~Lost Loves~
               by Mayukichan in Dark Ages
"Love comes with fate....  Feelings shown....  Only too late..." 
    A crystal night sky, a ribbon sky sprinkled with the diamond stars laced Temuair that night.  Strands of crimson hair danced gently in the cool breeze.  A pair of shimmering blue eyes gazed at the lonely moon.  A young woman dressed in Suomi Hauberk Armor clutched a jade necklace close to her heart.  The light of the moon reflected a shine off of the peculiar markings on her forehead.  She stood on the edge of the tall hill with a tear in her eye.  On that night, a lonely and cold warrior stood wishing for something that would not come.  A silent tragedy only known within the very depths of her soul.  Thoughts of the past flooded her mind as the full moon shined down on her.  She had come a long way ever since she had arrived at Temuair.  This strange new land had changed her somehow, and she knew it well. 
    Her name was Mayuki, but her friends called her Mayukichan.  She had grown to become a young, and beautiful warrior.  Many men had graced her with charms and gifts, but the sheer frequency of these events have driven her to accept no one. At least, for now.  She would wait for that special someone.  That day would come, when they would walk past each other on a dirt road, and turn around to catch another glimpse.  Then, they would stop and smile.  From there, the fairy tale would begin and take off into a wonderful dream until the end.  However, for now, Mayuki would wait for her unknown love.  He was out there somewhere, unknowingly looking for her as well.  Fate would bring them together, it was only a matter of time.  And Mayuki would wait for him as long as she lived...  Hoping that he would find her... 
"Only true love may break the tardiness, and live long with happiness..."
    Mayuki was born in Mileth years ago.  She was just a normal village girl spending her days doing chores and dancing around the trees in her spare time.  This girl was the brightest of smiles wherever she went, and she brought her smile to warm the days of her fellow villagers.  Always very curious, Mayuki explored constantly.  She went into dangerous places and brought home many trinkets and other "treasures" that she found during her "quest."  Strange, yet cheerful, Mayuki never got into any serious fights with the village boys and never really showed any sadness.  She was the picture of the cute village girl and the prime example of innocence. 
    One day, Mayuki snuck out of her room and skipped across Mileth.  She hopped and danced happily across the dirt path as she came to the Mileth Crossroads.  She put her index finger into her mouth as she looked at the wooden sign displaying directions to the East Woods.  Mayuki tried hard to remember what path she took before.
"Mmm....  I think its this way..!"  Mayuki whispered to herself.
    The young girl dressed in her village blouse tapped to the path that led to the East Woods.  The journey itself was not tiring for Mayuki, for she was full of energy that came with a young healthy child.  As she walked down that long dirt road, she was greeted by fluttering butterflies and singing birds of the sky.  She danced with the butterflies and sang with the birds as she continued her way down the path.  The density of the woods started to increase and the appearance of birds and butterflies dwindled.  Mayuki arrived at East Woods.  She stood before many other paths that led off from the main one.  There were many signs that described each path.  Though she couldn't read that well yet, she understood that each path to the east were more dangerous than the ones to the west.  She came to this conclusion after watching many heavily armed war parties enter the eastern paths and many individuals or poorly equipped parties enter the western entrances.  Mayuki was in awe as she saw a knight dressed in heavy chainmail walk past her.  She followed the armored man to one of further east entrances.  The knight was too deep in thought in his own affairs to notice the young village girl behind her.  Therefore, the knight entered one of the most dangerous parts of East Woods.  Mayuki was about to follow when an arm grabbed her from behind.
"Ahh...!  Let go of me!  Help!  Help me!!" Said Mayuki's high pitched-voice.
"Whoa there!  Steady young one...!  I mean you no harm!" Said a young man's voice.
    Mayuki looked behind her and saw  a boy dressed in a leather tunic wielding a wooden shield and a small sword with a green handle.  The boy looked as old as her with brown hair blowing gently in the breeze.  She blinked curiously at him.  Mayuki forgot about the fear of being grabbed so suddenly and was now full of curiosity.  Strangely, she felt warm inside and could feel blood rushing to her face. 
