Shaman King: Story of Evil
"Oh, it's tea time..." "If it's to protect you, I will become evil for you." Behind the cruel rule of a prince lies the devoted love of a servant with a like face.
A/N: This might possibly be cancelled/discontinued(/indefinite hiatus?) since it seems like I'm biting off more than I can chew. If I ever decide to pick up on this again, I'll be sure to tell you guys.
Damn. And I had the whole story planned out too. It even had a some substories too, like how Yoh and Jeanne met while Yoh wasn't with Hao.
Prince of Evil
He couldn't believe it. Well, actually, he could. He just didn't have a proper reaction to it other than being dumbfounded. After all, this was all so sudden. He couldn't really think of anything to think of at this point, because it was all too startling. Imagine, out of the blue, your mother would send you off to an unknown place; and without warning too. Wouldn't you be taken aback, even for just that moment? Later, he chastised himself for acting inappropriately. He was, after all, a prince. He should know better than that.
"You know very well why, my dear. Ever since... that happened, the House of Montgomery and the House of Lasso are at each other's throats. Not to mention the Oyamada family that started playing a role in their little tug-of-war. Simply put, you and Yoh are not safe here anymore." Keiko said. She gave her son a small smile, but it seemed forced in Hao's opinion.
"Me and Yoh? What about you?"
"Oh, I'm not coming with you."
"You're not? Why not?"
"Someone has to take care of this castle while you're gone." Keiko turned around, facing the window again. The sky was a lovely blue today. The sun was very bright. "You and Yoh are the next in line for the throne. The senators and nobles will do everything to get as much as they can from you two. Power, money, fame... They won't stop at nothing, Hao. They're greedy people."
"Yoh would disagree would you." Hao said.
"I know." Keiko replied. "That's why I wanted to talk to you about this first. You're a perceptive child, Hao. I'm sure you have seen Sir Luchist and Lady Meene at the banquets and parties, right?"
"Yes. They were very fake. And they kept kissing up to us. They were really annoying."
Keiko chuckled at Hao's bluntness. "Yes, well at least you can see that. Running the country for the last two years hasn't been that easy either, and I don't want you two to be caught up in the politics." She turned around to face Hao. "You're much too young for that. Both you and your brother shouldn't be fought over by the nobles. I don't want you two to waste your childhood on things like this."
"... Yoh wouldn't like this."
"... I don't know. I'll go wherever Yoh goes."
Keiko smiled. She pulled Hao close to her and hugged him tightly. "I'm so proud of you, Hao." She said. She felt warm tears welling up her eyes. "I want you to know I'm very blessed to have both you and Yoh. You two have grown so much."
Hao stood there, not knowing what to do. His arms automatically moved on their own, reaching for his mother. He hesitated, but hugged her, anyways. It was awkward for him. He didn't know what to say. His mind reeled, and decided to think of things that he could actually give a proper reaction to, as a part of his senses has left him that moment.
Ah, he was moving to another country.
Without his mom.
Hao frowned. Letting a couple of kids live in another country on their own seems... irresponsible. But this was their mother's decision. Surely she wouldn't give out an order without thinking it through first. Besides, she loved them, didn't she? She must have prepared servants, or a guardian of some sort for them. Of course, Hao (being Hao) could take care of himself. He could also take care of his brother. He would do anything to protect his brother, after all. But what about their mother? Who will take care of her? What about the castle? What about the spirits, and Ohachiyo (which Hao begrudgingly accepted as a friend)? What about the guards he loved to boss around? What about-
"... What about Anna?"
Yoh stared at the grave in deep silence.
He sat down, cross-legged, with his hands on his knees. His eyes were glassy, but not to the point of crying. He sighed.
"The sunset is beautiful today." He whispered. "Can you see it?"
He smiled. "I suppose you could. You can probably see everything from up there."
