Disclaimer: I do not own Kyou Kara Maou or any of its characters.

Beta-ed by: Guinechan.

Warnings (overall): Spoilers for the end of Season Two. Language, violence, blood, dark/adult themes angst.

Pairing(s): Yuuri/Wolfram, with a few very minor others on the side.

Setting: Starts four years post-Season Two. Please ignore all OVAs, as well as Season Three. I began writing this long before Season Three was even announced, and I have no intention of changing the entire story in order to fit everything that was newly introduced. I may use certain Season Three characters at some point, such as Sara, but overall Season Three or any of the new characters introduced within it have no part in this fic.

Rating: A majority of this fic will be rated PG-13/T. However, by the end it should have successfully risen to R/M.

Love and War

by Mikage

Chapter One - Commencer - To Begin

A lot had changed since the day the Great One had gone for good, since the boxes had been destroyed and the darkness that had been unleashed faded away. Yuuri liked to think that they were headed towards brighter times, that all that had happened before and everything that was going on now was truly leading them to a time of peace and serenity. The humans and the demon people had finally begun to work together, bridging the gaps that had once existed between their two races, their hatred for one another decreasing, and the violence temporarily ceasing.

It was what Yuuri had been working towards since he first became the king of the Great Demon Kingdom, all those years ago when he'd found himself sucked down a toilet and thrust into this strange, new world. Forty-eight months had gone by since then, four years that had seen heroic adventures, dangerous battles, and tragedies and triumphs alike. He'd successfully retrieved the Demon Sword Morgif, stopped a civil war from breaking out between some of the demon tribe territories, located the Demon Flute, made friends with rulers of human countries, found all four boxes, and saved the entire world from certain destruction.

Through all that it was only apparent the he would grow up, his adolescence slowly but surely leading him into adulthood. He'd aged four years, and although he'd been considered an adult in the Great Demon Kingdom at the age of sixteen, he was just shy of reaching the required age in Japan. He was no longer a child; he wasn't as stupid and naive as he'd once appeared. He'd gotten used to his duties as king, had been taught the ways of politics by Günter, had spent numerous hours with the lavender haired man drilling so much information into his head that there wasn't much room left to hold any more.

He could now read and write in the demon language just as well as he spoke it, talked with dignitaries and representatives of different countries about treaties and trade agreements as if he'd been doing so all his life, could discuss foreign policies and national security as well as he could baseball. All the long, boring hours he'd spent locked in the castle study with his royal adviser had paid of immensely. He no longer seemed like such a fool while looking over maps with Gwendal and Hube as they discussed battle and defensive tactics, no longer seemed like such a simpleton, but more like a real king should be.

He'd gotten much better at fighting with a sword as well, had spent many afternoons out on the castle grounds with Wolfram, allowing the blond haired youth to teach him the proper way to handle a blade. It had been tiring and difficult, as Wolfram had refused to go easy on him, and their little skirmishes had resulted in more than a few bumps and bruises, but the only alternative would have been to train with Conrad. At first, Yuuri thought it would have been easier and less hazardous that way, but after taking a week to work with the brown haired man he'd found that his guardian was even more strict about such things than his younger brother, and the demon king had found himself crawling back to the blond noble after five days.

Now he discovered that the art of swordplay came much easier to him, and he was able to defend himself against attacks without needing much help. His offensive skills had improved as well, and he could easily hold his own against Wolfram, when he would have been lucky to be able to disarm him before. They weren't exactly equals, but Yuuri could now give his friend a run for his money, the two of them taking the time to practice together whenever the king wasn't busy with his other duties. This pleased Wolfram to no end, Yuuri knew, as the blond had long since been looking for the perfect way to spend time with him.

But his abilities hadn't been the only thing to change over the years. His appearance had gone through a few changes, too, ones he thought were for the better. Despite the Mazoku blood that he possessed, they'd all discovered that he was aging more like a human, his other half seeming more dominant than the demon side of him. He was still young, not even twenty yet, but he'd aged quite a bit in the last four years. His facial features had sharpened; he didn't look like such a little boy anymore, and his dark eyes didn't look so wide and innocent. He was beginning to take after his older brother, the family resemblance becoming a little more noticeable with each new year.

