"So, uh," Maka stuttered. "H-How are you going to operate on him while he's a weapon?"
"Silly princess!" Stein scoffed playfully, fully absorbed in the high of fulfilling a dream. "I'm just going to manipulate his soul wavelength with my own to get him to change."
"You can do that?" Tsubaki gasped.
"I was hailed as something of a prodigy when it came to the Soul Arts," the doctor offered as explanation. "Here we go!"
There was a yellow flash of light before a person was resting on the table where the scythe had been lying. He looked to be around 15 or 16 with wild white hair and pale skin with a grey tinge. His height would place him just above Maka, only dwarfing her by two or three inches. He was dressed in what would have been very nice clothing, an embroidered green top, tan pants with a belt, and a headband decorated with small white wisps, if not for the giant slash and hole through the shirt and the black stains on it and the pants. Now that the boy was human once again, the blood from the open wounds began flowing freely
"So the rumors of black blood are true," Stein muttered to himself with a smirk, his hands grabbing various tools to work with including vials for blood samples and a needle and thread.
"Tsubaki?" Maka asked, turning away from the gruesome sight. "Why is his blood black?"
"It's the only sign of being a Weapon when in human form," the maid answered, not looking away from where the smiling doctor was working on saving the life of the last known Scythe. "All Weapons have black blood. No one knows why, but it was thought that our blood is partially oil to keep us from rusting. The truth was lost in the Weapons Purge at the end of the Lost Century."
"So if someone has black blood, then they're a weapon without a doubt?"
"From my understanding, yes," Tsubaki answered. "That's why I've always been so careful with sharp things. My blood is black as well."
"Did I hear that right?" Stein questioned, looking up from his stitching but not pausing. "You are a Weapon, maid?" Tsubaki nodded hesitantly. "What are you?"
"A D-Dark Arm."
"And you have yet to find a meister of your own? A real shame. And you, Princess? I take it you are this young man's meister?"
"I guess?" Maka answered. "I haven't even talked to him, yet."
"Yes, I suppose not." Taking a pair of scissors, the doctor snipped a length of thread, separating it from the length sewn into his patient's sword wound, before he reached out for a lit candle and held it over the boy. The wax dropped slowly, searing the remaining openings closed. The boy flinched, but made no other reactions to the rapidly-cooling wax. Turning away from his patient, Stein lifted a vial of blood the color of darkest night and shook it, his eyes narrowing.
"I haven't seen the Mad Plague Poison for several years," he commented, lowering the vial. "I guess it's a good thing I still have the antidote from when I tested it on myself." He dropped the vial on a stand and shuffled to one of the shelves. Picking a jar filled with a reddish substance, he pulled it down and moved back, pouring several drops into the puncture wound in the white-haired boy's side. The wound sizzled, literally, small wafts of steam rising from the injury in the shape of various types of snakes.
The boy gasped in pain, his body flinching. His eyelids flickered back and forth, his eyes underneath moving every which way as the pain pulled him toward consciousness. Stein ignored him, applying a sickly-green salve to the puncture wound that was now free of poison.
"That should do it," Stein stated, wiping his hands on his brown cloak. "Now the real fun begins."
The boy's eyes opened.
The buzzing was getting louder, Soul noted. Was this death? Was he to meet his god and join the rest of his family? If so, why did he still hurt?
"That should do it," a male voice said. "Now the real fun begins."
Real fun? What was happening? Who was that speaking? Soul opened his eyes and immediately regretted that action when light poured in, blinding him. He blinked several times, giving his red eyes time to adjust to the sudden change in lighting.
"He's coming to!" a female voice cheered. "The prince is coming to!"
"Now now, maid," the first voice commented. "Just because he's waking doesn't mean he'll be completely fine."
"You wouldn't understand, Doctor Stein, but this is a historic day for Weapon-kind."
"I fully understand the implications," the man, 'Doctor Stein', stated. "I probably understand them better than you do."
"How are you feeling?" a second female voiced asked. The question directed the prince's attention, pulling his eyes toward the source of the voice. To his right, he found a dirty-blonde girl with pigtails, a red dress, and big, green eyes watching him closely. Next to her stood the maid who was still arguing with the doctor whom Soul guessed was on his left.
"Where am I?" the white-haired Weapon croaked out, revealing his teeth to be sharpened into points. "Who are you?"
"I am Princess Maka Albarn," the girl answered with a hint of pride. "You're in the physician's quarters of Albarn Castle."
"Albarn? I've never heard that name before. Are... Are you part of a new royal family?"
