Bunkai 21: Final Day

After the Imperial Exams, twenty examinees pass and go through training for three months. Officials in training would mostly work in the archives and do miscellaneous tasks like cleaning the stables and Higher Official’s offices. Soldiers in training did the same training, except in their case, they were mostly assigned soldiers duties like sparing with a higher ranked soldier and in rare occasions with the captain of the guards. During the final week of the training, the trainees would still train, but the palace would be preparing for the final day. The final day was when the emperor would decide on their Official duties and for the soldiers in training, their rank as a soldier.

It was day before the final day. The palace servants were preparing the halls of the palace and coming up with a menu. Some servants were assigned to help Yuki choose his wardrobe for the final day, which was basically a nightmare to Yuki.

Yuki stood on a stool as three servants took his measurements and Yosei stood by his side. He examined the high quality black fabric one of the servants held to him and smiled.

“Very nice,” complimented Yosei and then looked at Yuki asking, “What do you think?”

“Whatever works,” answered Yuki and sighed. Yosei shook his head.

“You are always like this when the final day approaches.”

“Well it is always the same. The trainees will line up in the main hall by rank and then one by one they approach me when I call their name just for me to announce their ranking in my court. Followed by the feast and dance.”

“It is tradition, your majesty,” pointed out Yosei. Yuki groaned and added, “In your case, you only come around during the Imperial Exams and when the final day is approaching.”

“I do have Ai Region to care for, your majesty,” stated Yosei. Yuki scoffed. Yosei shook his head and then placed a hand on Yuki’s shoulder making Yuki look at him.

“Even in my absence you always make sure that your country is prosperous and even this year, you have a gem for your new court.”

Yuki remembered Megumi and blushed clenching his hand.

“You were the one who found Megumi Yoh, not me,” stated Yuki. Yosei chuckled with a nod.

“That is true, but I believe Megumi would have eventually joined the court with his expanse on knowledge.”

Yuki smiled looking at Yosei and stated, “Well I am still thankful to you for finding him.” Yosei noticed Yuki’s blush and sighed.

“I am well aware that you love Megumi and Shigure even informed me that you wanted to marry him, but please consider…”

“I know Megumi is a man and can’t give me an heir, but I still want him,” interrupted Yuki. Yosei shook his head.

“Well you do have to consider that too, but please remember that Megumi will be part of your court. He has a goal in mind and he can’t reach that goal as your consort.”

Yuki clenched his fist with a frown.

“So you’re saying that Megumi can’t be with me not only because he’s a man, but because he wants to be an Official?” asked Yuki. Yosei nodded.

“Then I can just prevent him from becoming an Official and then he can be…”

“That won’t work either. If you took away his chance to be an Official then he will hate you forever. You also have to consider that not making him an Official will hurt your country as well.”

Yuki groaned. Yosei sighed and added, “If you still want Megumi to be your consort even after you get an heir then he needs to go to you willingly.” Yuki thought long and hard and then nodded.

“I understand, Lord Yosei.”

Yosei nodded in approval.

One of the servants suddenly picked up a black ribbon from Yuki’s counter and asked, “Do you want to wear this for tomorrow?” Yuki glanced at the ribbon remembering Megumi and smiled.

“I think I’ll wear it now.”

Yosei turned away from Yuki remembering Megumi and began to wonder where “he” was at the moment.

Megumi, at that moment, wasn’t in an Official’s office or in the palace halls, but in the soldier’s sparing field clashing swords with Mori Suoh. Megumi leapt back from Mori, her sword in hand. Mori stood in place smirking.

“Your form is getting better,” complimented Mori. Megumi huffed and stated, “I still don’t understand why you convinced Lord Suha for me to train with you today.” Mori spun his sword in his hand.

“Well today is your final training day and I wanted to train you at least once and you did say before that we can spare again when I first met you,” stated Mori. He then ran at Megumi swinging his sword. Megumi blocked with the flat of her sword and forced Mori back.

“Today is my final training day, but I wanted to take this day to train as an Official not as a soldier,” stated Megumi before clashing swords with Mori. Mori clashed swords with Megumi smiling.

“Well you have to remember that you are training as a soldier too and also consider that you did win the fighting tournament and will be getting a high rank as a soldier.”

