So this is an old story that I don't update all that often because I've honestly begun to lose interest in it. Of course, I'm still planning on finishing it (because this one actually has a somewhat feasible plot), I'm just not sure when that'll happen. And here are some notes on the story that should hopefully prevent certain types of reviews that really don't need to be added:
No, I have not heard of Anissina's invention. I started writing this over two years ago and I have not watched Kyou Kara Maoh in its entirety. And no, I am not going to add that in there because I have better things to do with my free time than edit a fanfiction chapter from forever ago.
Yes, Ed and Al do speak English in the manga. All signs, letters, and even codes are in English, and Arakawa herself has said in an interview that the country of Amestris is based in part on early 20th Century industrial England. And if that's not enough for you, then remember that this is a fanfiction and I am taking artistic license with everything.
Yes, I'm ranting, but I know the FMA manga canon pretty damn well so don't try to call me out on canon mistakes because most people who do that are actually wrong, which I find to be hilarious at times and irritating at others. This is not the FMA anime. This is the manga. There are a lot of differences. If you're an anime-only person and something seems wrong to you, then check to see whether it's part of the manga first instead of yelling at me. If there's something wrong with the Kyou Kara Maoh canon, then remember that I've only watched the first season and that I am lazy as hell when it comes to certain stories before you start yelling at me.
The sun shone brightly as Wolfram led his troops down a gentle slope, continuously looking for a sign of Yuri. The Demon King had managed to get himself lost again.
After a while, one of his scouts spotted something interesting in the distance. Two people, a young boy and a suit of armor, were walking together. They seemed very confused.
Wolfram looked with interest at the two. The boy had blonde hair, and was wearing a red coat. The armor was covered with spikes, and was the first to see Wolfram's group. The boy noticed them after the armor stopped.
Wolfram decided to ride up to the two. They seemed more interested in the presence of a group of horses than they should have. Wolfram's suspicion had been aroused.
"Hey, you two! What are you doing?" he asked as he rode up to the odd twosome. The boy blinked and looked at Wolfram as if he were crazy. Then he spoke quickly to his brother, in a language that Wolfram didn't understand.
Wolfram sighed and got off his horse. He walked up to the boy and spoke slowly. "What. Are. You. Doing. Here?" he said again. The boy looked even more confused and spoke in his strange language once again. He sounded just as confused as he looked.
Wolfram turned to one of his more trusted soldiers, who had also gotten off of his horse. "What are we going to do with these two?" he asked in an aggravated tone.
The soldier looked at the two with interest. "We should take them with us. Maybe someone at the castle will have an idea."
Wolfram looked back at the boy and sighed. He gestured for the two to follow him as he walked back to his horse. The armor stepped forward, but the boy didn't move. The armor looked at the boy and spoke, once again in the unknown language. The boy responded sharply in the language, casting suspicious glances at Wolfram and his men. The armor spoke again, and before Wolfram could quite understand what was going on, the two had begun a fight.
Wolfram rolled his eyes and got off his horse. He pulled a sword out and placed against the boy's chest. "Maybe you'll understand this," he said.
Instead of frightening the boy, Wolfram's actions caused the boy to get all defensive. The boy brought his hands together, and before Wolfram could understand what had happened, a brilliant light encircled the boy's right arm, and a blade came out from his sleeve. The armor cried out, but the boy said something in response that made the armor shake his head in dismay.
By the time Yuri had randomly found the group, several soldiers had gotten a hold of the boy. Yuri walked up to Wolfram, casting a confused glance at the armor.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"We found these two out here. They don't seem to speak our language, so I had been planning on taking them back to the castle to see if we could figure something out, but it didn't work. That boy doesn't seem to understand that we didn't mean any harm."
"It probably didn't help that you pointed your blade at him, sir," said one of the soldiers. Wolfram ignored him as Yuri looked with curiosity at the boy, who was getting more and more desperate. After a while, the armor seemed to have had enough of the boy's actions and stepped in.
