Hello. This is my second fanfic, an AU on Oresama Teacher! based in the medieval ages! I hope you enjoy it...
Chapter One: An Unlucky Meeting
The Town of Midori ga Oka: a bustling, rich town nestled in a mountainous area, the capital of the country and the house of the Royal Family. The Palace of Midori ga Oka, commonly known as the Palace, is a large and hospitable place. Many people from other cities flock to the Palace to seek a job or training as it is open to anyone. The Palace doesn't care if you have a horrible history; so many outcasts come here to become 'better people'. Many of its workers live on its grounds, but many also live in the surrounding area of the capital. There are two main training courses the Palace holds: the Knighthood course (where young boys learn how to become knights by learning as squires) and the Ladyship course (where young girls learn how to become proper ladies of the court).
Due to certain…circumstances…a young girl named Mafuyu Kurosaki has found her way to this city of salvation.
Mafuyu carefully spooned out a cup of soup from the pot on the fire. Dear mother, she thought. Don't worry about me. For the first time in my life, I'm actually living alone and cooking for myself. I'm doing fine here. She slurped up a spoonful of the brown broth and clutched the table, forcing herself to swallow the stuff. Disgusting! She gulped down a glass of water. What happened? I followed the recipe down to the last detail! She grabbed the recipe book and skimmed her eyes over the page. I added carrots, tomatoes, garlic, water, salt….
She pursed her lips, looking around her. If she had done everything according to the method, then why were there a bag of yeast, a basket of eggs and a jug of milk lying on her counter? Hurriedly flipping over to the next page, she saw she had used half of the soup recipe and half of a cake recipe. How had I not realised? She berated herself. After staring at the slop she called food, she decided it was time she bought something instead. As she opened the door to her small medieval home, her eyes wandered over her new uniform. She fingered the beautiful, light brown gown with its red embroidery along the corset…the white fleecy sleeves and collar…the full black leggings and dainty, leather shoes…. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already dressed herself in the Palace's uniform for Ladyship students.
One day is okay. Sure, training starts tomorrow, so me wearing it one day earlier is fine! She smiled and tied her coin purse to her waist, under a few frills, before leaving for the marketplace. After visiting many stalls, her hands carried a cloth bag full of pastries and salted meat. This would last her for the next day, she thought. Her coin purse was considerably lighter as well. Just as she was walking past an alley, she heard voices- Angry, threatening voices. Instinctively, she ducked under a cart.
'Hey, you want to get roughed up, huh?' a man in dirty clothes spat, looking at his companion for backup.
'Yeah,' his friend sneered, pushing the person they were talking to. Mafuyu's eyes widened. The victim was a tall man, older than her but not by much, wearing a long, black coat. His dark, dishevelled hair fell into his face, covering his sharp and handsome features. His mouth twisted into a wry grin.
'What's with that attitude?' a third man shouted, stepping forward into her view.
Mafuyu's body tensed. She had to do something. No! Her mind shouted. I can't….!
Because only just a month ago…
'Watch your behaviour,' the girl in the scratched armour scowled as the knight fell to the ground.
'You're…a female knight? You must be kidding me!' the knight hissed.
He was silenced when she punched him in the face with her metal glove. He curled up on the ground, clutching his broken nose. 'So what if I'm a girl?' she sneered.
'Kiss her boots!' a squire yelled. 'Dame Kurosaki!' the other squires cheered. One of them came up to her, shaking her hand. 'You have unified all the squires and knights under your command! Higashi's first female knight – a true terror to all!'
'We must hold a grand feast,' a black haired knight announced. 'To celebrate the reign of Dame Kurosaki!'
'Don't go doing unnecessary things!' the female knight yelled, but it was too late.
'As you are now the leader of all the knights in the city of Higashi, let's have fun!'
Everyone cheered, glasses clinking together and sounds of feasting filling the town square. Dame Mafuyu Kurosaki was caught up in the fun, enjoying the party her squires and knights held in her glory, until…
'What is the meaning of this?'
Everyone fell silent...then ran away screaming. 'It's the General of the Higashi army! Run!'
Before Dame Mafuyu could even lift a finger, the face of the General appeared before her. 'Rallying my men to follow you in your absurd adventures? Dame Mafuyu Kurosaki…' his moustache quivered, his eyes glinting with rage. 'These squires, these knights, they are under my command. And this one!' he pointed to the man on the floor. 'How dare you injure him?'
'He was bullying my squires…' she argued but the General held up his hand.
'Don't speak back to me! You are only sixteen, aren't you? I don't know how you became a knight in the first place, Kurosaki. I don't know how you won that tournament, or how you're so goddamn strong. But after causing this much trouble, I think that should change. A girl like you should learn to act like a lady, not dirty yourself in military affairs!'