He'd grown his hair out at Wolfram's insistence, the thick black strands almost long enough to brush against his shoulders. The blond noble claimed that it made him appear more regal, like the Great Demon King did whenever he was released, which was becoming less and less these days as Yuuri learned to tap into his magic on his own. Personally, he liked his hair better short, but it was either grow it out of have Wolfram bugging him about it everyday. Anyone in the Great Demon Kingdom could tell you which was the less annoying of the two.

He didn't seem so scrawny anymore, either, had grown taller, stronger, bulking up somewhat in order to improve not only his sword skills, but his catching abilities as well. He still had a ways to go before being close to Gwendal in stature, as the grumpy dark haired man was still inches taller and far stronger than him, but he'd almost caught up to Conrad, who always looked at him with so much pride in his warm brown eyes, just as much his older brother as Shori was. Conrad was always commenting on how much he'd grown, his guardian's happiness having increased when all the past issues had been settled. He no longer seemed plagued by bad memories and thoughts of Julia, his friendly smile now showing his genuine happiness.

The destruction of the boxes had put most everyone's minds at ease, and they'd been able to live relatively peaceful lives since then, everyone putting their pasts behind them and moving on to the future. Even Adelbert, one of the more hostile and distrustful demon Yuuri had met while acting as king, had cooled off and calmed down, becoming more accepting of his late fiancé's destiny. Yuuri was happy to call the large blond man an ally, even though he'd yet to return and take his rightful place as one of the Ten Aristocrats, choosing to remain with the band of outcasts he'd befriended instead.

Life had gone on, and Yuuri had, so far, been very pleased with it's path. He could now travel between both worlds at will, spent a few days with his parents and brother before returning to attend to his duties as king, living amongst the members of the family he had found in the Great Demon Kingdom. It was nice knowing that wherever he went he'd have someone to talk his problems out with, people who loved him and were willing to assist him in his endeavors. He loved both of his homes, cherished the time he spent in both worlds, glad that he hadn't really been expected to give one up for the other. There were too many people he cared about, too many things he loved to just leave half of it behind.

He'd continued to play baseball even while spending his time in the alternate world. He no longer went to school on Earth and so wasn't part of a team there anymore, had graduated and seen most of his teammates off to college, but he'd tried very hard to introduce his favorite pastime to the people of the Great Demon Kingdom and their allied kingdoms, working towards making it the national sport. A lot of the little children had already caught on, and he and Conrad had succeeded in creating a Little League. Yuuri was thrilled to see them all working so hard every time he went to the stadium to watch a game. It warmed his heart to see that they were enjoying something he had grown to love when he'd been just as young.

The Palace of the Original King had been rebuilt, and even though it no longer held as much importance as it once had, the yearly ceremonies continued to be conducted and celebrated there. Ulrike and the other shrine maidens still resided under it's roof, whispering prayers to their beloved first king, who lived on in memory if not in spirit. He was no longer there to give orders and control the destiny of others from the shadows, but the demon tribe still glorified him, his palace serving as a monument so that all would remember the king who cared so much that he'd protected them even in death.

Yuuri had a feeling that although the Great One was now truly gone, he would never be forgotten. In a sense he was the Arthur of this world, the once and future king, someone who would defy time and death for the sake of his people.

Murata was the only one who did not remain housed in the shrine, choosing to live amongst the others at Blood Pledge Castle instead, moving on with his current life in an attempt to put all of the memories of his past lives behind him. The Great Sage had become just as his title proclaimed, a wise councilor to the thrown, someone with immense knowledge of the land and it's people, helping Yuuri in his tasks as king. The young bespectacled man spent a lot of time around Günter and Gwendal, sometimes even remaining in the Great Demon Kingdom when Yuuri returned to Earth, his vast intellect proving to be a great help to everyone.

Being full human, Ken had continued to age just as quickly as the young king, and though he still looked and acted like the same old Murata he'd known since junior high, the other man had gained a certain refinement that Yuuri felt he would always lack, king or not. Murata had matured greatly. He'd become more serious, a side effect from being around Gwendal so much, Yuuri supposed, but his friend still knew how to have fun, and the mischievous, knowing glint he'd always been known for would still enter his dark eyes on certain occasions.

When the need arose to travel to allied countries for important meetings and Yuuri was unable to attend because of more pressing matters in the capital, he would trustfully send Murata in his place, the Sage having become as much his proxy as Gwendal had always been. The other young man took to these sorts of tasks very well, adept in soothing angered lords and worming his way back into their good favor, able to keep he tentative peace that was often tested. The humans and demons had done a good job with keeping good relations so far, but with all the things that had happened between the two races in the past, that peace could fall apart just as easily as it had been created. Hence the reason why Murata's infinite wisdom and smooth talk was so necessary.

