Previous part: [link]
*looks at drawing for this ep* Wow, that's depressing. A lot more than I thought it'd be. Oh wells~
To me, the pic of Emeara here looks like something that would be a clip in the opening of an anime...weird.
Remember one very important thing before you read this; Emeara has only gotten the memories of when she first met and trained with Shen. She has not remembered that he was her lover yet. If you remember that, this part won't be too confusing, hopefully.
"Now you stay in here and be a good little monster, okay?" Envy chuckled to himself as he threw his captive into a rusty, dark jail cell that was fit for no life, not even the most wrenched, to inhabit.
After locking Emeara up, Envy walked off, telling her he was going to go inform his "Father" that he had kidnapped her and then bring his brothers back to meet her. Emeara did not respond, as she was still thinking back to the monster comment.
'A good little monster, huh...' Emeara looked down at the chains that were attached to her wrists and ankles. They were old and covered with scratches and dirt and...blood?
Emeara brought one of the shackles to her face so she could observe them. She did indeed confirm that the dried red substance on certain parts of the metal were blood. They had obviously been used before;
'So other people have been held captive by these things as well...' Emeara sighed and let the shackles fall back to the floor as she analyzed her cell. It was small. Dark. Cold. The harder she looked, the more blood she saw that was on the wall. None of it fresh but instead dried up and flaking off wherever it was. How revolting, Emeara thought, wrinkling her nose in disgust.
"But...this place is quite fit for a thing like me."The girl from Xing brought her knees to her chest, feeling her self-esteem drop from her admitting her inner thoughts aloud. However, it was at that same moment that Shen's voice flashed into her mind again,
"You're not a monster, Emeara."
A small smile crept up the girl's dirtied face, "Not a monster? Tch..." Emeara shut her eyes and leaned back against the wall, her smile growing in size as she did so, "What the hell were you thinking back then, Shen?"
A few minutes went by as Emeara thought back on all the kind things Shen had told her according to her gathered memories. All of Shen's words he had ever spoken to her that she could remember raised one very important question that the girl just couldn't seem to find an answer to...
"Why were you so nice to me in the first place...?"
"Someone! ANYONE...HELP! HELP, PLEASE!" A thirteen-year old Emeara cried as she ran down the porch-way of the Emperor's palace. She knew there had to be someone there that could help her. Fu, Ling, Lan Fan. Hell, even a maid or butler would do. Right now, she needed ANYBODY.
"Emeara? What is it? What's wrong-" Fu asked frantically as he stepped up on the porch, in front of her.
Emeara stopped running and panted heavily as Fu stared at her, his eyes growing wide in question by her appearance,
"...Good lord. What happened to you?" The old man asked, seeing the red liquid that covered the girl's arms and face.
Emeara coughed a couple times and shook her head fast before grabbing her stomach and looking up at the man with tears streaming down her face, "N-Never mind *huff* m-m-*huff huff* me...I-I need you to-to *huff* h-hel-HELP..." The girl dropped to her knees and coughed violently causing Fu to lean down before her in concern,
"Help you? Are you hu-"
"NOT ME!" The teen cried and then looked up, "I-It's Shen..."
"Shen?" Fu stood up immediately, realizing the same thing that had happened almost every training session involving Shen and Emeara had occurred once again.
The chief bodyguard's expression darkened and the look of concern soon disappeared, "...Where is he? The usual training area?"
Emeara coughed once more and stood up, "Y-Yes. He's badly hurt and-AH! Fu, WAIT!"
Before Emeara had even completed her sentence, Fu had taken off down the porch hallway in the direction of the training area Shen typically took his students to.
"FU~ PLEASE WAIT FOR M-"
"I think it would be best if you waited here, Emeara." Fu said in a cold tone of voice, not even stopping to look back at her before he left to get help for Shen.
Emeara sunk to the wooden floor below her once again, knowing what Fu's tone had meant. He was angry. No...not just angry this time. The other times this had happened, he had just been angry. This time...it was worst.
