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.
"How long do you expect me to mourn? How long do you expect me to wait for you?"
"Kanata! Look Kanata! This is the dance I'm going to teach the children tomorrow!" A young girl called, golden hair strands swaying as she dances barefooted in the meadows. Her pale rose dress twirling along as she skips and slides on the rhythm of the festive music she was playing with her tambourine. She was laughing melodically, enjoying every passing second.
Her only audience, a neat looking young boy sat in the grass a few meters away, turned smiling at her.
"It looks good." He said, as he began to fascinate himself with her dancing. She looks so happy, he couldn't help but laugh along with her.
His smile turned into a frown when he saw her trip over a rock, causing her to fall backwards.
Instinctively, he ran to her, kneeling down to examine her. "Miyu, are you okay? Miyu…"
"Ouch…" she moaned, caressing her head, feeling a bit dizzy.
He gently pulled her up from behind.
"Ah!" she cried in pain halfway standing, touching her ankle. Looking more worried, the young man literally swept her off her feet, carrying her off like a bride.
"Wait! What do you think you're doing? Kanata! Put me down!" She screamed, pulling herself away from him but he didn't let go.
He continued walking with her in his arms and stopped only when they reached his horse.
"Come on, I'll help you up." He said nonchalantly as if she didn't just protest when he carried her forcefully.
She bit her lip, frowning in dismay but did as told. For the second time that day, she found herself riding in the same white horse as him.
"Where are we going?" She asked when he squeezed the horse with his leg and they began moving.
"I think this is better than letting you trip again." He teased with the smirk she's too familiar of.
"Hey!" She retorted, hitting him by the arm. He chuckled, and she hit him some more.
"Would you stop that? If we both fall and get injured, it would be hard for me to carry you, you know!"
"I never asked you to carry me!" she pointed out. For a moment, he looked stunned, unaware that guilt began to creep up on her causing her to avoid meeting his eyes. After all, he was just trying to help, like he always do.
"True. But I wanted to." He said, making her look at him again.
Her head jerked up but she chose to remain silent as she saw he was no longer looking at her. He was looking at the horizon.
"Miyu…" She felt them stop and she found herself smiling at the sight of the village. They were now in the highland of the Saionji Kingdom, right above the meadows.
They stayed unmoving for a while, content with watching what seemed like a miniature that was their village. His arms were still around her, holding the reins. And somehow, she felt like resting her head on his chest. He didn't object.
"Kanata…" He heard but kept his eyes focused ahead of them.
"When you come back this time, you're going to be King. It's going to be different between us, isn't it?" Her voice was serious yet gentle. He sensed she didn't want to mention about the war he has to fight again - another war, another battle, and this time with a different kingdom.
"Hey Miyu…" He called this time and met her gaze, losing himself in a pool of emerald.
"What kind of future do you want to see?"
She was surprised but covered it up with a warm smile directed at him before darting her eyes back on the village.
"Why? Already thinking about when you're King?"
When he didn't reply she sighed.
"Future you say?" She murmured, but was loud enough for him to hear. "I want to see a kingdom with no adversary, where no woman will have to spend sleepless nights worried sick if their husbands are hurt or killed in battle. No child is left crying, not even the orphans. I want to see a kingdom whose people are filled with rejoicing because what they need is being provided. Every peasant has a house. No one is left homeless and no elderly is alone because there's always a youth to take care of them. A kingdom where every citizen can dream and all are given a fair chance to live the dream." She paused, turning to him and stunned at the realization that he kept his gaze on her.
"And of course," she said, mesmerized by the mahogany that was his eyes. "I want to see a happy King."
Twenty year old King Kanata Saionji awoke from slumber and found himself tightly wrapped in thick dirty white cotton blanket. His eyes roamed and he instantly recognized the place as the back a commoner's carriage. He shivered slightly as he felt the cold breeze of the Northern wind.
Sighing, he turned to the small opening behind him to talk to the driver.
"Nozomu?" he called, now aware of the snow covered environment they were now in.
His right hand and only companion for this journey spoke. "Yes your highness?"
"Why didn't you wake me up? Where are we?"
"We're two villages away from the Saionji Kingdom your highness. We couldn't go across the town so I took the long route here at the mountains."
"I see." He stopped, looking thoughtful in contemplation. "Nozomu, switch places with me!" He called, and instantly felt the carriage stop.
He opened the door to step out but found his boots sinking in snow. His eyes scanned the surrounding but found nothing but snow.
"You still want to switch places your highness?" The blonde knight asked, already on the ground. He too was covered in thick cloth.
"Yeah. It's your turn to take a nap." He smirked. The blonde knight wanted to protest but the young King beat him to it by climbing up on the driver's seat.
"Get inside!" He signaled the knight.
Sighing in defeat, the blonde knight climbed up but instead of sitting inside the carriage, he chose to sit beside the King.
"I know you're bored your highness, but it's my duty to protect you so please just let me do my job."
The young King didn't respond and instead focused on the road ahead, pulling the reins.