Recently, though, things hadn't been going as wonderfully as the young king had always hoped, and the peace he'd striven for was being threatened, not only by the humans who they had yet to befriend, but also with some of their allies and members of their own race. Belar had been prevented from getting a hold of all four sacred boxes and using them for his evil purposes, but he hadn't let that failure deter him in his plans to destroy the demon tribe. He'd been building up his forces over the last few years, oppressing his people and threatening the countries he shard borders with. Big Cimaron was still very much a problem, and it was growing by the day.

Just six months ago, Smaller Cimaron had been taken over by Belar and his men, joining Big Cimaron and returning to the single country it had been long ago. Yuuri had learned through his lessons with Günter that Small Cimaron had broken off from it's larger counterpart after a civil war had erupted between it's people, those who allied themselves to the Belar family, who'd been in power for centuries, and those who wanted to overthrow them and form a new hierarchy. The smaller kingdom had fought hard to stop control from returning to Belar, but they hadn't had enough resources and man power, falling after only a few short weeks of war. Caloria, a demon friendly autonomy of Small Cimaron, inevitably went with it.

Since then, Belar had been going after other countries as well, starting with those not allied with the demon tribe in an attempt to strengthen his forces, gaining the support of Anselm, Labrentsis, Medgar and many others. Over the past month, he'd been conducting spontaneous attacks on those kingdoms that were demon friendly, threatening Francia, Cavalcade, and others should they remain allied with their enemies. Cimaron had even gone so far as to invade two villages within the lands of the Great Demon Kingdom, one in the territory of Karbelnikoff, and the other in Voltaire, both of which Anissina and Gwendal had taken personally.

Yuuri had tried to calm things down, keeping their lines of communication open in the hopes that they could eventually work something out. But Belar had never been one to talk; he hardly cared to peacefully negotiate with kings of his own race, much less the demon tribe, and they had yet to get any closer to solving this problem. The young demon king had already warned Cimaron the he would not allow them to cross into his lands and harm his people, and although Belar had backed off for the time being, the black haired monarch knew it was only a matter of time before they started in on them again. Belar had not given up before, and he wouldn't give up now.

Yuuri knew that if things continued as they were, he'd have to do something to stop the other king, that no matter how much he wanted peace, he couldn't allow his people to come to harm. He'd openly refused to go to war with the rebelling kingdoms, and though he continued to stand by that decision, there were others among them who desired otherwise. He knew Gwendal was already severely tempted to go ahead and send the troops out, even if he had to do so against the king's orders. Only Günter and Murata had been able to talk him into waiting just a little longer, wanting to give Yuuri the chance to think up another solution. A few of the other territories were also pressing for war, angry over the fact that their king was taking so long to act.

But Yuuri would try everything in his power, everything he could possibly think of to keep the peace, before sending his people off to battle. War was not an option he was willing to take; it never had been and it never would be. Fighting against one another was not a good way to solve their many differences. If anything, it would just increase the animosity and lead to the countless deaths of innocent people. Both sides would suffer greatly before they saw an end to it, just as they had in the last war, and Yuuri refused to be the one to sign the paper that would allow such a thing to take place. He could not, would not, send any man off to die for him. It was unacceptable.

However, though the demon tribe had desired peace before, wanting to forget the days of death and darkness that had filled their lives, when faced with this new and growing threat they were equally divided. Half of them sided with their king and wanted to find an alternative to war, not wanting to return to the horrible times they'd seen twenty-four years ago. The other half was willing to do anything they could to stop the humans from advancing any further, and if that meant going into battle then that's what they would have to do. The Aristocrats were up in arms about the situation, arguing amongst themselves, making Yuuri worry about the growing animosity between his own people.

It was times like this when he hated being king, when he was faced with such a difficult decision, knowing that he could end up alienating half of his kingdom by making the wrong choice. It was when these sorts of things happened that he most wanted to go back to Earth, even if he knew doing such a thing would be cowardly of him, a betrayal to his friends and people. He just didn't want to be faced with something such as this. He wasn't sure he could do the right thing, didn't even know what the 'right thing' was. Either way, people would die, whether he sent them off to do so or Belal attacked again. The results would be the same.