Megumi narrowed her eyes and then whacked Mori’s sword out of his hand. Mori’s sword spun in the air and then impaled the sandy ground. Megumi held the tip of her sword at Mori’s throat with seriousness in her eyes.

“I still want to be an Official and as his majesty stated, I am a back-up.”

Megumi dropped her sword and began to walk away from Mori. Mori suddenly smiled and asked, “Back in the fighting tournament, what did you mean by revenge?” Megumi flinched stopping in her tracks.

“Can you at least answer that?” asked Mori smiling. Megumi glanced back at Mori.

“If I tell you, will you finally stop asking me to be a soldier?” asked Megumi. Mori nodded. Megumi looked away from Mori.

“Back in Go Province I had an older twin sister named Mikan, a weak mother, and a younger brother named Satoshi. Months ago, when I went out to buy my family rice, someone broke into my home, killed Mikan and my mother, kidnapped my younger brother, and burned my home to the ground. I don’t know who did it, but I will find clues as an Official.”

Mori’s look grew serious.

“So you want to avenge your family by becoming an official, who has contact with all the files that can give you clues on who would be able to kill your family?”

Megumi nodded and added, “There has to be a reason why they were attacked and when I find the culprits I will save Satoshi and murder those bastards.”

Mori sighed and said, “I can’t really say that what you are doing is good or not, but if I was in your position, I would want to do the same thing.”

Megumi smirked and walked forward saying, “Promise not to tell anyone, Captain.” Mori smirked watching Megumi’s retreating back.

Megumi walked out of the sparing field and entered the palace hall. She turned a corner and felt someone collide into her chest. The force wasn’t enough to knock Megumi or the other person over. Megumi looked up and saw that she was looking eye to eye with Ayumi Mutou, who wore a dazzling plum colored kimono and had her brown hair down revealing every curl.

Ayumi gasped when she saw Megumi’s aquamarine eyes looking at her and backed away. Megumi tilted her head at Ayumi with a smile.

“Ayumi, long time no see,” greeted Megumi. Ayumi nodded and was about to walk past, but stopped when she heard Megumi ask, “Are you avoiding me?” Ayumi glanced at Megumi with glistening eyes.

“I know when we first met I asked to see you again, but I never approached you again and it was because I couldn’t find the time to leave the Harem in fear of Snowflake being seen, but now I can’t see you because you already have a girl you love and it’s not me. I don’t want to make you choose.”

Megumi’s eyes widened and asked, “Could it be you heard from Lady Haji that I have a lover named Mikan?” Ayumi nodded. Megumi sighed.

“Well Lady Haji is mistaken. I have no lover named Mikan. Mikan is my dead twin sister, OK?” stated Megumi. Ayumi gasped looking at Megumi.

“Is that true?” asked Ayumi. Megumi nodded with a smile. Ayumi’s saddened expression was replaced with a bright smile. She suddenly wrapped her arms around Megumi’s shoulder and pressed her lips against Megumi’s making Megumi’s eyes widened. Ayumi separated from Megumi’s lips with a gasp. She blushed deeply rubbing her hands together nervously.

“I’m sorry, I was just so happy. I know that it shocked you, but I have never stopped thinking about you since we first met and hearing that you have no lover made me so happy that I just couldn’t help myself.”

Megumi scratched the back of her head.

“Ayumi…”

“I really, really love you, but I know I have my duty as a concubine of his majesty, but I wanted to at least let you know of my feelings before you become an Official,” stated Ayumi quickly. Megumi stared at Ayumi and smiled.

“I appreciate your feelings and thanks for letting me know, but just like Lady Haji I can’t recuperate.”

Ayumi nodded and glanced at Megumi with red cheeks.

“Thank you for being honest and just to let you know that was my first kiss, so please remember it,” stated Ayumi and then ran off. Megumi watched Ayumi’s retreating back and giggled.

“First kiss, huh? Kind of cute,” muttered Megumi.

Megumi had no idea that just behind a pillar, Mori was watching. He leaned against the pillar covering his mouth in shock as tears escaped his eyes. The first girl he ever fell in love with was, as he suspected, in love with Megumi Yoh. He didn’t want to believe it, but when he saw Ayumi kiss Megumi, he knew that it was all real. He felt like his heart was being crushed in his chest. He glared at Megumi with gritted teeth as Megumi walked down the hall. It was at that moment that he felt undeniable hatred toward Megumi.