Tears formed in the teenager's eyes as she heard Fu's cold tone play over and over in her mind, "...He...He wasn't just mad this time...Fu was...was..." At that moment, Emeara choked and gave into her emotions, the tears finally falling down her cheeks as she let out quiet moans of agony.
The girl sat there for a moment or two, crying to herself as she so often did; When a familiar voice echoed from behind her,
"Emeara? Are you alright?"
Emeara looked up from her crying fit to see Ling standing there before her. The girl stared at the Prince of Xing for a moment, wide-eyed and bewildered. And then, she once again gave into emotions.
Within a matter of nano seconds, Emeara shot up and threw herself into her friend's arms, praying that he would understand what had happened, unlike Fu.
"Emeara...?" Ling asked, opening his eyes and looking down at the crying woman that now clung so very hard to him.
"I-I did it again, Ling! When Shen was giving me a lesson on alchemy...I snapped and hurt him badly...! And Fu...Fu went to go help him but...his tone of voice was different then before and-" Just then, Emeara was pushed away by Ling. The Song girl's eyes widened a fraction at her friend's actions, "Ling...?"
Emeara's eyes twitched when she saw Ling was looking at her with a knowing glare; The type of glare a parent usually gives their child when they know they've done something bad. Actually...no. Ling's expression was worst. Just like Fu's tone of voice; Ling's face was...pure hateful.
Emeara felt her heart stop as she stared at Ling for a moment. Then the girl hung her head down and turned away. As she walked away from Ling, she heard him call out to her a few times until his voice finally disappeared completely. And soon, from the Xing Palace, so did she.
An hour passed before Emeara decided to go check on Shen who had supposedly been taken to his room after doctors tended to his wounds. According to the whispers coming from the maids, Shen had a few broken ribs and a sprained ankle along with a head wound. He would have to rest and take off from his duty of serving the Yao clan for a week or so. There was one thing Emeara knew for sure though; His injuries were all her fault.
The Song teen walked down the porch way of the Xing palace. This was the first time she had decided she would try entering the actual palace itself. There had been many occasions she had gone on down the hallway of the large porch of the Xing palace or even had the opportunity to enter the large building itself but she vowed since her sister couldn't share the privilege with her, that she would never enter the actual Emperor's palace. Only... things seemed different now. She missed Shen. She was worried. He lived in the Emperor's palace and was in his room right at that moment. If she didn't go to see him now, she'd have to wait an entire week or longer to apologize and waiting that long to do so would only make her an ass. Despite the fact that Naraku wasn't there with her, she felt that she had to enter the palace herself. Just this once.
'I hope Naraku won't haunt me for doing this...' Emeara thought to herself as she approached a large, golden door that was the palace's entrance.
The girl swallowed before she extended a shaky hand towards the door knob. Just as the girl was about to grasp the knob with her hand, the door burst open,
"WAH!" She screamed, jumping back before the door could hit her in the face.
After it just barely missed, five of the Emperor's guards she recognized from before came storming out of the palace in a frantic manner. Soon following them were Ling, Lan Fan, and Fu; All of whom had a stressed look on their faces.
"Guys? What's going on...?" Fu and the others turned to Emeara who stepped away from behind the door with an innocent look.
Fu sighed and ruffled his hair before looking away. Ling and Lan Fan looked in the same direction as Fu and spoke nothing. Emeara sensed the same vibe from earlier coming from them; A vibe of hatred.
"...You aren't going to tell me? I suppose that's fair. I am just a commoner after all-" Emeara turned and had started to walk away from Fu spoke up,
"Shen has gone missing."
Emeara froze where she stood, her green eyes growing small at Fu's claim, "Missing...?"
