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The King found out that Fuji didn't have to join all meetings. He didn't have to say much and they didn't need his help too often, so he let Fuji do whatever he wanted. He often helped the servants with things they wanted to know or had to do. But one day Tezuka came to get him for something important, something only Fuji could help with, even though Tezuka's father seemed to be against it.
'Fuji come in,' said the King. He was once again sitting on his throne, a goofy smile on his face. 'Today you and I are going to do something really special. See all those ladies over there? One of them will become my bride and you will help me pick which one it will be.'
The Seer was only thirteen years old and he wasn't interested in women at all. He didn't know what a perfect bride had to be like, so he hoped the King would ask him questions he could actually answer.
'These women are all nobilities, so that won't be a problem. In that way they're all suitable to become my wife. They're all very beautiful as well, so we're going to take a look at their personalities. Sit here next to me.'
Fuji sat down on the chair next to the King. Tezuka's father was standing half behind them, so he could whisper in the King's ear, and Tezuka was standing behind Fuji's chair. It made Fuji feel a little more comfortable. If he didn't know what to do or say they might help him.
King Atobe beckoned the first woman to walk his way. She did so and tried to be as beautiful and sensual as she could be. When she stood in front of the King she bowed and complimented him on his looks. It was something that worked on a person who loved himself as much as the King did, because he made Tezuka Kuniharu write a plus sign on a piece of paper.
'Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your good parts, your bad parts, your naughty parts if you have them. And Fuji, tell me when they are lying. I want my future wife to speak the truth.'
'Yes, Your Majesty,' Fuji answered and he listened carefully to the story the girl told them. She talked about how smart she was, because she had the best tutor in the country, but that she could also be a little clumsy now and then. Only when she said she wasn't wearing any underwear dress the King seemed to become interested.
'You can see it when I wear tight dresses like this and I think it's not sexy to see your underwear through your clothes, so I just left it at home.'
'Very smart,' said the King. 'Did your tutor teach you that?'
'No, my tutor didn't want me to wear this dress, he was absolutely against it, but I insisted, so I hope you like it, Your Majesty.'
Only one of the women had told her story and Fuji was already tired of the blabbering. He didn't understand why the King would pick his bride this way. He didn't get to know anything about them. Making things sound more beautiful than they actually were wasn't lying, so they didn't get to know much about their personalities in the end anyway.
'Next,' said King Atobe before he discussed some things with his advisor, who immediately wrote a few more things down.
'You look very mature,' said the King to the next girl. 'Are you still a virgin.'
'You're straight forward,' she answered. 'I like that in men. But don't worry, I'm still a virgin. I saved myself for you.'
'That's two lies,' said Fuji. Everyone looked surprised at him, waiting to continue. 'She doesn't like straight forward people, because she doesn't like to be criticized. She isn't a virgin anymore either.'
Those were things Fuji did not want to know about other people and things he did not want to see. But he knew he didn't have a choice right now.
'Was that first lady a virgin?' the King asked him. Fuji nodded. 'From now on tell me that about all of the girls. It's important. Why aren't you a virgin anymore?' he asked the girl.
She touched her cheek and looked at the floor. 'I thought the King would like it if I would be a bit experienced when I would share a bed with him. I wanted to learn how to make a man feel good, so I could use that during our wedding night.'
'Interesting, you can go now. Now that you girls know your lies will be exposed I expect the truth from all of you. Next one!'
The next girl seemed to be a little shy, the one after that was arrogant, another was a big flirt, she even flirted with Tezuka, who didn't show any reaction. There was also a very happy go lucky girl. She was more spontaneous than the others, her smile was honest and her stories were interesting. Most important, she was a virgin. The King seemed to like her, but he didn't say anything about it. He listened to all of the other women as well before they all went to have lunch together.
Lunch was not only to fill their stomachs, but also to see how they would act there. The way they would eat or speak to each other could tell a lot about them. The girls that had the most plusses sat the closest to the King, while the other ones sat further away. Servants weren't allowed to eat with nobility, so Fuji, Tezuka and Tezuka's father had to eat at a separate table. Not that the three of them minded. This way they had time to discuss the women with each other. They would have to advice the King about it later and it would be nice if they thought alike.
'The one with the brown hair that reaches her chin,' said Tezuka Kuniharu. 'I think she would be the best wife for the King. She will understand him and know how to deal with him. She is sophisticated and smart, so she would be a good Queen. I'm sure the people would like her.'
'She didn't do anything stupid when she was younger,' said Fuji. He had seen that one of the other girls had stolen jewelry, so she had been send home immediately. But this girl had never done anything to embarrass herself. 'She might do stupid things in the future, but that all depends on what the King will do. We don't have a say in that.'