Megumi walked down the hall watching servants run down the hall preparing for the final day. It came to a point that Megumi had to dodge the servants.

Megumi suddenly heard a familiar voice give out a yell and looked around a corner. Koku Mi was using a large round silver plate to fend off Chestnut, Shiro’s pet falcon, from approaching him. Megumi approached them clicking her tongue. Chestnut noticed Megumi and immediately flew to her shoulder. Koku sighed in relief looking at Megumi.

“Thanks,” stated Koku.

“Why was Chestnut attacking you?” asked Megumi. Koku groaned looking down at the fallen biscuits on the floor.

“He was trying to get the biscuits,” stated Koku. Megumi glanced at Chestnut and said, “You know better than to steal, Chestnut.” Chestnut gave out a small cry folding his wings to his side.

Koku gathered the biscuits and said, “I’ll just get the cook to make some more.” Megumi watched Koku gather the biscuits and then smiled.

“You’re such a hard worker,” stated Megumi. Koku grinned and glanced at Megumi.

“Of course I am. I need to work hard to get a higher rank.”

Megumi nodded and added, “Without your hard work, I don’t think we would have been as comfortable as we are now.”

“That could be true.”

Megumi petted Chestnut’s head and said, “I’m going to see if I can find Shiro.” Megumi walked pass Koku, but stopped in her tracks when she heard Koku say, “I never wanted to see you again because I felt uncomfortable around you, but now that the final day is tomorrow, I’m worried that I won’t see you again.” Koku looked at Megumi and said, “When you become an Official please remember to greet me at least, OK?” Megumi smiled back at Koku and said, “Of course.”

Megumi continued on her way leaving Koku behind. Koku looked down at the fallen biscuits with a saddened expression.

Lady Haji will also miss you.

Megumi entered a hallway only to have Chestnut fly off her shoulder. He flew forward toward Shiro, who was leaning against a pillar, and landed on top of Shiro’s shoulder. Shiro smiled at Chestnut greeting him. Shiro spotted Megumi as well and greeted her. Megumi greeted back approaching him.

“Are you resting?” asked Megumi. Shiro nodded staring toward the blue sky.

“I was reminiscing my time in training.”

“Is that so?” asked Megumi. Shiro nodded and glanced at Megumi.

“Remember how we first met?” asked Shiro. Megumi nodded and glanced at Chestnut.

“Chestnut flew to me and then I met you.”

Shiro nodded and added, “You were the first person Chestnut liked besides me. When Chestnut accepted you, I knew that I can be friends with you.” Megumi chuckled.

“I thought the same about you. When I first saw you, I had a feeling we could be friends,” stated Megumi. Shiro and Megumi smiled at each other and then shook hands.

“No matter our positions, let’s remain in touch,” stated Megumi. Shiro nodded.

Shiro and Megumi went their separate ways.

Megumi was ready to head to the dorms, when she suddenly saw Nakago standing in the distance.

“Nakago!” called Megumi. Nakago glanced at Megumi and smiled.

“Megumi.”

Megumi approached Nakago and asked, “Are you heading back?” Nakago nodded.

“Do you mind if I tag along?” asked Megumi. Nakago shook his head.

Nakago and Megumi walked down the hallway silently. Nakago glanced at Megumi and broke the silence saying, “I’m glad that you’re decent.”

“Decent?”

Nakago nodded with a slight blush on his cheek.

“During the training, I would run into you when your shirt was torn or when you came out of the bath,” stated Nakago. Megumi thought awhile and laughed uneasily.

“Now that I think about it that is true.”

“Well you were also decent when I first met you in Go Province.”

“Oh yeah, I saved you from those thugs when we first met,” stated Megumi. Nakago nodded and added, “You were kind, but I thought you were a cocky brat.”

“Hey now.”

“That was before, but now I see you as a kind soul.”

“That’s good to hear,” stated Megumi. Nakago nodded. Nakago suddenly remembered something and asked, “Are you friends with Mannen?”

“Mannen?”

“Mannen stayed in my dorm room and you know that he always forgets names, right?”

Megumi nodded.

“Well for some strange reason, he only knows yours.”

