"_____, look over there! It's the immortal Imperial Advisor!" Your friend said to you as she pointed to a figure being surrounded by most of the villagers. You couldn't see what he looked like from here, but you really didn't care.
"That's great, I guess?" You said, putting on your conical hat. It was another sunny day, and you didn't want to risk getting sun burnt and not be able to work. When you looked back at your friend, she was giving you exasperated eyes.
"I just can't believe you aren't the least bit interested in him." She said with disbelief. You shrugged your shoulders. "If you aren't going to try to meet him then, I will!" She exclaimed, throwing you her cone shaped hat and running off.
"Hey, wait! Don't you want this?!" You tried calling out to her, to no avail. She merely gave you the 'go ahead' sign and dove into the crowd.
You sighed as you walked towards the rice paddies alone, the sun beating down on your head. You were about to start to work until you realized no one else was there. Shaking your head with disapproval, you decided you would just go to the one place that you could just hang out for a while.
Jogging away from the rice paddies, you went through the rolling hills nearby and into a green forest. You had to take many various jumps and crawls through it to get to your destination, but you knew it was worth it. The clearness of the small stream's water, the simplicity of the beautiful plants nearby, and the silent but curious wild animals hiding in the shadows were a sight to see. The best part was that you were the only one to know where it was besides, of course, the one who led you to it.
I wonder how he's doing? You thought to yourself, sitting yourself on a nearby rock. It's been quite a while, but I can still remember that dark brown hair and amber eyes as clear as day.
With the sound of the water flowing down the stream lulling you to sleep, you released all tension in your body and started laying down on the large rock. The sunlight brushed against your face, making the sleep inevitable. You closed your eyes and let your dreams take way from reality.
'Crap, how did I get here?' You thought to yourself, looking around the unending forest. After a while of walking around in circles, you heard an unusual, but familiar sound a little ways off. A human voice. Relying on your ear to take you to the sound, you were surprised to walk into such a beautiful place, unlike any you've seen. When you heard a cough however, you turned around to meet with a man sitting on a large rock.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" You exclaimed worryingly. "I just found this place by accident. Am I interrupting something?"
The person laughed, a smile on their face. "No, it's nothing. I'm here to just relax for a bit. Would you care to join?" They replied, a twinkling in their eyes.
"Um, sure." You hesitantly responded, taking a seat nearby. When you took a closer look at the person, you saw that the red fabric he was wearing was smooth silk, nothing a commoner could ever wear. The outfit was of high class, and truly magnificent by design. The strange thing was that their hair was in a ponytail, a complete opposite to what anyone in this dynasty would do. It seemed to work for him, though.
"Hello?" You heard him say to you. You looked back up to his face, hoping he didn't notice you observing him. He continued, "So what's your name, aru?"
'Aru?' You questioned silently before answering the question.
"_____, aru? That's such a pretty name for you." He responded, picking up a nearby flower and laying it in his lap. "My name's Chin- I mean Wang Yao. You can call me Yao, aru."
You were surprised at him. Usually when you spoke to someone of higher class, the would want you to say as honorifics. But right now, he wanted you to refer him as a close friend.
"But-" You began to say, only to be cut off by him.
"It's fine, aru. Don't worry." He said to you, laying a small flower in your hair. You blushed, making him laugh.
"Oh, be quiet." You said as you were about to take it out. He stopped your hand.
"Don't take it off, aru. It's looks pretty on you." He said as your arm dropped back to your side. The two of you smiled, and spent the rest of the time sitting around, sharing stories, and just gazing at nature. When the sun was finally starting to set in the horizon, both of you were reluctant to leave.
"Um, _____? Will you come here again, aru?" He asked you as you got up from your comfortable spot and started stretching your back. You nodded.
"What about you Yao? You better be here too." You said to him, making him laugh.
"Of course I will, aru!" He responded. Suddenly, he took out his hair tie and slipped it on your wrist. "See, this'll be proof I'll come back. No matter what."
"Hm..." You mumbled as you started waking up from your nap. "Of course my dream would forget about the part where he never came back." You said sourly, going over to the stream and washing off your face. When you were done, you had started back to the village where your friend was waiting for you.
"______! Where've you been?" She called out to you as you walked closer to her.
"Where ever the wind blows, I guess. How about you? How was the immortal guy?" You asked her, only to receive a squeal.
"You totally missed it, _____! He looked so young and handsome! And he was different from any other advisor." She said as she was going through her fantasy world.
You were confused. "Different? I thought besides the immortal part of it, he would be like one of them. What was unique about him?" You asked her.
"Hm..." She thought for a bit before responding. "Well, he doesn't wear his ha-wait a minute. Where's my hat?" She asked you. You smacked your head for your forgetfulness. When you had explained to her you had left it somewhere at the rice paddies (lie), she took your own hat to your protest.
"You have to go get it, ______ or you won't get yours back." She stated stubbornly as she clung closely to your hat of yours. "It's your fault for forgetting it so it's your responsibility to get it back."
You groaned, and started running back the way you came. When you got there however, you heard humming. Hiding behind a nearby rock, you peeked over the side to see a familiar figure near the stream.
"What chance would she still come here after all those years, aru?" You heard him talking to himself as he paced right and left. "She probably thinks I won't ever come back here again." He continued. "Maybe I should just leave-"
"Y-Yao?" You said hesistantly as you walked out of your hiding spot. When he saw you, he looked surprised, and relieved.
"______? You came, aru?" He said to you in that recognizable voice you loved hearing.
