Disclaimer/s: Art is from goldiekins from Zerochan. It’s an entry for Full Metal Alchemist. All credits for this art goes to each respective owners.
Some parts of the narrative were written by my good friend, Parad1gm. Half of the credit is his. 🙂 Also, I tried adding colors to the post. This is how we did it back then and I figured I should start doing it here as well.
Arcadian Capital Regalia, Market Commons…
Thrusting himself between crowds doing his best not to knock over children and basically not maim a citizen while rushing, Azrael panted as he came to a halt at a town fountain, looking at all the carts and shops around him.
“Damn, I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I forgot a gift for her! I can’t face her again without one, and it has to be good. No, perfect! But… ugh, what does she like? Oh, flowers! Flowers! Yeah, um…!”
To the man’s dismay, nearly every florist could not fulfill his orders or be completely sold out. Bouquets of whatever flower Resha may have loved was out of the question then. His tired legs brought him to a halt in front of a jeweler’s shop, seeing the front window displaying something that caught his eye.
It was a lovely golden chain with a circular pearl charm. On it rested a multi-colored flower, appearing to be a tulip. The colors were warm and vibrant, giving the flower such life and energy. Azrael knew that would be exactly what Resha would love to receive. Azrael was quick then to rush in and pick up the necklace, unfortunately having to settle with simple paper wrapping that just protected the necklace. Well, it was the thought that counted.
Sighing in relief while walking out, it was mission accomplished for him. A satisfied smirk left his lips as he held the charm up to the sky, seeing it shine and shimmer beautifully. “Perfect. Just perfect. She’ll love it,” he murmured, deciding to just walk around now and enjoy what spare time he had left, window shopping the various stores. It was then that in the middle of the window, he stopped in his tracks, eyes widening at the sight of none other than…
A huge smile ran across his lips as he immediately entered the store, shouting out happily.
“If it isn’t my favorite short magical runt!”
§ § § § § § § § § § §
Upon hearing those words, Yuhan looked around them to see if there were any short, magical and a runt that could be standing close to them. However, Yuhan was taller than most people so everyone he saw around him was shorter than him, except for a couple. Could it be possible that the owner of that voice was referring to one of those people around him? But then again, there was something in that voice that was impossible to forget. He would recognize that voice anywhere, considering that that was the voice that kept yelling at him ever since he was a kid, telling him how he would kick his butt and all.
Turning around to see the owner of the voice, Yuhan soon caught the sight of a certain topless man that was approaching them. The young sorcerer then let out a scoff, trying to contain his urge to let out a laugh. Not one bit had changed with the man that was approaching him at the moment — still vulgar and as rowdy as ever.
Azrael’s brows twitched as he watched the sorcerer slowly turn and looked around him. Really? That dense idiot really did not know who he was talking to? When their eyes came to meet, the Knight huffed as he crossed his arms. “You idiot. I’m talkin’ about you.” He stomped, pointing at the sorcerer with a clawed finger, grumbling.
“Huh. I see you’re still as loud as a bear,” Yuhan commented, a snicker finally escaped him as the man stopped just a few steps away from him. “And you still haven’t learned to wear a shirt.” Yuhan’s comment then drew the attention of the shoppers around them as they looked at the man before him. Yuhan glanced at Re’a and smiled as he excused himself.
Azrael’s eyes twitched once again.
“I hope you’re not referring to me when you said SHORT..” he then took a step forward towards the man, his voice gave emphasis to each word he spoke. “… MAGICAL…” he continued as he took another step. “… RUNT.” And another step forward, now closing the distance between them, as the difference in their height seemed to become clear.
At that moment though, the Knight went wide-eyed as he saw Yuhan growing taller with each step.
The young sorcerer, now standing in front of the knight, towering over him had a mischievous grin on his face. “Who’s the runt now, Azrael?”
Azrael craned his head ever so slightly, a bead of sweat rolling down the side of his head as he quite vividly recalled that before, when they were teenagers, Azrael had the height advantage for sure. Now Yuhan nearly stood a head taller than him, making Azrael glare off to the side defensively as Yuhan returned fire, now making his stature that much more evident to the shorter of the two.