“He hasn’t tried memorizing other names?” asked Megumi. Nakago shook his head and added, “He always forgets my name and remembers yours, so I thought you two were friends.”

“Not really,” stated Megumi. Nakago seemed to sigh in relief.

After walking for a few minutes, they reached their dorm area. Megumi wished Nakago farewell separating from him. Nakago watched Megumi’s retreating back and seemed to grow sad.

I really wish you were born a woman.

Megumi immediately slipped into her dorm room with a sigh.

“Finished training already?”

Megumi looked forward and saw Reiji packing his things from his bed as were Sora and Boshi. Megumi nodded approaching Reiji.

“Packing already?” asked Megumi. Reiji nodded and added, “Well today is our last day in this room.” Megumi nodded. She looked at Boshi and Sora and then back at Reiji smiling.

“You know, this is also our last day as roommates.”

They all paused in their packing and looked at Megumi. Sora scratched the back of his head and said, “You’re right and it isn’t guaranteed that we will be working in the palace.” Boshi and Reiji nodded in agreement.

Megumi smiled crossing her legs in her bed.

“This is basically our last day together as roommates, so how about we tell each other our favorite event these past three months.”

Boshi chuckled jumping onto Megumi’s bed.

“Sounds good to me,” stated Boshi. Sora shrugged and said, “I have no objections.” Reiji smiled and said, “Count me in.”

“So who wants to go first?” asked Megumi. Boshi raised his hand chuckling.

“My favorite was when I first dumped water on Reiji.”

“How is that your favorite?” exclaimed Reiji. Boshi chuckled and then rubbed his chin in thought.

“Well your expressions were hilarious, but now that I think about it, I loved it when I pranked Keiki. Now that was fun.”

Megumi chuckled and stated, “Well Keiki didn’t find it fun.” Boshi glanced at Megumi and added, “Now that I think about it, when Keiki came you became a lot more fun.”

“Is that so?”

Boshi nodded and added, “You weren’t as boring anymore.” Megumi rolled her eyes and looked at Reiji and Sora and asked, “Whose next?” Sora raised his hand clearing his throat.

“My favorite was the fighting tournament. I didn’t win, but it was fun,” stated Sora. Megumi nodded and added, “Those soldiers were strong, but you were definitely stronger.” Sora nodded and then chuckled.

“But you were still the better fighter, even Master thought so,” stated Sora.

“Master?” asked Reiji and Boshi at the same time. Sora gasped and waved his hands in front of him saying, “Forget what I said.”

“So you’re not going to tell us?” asked Reiji.

“Nope.”

“That’s no fun,” stated Boshi with a pout. Megumi chuckled and said, “Let Sora have his secrets.” Boshi groaned glancing at Megumi.

“Easy for you to say, you obviously know something,” stated Boshi. Megumi laughed uneasily.

Reiji suddenly cleared his throat and said, “I’ll go next. My favorite part was training in Eva Province with Lord Naohito, Lord Chiriko, and Megumi.”

“That was pretty fun, except for the kidnapping incident of Chiriko,” stated Megumi. Reiji nodded and added, “If I remember right, we met some acquaintances of yours like Dr. Jogoun and Eve.” Megumi nodded.

“Seeing familiar faces warmed my heart,” stated Megumi. Reiji suddenly frowned and said, “What made me worried during that training period was on the way back.”

“You mean when I fell over a cliff?” asked Megumi. Reiji nodded. Sora and Boshi gasped and exclaimed, “That happened?” Megumi nodded and added, “I was fine thanks to an old friend, so no worries.”

“You were unharmed, but we were worried sick,” stated Reiji. Megumi apologized with a chuckle.

All eyes fell on Megumi waiting for her to tell them her favorite part.

“It’s kind of hard to choose, but I guess my favorite part was meeting all of you.”

“Really?” they asked. Megumi nodded.

“When I first met most of you, you were rude and made bad first impressions. I thought my training was going to be a nightmare, but getting to know all of you made me see you guys in a brighter light like when Sora told me about his master, when Boshi was poisoned and told us about his mother, and when Reiji…”

Megumi smiled at Reiji making him blush and whispered, “…kept his promise.” Megumi held her hands together and added, “As far as I’m concerned, I will never forget you guys and I hope you guys will do the same.” Sora, Boshi, and Reiji smiled and then tackled Megumi on the bed making her gasp. Sora, Boshi, and Reiji laughed as they said, “That’s a promise.” Megumi smiled and laughed along with them.

