A/N This story is based on the events that occur in the anime rather than the books.
Disclaimer: I do not own the original story.
Kimika had been pushed and prodded, all day, and was about to scream. It wasn't enough, that she was here in this strange world; these people felt the need to dress her up like a doll, and then leave her in this room alone. 'King En needs to speak with Houki', one of the maid-like women had said, before she was abandoned to an empty room. 'What's the point of being here if I'm only going to be trapped inside this room!', she thought. With that notion in the front of her mind she decided to explore.
From what Kimika could tell upon arrival at the Palace of En, it was very simplistic with its decor. There were no elaborate paintings hanging on the walls, and not very much to look at in the corridors. Even the room she had been tossed into contained little more than furniture. If what Enki had said was true, then king En had been ruling for over 500 years. So, where were all treasures that would come from over 500 years of ruling? Was the king so stingy as to not allow others to see them, or was he such a horrible ruler that he didn't have any? Either way, it mattered little, because this wasn't Seiji and Kimika's final destination.
Enki had told them before they left, that they would first stop in En, and then they would travel with Taiki to Tai, and from Tai travel to Hou. Enki had some elaborate reason for why it had to be done this way, but Kimika had stopped paying attention to Enki before he finished. So now, she was out of the loop and bored to no end, which was why she opened the door and walked out of her bar-less prison.
As she opened door after door, Kimika had realized that all of the rooms in her hall had been guestrooms, much like her own; dull and uninteresting. She chose to look elsewhere for something to do, for this corridor held nothing of interest to her. When she turned the corner to leave, she could just make out the bottom of a blue dress much like the one worn by the maids she'd met earlier, a simplistic pattern made out of fine cloth. It wasn't the most expensive material, but it wasn't cheap either.
Kimika decided to run towards this person in hopes of meeting her. She sprinted down the corridor, turned, and saw the maid. "Wait!" She yelled. The maid turned to see Kimika running towards her, her eyes widened and she fell to the floor trying to bow, dropping the papers she was holding.
Kimika had to force herself to a stop, before she ran over the maid and her paper work. She took a few minutes, to fully regain her balance, and then looked at the maid on the floor. Kimika's face warped with confusion, while looking at the maid bowing on the floor. "Can I help you Madam?" The maid asked, and suddenly Kimika remembered why she had chased her in the first place.
"You wouldn't know of something I could do for fun, would you?" The maid raised her head, and gave Kimika a big smile.
"Yes, I do know a few things madam." She shuffled her papers into a pile, "But what do you normally like to do?" While Kimika was wondering what things she does, that they might do in this world, the maid stood, papers in hand.
Kimika shook her head, "I can't think of anything."
"Well then," She did a less formal bow, "If you wouldn't mind, I could tell you things I enjoy." Kimika smiled and nodded her head. Seeing this, the maid continued, "You could go to the library, there are many fascinating books here. There is also the garden; it's beautiful all year round. There are many games that are kept in storage, which you could play. If you like sparing, I'm sure one of the officers wouldn't mind a round. If you like food the kitchen is always open to guests." She stopped for a moment before continuing, "Does anything suit your taste Madame?"
Kimika knew what she wanted to do the moment she heard the word kitchen. But first she had something else she wanted to do. "You wouldn't happen to have a maid outfit that I could barrow, would you?"
With a quizzical glance the maid responded, "I do keep a spare, but what use would you have for one?" With a smile and a few words Kimika convinced the maid to lend her an outfit, without giving away her real purpose. She was then lead to the maid's room, Rikkyo her name was, and was helped into the maid's uniform. It took some time to cover her hair, so that the dyed ends wouldn't show, but after all the blue was out of sight Kimika couldn't help but feel impressed looking at herself in a mirror. With an excited giggle she asked where the kitchen was. The way Rikkyo lead her seemed more like a maze then hallways inside of a palace.
When the two finally arrived at the kitchen kimika said, "Thank you". The maid then smiled at her and said 'I must be off' leaving in a rush, papers still in hand. Kimika placed her hand upon the door and pushed it open. Once open, she could see how huge the kitchen was, and all the people it contained. A woman, whose hair was adorned with a special style, approached Kimika. Kimika smiled her biggest smile; the one Seiji always thought was the start of trouble and walked into the kitchen to meet the woman.