Yuhan grinned, even more, when he saw his knight friend’s reaction. Oh, how he loved the look on Azrael’s face. It was priceless! Yes, he was the shorter one when they were kids and he remembered how the latter would always try to bully him because of that fact. Well, not that he was actually bullied, per se. His relationship with Azrael was an odd one. It may look as if they were mortal enemies to some, seeing as how they were at each other’s throat back then. But then again, there was this mutual respect between the two of them. Sure, Yuhan may look like a wimpy sorcerer outside, but he’s one of the best sorcerers Sol Academy has produced and Azrael acknowledged that. On the other hand, Yuhan has the same respect for the man, noting how strong and capable he is.
“S-Shut up!” Azrael snapped as he glared full on with daggers in his eyes, sizing the sorcerer up now. He knew he could still beat his behind into the ground if he wanted to take this outside.
Yuhan burst out on a fit of laughter before trying to contain it.
Azrael soon laid eyes upon the wristlet within the palm of one of the sorcerer’s hands. Immediately, a hand went to tuck away the wrapped necklace that Azrael had bought for Resha’s coronation, clearing his throat afterward. “A-Anyway, what brings you back? I thought you’re scurrying Astrea for adventure… –”
Yuhan chuckled. “Research,” he corrected him.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever,” the knight snapped back. “So you’re here to see Resha’s big day too, hm? Great, great.” The Knight began, smiling as he pointed to himself with a thumb. “And with her promotion, I get one too. I’ll be in charge of her protection as the Queen’s Royal Guard. Pretty impressive huh?” Azrael chuckled confidently before feeling eyes on him from everyone else in the shop. Especially one of the shop hands assisting.
As if on reflex, Yuhan grabbed Azrael by his collar, a surprised and a look of disbelief on his face. How on Aether did this goofball become a knight, let alone Princess Resha’s royal guard?! He wanted to comment and inquire as to why on Aether did Azrael got that position and not other knights that Arcadia has on their disposal. But then again, Azrael was indeed strong. Yuhan even acknowledged that. With Azrael’s strength, he was certain that no harm would come to the princess.
Well, that was some comfort.
Noticing the eyes that were piercing at them, Azrael turned to the crowd around them. “Ah, hey there. Azrael Vulgate, I know this goofball.” Another glare towards Yuhan. “Who grew like a damn beanstalk…” Came the mutter before sighing and shaking his head.“Sorry for just bargin’ in here and all, especially when I’m not buyin’ anythin’. I just haven’t seen Yuhan for ages. How long has it been? We were barely teenagers if I remember right.” Azrael asked the young man, humming with curiosity as he tapped his jaw.
“Just like you’ve heard, I traveled to Astrea to research more about the Astrid rune…” Yuhan started to explain, but his words seemed to fall on deaf ears as Azrael nodded. “Dude, you’re not even listening… –”
Though as excited Azrael was upon reuniting with his friend, the thought of Princess Resha brimming with happiness crossed his mind. They have not seen each other for a long time since their time at the academy and what better way to celebrate her coronation than the three of them reuniting, right? The princess would surely be ecstatic!
The Knight then snapped his fingers, poking Yuhan in the chest. “Hey, it has been a while since Resha has last seen you. I’m sure you’ll get to see her at the celebration feast, but if you want to talk to her before she’s swallowed up by nobles and all that, we gotta get goin’ then. Besides, I need to hurry up to my post too. Damn Knights and their schedules…” Complaining about the Knights of Arcadia simply for the fact that they made him do boring work was nothing new for Azrael Vulgate. He complained about them whenever he got the chance.
For a brief moment, there was silence around Yuhan as he tuned everyone out. How long has it been since they saw each other? Not only that, but the three of them were reunited again for that matter. It did not cross his mind that a reunion between the three of them could even be possible, not by a long shot. But then now, he could see the princess before her coronation? Princess Resha in the flesh? Now that is something that Yuhan could not pass up. If there was one good thing that Azrael’s promotion caused, that would be an easy way to see Resha.
“C’mon, hurry up. If you’re done, we need to head back now, or you’re stuck until the end of the night,” Azrael repeated and was already moving to the door, waving at him lazily. “I’ll leave you by yourself if you don’t hurry up~!”
“O – Of course, I – I want to see her…!” Yuhan stuttered a bit, choking back a gulp as he saw Azrael head to the doorway. He quickly turned to Re’a and with a bow of his head, bid her farewell. “Thank you once again for your help, Re’a. I promise that we’ll talk when the coronation is over.”
“Go on. Your princess awaits.” Re’a teased, letting out a chuckle as she motioned for the door with her head.
Yuhan answered with a scoff before darting his way towards Azrael and followed him, his thoughts filled on how he would face the princess again, after all those years.