Yuri seemed surprised as the armor spoke to the boy. Wolfram was surprised to see the boy calm down after the armor's apparent lecture. He looked at Yuri, who stared at the armor.
"I recognize that language," Yuri said. "I think it's English."
Both Wolfram and the armor looked at Yuri. The armor spoke again. Yuri looked rather embarrassed, and spoke to the armor, in what seemed to be a very poor version of the language. The armor looked with surprise at the Demon King, but seemed to understand what Yuri had said.
"What did you say?" Wolfram asked.
"Oh, I just told him I don't speak English. It's one of the only things I know how to say in English."
"Is that a language from your world?" Wolfram asked as they made their way to the castle. The boy's arms had been bound tightly, and he looked very irritated as they moved forward. Since the armor seemed to understand the situation, he was left free, and walked next to the boy. Occasionally, they would speak to each other, but for the most part, they were quiet.
"Yeah, from America, where I was born." At that point, Yuri seemed to realize something, because he got very excited. "Conrad! Conrad should be able to communicate with them!"
Wolfram looked at the Demon King for a while. "But he's gone at the moment, remember?"
"Oh, yeah." Yuri looked back at the two foreigners. "Well, what are you going to do with those two until he gets back?"
Wolfram stared at the boy for a moment. "We'll have to imprison them for now. It's impossible to know what their intentions are without knowing anything about them."
"Both of them? The armor seems nice enough."
"That doesn't mean anything." Wolfram noticed the look on Yuri's face and sighed. "Look, it's not like we'll treat them badly or anything. It's just for security."
"I wonder what their names are," Yuri said as they walked down the hall, away from the dungeon where the two had been imprisoned.
Wolfram shrugged. "Why don't you ask?"
"But there's a language barrier!"
"So? Just use sign language."
A light bulb seemed to turn on in Yuri's head, and he raced back to the dungeon. He stopped in front of the boy's cell and pointed to himself.
"Yuri," he said as he pointed at himself. The boy looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Yuri," Yuri said again, pointing to himself. Then he pointed at the boy with a question on his face. The boy seemed to understand what Yuri meant at that point. He pointed at himself and spoke.
"Edward. Edward Elric," he said. Then he pointed at the cell next to him, where the armor was. "Alphonse Elric."
"Edward?" Yuri repeated. The boy nodded. Yuri smiled. At least they knew a little bit about each other, even if it wasn't much. Yuri was about to ask Edward a question in broken English when he heard a voice from the top of the stairs. Wolfram was shouting his name. Yuri shrugged apologetically at Edward and ran up to meet Wolfram.
"You could have warned me that you were going right now."
"So, did you learn their names?"
"Yeah, the boy is Edward Elric and the armor is Alphonse Elric. Do you think they're related?"
Ed sat quietly in the cell for a long time before his brother spoke. "Brother? Are you okay?" Al asked in a concerned voice.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just have no idea what's going on right now."
"Well, that black-haired kid seemed to at least recognize our language, so maybe we'll be able to talk to someone who understands us soon."
"But why did they bring us here?"
"Think about it, brother. We're fairly suspicious looking, and we don't even speak their language. They're probably just keeping us here until they can figure out a way to communicate."
"Don't worry, brother. If they were thinking of us as enemies, they'd be treating us a little harsher, wouldn't they?"
"They freaking tied me up!"
"Brother, you weren't exactly acting trustworthy. Maybe if you had listened to me in the first place-"
"That's another thing. How do we know they're just waiting to find a way to communicate with us? What if this is a trap?"
"If it were a trap, wouldn't they have spoken to us in our own language?"
Ed sighed. He knew he wasn't going to win this argument, so he gave up. "Either way, I just don't like being locked up like this."
They heard a door open, and the Yuri walked up to Ed's cell. Ed looked up at the black haired boy without much interest. Yuri handed Ed a piece of paper and a pen. Ed looked at him with confusion.