He kept silent from then on. He stared at the grave with listless eyes. His mind was mostly blank the whole afternoon he sat there. He didn't think of anything, and he didn't want to. It wasn't because of his laidback nature, but because of fear. Yoh was afraid that if he thought of anything, it would eventually lead to his death. And it would lead to questions of why he had to leave them and why he didn't day a proper goodbye. Or of bitter regrets of how Yoh couldn't even use his shamanic abilities to save him. And then Yoh's eyes would start to well up, and he would force himself not to cry. So he tried not to think of anything.
Of course, the harder one tried to avoid thinking of something, the easier it was for such thoughts to enter his mind, whether he willed it to or not. Eventually (and Yoh had known this too, all along) thoughts of his death entered his mind. He didn't want it, but he couldn't help it. And it was hard not to think about it in the first place. Still, Yoh tried. It was his way of being strong.
Not that it actually made him strong. Deep down, Yoh felt weak by doing this. And in fact, he was.
He still couldn't get over it.
Above him, the sky was slowly fading into darkness. It was nighttime before he knew it. Why does the night have to come so early? Has it always come by so fast?
Yoh remained silent as soft footsteps approached him from behind.
"It's cold out here." Said the voice.
"Yeah, it is." Yoh stood up and dusted himself. He looked up at the stars. "Why do you think he went to heaven nii-san? Doesn't he regret anything at all?"
"I suppose not." Hao replied. He put a hand on his little brother's shoulder and gave a firm squeeze. "There's probably nothing here to make him stay."
"What about us?" Yoh asked. His voice cracked as he said this. He couldn't help but tremble slightly. "What about mama?"
"He stayed for a while to say goodbye, didn't he?"
"He didn't say goodbye!" Yoh cried. "He didn't say anything! He just... floated there. He didn't even take off his mask..."
Hao fell silent. Yoh reached out for Hao's hand and gave it a tight squeeze. His hands shook as he did this. In fact, his whole body vibrated with sadness and grief. He closed his eyes and felt tears run down his cheeks. They rolled down slowly, falling to his lips and dropping from his chin. They tasted salty and felt warm. He looked closed his eyes shut, willing the tears away and trying to be strong like his brother. He didn't succeed.
"Aniki... It's raining again."
Hao pulled Yoh closer to him and gave him a semi-hug. He let Yoh bury his head in his shoulder. He looked up at the cloudless sky. "Yeah. It is."
She couldn't believe it.
She wouldn't believe it.
Anna walked faster, her heart beating loudly in her chest. She sped towards the courtyard, trying to convince herself that it wasn't true, it wasn't true.
Mikihisa Asakura can't be dead. She wouldn't allow it.
She entered the courtyard, ignoring the guards that called out her name. She felt something cold was present in the courtyard. Or rather, it wasn't the cold that she noticed. It was the lack of warmth; the absence of something that was always there. Her eyes widened as she stared at the scene before her, fearing that the absence would unfortunately be permanent and irreversible. She fell on her knees. She didn't know what to think anymore.
"No..." she whispered. "No way..."
Mikihisa just laid there, his mask covering any emotion his face might have expressed. His body was becoming pale with sickening pallor. He was curled up into a ball, as one might do when one is feeling intense pain. His clothes were not tattered or torn, but they were covered in blood. It didn't color his whole robe; rather, it was like the blood splattered all over him. There were also droplets of dried up blood on the floor, near his head. He was beginning to stiffen very slightly. His skin felt cold to the touch.
"No!" Anna cried out. She banged her fist at Mikihisa's chest multiple times. The guards tried to stop her, but she resisted. "Wake up! Wake up, damnit!"
She felt like she was about to cry. Why would Mikihisa just... die like that? Leave them alone without saying goodbye? No wait, he didn't die. He couldn't have. Anna wouldn't believe it. If he died, then that meant he was gone. His soul would be carried off to the afterworld soon.
"Miss Anna." Whispered one of the guards; a firm hand gripped her shoulder. She turned around. It was Kalim.