Fu, Lan Fan, and Ling began to walk in the direction the guards had gone. At seeing them go past her, Emeara called out,
"Hey! Wait, where are you- FU!" Without mumbling another word, Fu and the others disappeared, leaving Emeara standing in front of the palace alone, "What the hell is their problem..." Emeara's expression darkened as she stood there for a moment, thinking about what Fu had just told her.
'Missing...?' The girl looked out at a large hill that was a few miles away from the Emperor's palace. Her expression turned to one of realization, 'There.'
At that, Emeara ran over to the hill as fast as she could. When she reached the top, her suspicions had been confirmed. Under a Sakura tree sat a bandaged up Shen, who seemed to be studying the flowers that he sat by.
At hearing his student say his name, Shen looked up with a smile on his face, "Emeara. Hello. What are you doing here?"
Emeara walked up and took her place beside Shen, "I could ask you the same thing."
Shen chuckled slightly, rubbing his bandaged ribs slightly, "Oh, I just wanted to get some fresh air, that's all. Plus those maids in the palace were smothering me. And I know if I had stayed there that most likely the Emperor himself would have paid me another visit.
Emeara looked at her alchemy teacher with a confused look, "Another? You mean, the Royal Majesty has...?"
"Well I am a servant for the Yao clan and the Emperor himself." Shen looked to Emeara with a knowing smirk causing the girl to look down in embarrassment. The man simply laughed and petted her head, "I'm only kidding, Emeara. No need to be upset."
As Shen continued to stroke the girl's head, she could feel her anxiety from earlier on in the day start to come back to her. Raising a hand, Emeara slapped Shen's arm away from her and scooted away from him, which only caused the twenty-one year old to gaze at the girl in alarm.
"Why are you so nice to me?" Emeara blurted out, not even thinking before hand. Emeara looked over at her teacher with a serious look on her face when he did not answer right off.
Shen saw this and frowned before looking to the ground in thought,
"...Why am I nice to you?" Shen's expression grew sad, "What kind of question is that, Emeara?"
"Just answer me, please."
Shen's frown worsened at the tone of Emeara's voice. Emeara held her knees up to her chest and rested her head against her kneecaps, awaiting an answer,
"Please tell me the truth. Don't hold back. If your acts of kindness have been a lie, I will not be-"
"How rude." Shen snorted as he stood up carefully from the ground.
Emeara looked up at him with concern on her face,
"Shen? Hang on...be ca-"
Before Emeara could stand up, Shen made his way down the hill, his crutches making an odd sound as he balanced himself and strolled down the hill away from his student. Seeing that he was leaving, Emeara knew there was no point in calling out to him and resat herself under the tree. However, Shen couldn't bring himself to leave her completely alone after saying what he did and instead turned and made his way back up the hill.
"Ngh...Ugh..." Shen groaned, panting as he finally made it back to the hilltop.
Emeara looked up in surprise, wondering why her alchemy master had returned so suddenly,
"Shen? Why did you..."
After the man caught his breath, he resat himself by his student and looked back at the ground, "...You wish to know why I am so nice to you, correct?"
"...Yes." Emeara mumbled, feeling tension form in the air between the two of them.
Shen sighed and hung his head down, causing his long black bangs to fall in his face, "...Before I answer that, first, you must answer my question."
The girl rose a brow highly, "Okay...?"
"Why do you think I treat you the way I do?" Shen asked, looking up at her, his eyes staring at her behind his bangs.
Emeara blushed slightly and looked away, "I...I don't know. Because...Because you feel sorry for me?"
Shen clenched his teeth and suppressed the sudden urge to yell at his student but instead shook his head, "Pardon my language, but hell no. That isn't at all the reason. Take another guess."
Emeara groaned inward to herself. She wasn't in the mood for playing one of her master's famous guessing games that he so very loved. This was a serious matter and she just wanted to know his answer. Then again, Emeara knew if she didn't play along, then she'd never get the truthful answer out of him. And so she continued on with her guesses,
"Because I'm Ling's friend and you're a servant to his family?"
