MY LORD CONQUEROR
V. If the Fates only knew...
It amazes me that one woman can actually do to me what no other women can, and the funny thing was that…she's not even doing anything to get my attention at all! In her presence I feel like an idiot! Even the wolf spirit that had resided inside me since I was a child was at a lost when she's around. What kind of magic does this woman conjures to make me do things I normally won't do?
But let's not talk about Shizuru…what is the matter with this Shinichi Fujino? I can't envision him to be Shizuru's father, because if he really was? The way he treats Shizuru would just make "The Beast" go wild and I can't promise to extend his life for more than a minute or two…but I just conquered Fuuka and in consideration to Queen Fumi who I've recently known to be the advisor's first cousin, I never acted on that impulse and tried my hardest to rein the wolf inside.
"Thank you," I looked at Queen Fumi who was walking alongside me, she was at my right side and I can see the sincerity of her gratefulness in her eyes.
"Thank me?" I replied in kind. I do like Queen Fumi.
She nodded her head as we took time strolling towards the carriage square where my men would assemble before we depart from the kingdom of Fuuka. "Yes, you heard me right Queen Natsuki. I am most grateful to you." She took a deep breath, "Shizuru is like a daughter to me, what Shinichi refused to give her, I tried to compensate, but I know I didn't do enough. I might even have wronged her." She bowed her head, shame in her voice.
"I can see Shizuru loves you like a mother, so I think you did just the right thing 'cause if not, then she won't feel that way." I smiled and looked in front. "So Shizuru is Shinichi's daughter?"
The Queen didn't reply at once. "My servant claimed so." Queen Fumi once again intrigued me, the Queen taking the word of a servant over her own blood? She smiled a sheepish smile though, I saw it from my peripheral vision so I eyed her with a quizzical look, "I do know you were outside the chamber when Shinichi and I were having a discussion about his gift to you." I just nodded my head in understanding, besides she have proven to me the whole time that she really can prophesize things for me or out of me.
Silence reigned for about a minute or two.
"I trust my servant, her name was Armenia, she had been a friend…a confidant to me since we were little. So yes…I took her word over Shinichi's," Queen Fumi turned her head to the side, her eyes were on the empty castle ground outside of the long open walk way that were lined by tall roman-like pillars. Outside were grassed lands where well spaced perennial trees can be seen, the wide bodies and large sculptured-like leaves providing shades to the ground. She looked at me again, "Besides, I have known since the three of us reached early adulthood that he was lusting on her, he had asked my father several times to take her from me as my chamber maid because he wants her to be his body slave."
A short recollection and yet it made my blood boil and scream revenge for what he had done. I am the Lord Conqueror and I can be biased all I want and no one would dare call me up on it…
"Anyway," she continued and quickened her pace a little while I followed, "Shizuru was the fruit of that heinous act, and I think Shinso-sama had took pity on Armenia that she made Shizuru a spitting image of her father except for her eyes where she got from her mother. Do you have any idea how beautiful Armenia's eyes were?" she said in a very proud voice.
"I got an idea," I replied smiling while envisioning Shizuru's exquisite gaze. I saw Queen Fumi nod. "Where is this Armenia then?"
She didn't answer but the silence told me what I needed to know that she wouldn't speak of. But as my family says time and time again, I am a dense woman so I might be reading Queen Fumi wrong. My internal musing was cut off by her subtly strong voice, "Shizuru is a kind woman, she's strong and intelligent but I know she cannot be herself in here. No matter how I tried to protect her, as long as she's with my cousin, she's in danger." Queen Fumi sighed. She stopped walking so did I and then she faced me, "I am Shizuru's guardian, and I love her dearly Queen Natsuki. But I know her and her deep fear of Shinichi. And I know how my cousin's mind worked, he is not giving you Shizuru for nothing, he must have something up his sleeves."
I looked at Queen Fumi and saw the truth in her declaration. "If Shinichi betrays me and overthrows me, don't you think it would be better for your kingdom?"
The pink haired queen shook her head no, "I am not the ruler this kingdom needs, perhaps it is not you as well, but this kingdom will die a terrible death under the hand of Shinichi. He cannot rule this place."
