flooding out of the hall like a calm flow of white water, but not before bowing their heads to their princess in respect, wishing her well. Some asked if she enjoyed her breakfast, knowing full well that it had been left untouched. In response, the girl merely thanked them for their hard work, leaving out the fact that she never ate it but at the same time, making it obvious.
The moment they were out of the young girl's sight, almost immediately did she hear the sounds of excited chatter down the hallway. Leaning against one of the smooth marble walls, detailed patterns chiseled into the stone, Chikaze strained her ears to catch snippets of the conversations and roughly make out what was being said.
"Do you think His Majesty adopted that boy as a replacement?"
"It's best not to say that, she may hear us..."
"Oh, you mean that spoilt princess?"
A small frown formed on the blonde's otherwise stoic face as she crossed her arms across her chest, listening to the stifled laughter that followed those remarks. She knew full well that that lowly maid wasn't the only one who shared those bitter sentiments. After all, Chikaze never did try to make herself loved by her servants. Her people yes, her servants, not so much. In fact, she would often do the exact opposite to contradict any feelings of love that others may have had for her. But despite her selfish and somewhat crude nature towards her servants, there were still those who respected her and cared. They were the ones who had known the princess since she first came into this world.
Rolling her eyes, the blond haired princess merely shrugged off their words. After all, they were just superfluous, back talking pieces of trash.
She was alone once again, left to her mischievous devices. Although she did have history lessons that day, she still had time to plan a little prank on the teacher. So, kicking off her shoes, she continued down the empty hallways with a slight skip in her step, her bare feet brushing the polished stone floor for no more than a second. A part of her felt so light that she could cause a boat load of trouble for her elders.
Still, there was a small nagging guilt at the back of her mind. Maybe she'd given her new found 'friend' a bad impression and quite a scare. But that didn't matter, she had a plaything for her own entertainment; and he was not going to get away.
Slowly, her pace came to a halt when she was truly sure that she was alone. Letting a look of confusion crossed her face she wondered;
'Father... whose carcass were you carrying?'
A/N: Whoa! I so did not mean for Chikaze, a.k.a Chi (Who can be considered an OC because of their personality and slight differences in looks), to turn out so cruel. . But don't worry, that will change very quickly. ^^
Thoughts? Corrections? Questions? Please review! .
I really like reviews so... a few words of advice or feedback from the readers are much appreciated Because I always feel depressed when there aren't any reviews.^^