So, then, what was he supposed to do?

He'd been agonizing over that particular question all day, sitting in the high backed chair behind his desk in the king's study, flipping through the stacks of paperwork that always made his eyes hurt. He'd spent the last few days lost in his thoughts, attempting to think of something he could say to Belar to make the man see reason, only he hadn't come up with a single answer. It seemed hopeless to even try, and if he were any less stubborn he would have given up by now. The only thing stopping him from giving in was the thought of all those men who would surely die.

Looking up form the document he'd been scanning though for the last few minutes, after reading the same paragraph at least fifteen times, Yuuri took notice of the small group of people who'd joined him in the office, each of them with serious looks on their faces. It was pretty normal for Günter and Gwendal to be in here with him, as he still needed their assistance sometimes, often asking them for their honest opinions before signing certain papers. Murata's presence, too, was not uncommon, especially if he'd just returned from negotiations with another kingdom.

But the other black haired boy had not been away since the end of the previous week, and had already given his report of the meetings that had taken place. What's more, Conrad was also currently present, which wasn't extremely odd but usually meant Günter and Gwendal were about to suggest something he would not agree with and they wanted an extra person in there to soothe and cajole him. After all, when everyone else failed at talking some sense into him, Conrad was usually able to get through. Talking him through everything and providing reassurance was just one of the many things the brunet was good at.

"What is it?" Yuuri asked. If all three of his advisers were in here, and they'd felt the need to have Conrad come as well, then whatever they had to say was not going to be good.

He was right.

"Your Majesty," the lavender haired man began, appearing a little nervous as he spoke to his beloved king. "We think..." he trailed off for just a second, stealing a worried glance in Gwendal's direction before he was able to continue on. "We think it's time to discuss your marriage to Lord von Bielefeld."

Yuuri's heart instantly sank.

If there was one thing that he would rather not have to think about other than the possibility of going to war, it was his engagement to the blond haired noble. It had been a complete accident to begin with; what was even worse was that they'd yet to come to any sort of resolution concerning the matter. It had continuously been put off, to be discussed at a later date, and if Yuuri had had it his way he would have liked to have forgotten about the whole thing. The night of the actual engagement was not an evening he looked back on fondly, and he'd tried over the last four years to put it as far out of his mind as possible.

It wasn't as if he didn't love Wolfram. He really did, but not in the way the other boy wanted him to. Wolfram was one of his closest friends. They'd been through so much together that it was hard to imagine what his life would have been like had the beautiful blond demon not been in it. When the Great One had taken Wolfram's heart, one of the four keys, and the pale boy had seemed to have died, Yuuri's own heart had stopped cold in his chest. Wolfram had always been there for him, protected him, was there for him to talk to whenever he was troubled, and made him feel better by doing something so simple and mundane and calling him a wimp.

But despite all of that, Yuuri didn't know if he could actually marry him, didn't think his feelings ran that deep. Wolfram had always taken their engagement very seriously, while Yuuri hadn't even wanted to think about it. At first it had been because they were both men; now he realized that that wasn't really the problem. Not only had the proposal itself been a mistake, but he wasn't sure how he felt. He loved Wolfram, but he wasn't in love with Wolfram... or at least he didn't think so. He was pretty sure he'd know something like that after the four years that had gone by.

"Wait, but..." he began, shaking his head slowly. "...that was a mistake. I've said so before," he gave his usual reply, not knowing what else he could say.

Why were they bringing it up now anyway?

"You refused to take it back, Your Majesty," Günter reminded him cautiously.

"I didn't know what I'd done!" he continued on with the same lame excuses. "That was before I knew any of the costumes of this world! Why should I be held accountable for it?"

"But, Shibuya, even after you found out you didn't exactly try to break it off," Murata pointed out.

Yuuri sputtered. It was difficult to explain himself without sounding cruel, or without saying things that he didn't mean. He'd never been very good at finding the right words; it only got worse when he was nervous, and he was left a stuttering, babbling fool. "W-well... that's because I... I... I didn't want to hurt his feelings or anything. I mean... he seems so serious about it and I..."

"We think it's a good idea," Gwendal broke in, not allowing him to finish. At the king's look of surprise, the dark haired Chief of State continued with his explanation. "These are serious times we are in now. Even if we do not plan on a war, the situation with the humans is tense. The marriage of our king would give our people more insurance to believe that you have every intention of ruling this country properly. It would boost morale and make you appear to be a more stable ruler."