'Then I think we should tell the King who our choice would be,' said Tezuka. Horrified he was looking how the girl next to King Atobe was showing her long, smooth legs and draped it all over the King's own legs. He didn't understand what the King liked about her, but she would be the worst Queen ever.
After lunch the King sat around the table with the three men. He was still going to spend the afternoon with the girls, but he already wanted to know what they thought about it.
'I like the one with the long, curly black hair, the one with the shorter brown hair and that redhead, she seems fierce,' said King Atobe.
'From all the girls we think Tachibana Ann, the girl with the shorter brown hair, will be the best choice, Your Majesty,' said Tezuka Kuniharu. 'Please pay attention to her in the afternoon.'
The King pulled a face and the three who had to help him didn't know if he thought of their advice as something positive or something negative. He seemed to like the more outgoing and sexy girls a little better, but he probably understood what they were trying to tell him.
Tezuka and Fuji left together and went outside while they waited for the King to be done. The weather was nice, so they sat against the wall and watched the little village they used to live in. Fuji sat on Tezuka's black jacket, so his white clothes wouldn't get dirty.
'I'm glad I don't have to find myself a partner that way,' said Fuji. 'The King doesn't get to know any of these women. They're beautiful nobilities, that's the only reason why they were chosen to be the future Queen. They don't have to be able to do anything as long as they look good.'
'Well, if you're the King you can chose any woman. He picked brainless ones, but at least he has a choice,' said Tezuka. 'The chance we will find a wife is really small. All the girls we meet are the girls who work there. That aren't that many girls here, only a few maids. If the right person isn't between them, we will probably never meet her.'
'I don't know if I want a 'her',' said Fuji. 'I think I like guys.'
'You're not sure?' Tezuka asked a little surprised.
'No, I actually saw myself with another guy in the future. We were making out, so I couldn't see his face, but it was definitely a guy. So I guess I will like guys better.'
'Probably not the nicest way to find out,' muttered Tezuka.
'No, I'd rather had fallen in love with a guy and found out that way. Have you ever been in love, Tezuka?'
'No, the girls here are either too loud or too obedient.'
'Oh, who would have thought you like rebellious girls?!' asked Fuji surprised. There was a big grin on his face. 'But what about a boy instead? The girls are obedient, but some of the guys can be rather rebellious!'
'I want a person who can think for herself,' answered Tezuka. 'I never really thought about living with another man.'
'But you don't seem to be grossed out by it,' said the Seer.
'No, not really. I just never thought about it. I never really thought about having relationship at all, not with a girl either.'
'Me neither, but when the King told me he needed my help with picking the perfect bride I started to think about it a little. I mean, how old is the King? How old are people when they get married? I have never been at a wedding.'
'The King is almost thirty,' answered Tezuka. 'He became King at a very young age, because his father passed away. It's a bit late for a King to get married at the age of thirty, but it's not really uncommon either.'
'We still have a lot of time then,' smiled Fuji. Together they watched the kids come out of the school. They played all kind of games together. Tezuka and Fuji knew some of the kids, the ones who had been in class with them, but they didn't know the younger ones.
'I feel old,' sighed Tezuka.
'Yo are ld,' laughed Fuji.
Tezuka frowned which made the seer laugh even harder. When he calmed down a little he spoke again.
'I didn't know anybody at the castle when I lived here and now I slowly get to know most of the people at the castle and I forget the ones that live here. It's like two separated worlds exist inside these walls.'
Tezuka had no time to answer, his father came to get the two of them. 'Boys, we have to get back now, things have been prepared. Everything is ready.'
They went back to the room where the King had first met the girls. They had written their advice for the King down and placed it on the table, close to where the throne stood. They also put their papers with the plusses and minuses down there. The three men sat down on their places and waited for the King to arrive. They didn't have to wait long. With a lot of noise the most important man of the country entered the room.
'Lovely ladies, please take your seat again,' he said as he sat down on his throne. He took a quick look at the papers that were in front of him and he nodded.
'I made my decision,' he said. 'You all know that might not be the final decision. I will get to know the chosen girl a bit better before I will really decide if she will be the one I want to marry.'
All the girls looked really nervous. It seemed like they all wanted to become the next Queen, but it was like they forgot the position of Queen came with a husband like King Atobe.
'The girl I would like to get to know better is…' started the King,'….Tachibana Ann!'
The girl with the brown hair that reached her chin made a surprised sound. She stood up and bowed for the King. She thanked him and wished they would get along fine. The King stood up and kissed her to congratulate her. He thanked the other ladies, who all had to leave now.'He doesn't deserve her,' said Tezuka Kuniharu before he turned around and walked away. 'You two can leave now as well.'