"I suppose that depends on your definition of 'new'," the princess responded. "My great-grandfather established the kingdom 100 years ago, so I guess we're still pretty new."
"100 years?! What year is it?!" The prince sat up quickly, causing his wounds to send a stab of pain through his torso. He winced.
"Your Highness, please," the other woman begged, breaking off her augment with the physician to run to his bedside. "You're still gravely injured. Do not move too much."
"My wounds are nothing," Soul waved off, trying to shift off of the table. "I must get back to Weapon Kingdom. My family is in danger."
"Weapon Kingdom fell almost 300 years ago," the doctor threw in, causing the injured boy to freeze. "You've been in a Weapon-state coma for that long."
"300 years...?" Soul muttered, lying back on the table.
"Doctor Stein," the princess scolded, ignoring the turning of the man's screw. "Have you no tact? You cannot just drop such a statement on someone like that."
"But I did, so there's no point in pussyfooting around now."
"Doctor Stein?" Maka asked. "How long will it take his wounds to heal?"
"Weapons supposedly heal exponentially faster than regular humans, so he should be able to walk tomorrow and sprint in about a week."
"Please," Soul begged. "Who are you all? How did I get here?"
"I brought you here," Maka answered. "I found you in the woods and brought you back, though I thought you were just a regular scythe that only I could lift. I've been training to use you for three months now."
Soul turned to her, sizing her up, before forcing himself in to a kneeling position on top of the table.
"Your Highness!" the maid squeaked. "Your injuries-"
"You are my meister," he incanted, cutting the dark-haired girl off. "We Scythes each only ever accept one who can wield us unless Death forces us to part. Since my kingdom no longer exists, then I will pledge my life to you, Princess Maka Albarn. Please, use me wisely." He bowed, pressing his forehead into the table. Black blood dripped from where his stitches had broken from the movement, but the boy make no acknowledgement to his bleeding.
"Tsubaki?" Maka hissed lowly. "Is this normal for Weapons?"
"I don't know," the maid answered. "So few Weapons have found meisters in the last 300 years that many of the old traditions were lost from disuse."
"I may have knowledge of the Soul Arts," the man responded, "but I am not a Weapon. I don't know their traditions."
"Please," Soul begged again. "Accept me as your servant so that I may have something after losing everything."
"I-I accept," Maka stuttered, fumbling for words and praying she wouldn't say something wrong. "Join me and become my Weapon... I'm sorry, I don't know your name."
"Soul. My name is Prince Soul Evans of Weapon Kingdom. Though I guess I'm not a prince anymore."
"You are still a prince to us, Your Majesty," the maid interjected, kneeling before the bowing prince. "Your family was always good to the Weapons; we will always accept you as our rulers."
"You-? Are you a Weapon?"
"Yes," the servant answered. "I am Tsubaki, a Dark Arm." Her hair shimmered, the ends becoming half of a chain scythe like they had when explaining to the princess earlier that day.
"A Nakatsukasa, then."
"A what?" Tsubaki blinked.
"A Nakatsukasa. That was the name of the Dark Arm Clan: the Nakatsukasa Clan."
"I... I did not know that," Tsubaki admitted. "I had been told that our clan name was lost a century ago."
"And now it has been found once more." He turned back to his meister, holding out a hand. "Now please, take my hand, Princess. In doing so, you will accept the bond of Weapon and meister, binding our souls in a connection that will last until one of us passes into the hands of Lord Death."
Maka hesitated for only a moment before taking the white-haired boy's hand. There was a flash of blinding light which engulfed the duo as their souls expanded and became visible. Soul's soul was a royal blue color on the outside, had a black center which represented his Weapon side, and the Evans' crest, two crossed scythes under a crown, imprinted on the side. The princess' soul was more of a straw color with two pig-tail-like protrusions at the top and also had a crest, a diagonal sword behind a simple castle.
The souls expanded until they met, the light becoming brighter than before as the spirits synchronized their wavelengths, forever binding the prince and princess as Weapon and meister. Soul began to glow as the light died, changing into his Weapon form.
Maka held him with more ease than ever before. She had thought he was light beforehand when she didn't know he was alive, but now she felt like she didn't even have to hold him. Acting without thinking, the princess held out her arms and released her hold on the Scythe.
Soul responded immediately. Without her grip holding him in place, the Scythe started to twirl around the body of his meister, coming within millimeters of slicing her flesh but never drawing blood. Tsubaki gasped is worry as she and Stein watched the display, but the doctor only watched with fascination, a quill in his hand dancing over a piece of parchment as he noted every detail of the exchange, the first recorded Bonding in over 300 years. Finally, after about 30 seconds of the impressive display, Soul rolled into Maka's hands once more where the girl used the leftover momentum to swing him over her shoulder.
