"What day is it today?" Nico asked the guard outside her cell.
"The 29th." The guard replied.
'So it's been 7 months huh...' Nico thought to herself. 7 months have passed since she came to the prison. 7 months have passed since her trial. 7 months have passed since the last time she saw her.
She should be angry to the king. She should be angry at the guards standing outside, keeping watch of her every movement. She should be angry for being thrown out to the outskirts of the kingdom, in a secluded prison, where rats and maggots are crawling on the walls of her cell. But Nico believes that there's a reason why she was thrown out of duty because of something that she didn't even do. It was an unfortunate occurrence where she was at the wrong place and at a wrong time.
"You got a visitor today. Make yourself presentable." The guards called out before Nico hears the sound of her cell door being opened. She got up from her cot and saw a purple-haired maiden, clad in purple robes, walking inside her cell. She waited for the guard to be out of earshot before she greeted the visitor.
"And what do I owe the pleasure of your presence, Nozomi?" Nico teased.
"Oh? Nicochii must be in a good mood to tease me as soon as I stepped into her home." Nozomi teased back with a mischiveous glint in her eyes.
"I'd hardly call this my home." The raven-haired leaned back on the wall. "You know how rowdy it is back in mine."
"True." Nozomi sat beside Nico.
"So what brings you here?" Nozomi pulled out a card from underneath her robes and held it in front of the black-haired girl.
"Something's going to happen." Nozomi said in a serious tone of voice. Nico tried to give a retort but the seriousness of the purple-haired girl was not something to laugh about.
"There is a reason why you're here."
It's been a month since Nozomi's visit and Nico's getting restless. She checked her improvised calendar since that day and crossed out the previous day with charcoal. She paced around her quarters, ignoring the pleas of other prisoners locked up with her in different cell rooms. Her food lay untouched since morning. She considered giving it to the prisoner in front of her cell but the thought of having no food before the next meal scared her so she kept it away from the others' eyes.
"Argh!" She yelled as she flopped down on her bed. Seeing that there's nothing else to do and she won't be getting any visitors any time soon, she decided to close her eyes and let sleep take over her exhausted mind. She's been overthinking a lot lately and that led to late-night stargazing on her small window above her head.
Before she could enter the realm of dreams, a loud bang rang through the entire building, jolting those sleeping prisoners awake. Checking her surroundings, she saw the guards stationed near her cell ran towards the direction of the commotion. Seeing that she's unguarded, she pulled out a small knife and carefully picked on the lock of her cell door. It was not long before a faint click was heard and her door swung opened, creaking on their hinges due to the rust. Seeing that one of them got out, the other prisoners reached out with their hands through the small gap between the metal bars of the cell doors.
"Sorry. This is for Nico-nii's use only." She said as she grabbed the sword that's hidden underneath her bed and ran out to the hallway.
"Exit. Exit." Nico mumbled as she ran down the hallways of the prison. Every now and then, she would stop to let the passing guards pass without noticing her before she moves. Her height has some advantages as she slipped unnoticed underneath the guards' noses.
"Aha!" Nico cheered as she finally saw the exit. Unfortunately, her little outburst alerted a nearby guard.
"Oh crap." Nico sped towards the exit with the guards on her tail. One of the guards swung his sword above Nico's head and was prepared to land a killing blow until Nico parried it with her own. Another one swung at her side but she managed to parry it but not fast enough that her tunic suffered a small rip on her side. Luckily, her tunic blocked out the cut so she really wasn't injured.
"I have no time for you guys." Nico swung her sword and immediately disarmed the guards and stabbed them on their thighs.
"That ought to keep you guys down" She said while ignoring the screaming pains of the injured guards. With no one else blocking her way, she rushed out of the prison. The night breeze greeted her escape but the peaceful scene was interrupted when the smell of smoke got mixed to the breeze. Nico searched for a higher ground to take a look at what's happening.
"I guess that ledge would do." Using her petite body, she managed to climb on the prison wall near a stone ledge portruding from the edge of the prison. Once she deemed that it's sturdy enough to support her weight, she slowly stood up and saw an inferno enveloping the kingdom's castle. The fire was so large that the black smoke nearly covered the night sky. As if some miracle had happened, she saw a messenger arriving at the entrance of the prison riding a horse. she climbed back to the ground and grabbed the messenger's collar.
"You. I need your horse." Without waiting for his reply, Nico shoved him to the side and quickly mounted the horse.