"Sorry to have startled you like that...! Ha ha ha...  But you really shouldn't go with that knight.  He's going off to fight unspeakable horrors deep in the woods.  You would only get in his way if you followed him, or maybe even worse!"  The boy said with sincerity.
    Nightmarish visions of her own death repeled the young girl away from the entrance.  Mayuki felt a chill go up her spine as she imagined some unknown terror striking her down.  She shook her head to get rid of the nightmarish image and concentrated on the handsome boy before her.  Though she couldn't bring herself to say it, she knew it was the truth.  She struggled to speak steady as she faced him. 
"Umm... Erm...!  He- He- Hello...!  My na- name is... Is...!  Umm...!  Mayuki!  But you can call me Mayukichan!"  Mayuki stuttered with a bashful smile.
    The boy smiled and scratched his head.
"Mayukichan?  That's a strange name...!  Alright then.  It's nice to meet you, Mayukichan." 
"Yeah...!  You too!" Mayuki smiled.
"My name is Touyo.  You seem to be lost.  What're you doing here anyway?" Touyo asked.
    The two got to know each other very well.  Touyo was a beginning warrior building up his skills in the western parts of the East Woods.  Mayuki would go with him to watch him and cheer him on as he faced vipers and bees amongst the bushes.  Every so often, one would chase after poor Mayuki.  Mayuki shrieked in terror and jumped into Touyo's arms.  When she found out that the viper was going after a mouse in the dirt, she turned bright red and let go of speechless Touyo.  And so were the days of young Mayuki.  Touyo gradually began to show Mayuki how to fight as a warrior.  In time, she gained strength and willpower to face vipers and bees along with him.  Though Mayuki was armed only with a stick and a blouse,  she slowly became more than a match for the inhabitants of the Enchanted Garden.  Touyo was surprised to see her combat skills were as high as his in such a short time. 
    One night, the two stumbled into an unknown part of the Enchanted Garden.  The two found their way to a small glade where nothing but flowers and their sweet smell dwelled.  Mayuki looked around and saw no dangerous creatures in sight.  She giggled happily and twirled around in the open grass.  Touyo searched carefully to make sure nothing was hiding in the bushes to pounce on them.  Mayuki's eyes widened as she saw a group of fireflies glow around her.  The young warrior turned around to see the red haired village girl dancing amongst glowing sparks of light.  His breathe shortened and his heart beat faster.  Perhaps it was the light of the moon shining down upon her, or maybe the reflective lights of the bugs, but in any case, Touyo saw Mayuki in a different light that night.
"Mayukichan..." Touyo said under his breathe.
    For her birthday, Touyo saved up enough gold to buy her a present.  On that faithful night, they met on a grassy hill overlooking the town of Mileth.  Mayuki folded her hands together behind her back and waited anxiously for Touyo.  Then, Touyo came running up the hill with something in his hand.  He stumbled up to Mayuki with an exhausted expression on his face. 
"Sorry...  *PANT*  I'm a little late...! *COUGH*" Touyo breathed heavily.
"...?  Why are you so out of breathe?  You were in a hurry weren't you?" Mayuki giggled.
    Touyo laughed in relief as he saw Mayuki wasn't mad at him for being late.  He held out his hand and gulped.
"This if for you, Mayuki.  Happy Birthday." Touyo's face turned red.
"Aa...!  Oh my...!  It's beautiful...!"  Mayuki gazed at the shimmering jade necklace in Touyo's hand.
"Thankyou so much!  Thankyou thankyou...!"  Mayuki hugged Touyo tightly with joy.
"Gah...!" Touyo turned redder than an apple...
    Eventually, Mayuki sought to become a warrior like Touyo.  She found a warm-hearted knight to train her and teach her the ways of advanced combat.  The young girl was now a warrior.  Mayuki felt a silent joy inside of her.  Now she and Touyo would be together as two warriors...  Not separated by class or knowledge.  Mayuki remembered eyes staring at her back when Touyo and herself were seen together in public.  Though they were not officially boyfriend and girlfriend, she hoped that one day it would become a reality.  However, since she was a warrior she could be with him more now.  When Touyo heard the news he was delighted.  At this time, Touyo had become very efficient with the ways of the warrior.  Though Touyo had advanced somewhat further than Mayuki, the stubborn girl insisted on following him wherever he went.  One day, the two ventured into a new part of the East Woods.  There, they fought together against a new creature...  The wolf. 
