Pinkshuchan: LALIHO! Hey, it's Pinkshuchan! Sorry it's been a while but I'm back with the next chapter. Enjoy!

Chapter 23

Day and Night

Birds were flying high within the bright blue sky, passing through the white clouds as they reach their destination of endless possibilities. They soared through the air and across the sparkling blue ocean. The ocean barely roared with its minor waves, having nothing sailing on it but a boat.

This boat was no ordinary boat though. It was a small ship made of the greatest quality of wood. It sailed across the water as if it soared like the birds in the sky. The design was radiant and extravagant, its clear while sails blowing against the calm winds.

Standing at the nose of the ship was Akihiko, pondering of the events of his journey thus far. Never had he expected everything that has happened to happen to him. He went to lots of places he had only read in books, met lots of people, made friends, and fell in love. Even now, he was sailing over the vast oceans to get to his destination, an experience he never thought possible.

He and the others were given this ship by the people of Erden, considering that the only way to reach either Ozean or Kurbeln would be by boat. This ship, along with many other boats, were built in case anyone of Erden needed to reach any of those continents. The people couldn't believe their ears when they heard their own Princess Misaki was planning to join Akihiko and the others to the other continents in order to reach Damonen and save their king, his brother. They were against the idea of letting their dear princess, their 'flower', get himself in danger for this. They only hesitantly allowed this the moment Akihiko swore that alongside saving King Takahiro, he would also protect Misaki. Considering that he along with Hiroki and Miyagi were the ones that saved him and the rest of Erden from the rogue demons, they knew that Misaki would be safe with them.

And so it led them to the ship, moving on its way to their next destination. What more would they encounter? What are the identities of the next three Damonen Knights? Who were their future allies be? What experiences would they get for going after the last two items? All that and more ran through the silver haired man's head.

His thoughts were interrupted however the moment he heard a familiar sound beside him. He looked over to see Suzuki, who Akihiko had summoned not that long ago to give the demon some fresh air, floating beside him. The silver haired man smiled at the bear demon when he noticed something different.

"Suzuki, where did you get this ribbon?" he asked the bear.

The bear demon looked down at the purple ribbon tied in a nice bow around his neck. He gave a cheerful sounding squeak as he circled around his master before flying over to the answer to Akihiko's question.

He flew over to Misaki, who had just appeared after getting something and who was heading below deck before noticing Suzuki circling him. He laughed at the bear demon antics, letting the sea breeze blow through his silky brunet locks before realizing that Akihiko was watching. The silver haired man gave a wave to show he noticed the young princess. Misaki blushed but gave a small wave before heading to his destination. Once he was out of sight, Akihiko gave a dreamy sigh while leaning against the edge. How good it felt to be in love.

"He really is a cutie."

"He sure is," Akihiko replied before realizing that voice belonged to neither Hiroki nor Miyagi. He turned around to see a familiar figure sitting on a floating bubble. He groaned. He should've known.

"Sorry I'm late," Aikawa replied as she jumped off the bubble and onto the ship, "I was busy in another universe. You have to hate when writers don't get their manuscripts in on time." She looked over at him and smiled. "So, you have obtained your next ally, Princess Misaki of Erden, and your next item, the flower that never dies. I'm impressed that you were able to get this far. Then again, it's no surprise since I knew you would get this far."

"So what brings you here?" Akihiko demanded impatiently. He knew it meant nothing good if she was here.

Aikawa's smile faded to a concerned frown. "You only have two more continents to go before you reach Damonen. You have not much farther. I am only here to warn you that things will be more dangerous from this point on."

"As if everything wasn't dangerous enough with powerful demons, Damonen Knights, and guardians of the items after me?"

"There will be enemies unknown to you that will search after you; enemies you will not know what you have done to make them angry at you. By the time you find out their identity, it would be too late."

"Then why not just tell me this and spare me the trouble?"

"If I tell you, you won't properly learn," she replied, "You need to rely on your own senses to find who to trust and who not to trust. It's something only you can do. That, or to trust in your own allies with who is good and who is meant to hurt you. However, it can be possible that whoever they believe to be good or evil can be the other way around."

"So then what do I do? Which is it? Do I listen to them or not?"

Aikawa cocked her head to the side and placed her finger on her chin. "Hmm. I wonder."

Akihiko was not amused. "Which is it?"

"I would suggest keeping both of them in mind. Rely on your senses, Akihiko." Aikawa jumped back onto the bubble and waved at the silver haired man before disappearing into thin air. Akihiko groaned at how confusing this was. Why couldn't this woman just say what she means to say? The entire thing was frustrating. He didn't know what to think.