"Yah!" Nico slapped the reins, redirecting the horse back on the path where he came from. She just hope she's not too late.
Chaos greeted Nico on her first night out of prison.
Upon arriving to the town, bodies of dead villagers greeted her path and soldiers from another kingdom stabbed some of them who took up arms to defend their town. Some of the soldiers are rallying up the women and children that they could find, only to have them roughly tossed around with the other soldiers. Others set up the houses on fire while some are scavenging what they could find in some homes before burning them with their torches. Nico saw a young woman nearby, slowly being undressed by a lust-driven soldier near a burning house. Without hesistation, Nico took her sword and stabbed the man before he could even comprehend what happened. Seeing that the man had fallen on the ground beside her, the woman slowly sat up and covered her body with what remained of her torn clothes.
"What happened?" Nico asked in a sharp tone.
"T-The soldiers from the kingdom of Gaeford charged into the village and started killing everyone. Please help us." The girl said.
"What's your name?"
"Tell me, what happened to the king?"
"I-I don't know..." Before Nico could reply, a loud explosion resonated in the air. Her trained ears traced the explosion sound towards the castle, where it's currently under siege with Gaefordian soldiers.
"Hide." Nico said to Hanayo. "If you can, round up the survivors and escape through the forest. There's a town deep in there. Make sure the soldiers won't see you."
"Stay safe." Nico stood up and went back to her horse. She climbed back and raced towards the direction of the castle, hacking through the horde of Gaefordian soldiers that she encountered along the way.
Inside the courtyard, countless dead bodies scattered on the ground with swords, arrows, and spears lodged in their body. Broken shafts, bows, and shields also decorated the floor. Some are still fighting off with the Gaefordian soldiers. When she looked above, she saw the kingdom's archers firing one arrow after another towards the battle below them. Nico spotted a certain blue-haired girl, firing off an arrow that pierced through the armour of an enemy soldier. Nico was about to call the attention of the girl with a loud grunt sounded behind her. Before she could grab her sword, an arrow flew past her ear and pierced the eye of her would-be assailant. Using it as a chance, she slashed down deep on the enemy's armour plate before pushing him off away from her personal space.
"Watch your back there, soldier." The blue-haired archer called from her position.
"I'd be sure to remember that, Umi." Nico chuckled.
"N-Nico?" The girl called Umi asked in puzzlement.
"Busy." Nico joined the fray as she hacked and slashed through the surviving Gaeford soldiers. A little to her right, she managed to catch a glimpse of yellow from her vision. Sensing another ally, Nico made her way towards the figure and stabbed the soldier who was about to bring down his sword to the unsuspecting figure.
"I'd watch the back if I were you, Eri."
"N-Nico?" Eri called out in surprise before swinging one of her swords towards an incoming enemy. "W-W-What are you doing here?"
"Long story." Nico grunted as she parried off a sword attack before swinging it above her head, disarming the soldier in the process.
Nico flinched at the sudden loud call of her name but managed to regain her composure before turning to the face the blonde haired dual-wielder.
"Get to the princess, Nico!" Eri roughly pushed the raven-haired girl towards the entrance of the castle. "We got separated from her when the Gaefordian soldiers barged in. Oberon dragged her inside the castle while his soldiers blocked our path."
Oberon Sakaki. The reigning prince of Gaeford. He was supposed to be married to the princess of the kingdom, Maki Nishikino, but the princess refused the arrangement. Since then, he tried to come up ways from Maki to actually get her to marry him, to the point where it resulted the imprisonment of the princess' personal knight, Nico Yazawa, to a crime that she didn't commit.
"That bastard!" Nico could feel anger creeping up inside her body.
"Go!" Eri yelled as she watched an arrow puncture another soldier on the shoulder. "We'll take care of everything here. You better get our princess back.!" Using her two swords, she jabbed faster than anyone present in the courtyard, taking down soldier after soldier in her wake. Nico rushed inside the castle, stabbing any Gaefordian that's blocking her way.
"Think, Nico. If I were a pervert, where will I..." As if idea strucked her, Nico changed her direction and head towards the quarters of the royal family. "Of course!"
She sprinted towards the stairs leading to the royal quarters, dodging an enemy arrow along the way. After throwing the enemy over the ledge of the hallway, she ran towards the first room and kicked the door opened.
