The Baby Party: A KKM Short Story
The Baby Party
It was late and time for a certain blond Mazoku to be tucked into bed. The wet nurse had finished, pulling the strings together that held her white blouse in place. The tired woman with light blue hair smiled a little as she put her vest on. Baby Wolfram had fallen asleep at her breast, again, and seemed more than content. She tucked the yellow blankets around the baby and nestled his stuffed bearbee doll next to him. Wolfram was such a sweet and good natured child. If it just stayed that way, this job would be easy for the next few months.
She moved away from the crib and tried to avoid stepping on the numerous presents that had been stacked up neatly by the door.
Cecile's baby party for Wolfram's christening had been spectacular—glittering crystal and the best china. There had been little tea cakes, fairy cakes, and pudding for the ladies who joined her. The men busied themselves with drinks and huddled together in the hopes that they weren't expected to coo over the baby again and look like complete idiots for a second time. But, most of all, there were presents. Wolfram had received quite a lot of them: toys, soft blankets, rattles, burp cloths with monograms hand stitched, money, and clothes—just to name a few.
"G'Night little one," the wet nurse whispered and tiptoed out for her own bedroom next door.
A few moments passed and the door opened again—slowly this time. On the other side, there was no one. The doors in Blood Pledge Castle were known to swing thanks to the constant breezes outside this time of year.
A mist formed and crept into the room, fading gently as a shadow on the floor eased up into the air. The lines appeared first. Then, the form slowly took shape and color. It was the image of a handsome blond man, ornately dressed in blue with a ruffled collar that pushed up against his neck. His red cloak, lined in white fur, hung heavily off to one side thanks to the gold chains attached. His clothes seemed to float eerily as he stepped lightly towards the crib.
The door closed on its own.
They were alone together.
The blond haired man leaned over the crib, folding his arms and resting casually on the railings. A smile tugged at his lips.
The baby's emerald eyes opened and regarded him sleepily at first. As he was both full and his diaper dry, he felt content. A pudgy fist popped into his mouth. He gnawed on it thoughtfully, drool slowly making its way down Wolfram's left cheek. Briefly, Baby Wolfram wondered if this new stranger would make a good chew toy. He was teething and biting something hard might feel good.
"You really do resemble your ancestor, Rufus," Shinou murmured fondly. "Then again, he was my cousin." Strong, callused hands reached into the crib. "That makes us related, you know."
Shinou held the baby against him and took the chair that the wet nurse had been sitting in. Oddly, it was still warm. He noticed that the woman had some very comfortable cushions in it, too. And he wondered just how often she sat here because they were getting a tad—well—flat from her ample bottom. For a second, Shinou considered paying her a little visit in her dreams tonight just to give her the honor of meeting with him—maybe—if she turned out to be fair of face. If not, then, forget it.
Shinou sighed a little. Waiting all of this time for his soul mate, The Great Sage, to be reincarnated was getting a trifle dull. He thought about the wet nurse again. What little he did see of her as she was darting out of the room was actually…very…buxom, and very pretty. Yes, that was it. And if his sage had not been reincarnated just yet, it wasn't possible to "cheat on" someone before you actually met them again, right?
"Bah," Wolfram said testily, eyeing the blond stranger who was holding him. There was a bit of annoyance clearly evident on his round face. After all, he was the center of the universe. Everything revolved around him. And it was incredibly rude for this stranger to pull him out of his crib without giving him his full attention and telling him what a beautiful boy he was. "Bah! Bah! Ba-Bah!" he scolded.
"Good point," Shinou said to Wolfram.
The baby gave him one last suspicious look and popped a wet, pudgy fist back into his mouth. He chewed and made bubbles against it.
"You know," Shinou murmured, turning Wolfram in his direction and watching as emerald green eyes met his own blue ones, "we look so much alike, I could almost consider you being my son." He tickled the baby under the chin. Wolfram laughed at that.
"Well," he went on, "today you had a party. Right, Wolfram?"
The baby blinked at him, waved a slobbery arm, and then stared widely as he noticed that his arm was all slobbery. How did that happen?
