Kingdom Destiny

A kingdom frozen in time.
"Are you strong enough?"
A princess raised in our world.
"Are you weak enough?"
A guardian fighting strife.
"For both you must be to survive."
In the Kingdom of Kessho, Kingdom of Diamonds.
"Destiny awaits..."

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9. CHAPTER 9: Inner Battles


     

     “You were born with this power, a power passed down from generation to generation.  I will teach you to collaborate with it, as I have.  But there is a warning, let this power go on its own, and it will be a force you end up fighting with. Our family line, however, are destined to always guard and protect. So no matter what, this force will always try to protect those closest to us.”

     “Like Mam and Nagi?”

     “Yes, like Mam and Nagi. Now listen, although it will always try to protect, if you do not work together, you will struggle, and without each other you are not complete.”

     “I don’ wan ta fight with it Pap! What do I do?”

     “Ha-ha! Do not worry my son, I will teach you. But you are much too young to worry about such things, training starts with 10 years of age, you are only 5 Toshiro.”

     “Oh, ok! What is its name? You said th’ power had a name! Is it Toshiro? Like mine? You said it had my name!”

     “Yes my son, but it is not your first name, it carries our surname as its own. Moriya.”

     With a gasp Toshiro opened his eyes, but no lights glared in his eyes, black greeted his vision instead. And he lay not on a medical bed, but on a semi-hard floor of an endless black large oval room.  He sits up, trying to grasp on to the images that just passed through his mind, but it slipped away too quickly. The words, however, still rang clear in his ears.

     “Did you like it?” Moriya seemed to have simply appeared out of nowhere next to Toshiro. “I gave you a memory of the life you no longer have any knowledge of. When Mam and Pap were still around.” He sits down next to his other half. His brown eyes dark with thought.

     “What were their names?”

     “I do not know, they died a few weeks after the event you just saw, their names were not something of importance at a measly 5 years of age.” A silence prevailed the darkness, black hair in disarray and white coats grimy with the melted sludge of the snow. “I had no choice, you would not fight so I-”

     “No!” Toshiro stands up and grabs Moriya by the collar. “You came out and massacred almost everyone! You call that helpi-”

     “Careful little boy, I am not a force to be trifled with.” A grin spread through his face. “As you yourself saw clearly.”

     “Why can I not stifle you!? I must always hide and control you!”

     “You know why, I just showed you.” Moriya jerks away from his grip and smiles into the darkness. “You never learned how to work with me, so therefore you know not how to use me. A power so great,” He steps close to Toshiro, his dark rich brown eyes staring into the hardened deep bright green eyes of his outer consciousness. “, That many fear it. And others fight to obtain it, and you think you can stifle me?” He grabs Toshiro’s collar and pins him down to the black ground. “No, you are too WEAK! You fight and fight against me but you cannot win! You can not win when you are fighting with yourself.” Toshiro grabs his coat and pushes him off and slams him against the wall, his teeth clenched.

     “I will try anyway! I will never give up! I am not weak!”

     “But you will not succeed, you and I are the same, remember that.” He grabs Toshiro’s arm and twists it back and shoves him towards a white door. “Pap never wanted us to fight, not now not ever. But if you continue to think you can make it on your own, I will do everything to protect those you can not.” He opens the door, letting in a blinding light, filling in the once dark black room. “I love her as well you know.” with a final push, he sends Toshiro careening down into the light, and his vision soon blackened. Voices soon were discernable.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

     “Eat this, tell me if it tastes good.” Misty stuffs a wooden spoon into Mitsuki’s mouth. She wears white cotton pants with a matching coat with light purple crystalline buttons closing the coat diagonally. A tied handkerchief of the same light purple is loosely tied to the collar of her coat. A glossy badge depicting a silver fork and knife crossed over a light purple plate is pinned on upper left side of her coat, symbolizing her status as a royal head chef.

     She sits on a plush bed covered with dark blue velvet and white silk sheets, bordered by light blue satin covered fluffy pillows. The bed itself is made of a light oak wood, ornamented with inscriptions of intertwining names, of all princesses past. The floors are a soft white material, and cover the oval bedchambers. Across from the bed stand two smooth white doors, opening into a large walk-in closet featuring all of her dresses and not-so-formal clothes as well.

     A white door to the right of the four posted bed leads into a cozy sitting room, a semi-circular couch fills up the right side. A dark blue rug covers the rest of the floor, from there, another door out in the rest of the palace. Windows let in the sunlight and brighten the royal room.

     Mitsuki sits up in her bed, the blankets snug around her, pillows propping her up. She takes the spoon from Misty’s hand, chewing whatever she had jabbed in there with the wooden spoon.

     “It’s delightful Misty, but seriously, I can feed myself now.” She raises an eyebrow at her red haired friend, her once long pigtails now cut off, her now short hair flipping up in spikes at the ends. “I am not an invalid, I’m recovered by now, now hand me the bowl.”

     “Fine, it was fun treating you like a baby though.” She smiles and goes to open the door leading to the sitting room. “You can come in now Yoh.”

     With a sure step, Yoh walks in, wearing white pants and coat with sleeves only reaching up to his elbows. Green stitching seems to draw out his occupation up his sleeves and over his ivory-buttoned coat. Inkwells and pens mix with an image of swords and arrows. A badge of a green circle underneath a crossed image of a pen and sword spells out what he is if the coat hadn’t been enough of a clue. Battle strategist, but only one of those owns the green stitched coat, Yoh, advisor to the royal family.