The chair is toppled over, the sheets are slashed violently, papers scattered on the floor and a certain ginger-haired soldier sprawled on the ground, unconscious. Nico quickly checked if there's a pulse and immediately heaved a relieved sigh when she found one. The girl stirred slowly and opened her blue eyes and met steeled red ones.
Honoka slowly took a glance at her surroundings before a thought hit her.
"Nico! You're here! But what are you doing here?" Honoka asked.
"You just noticed me now?" Nico exclaimed. "But enough about me, where are the princesses?"
"Ah right! They got them! Someone knocked me out before I could stab them!"
"Do you know where they were taken?"
"I don't know! But the last thing I saw was Oberon carrying Maki's body." Nico had to grit her teeth after hearing Honoka's report.
"You pull yourself together and locate Kotori! We need to get the hell out of here!" Nico said as she ran out of the room, leaving Honoka behind. Nico continued to run down the hallway towards the princess' room. Once she reached it, she kicked it down on the floor. What she saw was definitely something she wasn't expecting.
Both the king and queen, the princess' parents, sprawled on the floor, dead. Their blood pooled around their dead bodies. The princess is strapped down on the bed, her wrists and feet are bound to the bedposts by cloths, tied around them. Someone is leaning down on the princess' body. Whimpers can be heard as Oberon's face inched closer to the princess'.
Not wasting any second anymore, Nico took her sword and used the hilt to knock the man with enough force to knock him out cold. Oberon slumped sideways, falling onto the floor with a loud thud.
The princess opened her eyes and her lavander eyes met ruby ones that's painted with worry and relief. Nico swung her sword and cut the ties that's binding Maki on the bed. Seeing rips on the princess' clothing, Nico unfastened her cloak and gave it to Maki. The princess, however, cannot believe that her personal knight, who had been imprisoned 8 months, is standing inside her room. Her daze got cut off when she heard the voice of the other girl.
Before Nico could reply, a loud groan was heard. Oberon is stirring awake. Nico again knocked him out cold and his body slumped back on the ground, never knowing who is his assailant.
Nico turned back and saw Maki kneeling near the bodies of her dead parents. Tears spilled from her eyes as she wept over them. As much as Nico would love to leave Maki alone, they need to get out of here.
"Come on. We've got to get out of here."
Nico pulled Maki up before giving a solemn bow to her king and queen. Maki wiped her tears and gave a firm nod before running out of the room. They need to head towards another entrance at the back of the castle.
"W-Why are you here, Nico?" Maki managed to ask after a while. "I thought Father locked you up in prison."
"It's a... long story." Nico sheepishly replied.
"There's a reason why you're here."
"Geez. I thought I was here because I stole bread from the kitchens at the castle." Sarcasm tainted Nico's voice as she tried her best not to roll her eyes over.
"No. Maki's father locked you up here for a reason." Nozomi continued. "Someone is planning to steal the throne from the Nishikinos."
"Come on, Nozomi. You know that the castle's impervious! There's no way someone's gonna barge in and steal the throne from the king! Name one person who would do that--"
At the mention of the name, all playfulness vanished from Nico and was replaced with boiling anger. The princess' supposed to be fiancee. The reason why she was locked up in here in the first place.
"You know what he is capable of, Nico. Just look at what he did to you!" Nozomi said. "He managed to get you here just because you were seen in the throne room with your sword near his neck. Saying that you're planning to kill him."
"Don't." Nico held up her hand in an attempt to stop Nozomi from continuing. She doesn't want to recount the incident 7 months ago.
"Maki was devastated, Nico! She locked herself in her room for a week! Not even Kotori can make her come out and continue her lessons. She even tried to plead with her father to let you out at once but the king turned her down." Nozomi walked over to a small side table near Nico's bed and set her Tarot cards down. She pulled the earlier card and revealed it to Nico.
"The Nishikinos will fall on the hands of Gaeford."
"What?!" Nico stood up abruptly.
"I foresaw it a year ago. I saw how the Nishikinos will fall. The castle will be in ruins. The town will be ravaged. Oberon plans to eliminate the bloodline of the Nishikinos from this world."
"That is why you're here." Nozomi ignored Nico's outburst. "The king removed you from the scene so when the time comes, you will protect that last remaining Nishikino in the world and that is--"
"Maki... The princess..." Nico finally pieced the puzzle together. So her being sentenced to lifelong imprisonment was just an act? A tactic to eliminate the princess' protector so when the rightful time comes, she will fulfill her destiny?
"Yep." Nico flinched away from Nozomi's teasing smile.