"Because you're friends with Fu and-"
Emeara's expression became irritable, "...B-Because you can relate to my situation?"
"Somewhat closer but not quite."
The girl took a moment to think before answering this time,
"B...Because you're a nice guy?"
...Emeara screamed inward to herself once more and had the sudden urge to rip her hair out.
"It's because I care about you."
The thirteen-year old looked over at her master in surprise. Shen looked at her and then turned away,
"From the day I met you at your sister's grave, I've had the sudden urge to look after you. To try and protect you. Perhaps its because you remind me of myself when I was your age. Or perhaps at first, it WAS out of pity. But that has changed in the three years that I've known you, Emeara. Whether or not you believe it...I do care about you and see you as a good friend. But if you still don't believe me...well, there's not much I can do about it..."
Shen rose from the ground again and balanced his crutches under his arms, showing he was going to leave. The man started towards the edge of the hill once more when Emeara jumped up from the ground,
"You...You care about me? But...BUT...HOW?"
Shen stopped at hearing Emeara's voice raise in volume and turned back to look at her. He could tell by her face that she was on the brink of tears. The Song twin's lip trembled before she spoke up again,
"...I...I am a monster. You, Fu, Ling, and Lan Fan have seen that side of me. That demonic, inhumane side that comes out on a whim. The side that...that hurt you many times while we were training. You say I'm not a monster, Shen...but you know I am. Everyone does. So then why..." Emeara clenched her hands into fists as her whole body went into a shaking fit, "How can you care for a thing like me? I hurt you countless times...Just look at you now! Even Ling, Lan Fan, and Fu can't not get mad at me when I do things like this now. How come you're different? I could have killed you any one of those times we trained...or even in the future. I could be the one who kills you in the end!"
Shen narrowed his eyes, "I wouldn't fault you for that."
Emeara felt as if either she or her master had gone crazy. What was he saying? That he didn't mind if he got killed? Or is it only because she had said she could be the one who would do such a thing? Or was he just being nice again? Why was he acting in such a way and how could he? These questions swarmed Emeara's mind over and over and no matter how many thoughts she went through, she couldn't find an answer.
Now crying from the pain she held in her chest because of Shen's answer, Emeara stepped forward, shutting her eyes tight as she screamed loudly at him,
"What the hell are you saying? Why do you care about me? WHY AREN'T YOU SCARED? WHY DON'T YOU GET ANGRY AT ME FOR HURTING-" But Emeara was cut off by something pressing against her lips.
Emeara slowly opened her eyes to see something she had never expected to see. There Shen was, standing in front of her, his lips locked with hers. For a moment, the girl thought she was dreaming. But then when she saw Shen's eyes open and his face pull away from hers, she knew it couldn't be possible that it was just her imagination.
The girl's light skin turned dark pink as she stared at the man in awe. Shen said nothing nor smile but turned away as he picked up his crutches and began to walk down the hill. As he strolled down the hill, Emeara stood frozen in the place she had just shared her first kiss, unable to do or say anything. Right as she had thought Shen had left, she heard his voice call up to her. And what he said surprised her even more then the sudden kiss had,
"It's because I love you!" At that, Shen walked off into the night, leaving Emeara completely and utterly stunned. And even more confused then she had been earlier on that day.
"...That memory..." Emeara let out a anxious breath as she held her head with a hand, her wide-eyes locked onto the floor she sat on. The memory she had just seen...it had cleared things up quite a bit.
The reason why he had protected her when she had performed alchemy in that one flashback...it was because he loved her. And that is also the reason he stood by her, despite her inner demon. Why she felt so much pain when she first remembered meeting him. It all made sense. He loved her.
...Wait. He had LOVED her.
The memory of a dead Shen lying in her arms suddenly came back to Emeara in a flood of pictures in her mind. She remembered how she drew a transmutation circle on the floor; And after that she performed alchemy. Shen had rushed in and saved her before anything could be taken from her. And as a result...