On that night, as Megumi’s roommates slept, Megumi packed her things with a smile. Megumi reached under her bed and pulled out a box of letters from Hime Hana.  Megumi opened one of the letters with a warm smile.

Megumi,

The final day is approaching and I am hoping that you get a high position as a new Official. I won’t be able to see you during your awarding day, but know that I am with you in your heart. Please remember me as you accept your position and I hope to see you again someday.

Love,

Hime Hana

Megumi could see the tear stain on the letter and ran her finger on it.

I love you too Hime, but as an older sister and I hope that you will understand that someday.

Megumi placed the letter with the others in the box and then slipped it into her bag. Megumi suddenly heard a knock on the door. She stood up heading to the door. She opened it and to her surprise saw Hatsuharu waving at her.

“What are you doing here, Hatsuharu?” asked Megumi. Hatsuharu grinned and whispered, “I need to show you something.” Megumi frowned.

“Don’t you know what time it is?” asked Megumi. Hatsuharu hushed her and whispered, “Come on Megumi, today is your last night as a trainee and I want to show you it before you become an Official.” Megumi sighed and said, “Fine.”

Megumi closed the door behind her silently and followed Hatsuharu in the dark of the night. Hatsuharu led her to the balcony on the second floor. He jumped over the balcony and began to climb the wall edge making Megumi gasp. Hatsuharu urged her to follow. Megumi sighed and jumped over the balcony, grabbing hold of the wall. She followed Hatsuharu up the palace wall, until they reached the roof.

To Megumi’s surprise, she saw Gen sitting on the roof with his legs outstretched.

“You’re here too?” asked Megumi, her focus on Gen. Gen glanced at Megumi and groaned.

“So Hatsuharu left to get you?” asked Gen. Megumi nodded. Hatsuharu suddenly forced Megumi to sit next to Gen making her flinch. Hatsuharu sat next to Megumi smiling.

“Why are we here?” asked Megumi. Hatsuharu chuckled and pointed toward the night sky.

“Prepare to be amazed!”

Megumi and Gen looked up. The sky was suddenly filled with showering lights. Megumi smiled at the sight and asked, “What is this?” Hatsuharu laughed standing up.

“Star Showers!”

“Star Shower?” asked Megumi. Hatsuharu nodded laughing. Gen glanced at Megumi and said, “That’s what Hatsuharu calls it.”

Megumi stared at the Star Shower stated, “I think I’ve seen this before when I was a child, but never saw one again until this night.” Gen smiled looking toward Hatsuharu, who was reaching toward the sky.

“I don’t know how, but when a Star Shower is about to happen, Hatsuharu would know and drag me to the roof.”

“He knows?” asked Megumi. Gen nodded and added, “He’s been able to tell since he was a child apparently.” Megumi looked at Hatsuharu and smiled.

“I wonder why he decided to show me this?”

“You should know already. He wants you to be his friend because of your strength during the tournament and he only shows the Star Showers to people he likes,” stated Gen. Megumi chuckled placing a hand under her chin.

“I don’t mind being his friend,” stated Megumi. Gen groaned and stated, “I mind. As long as you’re my rival, we three can’t be friends.” Megumi smirked at Gen.

“Do you really want us to be rivals?” asked Megumi. Gen nodded and added, “You’re my rival, until I beat you.” Megumi chuckled standing up. She dusted off her pants and glanced at Hatsuharu.

“I’m heading back,” stated Megumi. Hatsuharu looked at Megumi with a pout.

“Already?” moaned Hatsuharu. Megumi nodded and then glanced back at the Star Shower in the sky.

“Thank you for showing me this sight,” stated Megumi and then walked off saying her farewell.

Hatsuharu watched Megumi begin to climb down the wall and then looked at Gen.

“I really hope we get to see Megumi more,” stated Hatsuharu. Gen groaned looking away from Hatsuharu.

“I just want to fight him,” muttered Gen. Hatsuharu chuckled and glanced up at the Star Shower.

“I hope Megumi will feel happy after seeing this.”

