A Munto Fanfiction: Tomorrow's Promise © RedWingedAngel002
Disclaimer: Munto; Sora Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai © Kyoto Animation; Yoshiji Kigami and Tomoe Aratani
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Friendship, and Romance
Summary: What if Gntarl found about the Girl of Destiny earlier than he had? AU. MxY
A/N: More parallels were taken from episodes two and seven! Thank you, Jamie, for the useful suggestions, and my betas for proofreading.
Also, I got some inspiration through Mel's fic, The Burden of Destiny, particularly chapter five, which is where this named was derived from. I found it very fitting: fav. me/d56tx9g
Songs: Briony by: Dario Marianelli, How To Save A Life by: The Fray, Faces by: Lene Marlin, and Zoe Jane by: Staind
Chichi-ue: Respectful way of addressing one's father
Haha-ue: Respectful way of addressing one's mother
Mochi: Japanese rice cake
Pachi: the Japanese equivalent of PopRocks
-san: Honorific: Carries the meaning of "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Miss," etc., but used more extensively in Japanese than its English equivalent
Chapter 5: The Burden of Destiny
As they left the sleeping corridor and made their way down the pillared atrium, hearing the light echo of upcoming voices down the dining hall, Yumemi's eyes suddenly brightened with excitement. He took note, early on, that he had to shorten his red-booted stride for her to keep up.
"Come, Munto! Look!" She gave his hand an eager tug and pointed towards one of the long windows and to their right.
The brooding thoughts of his father's discussion from last night were pushed aside as he questioned the human girl, "What is it?"
"Cooome…!" she encouraged with a slight whine. "I wanna show you the island!"
Worry churned in his empty stomach, unsure of how to explain the truth to his budding companion. "Yumemi, wait—"
She released his palm and pressed herself on the glass. Cautiously, he trailed behind and to her left, watching her reaction with keen bullion.
The previous smile, which graced her lips, was gone, replaced with curious wonderment. Her emerald gaze desperately searched above and across the gradient blue skies. Determination faltered her growing distress, as she then scuttled to the opposite end of the hallway, and examined the open vastness with a different perspective in mind.
She returned to him in defeat, steps heavy and dragging, as her pursed mouth screwed with idle confusion.
"They're gone…" Yumemi whispered more to herself, than to the young prince in front of her, and anxiously twisted her cotton garments. "I don't get it… But they're always there!"
"I'm not lying! I'm not!" Her fretting gaze flicked downward and to the coiled hands at her chest, whimpering softly, "I'm not lying…" *1
"It's okay. I believe you." He swallowed and tried his best to calm the blonde with a reassuring pat on the shoulder. "It's because… You're… You're here, on the island. The Magical Kingdom is one of the seven nations in Heaven. We live in the sky."
Her eyes gradually went wide, doe-like, and then turned to look out once more with dawn understanding. "Really?"
"Yeah," the boy hesitantly answered.
She was quiet for a while, slowly drinking in the revelation, and then, suddenly, burst into tears.
"H-hey! Don't cry!" Munto gasped. "Why are you crying?"
Her lips quivered as she stuttered a reply, "I-I'm s-s-so hap-py…I'm not—I thought—" More sobs wracked her trembling form.
She was happy, and yet crying? Why? This confused him so.
"My, my, what is all the fuss about?" Ryueri requested.
Munto's head snapped up, jaw set. "It's nothing, Ryueri."
He avoided catching her scrutinizing gaze. The prince understood that if she knew, the Queen, and then his father, would know soon afterward. That would not be good.
"It does not look like nothing," the woman reproached, her pink painted lips turning downward.
Munto bit his tongue. He wanted to deny it, but knew he would be scolded if he did so.
His gold irises flickered back at Yumemi, who was furiously wiping tears from her flushed face.
"Oh, come now, Munto," Ryueri chided with a sigh, and strained not to roll her violet eyes. "Truly… You did not explain the situation to Yumemi-hime?"
This time, he did snap back at her, hissing, "I was gonna!"
She simply raised her brows in reply. Her voice did not skip a beat, as she coolly corrected the fire haired boy. "You were going to. Are your private studies meaningless? Speak properly." *2
Her order caused him to snuff out in silence. He turned to glare at his shaking fists in shame. His pride was crushed.
"Munto…" the trainee Prophetess pushed.
So, she wanted an apology from him? Fine.
He gave a snort. "You can go now. I know what to do. You don't have to watch me like a baby, Ryueri."
"Well, you are acting like one," she reprimanded at his rude behavior, but turned as he had requested. With a flurry of hair, her pink gown and gossamer shawl swayed with one graceful sweep.
Munto's brows knitted together in distaste. He did not like her tone.
