NOTE: I'm greatly obsessed with Victorian Era. So of course, it's the setting of my story.
- The reason for this obsession is I love talking formally. You'll find out after reading.
"Please, please, please! Please help me this time, Len!" The little blond girl begged her brother, but he kept refusing, "No way! I don't wanna! Why do I have to wear that feminine dress and go to the dance? You're the one Meiko asked to do it."
"You know I can't. Well… Miku… I… you know… but I can't let Meiko down either. She just wants me to be happy. Please, Len. I'm begging you."
The boy who looked exactly like his sister sighed heavily, "Fine," he said sulking, "I was born just to your slave. Your everything is the priority, queen."
"Oh, come on. Don't say that! Come here," but she already ran toward him and put a slight kiss on his cheek. "Thanks a lot. I'm sure to pay you back."
Len rubbed off the spot where Rin just placed her lips on and murmured, "Our last conversation was also like this."
Baron Shion just came back from his study abroad trip, so the Duke, of course, would immediately throw out a party to celebrate. But, all the citizens in this town know by heart the main purpose wasn't just like that. Duke Shion, more than anything else, wanted through this dance, he can choose for his son a girl to settle with him, since no one who live in this town didn't know Kaito Shion is a lady killer. He slept with any girl for one night and dumped her the next morning. It seemed like the Baron didn't want to hide it either, but those ladies, they were all blind by his glorious handsomeness. In the end, these girls could blame no one when they're the one who chose to fall into that love trap themselves.
Rin was different. She admitted she's just fourteen; she knew nothing about the world, but there's no way she would married a guy like that. The young girl didn't care how much money Meiko needed. Moreover, whether it's her or Len, there's no chance Kaito would set eyes on them. He had more than enough pretty girls willing to be with him. "Well, just consider this is a chance for you to eat free food" was the reason Rin came up with to persuade Len to disguise as her while she went on a date with Miku.
"Here we are! Have a great night, my dear lovely Rin~!" Meiko said coaxingly. Her breath was filled with Sake.
"Ok, Meiko san. Remember to pick me up on time."
Her face suddenly went mad, "What? Stay overnight!" and kicked Rin – or to be exact, Len in Rin's dress. The boy tried to balance himself on the crystal high heels. He looked at the castle located high above all the stairs and muttered in tiredness. "Just once more time… I'll seek for revenge someday, Rin!"
From some rumor, the castle alone, not to mention its gardens and yards, was about the size of Len's town. Since Baron was a strong Christian, he built his "house" just like a church. On top of the roof was a cross that the boy could see clearly from his faraway house. Below, the colorful glasses formed an angel shining under the moonlight, like a kaleidoscope. The feature that made this luxury building stand out must be its white cerulean marble wall. In this dark wood forest, the palace was a pure angel. Though tired from walking the whole way up to the door, the boy still tried to take a closer look at this divine creation.
After a few minutes, Len kept thanking his sister secretly. Hundreds of luscious dishes occupied the whole hall. Pain Perdue, Yorkshire Pudding, Apple Jonathan, Roast Turkey, Fricassee, and more of the food that Len only imagined from Rin's description last time she came back from the castle. All of time he'd never had a chance to taste before, and may be after. Like a rat falling into a jar of rice, the boy ate far more than his body needed.