The two sat silently as they continued their journey.
"Nozomu." The young King called. "Where do you think we should look next?"
The blonde knight hesitated but chose to answer anyway. "To be honest, I don't know your highness. We've been to the nearest surrounding kingdoms and still couldn't find her."
"Maybe she's been there but had to go elsewhere. There must be a reason why she hasn't returned yet."
The knight remained silent. Truth be told, they have no assurance she was alive for that matter. The only hope they have was that there was no body found inside the purple house of the Kouzukis. The former King Hosho ordered a search made to the entire Kingdom, but nobody found her. Even after the coronation, the search went on reaching even to the most distant places, but still no news of her. Now they were back to square one, back to the places they first searched.
"I know she's alive." He heard his King say, as if he was able to read his mind. The King seemed to be in daze, eyes looking ahead of them, wherever it was they're headed.
The blonde knight felt a tug in his heart. "Of course, your highness." He smiled weakly.
"Aaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Help! Please! Anyone, help me!" came a female voice that broke them out of reverie.
"It's coming from there your highness!" Nokoru said in panic, pulling out his sword. The young King got down.
And without another word, the young King dashed to the direction of the scream, his right hand right after him.
Soon enough, a young girl about the King's age dressed as a slave, came running helplessly.
"Help please! Anyone…" The female cried as she stumbled, her chained hands creating metallic noises as she tried to free herself.
Two middle aged men covered in dirty white hoods were after her, both with plastered smirk on their faces.
"It's useless! You should have just been obedient. Look what you did to me you slave!" One hooded man yelled, his arm gripping the thin arm of the young girl making her scream in pain.
Desperate, the girl took advantage of the opportunity, and despite her hurting arm, pushed herself to bite the hand of her captor.
"Aww you little scumming-" he froze, feeling a sharp blade on his neck. He turned and was surprised to see a blonde young man half his age pointing his sword at him.
"I wouldn't say more if I were you…"
The girl hurriedly tried to move away to save herself in case a fight broke out, but winced in agony with the realization that she could no longer feel his legs.
"Trevon! Where are you?" Her captor, now the blonde's hostage, yelled but froze I horror when he heard another unfamiliar voice.
"If you're talking about this guy, then I'm afraid he won't be able to reply." said a hoarse voice of another young man, as he pushed an unconscious older one making him fall face down on the snow.
"Nozomu- tie them down!" the young man ordered, as the girl's remaining conscious captor trembled in fear.
"Look, I- I can give you money!" He stuttered in fear. "If you want the girl, you can have her! She's a virgin, a princess even! You can trade her for a very good price! Please– please, just let me go!"
The young King's brows twitched hearing this, and he automatically turned to the now shivering girl.
"You- you're a princess?" he uttered. He was approaching the girl but stopped when he saw her eyes filled with fear and remorse hatred, "Go away! Go away from me you save traders!" she screamed, kicking the snow with her unfeeling legs.
"We're not-" he wanted to explain but kept himself from doing so. Instead, he took off the thick cloth covering him. The girl, now crying, kept her glare on him as he neared her. He saw her close her eyes, biting her lip in pain, and barely touching her, he freed her of the chains. "Look I, I won't hurt you. I promise I'll bring you back to your home." She heard but before she could speak, she found herself being warmed up by the stranger's cloth, the said stranger walking away from her.
"Nozomu, bring her up. I'll take care of these guys." He said and the blonde did as told.
The girl, unsure of what's going on, couldn't help but merely watch in silence. Was she just saved? Were her saviors for real?
Her eyes followed as the blond knight came to her, kneeling beside her. "Please don't be afraid. You're safe now. I can see that you can't walk, is it okay if I carry you?"
She searched his eyes and when she's satisfied, nodded. She then found herself being carried to the back of a commoner's carriage. The blonde young man made sure she had more blankets to warm her up before he also brought up the unconscious, and now tied captors of hers.
"Would you like a drink? Hot chocolate?" The blonde offered and she responded by a meek nod.
The blonde smiled, handing her a cup which she, shaking, accepted.
It didn't take a while before the girl found her watery eyelids getting heavier every passing second but she did her best to fight it off.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked.
"To Saionji Kingdom." The blonde replied, not really looking at her.
"You and your companion – are you, are you soldiers by any chance?"
The blonde merely smiled. "I am, but he's not."
Hearing her silence, the blonde decided to take a risk.
"If you don't mind me asking, can you tell us your name and where you live? So that we can contact your parents and let them know you're with us."
"Are you sure you're not slave traders?" She said weakly.
"I assure you, we're not." The blonde replied politely.
Now the girl was really unable to keep her eyes open, but before she closed them, she managed to answer in a soft whisper.
"Akira Kijyo, from Azarul Kingdom."
A/N: I apologize for a very late update. The good news is that I haven't given up on this story though I'm thinking on working on the actual fiction and not the fanfic version. I'll be depending on your reviews if I should keep updating this as a fanfiction. I'm counting on your reviews so please do tell me what you think. God bless and thank you for reading. ^^