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The Runaway Empress

By The Emperor's Empress

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1

It was a bright summer day, and Kise Ryouta is walking happily down a familiar path, whistling a merry tune as he listened to a song in his iPod. It was from an up and coming singer who rose to fame by posting videos of her own compositions in her personal blog. The singer refuses to show her face to the public, though, for reasons unknown.

But that only earned her more fans.

'Going for the cool and mysterious look, huh,' he mused. His feet took him to Maji's, where he spotted a certain bluenette with a tall redhead sitting on one of the tables. Grinning, he waved and greeted them enthusiastically.

"Oi, Kurokocchi! Kagamicchi!"

Kuroko Tetsuya politely nodded at him. "Kise-kun."

Kagami Taiga just snorted, annoyed, but greeted him nonetheless. "Aa, Kise."

Kise ordered a burger and two milkshakes, and joined the two at their table. "Kurokocchi, I missed you so much! Here," he slid one of his milkshakes to the boy, whose eyes twinkled at the sight of yet another of his favorite drink, "my treat."

"Domo, Kise-kun."

Kise waved his hand at his thanks. "It was nothing! Anyways," he unwrapped his burger slowly, "how are training for the Nationals going so far?"

Kagami shrugged as he swallowed. "It was hell."

It was true. As Seirin had won the Winter Cup, they are automatically placed as participants in the Nationals, which was only three weeks away. As such, their coach Aida Riko had them go through more intense training that left them with screaming muscles at the end of each training.

But they were getting better, that was for sure.

Kise chuckled. Symphatizing with the two, who still looked exhausted even on a Sunday, he said, "Well, you're lucky that it isn't Akashicchi that's training you, Kurokocchi can attest to that." Then, as if remembering something, he turned serious. "Ne, Kurokocchi," his voice now a tad quieter, "how did Akashicchi took it?"

Kuroko looked up from his milkshake. Kise was referring to Akashi's first ever loss in his life during the Finals of the Winter Cup. How could Kuroko forget about it? That time when Akashi approached him with tears in his eyes as he congratulated him and his team for their victory...

He smiled, a faint one. "He's taking it fine. Akashi-kun has finally come back, and I'm glad."

"He's a psycho. And what's with the scissors? Geez..." the redhead in their table grumbled.

Kise ignored him as he continued talking to Kuroko. "Since Akashicchi's back to his usual self, don't you think it would be amazing if she come back as well? It's been about a year since she disappeared..." He trailed off.

Kuroko looked thoughtful at his words. Kagami, on the other hand, was looking at them with a confused expression on his face.

"What are you talking about, Kise? Who is she?"

It was Kuroko who answered him. Replacing his empty cup of milkshake with the one that Kise had given him, he began to explain it to his light.

"Aside from Momoi-san, we have another manager back in Teiko. You can say that she was the one who taught Momoi-san her skills."

"Really? Then someone is much better than Momoi at doing that?"

Kise shook his head. "Much better. She's just the female version of Akashicchi."

"Which Akashi?" he asked.

"The second one" was Kise's reply.

Kagami could not believe what the blonde had just said. Just how weird can Kuroko's friends get? One Akashi was enough, but now? And somehow, the fact that it's a 'she' just unsettled him even more.

"Where is she now, then?"

"We don't know, actually. Like I've said earlier, she just... vanished. Not even Akashicchi with all his abilities and Momoicchi with her information gathering skills can track her location." Kise sighed, then added guiltily, "She was the first to leave, not even handing her resignation letter to Akashicchi personally. She just left it on his desk, and poof! Gone like the wind, just like that."

"She was the first to sense the change that was coming to the team. But Akashi-kun ignored her warnings, then he changed too. By then it was too late to do anything. Even more so after what he did to her." Kuroko's tone was sad. Even the normally cheerful blonde seemed to somber up at the mention of that event.

By now, Kagami was all ears. Not that he liked listening to other people's past, but in some way, he was interested with stories concerning the Kiseki no Sedai and the people around them back in middle school. Who would have thought that at such a young age, they already had such a dramatic past behind them?

After Winter Cup, he was sure that he'd met the last of them but then, this comes along. There still is a missing member of the Kiseki no Sedai, one that was possibly held in the same pedestal as that heterochromatic captain of theirs.

The last sentence that the tealhead said caught his attention. He prodded the bluenette for more information.

Kuroko sighed, a long and weary sigh that reverberated in the quiet atmosphere, as if it actually hurt him just to think about it.

Kise said it for him.

"Akashicchi tried to kill her."

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