     He smiles at Mitsuki, his eyes however, are solemn and hard.

     “I’m glad to see you’ve recuperated well,” His smile disappears as he comes closer to the bed. “So why don’t you come outside? You haven’t left the room in 2 weeks, please.”  He reaches over to her hand, but she yanks it away. Feeling repulsion she cannot understand. Sighing, Yoh runs his hand through his hair, now longer than before and consequently, has begun to curl in multiple semi-circle cowlicks.

     “Well, that is quite enough.” Misty yanks off her covers, sending the fabrics sliding off the bed. She grabs Mitsuki by the arm and drags her off the bed, not loosening her grip one bit. “Time for you to get some fresh air, and don’t look at me like that,” Misty shoves her in the closet and closes the door behind her. “, You have been sulking and lying around doing nothing for 2 weeks! You’ve missed your tutoring sessions and your royal training, and at the least, you could have been helping your mom run the kingdom! She’s on her own without your father.” She tears a dress off one of the hangers and shoves it into Mitsuki’s arms, her blue light thin nightgown draping over a bulky bandaged waist, covering a healed scar.

     “I’m sorry… I just wanted to be alone…” Mitsuki bites her lower lip and starts to put on the dress Misty had handed to her.

     “Well, that’s fine. Anyone can understand after you got stabbed, but you forget about others around you. People depend on you now, and we worry sick about you.” She helps Mitsuki put the long sleeves over her shoulders. “Isn’t this dress tight?”

     “Umm, a little… it’s ‘cause of the band aide.” Misty raises her eyebrow in skepticism. She lifts up her dress to reveal that the Band-Aid adds more bulk and stretches the fabric. With an exasperated sigh Misty tears off the Band-Aid, causing Mitsuki to recoil in shock with a gasp in pain from the tape ripping off her skin.

     “Yeah, because people wear big bulky Band-Aids over perfectly healed wounds. Now stop this, you’re going to go out there and live your life! Stop this brooding around, I mean, when was the last time you talked to Toshiro?” At his name, Mitsuki flinched, her hands unconsciously wringing together. She opens the closet door; her hands smooth the white cotton fabric of the simple one-layer dress. Her hair now just barely touching her shoulders. Yoh came beside her and pleaded,

      “At least tell us what happened! Since you came back, you’ve been silent, all we could deduce was that you were stabbed, and that was obvious from the gaping hole in your side!” He became more furious at each word, “Toshiro was there Mitsuki! What happened that he could not protect you!?”

      “Enough!” Mitsuki looked at Yoh indignantly, then at Misty. “I will tell you,”

      “You should talk to Toshiro before…”

      “No. Let’s go take a walk before anything. The snow has begun to thaw…”

 

                                                        

     The smell of burnt metal fills the large rectangular dirt-floored long-room. The back wall lined with large domed raw diamond ovens, each carrying a seething, burning fire in its belly. Stone chairs sit precariously close to the flames; black stone tables sit in front of the chairs, with a tub of water for the cooling of metal as a blacksmith takes out of the oven, a long red-hot piece of steel. And after hammering, folding, and straightening, he slips it back into the flames.

     Benipe looks behind him; the clanking sounds of other blacksmiths and their conversations fill the room. The non-stop noise of burning metal hissing in water, the occasional shouts of “Careful!” or “Watch the fires!” and the ever present heat of the room, almost as if a sauna.

     “You pound on that lug as if the world depends on it boy.” Benipe swivels in his chair, his arms crossed across the top of the chair. He interrupts a sweat-soaked tense muscled Toshiro. His white coat thrown haphazardly under the stone table, revealing his thin skin-tight black diamond armor, as flexible as he ever can be.

     He looks up at the thirty-something old man in front of him, his eyes electric and seething with frustration. His black hair soaked and falling over his eyes. “Now what’s bothering you son? You only ever come in here to pound metal if something’s up.” Benipe raises an eyebrow, copper colored like the rest of his short -cropped hair. Toshiro sighs and crashes into the chair, slumping in exhaustion.

     “Everything has become increasingly confusing, I do not know where else to let out my frustration. Seeing as it is where I spent my childhood, it almost seems like home.” He smiles as he scans the rest of the facility, seeing familiar faces, and newcomers alike.

     “Yes, but that doesn’t answer my question, why are you so distressed?” He persists, genuinely concerned with the well being of this boy whom he has seen grow in his midst.

     Instead of answering, Toshiro shudders a sigh and buries his head in his hands. He clenches his teeth to keep tears at bay, shaking his head as if to put all of his emotions in check.

     “I have become a coward Benipe, one who can not even protect those he loves. Having to rely on others…”

     “Well, what’s wrong with that? No one is able to do all by themselves. You will break this way Toshiro.”

     “B-but I am strong enough, I am I swear. Being weak is not who I am, I am not weak!” He raises his voice, willing himself to believe it. Because if maybe he believes it, others might follow suit. Benipe shakes his head, not knowing what else to say. The cacophony of the blacksmiths drowns out their thoughts, leaving nothing but doubt and fear.

     A laugh outside brings Toshiro back to reality, tilting his head slightly to the left; he catches a glimpse of Mitsuki walking by with Yoh and Misty. He stands up and hurriedly flings his coat onto his shoulder. It has been two weeks since he last saw her, since she had forbidden him to enter her room. And now, he walks out into the warm afternoon, every step closer to his destiny.

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