A/N: I have always loved this series, from the time there were only the two OVAs and no plans for a continuation being made public. So when the muse struck me for writing after seeing the TV series again, I just had to type it out as soon as I could lest I should lose the notion in the sea of everyday mundane things.
So here it is, a story I am rather proud of. ^^
Time-set: Story starts off after the end of the series, after the merging of the two universes.
The Magical King's Word
Their feet touched down on the ground gently as he eased them down. They were back at the amusement park where they had last been before their world had almost come to ruin.
Ichiko heaved a sigh while taking a look at Yumemi and Suzume. The three girls shared a wide grin amongst themselves.
"Hey, Ichiko-san, Suzume-san, Hidaka-san!" a familiar voice yelled, pulling them out of their reverie.
Just as they were turning around, the outfit Munto had made for them "appropriate for fighting" burst into tiny light particles, leaving them with what they had been wearing before it instead. The three girls were still looking at themselves in wonder while Takashi was running towards them, a look of desperate relief on his face.
"That was quite the adventure!" Ichiko exclaimed. "I'm not really sure what happened but I'm glad it ended well!"
Munto shook his head at this, the unruly spikes of his red hair ruffling at this.
"Alas, this is not the end but only the beginning of the real trials," he said cryptically.
Ichiko gave him a flabbergasted look as though he had gone crazy or was talking in his sleep—after all, she had still not forgiven him for taking Yumemi away from her—but she paid his impossible to understand chit-chat no heed and turned her attention to the boy who had just arrived, fighting to catch his breath before speaking to them.
"Ichiko-san, Suzume-san! I'm so glad you're both all right! I was so worried! And you even found Hidaka-san! I'm so glad… so glad!"
The boy spoke in a rush, bunching words together and in the end the emotion took the better of him, making him collapse to his knees while tears overflowed from his green eyes.
Ichiko gave him a sheepish grin, rubbing the back of her head as she crouched down next to him.
"Sorry for worrying you so much, Takashi," she apologized half-heartedly.
"We were fine because Yumemi saved us!" Suzume exclaimed happily, making her friend smile at her. And, speaking of the devil…
"Yumemi, come here so we can—" the dark-haired girl began but then saw that her friend wasn't right behind her where she'd last seen her but several feet away, talking to that weird red guy again.
"Ichiko-san?" the boy said, worried for a moment as he saw the look on the tall girl's face as she was eyeing her friend and whoever the person with her was. The boy squinted his bespectacled eyes a bit as he looked at the stranger in question. "Hey, isn't that the guy who took Hidaka-san in the first place?"
Ichiko clicked her tongue and wished for a moment that looks could, if not kill, at least seriously injure or maim someone. Because that was exactly what she wanted to do to that red guy—Munmo or whatever he was called. Who did he think he was, stealing Yumemi from he—from them like that? Not to mention that he tainted her mind and plagued her thoughts for so long too – who did he think he was? He even had the gall to call himself "lord"! What an arrogant prick!
And now he continued trying to steal their best friend from them? Not on her watch!
She started to trudge angrily towards the two, ready to give the bastard a piece of her mind, but a tiny hand seizing her wrist stopped her from proceeding as she wished.
The taller girl took a disbelieving look at the much smaller one, failing to understand why she was stopping her.
"Suzume, let go."
The little girl shook her head with an expression just as jolly and serene as ever.
"She's not going anywhere anymore, Ichiko," the airheaded girl told her and her statement made her friend's eyes widen. "She promised us. So let them have a moment just the two of them."
"But—!" Ichiko started to protest but her words died in her throat when her friend shook her head at her.
So instead of going over, she just settled for looking begrudgingly at them from the distance.
Munto took several steps away from the human girls, his words still weighing heavily on his own heart. He stared up at the sky, at his home land, and wistfully noted that this was how she had always seen the Heavens.
He heard Yumemi step closer and looked to her as she stopped next to him, her gaze pinned to the sky as well.
"Is it true?" she asked, her eyes still watching the floating island which had always played such a huge role to her life.
He tore his gaze from her to follow her line of sight before nodding.
"Yes. We may have restored the link between our two worlds and removed the barrier, but the Akuto is still not flowing freely." She aimed a worried look at his face as he kept staring into the distance while he spoke. "It is a task I must complete on my own. For the sake of my people, I must restore the flow of our living energy lest another crisis should come upon us."
"Munto…" she murmured, her brow knitted and her tiny hands balled into fists to her chest as she looked at him.
"But, the way I am right now, I wouldn't be able to do that. I will need to prepare before I can even try." He exhaled slowly, then turning his gaze to her.
He smiled gently at her when he saw the urgency of the expression on her face. He lifted his hand and put it kindly on the top of her head.
"Don't make such a worried face, Yumemi. I'll be alright," he told her reassuringly with that same kind-hearted expression.
His words and the light weight of the hand on her head made a light pinkness dust her cheeks at once and she felt the heaviness of her worries let loose the vice-like grip they had had on her heart. She allowed herself a small smile up at him and she hoped to God that he was right and that everything would be okay in the end.
Then a powerful gust of wind blew, reminding them that it was still winter in Japan, and made the almost see-through light dress she had worn in the Heavens flutter, giving her barely any cover from the cold. She clutched her eyes shut and shivered helplessly. She hugged herself with her arms, hoping it would provide some warmth but not truly managing to fool herself into actually believing it.
The Magical King smiled fondly at her and willed his red cape into appearing in his grasp. He proceeded to pull it around from behind her, clasping it around her much tinier shoulders.