Previously, the prince would have never admitted that she was speaking the truth. But watching the weeping girl… Maybe Ryueri was right. Maybe there were times he really just needed to swallow his pride and say—
"Sorry," he whispered, walked up to the blonde, and wiped her tearful face with a tentative palm. "I'm sorry not telling you earlier. It was dumb of me. I just didn't know how."
Her rogue cheeks were wet and soft… Like freshly washed peaches.
Yumemi looked up at him and nodded, claiming that she had accepted his apology.
Munto gave sigh of relief, the anxiety in his chest leaving with an airy whoosh.
"How about this?" he started lightly. "As payback, I'll introduce you to Conleth."
She looked better; almost back to her bright, normal self. "Who?"
"Munto!" he heard Andreious call down the hall. His neck snapped towards the direction and to his right. The tone was deep and firm, one, which, he knew very well. That meant…
Damn, he was in trouble.
Yumemi seemed to notice this, too, and gave his sleeve a tug. Her puffy, green irises quietly asked if he was going to be all right. The soon-to-be ten-year-old simply tossed his head to the banquet chambers, indicating for them to make their way.
He could handle this. He would not close his eyes and ignore what was to come.
As both children entered the dining hall, Munto saw that his father, mother, and Ryueri were the only ones left in the wide, vacant room, excluding the handful of maids and the occasional butler, who scurried about and to their domestic duties. Andreious must have asked for some privacy.
Gold immediately caught the Magical King's stern gaze. He was obviously not happy.
Yet, Munto did not quiver or bow. He knew what he did was wrong and was willing to accept his punishment. The boy walked up to him with held his head high.
"Care to explain to your mother and I what had happened, Munto?" his father calmly inquired, voice like steel.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Yumemi fidget, and then felt her tighten the warm grasp upon his palm.
"I acted out of place and disrespected both Ryueri and Yumemi," the redhead stated. He then turned to the vexed apprentice sitting on the right of his mother. "I apologize, Ryueri, for my rude behavior."
Mauve eyes softened and she gave a curt bow in acknowledgement, accepting his plea.
"Well then," Seraphine attempted to ease the tension-filled atmosphere with a chirp. "Are you two hungry?"
Yumemi's growling stomach was all that needed to be said, as she emitted a flustered squeak and apology. His parents simply grinned in amusement, all snip lectures forgotten, and exchanged knowing looks.
Once she was properly seated with a helpful hand from a servant, Munto took his place.
The six-year-old gasped in delight, when her breakfast was presented before her, and managed to swipe a nearby saucer of honey upon her biscuit. She giggled, after taking a bite, and claimed that it tasted like pachi. Whatever that was. *3
"Neh, neh. What's that?" she innocently inquired and pointed to the basket of produce.
The three adults carefully watched their interaction in silence.
He wiped his chin with the back of a palm before answering. "Fruit."
"Uwah~!" She started to bounce in her chair. "Which one do you like?"
Golden irises skimmed at the bundle of vibrant food. "Attes." *4
"Eh?" She blinked owlishly, in question.
He paused, taking their cultural barrier into consideration, and replied simply, "The red one."
Yumemi peeked up at the Queen before grabbing her prize, asking for consent, and she nodded in return. Cautiously, she handled the fruit and then turned to him for reassurance.
"Don't worry, they're edible!" Munto exclaimed with a haughty sniff. Why was she being so hesitant now?
Nodding, her small hands examined the cone-shaped produce, brining it up to her nose, and curiously gave a whiff, to test a hint of its upcoming flavor. Then, she bit into the waxy meat.
He watched with bated breath, as she slowly chewed, licked her lips, and swallowed. Her puzzled expression then turned bright, beaming as she explained merrily, "It tastes weird, but it's yummy!"
The stirring in his heart then erupted with life; causing heat to unexpectedly flush his cheeks and him to choke on air. Once the coughing fit ceased, washed down by a heady gulp of juice, Munto turned to peer at his chest in utter horror and confusion. What was that?!
A large, precautious hand hovered over his clad back, if in need of aid. "Are you all right, son?"
"I'm fine!" he screeched, soon catching his own outburst, and repeated the phrase with more discretion, "I'm all right, Chichi-ue."
Boisterous laughter then filtered the dinning hall. He grumbled when Yumemi's airy giggle chimed in with the other occupants, as he then started to squirm in embarrassment.
"I am glad you are enjoying the food, Yumemi-hime," Andreious replied, after wiping a straggling tear from the corner of his eye. "Everything is fresh; all baked and picked this morning. I will make sure to give your highest regard."
She blushed under his scrutiny, suddenly shy. It appeared that the blonde was still wary of his father.
The royal then focused his mischievous gaze towards him, impish and teasing. "Stella tells me you had a bit of a bump in this morning? How did that go about?" grinning with hearty entertainment.
Oh, good GOD, NO! NOT THAT!
"It wasn't my fault!" Munto exclaimed, his previous tact now overcome by flaming humiliation. "I woke up and Yumemi was gone!"
