This story took place in Japan, before the World War 2 erupted, about a prince who met an American- Japanese woman and a peculiar painter
Akihiro is the son of King Kazumi. They are living in Aoyama Palace in Tokyo. Akihiro is loved by so many men and ladies since he is a noble and humble prince
He is young, and dashing with beautiful hair and sparkly eyes. Ladies flash their long eyelashes and most beautiful smiles whenever he comes around, especially when he is seen in Ameyayokocho, a night market.
" 'Honne and Tatemae' I definitely would not say anything at all to these ladies instead! Oh and look, how they worship that prince. They're all pathetic. He's gonna marry a princess, anyway!" Aimi thought, munching another piece of her favorite fruit drop.
Aimi, young as the prince, does not really believe in love and all sorts of destiny things. She hated this place, Tokyo. Aimi is an orphan and she learned to be tough ever since her parents died when she was just 4 years old.
She always feels like she's from a different place or country and definitely she hates seeing her reflection in the mirror.
"I should come home now, the road could be too crowded by now since the prince is here!" Aimi rushed to her paperbags and put it in her basket.
Aimi is riding her bike and definitely relieved by the silence of the night and the cool breeze brushing her face and lips, her thoughts of childhood flooded her mind...
She was completely in a nostalgic moment when she suddenly came to a halt.
"Kuso!" Aimi shouted "Ahhh!" Prince Akihiro crouched down
"What are you thinking! It's in the middle of the night! In a dark road! Ah, thank God my rice is still in my basket!
"You almost hit me, and you only care for your rice!" "I apologize for my attitude, Your highness, I did not saw you crossing the road and without your troops I would'nt recognize it's you. I hope you are okay." Aimi was unable to look straight to him when she got to her senses that it's Prince Akihiro.
The only light source was coming from thousand fireflies that night. Well who to blame?
"But it's okay, and you shouldn't really be--" Akihiro was stopped when,
Aimi was back on her bike pedalling away from the prince without any word.
And that was the first time he saw her.
Akihiro was sitting by the windows that morning, catching himself smiling and the thoughts of that girl the other night. He kind of wanting to see her again but how?
"Good morning, Akihiro, my son! Happy 22nd Birthday my dear one!" King Kazumi entered with a gift.
"Oh, father, thank you for this. You really don't need to buy me some gift, you know "It's all right, son. You deserve it." "Thank you, father. I am always grateful to have you"
Aimi is walking around while waiting for the fireworks show when she felt someone is standing really close to her, she turned around,
"Woah!" "Young lady, would you mind buying mooncakes from me? Nobody bought these tonight and to be honest I do not want to go back home with no medicine for my daughter" whispered out an old man with spectacled sunglasses to Aimi.
"Well, I only got some money, but here's all I have." "This is too much, how can I repay you, Aimi!" "How did you know my name?"
"I am blind but I can sense a heart calling out for ya!" "What, what do you mean?"
"Nevermind my dear, if you do not mind, would you accompany me buying some medicines, eversince my wife died, I was always stumbling in taking care of my daughter and walking in these busy streets of Tokyo!"
"Oh okay, here, hold my shoulder. I'll bring you to nearest store for medicines" "And, young lady? I want you to let me repay you, by having a portrait of your face, if you don't mind?"
"How could you still paint if you're blind" "I became blind because of my cataract, but it did not stop me. My daughter describes me everything while painting nature, birds, the people, anything.
Aimi was sitting in front of a mirror, and behind it, was the old man from the market with his blank canvas, oil, paint and brush placed in the right boxes where the old man already memorizes.
"So, young lady, you can describe yourself to me or what you can actually see in the mirror, so I can paint you"
"I am, wearing a blue kimono dress--" "Young lady, describe me yourself, but I want to paint you with a smiley face okay ya?"
"Uhmmm, I have small brown eyes, with long eyelashes, and my eyes are droopy even if I smile. I have cheekbones but they are quite pale, my nose are awkwardly small like someone got some fish nose and stick it on my face" "Go on, go on" said the old man
"Oh my lips are kinda small too. I've got crooked two front teeth and it seems to bite my tongue all the time. My hair is quite dull and straight with no volume at all, and some baby hair still sticks out till now, you know it's really hard to describe something so pale and blank you know"
"Oh Aimi, here's your painting, and I put some firefly glow around you, you don't know how beautiful you are, my dear young one"
Aimi saw it. The painting is just how she described herself. And she wasn't disappointed and not really impressed, well, she's not the pretty one all right. Aimi thought.
"Oh thank you sir, for this.. uhhh, painting. Sure to take care of yourself too! Keep using those walking sticks so you won't trip all right! I gotta go since Auntie Hanna would sure be mad!"
Prince Akihiro had an idea on how he would see her again. He's the prince after all.
He rushed to Master Oogway, the greatest painter of his time. From the Royal family portrait to his great great grandfather and uncle's great great grandfather and the list goes on- was painted by Oogway
He's old now and became blind when he was 56 years old, and now that Master Oogway is 93 he still paints, but Akihiro knows he has to describe all details of her to Oogway.
"So, Aki, you want me to paint this girl you've seen last night and so you can make copies of it to announce to the whole Tokyo? Should I write "WHO IS SHE?" or "THE FIREFLY LADY" or how would you want it Aki?"
"Hahaha you never fail, sir. But it's the only way you see" "So, let's do it! Anything for you, the Noble Prince Akihiro!"
"Her eyes are hazelnut brown and when she looked at me at that brief moment, it made me remember my childhood days when my mom told me stories about a brave princess"
"Her nose is beautiful and small, just like a beautiful mountain bird beak, graceful and unaware of its beauty"
Her cheeks made me feel like I am floating in sea waves and letting me drift along as it glows with moonlight's shine.
Her lips, made me remember the summer sunset when it meets the sea and mirrors the red orange sun beams.
Her teeth are crooked but beautifully done. I never saw something so imperfect can become so natural, and I am amazed how she made me feel different kinds of happiness in that short time.
I don't know why but the fireflies flying around us that night made it extra magical.
Oh! and her hair, straight, color of deep black, but it glows in the night, it is long and kind of curly in the ends, everything's natural about her. I was mesmerized."
Akihiro narrated everything, as he let the memory replay in slow motion.
Master Oogway finished the the portrait, it was definitely a beautiful one. It almost looked like the first one he did a while ago, but with glow and love and a red string on the girl's pinky finger.
Prince Akihiro was amazed how the painter did this, "I had some practice, ya know!" Master Oogway blurted out, with a mysterious smile on his face.