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To Enchanted Lands and Beyond

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To enchanted lands and beyond- The Ballad of Kirinmaru and Midoriko

Canto I: A Love but a consuming flame

It said that Fortuna is ever so kind, she would spin her wheel to the fates of both, on such a quest. And I narrate such a tale, a tale beyond what the mortal realm can hold. 


A tale of love, brotherhood, and war.


A tale of an immortal in love with a mortal.


A tale when it begins.


Far far away, men called into arms by the name of God, that they all harkened the spiced lands, to be conquered by those faithful believers.


And one in charge echoed the weighty purpose of their crusades, Remus, for his beautiful face concealed by his helmet, as he called the men for arms. For God! For Jesu! And for all saints! To fight the endless wars, to hold the banners of Jesu and the saints so high. Though some rulers relented to their frivolous conversion, others crumbled like the howls of winds. 


However, the men who are under Remus’ banner noticed that their esteemed leader was actually a maid named Midoriko, whose eyes followed the call of glory in her quaint village, refusing to stay on the sidelines to be a docile wife. For her spirits were stirred by the fellowship of other men, to fight a battle only blessed by God and the saints, like tales of old.


Remus’ army, relentless as the winds, reached Kirinmaru's lands, for they heard news of crusaders captured by a powerful sorcerer, Kirinmaru, of beauty which all would fear.


In his small room, Kirinmaru gazed via clear glass, Remus’ forces coming to his forest, which he dearly protected. He heard of the rumours from his uncle about a leader in dulled armour, and a face concealed by a helmet said to be blessed by the saints—freeing the prisoners of the illusion spells from his sister Zero. She placed her hand on his tense shoulder, watching the crusaders, like moths to flame, walking to their lands. 


Dearest brother, this Remus…he will soil our land, what horrid force!


His heart grew wild with hate over that nameless leader, casting every illusion in his hands to stop the crusaders from conquering this virgin land. 


Fie! Fie! Fie!


The heroes were relentless, their armour bloodied and their gazes strong to the glories of God and the saints, fighting all of his illusions in the forest.


However, their mortal bodies grew weak as they collapsed, fleeing from the scene except for that one captain, whose voice pierced through all of the dark forces.


That wretched fool! 


Kirinmaru hissed under his breath, causing his forests to swirl heavy clouds that could blind a man in his way of the sword. And, exhausted, he slowly collapsed to the ground.


He grinned so cruelly, for men’s spirits were weakened by mere illusions. Mere illusions. He quickly swung his cape, disappearing into the blackness of night. Zero clapped her hands with glee, looking at her brother’s expression. These men were foolish; however, Kirinmaru remained silent, watching the vines and flowers slowly consume their fragile bodies.


What are you going to do with the leader that is ordained by the pathetic crusaders? He, in the end will always stray the light, my dearest brother.


Kirinmaru, silent, waved his hands to form the most luscious garden that could rival Eden, and whispered sweet nothings, commanding every flora and fauna to ensnare that horrid leader. However, Zero grinned a little, in a garden so majestic, that even the most pious of men would be seduced by such beauty.


All you need to do is to stab his heart and wear his blood like his armour.


And by clear glass, Kirinmaru looked over at the leader Remus, exhausted from the fight with one of the menacing forces, and smelled something so sweet. 


Maybe I should take a rest, Remus thought calmly. He soon settled himself comfortably in the patches of emerald and yellow. 


It felt like home where the women churned the butter and wove the clothes, and men, with hands worn out from knocking steel down and holding the daily produce. Where he was ordinary. Where he was not called to adventure, when he watched his dearest friends, cousins, and associates disappear to the spiced lands, only to live the tale of God's light walking on them. That ache grew deeper as he kept smelling the flowers in the air, and played with the streams of cool water, which could quench a weary soul. For that mere moment, Remus truly missed his home.


Weariness came over him, as Remus fell into a deep sleep. For the glories of God and the saints could wait. 


There he dreamed again, about a simpler life, no blood strewn on his small clothes. Laughter filled with mead and hearty food. And flowers unstained by the entrails of humans and beasts. 