"But..." Yuuri tried to cut him off, but Gwendal's deep voice easily drowned out the sound of his own.

"Our people have long since been aware of your engagement to Wolfram and support for your marriage is high. They will see it as a sign that you are fully prepared to take on all of the responsibilities as king. Also, should the need arise for you to be elsewhere, be it another kingdom or Earth, Wolfram would be here to take care of matters in your absence. He is more than capable of ruling by your side," the eldest of the three brothers went on. "He knows the land and he knows the people."

"Then, of course, there is the fact the he is one of the previous Queen's sons," Günter added, his voice as soothing as always, bu there was a certain edge to it that he only got when they were faced with such a dire situation. "He is well aware of the responsibilities and will be able to deal with them. The people are also very reassured by the fact that he is young; it means he will be around for quite a while and be able to rule in your place when..."

He didn't finish, nor did he really have to. Yuuri knew what he'd been about to say anyway; it was obvious with the way his speech had tapered off so abruptly. The black haired king was actually kind of glad that he'd aged over the last four years; he thought his stronger, older appearance demanded more respect than what he'd received as a young, bumbling teenager, but his demon companions had been rather disheartened. If he kept aging as he was now, he would die long before any of them and would not live as long as most of their past kings had.

It was imperative, then, that he marry someone young, and preferably someone who was full demon, to take over when he was no longer able to rule. When he thought about it and looked passed the issues he had with the idea of marrying his blond friend, he knew that Wolfram was really the perfect candidate. He was hardly an adult by demon tribe standards, he'd been trained in the military for most of his life, was well versed in politics and could be depended upon to make important decisions. He couldn't think of anyone more suited to rule by his side, and the fact that Wolfram was actually willing to go through with marrying him would only make things easier.

"But..." Yuuri tried to speak, fidgeting with the quill he'd been signing his name with, picking at the feather worriedly. "It would just be a marriage for appearances sake," he voiced his thoughts out loud. "It just doesn't seem right. Isn't... isn't that a little unfair to Wolfram. I mean, to expect so much out of him. Have you even asked him what he thinks about the idea?"

Murata looked at him, black eyes staring directly into black. "Do you doubt him?" he asked. He wasn't as forceful as Gwendal, nor as convincing as Günter was trying to be, but Yuuri could tell that his friend from Earth agreed with everything the two older men had said so far.

"No!" Yuuri denied, shaking his head emphatically. "I... I just... I just don't think it's fair to expect him to go along with it! You're not taking his feelings into account!"

"We don't have the time!" Gwendal bellowed, causing the young king to jump in his chair, onyx eyes looking up at him, surprised by his sudden outburst. "Wolfram may be spoiled but he knows what would be in the best interests of the Great Demon Kingdom and its people! Even if he did not have feelings for you he would still agree to this marriage for the sake of the kingdom!"

The dark haired boy remained quiet as all occupants of the room fell silent. He could tell that no matter what kind of excuses he came up with, his mentors weren't going to be swayed in their decision. They'd obviously given this a lot of thought, spent time going over the current situation and putting the interest of their country before the personal feelings of their king. Yuuri had to wonder if they'd been planning on bringing this up for a while now, since it appeared as if they had an answer or a comeback for everything he said. They'd known what his reaction would be ahead of time and had prepared themselves for it accordingly.

"What's going on?" he finally asked, glancing around the room at each of them, looking first to the Great Sage, before shifting his gaze to Conrad, then Gwendal and Günter. "I understand what you're saying, but... why are you bringing this up now? We've been engaged for four years. Why is it suddenly so important that we get married now?"

He was glad they hadn't thought to bring Wolfram in with them. He didn't know what he would have done if they'd had to have this conversation with the other boy present. He didn't like the idea of a forced marriage, but he liked hurting his friend even less. Wolfram may have been able to hide his feelings pretty well had he been in here, but Yuuri knew his continued attempts to try and get out of the wedding would have hurt him more than he would have been willing to admit. He didn't want to do that to him, not to someone he cared about so much.

"We've never been this close to a war before, Your Majesty," Günter explained, as if he'd forgotten about the time with Stoffel soon after Yuuri had become king, when the former Queen's older brother had abducted him and tried to use him for his own nefarious purposes.