Megumi climbed down the wall of the palace, but a piece of the wall broke off sending her falling to the ground. Megumi gasped and prepared to take the impact of the fall, but to her surprise, she felt strong arms wrap around her waist and pull her into the branches of a thick tree. Megumi pushed the leaves from her hair with a groan.

“Close call huh?”

Megumi flinched recognizing the voice. She looked up only to see Ju-Long Kong smiling at her. Megumi gasped and pushed away from his hold making sure to keep her balance on a thick tree branch.

“What are you doing here?” demanded Megumi. Ju-Long chuckled and said, “Well I heard that the final day was tomorrow and wanted to be here when you get your position.”

“Why?”

Ju-Long revealed the burn mark on his neck and stated, “I am bound to you as your assassin, so what is wrong with me being close?” Megumi shook her head.

“I know you’re my assassin, but please consider that if someone sees you, they will kill you,” reasoned Megumi. Ju-Long smiled.

“That’s true, but I want to be with you,” stated Ju-Long. Ju-Long could see that Megumi wanted him to leave, so he pulled out a small whistle from his pocket and tossed it to Megumi. Megumi stared at the whistle and asked, “What’s this for?”

“When you need me, please use that to call me instead of using your heart, OK?”

Megumi placed a hand to her heart and smirked.

“So you knew that I wouldn’t call you using the Obedience Vow of the heart right?”

Ju-Long nodded and added, “You’re a good person, so use the whistle, so I won’t feel pain, OK?” Megumi nodded placing the whistle in her pocket. She leapt out of the tree landing on the ground. She glanced back up at Ju-Long and said, “Return to Eva Province OK?” Ju-Long nodded watching her walk off.

Ju-Long suddenly glanced back and said, “No need to hide, Fai.” Fai Dong stepped out of the shadows with a frown.

“I told you he would accept the whistle,” stated Ju-Long. Fai scoffed.

“He’ll just abuse you, you know,” stated Fai. Ju-Long shook his head placing a hand on the burn mark on his neck.

“Megumi wouldn’t do that and you should know that, considering that he never called you either,” stated Ju-Long. Fai frowned placing his hand on the mark on the nape of his neck.

“This mark is almost gone and you know what I will do when it is gone completely right?” asked Fai. Ju-Long nodded and added, “And I will stop you, but for now, we are still partners.” Fai nodded.

Ju-Long and Fai both looked up at the Star Shower with different thoughts about Megumi in their heads.

Megumi entered the palace through the balcony dusting off her clothes. Megumi suddenly noticed Bakura walking from across a walkway opposite from her with a towel over his shoulder making it obvious to her that he just got out of the baths.

Megumi would have ignored him, but froze in place, when she heard Bakura say her name. She looked at Bakura with a sigh.

“Hello Bakura.”

Bakura smiled at Megumi rubbing the towel through his hair. He leaned against the railing of the walkway and asked, “Taking a late night stroll?” Megumi nodded and asked, “Just got out of the bath?” Bakura nodded.

“This reminds me of the time when we all thought you might be a girl.”

Megumi frowned and said, “Is that the time when you groped me in the bath house?” Bakura nodded laughing uneasily.

“I was quite shocked to feel THAT considering your height,” stated Bakura. Megumi groaned with crossed arms.

Bakura smiled and added, “I actually only agreed to the bath gathering for Youko’s sake.”

“Youko?”

Bakura nodded and added, “He is quite fond of you, even if he is a bit silly about it.” Megumi sighed looking away from Bakura.

“I don’t mind being Youko’s friend as long as he doesn’t attempt to strip me like back in the bath house,” stated Megumi. Bakura chuckled with a smile.

“I’ll let Youko know,” stated Bakura. Megumi nodded and ran down the hall. Bakura stared at Megumi’s retreating back with a smirk.

It really is a shame that you’re not a woman.

Megumi ran down the hall, until she realized that she took a wrong turn. She was about to go in the right direction when she realized that the gate to the North Garden was opened. She closed the gate and then noticed Ayame on the other side admiring the Star Shower.

“Ayame?” called Megumi. Ayame looked toward Megumi and gasped saying Megumi’s name. Ayame ran to Megumi placing her hand on the gate.

“What are you doing here?” asked Ayame.