"What?" She asked, her tone sounded harsher than she wanted it to be.
Kalim gave a sad smile. "I'm sorry you had to see this." He wiped the tears away from Anna's eyes. "This isn't something a child like you should be seeing."
"I'm... fine." Her hair covered her face from Kalim's view. "I'm okay."
"No, you're not okay." Kali wiped away another stray tear.
"Yes I am."
"...You don't have to act tough, Miss Anna." Anna looked up at Kalim. "It's okay to cry once in a while."
Anna felt all of the tears she left unshed started falling down her face like waterfalls in the rain. She broke down, leaning on Kalim for support. Her tears stained his robe wet. "Tell me he's still here... Tell me... Tell me his spirit hasn't gone to heaven yet! Get him back Kalim!" Her voice cracked. She didn't say anything else. It was one of those moments when one felt that if he said anything else, he might break down and cry. So Anna remained silent.
Still, she cried.
"Shh..." Kalim didn't know what to say. All he could do was stroke her back gently and make soothing sounds.
"We can't go to another country!" Yoh exclaimed, putting his hands up in the air in frustration. "Not without mama!"
"That was her order." Hao calmly explained. He was sitting in their bed, cross-legged, watching his dear brother pace about the room. He must have walked the same path fourteen times by now. No wait, make that fifteen. "You understand why, don't you?"
"Yes!" Yoh said. "But still!"
Yoh mumbled something incoherent and nearly inaudible. Hao could probably guess that he wanted to say it out loud, but didn't because he was embarrassed and thought it was quite obvious anyway. Or at least, that was what Hao thought. "I don't want to leave, nii-san."
"It's not like we'll be staying there forever." Hao said. He sighed, shifting his position in the bed before his legs went to sleep. He didn't like having pins and needles on his limbs. "We'll be back. We could compromise with kaa-san, if you want. We could go back here during the summer or something."
"I'm not leaving papa." Yoh said, crossing his arms. He stomped his foot once, to prove his point. He stopped walking; instead, he stared at Hao with intense determination. " And mama, and Anna."
"Kaa-san has to stay here to take care of the castle. She said she might let Anna go with us if she wants to."
"I'm still not leaving. I'm not leaving papa!"
"Tou-san's dead, Yoh." Hao gave a stern look. "He's gone."
"Don't say that!" Yoh violently shook his head, letting his headphones slip his head and cradle around his pale neck. Hao watched him without interruption. Yoh... has definitely changed since two years ago. "He's not! He's not!"
"... It's the truth." Hao said, when he realized his brother was waiting for a reply. He closed his eyes. He missed his carefree little brother.
"It shouldn't be the truth!"
"Why don't you just accept that?"
"Why don't you care?"
That hurt. Hao wouldn't have said it to anyone, but that hurt more than the time his father died, or when Anna released an onslaught of Oni's in the Palace. It hurt more than the time Anna slapped him with her left hand when he said something extremely rude to her on the first day (for he thought Anna was a servant of the Palace, and he didn't like talking to girls because he didn't know a lot of girls his age – not that he would have talked to Anna at all even if he did because Anna... was just a stranger to him then). It hurt more than the time Yoh confessed that he was jealous of him, and that he always compared the two of them because they were twins, and they were identical (or at least, they should be, shouldn't they?), and because Hao was on a different, higher level than him. (To which, of course, Hao disagreed.)
It hurt to think that Yoh would see Hao as uncaring. He wouldn't have cared if anyone else thought of that, except perhaps Anna, but only because she cared about him and Yoh (in a very aggressive and cruel way), and that Yoh thought of Anna as a friend (he tried to disagree, though he really can't when it came to Yoh's preferences, and it was rare for any of them to have friends in the first place). But perhaps the reason it really hurt, was because Yoh was right.
Well, mostly right. He cared, just not as much as Yoh expected.
It didn't mean Yoh had to know, though.
"... I didn't say I don't."