"It's been a while, hasn't Yao?" You said as you crossed your arms in front of your chest. "Two and a half years to be exact." You remarked.
"I'm sorry, I really did plan to come back, but the Emperor ordered me to-" He started to explain until you interrupted him.
"It's fine, as long as you kept your promise." You said as you sat down on the nearby rock. He sat beside you on a different rock. "And Yao, you work for the Emperor?" You asked. He nodded.
"I've been working for emperors for most of my life now actually, aru." He said, making you wonder why he said emperors instead of the Emperor. "When I was on the way of coming back from a mission, I decided to pass by here and see if I could find you, aru." He said, making you slowly fit the pieces together.
High class, emperors, coming this way... You thought to yourself until you finally figured it out.
"Yao, you're the immortal Imperial Advisor?!" You exclaimed, nearly jumping off your rock. He nodded.
"Is that what your people call me, aru?" He said, confirming your suspicions. "I guess that who I am, then." He said with a shrug. After getting over the fact of this big spoiler, you were questionable.
"If you are so important, why are you here talking to a villager in a isolated stream?" You asked him, making him smile and sigh.
"People like me need there peace and quiet too, you know. And you're very comfortable to talk with _____, aru." He responded. You were starting to think that the rumors were wrong that he was some magical being and that he was just a guy with just a little more oomph in life. It made you feel closer to him than before.
After all those complicated questions were gone, you saw that it was starting to look like how two years ago was. This time it seemed like there was no end to it. The both if you were carefree, each person enjoying the other's company more and more by each minute. You felt your spirits grow, and soon your feelings. As the midnight moon rose fully into the sky, a silence covered the space between you, though it didn't seem awkward. When the two of you met each other's gazes, you grabbed your hand.
"_____, I need to tell you something important." He said, his voice serious but vulnerable at the same time. "Ever since that day, I realized that you're different from those at the palace." He said, his face covered in red in the moonlight. "I felt more comfortable near you, but at the same time I started to feel nervous around you, aru. It took longer than I expected, but I finally realized. ______, I'm in love with you." He said, making you start to turn red. In the background, the sound of soft rustling filled the air.
"You...do?" You asked hesitantly, which resulted in a nod. The soft rustling from before started became louder, though neither of you noticed.
"And I was wondering if you felt the same way." He continued. "I would respect if you didn't since it was in such a short time, or if that you had someone else, or-"
You sighed, and quickly pulled him into a kiss. At first he seemed surprised, but soon melted into it. When you pulled away, you smiled. "Does that answer your question?" You said, making him smile and pull you into a hug. At the same time, the sounds stopped.
Suddenly three arrows shot right towards Yao's direction. When he was about to be shot right through the back, you reversed places with him, a wide eyed Yao staring right at you the minute you did. Soon each arrow head sliced right through your back, making you collapse on the ground. Before he was about to help you, you pointed to the people in the shadows, showing where the danger came.
With a face you've never seen of his before, he started towards the assassins. As they started readying their arrows once more, he kicked there crossbows into the air, making them land in the trees. Using sleek movements, he took the offensive on the assassins. Each move he did was quick, only giving the men a second to recover. There was no escape for them. They were finished.
Soon he immediately rushed over to your side and took out the arrows from your back, wrapping a piece of his silk robe around. It was too late though. You had lost too much blood.
"______!" He exclaimed, tears running down his face as he saw you feel colder and colder. He knew nothing could save you now as the silk was becoming even redder than it's own dye. "Why did you do that, aru?!"
"Like I was going to let you die." You justified, your breathes becoming slower and slower. He continued panicking.
"Please, just hang on a bit longer, aru! Please!" He cried as he squeezed your body a bit harder than he should have. As he was about call for some more help, you put your finger on his lips.
"Let me have my last moments in peace, please." You said as everything becoming colder but in a calming way. Looking at his face, you could see he was covered in tears. "Don't worry, we will meet again soon, no matter what. Just stay your proud and happy self until then, okay?"
He nodded, wiping his eyes with his sleeves. He smiled the best he could, making you smile.
"That's just what I wanted to see." You said in a whisper-like tone, feeling your energy drain. With the last of your strength, you put the old hair tie from around your wrist into his hands. Soon, you grew cold to the touch.
~~~Many, Many Years Later~~~
"Hey China! Here's our newest ally!" You heard America yell to someone a ways away. As they walked closer and closer, you felt like they were already familiar to you, even though you've never seen him before. When he was close enough to see you, he looked surprised. "Hm? What's up with you, China?"
It was only a second, but the man in front of you seemed to carry a sad expression on his face. "Oh, it's nothing. Well it's nice to meet you, aru." He replied, holding out his hand in front of you. You shook it. "I'm China, and you are _____?"
You nodded in response.
"That's such a pretty name for you." He commented and for some reason, it made your chest feel strange.
"Thank you." You responded, a small smile soon appearing on your face. Suddenly, an energetic America interrupted.
"Hey _____! It's time to go meet the others!" He exclaimed, grabbing your hand and pulling you away. Looking back, you saw that China was waving at you with a sad smile. You felt a pain in your chest that was not going to settle down.
As soon as you saw the nearest restroom, you excused yourself and quickly scurried away into one of the stalls. By now, your eyes had started tearing up. All kinds of thoughts and feelings and questions filled your head to the core, but one stuck out the most. Why was his smile so heartbreaking to you?
Your heart had already knew the answer.
It knew that it was the smile that had a million things to say, but had to remain in silence forever.