Everybody just chattered some nonsense topics while the main character of the dance still hadn't appeared. There would be time Len's stomach couldn't take any more foods, but Meiko still hadn't come. Don't tell me she's gonna left me here overnight for real? He thought. The blond boy had no mood left for both the dance and food. This annoying dressing and high heels didn't make him feel any better. Couldn't stand this torturing atmosphere; Len escapes to the balcony. The night wind's soft flow somewhat eased him a little bit. He looked at his faraway town. Lights from the houses went off one by one. He didn't know what to do. Len don't want to go back in the hall, but he couldn't stay out here all night if Meiko really intended not to pick him up. His head rested on the folded arms, and then the boy started to raise his voice…
In this town, Rin and Miku were the duet of angel voices. When they sang, the whole world had to be silent so nothing would interrupt. Most tourists came to this unknown place also just to witness those beautiful notes escaping from their lips. That's also how the twins, Rin and Len, earned their living expenses and paid for Meiko's Sake. Just a month ago, Baron Shion himself invited the two to come a sing at his birthday. At first, the nobility gossiped to each other: "What can two brats do? Singing 'Twinkle Little Stars'?". But, when the duet opened their slender lips, no one dared to say anything. Even the birds stopped chirping, and everybody was also afraid to take a breath. Since then, the two of them got invited more and more. However, it was all Rin: Len rarely sang. It's not that his voice was terrible, but he didn't like singing for anyone. The boy would sing along with his twin whenever they did the laundry or hum a random tune while working. Len was just did it like a hobby, not as a talent or skill something. Now, under the starry sky, which made he felt even worse, the boy somewhat wanted to express the feeling by singing. Words were sounded above the sky…
"Will you care? Will you even notice if I'm there?
In their eyes, they see nothing in me but just a guy…
Yet you came… I knew my life would never be the same…
So please see me, as whom I am meant to be…"
"Len!" Someone shouted out his name. He stopped singing and realized it was Meiko.
"Meiko-san, what are you doing here? I thought-,"
"Too much words, just come down here quickly!"
Despite those harsh words, Len felt extremely happy seeing Meiko come to pick him up. He held up the dress and ran down the stair as fast possible. But in the middle of the way, he stopped.
"Hey, we don't have time! What takes you so long?" Meiko yelled out impatiently. But Len wasn't listening at all. He looked at the front door for a while, and then resumed his journal. "I thought I heard someone calling me, Meiko-san," the boy said; his eyes still looked at the castle's door.
"You're imagining. And why did you wear Rin's clothes?"
"S…She asked me to pretend to be her. Rin doesn't like to married the Baron, Meiko-san."
"Yeah, yeah. I saw her at Luka's place all lovey-dovey with Miku."
"Meiko-san, she really loves Miku-nee," Len said softly as if he had no intend to let Meiko heard it.
"You guys could have just told me that. I admit I need money, but I'm not the kind of parent would sell their child for her own sake," the woman sighed. She whipped the horses even stronger. "I just think if she could marry a rich guy, she'd have a better life…"
Len nodded even though his foster mother couldn't see it. He looked back at the castle before the forest trees blocked his view. The young boy was sure he heard someone calling him. Who was it? He wondered.
Soon, everything went back to normal like it used to be, except that Rin and Miku officially dated from now on. Meiko also tried to be a more responsible by quitting Sake, though it was really hard for her so in the end she couldn't quit it anyway, and getting a new job to take better care for the children. So mostly everything was as usual or changed in a positive way.
Except for Len.
He kept thinking about the mysterious person that had been called for him. It was kinda rude to ignore it and run away. At least he could have been gone back and see who, but Meiko's appearance had made him worry about Rin, and Len thought he should return quickly. There's nothing he could do now, however. Though he wasn't able to get it out of his head, the blond knew keeping it just cause him more confusion. Just think the calling was my imagination and nothing actually happened, Len convinced himself. Castle wasn't his place, he didn't wanna think about it anymore.
Three days later, the Baron himself came to the town.
"I heard that Baron Kaito already found a suitable girl, who lives in this town, to be his bride."
"It's must be my Miriam. She's such a fine young lady."
"How can you even have that thought? My sweet Haku and Neru are way better than your daughter."
"Look at them!" Rin mocked, "What's so good about that lady killer? It's not like there's not enough rich guy around here. He isn't the only baron."
"Ignore it, Rin," Miku looked at her lover mildly and slightly kissed on her forehead, "Whatever they do doesn't have any concern with us."
"You sure know how to shut me."
The girl with green hair smile, "Let's quickly go home! I'm sure Len and Meiko-san are hungry by now."
"Len, did you notice any of the girls come from our town at the party?" Rin suddenly asked during the meal.
"Of -ourse, ere-are-hull-of-em." Her twins replied with his mouth full. "Why-ould-u-ask?"
"Just curious. Did you see him treat any lady in a special way?"