"You don't." Yoh whispered. His hands curled into tight fist. He looked down, bangs covering his eyes. Yet, Hao could tell he was on the verge of tears. He frowned. He didn't like seeing his brother cry. Especially if he was the reason. "You never did. You stopped mourning for him after the funeral ended!"
"It's not like we can bring him back..."
"We're shamans!" Yoh looked up, his eyes fierce with determination, anger, and frustration. "There has to be a way!"
Hao narrowed his eyes. He stood up and approached his brother. "Don't," He punched Yoh in the cheek. "Even think about it."
'I don't want him back. I don't.'
Yoh didn't move from his position. "Why, nii-san?" he whispered. "Don't you love him?"
It's not that he hated his father. Or disliked him for that matter.
He just didn't love him as much as Yoh did.
'But he left us. He didn't stay.'
And he caused Yoh a lot of grief.
'His spirit could have stayed instead of going to heaven.'
He made Yoh change.
'You're not Yoh anymore.'
"If he went to the afterworld, then that means he regretted nothing. He said his goodbyes. He has no business here anymore." Hao whispered back. "We can't force him back for our selfish reasons."
"I'm not being selfish!" Yoh said. He cried. Hard. "I just want him back!" He broke down, collapsing on the floor. He curled into a ball, rocking himself back and forth, with his arms hugging his knees. "I... miss him."
Hao stared at his brother. 'Just let go of him...' He didn't kneel down, or comfort Yoh in anyway. He remained silent as he watched Yoh talk to himself in his misery. 'Be the brother I used to play with.'
And as much as Hao wanted to hug his brother and calm him down, he didn't. 'He's not my Yoh anymore.' He was frustrated at his father for dying and leaving them behind. Frustrated that the king's disappearance made Yoh change into something depressing and down. Frustrated that after all this time, Yoh thought of him as uncaring and apathetic. Frustrated that... he tried everything he could in those two years to bring back the brother he knew, and failed.
Frustrated that Yoh wouldn't change for him, and that he was being selfish.
But he did all he could for Yoh. Couldn't he just do him one favor?
'Won't you come back?'
Hao straightened himself and walked past his brother. He opened the door and left, thinking that perhaps, he really was as uncaring as his brother said. Later, he would feel bitter for proving his brother's point. But right now, he didn't want to think about it.
He heard Yoh cry harder through the closed door.
"It is a pleasure to have you here, Oyamada-san."
"The pleasure is all mine, Your Majesty."
Oyamada Mansumi is a small man, but by no means is he a deadwood in the middle of all the political intrigue in Lucifenia. He is the head of a rich family that has attained the 'nobility' status through his innovations and technological advances in the country (yet he is not of noble blood, so he is not given the title of 'Sir' – not that he cared for it anyway). He holds a high position in the market and potential industry. The national businessman. He is held with high respect amongst the commonfolk, but is greatly disliked in the higher echelon. This is perhaps due to the fact that Oyamada Mansumi is partially against monarchy; instead, favouring a parliamentary or capitalistic government. He is also a firm believer of science, thus, gaining him more enemies in the shamanic higher-ups.
Especially since around half of the shaman community in Lucifenia consists of nobles.
"Thank you for doing so much for our country. Lucifenia has been prosperous in the market since you stepped in." Queen Keiko said. She looked as lovely as the summer chrysanthemums on Oyamada-san's vase in his office. Or, so he thought, anyway.
"You are very much welcome, Your Majesty. I try to do my best to contribute to the betterment of our nation." Oyamada-san replied, bowing his small body slightly. "But there is a small matter I would like to discuss you with."
Queen Keiko gave a small sigh, to which the smaller man ignored. She took a small sip of tea. "Please, do go on, Oyamada-san."
Oyamada-san cleared his throat before speaking again. "It is about... you, Your Majesty."
"Yes. I mean no disrespect, and I apologize if I offend you in any way, Your Majesty, but I do not see you leading the nation on your own for long."