A simpler life, huh?


Soon, vines and flowers encapsulated his body, bound to this earth. This pagan land. Where Remus’ rest might become his grave.

Zero looked at the glass and smiled wickedly. You must go, sweet brother, Zero spoke calmly. The unconquered land is ours to keep.


Kirinmaru, proud and bold, walked over to the ground, where he waved his hands with the power to entwine the young man with hallucinating flowers of his home, and to which his victim, blissful in sleep, did not know that a dagger was hidden underneath his cloak.


Consumed by deep rage—his eyes searched through the heavy weapons, all tossed aside like worthless minuscules, which left him vulnerable. 


Calmly, Kirinmaru pulled off the helmet that concealed the identity of the man, which surprised him. For that brazen leader possessed such beauty. Beauty that could make his heart weep. His hand steadied himself to plunge the dagger to the young man’s heart; his mind, focused on a kingdom unconquered.


What is he to me…


He tried once more to plunge the dagger into his heart.


No, I cannot.


His heart ached more. He wanted to hold that body so tightly. I must do it. Kirinmaru calmly observed his face. Who is that person, so beautiful, who fought such a bloody war? For he loved him. He loved him. He loved him. Quietly, Kirinmaru enveloped his mouth to that stranger, feeling the sweetness of the young man’s mouth like rare fruits that grew in his homeland.


With hands twirling, Kirinmaru changed all of the fantastical illusions into pleasantries of the flesh, nubile nymphs, gentle wind spirits, and mischievous winds. They all giggled at Kirinmaru’s impulses, despite their accommodations to another form. Reluctantly, he carried the captive in his arms, bridal style, gently gazing at his prisoner, whispering to his ear that he would love him no matter what, even at death. 


You are bound to me, body and soul.


And that garden, once a tomb, became their happy avenue. Kirinmaru looked at the blackened sky sadly, for he defied his hatred with the purest feeling. 


I am sorry, dear sister, but love overcame me. 


The only thing that bound that captor to the mortal ground was the growing vines and flowers that encapsulated his mortal body, with a spell unbreakable.


A/N: Whoever is reading this, thank you very very much for reading this story. This story is my big-scale attempt at doing Twitter’s favourite OTP, Kirinmaru and Midoriko, which I am actually petrified and yet excited for. I want to thank unlockthelore for being the main inspiration to go like frack it, I am doing this pairing after I read her story Elucidation, which is so beautiful,  hence the birth of this story, which, if I must, it have to be Alternate Universe as I feel that I would be comfortable, to know them as a whole. And my brain goes epic medieval romance which I am like sure, because I have some experience reading it, and it just snowballed here, which I tackled a thing I loved is cross-dressing which is also very apt for that period.

This AU is based mostly on Armide by Jean Baptiste Lully, which is an opera I loved which if I go back- it is Rinaldo and Armide which is one of the most famous compartments of an Italian epic poem Gerusalemme Liberata by Torquato Tasso, which is about the fictionalized account of the crusaders’ adventures.

Writing it in epic poem style is a very new thing for me, as I want it to flow and be still understandable, so I may add some prose elements but man, this was a beast to tackle some light world-building, let alone- doing Midoriko who is very flat. However, I am very proud of how it came out! I swear it can be exhausting to work on this beast especially on that scale which I only did with my original novel, but in a fanfic, it is shocking for me.

As always thank thank you Fawnie for being supportive over this crazy idea of mine, without you hearing my dumb memes and all, I would not be able to do this story, let alone tackling an OTP which I loved!!

BTW as a treat, I have a little Spotify playlist that I made, for your reading pleasure as it fills the angsty stuff so well, with my obsession with Lully and Bardcore LOL 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

Just a shout-out that I have been nominated for “Best Rising Author” for Inuyasha Quarterly Awards Q4 2021 for “Step by Step” which I am still touched that you guys like my writing <3 You have no idea, that I still have that nagging voice in my head that my ideas are not extreme thanks to personal circumstances and to be validated is very touching for me.