“I took a wrong turn,” stated Megumi with a chuckle. Ayame giggled. Megumi was about to step back, but Ayame immediately held Megumi’s sleeve making Megumi flinch.

“You don’t need to enter the garden, but can you stay a bit longer?” asked Ayame. Megumi nodded with a smile. Ayame stared into Megumi’s eyes as she spoke.

“Tomorrow you are finally going to be an Official,” stated Ayame. Megumi nodded.

“It seems so long ago, since we first met,” stated Ayame. Megumi nodded and added, “I never thought I would need to save a princess on the way to the palace.” Ayame smiled placing a hand to her heart.

“If it weren’t for you, I would be dead. You saved my life and for that I am forever grateful,” stated Ayame. Megumi chuckled and added, “Hatori might have saved your life too, you know.” Ayame nodded lowering her head.

Megumi held Ayame’s hand through the gate making Ayame look up at her.

“Meeting you made me happy and just like the Star Shower you will glow forever bright,” whispered Megumi. Ayame smiled holding Megumi’s hand tighter.

“When you become an Official, promise not to forget me,” whispered Ayame. Megumi nodded and pulled Ayame closer to the gate. Megumi kissed her forehead making Ayame blush and whispered, “I’ll always remember that you are important to me.” Ayame giggled releasing Megumi’s hand.

“Good night, Megumi,” whispered Ayame. Megumi nodded wishing Ayame good night too before running off.

Megumi ran into an empty hall and leaned against the wall with a sigh.

“So tired,” muttered Megumi. Megumi suddenly heard footsteps and groaned wondering who she was going to run into. She looked at the source and turned pale at the sight of Yuki. Yuki smiled as he looked at Megumi.

“You’re here Megumi. I guess that saves me the trouble of going to your room,” stated Yuki with flushed cheeks. Megumi raised an eyebrow.

“Yuki?”

Yuki placed his hand against the wall beside Megumi making her fall still. He stared into her eyes with a smile.

“Isn’t it wonderful that you’re going to become an Official tomorrow?” asked Yuki. Megumi nodded and then cringed when she smelled the alcohol in Yuki’s breath.

“Have you been drinking?” asked Megumi. Yuki chuckled placing one of his hands on her shoulder.

“It was only one bottle,” reasoned Yuki. Megumi groaned pushing Yuki away.

“I don’t want to deal with you drunk like this,” stated Megumi in annoyance. She tried to walk pass him, but Yuki grabbed her arm and pulled her back to him. He pinned her against the wall making her give out a grunt.

“Yuki, what are you…?”

Yuki pressed his lips against Megumi’s making her fall silent. He separated from her lips with flushed cheeks. He saw Megumi’s angered expression and groaned.

“You always look at me with hate, even though I love you so much,” whispered Yuki. Megumi pushed against Yuki’s chest and said, “Anyone would hate it when they are forced to kiss you.” Yuki kissed Megumi again, but this time Megumi slapped him away.

Yuki touched his cheek grabbing hold of Megumi’s right arm preventing her escape.

“Let me go. I already told you that we can’t be together. Just accept it!” yelled Megumi. Yuki shook his head and glared at Megumi.

“I won’t accept it. I want you and only you.”

“I refuse!” yelled Megumi. Yuki gritted his teeth putting pressure on Megumi’s arms making her cringe. He kissed her again deepening the kiss. Megumi felt his tongue in her mouth and immediately bit down drawing blood. Yuki pulled away wiping the blood from his lips. Megumi spat the blood from her mouth with anger clear in her eyes.

“I will never belong to you!” yelled Megumi. Megumi tried to run off again, but to her surprise Yuki tackled her down from behind. She felt him kissing her neck as he reached to the front of her blouse. Megumi gritted her teeth and elbowed him away knocking him off.

Yuki immediately recovered and pushed Megumi onto her back holding her hands in place. Yuki kissed her neck and then licked it sending chills down her spine.

“Stop it Yuki!” yelled Megumi. Megumi kicked his stomach sending him off of her and jumped to her feet. Yuki grabbed her feet forcing her to the ground again. Megumi managed to drag herself to the wall, where Yuki forced her to face him with her sitting down. He grabbed her cheeks and kissed her lips once again. Megumi tried to pull away, but Yuki pulled her closer refusing to release her. Megumi clenched her fist punching Yuki. Yuki once again recovered and tried to kiss her again, but Megumi shut her eyes and screamed, “Please stop!”