"It was not part of the plan." Queen Keiko set the teacup down. "You know very well the circumstances."
"Yes, and I apologize for bringing it up." Oyamada-san looked up to see Prince Hao from the doorway. Beside him was a young blonde, with a long necklace clutched in her hands. The necklace seemed familiar, as if he had seen in a book somewhere. Most likely it had something to do with the shamanic abilities these people seem to possess. Oyamada-san mentally frowned. "What I am trying to say is that your sons are the heirs to the throne, correct? It won't be long before their coming of age. One of them will have to go through the coronation ceremony."
"And what makes you think they won't become kings both, Oyamada-san?"
"It's part of tradition, isn't it?" Oyamada-san took a sip of his own tea. "That only one person can become king of this country. And as shamans, I am sure you are all fond of your traditions."
Queen Keiko stared down at Oyamada-san. "And what are you trying to suggest?"
"I am sure you are fond of both your children, Your Majesty. You want both of them to rule this country, correct?"
"If they are willing. I am sure they can accomplish more than if they were alone."
"Then if Your Majesty wishes to break tradition, as you are doing even now," (for a kingdom cannot be ruled by a queen, after all) "Might I contribute to it?"
"... In what way?"
"I believe I can help them with their education. The economy of this country is no longer dependent solely on magic anymore, Your Majesty." Oyamada-san eyed the elder Prince. "People are advancing towards a greater future. They no longer depend on divinations and spirits. They need money, and homes, and jobs in the market. They are advancing to greater heights, and I believe I have the knowledge for that. I can help His Highnesses improve our nation's stability."
"You are quite blunt, Oyamada-san." The queen replied. "So you believe that divinations won't help our country prosper?"
"I am only trying to be honest and straightforward. I mean no disrespect, Your Majesty." Oyamada-san smirked a little. "You have to admit, the shaman culture is fading away. Now is the era of technology, not magic or spirits that we are not even sure of existing. People need something tangible to hold on to, something they are sure are going to make them live easily. They need money. They need power. I have that power to help them." A pause. "It is still entirely up to your decision, Your Majesty."
Queen Keiko nodded. She closed her eyes and crossed her arms, as if contemplating on Oyamada-san's proposal. This made the man smile on the inside. A few minutes later, she stood up. "I do not approve, then." She gave Oyamada-san a look then turned around to walk off. "I believe this meeting is adjourned."
"But Your Majesty!"
"I do not want my sons to be puppets stringed to you, Oyamada-san." Queen Keiko said, without turning to face her visitor. "You have been very frank to me up until now, so I shall return the same honesty to you. Our family has been practicing shamanism for many years. I do believe that humans need to improve their way of living to survive. However, this does not mean that the traditional way of living is becoming useless. Humans need to become one with nature in order to survive in this world. No, I suppose it is more correct to say that we are a part of nature itself."
"Part of nature?" Oyamada-san laughed. "I beg to disagree, Your Majesty. People need nature. It is a necessity of life. It gives us food and shelter. How can we be a part of something we destroy for our own benefits? And if you forget, Mother Nature is not exactly kind to us. She gives us rainstorms and hail, and drought and famine and death. Rather than becoming one with nature, we should overcome it, and maximize its uses to feed our needs."
"You do not understand, then." Queen Keiko said. "By the way, I have heard rumors that you were behind some of the murders in the shaman community? The police seems to have been bribed not to talk about it. The spirits, however, can be very chatty, especially on cold nights."
Oyamada-san remained silent.
"Of course, I will still have someone investigate that. If you want me to consider your proposal, I think it is best not to get too arrogant and disrespect the beliefs of others, especially with such rumors floating around you. I am well aware of your... dislike for our kind. " And with that, Queen Keiko walked away. "It has been a pleasure talking to you, Oyamada-san."
Oyamada Mansumi could only grit his teeth in response.
A/N: It was a choppy chapter. The transitions in the chapters were... meh.