"Not to be a downer," Stein spoke up, "but the Scythe isn't fully healed. He'll need to sleep in here since his wounds won't heal while in his Weapon form."
"He will not!" Tsubaki protested. "You would experiment on him!"
"Ah, n-no I wouldn't!" Stein tried to deny. Damn that truth serum he'd tested yesterday!
"Soul will be sleeping in my chambers," the princess finalized. "He is now my Weapon and it will be my job to care for him."
"While we're at it," Soul began, the sound coming from the blade of the Scythe, "you could tell me about what has changed in the world."
"Yes," Maka agreed, "that sounds like a good plan."
"I can't believe the world has changed so much," Soul muttered to himself. He was seated in a chair in Maka's chambers, mauling over all the information he'd just been given, with servants' clothing that Tsubaki had smuggled out for him to wear until something else could be acquired. The princess sat on her bed, Tsubaki standing next to her and Blair nowhere to be seen. They had just finished giving the Weapon Prince a brief overview of the modern world. "And Weapons have been persecuted all this time?"
"Not necessarily," Tsubaki answered. "We haven't been actively pursued, but we still live in constant fear of being found out. General knowledge of Weapons is kept only by the Weapons themselves, the few meisters out there, and a handful of people like Doctor Stein."
"And what of the Kishins? Where are they?"
"The only Kishins I've ever heard of were the ones from stories or legends. As far as I can tell, most Kishins died off with the knowledge of most Soul Arts. If human souls aren't kept from passing, then no one can eat them."
"It's hard to believe that there were monsters out there that ate human souls," Maka muttered. "What do souls even taste like?"
"I don't know, Princess," the maid replied. "Weapons have the innate ability to freeze the soul of whatever they kill in the living world, but I've never tried."
"I've never eaten a soul before, either," Soul offered, "but from what my brother told me, it's not so much about the taste than about the texture."
"I don't wanna know," Maka waved of quickly. "It was a rhetorical question. The big thing we need to talk about is how we're going to introduce you to my father." Soul opened his mouth to respond before slowly closing it again.
"...Do we have to?" he almost squeaked.
"Maka's father is the king," Tsubaki thought aloud. "He has the right to know about Weapons. The only reason I've never told him was because he's never encountered one and needed to know."
"Soul being a Weapon isn't the problem," Maka replied. "I'm more worried about the fact that Soul is male." The prince paled until his skin matched his hair. "Papa would insist on Soul having the free room furthest from my quarters, but that wouldn't be practical. And that's considering he doesn't try to kick him out of the kingdom or be executed for some reason."
"Worst comes to worst, Prince Soul could just change into his Weapon form," Tsubaki offered. "Only another Weapon or a direct attack to his soul wavelength could hurt him while he's in that form."
"This'll be fine," Maka waved off, not truly believing her own words. "This'll be just fine."
Maka and Tsubaki strode into the king's throne room that evening, the princess carrying her ever-present scythe over her shoulder. The only other people in the room were the king himself upon his throne, three men from some guild or another whom had scheduled an audience with him, and four knights with one stationed at each corner.
"...and that why restarting the lead mines in the north would be good for business," one of the three men concluded, bowing to the king with a flourish. Spirit stared at the man for a minute, watching him for any signs of lying.
"...Very well," the redheaded ruler finally sighed. "I will allow the mines to run for one year, but if the economy does not improve or I deem that any losses outweigh the gains, I will have the mines shut down once again."
"Thank you, Your Majesty," the man breathed. "You are most generous." The three businessmen bowed and shuffled out of the room, leaving the king, his daughter, and her maid. Spirit's demeanor changed instantly, the man flinging himself off of his throne.
Use to this shenanigans, the princess smoothly dodged her overprotective father, leaving him to land sprawled on the floor.
"Father," Maka greeted. "We need to talk."
"What about, my darling?" Spirit replied, pulling himself to his feet. "Is something the matter? Whatever it is, I will have it dealt with!"
"No, Papa," Maka denied quickly. "I have something important to tell you, but I want you to do nothing about it."
"How can you demand something like that of me, my precious daughter?"
"Papa, please," Maka began. "I stumbled across some information about the Lost Century. I'll need you to dismiss the guards before I can tell you."
Spirit hesitated for a second, the request explaining the severity of the situation. He raised his right hand and gestured toward the door, the four knights exiting as silently as their armor would allow. The wooden doors slammed shut behind them, the noise echoing through the nearly-empty room.