Seiji found himself in a small room, filled to the brim with scrolls, staring at king En. The king of En was a sight to behold. His long black hair tied at the upper-back area of his head, and he projected a feeling in Seiji, that made him disinclined to ever be viewed as king En's enemy. He turned his gaze away from king En, so as not to be ensnared by it, thus the rest of the room came into focus.
Seiji's eyes wandered onto Enki, who was sitting on the only desk in the room, talking with Taiki, who had in turn taken one of the seats in front of the desk. "Enki did tell you why you're here I take it?" King En's voice called out, seeming to demand attention without striking fear.
Seiji nodded, "He told me, that he was required to report to you when he returned, and that his next assignment was to send Taiki back to Tai. These both are to happen before I can be sent to Hou." King En put his right arm on the table, and leaned his head against his hand. He looked Seiji in the eyes for a while, then sighed.
"That is part of it; however you must understand that Hou might not welcome you with open arms." King En's brown eyes met Seiji's, before taking in his baffled expression. "I'm assuming Enki did not mention anything about the previous Kirin of Hou."
"No." Seiji admitted, and another sigh escaped from king En, though this one seemed agitated.
"Sit down, please." Seiji was perfectly fine standing, but he also knew that king En wasn't really asking either, so he sat. "The previous ruler of Hou had become corrupt and caused shitsudou, however before he and Hourin were killed by it, Lord Gekkei killed them both. While he did have his reasons, there is no guarantee that he and the people of Hou do not still dislike the kirin."
Enki turned his face towards king En, his anger apparent. "Are you trying to scare him?"
Without a change in appearance king En replied, "He needs to know what could happen." Enki jumped off the table, and put his hands on it.
"You make it sound like they will try to kill him!"
"It is a possibility," the king replied. After a long stare off between the two, Enki backed off. Still angry though. "Do not misunderstand, the people of Hou are not evil, and the people ruling it are not tyrants. I cannot say for sure, but there is a possibility that they are fearful of the past repeating itself."
"You said the last king of Hou caused shitsudou, what is that?" Seiji asked.
"Shitsudou is a sign from the Heavens that the king is not ruling the kingdom justly and fair. It causes the kirin to get sick." Seiji pondered the king's words.
"You couldn't mean sick; after all I doubt this, shitsudou, is anything like a cold." Seiji stated.
"Of course it's nothing like a cold," came his reply. Seiji looked from king En to Enki, and thought that Enki must have giving him some type of warning, because king En soon gave a light sigh, followed by him straitening up in his chair. "I'm sorry but if you truly wish to know more you might want to ask Enki or Taiki latter. There are other matters that we must discuss." King En looked at Seiji for approval to continue, for which Seiji nodded. "You must understand that your sister cannot stay with you at Hou palace."
"Why?" Seiji, was confused by king En's words. Enki had promised to take Seiji and Kimika to Hou, and now he was saying she couldn't stay there.
"Hou palace is the home of the ruler of Hou. Do you think that whoever you pick to be the next ruler will willingly allow her to live in their home?" Seiji felt puzzled, after all, if he was allowed to live at Hou palace, why couldn't his sister.
"I am permitted to live there." King En nodded at Seiji's words, and waited for him to continue. "Kimika is my sister." King En's eyes were glued to Seiji, so Seiji knew king En also believed this as truth. Seiji seemed to have a hard time pulling out the next words. "Then where will she live? What will she do?" King En's eyes softened at the sorrow shown on Seiji's face. Enki walked to him and put a hand on his shoulder.
But it was Enki that replied to Seiji's worry, "She can live anywhere else in Hou, except Hou palace. When you arrive you can ask, for arrangements to be made. You could even ask for a job to be found for her, if you wish". Seiji still felt uncomfortable, but at least she could still stay near.
"I don't think she should go to Mount Hou when Houki goes for the Shouzan." Taiki said meekly. Seiji gave a look of shock at Takasato, which caused Taiki to quickly look down.
"Why?" It came out quiet and sad, like Seiji had already given up fighting for Kimika.