"We're not going to war," Yuuri made sure to remind him, his dark eyes narrowing. He hated it when someone so much as suggested it. "I'm not going to send our people off to-"

"Francia has fallen, Your Majesty," Conrad cut in, the first words he'd said since the start of this conversation, and they couldn't have been any more discouraging.

Yuuri's mouth fell open. "What?" the demon king asked, disbelieving. "What do you mean? When did this happen?"

The last he'd heard, Antoine and his men had still been in fair condition, and Belar's troops were scattered on so many fronts that the small army approaching their border hadn't seemed like much of a threat at all, definitely not something they would have been unable to deal with, even a little country like Francia.

"We received word not even an hour ago. It seems Belar's troops launched a surprise attack. There were more Cimaronian solders hiding within the forests than they had anticipated. Francia's forces were crushed. They didn't stand a chance."

"What happened to Antoine and Laila? Are they okay?"

"They were able to escape," Murata reported. "They're making their way to Cavalcade for now. We've already sent out a group of our own men to assist them. We figured you'd want to make sure they got there safely."

"Yes, of course," the black haired king agreed, too shocked by this sudden turn of events to be able to think clearly.

"We also received a message from Yozak early this morning," Conrad was speaking again. "Belar is plotting an attack on Cavalcade sometime within the next few weeks. It also seems as if he plans on invading the Great Demon Kingdom before the end of the year."

"Now do you understand what kind of situation we've found ourselves in?" Gwendal wondered harshly, sharp blue eyes glaring at him. "No matter how much you wish to refrain from going to war, if they attack we must defend our people. This wedding is necessary, Your Majesty. If something were to happen to you, we would need someone worthy enough to take over. With His Majesty the Great One no longer here to choose the next king, it would be wise for us to make sure that we have someone in place to take the throne after you. Wolfram would be your spouse as well as your heir."

Yuuri didn't say anything for a long time, simply lifted his hands to cover his face with his elbows resting against the surface of the desk, trying to clear his mind enough to come up with something to say. It was all too much; to hear that Francia had fallen to Cimaron and that his friends were now in danger of being captured and held prisoner was bad enough. To have this marriage suddenly forced on him at a time like this was even worse. He didn't know what to think, what to do, and it was difficult to separate what was for the good of the people from his personal feelings.

He knew that this wasn't something he could rush in to, that no matter how important his advisers deemed this wedding to be, it wasn't a decision that he could make on his own. He also knew that, as king, he could simply refuse and move on to other business, place all of his focus and attention on making sure that his friends were safe, and try to forget that this idea had even been brought up. But they were right about the fact that he would need someone, a queen, a prince or princess, someone in place should ill will befall him. He knew that an attempt at his life was not at all improbable at this point in time. In fact, it had never been.

The easiest solution would be to go ahead and schedule a wedding between himself and Wolfram. They were already engaged, so it wouldn't look as if it had suddenly been thrown together for the sake of the future of the country, even if, in truth, it really was. And everything his four companions had said concerning the other boy was entirely true; Wolfram was fit for the position, he knew Wolfram would do a good job. But...

He couldn't stop the voice in his head, the one that was screaming out about how unfair this was, not just to him, but to his devoted fiancé. It shouldn't be this way. They should want to marry one another, not be forced into it.

'Wolfram does want to marry me, though,' another part of his mind pointed out. 'So is it really so bad? He'll get what he wants, and we'll be protecting the kingdom at the same time. The only one who'll have a problem is me,' he thought it out, still hiding behind his hands.

'But I'm the king. I should be prepared to make some sacrifices, shouldn't I? I have to ignore my own feelings and think of the people. That's what it means to be a good king, right?'

However, there was one person's feelings he couldn't ignore, one person he had to put before the people in making his choice, or he'd end up feeling guilty about it for the rest of his life.

"I don't want to do anything until I know what Wolfram thinks about it," he finally said, voice slightly muffled by his palms.

"Then you agree," Gwendal said this more as a statement than a question.

"Not to all of it," he replied honestly, slowly lowering his hands, though his dark eyes remained down, glancing at the desk top and refusing to look at any of them. "I agree that it would be in the best interests of the people, but I'm not making the final decision. It's not mine to make."

"Then we'll discuss this matter with Lord von Bielefeld immediately," Günter spoke, his voice still even and smooth, trying to remain calm and collected under so much pressure.

Yuuri just sighed deeply.

He didn't like this at all.