"Usagi! Food is ready!" Misaki's voice called out from the stairs.

Akihiko looked over at the direction of the voice before looking back to the place Aikawa was. He figured there was no point in letting the confusion keep his mind any longer and went down the stairs below deck.

He was greeted by the smell of roasted meat and cooked vegetables. He looked over to see Hiroki sitting at the table with his arms crossed and a stern look on his face while Misaki was setting food on the table. Akihiko sat down and looked down at the food. Right in front of him was some roasted ham and a salad with a variety of greens and reds. He looked at the food with delight but stopped for a moment.

"You didn't put any green peppers in there, did you?" he asked Misaki.

The princess looked back at the silver haired man just as he was setting Hiroki's plate down. "You don't need to worry. I know you've told me a bunch of times you don't like them so I've made sure not to put any in." No more reassurance was needed. Akihiko took his fork and knife and began digging into the food, savouring the taste and enjoying every bite.

During the past few days they were on this ship, something was learned that no one would've believed unless they witnessed it with their own eyes. Misaki, who had been raised as a princess; someone of royal blood who would be expected to always be waited on, knew how to cook. It was revealed that it was something both commoners and royal blood needed to learn should there be anything to cause the situation to happen. Hiroki spoke up, refusing to believe that a princess from a primitive looking continent, knew how to cook the way any civilized person can.

"The people of our continent may appear 'primitive,'" Misaki had replied, "But that doesn't mean we can't do anything those known to be 'civilized' can do."

It only took one meal to convince Misaki's companions that he could indeed cook. Not only that, both Akihiko and Miyagi could not get over how delicious his cooking was. Even Hiroki agreed it was good with a growl. It was then decided that Misaki would do the cooking for the ship until they reach the next continent.

The moment dinner was over, Akihiko gave a sigh of satisfaction. Hiroki on the other hand, though finished eating, he did not seem pleased. He took his chair and moved it over to the closest window, staring out at the vast sea. The silver haired man paid no mind to the man in question though as he had his eyes on Misaki, who was setting food up for Miyagi, who had just come down after making sure the ship was on a steady course to their next destination.

"The food was delicious as always," Akihiko spoke up, "Indeed, for a princess to have a talent such as this, you are incredible."

Misaki blushed and avoided eye contact with the silver haired man. "It's nothing that remarkable. Really."

But the silver haired man ignored the boy's modesty. No one; not even the royal cooks in Damonen, could make anything so delicious. The fact that someone of royal blood could do anything like this was a talent unlike any other. Talented, kind, and beautiful, there was so much to describe him.

"Akihiko!" Hiroki snapped the former out of his thoughts, "With Miyagi eating, it's your turn to steer the ship."

"Why can't you do it?" Akihiko asked, slightly annoyed.

Hiroki refused to answer. He just continued trying to convince Akihiko to go steer the ship. Seeing the argument going on, Miyagi decided to step in. Misaki stood there helplessly as he was not sure of what to do.

"I think I have to agree with Hiroki at this point," he replied, "Akihiko, if you would please do it until I finish here, then I can take over again."

Akihiko wanted to protest, but judging from the looks they were giving him, it seemed he had no option for that. He looked over at Misaki, who also looked at him like he should go. Sighing, the silver haired man got out from his seat and went on deck to check on the boat. He may be a prince of Damonen, but if he wanted his freedom he would have to learn how to properly be like everyone else, and that meant cooperating.

Misaki himself, after Miyagi was finished eating, took his plate and went to clean the rest of the dishes before going on deck himself to get some fresh air, leaving Hiroki and Miyagi alone. The older man took this as an opportunity to talk to the cinnamon haired man on what may be bothering him.

Before he could say anything, however, Hiroki spoke first.

"Is there some way I can get Akihiko to fall for me?" he asked, "What exactly do I need to do? I would do anything for him if he would just love me back. I could even cook him anything he wants me to cook. I'm sure I cook better. I'm from Feuern; cooking things is my specialty!"

Miyagi understood what was going on. "Denial when we first heard of Akihiko's desire for the princess, you probably felt anger when Akihiko was determined to save the princess from the Slifer, and now you've gone so low as to the bargaining stage just because of cooking. Why don't you skip the rest and move to acceptance already?"

Hiroki glared at the older man. "There is no way in hell I can just accept the fact that Akihiko is swooning over someone that doesn't even give a damn about his feelings at all!"

"How do you know that? I think despite the short time they had together, they seem quite close. And I say this because I care about both yours and Akihiko's happiness, even if you're… not together," He face fell. "Sometimes, you have to let go of your own desires… to give the person you love happiness. In the end, that's all that matters, right?"