Taiki looked at Enki, hoping he could explain it. "When you go to Mount Hou, there will be people from Hou there who are hoping to be the next ruler." Enki paused. "I think Taiki feels that Kimika would be a distraction, that she might keep you from picking a ruler."
"Why would she prevent me from choosing a ruler? There is no reason why she would do that." Seiji knew Kimika would never stop him from doing anything he'd find important.
"She would be a distraction." King En agreed, as the conversation continued Seiji's mind wandered. He couldn't imagine it, how could Kimika be a distraction to him? While other issues were mentioned, Seiji's mind always seemed to go back to Kimika.
Seiji was so preoccupied, that he had no idea how late it was, until a maid came to escort them to dinner. With much on his mind, he and the others made their way to the dinning quarters.
Kimika's plan had been an absolute success; she had been accepted as an extra hand in the kitchen. She had been cutting food for the past hour, and had just found a chance to start the second part of her plan. Quickly, while the head chef was busy looking over the dishes; Kimika got her ingredients together. She snatched some sugar, salt, vanilla, butter, milk, eggs, and had to search a few minutes for cornstarch, cocoa powder, and chocolate.
The other ladies in the kitchen watched her in disbelief. One was walking towards the head chef in an attempt to tell her of Kimika's actions; however the head chef left the kitchen to introduce herself to King En's guests. Kimika, noticing her absence, took the chance to make her chocolate pudding. By the time the head chef returned the ladies had forgotten about Kimika's weird actions.
When it came time for dessert to be served, Kimika told the server that 'Houki' had specially asked for chocolate pudding. The server looked very uncomfortable, and kept telling Kimika she couldn't give it to Houki, but finally agreed when Kimika threatened to serve it to him herself. Just as the server was about to exit the kitchen, the head chef yelled.
"Stop!" She demanded, for which the server turned. "What do you think you're doing? How dare you try to give that to our king!" The server gave a small bow apologizing thoroughly. In the process, explaining that the new kitchen hand had forced her to serve it.
The head chef then turns towards Kimika. "Is this true? You were going to feed the Hou Kirin this." She points with disgust at Kimika's pudding.
"What's wrong with that?" Kimika asked a little annoyed. "He loves chocolate pudding." After looking Kimika over the head chef responds with repulsion.
"Even if he did like," she paused covering her nose, as if the pudding smelled, "something as revolting as this, you would never be the one to prepare it." Her eyes had a glint of comprehension, before her poster turned supple, and her eyes changed to contain a deadly glaze. "You were trying to poison the Hou Kirin, weren't you?" Her voice rang through-out the kitchen. Kimika was at first too shocked to respond, but she found her voice.
"What!" Kimika was outraged. "Why would I hurt Seiji? Maybe you would, but I would never!" Her yells were ear splitting, and only the head chef managed not to flinch.
The head chef walked up and slapped Kimika. The sudden silence after Kimika's words left an eerie feeling about the kitchen. "How dare you try to get rid of your actions, by blaming me." She walked towards the back door and summoned a guard into the kitchen. "I will let you off light. I won't even mention this to king En, because your attempt to kill the Hou Kirin would never work."
The guard moved to take Kimika, "What?", she screeched. It was a while before the guard caught her, because she kept wiggling her way out of reach. The guard tired from catching her, was unprepared when Kimika tried to kick him where it counts. The guard was about to let her go due to pain, but remembered better of it. He then told a kitchen hand to fetch more guards.
When the kitchen hand returned with the guards, there were broken pieces of pottery everywhere, and most of the women in the kitchen had been standing outside the doorway. The new guards managed to grab Kimika, and with the advice of the previous guard, they not only tied her hands with rope, but gagged her.
When asked what her crime is the head chef only said, "She is to be banned from the palace". The guards tilted their head, and took Kimika away. Once they were outside of En palace, they tossed her in the dirt, more than glad to be rid of her. They left the two guards posted at the door to untie her.
Now free Kimika's first move was to get back into the palace, however no matter what she tried they wouldn't let her in. She even told them that 'Houki' was her brother, but it held no effect on the guards. A normal person would give up now, but not Kimika. For Kimika had decided to sneak into the palace, but needed time to come up with a plan. With her biggest grin she walked away from the Palace of En, and knew it wouldn't be long before she was back.