"Shen...was killed." Emeara felt like she would be sick right there in the jail cell.
Shen had loved her. He had cared for her deeply. He had done SO MUCH for her when he was alive. Trained her, taught her alchemy, cheered her up when she needed cheering up. He had been the first person to make her smile the year after her sister died. He was the one person who had never shown any hostility or anger towards her even though she was crazy and went on a killing spree at times. He was the only person who never once thought of her as a "monster". And despite the fact he had been so kind to her and done all those things for her; In the end...Emeara had killed him. THAT was how she repayed Shen for his kindness? By taking away his life?
"...My God. I really am a monster..." Emeara looked down at her trembling hands as she thought of Shen's bloodied, dead face in her mind, "I'm not just a monster. I'm..."
"...a merciless devil."
Emeara looked up to see Envy had returned with four figures standing behind him. All the figures except one smiled at the girl, pride shining in all their eyes. Too terrified by her recent flashbacks to speak, Emeara kept her mouth shut, awaiting one of the others to talk first.
"Well, it looks like you did just as I told you. You sat here and were a good little monster, huh?" Envy smirked and looked up to the tallest figure that stood behind him, "Well Father, I retrieved her just as you asked."
"Good work." The man said, stepping out into the light so Emeara could see him. His appearance caught Emeara off guard indeed,
'He...He looks like God.' She thought, her stomach lurching in the process.
Emeara covered her mouth quickly, trying to fight the urge she had to throw up right there in the cell.
"What's wrong with her?" The smallest shadow that resembled a child asked,
"Beats the hell outta me. Maybe she's hungry." Envy replied, crossing his arms.
"Then go and get her some food. We can't have our most important sacrifice dying before the Promised Day."
"Yes Father." Envy said, walking off with the other four figures, leaving the God-like man and Emeara alone.
The man known as Father opened the prison cell and leaned down in front of the girl,
"My, My, Envy was right. You are quite a beaut." Father reached up and began to pet the girl's head slowly.
"!" A flood of flashbacks of all the times Shen had petted her head came back all of a sudden and the girl quickly slapped the tall man's hand away. The demonic, evil look returned to the teen's face as she shot a glare at the man in front of her,
"DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH ME. I'LL KILL YOU."
A smile came to Father's face as he rose and walked out of the cell, closing the doors behind him. As he turned to leave, Emeara heard him mumble,
"Goodness. You are a demon, aren't you? It's no surprise you killed the man you loved." And with that, Father left the cell, leaving Emeara once again, all alone.
The demonic look slowly fell from Emeara's face and was replaced by one that showed heartbreak, devastation, fear, and sorrow. The girl held her stomach with her arms and tried to cry but found that she couldn't. No matter how hard she tried; No matter how much she thought about the memories she had retrieved; She could no longer cry. It was as if her tears were forever dried up.
"...Have I cried so much in my lifetime to where...there's nothing left?" Emeara looked upward with emotionless eyes, "Or is it...that I have turned completely into a monster now?"
Shen's words of her not being a monster began to fade from Emeara's mind now, and within a matter of minutes; Those kind words, whether they had been a lie or no lie, had disappeared from her memory, for good.
Off somewhere else, Ling Yao laid with his faithful bodyguards on the roof of an abandoned building. It was late at night and even though he knew he should, the young Xingese prince couldn't sleep.
"I keep thinking about that monster who kidnapped Emeara. Where did he take her...?" Ling whispered to himself as he rubbed his temple with two fingers. A headache was approaching and Ling knew it would not be much longer before it became so bad that he would have to force himself to stop thinking about his friend; Otherwise, his headache would only grow in pain.
"Young lord? Are you up again?" Fu asked, walking to his young prince and taking a place beside him.
Ling looked over to his chief bodyguard with a paranoid, knowing look. At seeing the prince's face, Fu smiled to himself and looked up at the stars that shone over the two of them,
"Young lord, do not concern yourself too much about this whole ordeal. I'm sure everything will work out."