"There," the king stated. "We are alone. What is it you wanted to tell me? You said it was something about the Lost Century?"
"Father, we're about to show you something. Please don't freak out." Spirit nodded uneasily. "Alright. Tsubaki, please start. It's best he sees it from someone he knows."
"Yes, Princess," the maid responded, pulling her hair forward and letting the change occur. Spirit stared in silence, mystified. "Your Majesty," the maid began, bowing, "I am Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, a member of the Clan of Dark Arms. I am a Soul Weapon."
"What, but, I, how?" Spirit stammered. "Wait. Did you just say that you are a Soul Weapon?"
"That is the term in this era, yes."
"But then..." He trialled off, his eyes turning to the object in his daughter's hands. In response, Maka held the scythe out in front of her.
"Your turn," the princess commented, releasing her hold of the weapon. The blade glinted, moving around her form of its own accord before flashing, a blob of light that was once the scythe condensing into the kneeling form of a young man.
"Greetings, Your Highness," the weapon-turned-boy said. "Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Prince Soul Evans of the Scythe Clan of Weapon Kingdom. I am your daughter's Weapon."
Spirit blinked, trying to wrap his head around the fact that the weapon his daughter had brought home and had been hanging over her bed for three months was alive. And it was a boy.
It, a boy, had been in the same room as his precious little girl...
Watching her sleep...
Watching her change...
"Get out of my kingdom!" Spirit yelled with every once of parental rage he could muster. "How dare you try to take advantage of my little girl!"
"My apologies, King Spirit," Soul responded calmly, as if he had been expecting the outburst, "but I only take orders from one person. You are not my meister."
"And who is your master, then?" Spirit demanded.
"My meister," the boy corrected, "is Princess Maka. Only she may order me."
"And I'm keeping him," the princess stated, almost as if he were a lost puppy. "Soul and I have already completed the Bonding. We are partners for life."
"You've 'Bonded' with my daughter?!" the king screeched, taking the phrase to mean something dirty. "You little bastard! I'll have you executed for touching my baby!"
"You will do no such thing!" the princess yelled, dragging her father's attention to where she was glaring at him, her maid brandishing her own metal blade/hair threateningly, the chainscythe having become a small sword. "He is my Weapon! This is why I asked you not to freak out!"
"The Bonding ritual," Tsubaki stated coldly, "involved the Prince's soul and the Princess' to touch and accept each other. Nothing more. Doctor Stein and I witnessed it ourselves."
"Fine," Spirit growled. "You may stay. I will have a room in the west wing prepared for you."
"Unacceptable," Maka denied. "Should danger arise, the west wing is too far from my room in the east. He will be staying in my chambers."
"Absolutely not! I will tolerate his presence, Maka, but for him to room with you is too far!"
"You cannot stop me, Papa," the princess stated. "I have already made the proper arrangements."
"Indeed." Silence fell over the group of four, the lack of noise almost stifling in the large room. Deciding that little talking was required at this point, the princess reached toward her Weapon. "Come."
Soul glowed, changing back into the weapon that had become synonymous with the princess over the last few months as the young royal twirled her Weapon around her form before resting it- him- over her shoulder. Tsubaki undid her transformation in response, her hair once more becoming nothing but hair. The duo of girls began walking toward the door.
"Oh, and Papa?" Maka said, turning her eyes back toward the king. "The reason the Lost Century was lost was because the Weapons have been hiding ever since. Having a 300-year-old servant will be very enlightening."
Opening the doors, Maka gestured to the knights who had been waiting outside to return to their posts. The doors slid shut behind them, leaving the flabbergasted king with only his thoughts and four silent guards. He let out a low whine.
"I'm glad that's settled," Princess Maka sighed as the doors closed behind the guards. "Now, what do you say we go talk to Captain Black*Star?"
"A-Are you sure?" Tsubaki stuttered. "If we want to keep mine and Prince Soul's statuses as Weapons a secret, then would telling the captain really be a good idea?"
"Don't worry about it," Maka waved off. "You know how he is. He's an idiot, but he's kept my secret adventures quiet, so I know he can keep a secret." She turned toward her maid with a gleam in her eyes. "Let's go get you a meister." Tsubaki jumped, blushing.
End of Chapter 3
Once again, I will say, this story is up for adoption! I don't know enough of the Soul Eater lore to finish this, but maybe one of you can? I'd love to see it happen! The only condition I have is that it must be a MakaXSoul pairing.
Read and Review!