He proved to be quiet troublesome.
'You were stripped of your position?' her mother's screeching hurt her head. 'What were you thinking? Even after I let you become a knight, even after I overlooked your actions for mischief!'
'I apologise!' Mafuyu cried. Her mother's eye twitched.
'Fine, but now instead of becoming a rowdy knight, you're going to start over again,' she folded her arms.
'Pack your stuff. You're moving to the capital, Midori ga Oka. I hear the Palace has training sessions for knights and ladies, and the tutors are people who were in hold high positions in the Royal Court – Advisors, Nobles, Knights and such. The people there accept those who have been shamed and don't care about your past. Now, you will become a lady. No more of this knight business!'
'I…I'd have to live alone!' Mafuyu complained. 'And train to be a lady? You're not serious?'
It turns out, her mother was serious. Very serious. And if Mafuyu were to shame herself again, her mother would disown her and she would be put in an orphanage. It turned out she would share some of her theoretical classes with the squires as well, meaning that subjects like History and Mathematics would be co-ed. Specialised classes, such as sword fighting for boys and embroidery for girls, would be separate, of course. And so began Mafuyu Kurosaki's journey from a shamed Dame to a respectable Lady.
She placed her shopping on the ground. She couldn't leave the man alone three-to-one, but she couldn't fight them in case she got into trouble. She was wearing a Palace uniform, after all. She didn't even know who was 'bad' and 'good' in this fight. The dark haired man might have committed some crime and she'd be helping him.
Her head tiled. Click? Her eyes widened as she saw what was in the hands of one of the men: a small knife that clinked as he tapped it against its sheath.
Her vision turned red. The man's head flung backward as her foot came into contact with his nose. Her skirt billowed upward but she was wearing black stockings underneath, so thankfully nothing was revealed.
'Using a knife in a three-to-one fight,' her voice growled, her eyes fearsome. 'Where's your honour?'
The men upon closer inspection were in fact younger than she had thought. They turned on their heels and fled after watching that one move, dragging their companion with them.
'Kids…' she muttered, and then she froze. Oh dear…I did it…
She turned around, biting her lip. She didn't know what to say. Curtsying and extending a hand for the man to kiss seemed too ladylike after the actions she had just displayed. The man she had defended was standing in front of her, his eyebrows raised. Of course he was surprised; she had just appeared in front of him and fought his fight! 'Excuse me!' she grabbed her shopping and went to move away but he grabbed her collar.
'You…' he arm wrapped around her in an effort to stop her. 'What are you doing here?'
His arm… Mafuyu went red, squirming out of his grasp. Her heartbeat quickened. 'What is this?' she muttered. 'My heart feels like it's going to burst out of my chest!'
The man smirked. 'What a reaction. Are you falling in love with me?'
Mafuyu scrabbled at the man's arm. 'What nonsense are you spouting? You just invaded my personal space, that's all! You aren't even my type of guy!'
'Oh?' he said. 'Then who is?'
'There was a boy who was my neighbour when I was a kid!' Mafuyu pointed at him, remembering. 'He was kind, and that's how every adult should be like!'
The man's expression turned sympathetic, but then he smiled. 'You saved me, thank you.'
His praise made her feel slightly embarrassed, and she looked away, recalling her days as a knight. 'No… You would have been fine on your own.'
'No, I'm serious.' He looked at her clothes. 'You're wearing a Palace Lady uniform. Do you have an appointment this late at night?'
'Ah, no. My first day of training is tomorrow.'
'I see,' he began walking. Mafuyu walked beside him. 'Hey, why are you following me?'
'My house is this way!' she said. 'Strawberry Street! A weird name for a street in Midori ga Oka, I think. It's rather cute, though.'
'Strawberry Street? I see…' he mused.
Mafuyu squeezed the bag in her hands. 'What was that fight about?'
The man shrugged. 'I'm easily bullied.'
Yeah, right! Mafuyu thought. She stared at him, trying to gauge his age. Middle aged? No. Early twenties? Maybe… She groaned. She wasn't good at this!
'Say, what's your name?' she asked suddenly.
He raised an eyebrow. 'Takaomi…'
'Takaomi?' Mafuyu repeated just as Takaomi extracted a pipe from his coat. Without thinking, she snatched it out of his grasp.
'Hey!' he shouted, but Mafuyu wasn't listening.
'You idiot! Don't you know what tobacco does to young people? Your lungs will shrink and turn pitch black! You will die a slow, painful death!'
Takaomi stared…then burst out in peals of laughter.
'What?' Mafuyu blushed. 'I'm not stupid!'
'No,' Takaomi gasped, wiping his eyes and taking his pipe back from the girl's trembling hands. 'Hey, what's your name?'
