Disclaimer: I do not own Daa Daa Daa!
THE SEVENTH PORTRAIT
Genre: Romance, Drama, Fantasy, Christian Fiction
He left with a promise he'll be back for her. Too bad, that when he did, she was no longer there.
"I have never seen a face, as sad as what he showed me. I've seen the women mourning for their loss. I've seen the tears shed when a warrior was killed defending his kingdom. I've seen a child crying over his parents dying, and I've seen a slave so pained you won't need to hear the sobs to know what he's been through. Ah, yes! The grief caused by a loss. Only this time, it was a hero's mourning after destroying an army. It was a hero, being celebrated for his success, but was crying because of a death, the death of that one person who could have been his everything…"
Outside the palace halls, the crowd cheers for their prince's return. Two days have passed after the fire incident that destroyed a fourth of the village. Their army that left two months ago to fight a war against another kingdom who wanted to colonize them returned this day before sunrise. Also, two weeks from today, will mark of a big part of the history of Saionji Kingdom. Two weeks from today, will be the coronation of Prince Kanata Saionji, the prince whom the people love and adore.
"Long live the Prince! Long live Prince Kanata! Long live Saionji Kingdom!" They cheer.
The entire Kingdom was filled with singing and dancing. There was a great feast, even more extravagant than the reception after the wedding of their King Hosho and their deceased Queen Hitomi. It was as if the fire never happened. Or so to say, everyone was trying to forget. The King has sent for laborers to rebuild what was lost because of the fire incident. He has pacified his people with the assurance that everyone will not be let homeless. Indeed, the crowd was pleased. And what was left for the King to regret, was his inability to pacify the mourning heart of his own son, the one prince of Saionji Kingdom, the hero of the last war.
"Where is he?" the King asked his trusted page Nozomu. They were in the Palace's biggest balcony, the King waving to his people. Beside him was the blonde page who has been serving the Prince since they were ten. The King couldn't be more assured of the condition of his own son if he wouldn't hear of it from Nozomu.
"The Prince never left his room since his return."
"So he's never visited the Kouzukis?" The King asked, even more worried that his son hasn't shown any sign of eagerness to see the truth being tried to cover by the celebration.
When the page shook his head, the King sighed.
"Go to him. Make sure he doesn't try to harm himself. The kingdom needs him to rule them. I need him to replace me." He tried to sound strong, but the page knew better. It was obvious the King couldn't worry less for his own eighteen year old son.
"Forgive my honesty your highness, but you know the Prince would never do such a thing!" Nozomu pointed out, respectfully still.
The King averted his gaze from the crowd. And with all due seriousness said to the faithful page and one true friend of the Prince, "I know. The boy never fails to exceed beyond our expectations. He always shows us he's more capable and mature for his age, which is why you can't blame me Nozomu. You can't blame me for hoping that for once, my son would act the same way any other kid his age would after losing her. You cannot imagine, how much it pains me to see my own suffering and yet living his life, as if he was a stone, as if her loss wasn't enough to break him down."
-Note: A Warrior is a Child sang by Garry V.
(Please start playing it before you read this.)
(Two months ago)
She whispered as soon as she heard a strange sound from their backyard. She was alone in their two story house, sewing. Her parents, two of the most known merchants in the Kingdom, hired to work for King Hosho himself, were away to trade a portion of the Kingdom's herbs and minerals for spices, silk, and metal weapons.
"Kanata? It can't be." She tried convincing herself. Surely, it can't be him. The Kingdom's army was supposed to be fighting in the war against the Kamoru Kingdom. He couldn't have returned, unless, unless…
She thought about it fast. The war was expected to last for three to five months. It was just the start of the second month after they left. Normally, it's impossible to be him. She knew about all these. But somehow, a voice from inside her was telling her to go out. And though logic wouldn't agree to it, she just had to know. It was him after all. It was him, the boy who never fails to amuse her beyond reasons. She just had to see it for herself, and she did. She left the unfinished work in the small wooden table in their living room, and ran to the direction of the sound.
And as she ran, her heartbeat grew fast, assuring her that it was him. It was then that she was certain. She knew the war was over, and their kingdom won. She knew he was coming. He always did after every battle won. So here she was, running, for she also knew he needed comfort.
She stopped as the sound grew faint. She has reached the meadows, covered in different kinds of lilies. It was also the place, where she last saw him before he left.