Silence filled the room. The cinnamon haired man had no way to respond to that. The elder, while concerned about the younger, was also reminded of something himself. What the hell was he doing; giving advice that he himself couldn't follow? A slight depressing aura surrounded them both, but Miyagi eventually pulled himself together. He decided to take this time to have a little proper break before going back to keep an eye on the ship's direction.

Above the deck, Akihiko had made sure the ship avoided any obstacles and was currently observing the ocean and the scenery it provided. He stayed silent, hearing only the sounds of the waves against the wooden boat with the sight of an endless blue until it touched the orange and purple hue of dusk. A creak of footsteps added to the sounds, moving closer and closer towards him. Akihiko turned around to see Misaki before looking back at the ocean.

The princess moved over beside him, also staring at the ocean. Silence continued on once again. Akihiko figure there had to be something to talk about; anything to have Misaki talk with him. He knew that the brunet boy was still thinking about his brother held against his will in Damonen. He figured some casual conversation might make him feel better.

"The ocean is nice, isn't it?" he asked, "I mean it's just so… blue! So blue and… wet!" He looked over to see Misaki staring at him with a raised eyebrow. He could've also sworn he took a few steps away too. The silver haired man cleared his throat as a way to start over. "Thing is… I've never actually got a good view of the ocean like this before so I don't know much about it. That's why I wanted my freedom away from Damonen."

Misaki stayed quiet. Though by the expression on his face, it showed that he sympathized with what Akihiko was saying. So far so good, but he did want Misaki to at least speak with him. He had to think of something. He looked closely at the brunet's face; worry still subtle with his expression. Akihiko sighed.

"I'm sorry about this," he continued, "I know that you're worried about your brother."

"No, it's fine!" Misaki finally spoke up, though barely audible, "After all, this is because of your desire for freedom, right? Besides, I have this feeling that my brother is alright. You say that not everyone in Damonen are evil. After you said that, and after Miss Kaoruko said that the attack on Erden was only an act of mutiny by one person, I began to think that it really is true. And surely… maybe Damonen's emperor is the same; that he may actually be good," He leaned against the rim of the boat and looked up at the sky. "Still, I want to be sure that he's alright. And I really want to help you."

Akihiko continued staring at the princess; eyes glittering with those words fresh in his mind. "You want to help me?"

The young brunet realized his words and stood straight up, facing the silver haired man with a flustered expression. "I mean, you did a lot to help Erden! Why wouldn't I want to do something to help you when you helped my people so much!?" He began to calm down as he looked back at the ocean with a small sigh. "Actually… I should apologize to you for getting you involved in this. You still need to deal with a lot more than just this. I didn't want to burden you with any more of my problems."

The silver haired prince moved closer and brought his arm around the princess; resting his hand in the latter's hair and stroking it. He smiled on the fact that the brunet didn't try to break away. "This is no burden to me. Quite the contrary, helping you with reaching your brother and having you accompany me until we reach Damonen is very helpful to me. Whatever is on your mind, I want to help erase the negativity that would prevent you from smiling."

Misaki kept staring forward. "Even so… I just… I just don't want a repeat of 'that time'."

Akihiko stared down at Misaki in confusion. "'That time'?" he asked, "Is it something you want to talk about with me?"

Instead, the princess pulled away. "I already told you I didn't want to cause anymore of a burden to you! Besides, it's not that important! It happened a long time ago! It's not a concern anymore!"

'A long time ago'? That made Akihiko worry. Was Misaki referring to 'that time'? But his attention came to something else. Just moments ago the air felt warm and comforting. But now, it was cold enough to be bone chilling. And no signs of land were around nor was it completely night. But that wasn't the only thing; something else happened that Misaki also picked up.

"Wasn't Suzuki flying around cheerfully recently?" he asked; fear evident in his voice, "Where did he go?"

Akihiko could see the signs. He brought his staff out and moved Misaki behind him as he turned so his back faced the door to below deck. "Misaki, get inside!" he told him, "Let Hiroki and Miyagi know of the situation!"

Misaki was worried about leaving the silver haired man alone to deal with whatever would come at him. But the look on Akihiko's face showed that he wasn't going to go down without a proper fight. The princess decided to do what was best and went below deck to tell Hiroki and Miyagi.

On the other hand, Akihiko still armed with his weapon stood there with his guard up. His senses were telling me that this was around time that he dealt with a Damonen Knight. He grew frustrated and impatient. "Show yourself!"

"My, my, my! Living outside of Damonen really has done a toll on you Akihiko. I barely recognize you from the child you were before you left."