I nodded my head.
"If you win over Shizuru's heart, perhaps Shinichi's hold on her will vanish."
"And you intend for me to be tamed by a servant?"
Queen Fumi smiled at my reply. She didn't respond instead she just quickened her pace more and left me to think. There is no way I will bow down to a slave.
My musing was cut short once again when we got near the carriage square, a commotion reached my ears and from the sound of it, it was my sister Haruka and my Captain Chie who were at the middle of the fray. I hurriedly stepped close to the entrance and I was followed by Queen Fumi. I was relieved to see Chie actually settling things, I saw Haruka-nee-chan seething and her current mood doesn't bode well for the man standing in front of her. Well I really wanted to see my sister tore the advisor into little pieces, but I am the new ruler of this land I should show some kind of civility.
They noticed my arrival and I hurriedly put my arms over my two most trusted soldiers and introduced them to all. Well Chie has beaten me once again to introducing her to the others. I can see her eyeing Shizuru though and really…it angers me but I know Chie, I have been with her even before I became the conqueror of Windbloom. She's the flirtiest woman I know but her heart belongs to only one woman. So I calmed myself and stroke the beast inside to not attack. Shinichi's reaction though to the introduction was intriguing, and even Queen Fumi noticed it and she called him on it…he lied, as usual.
Queen Fumi gave Shizuru a hug before helping her in the carriage, while I, Chie and Haruka-neechan rode our horses. Haruka-neechan chose to ride at the front of the carriage where Shizuru and my luggages where while I and Chie took both sides of the carriage. The rest of my men, excluding three core group I left to facilitate the change of administration were following our trail either on horses or on carriages.
Fuuka had been openhanded and even prepared provisions for our journey. Fuuka was a way away from Windbloom and for their generosity even to their enemy, I am grateful. This had assured me how Queen Fumi reigned in this kingdom and if I could, I want to preserve this kind of rule here.
I pulled my horse closer to the carriage door where a single window covered by a black cloth was. I knocked hard on it and seconds later, Shizuru's head went out from it.
"My Lord?" She asked, her eyes not meeting mine. One thing I noticed in Fuuka, they may have the best care in their servants by giving them the best facilities and recreation time, but they still were not allowed to see their masters eye to eye.
"Are you having good time riding inside the carriage Shizuru?" I don't know but I like the feeling of her name coming out from my mouth.
"Yes My Lord," she said nodding her head hurriedly. I laughed.
"Even if it's too rough?" I asked again. I do like hearing her voice. I watched her bite her lips. "Come on Shizuru, I want to know what's in your mind, you can tell me and you don't have to fear at all." I guess I said the right thing because she looked up and her crimson eyes met mine. I felt as if my heart jumped out of my chest…because I thought for a moment it stopped there and then.
"You look pale. Are you alright?" She asked, concern written all over her face.
"Pale?" I looked pale? I was always pale but…
"Yes My Lord, I think you should…"
Her concern was interrupted by the arrival of Chie beside me. "Oi what happened to you pup? You look sick!" And Chie's voice just broke the spell and I feel all my blood went up my face. "WHOA!" Chie then started laughing. Shizuru didn't get what was happening because it shows on her face.
"Why the heck are you here anyway?" I asked angry suddenly,
"Oh well…" Chie said lifting her left arm to show a full grown hawk calmly perched there. "A bird just whispered to me that Nao is done with inspection at Zipang and that she is fast approaching our first destination." Chie grinned and looked at Shizuru. I noticed her winked at the servant and Shizuru blushed and diverted her eyes from us.
"Go back inside Shizuru, the captain and I have some things to talk about." I said looking at Chie sternly.
"Yes My Lord." Shizuru said before she ducked back inside.
"Don't worry Natsuki-sama, no one's laying a hand on your precious gift!"
"Damn it Chie!" I growled but as usual, my captain was unfazed.
"You'll be saying that again once we rendezvous with Nao, she was angry…very angry."