"Nu-uh!" the said girl denied. He turned to her, face now kindled with irritation. "You said it was okay!"
"I did no—!"
"You're wrong!" she interrupted with a huff. How dare she! "Lilith-san was gonna help me with Bath Time! I asked and you said it was okay! You said it was okaaay~!"
"When did I say that?!" Munto bristled, slapping the oak table in frustration. The silver utensils rattled in disruption.
"This morning!" the blonde whined.
"Now, Munto," Seraphine cooed with maternal patience. "Almost everyone knows you do not do well in the mornings. It is likely that you were half-asleep, when agreeing to Yumemi-hime's query."
His mouth firmed into a distasteful line and crossed his arms and groused in simmering silence. Was everyone against him?
"Oh, son, there is nothing to be upset about. You were just doing your job," Andreious chuckled, while ruffling his firelocks in an apologetic gesture.
It was then that he caught his parents lock eyes, to where their amusement was suddenly masked with solemn authority. Seraphine gave an affirmative nod, while the Lord's lips turned downward in reply.
"Enough banter," he initiated with a cough, tipping last of his qahwa back, and placed the empty goblet on the polished stone. "It is time to explain our current predicament." *5
The children's postures straightened when hearing the stern seriousness in his tone.
"Do you know why you are here?" he cast his gaze towards their human guest.
"Because… Because that robot-thing took me away. It hurt Mama," she whispered, ending her statement with an air of caution. Her 'name' for the Doll was slurred, since she could not pronounce the R sound properly on the palate of her mouth.
The king made a confirming noise in the back of his throat, and questioned carefully, "Do you know why the Weapon of the Ancients had stolen you from your kin?"
Slowly, she shook her head in a negative. Moons of emerald strained with thought.
"It is because you are a very special girl. You have a power like no other, Daughter of the Earth, hidden dormant within your heart." *6
The blonde's eyes widened in disbelief. Munto perked with interest.
"Listen carefully; the almighty Akuto of our lands is drying up. In the past, our worlds were once connected by the flow of Akuto. However, the cycle was broken a long, long time ago."
This was history he already familiar with.
Andreious paused, once seeing Yumemi raise her eager hand, in question. He gave the notion for her to speak with an offering palm.
"What's Akuto?" she innocently asked.
The man took a moment to gather his thoughts, pondering with how to explain their system simply enough for a six-year-old to understand.
"Akuto is what allows you to see our world and imagine things you cannot see. It is the energy, which makes everything in the Heavens and is the source of all life. Your food there," he pointed at the scattered remains upon her plate, "and your clothing; they are all made out of Akuto."
Yumemi released her grasp on the olive vest pinned around at her neck, and then looked at the four occupants with a new sense of awe.
"Destruction has begun," he stated ominously. "Sometime in the near future, the islands you see will fall, turning the Lower World into a land of death."
The girl's face gradually drained of all color.
"Because of this, both Heaven and Earth are now on the verge of total annihilation. However, they are struggling to avoid this darkness and regain the relationship that existed in the ancient past."
She licked her chapped lips, desperate to attain the heavy burden set upon her small shoulders.
"We're… gonna die?" Her Papa had already explained the bleak conversation of death to her, when her pet bunny, Mochi, would not wake one spring morning. *7
Munto was surprised she had not begun to cry.
"If your power is not acquired, then yes, we all shall perish."
A small noise of protest escaped her.
Boldly, the prince snatched her left, quivering hand from beneath the table, hidden by all sharp eyes, and gave it a comforting squeeze; whence empathizing the shaken distress he went under just a few hours ago. This was all new to her.
"Do not give up hope. This is why you are here." Andreious' voice softened a tad, in attempts to ease the cowering girl with balm words. "Seraphine and I have been granted a vision of you and our son. You both are responsible for opening a new future."
Cold shock then spread in Munto's chest like a virus. "You did?"
He drew his attention towards him, amber irises discrete and comprehensive. "Yes."
"Why didn't you tell me?" the boy's escalating voice cracked in betrayal.
His father, once again, was leaving him in the dark because of his young age. He was royalty—he had the right to know what was going on!
All the while, Yumemi watched in silence, her tender grasp tightening in his hold.
Seraphine's steady tone resumed for the weary monarch, who pinched the bridge of his nose with gruff pleas of understanding. "Because the two of you were destined to meet many moons from now, Munto. Yumemi-hime's sudden arrival has jostled us as much it has you."
"If that's true, then why is she here?" he snapped in annoyance.
Her wise, clover eyes bore into his determined gold. Graceful hands wove together in a persuading manner.
"We are still trying to figure that out for ourselves. All we can conclude is that the knowledge of her power was learned by another," his mother calmly replied, and took a glance at her lilac haired pupil, who nodded, in turn.
