I'll Make a Man out of You
Note: The idea of the story was from the video I'll make a man out of you created by cosplay group Shi-tenno, and the story was from Disney animation Mulan. I was inspired by their fantastic role-playing game "project Elysium Military Academy" and wrote this fanfiction. Thankful to their wonderful cosplay!
Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is a fanfiction of Sailor Moon, for my interest in the KunZoi pair, and I promise that there is definitely neither illegal nor financial purpose.
Kunzite was sitting at the desk in his office, expressionlessly scanning the admission list of the Elysium Military Academy of the new semester. When he saw the information of one admitted student he frowned slightly and summoned his adjutant to ask:"Isn't this sixteen-year-old boy too young to be a student of the military academy?"
The adjutant took a look at the paper before answered:"Lord Kunzite, Zoisite received an exceptive admission for his outstanding talent on magic. It was His Majesty that told president Beryl to enroll him." Hearing these words Kunzite said nothing, but only dismissed the adjutant.
When Zoisite got the admission he was too exciting to notice that he had drawn the special attention of his future drillmaster. To study in the Elysium Academy is the common dream of almost every noble boy in the kingdom, yet only those noble young men who were extremely outstanding had the chances to be enrolled, and to be trained by Drillmaster Kunzite, who was the highest-ranked general of the kingdom; as well as to be tested by President Beryl, who was the royal advisor as well as the royal magician.
The copper-haired boy has not reached his eighteenth year yet, but any noble family would never miss such a special honor. As a result, Zoisite finally accepted the special offer, and the smart, rapid and loyal maid Grape would go with him, in order to take care of him and help him adapt the life in the military academy.
The day for the new students' checking in was not a smooth day to Zoisite. Comparing to one of his roommates named Nephrite, who was a masculine nineteen-year-old young man, Zoisite appeared too slender to be a military student. His another roommate, Jadeite who was just at his eighteenth was not that strong as Nephrite, but he was not that svelte and graceful as Zoisite, either. Nephrite joked to Jadeite laughing at that Zoisite looked like a lady, Zoisite glared fiercely at the auburn-haired man, but was completely ignored.
Whatever, it was the beginning of the life as a military student. Zoisite tried his back to forget those unhappy things happened during the daytime in the evening, and fell asleep with a mind full of the unsure expectation to the future.
When the first brunch of rising sun flaming on the training field the next day, all the new students had already assembled standing in a line under Kunzite's order. The powerful general glanced at everyone calmly, the harsh silver sights paused for an instance when achieving Zoisite, but before long he moved his sights away left no trace. He admitted that the boy did have a significant beauty, and the spirit glittering in those emerald eyes did show his intelligence. However, had he wanted to be a qualified warrior of Elysium he still has a long way to go. Kunzite finally came to a conclusion.
"You are all selected as the excellent young men." Eventually, Kunzite started steadily in front of his new students. His voice was low but penetrating, as if he voice could pierce through the souls of those young men. He continued:"I hope that you all would work hard enough to keep the honor of your family names. You would soon understand, that the Elysium Military Academy is completely different from the teenagers' camping." With these words he glanced at Zoisite either by design or accident, but the youngest one was too devoted into his curiosity to the future to realize that.
As soon as Kunzite finished, Nephrite pulled Jadeite and attached to his ear whistled:"Everyone says that the drillmaster of the Elysium Military Academy is like a superhero, but in fact he seems to have nothing special!" Jadeite coughed as a warning as he saw the silver sights towards Nephrite and him, however Nephrite didn't noticed, and he even laughed slightly.
The silver-haired general moved his sights back expressionlessly before took out a carved bow and an arrow. He unfolded his arms easily and an arrow flied out straightly. Before everyone had caught up with his movements the arrow had inserted stably into the top of the wood pole standing dozens meters away. Kunzite turned back to his students:"So, who volunteers to get the arrow back?" He paused expressionlessly before continued:"Nephrite?"
The auburn-haired man who was mentioned by name stood for a few seconds and restrained his laughter, rushed to the wood pole. Just before starting to climb onto the pole he was stopped by Kunzite:"Wait for a minute, you have forgotten something."
Nephrite turned back with confusion, and Kunzite asked a soldier to get him two weights and worn them on Nephrite's both hands:"This one means discipline, and that one means strength. Every man graduates from the Elysium Military Academy would keep them in mind for the rest of his life."
It was either because of the weight of the weights or because of the height of the smooth pole, Nephrite tried his best but fell off the pole to a mess at about the one-third of the height. Kunzite didn't say anything but simply asked everyone to take turn to try the same thing.
Zoisite was the last one in the order. When he fell down in front of Kunzite as what the others had done, the silver-haired general fought back his urge to frown. He kept his face stony cool and ordered everybody to stand straight in a line in a calm voice, without mentioning the arrow on the top of the wood pole anymore and simply began the training. As he had expected, getting such a lesson even Nephrite had restrained himself.