"How the hell can you read my mind? You're not a mind reader!"
"Oh, but your expression tells it all." Nico blushed furiously because of this. Leave it to Nozomi to make everything less threatening after discussing a serious matter.
"And what about Kotori?"
"We'll need the Minami's daughter, Kotori too. You know Kotori's been adopted into the family but still retained her name, right?But don't worry, Umi got it covered when it comes to her."
"Do the princess'... know?" Deep down, the real question was 'Does Maki know?'.
'Nicochii's so easy to read.' Nozomi kept that thought to herself.
"No. Only the king and I knows about this. Well, now you know it too." Nozomi smiled. "Don't even attempt on warning Maki about this or I'll give that flat chest of yours a good squeeze."
Nico unconsciously held her arms and covered her mediocre chest. Nozomi's notorious in the kingdom for her way of dealing... punishments to students who refuses to follow her instructions. Both her and Maki got subjected to it and it was an incident that the two of them wouldn't dare to repeat once more.
"Geez. For a mage, you sure are perverted." Nico replied.
"What was that?" Nozomi held up her hands in a groping manner and slowly inched closer to Nico.
"N-N-Nothing! Nothing!" Nico tried to scoot farther, away from Nozomi. The purple-haired mage giggled and backed away from Nico. Her playfulness was again replaced with a serious expression.
"Nicochii. The king is deeply sorry that you have to go through all of this but it is the only way to have someone protect her daughter when that time comes. I asked you." Nico flinched at Nozomi's serious tone but didn't dare break eye contact from those emerald eyes.
"Do you redo your vow as a sworn knight of the kingdom of the Nishikinos? Do you swear upon your life that you will protect the last of them?"
After a moment of silence, Nico stood up and kneeled in front of the mage and recited the words that she once said during her ceremony.
"Good." Nozomi said before turning around. "Well then, I must be going now." She tossed a small sack back and landed near the foot of Nico's bed. "A little something from the princess."
"Wait. She knew you would come here?" Nico asked.
"Oh she was begging me to take her with me but the king said that she has court duties to attend to." Nozomi winked. Somehow, Nico got a feeling that that wasn't the case. Seeing that a guard is approaching to locked her cell door, she placed it underneath her bed so not to arouse any suspicion. Nozomi gave Nico one final look before being escorted by the prison guards.
Little Nico knows, that was the start of it all.
Before Maki could comment on Nico's story, a loud voice echoed through the hallway. Nico held up her hand to stop Maki from moving while she gripped her sword tighter, bracing for a fight. She signalled Maki to hide behind the wall near them as Nico charged in. A loud clang resonated all around as both metal clashed from each other.
"Umi!" A high-pitched voice broke the silence as an ashen-gray girl is standing behind. It was then Nico realized that she parried an attack from the archer, Sonoda Umi.
"Nico?" Umi questioned as she lowers her sword after realizing it was an ally.
"What's taking so long, Umi... nya? Nico?!" An orange-haired girl peeked from behind the ashen-gray girl. Her sword in hand in case they have to fight of an enemy.
"W-Where's Maki?" The ashen-gray haired girl asked.
"U-Umi?" Maki peeked from her hiding place when she heard her name. "Kotori!"
"Maki!" The ashen-gray haired girl rushed past the archer and gave Maki a hug. "Thank goodness you're okay."
"What happened? Where's the king?" Umi asked. Nico just looked down on the ground, followed by Maki. An uncomfortable silence enveloped them. The loud blast from the outside jolted them back to reality.
"Come on. Enough talk. We need to get out of here!" Nico said as she led the group through the hallways. Umi and the others followed closely behind.
"She managed to find Nozomi and Eri, nya! They're taking the exit at the back." Rin replied Their boots scraped the ground as their footsteps echoed. Umi's at the back of the group, in case she spies enemies from afar that can be taken down with her bow. Occasionally, Umi fires a shot ahead, striking an incoming enemy in front. Nico and Rin would follow-up and stabbed him before he could recover from the snipe.
"Rin, help me open these." Nico called out when they arrived at the other entrance of the castle. The doors were so big that one person is not enough.
The people in question turned their heads around and saw a panting blonde knight with two swords in both of her hands and her tunic has slash marks. Behind her followed Honoka and Nozomi, whose robes were slightly ripped from the helm. Honoka's behind them, keeping an eye out for enemies behind.
"Nicochii. Fancy meeting you here." Nozomi teased the raven-haired knight.