"How… old… are… you…?" he asked, clearly struggling with the language. He pointed at the paper in Ed's hand. Ed looked at Yuri before writing down the number fifteen and showing it to him. Yuri nodded and pointed over at Al's cell. Ed nodded and wrote fourteen on the paper. As Yuri looked at the number, his face showed a lot of disbelief. He looked back at Ed, as if expecting Ed to laugh or something.
Ed sighed in aggravation and drew a bad version of his brother's armor on the paper. Then he put an equal sign that connected the picture to the number. He showed it to Yuri again.
Yuri nodded, confusion showing in his face. Then his eyes fell on Ed's right arm. Ed looked at it. His sleeve had shifted, revealing the automail beneath. Ed moved his arm and pulled off his glove. He held his hand out for Yuri to look at. Yuri stared at the automail for several minutes. He began poking it and examining it from all angles.
After a minute or two, Ed heard loud footsteps approaching. Yuri let go of Ed's arm as a tall man with grayish-white hair came running toward him. He engulfed Yuri in a hug and began speaking to him. Yuri pulled back and spoke to the man before looking back at Ed. He pointed at the man and said, "Gunter."
Ed nodded and looked at Gunter. The man smiled awkwardly before speaking to Yuri again. Yuri nodded and followed Gunter out of the dungeon, leaving Ed alone with his brother once again.
"I thought you would have tried getting away from here by now."
Ed lay staring at the ceiling, his head resting on his arms. "I've been thinking about it." He heard a door opening in the distance, but his mind didn't register that noise.
"Then what's made you sit still for so long? It's not like you."
"Think about it, Al. What point would there be in trying to escape? We don't know where we are, and we don't know anything about this place, let alone how to get home. Besides, how good would it look if I tried something like that without being able to explain myself if I got caught?"
"You mean when, don't you?" a voice asked from the other side the bars. Ed sat up and looked at the man standing there. He held his hand through the bars as he introduced himself. "You can call me Conrad. You're Edward, right?" His English wasn't perfect, but at least he spoke it. Ed took the hand in relief.
"My king sent me down here. He doesn't like that you two are stuck down here, but we can't afford to take any risks."
"Your king?" Ed asked in confusion.
"You've met him before. His name is Yuri."
"Wait, you mean he's a king?"
"Yes, he's the Demon King."
"You two are humans, right? Where are you two from?"
Ed was momentarily quiet, so Al spoke for him. "We're from a country called Amestris."
"I've never heard of that country. Does everyone there speak English?"
Conrad looked at the two brothers before unlocking the door of Ed's cell. He did the same for Al and gestured for the two to follow him.
"Wait, you're letting us out?" Ed asked.
"I'm not letting you go, but I don't see any point of making you feel like you've done something wrong. I think there's a need to talk more about this situation with someone who's also from a different world."
"Eh?" the two brothers said at the same moment. "Different world?" Ed asked.
"Yes, from what I can tell, you're not from this world, which is probably why you're so confused."
"Wait, how do you know our language then?"
"Because I've been to another world where English is a popular language. It's interesting that two different worlds would have that particular language in common, though."
Ed lowered his head. "So you're not from our world?"
"No, but there have to be similarities between your world and the world that Yuri's from. Coincidentally, he's from the world I mentioned before."
Yuri sat at his desk, facing Ed and Al with a semi-serious look on his face. He was trying to play the part of Demon King, but for some reason, he couldn't manage it at the moment. After another moment, Conrad broke the awkward silence by talking to Yuri.
"Is there something you want to ask them?"
Yuri looked at Ed for a moment. "Yeah, why's his arm made of metal?"
Conrad did his little translating job and turned back to Yuri. "He says it's automail, a special kind of prosthetic limb. He lost his real arm when he was eleven."
Conrad paused when he heard Ed's reply. "The two of them made a mistake. That's all he said."
"Is that why Alphonse is wearing the armor?"
As Conrad asked this, Yuri noticed a look of sheer guilt on Ed's face.
Yuri stood up. "I think it's about time for a subject change. What exactly do they do on their world? Like, are they still in school, or what?"