During the following days, even Kunzite who was usually strict to his students had to admit that Zoisite did have the qualification to a special admission—although his intelligence seemed only in theoretic fields. The copper-haired boy was brilliant and full of spirit of question, despite his disadvantage in physical power comparing to his classmates he was always unyielding. It was what Kunzite admired most, though he had never showed his award out. Moreover, he had never noticed that it was becoming harder and harder for him to separate his sight from the beauty.
However Zoisite hadn't realized the favor from the icy drillmaster. He was so tired dealing with Nephrite's pranks that had even no energy to realize other things. He had tried to fight back, but Nephrite could always overpower with his physical superiority. After a few times Zoisite didn't bothered to react any more, instead, he kept Nephrite's every planks in mind and planned to take the revenge one day in the future.
Yet, such meaningless hatred was soon replaced by a kind of more powerful emotion—as Zoisite was finding how strong, powerful and erudite his handsome drillmaster was, a sense of a mixture of adoration and admiration grew in Zoisite's mind quietly and softly.
In the silent night in which the whole Elysium had fell asleep, the emerald eyes of the in loved boy was still opened, as if he was staring at something. Well, my lord was so gorgeous. Thought Zoisite adorably, he was the highest-ranked general of the kingdom, hence he would never notice a bad-tempered student who was always awful in physical trains.
Well, even if he was doomed to be able to look up to the older one only he would become the best student Kunzite had ever taught. Zoisite swore to himself quietly in mind before closed his eyes fell asleep.
However it was difficult for Zoisite to achieve his goal. Physical power was always his weak point, and what was worse, despite of his intelligence in magic, he was too young to control his magical power; moreover, his gift in magic hadn't be well trained before he was enrolled; not to mention Nephrite's pranks. As a result, he felt suffered.
Kunzite was keeping an eye on what Nephrite was doing to Zoisite. He cared about the hard-working boy, yet he also clearly knew that Zoisite had to deal with the relationships with his classmates by himself if he wanted to be a real man of Elysium.
Moreover, Kunzite could more or less sense a faint, unsure emotion of himself to Zoisite. It seemed was driving to the edge of the emotion between a teacher and a five-star student. However, a boy as smart and graceful as Zoisite deserved a lady who was cute and gentle by his side, and he would enjoy the happy, warm family she gave him, instead of being frozen by a harsh glacier. Not to mention a relationship between a drillmaster and a student in the military academy was forbidden.
As a result, Kunzite didn't allow himself to let his emotion go. He preferred avoiding anything that might make Zoisite and him closer, what was more, he even become overcritical to the younger one in order to pull the boy away.
As a reflection of the unfair harshness, Zoisite couldn't help rebel against what he had received. Grape had tried to dissuade the boy from going against his mentor, but Zoisite could not hold back his urge. Although every time his challenge ended with a failure, he potential showed from his action as well as his great progress every time had impressed Kunzite more and more deeply.
Without being noticed by himself had Kunzite thought Zoisite as his most promising student. He was still strict and harsh to the slender boy, but with much less distance, and much more expectancy.
Well, it was after all a good thing to taught Zoisite to the most excellent general of the Elysium Kingdom in the future. Kunzite said to himself, intentionally ignoring a sense of adoration in those emerald eyes when they were meeting his own silver ones. Zoisite deserved a better fortune, and if was for the younger one's good to keep the relationship purely as teacher and student. And if so, at least he still had the qualification to be proud at Zoisite.
However, the theoretic knowledge and the progresses in magic could not conceal Zoisite's lack in physical power. During the weight training, when Kunzite saw the boy falling down onto the ground, he couldn't help remembered those physical trainings. In those classes Zoisite's grades could hardly match his high scores in theories. Every time he felt disappointed when witnessing Zoisite's failure, but it was the first time he felt his anger burning for the feeling of…being betrayed.
Grape tried to support Zoisite with her hands, but she didn't succeed. Being grasped by both disappointment and ache in the heart Kunzite could not bear his feeling. He walked towards Zoisite, picked up the sandbag he drop, shouldered it together with his own, and left without a single glancing behind.
The copper-haired boy was too deeply taken by the feeling of loss and threatened to notice that the silver eyes were even deeper than usually, as if hiding something behind the ice.
At night Kunzite tossed about in bed for a long time before he made his decision at last. He got up before regretted at his decision and asked a soldier to summon Zoisite.
Kunzite's icy heart was about to soften at the moment he saw the scared boy with those emerald eyes lowered timidly. Yet he gathered all his determination to maintain his stony appearance, and said mercilessly:"Zoisite, you are dropped out."
The voice of the silver-haired man was not loud at all, but was like a thunderbolt to the poor boy that Zoisite was completely taken aback forgetting to react. Tears began to glitter in those emerald eyes, and Zoisite was about to explain something but Kunzite stopped him:"You could not even pass the basic physical training, and I had thought you…I've never expected you to make me so disappointed."
Being aware of his almost let his deeply hidden emotion out, Kunzite stopped in time. However the coldness of the single sentence was enough to drop the younger one into the ice cave.