Yuki froze staring at Megumi’s face. Megumi seemed close to tears. Yuki clenched his fist and released Megumi making her flinch. Yuki stood up staring down at Megumi.

“I love you so much Megumi that I almost did something unforgivable,” whispered Yuki. Megumi was glaring at Yuki her form shaking.

Yuki suddenly grinned placing a hand to his forehead.

“Yosei was right. I can’t have you as my consort unless you come to me willingly,” whispered Yuki. Yuki suddenly pulled out a box from his sleeve and dropped it at Megumi’s feet.

“This is my decree. You must never show your face to anyone as long as you remain an Official. If you show your face then I will strip you of your rank and banish you from Yulan for Treason. I will be the only one to see your face. This decree will last until you decide to become mine and mine alone.”

Yuki walked away silently not looking back at Megumi.

Megumi picked up the box, her hand shaking. She opened the box and seemed to grow emotionless.

The Final Day arrived. The trainees, Officials, soldiers, and concubines gathered in the main palace hall. The trainees sat in their chairs by rank. Reiji sat down and realized that Megumi wasn’t in sight. She wasn’t in the dorm room when Boshi, Sora, and him woke up, but her belongings were nowhere to be seen, so they thought she went to the hall early.

“Where’s Megumi?” whispered Reiji.

As the Officials sat down some began to notice that the Diyuan chair was empty. Naohito Shi, one of the Officials that noticed, looked at his brother Chiriko and asked, “Do you know where Megumi is?” Chiriko shook his head placing a hand under his chin in thought.

Where is he?

Even the soldiers noticed the empty chair, especially Hatsuharu and Gen. Hatsuharu looked around frantically trying to spot Megumi, while Gen tried to keep a straight face.

The concubines, who knew of Megumi, were just as worried about the empty seat as were some palace servants.

The three Region leaders sat on the stage just next to the throne where Yuki would be sitting. Yosei looked forward to the event, but when he saw that Megumi’s chair was empty, he worried that Megumi might have run off.

Shigure stood with the other Officials and noticed the empty chair. He couldn’t help the smile creeping up on his face.

He’s finally gone.

When the gong rang worry crept into the hearts of the people who respected Megumi, especially Reiji’s. Out from the curtains: stepped out Yuki in royal black clothing and a crown upon his head. He stood next to a table covered in scrolls. Yuki looked at all who were in the room.

“Today is a special day. Today is the day we welcome new Officials and new soldiers into our court creating a new chapter in Yulan’s history. The top twenty worked hard these three months and never gave up. As the emperor I am proud to have them here and to accept them. As tradition, I will announce your position. Even if you aren’t working in the palace, where you go is for the greater good.”

Yuki reached over pulling out the first scroll for the Diyuan.

“Megumi Yoh.”

There was silence. Yuki repeated the name, but there was still no one approaching.

Yuki was about to lower the scroll, but to everyone’s surprise, the door to the palace hall opened up revealing someone wearing a red scholar’s robe and a red mask with gold designs. This person’s long hair was let loose in the back allowing it to flow as this person walked forward. All eyes watched the person wondering who it was. This person walked up to the stage and bowed his head to Yuki pressing his fist into the palm of his left hand.

“I’ve come to accept my position, your majesty.”

Yuki smiled and stated, “Welcome Megumi Yoh.”

All eyes went wide realizing that the masked person was really Megumi. Reiji stared at Megumi wondering why she was wearing a mask.

Yosei frowned realizing what Yuki had done to Megumi.

This is too much.

Yuki handed the scroll to Megumi.

“You are a High Official and will be in charge of Foreign Affairs and Budgets in the Capital of Yulan. I have also given you the title of Chikeimu, so you are also a second captain in my army. I expect great things from you, Diyuan Megumi Yoh.”

Megumi nodded taking the scroll from Yuki’s grasp. Megumi looked back to all in the palace hall which had looks filled with shock and some of sadness.

Megumi closed her eyes behind the mask and bowed her head to them in respect.

Even if the world will never see my face again, I will still have my revenge.

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