As he listened to Conrad, Ed pulled something out of his pocket. It was a silver watch, with an unfamiliar design on it. He showed it to Yuri with an emotionless face.
"He's in the military of his country. He works as a… State Alchemist."
"Eh? Alchemy? So, he can use magic?"
"He calls it a science, so I doubt it's like the magic you're used to. It's probably complicated and hard to do."
"Can I see it?"
When Ed heard this request, he looked up at Al for a moment. Then he tapped the armor. "This is an example of it right here," he said through Conrad.
Ed sighed and smacked the armor with his right arm. The resulting clang echoed, as if there wasn't anything inside. Then Al reached to take off his helmet. Yuri watched with anticipation. When he didn't see a head, he paused for a moment.
"Wait, is he hiding?"
"I don't think that's it. I think the armor's empty."
As if to confirm this statement, Al leaned over and showed Yuri the inside. Indeed, there wasn't anything inside. "Oh, so it is empty," Yuri said as he looked. Then it dawned on him. "It's EMPTY?!?!?"
"Evidently Alphonse lost his body at the same time when Edward lost his limbs. Edward managed to use alchemy to attach his younger brother's soul to the armor, but he had to sacrifice his arm to do so."
"Wait, his limbs? So what else did he lose?"
"His left leg, just above the knee."
Yuri looked again at Al's body. "I guess that explains how he could be younger than Ed, despite the height difference."
Ed had no way of proving that Yuri had just commented on his height, but he was positive that he had. He tried to jump the Demon King, but Al had managed to foresee his brother's wrath and was now holding back the small alchemist.
"Brother, what are you doing?"
"He called me small!"
"How do you know?"
"Just look at him! What else could he have been saying?"
"A lot of things, brother. Calm down." Al looked apologetically at Conrad and Yuri. "Sorry about this, he's a little too sensitive about his height."
Conrad nodded. "Good to know. I'll tell His Majesty."
By the time Ed had finally calmed down, there was a knock on the door, and a little girl came in. She looked curiously at the two brothers before turning to Yuri. They talked for a couple of minutes before Yuri gave Conrad an order.
Conrad looked at the two brothers and gestured for them to leave the room. "We're going to talk with someone about your appearance in this world, so you may be able to return soon. I'll show you where you'll be staying now."
Wolfram ran after Yuri as the Demon King made his way to the Elric brothers' room. "Yuri, you realize Gunter will be freaking about this, don't you?"
"I don't see what's wrong with this. I'm just giving them a message."
"Why can't you have Conrad do it? I mean, he does speak their language, and you have more important things to do!"
Yuri sighed as he opened the door. "Conrad left this morning, remember? Besides, I'm beginning to understand a little bit of what they're saying."
Ed was sitting cross-legged on the bed when Wolfram came into the room. He looked up at the two and stood up. "Is there something wrong?" he asked.
"No, I just wanted to give you a mess- wait, when did you learn our language?"
Ed opened his mouth, paused, and closed it again. "I have no idea."
"That's odd. I didn't think you'd be able to speak it."
"Isn't it obvious why?" Wolfram asked, his arms crossed. "Whoever's writing this doesn't feel like dealing with the whole language issue anymore, so they're taking the easy way out."
"Oh, that makes sense," Ed said.
"Either way, it'll be nicer this way. Anyway, I wanted to tell you something, about getting back to your world."
"Um, well… I guess you just ended up here by accident, because there's no way for you to get back right now."
"Huh? How do you end up someplace on accident? That doesn't… Wait, there's no way for us to get home?"
"Are you sure about that?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. But look on the bright side. At least you can understand us now."
Wolfram looked at the crestfallen alchemist with a small amount of pity. Then he walked up to him and smacked him on the head. "Stop feeling so sorry for yourself. It's not like you're going to be stuck here forever."
Ed glared at Wolfram as he rubbed his head. "But did you really have to hit me?"
Wolfram sighed. "Great news, Yuri. You're not the only wimp here anymore."
"Hey!" Ed and Yuri yelled as Wolfram left the room.