He straightened up, assessing his work as she looked puzzled at the new addition to her outfit. He had to admit it clashed horrendously with the whole concept of her garments but at the same time something in him enjoyed the sight of her in her heavenly dress and something of his sheltering her from the cold.
"This is…" she began softly as she stared at the cape fluttering in the winter wind. "That time's…"
He wondered how it was that this little girl always somehow managed to save him and bring more kindness in his world than he had ever thought there would be. It was just like her to remember such unimportant, tiny details such as the existence and history of this cloth wrapped around her neck.
"That's right. It's the cape I wore when we first met." The endearing colour returned to her face as she regarded herself. His smile became a bit lopsided as he looked at her tracing the edge of the fabric with her dainty digits. "It's a bit too big for you, but it should serve its purpose for the time being."
It was then that she lifted her eyes full of wonder to lock her gaze with his, shaking her head insistently as she made a little sound of disagreement.
"No, it's great, I really appreciate it." She wrapped the cape tighter around her form, winding it around herself. "Thank you, Munto."
The beaming smile she gave him then could've melted even the deepest of ice in the world, he was certain. How could she be so precious, so endearing – it was almost criminal.
He knew he probably wasn't supposed to, wasn't allowed to, but he couldn't stop himself from doing it anymore. He pulled her petite frame by her tiny shoulders and embraced her to his as he towered above her.
He heard her gasp at the abruptness of the movement but refused to free her, choosing to be a bit selfish with her for the time being. Just as he was about to pull away, he felt a small hand grabbing hold of his jacket's back, bunching the material of it within the dainty fist. His hold on her tightened a bit as she hugged him back and he knew that she had saved him once again.
For Yumemi, it would've been alright if the world had stopped turning and time had stopped flowing in that very moment. Because, while he held her, it felt like everything would be alright and no harm would ever come to her or her precious people – just as long as she could stay in his embrace.
And it didn't feel that way because he was a powerful magician or a King of a nation. No – it was because it was him and because there would be no second one like him for her in the entire world even if she were to turn it upside down searching.
And because she would've been just as alright with the moment lasting an eternity, when he started pulling away she felt it was much too soon. Without realizing it, her hand on his back tightened its hold of his jacket. She wasn't ready to let go yet, no…!
She felt his gaze on her face and when she looked up she found the kindest of expressions in his amber eyes as he stared down at her. It made her heart skip a beat.
"Yumemi, I want you to have something," he spoke and she heard his chest rumble from beneath her. It made a pleasant sensation spread through her body even while he moved a bit out of her reach to do something.
She looked in wonder at him as he proceeded to remove the ring from his finger and put it on his palm for her to inspect. Her emerald eyes shifted from his face down to the accessory and then back again several times, unsure whether it was really okay for her to take it. Whenever she had seen him, he was always wearing it, so something told her it wasn't alright for him to part with it.
She took it carefully, as though it would break if she applied too much pressure on it. The girl stared at it, marveling at the simplicity of it. It had no ornaments, no stones on it, no embellishments.
"This ring belonged to my father and it's my only memento of him," he told her softly and her head snapped up to look at him with a wide-eyed expression. "It's very important to me, so keep a good eye on it while I'm gone."
"No, I can't have it! This is your precious memory, I couldn't—" she started saying, frantic, but his finger pressed against her lips silenced her more effectively than anything else could have.
"I entrust you with it because I know you'd treasure it. When the time comes for us to meet again, I will take it back." He put his hand from her lips down to her closed palm, within which the memento of his father lay in her grasp. He enclosed her tiny fist with his larger hand, giving her a reassuring squeeze to prove his point. "I'll definitely come back for it. So keep it safe until I can."
And when he said it, she knew he had just made her a promise. He had given her his word as the magical king of the Heavens that he would meet her again, that he would live to see her once again, no matter what kind of hardships still awaited him.
So she tightened her hold on the ring inside her palm and nodded with determination.
"I will keep it like my eyes so… make sure you return for it!"
He smiled again in that way that made her pulse race and nodded at her.
"You have my word as the king of the Magical Kingdom," he said and her heart swelled with emotion.
And just when she had thought there was no way left for him to catch her off-guard anymore he pulled her closer and leant down to plant a kiss on her forehead.
It was like a jump-start for her whole body as the softness of his lips on her forehead made warmth spread throughout her entire body, the heat most intense in her cheeks. She was acutely aware of every point on her body that was in contact with his. Her heart was racing and her mind was drawing blanks but she wanted to ask him if it was okay for her to hold on to him a bit longer, if he could stay with her just a bit more.
And then the soft touch of his lips left her forehead and pulled back, his form becoming more and more transparent as he began to disappear.
"Munto…" She spoke his name softly as her hold on the object in her hand tightened while she watched his disappear. Her heart was still fluttering in her chest when she could no longer see the serene smile on his face.
But it was alright. Because she had burnt the moment in her memory, etched the vision of him standing close to her in her mind's eye.
She didn't see the blushing faces of Ichiko and Takashi, or the brilliant grin on Suzume's face. She was still staring up at the distant skies where someone very precious to her had returned to in order to finish what they had started together.
The Girl of Destiny knew that he was aware of the fact she didn't need a material object to reassure her that he would come back to her. As long as she had his word, she was sure he would be back.
What Yumemi only realized after he had given her his ring and cape was just how much more bearable something that belonged to him made his absence to her heart.
A/N: And that's that. Short and cute. Just the way it should be for this series's fanfic. :3 To match the feeling of the original work.
I hope this story will be able to bring a smile to a fan's face.
This fic was inspired by Imogen Heap's "Glittering Cloud" song and Whispersrealoded's AMV with the Munto series based on it.
Yours sincerely, Dark Hope Assassin.