"Less talking. More pushing." Umi called while pulling at one of the twin doors. Immediately, everyone pulled until a loud creak sounded, signifying that they've managed to dislodge the doors from their frames. After more pulls, they've managed to open the door and the night breeze greeted them out.
"Hey! Over there!" A loud shout came from behind as the Gaefordian soldiers managed to spot them. Before one of them could call up on reinforcements, an arrow struck his throat, killing him immediately.
"Get the princesses out of here!" Eri called out while preparing to fight. Nico pulled out hers but before she could charge in, a wal of flames blocked her path, separating their group from the Gaefordian soldiers.
"Let's go!" Nozomi called. A fireball's levitating from her right hand. She threw the ball towards the soldiers, creating a circle of flames to keep them from following them. Leaving their enemies distracted, the group fled the castle and into the forest. The sound of leaves being crushed underneath their feet echoed in the quiet forest. They managed to get a few feet away from the castle until an arrow wheezed past just above Maki's head.
"Shit. Already?" Nico cursed under her breath as they continued to run. They managed outrun them until one arrow managed to struck Nico on the shoulder bringing her down on one of her knees.
"I'm fine! I'm fine!" The knight tried to brush it off but it didn't eased the worried looks she got from the others.
"Over here!" A soft voice called out. All of them looked at the direction of the voice and saw a brunette signalling them. Nico recognized her as Hanayo and told the group to go after her. The footsteps are getting louder behind them as another arrow hit the tree near Kotori. Umi pushed the ashen-haired princess behind her as she anticipated another attack. Seeing as there's no other choice, the group followed Hanayo, ducking underneath the leaves and trees in hopes that they'll camouflage their presence from the enemy. Gradually, the footsteps and arrows disappeared until they've reached a small cave near a waterfall.
"Haa... haaa... Are they gone?" Honoka asked.
"Hope...fully." Maki answered before sitting on the ground, exhaustion finally catching up to her body. One by one, all of them sat on the ground, panting. Nico let out a painful groan as she collapsed on the ground. The arrow is still lodged on her shoulder and blood is slowly trickling out of the wound.
"Nico!" Eri pulled Nico to a sitting position near a tree. Sweat trickled down Nico's brow as she endure the pain.
"Umm... could I ask some of you to gather medicinal herbs and collect water from the falls?" The brunette squeaked. Eri and the others looked at the brunette in confusion. The girl shrinked further under the piercing gaze of the others.
"I-I-I'm Hanayo and I-I-I'm a healer. I-I can help s-save her if you want..."
"Alright." Umi stood up. "Rin, you and Princess Kotori..." Umi looked at the princess hesistantly but saw the determined look on the princess. "Gather water from the falls."
"Eri, Nozomi and I will gather the medicinal herbs from the nearby shrubs." Umi directed her order to her fellow knight and mage.
"Honoka, you'll gather food from the trees around us. Make sure you don't eat any of it."
"Princess Maki, would it be alright if you stay here with Nico?"
"I'm fine with that."
With that, the group dispersed to their assigned tasks, leaving Hanayo and Maki to attend to Nico. Maki kneeled with a worried expression beside Nico while Hanayo prepares to remove the arrow.
"What's... with that... sour face, princess?" Despite the pain she's feeling right now, Nico had the strength to tease Maki. After all, it's been 8 long months since she last saw the princess.
"Idiot..." Maki mumbled.
"Um... Are you ready? I'm going to pull the arrow now." Hanayo said as she gripped the arrow. Maki saw the knight flinched at the contact. "Umm... if it isn't a bother to you, Your Highness, could you place that cloth on the wound after I pulled it out?"
"Yes." Maki grabbed the cloth from Hanayo.
"On the count of three. One... two... three."
Nico's screams pierced the silent night as the birds nearby toook flight at the sudden noise. Nico panted heavily while Maki tried to hold down her knight while pressing the cloth firmly on the wound. Maki felt tears running down her cheeks as she try to stabilize Nico when Eri, Umi and Nozomi returned with the medicinal herbs. Kotori and Rin also returned with a bucket full of water. Hanayo immediately placed the medicinal herbs on Nico's wound and chanted a spell. A white light appeared under her palm.
"Healing magic." Nozomi whispered.
The white light disappeared and Nico's screams died down. Hanayo instructed Maki to keep the leaves there while she tears a part of her clothes and wrapped the wound with the leaves so that it's healing abilities will last for the rest of the night.