"You are lucky to have fallen into our hands, Girl of Destiny," Andreious carried on. "I do not know what evils attempted to capture you, but let it be said, there are people after you, who are likely not to be so mindful of your care as we are…"
The room was engulfed in stifling silence.
"What now?" Munto inquired, filling the quiet.
Another sigh escaped from his father's firm lips. "For now, she will stay here under our protection, while we figure out a way to return her safely home."
"And Haha-ue's dream? What about the Akuto crisis?" he turned to the two gifted women.
"You needn't worry. There is still much time to avoid that catastrophe." She cast her gaze towards Yumemi and forced a pleading smile upon her lush mouth. "Despite this unfortunate news, I do hope you enjoy your stay. We will all do our best to make it a pleasurable experience, here at the Magical Kingdom."
Andreious agreed and then beaconed her with a large hand. "A moment, Yumemi-hime."
She flicked her hesitant emerald at the prince, removing herself from the cushion of her chair, which was pulled out by a lingering cupbearer, and walked towards the kind Lord with careful steps.
"This is a symbol of our people." He offered a golden bracelet around her left wrist. She watched, in awe, as it suddenly materialized from the air around them. "You are under our protection."
Her eyes widened slightly, as she then gave another worried glance towards Munto, who bobbed his head in affirmative. "O-okay."
"I promise, we will return you to your family, at all cost," Andreios vowed and squeezed her palm in emphasis.
Her expression knitted in confusion. Timidly, she asked, "You know where they are?"
"Not exactly," Seraphine claimed. "We were hoping you could help us with that. Would you like to see how they are doing?"
Yumemi struggled to contain her excitement and nodded enthusiastically.
"Alright," the Prophetess giggled, to where she stood, and offered a dainty hand to the young girl, which she accepted with no hesitation. "Follow me, please."
The pitter of their footsteps followed suit.
Munto was at a loss of what to do. He understood what was underway: they were going to the Pool of Memories. However, he knew that that was an intimate moment for each viewer, for the waters reflected the truth to each of their hearts.
He sought his father's grim facade for an answer, jaw set, as he then started to fidget in his ivory garments.
"Go on." Andreious' lips twitched upward in the slightest degree. "We will finish this discussion later. I am sure she will need you." *8
"Right," the boy nodded and scurried off to meet with his mother and human friend…
Thank you for the faves and reviews, everyone!
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A/N: All the adults are totally setting the two babies up, guys. No questions asked. Srsly. :I
I do realize this chapter is a bit on the slow side, plot-wise, despite the obvious need for an update, (nine months, oh my!), but I wanted to leave this all as one scene, so here we are. I'm happy that I did manage to squeeze in some character development, though. Too bad I couldn't make my 12.12.12 deadline. =3=
Now that I'm on Winter Break, I'll do my best to add onto this fanfiction more often. However, my main focus is set upon Waiting For You, since I've got my motivation running for about three more chapters, until my 'stopping' point. [Plus, I need to hunt for internships, now. Ick.]
As always, I do hope you've enjoyed the read. Critiques and reviews are appreciated! For the time being, I wish you all Merry Christmas, to whatever custom you celebrate, and a Happy New Year. I'll see you all on the 24th of a January!
Also, if you haven't seen my additions to chapter fourteen, I am hosting a contest for Waiting For You, since the third anniversary is steadily approaching. Take a peek, if you can?
*1: I'm imagining this to sound like one of the many arguments between Mei and her sister, Satsuki, in Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro. ;w; [The original Rugrats Angelica-dubbed version, now. Not the new update.] Like how I am basing Munto off with Shaoran, within Cardcaptor Sakura, I am basing Yumemi off with Mei.
Also, her crying descriptions were reflections of all three girls and to the infamous umbrella flashback.
*2: This whole scene is here as a hint to why Munto doesn't think of himself as a child—because the other royals of the Court don't treat him as such. He has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, in means of appearance, protocol, and the ways of speaking.
I know Ryueri is a bit bitchy here, too, but it's also to show their tension-filled rivalry; they have to 'share' Seraphine, that's why, like siblings. Both gain their respect for one another, later on, though.
*3, 5: I nabbed this through Lena's fanfic chapter, Polyfloral: fanfiction s/4835238/2/Of-Emeralds-and-Rubies
*4: Atte is the French translation for the sugar apple. I literally was searching through definitions at random; looking to what I thought was closets, flavor wise, to the said fruit.
*6: The king's shift in names is a way of disconnecting himself, emotionally, from their predicament. When things are more casual, does he then address her as 'Princess.'
*7: I was taking Yumemi's pink plush toy into mind.
*8: Andreious' suggestion doesn't just apply to the events, which will be revealed within the mirror, but also the likelihood of Munto needing to water-down their explanations to the girl, since he's so used to talking to his son in a mature manner.