'Why would I tell you?' she snapped.
His gaze softened, he was silent. Then all of a sudden he stood up and grabbed Mafuyu's shoulder, pulling her close to him. What is he doing? She scrunched her eyes close. He smells…nice…
'Mafuyu Kurosaki,' he muttered, reading the name she had scribbled in the collar of her dress.
'Hey!' she yelled. I can feel his breath… 'Why did you check in such a weird way?' she screeched, her face feeling hot. She tried pushing him off, but he was surprisingly strong. Get away from me!
'If I remember correctly, you're a transferred student, right? You're not from around here…' he moved back, a mischievous glint in his eyes. He really reminded her of a criminal. 'You were in a fight just now,' he grinned. 'It would be troublesome if a Royal lady was found causing trouble. Wouldn't you be kicked out of the Palace?'
She swallowed. 'What…?'
He pointed to her bag of goods. 'Alright, give me your food…as hush money.'
She clutched the cloth bag. 'But this is my dinner, and breakfast!'
'Fine then, I'll tell,' he smiled sweetly. She shoved the bag into his hands.
This man…I saved him and this is how he repays me! Her fist clenched. Wait, if I knock him out, I can escape. Then I won't be exposed! She swung her fist at him, only to have him grab it. He pulled her closer to him. Her face flared.
She stumbled through her door, her mood sour and her stomach growling. Her foot hit something and she tripped. Her reflexes made sure she landed on her hands, and she flipped back into a standing position. What had dared to make her fall?
It was a cloth bound package at her doorstep. Her face lit up. Has my mother sent me my allowance? So I can buy food! She kneeled down beside it. "From your followers" was scribbled on the material. She had half the mind to throw it, her ire sparked once more, but curiosity got the better of her. There was a note. She opened it and read through it.
Dear Dame Mafuyu, how are you? We know you're not a Dame anymore, but to us, you will always be our knight in shining armour! She smiled. Nowadays, we try not to fight for no reason, after Lady Kurosaki – your scary mother – lectured us. We left you alone to face the General, and we are truly sorry for our cowardice. But your legend lives on in our hearts, and we wish for you to enjoy your life to the fullest! P.S. We got a small gift for you. Everyone pitched in to buy it, so please use it and carry our friendship with you!
Mafuyu rummaged through the packaging cloth to find a beautifully embroidered wallet. The red silk matched her gown's design and the gold chain attached to it could be used to tie it to her corset. She didn't want it to be seen, so she hid in as best she could in her ruffles. The fearsome emblem of a dragon blazed on its front. The chain jingled at her touch. It was heavenly music to her ears.
It was an eastern product that Mafuyu had seen only in tapestries. It must have costed them a fortune! It symbolised honour, bravery…and the will to fight.
This temptation…she thought as she hooked the chain to her belt and felt the silk. She slipped the wallet into her pocket. What's the harm if I wear this? It's not like anyone will find out!
The girl pranced in through the open palace gates, humming and skipping, the frills on her skirt ruffling in the wind. The guards smiled watching her happiness as she frolicked past the other squires and knights, past a particularly grumpy looking squire. He squinted at her, annoyed. But wait…was that a dragon wallet at her waist?
She twirled passed him and…tripped, falling flat on her face. A nearby lady squealed. 'Ah! Squire Hayasaka is fighting again!'
The grumpy squire held up his hands. 'No, I'm not!'
A kind knight escorted Mafuyu into the palace. 'Are you okay?'
Mafuyu frowned. 'I'm fine.' I'm hungry. No dinner, or breakfast…it's entirely his fault! The next time I see him, I'll… 'When I find him and his weakness, I'll threaten him! I'll make him pay!'
The knight flinched under her gathering dark aura, wondering just how much training this grumbling lady was going to need. Suddenly, a man appeared in front of them.
'Oh, Advisor Saeki!'
Saeki? That's the name of my mathematics tutor…
Mafuyu looked up, curtsying automatically and extending a hand. 'How do you do? I'm-'
The blood froze in her veins. Her breath hitched. Her vision blurred.
A man with sharp, handsome features peered down at her, a sly grin playing at his lips. He gently lifted her hand and brushed his lips against it.
'How do you do, Lady Kurosaki?' he purred, his eyes sparkling with mirth. 'I will be your mathematics tutor and morning name caller, Takaomi Saeki, an Advisor to the King. Please treat me well.'
Please, if there are any errors or inconsistencies, inform me in your reviews! I will be following the core storyline, however will make my own tiny bits here and there once all the major characters have been introduced (Hayasaka, Okegawa, Natsuo, Usa-chan-man etc). I have finished the next two chapter and only have to edit them. Thank you!