That voice! Akihiko knew it all too well. It was a voice from his childhood; a voice he would never forget in his life. And his suspicions proved right when the very person appeared before him. Floating above the ground was a man with dark hair dressed in whites and gold with a pendant shaped like a gold sun around his neck. A smirk appeared on his face at looking at Akihiko's expression.

"What's the matter?" he continued, "Surprised to see me after all this time? Must be happy to see me after all these years."

"Not really," Akihiko replied, "You're one of the last people I want to see Isaka."

The man, Isaka, chuckled. "Typical of you. However, whether our bonds are close or not, as Damonen Knight #2 I must follow the order sent to me through Emperor Haruhiko and eliminate you!" From behind his back, he pulled out what looked like two golden chakrams with the appearance of two suns. With no more words, the battle began.

Both charged at each other at the same time. Isaka appeared to have the advantage with having a dual weapon to assist him, but Akihiko was able to block the attacks with his staff. When the Damonen Knight appeared open, the silver haired man took it as his opportunity to strike. Isaka was able to dodge the attack however by moving backwards with a flip.

The battle moved on; both managed to make a strike at each other in some point. However, Akihiko was confident with the fact that he was going to win. He knew Isaka. He knew his abilities and how he used them while the older man hadn't learned of how strong the young prince grew. He had the advantage. Once Isaka was open for an attack once again, Akihiko took this as his chance to strike one more time.

He didn't know though that that was what Isaka had intended.

Before Akihiko could make his strike, a scythe with a blade shaped like a silver crescent moon blocked his path and pushed him backwards. He caught himself from falling and got a look at the face of the person that stopped him.

A man who looked the complete opposite of Isaka. While Isaka's hair was dark, this man's hair was light. While Isaka dressed in whites and gold, this man dressed in blacks and silver. Not to mention the fact that this man wore a pendant shaped like a silver crescent moon and appeared more serious looking. Two polar opposites, yet had the aura of the perfect team.

Isaka laughed. "Years have passed since we've last seen each other and since I've taught you how to fight. Did you think that I didn't have anything new in my advantage as well?" He moved closer to the other man. "Asahina here is the darkness to my light, the moon to my sun. We are day and night; so different and yet must rely on each other for everything. With the two of us together, we are invincible. That is why we are known as Damonen Knights #2 and #3 respectively; the Day and Night!"

Akihiko stood there panting as he stared at them. He cursed at Isaka in his mind. The guy didn't look it but he knew how to handle a situation. And a two against one battle was definitely something he would use against the silver haired man.


That familiar name brought Akihiko back from his thoughts as he turned around. Standing there were Misaki and Miyagi with their weapons out and ready. Hiroki was on the stairs, appearing as if he was hiding from something; something that was unusual to the half demon's character. But the main focus was Isaka and his partner Asahina, not Hiroki. Upon glancing at the two Damonen Knights, Misaki continued.

"You are from Damonen!" he cried out, "What have you done to my brother?"

Isaka appeared confused at first before letting out a laugh. "Oh, of course! You are Erden's princess! Damonen accidentally took Erden's king while confiscating the hybrid demon!" He let out a few more chuckles before talking more seriously; a smirk still on his face. "You don't have to worry your pretty little head! Your brother is safe in Damonen. However, Emperor Haruhiko wants to keep him in Damonen for a bit while discussing some 'matters'."

Frustration grew on Misaki, his face scrunched up to the point of almost looking angry while his eyes shined with worry. "What matters are you talking about?"

The dark haired Damonen Knight shrugged while shaking his head. "Who knows. Maybe you'll need to ask him yourself when you get there."

"Master Isaka!" Asahina finally spoke up with a deep voice that fit his calming persona, "The night is telling me that it is too dangerous to stay here any longer."

Isaka did not question his partner's warning. He only gave a farewell at Akihiko and the others before the two of them flew off. Akihiko stood there confused on their entrance and exit. But his confusion didn't need to last long when something unusual began happening.

The winds began picking up, growing stronger and stronger the farther they went. The waves of the ocean were bigger, almost big enough to reach deck. Tiny droplets of rain fell onto them under the night sky covered in dark clouds and the amount only kept increasing. A storm was coming. Miyagi hurried to the helm. He tried with all his might to steer the ship to find the way out of the storm, or at very least reach the eye. But the storm was too strong. As much as Miyagi turned the helm it did nothing to steer them anywhere but straight.

The further on they went, the stronger the storm got to the point of putting them in danger. The strength of the winds caused the mast to break and there was so much rain to the point it felt like they were splashed with water. Akihiko held Misaki close to him to keep him protected from the storm. Hiroki kept himself on the stairs, frozen like a statue as he stared at all the water around them.