Len took a gulp of water to swallow all things that's been in his mouth. "No, I didn't saw him the entire time I was there. So I guess he must choose that girl after I left."
"Rin, eat! I thought I told you not to discuss any matters about that baron anymore," Miku strengthened her tone, "and eat the leak!"
There's a chuckle came from Meiko, "You sound like her mom more than a lover."
Len stood up before anyone else, "I'll take that," and run toward the door. When he pulled the knob, stood behind his door was a tall young man. A pair of cerulean sphere adorned his elegant face along with the same color hair like ocean waves. The man's wearing a silky indigo military uniform, decorated with some golden medal and a long line of citrine stones. He smiled a smile that could make any girl fall for him instantly. "Good afternoon, little gentleman. May I talk to your elder?"
The boy blushed. It's been the first time ever someone uses such exquisite words toward him. "Ye-yeah. Please wait for a minute, sir," He tried to be as formal as possible. But without him calling, all of the people were already at the door. Meiko and Miku gasped, "Baron," and kneeled down. While Len was too shocked to realize what's happening, the man called "Baron" found his way toward Rin. This time, he's the one who kneeled down, "My fair lady, I've been looking for you."
"I don't even kno-," the twin girl's eyes filled with surprise.
Didn't wait for Rin to finish, the Baron already held her hand and put a gentle kiss on it, "Ms. Kagamine, will you accept my proposal?"
"Sorry for my rudeness but could you let me finish my line? Baron, I don't know you. Why'd you looking for me and why'd I accept your proposal?" Rin jerked her hand back and yelled. She really hated when people didn't listen to her. "Isn't that you looking for a suitable wife? Will I be suitable if I don't even love you?"
Meiko, sweated all over, came to cover her daughter's mouth and apologize to Kaito, "Pardon me for her behavior, Baron. I didn't raise her so well."
"No," the girl tried to escape, "you raise me well," and she turned to look at the Baron, "and I know that a high-class, educated man won't force a girl to marry him when she's already loved someone else."
Despite all the mess, the man just smiled and softly said, "Miss Kagamine, I really want you to be the one, but I guess I have no chance and I don't want to act like a bad guy either. Still, can I come here to visit as a friend?"
"If you remember how to define 'friend', then it's fine with me." Rin said. Her tone had softened.
"It's my pleasure. I take my leave then. Please resume what you've been doing." He bowed. As soon as he backed up outside the threshold, Rin suddenly closed the door and looked at Len, "You're responsible for this, gentleman."
"Pardon me, sister."
"The only same time 'I' was in the castle with that flirty Baron was at the dance. You said you'd not met him!"
"I didn't!" Len protected himself.
"Then why would that man came to propose to me?"
"How am I supposed to know?"
"You!" she pointed at her twin, "You must take your responsibility. I'll have go to Crypton town with Miku in the next two days. You must have to do anything you can to chase that lady killer out."
"THAT'S SO UNFAIR!," Len yelled, "WHY WOULD I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING YOU ASK AND THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED, I HAVE TO TAKE THE CONSEQUENCE? AM I JUST A SLAVE FOR YOU? WHY CAN YOU HAVE EVERYTHING: FAME, LOVE, FREEDOM AND WHAT DO I HAVE? LOOK AT ME, RIN! AM I EVEN YOUR BROTHER?"
He let it out.
He let it all out, and then, ran away.
The three ladies didn't know what to do except look at his shade gradually faded.
Meiko the first one who broke the silence, "It's not like I'm on his side, but Rin, you're wrong this time."
Miku followed along, "He really cares about you. Don't be a bad sister! Go find him and apologize."
With her regretful expression, Rin rushed through the door, left her lover and mother, who kept looking and grinning, behind. Meiko chuckled, "They have to fight a little sometimes."
"I don't know you're a bad or good mother anymore."
Len still couldn't believe that, for the first time, he yelled at his sister. Not because he's afraid of her or something, he just couldn't bring himself to shout. Though outside, Len looked like Rin's personal slave, she was the only person who would look at Len as himself, which meant a lot to someone always called "Rin's twin". It was all Rin by his side to comfort when he's down. To think back, Len thought he might go a little over board.