"Haa..!"  Touyo unsheathed his broadsword.
"Hiya...!" Mayuki unsheathed her claidheamh.
    The wolf growled and sprang into the air with claws and jaws snapping and cracking.  In a few slices, the wolf lay dead in the blood-stained grass.  Touyo sheathed his sword proudly and nodded a job well done.  He turned to Mayuki with a smile.
"Aa...!"  Touyo gasped as he saw Mayuki clutching a grave wound in her side.
"Mayuki!!" he shouted.
"Aa...  Touyo..." Mayuki's vision grew hazy.
    Touyo carried under the shade of a tall tree.  Blood trickled down her waist and onto the grass.  Touyo grew frantic, he had not brought any beothaich deums with him on this adventure.  There was nothing that could stop the bleeding now.  What could he do?  What would he do?  Mayuki grew pale.
"Mayuki...!  No...!  NO!" Touyo shouted.
"Touyo...  I...  I... Want you to.... Know..." Mayuki's voice grew weak.
"I love you." Both of them said in unison.
"I know...  I always knew..." Touyo said.
"I'm so sorry...  So... Sorry...  I shouldn't have.... Come..."  Mayuki drifted away more and more.
"No...! It's not your fault...!  Heaven help me...!  What can I do...?  Please...!  Don't die, Mayuki!  I love you...!  I know it now...!  I couldn't say it before...  But...  I know now... Mayuki!  Please!  Please...!  Don't...!"  Touyo's tears dropped freely on Mayuki's pale body.
"I still...  Remember...  That night...  You whispered my name as I danced...  With the fireflies...  I'm glad...  You were watching...  Don't forget.. Me." Mayuki's body grew frigid and limp.
"NOOO!!  MAYUKI!!"  Touyo shouted to the heavens.
"Love is a tragic thought... Feelings hidden...  Battles fought...  You loved her... Did you not...?" A peculiar voice called from the tree above them.
    Touyo continued to hold the cold body of his beloved in his shaking arms.  He thought he just imagined that voice.  He stared down at the pale young girl.  Her face had lost the cheerfulness and smiles of the old days.  Now it was a frozen indifferent expression that graced her.  Touyo couldn't bear it.  He cried out.
"Love comes with fate....  Feelings shown....  Only too late..."  The voice called out once again.
    Leaves fell from the tree and drifted in the calm breeze.  Touyo looked up and saw nothing but the tall tree.  He knew he had heard something that time.  He scanned his surroundings but found nothing of interest.
"Who are you...?" Touyo called out.
"I am the Blessed Fae Tree...  Only those with purest of hearts and boundless love can hear the winds of my voice...  You, young soul...  Have these gifts within you...  The love for your companion seeped into the winds surrounding me...  I am filled with your pure feelings of love that enables me to live for several more centuries.  For this...  I thankyou..." The Fae Tree spoke.
    Touyo was silent.
"There is way to revive your lost love..."
    Touyo looked up at the tree with shimmering eyes.
"Anything...!  Anything...!" Touyo shouted.
"You must give her your pure soul power.  The power will enable her own soul, which longs to be with you, to return to her body..." Spoke the Fae Tree.
    Touyo held Mayuki's body tighter.
"I'll do it!  What do I do??" Said a determined Touyo.
"Patience, young one...  The ritual causes the pure one to give up mostly all of the power of the soul...  In essence, you will be sacrificing your purity and life for her...  She will be reborn without any memory of you and start her life anew...  You will cease to exist...  Until one day, when she starts to remember you...  Somehow...  Some way...  Or maybe not at all...   But if a glimpse of a memory appears within her...  You will instantly come back to this world as you are now...  You will also have no recollection of these past events.  You will be as you were before you met Mayuki...  However, there is also a chance for you to regain your memory as well...  It will continue to grow from then on...  However the growth shall be very slow...  And will not be able to fully blossom in your lifetime....  The only chance of her regaining full memory of your love is when you meet with her again...  If at all..." The Fae Tree spoke.