There, in front of her, stood the hero of the war. There, stood a young man in battle suite, removing his helmet. She can't help but smile. Surely it was him. Who else would be as fine looking as the young soldier staring directly at her eyes as if he was trying to see her very soul. She can't be wrong when she assumed he never got the chance to change. This time, he took off his sword from its case attached on his left in his waist. As he threw it on the ground, her eyes melted at the sight. He was only a few months younger than her, and yet here he was giving their kingdom glory.
She called him again yet there was no response. His eyes were on her, his lips forming a line, his expression hurt.
"Kanata…" she tried again.
"Kanata…" This time he opened his mouth, but no sound came. He started walking, slowly, very slowly towards her. His fists were tightly closed, and she can see he was starting to tremble.
She just stood there watching him take what seemed to be countless steps to reach her.
"Kana-" She called, when they were a step apart. The prince fell to his knees and hugged her waist. And there, he dropped his shield. He held her tight and wept.
Her eyes grew wide-open with surprise at his sudden move. But she took his hiccups as a sign and gently, so gently patted the top of his head, her other hand just resting on his right shoulder.
There, crying to her on his knees with his shoulders trembling was the Prince of their kingdom Kanata Saionji right after he returned from a war won by his leadership.
"Sssshhhh…" She smiled weakly, staring at him with all compassion she felt. Too bad he was busy hugging her tightly, crying, to see.
"I…" He hiccupped. "I killed…them. One soldier was…" he hiccupped again, still trembling. "He thanked me when I killed him Miyu. He felt thankful I killed him…but why-" he sobbed. "Why do I feel like shit? Like I did the wrong thing? Tell me I wasn't wrong. Tell me please." He looked at her with pleading eyes, holding her hands as if they were his lifeline, begging.
She wanted to cry herself, not for her but for him. This time, she couldn't smile. So instead, she took over his hands, and knelt down facing him. "You did the right thing Prince Kanata." And there, she put his arms around him, pressing herself to him for comfort. He was just kneeling still, digesting her words.
"I did…I did the right thing, didn't I?"
"Yes, you did." Her voice was breaking in tears. "You did Kanata."
And that was it. That was all he needed to hear. That was all she needed to say. The young prince of the kingdom smiled weakly, this time returning her hug.
"Prince Kanata! Where are you? Prince Kanata!" The soldiers yelled in the deepest part of the forest. It was already midnight when the King asked to force open the Prince's room. But when they did, he prince was nowhere in sight.
Nozomu, the prince's trusted page was leading the search. He came to the burned portion of the village, in front of the very house he used to visit with the Prince. Only two days ago, he came here alone to visit a friend. Now, he can't help but fear in awe that in a short span of days, the beautiful purple home of the Kouzukis was now in ruin, their only daughter, never seen.
He left his troop, asking them to wait for his return. He entered the burned house, and came out in the backyard.
There, he found him. There, was the prince, kneeling and staring blankly at the burnt scene. He still looked like a monarchy, still a prince, but one who had been carrying the burden of the world, like a soul who just lost the most important one.
"Miyu, where can I go now? I can't find you anywhere."
The page's heart was breaking at the sight. Who would have thought that the hero and soon to be King of their kingdom was this dependent on one villager? And now that they lost her, he too was lost.
"Prince Kanata…" He murmured with the small hope of getting his attention.
"Nozomu." He turned to him, still kneeling. "Miyu…" He said so softly as if saying her name will break her. Nozomu was simply looking at him, ready to do whatever he asks of him. If he wants to be left alone, then he'll let him be. He won't even tell the guards he saw him.
But his response broke his heart even more.
"Come on, the kingdom needs me." The prince said, wiping his tears, still with the blank expression.
Surely, the prince, as young as he was, was dying on the inside.
'Miyu, can't you see? This is what you do to him.'
A/N: Alright! So that was it. That's the end of the 1st chapter. This is supposed to be a novel, which could be a series. I thought the Daa! Daa! Daa! characters were fit for the description. Also, I'd like to acknowledge Kanata Saionji for writing Castles in the Air. Let's just say, that reading his stories over and over again help in me being interested in Miyu-Kanata pairing and writing this. So, what do you guys think? I can be slow in updating. But if your reviews inspire me enough, may God permit I finish this before the year ends. God bless & Thanks for reading!
PS: About the title, God willing you'll see why soon enough. And before you even ask, the answer is yes. For crying out loud, I am a fan of happy endings. She's alive. Happy? Ooh, BTW, what do you think of the song "Warrior Is a Child?" I had to listen to it a lot of times to finish this. And frankly, I enjoyed writing it. All thanks to God! ^^ Anonymous reviews are welcome! But if you can, I'd like to know who I should thank for reading and reviewing so please sign up to review. Advance thanks!