"Go back to where you came from, unless you could prove yourself." Avoiding meeting those emerald sights Kunzite dropped the boy's sword which was a symbol of his family into Zoisite's hands roughly. With these words he swung his cape and turned back, left without glancing behind.
Kunzite now understood that he cared about Zoisite because he had fallen in love to the smart, uninhibited boy before he had ever noticed his feeling. He could not face Zoisite's upset every time the younger one failed, nor could he accept that the one he loved was not even able to pass the basic physical training in the Elysium Military Academy. Since then, he preferred cutting off his love before it became too hard to give up.
When backed to his room Kunzite tried to sleep, but however hard he tried to forget, the beautiful boy flashed back in his mind. Eventually Kunzite sighed a deep sigh, and gave up to his uncontrollablely flowing memory. After all he might never see Zoisite again from tomorrow, then perhaps he could leave the last night in which he was doomed cannot sleep to his uncontrollable emotion. After all, the highest-ranked who was too icy cold to have a single weak point would be back next morning.
Zoisite stood still holding his sword for quite a while, even without noticing his tears running through his face. Grape walked out from the tree behind which she had hidden herself for long, patted the boy and tried to wipe out the tears softly for him, yet there were even more tears flooding out.
Finally Grape said as a comfort:"Don't be sad, Zoisite. You're still young so it's not a shame, you still have chance two years later after your are eighteen years old."
With these words Grape took the sword and put it aside. Zoisite nodded almost automatically but without saying a word. Perhaps, perhaps the shame of being dropped out from the military academy would never compare a tiny bit of the disappointment the silver-haired man showed that would drive him to hopelessness.
"Even if I were dropped out, I would not leave as a failure in Lord Kunzite's view!" Zoisite in the end wiped out his tears with full power and raised his head, as if was saying to Grape, and as if was saying to himself as well. In the emerald eyes glittering the unyielding spirits.
Grape stepped backwards quietly. She knew that behind the gentle and graceful appearance the boy had a stubborn soul.
Wordlessly, Zoisite stepped towards the wood pole with the arrow on the top. He picked up the two weights, hesitated for an instance and then tied them on his both hands. Under the weight of the weights he could hardly raise his hands, but the physical weight was definitely not as heavy as Kunzite's expression of disappointed and cold tone pressing on his heart.
There was no doubt that he fell off the pole again.
Zoisite stared at the weights for long. Discipline and strength, which were engraved in the soul of every man graduated from the Elysium Military Academy.
Yet if discipline were without strength, people would be no more than yesmen standing in a queue for displaying; while if strength were without discipline, the rash bastards would be a heap of loose sand. Zoisite suddenly understood something and a smile appeared on his delicate face.
Discipline and strength are never apart, neither could be separated independently from the soul of the graduates of the Elysium Military Academy.
He held the wood pole with his both hands and tied the two weights together. With the help of the tied ropes Zoisite clench his teeth and tried his best to climb up. It was still tough, but at least he could keep himself from falling down.
When the first rays of the morning sun poured onto the ground of the earth, Jadeite saw Zoisite climbing toughly as soon as he stepped into the training field. The boy was like slightly trembling because of being exhausted, but he was already very close to the arrow on the top.
Jadeite widened his mouth and stood still for an instance before he remembered to point the situation out to Nephrite standing next to him. Nephrite was taken aback at first, he could even not believe in his own eyes. Yet soon he understood what was happening, and started to clap for Zoisite from the bottom of his heart together with Jadeite. And then, more and more classmates joint them to encourage the copper-ponytailed boy loudly.
Kunzite was awaked by the sudden cheer from the training field. The silver-haired general who had suffered a whole night without sleep concealed the dark circles under his eyes with a simple magic and stepped out of his room. Before his second step, a flying arrow that was familiar to him broke into the ground in front of him. Kunzite raised his head and saw the sunlight of the early morning gilding Zoisite's delicate face.
Despite of his expressionless calmness, a sense of smile slowly melted the icy sealing those silver eyes. He knew that he had found the one he admires, and he had found the one he loves. The love which he tried hard to freeze to a still started to burn again, he could feel the heat and the pain, but he did not regret.
When Zoisite stood in front of him respectfully, Kunzite finally said:"You have proved yourself, Zoisite, you have a spirit that I admire."
A bright smile bloomed on the boy's beautiful face. The emerald eyes once again met the silver sights. Kunzite caught the sense of adoration which the younger one was not able to hide, he was almost flooded by the surprising happiness. Yet those silver eyes kept the steady appearance, and Kunzite told himself quietly in mind: Zoisite, I'm waiting for your graduation.
A few months later the young men graduated. Nephrite, Jadeite and Zoisite were all selected as the generals of the royal guardians because of their outstanding results.
In the evening of the day in which the graduates were conferred titles, Kunzite expressed his emotion to his beloved student, making the younger one intoxicated in the sudden happiness; and then the icy lord gently, passionately kissed those rosy lips he had dreamt for so long.
The rose bud bloomed in the ice, and the romantic passion melted the silent night of Elysium.