"... Mayukichan..."  Touyo whispered to himself.
"All of this is by fate.  If you sacrifice your existence...  She will be reborn...  But if she does not remember you in anyway...  If there is nothing for her to remember you by...  You will never return to this world....  And forever you shall remain amongst the Blessed Fae Tree's presence...  Longing for your lost love whom never regained recollection of your noble sacrifice..."  The Fae Tree explained.
"I see...  But...  If she somehow remembers me...  I will be reborn in that instant...?" Touyo's mind was spinning.
"No...  You will come back to this world as you are now...  If she happens to be a hundred years old when she remembers you...  You will come back as the young boy you are now...  If she happens to recall someone saving her in some way when she is five years age....  You will come back just the same...  And if she does not remember you at all...  If the cosmos let her not regain her memories of you kind soul...  You will never come back to Temuair.  You will cease to exist...  Now...  I ask you, young Aisling...  What will you do...?"  The Blessed Fae Tree fell silent.
    Touyo looked at Mayuki's pale face.  The cheerful light in her eyes were gone and the life of her flamboyant body had been sucked away.  There was nothing left.  He remembered the times they used to dance amongst the butterflies and sing with the birds, the time when Mayuki jumped into his arms by instinct from a scary looking viper, and the look in her eyes when they were alone...  The sweetness of her voice called out to him in his mind.  The silky crimson hair that gently brushed against him when they were in each other's arms...  The natural sweetness of her body when they were close.  The beautiful Mayuki had died in Touyo's arms...  He could not  bare the thought of it...  He had made his decision.
"Oh Great Blessed Fae Tree...!  I will accept your favor...!  Please return Mayuki to this world as a child so that she may start her life anew as you promised...!  I will shall take my place in your presence for eternity as I hope for Mayuki to remember me so that I may come back to this world...  I understand that I will not have my original memory either, but the heavens will decide whether or not we will meet.  I have to take that chance.  In either way, Mayuki will have life.  And that is enough of a reward for me." Touyo said.
    The wind immediately started to pick up and howl...  Leaves blew violently in the shrieking gale winds.  Lighting and thunder cracked the heavens as the Blessed Fae Tree spoke:
"Praise the Heavens of Temuair, young one...  For you have been graced by the presence of The Blessed Fae Tree....  And your wish shall be granted...  Take heart...!  May the souls of lost loves wish you luck...  As you enter oblivion....  Until one day...  Young Touyo....  Where your beloved might remember your noble sacrifice....  Until then...  Brave one...  You shall remain...  Within my presence...  Invisible to all...  Silent to the world...  May the Gods help you...  To return again...  And love each other in the end..." The Blessed Fae Tree chanted.
    A bright light shined down from the Heavens and struck the couple.  Mayuki's forehead glowed with different colors as she and her beloved disappeared in the sea of light.  They were engulfed in the brightness of the ray and everything fell silent.  When the light disappeared...  The two warriors were gone...  The corpse of the dead wolf was absent.  No traces of what transpired that day remained...
"Mayuki...  My love for you is true...  If you don't remember me...  I will still be happy that I met you..."
    Years have passed since then...  And now Mayuki has accomplished much during her warrior years.  She has become well-known amongst her fellow warriors.  Her cheerful and sweet moods have blessed the many towns of Temuair.  Mayuki has grown to become the beautiful girl that every man dreams to love.  Perhaps it is the strange markings on her forehead that make her stand out from the rest?  So far, Mayuki has turned down anyone seeking a relationship with her.  Those unfortunate men have noticed a light in her eye, as if she was searching for something that she didn't even know...  Perhaps...  There is more to her than what most men give her credit for...
    On this night, Mayuki clutches her jade necklace close to her heart.  She senses that she has forgotten something very important that she should remember.  Try as she may, Mayuki cannot recollect her clattered mind.  Confused and saddened, she travels into the night, unknowingly waiting for that one day when she will remember...  That lost day.  Meanwhile, within the East Woods, a sparkle of light flickers from the trees...  As a young soul shifts into the world of Temuair once more...