"What the hell kind of storm is this?" Akihiko yelled out, fear for their lives, practically Misaki's, evident in his voice.

Miyagi could only stare forward as the realization of the storm before them. "It's not any ordinary storm," he was barely able to let out, like a knot was caught in his throat, "This is some sort of abnormal typhoon."

The sky so dark it was almost hard to see anything, the winds began tearing at the wood of the ship, the waves were too strong to swim. If they stayed still any longer they were eventually going to fall overboard and drown. Akihiko led Misaki to the rowboat with Miyagi following behind, having no other options as it wouldn't be long before the whole ship would be destroyed. They were lucky that it was able to hold four people. The silver haired man assisted getting the princess safely into the aggressive moving boat thrashing around and appeared successful when he realized something important.

Hiroki was still standing where he was, frozen and wide eyed on the steps. Akihiko cried for the half demon to hurry to the rowboat but the latter only just stared at him. It was as if stepping onto the deck would cause him to melt or disappear from existence. The silver haired man called out to Miyagi, who already got on the rowboat, as to question if he knew anything of Hiroki's abnormal behaviour.

"Hiroki is from Feuern," the older man replied, "Having there being nothing but sand and the addition of his fire abilities-!"



The weather got worse. The ropes holding the boat snapped and broke, causing the rowboat to fall with Misaki and Miyagi with it. The brunet princess cried for the silver haired man, who was still on the ship. He told them to go on ahead and find safe land while he tried to help Hiroki off the ship. Not long after, the side of the ship where Akihiko was on fell, carrying the silver haired man with it. The rowboat carrying Miyagi and Misaki managed to dodge the piece of the ship falling on them as soon as the older man took control of the oars, but they stared at the ship in worry that Akihiko might had been caught into the avalanche and drowned in the process.

A familiar giant bear with bird wings flew out from the collapse. Saitou flew over to the rowboat with Akihiko on him. He summoned Suzuki back before them. "Suzuki, help Misaki and Miyagi get to some safe land. I'll summon another Suzuki after I get Hiroki out."

"Usagi!" Misaki cried out once again. Fear could be seen in his emerald eyes to the point of tears almost welling up. He couldn't abandon the silver haired man like this. He refused to put himself over another person. Akihiko could only stay silent, giving him a look that he hoped assured his love that he was going to make it okay. This was also the signal to Miyagi to hurry and get moving. They parted ways, hoping to meet up later.

Akihiko hurried back to the slowly sinking ship, where Hiroki had finally managed to move to the tip of the deck which was the farthest from succumbing into the sea. Saitou, with all his strength on his wings, flew to Hiroki with Akihiko ready to grab his hand. His hand reached, the silver haired man was able to pull his friend onto the flying bear. The cinnamon haired man trembled as he held closely against Akihiko; staring at the water in fear, defining what Miyagi said true.

With the half demon with him, Akihiko was about ready to summon Suzuki #2 to help them get through the storm when he noticed ripples among the waves. A giant splash appeared before them, almost engulfing them and blinding them for just a bit. When they opened their eyes again, they beared witness to something they had never seen before.

Before them was a giant monster flying in the sky. Its head and tail appeared to be that of a dolphin with the exception of sharp teeth, and the rest of its body was that of a lizard. The weirdest thing though was that this creature was made entirely out of water. Could it have some involvement with the typhoon?

The creature let out a fierce roar; giant waves making a chain within the direction of Akihiko and Hiroki. It caught its sights on the two; sapphire eyes glowing with anger. It dived back into the water, causing another splash much bigger than the last one. Saitou was caught into the splash this time; Akihiko and Hiroki falling off from the force and into the ocean.

Everything began to calm down. Miyagi and Misaki managed to make it out of the typhoon before this but just by observing they could see it was alright. The raven haired man gave a sigh and he looked at the direction they were heading. With everything calmed down and easier to see, he could see land before them. Suzuki disappeared slightly before the storm ended so one of two things could've happened. There are people on that island or…

Misaki kept his gaze in the direction he came from. He wanted to see Saitou flying through the sky with Akihiko and Hiroki with him. There was nothing; not even a single silhouette, flying among the clouds. His heart tightened and tears were threatening to well up. He didn't want to cause trouble to Miyagi though so he tried to keep the pain to himself.

Miyagi could see the brunet's pain though and tried to assure him that they were alright and would meet up with them eventually. He couldn't hide the small part of his own doubt in his voice. With a typhoon that powerful, it was a miracle the two of them had survived in a rowboat. They could only get to land and wait to be assured if the worst had happened.

Pinkshuchan: And FINALLY the chapter is done. Once again, sorry for taking so long. I'll be trying to update as quickly as I can though. Read and Review!