Ling frowned and sat up at the older man's words,
"How can you be sure about anything, Fu? Emeara could be dead by now and we just don't know it." Ling opened his eyes slightly, showing sadness in his expression as he did so.
"Well, well, this is quite unusual; To see you so down over something like this." Fu wrinkled his nose, twitching his mustache in an amused manner. Ling's frown widened at the old man,
"I'm just worried, that's all. We couldn't do anything to stop that guy known as Envy from taking her away. And ever since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about what he said to me right before he jumped off the roof with her..."
Fu's expression darkened as he directed his eyes at the younger man, "What was it he said that upset you so?"
Ling clasped his hands together in a somewhat prayer-like position,
"He said 'You know what's going to happen to her when she regains ALL her memories, right?' " Ling looked to Fu with a questionable face, "Just what could he have meant by that, Fu?"
"Hmm..." Fu mumbled, stroking his chin in thought, "I'm not entirely sure..."
"We know she's remembered Naraku and how she met Shen. She remembered meeting You, Me, and Lan Fan. She's also had flashbacks of when she was a bodyguard but they're nothing major or solid yet; Just clips of that particular part of her memories. I also think she remembered she can use alchemy too...After all, she did attack Lan Fan with it-"
"What about her relationship with Shen? Has she remembered anything about how she felt about him? Or how he felt about her?" Fu asked, his tone of voice growing a little troubled.
"I don't know..." Ling shut his eyes once more, "I just have this horrible feeling that when she regains all her memories, something terrible will happen. And there's still something I don't understand...How did she lose her memories in the first place?"
"I thought we had concluded it was due to that gun shot wound to her head? The one that should have been lethal." Fu asked, raising a brow.
"Yes, that was our speculation on the matter. But then if that's true, why didn't my father tell us that she was alive? When she was shot by that bandit, we sent her body back to Xing because we thought she was dead. Since she survived, I doubt she made an escape without letting anyone know. Especially if she couldn't remember who she was at the time. So that means..."
Fu knew where the young lord was going with this,
"The Emperor knew she survived and sent her to Amestris in fear that we would discover her being alive. As for her memories, we can't quite be sure how she lost them in particularly but we have an idea. Knowing that..." Fu eyed Ling, signing him to continue the sentence,
"My father lied to us just as you said. We'll have to take the matter up with him once we return to Xing. In the meantime..." Ling rose to his feet as he felt a light wind blow in from the North, "I think we should try to dig up whatever information we can on these 'Homunculi' as Ed calls them. Once we do that, we can begin searching for the Philosopher's stone and hopefully Emeara as well. I just hope this time, she won't really be killed in the process of our search."
Fu stood up as well and placed a firm hand on Ling's shoulder,
"We will save her this time, young lord. I assure you. Now in the meantime..." Fu looked behind them to see Lan Fan had awoken from her slumber and had heard their whole conversation, "Why don't we go scope out the area for any danger?"
Lan Fan nodded and put her mask back on before taking off into the night with her grandfather. Ling sighed and laid back on the roof, feeling that sleep was beginning to take over him,
"...Yeah...like Fu said...we'll...save her this time..."
Not long after, the future Emperor of Xing had fallen into a deep slumber; His mind put a little at ease for the first time since reuniting with Emeara.
To be continued...
The next part will most likely have a time skip ahead a few months. I don't wanna waste anymore time with her in the prison cell with Father and them so I'm going to skip ahead a few months to where Ed, Alphonse, and Ling show up and meet Father after they get spit up by Gluttony. You know, the episode right before Ling becomes Greed? That's where the next part will start most likely (unless I change my mind lol) , so stay tuned.
I spent forever trying to think of a good title and just finally said "Screw it" and put whatever for this one. Sorry guys >< I can't get much inspiration for a title these days. Base used is by
Blood brushes used in background are by
FMA and its characters belong to Hiromu Arakawa
Emeara is mine