"I better go back and apologize."
"Thud!" the boy turned back and… hit something, or someone. While getting back his balance, Len heard a familiar voice, "Are you OK, young master?"
The blond boy looked up and tended to kneel down, but the figure he just hit soon stopped him. "I'm sorry, Your Grace. I…I wasn't looking," Len tried to form the words. There were some unknown reasons that he felt extremely nervous in front of this man.
"It's OK. Better watch your step next time." Kaito suddenly leaned closer to the boy, who all blushed because of the baron's action. "Ah! You're that gentleman. Rin's brother, am I right? I totally forget. What's your name?"
"I'm Len. And don't worry, I'm fine with that. People just call me 'Rin's brother' or 'Rin's girl version' all the time. I'm used to it."
"It's not something you should get used to. Don't say it as something honorable."
"Well…," Len wanted to say something back, but he couldn't think of any, "Excuse me for my rudeness, but I thought you'd already gone."
"This is a nice town. Can't believe I travel half the world just to realize there's the most beautiful place right next to me," Kaito used to same smile like the time Len opened the door for him, "Would you mind being my tour guide?"
"It would be my honor," the boy bowed.
They stopped for a break before the baron returned to his palace. The sunset lights shone upon his silky hair as if they were Sif's. Look at him closely now, Len thought he might somewhat understand why the lady would just fall for Kaito. He has true beauty, too bad he didn't make a good use of it. Breath in a sip of air, the baron turned to Len and smile, "Thanks for today, I really enjoy it."
"No problem, Your Grace."
"… and stop adding 'Your Grace' after every single sentence. I don't like formality."
"Yes, Your Gra-." Len covered his mouth. "Then what should I call you?"
"Just Kaito, or if you want to be polite, Mr. Shion is enough."
"Then… Mr. Shion, in a hundred of your gorgeous ladies, why did you choose my sister?"
The baron thought for a while before he spoke, "It may sound funny, but I fell in love at the first sight."
He closed his eyes like thinking about some kind of fairy tales, "It was at the party, you know why I sleep with a lot of woman, because none of them love me, the real me. They just love my look and richness. So I just give them what they want: money, and my body. But I don't want to marry any of them. That's why the party was just useless, since all the women in there had the same purpose after all." Kaito started to smile, "I was so bored so I hid in my room, until…," he stopped. It looked like he's listening to something and afraid his voice would destroy it.
"Until…?" Len reminded the baron back to reality.
"Well… I heard someone singing from the balcony. It was so beautiful that I thought God sent me an angel. And what she sang is so true to me, so I, from that moment, decide to married that lady. When I drew closer, the voice stopped. Fortunately, I had a chance to take a quick look at its owner. I called out for her, but it seemed she was in a rush. I remembered the lady did look back once, but then she ran again. I came to ask my father about it. After my description of the girl and her voice, he said certainly it must be Rin Kagamine, your sister, from Vocaloid town."
"Then, I'm kinda shocked when Miss Kagamine said she's already in love with someone else. But I thought if so, why did she came to the party?"
"Free food," Len murmured.
"Did you say something?"
"That's why. I'm not gonna give up. This is the first time I've been in love, and I won't give up so easily."
"Mister," Len turned to look straight at the man. His gaze was so serious that it's a little stunned Kaito, "this is for your own good: you have no chance with my sister. So please give up."
Baron Kaito, more shocked with what Len said, stammered, "Wo… woah… Len, I didn't expect you to be such a protective brother."
"I'm serious, Your Grace. And I'm saying this because of your own good."
The gentleman stood up and got on his horse without saying anything. He whipped his stallion, left behind Len just look at him in surprise. The blond boy sighed, and when he turned his back, a cry came from behind.
"I won't give up and I'll show you how good I am, my brother-in-law-to-be."
- End chap 1 -
To anyone who had no idea who is Sif: She's a Norse goddess that owned the famous golden hair. Go Google Images the keyword "Sif Norse Myth"
*Edit: I made some changes because my memory was totally messed up with the Duke and Baron stuff. To clarify any confusion, Kaito is a baron. His father is a duke.
~*Thanks for reading*~