I looked at Chie and her grin just told me how angry Nao really was. The Windbloom military, as vast as it is now is divided into 10 core groups; each core group is under a captain. The core groups are divided to be under one general and there are three generals serving my army. They are called The Windbloom's Triumvirate. Haruka-neechan is one of them and she was commanding four core groups. Chie was one of her captains. The second General is Nao, my other sister, she also handles 4 core groups and the third is Mikoto, my youngest sister who handles 2 core groups that are stationed to Windbloom alone. During battles, Mikoto and her groups are the one left to protect the mother kingdom in my absence.
More often than not, I took my two generals with each battle and we rest for months before going into another. The taking of Fuuka was different though as it was done right after the siege of Zipang. I usually leave 2 or three captains to do the training for the transition of government, but Zipang was a different case as the King of Zipang was my friend's half brother. It wasn't my intention to take the said kingdom for my friend's sake, but Zipang's primary advisor, General Akira had demanded me to return to Zipang my friend despite her protest or they will declare war. After the conquer of Zipang, I placed Nao in command to make sure that everything goes smoothly there…hence, my sister Nao missed the opportunity to fight in Fuuka which is why she is currently in a foul mood to meet with my troops.
"How far is Nao from our destination?" I asked Chie, I was serious now.
"About a day ahead of us," she replied and we both led our steeds to the front to join in Haruka-neechan. We sandwiched my sister, me on the right and Chie taking her left.
"Nao has arrived to our first destination?" Haruka-neechan asked breaking our silence.
"In a day according to Chie." I replied and kept on looking forward
"I believe in Chie's information gathering, she's the best…well…she could have been the best if Aoi is not existing." My blonde haired General jested.
"You Haruka-san lifted me up to the pedestal and then you just left me there to fall!" Chie said dramatically, she even had a fisted hand over her heart. "But I will concede to that, as we all know nothing beat Aoi's information."
"Don't let Nao hear that." I said smiling and I looked at Chie just in time to see her tongue getting back inside her mouth.
"You do realize that Nao is pissed to the heavens," Haruka-neechan said again.
"Yes and I am prepared for it."
Chie laughed, "You're not, you left Captain Miyu with Captain Reito and Captain Akane at Fuuka to settle things down remember?"
I looked at her remembering the people I left to settle things with Queen Fumi. "Then I better send you back there at Fuuka and you could get Miyu to accompany me back, am I right?"
Chie frowned, "So not right. Who do you think would tame your sister Haruka while we head back to Windbloom? Yukino is not here to do that because her head is probably buried with all those scrolls she needs to finish to make sure the rule of Windbloom runs smoothly!"
Haruka-neechan glared at Chie, "I am not a baboon to be taken care of and what do you mean by taming me?" She huffed, "And Yukino isn't my keeper!"
Me and Chie laughed, "But admit it Nee-chan, Yukino keeps you in line." I said before laughing. Soon after, the three of us calmed down and our conversation returned to normal. "I should have left Reito and Akane's group there to settle things, besides, Miyu's core group is originally Nao's, she was just borrowed…"
"Yeah and then you left Nao's plaything away from her. I wonder what kind of punishment she has in store for you?" Chie asked seriously.
"First off Chie, Miyu isn't Nao's plaything, second, Nao cannot punish the Ruler of the Dominant realm, that is impossible and unspeakable…"
"And Nao is Nao…" Chie grinned at me, "She doesn't care if you're the GOD of the Dominant REALM, you take what's hers then you got to be punished."
"I agree with Chie." Haruka-neechan seconded.
"Miyu won't be long in Fuuka anyway," I said suddenly nervous after I realized the truth in their theory.
"I was thinking maybe making your new gift her plaything would suffice as punishment…" Chie started and that already boiled my blood, I felt the wolf taking over… "OI!"
"No way that's going to happen," I could feel the coldness in my voice, I could see the sudden drop in temperature around me and the cold smoke coming out from my slightly ajar mouth. Just the thought of someone taking Shizuru had sent the wild beast off and it would have been a frightful sight if not for the interruption that happened.
The increased sense when the wolf is awake had made me turn my head to see four arrows coming my carriage way. Two of them had pierced the wood and Shizuru's cry of pain assaulted my ears, the smell of her blood assaulted my nose.
And the beast raged in fury.
-End Chapter 5-