"I'm back!" Honoka exclaimed while carrying a lot of food.
"I think that should do it." Hanayo said as she stood up and wiped the sweat from her forehead. "You shouldn't move around much or the wound will open again."
"Th...anks." Nico whispered. The knight noticed the princess crying when she felt something wet on her back.
"Are you crying?" She asked.
"Stupid... Don't scare me okay..." Maki sobbed. Nico lifted her hand and gently rubbed the princess' back assuringly.
"I'm not going anywhere." She then felt Maki nod back.
The others took the opportunity to start a fire and distributed the fruits that Honoka gathered to everyone. The cold air is starting to make the others shiver. Umi gave her own cloak to Kotori, which the later accepted gratefully. Maki has Nico's so she's fine.
Nozomi approached the exhausted villager with a small fruit in hand.
"A-Are you sure I can have this...?"
"You've been a great help to us so it's the least we can do. I'm Nozomi." The purple mage extended her hand.
"W-Well then... looks like you'll be hanging around with us for a while." Nozomi chuckled. Hanayo chuckled back weakly at the other girl's attempt on being friendly.
"I-If you'll have me that is..."
"So... what now?" Eri asked the group. Silence wafted in the air as everyone contemplated on their current situation. The Nishikino kingdom has fallen. Maki is the last of the Nishikino bloodline, not count Kotori since she's a Minami. The castle was seized. The village was destroyed. They only saved nothing but themselves.
"I know! Why don't we form our own kingdom!" Honoka suggested.
"Are you out of your mind, Honoka?" Umi yelled.
"Think about it! We have a princess right? Two princesses to boot. But there's no kingdom for them to rule! Maki and Kotori needs something to rule over right?"
"Yeah, but it's not easy to build a kingdom from ground up, Honoka." Eri replied.
"That's right, nya! We'll need a lot of cooks if we're gonna have a kingdom!"
"That's not the issue right now, Rin."
"Is not nya?"
"Well, I think that's a good idea."
Everyone looked at the purple-haired mage like she had grown an extra head or a tail. It's an absurd idea! How are they gonna build a kingdom from ground up with just the nine of them?
"Well, for one, we have everything a kingdom is based on." Nozomi continued. "We have a princess, well, two princesses." She pointed towards Maki and Kotori. "Royal knights." She cast a finger on Umi, Eri, Nico, Rin, and Honoka. "We have a healer." She then pointed to Hanayo. "And lastly, we have a mage." She pointed to herself.
"How are we gonna make something to rule over? Everything was destroyed, Nozomi." Nico spoke, wincing at the slight movement of her injured shoulder.
"Umm..." Hanayo raised her hand to say something, which Nozomi permitted to do so. "I think some of the villagers managed to get away before the soldiers ransacked the place. W-We could go search for them if you want."
"So there are people who survived..." Eri seems to contemplate this new information.
"Maybe there's a chance?" Kotori spoke. "I mean, if there are survivors, then we can just persuade them to join our cause, right? We could live with them and help them build their houses and their livelihood back."
"Exactly." Nozomi nodded in Kotori's direction. "It may be hard at first but we'll be building it together. We'll help each other along the way until a kingdom exists in this world where everyone who lives there will live happy lives!"
"So what do you think, guys?" Honoka excitedly asked.
"I'm in, nya!"
"This will be fun, Umi-chan!"
"K-K-Kotori!" The rest of them looked expectantly at the blue-haired knight. "F-F-Fine..."
"This will be so much fun, Erichii!"
"N-Nozomi... Alright... I'm in."
"Well, what do you say?" Nico asked Maki. "I'm in if you'll let me be your knight once more." Ruby eyes gazed at lavender ones as she looked expectant.
"A-Alright. Fine. I-It's not like I want it to do anyway." Nico grinned triumphantly.
"Alright! We're in!"
The nine of them placed their hands in front of them, overlapping each others until Honoka's hand rests on top of the pile.
"Alright! This will be so much fun!"
That night marked the start of a new adventure for the nine of them. After surviving the inevitable downfall of the Nishikinos, all nine of them pledged to build a new kingdom atop of the old one; a kingdom where everyone can live freely and enjoy what they wanted to be. A kingdom where no harm will fall upon you. A kingdom that will be known to the history as the kingdom who held their ground despite the problems that they will encounter.
A kingdom where the 9 of them can live in harmony with their people.
The Kingdom of Muse.