"So, I have a gift for you, too." There was a bright, toothy smile aimed at the baby. Wolfram cocked his head to one side and stared at it. It kind of reminded him of his mother's smile, but much wider and with a whiter gleam to it. "I think you are going to like this gift. It's something that you will use your whole lifetime through. It will save the lives of the people you love, and it will make you awe inspiring to those not close to you. But, use it wisely. Respect it. And never let those close to you fear you."
He smiled again and held the baby closer. "You have no idea how much trouble I went through to make sure you would be born." With one hand, he rubbed the back of his blond head at that. The disheveled hair only made Shinou look more handsome.
Wolfram looked up to him. His babyish face seemed to say "Really?"
"You are of the world of the living. Your life is a straight line. You can't see what is to come. I, on the other hand, belong to a…a different world…a different kind of existence." He sighed a little. "My realm isn't linear at all."
The baby could feel himself being rocked gently. He liked it and said "Bah" again, leaning against the adult who was caring for him.
"Your heart is the key…the key to my salvation or, maybe, my destruction. But, that is yet to be seen." He took a short, huffy breath. "And, in the end, you'll probably hate me for it."
A tiny blond head looked up at him when his voice grew sad. Wolfram didn't like sad. Sad was no good at all. He kicked his legs a little and gave his best 'two bottom teeth only" grin. It worked. Shinou laughed at him.
"That's right. Your gift…"
With that, Shinou turned the baby away from him—resting the child's chubby bottom on his thigh. There was a wave of the hand and a wall of flame appeared before the pair.
Baby Wolfram stared at it. It was absolutely the most wondrous thing he'd ever seen—reds and golds dancing wildly before him. There was warmth and the slight distortion of his crib caused by the heat rising up into the air. The magical flame moved around them both, encircling the chair—creating a never ending ring.
"You are a fire wielder Mazoku. And you will be one of the strongest who has ever lived."
Enthralled, Wolfram reached his pudgy hands forward. "I knew you would do that." He watched the baby lean forward. But he didn't get too far with Shinou's hands around his middle.
Suddenly, much to Shinou's surprise, the baby leaned back, opened his right hand, and a small fire burned there—about the size of a flame on a birthday candle. Shinou chuckled and blew it out.
Wolfram glared and a large hand came down on his head, rubbing it affectionately.
"And, when the time is right, you will have one more duty that I will set before you."
The child stared up at Shinou again seeming to ask the question "Will I?" But, this time, his emerald eyes were full of mischievous sparkles—fires burned there now.
Shinou waved a hand against the wall of flame, making it bright with white light.
"In a little over eighty years from now, you will meet this person."
There was a sketchy, lined image of a friendly looking male—dark hair, dark eyes, black clothes—holding a sword that moaned and howled pathetically because he wanted to go back to his afternoon nap. The face then changed—suddenly framed by shoulder length dark hair and a more imposing form. The man turned toward Shinou and the baby. His face was set, determined.
"When you meet this one, he will need to prove to you that he is, indeed, the new maou. Do not give in to him lightly."
The baby watched the mature, dark eyed face—memorizing. The green fire in his eyes sparkled again.
"But once you do accept him as your maou, I want you to protect him," Shinou said, tucking a strand of blond hair behind the baby's ear. "Protect him until the day you are no longer of use to him. The day you die..."
Shinou picked up the baby again and put him back in the crib. "Remember this in your dreams. Forget it when you wake." He leaned against the railing again with arms folded. "And it is only right that you do so. Because, I've decided…he will be your twin flame…your soul mate." Shinou stroked the little face with his hand. "And your life will be hard, in ways no one can ever see but you." Shinou backed away from the crib. Without looking at the baby he said, "And I'm sorry for that."
The second the door closed, a certain blond baby's eyes welled up with tears.
Wolfram then hit a pitch that could break glass. His face was red and he was determined now that there would be no consoling him.
"Wolfram?" the wet nurse practically shouted, opening the door quickly. She'd never heard such screaming coming from him and wondered, briefly, if they'd need a healer.
Wolfram was still in his crib, clutching his bearbee doll and crying furious tears.
"Sweetheart, let me see you," she said, trying to remove the doll from his arms in an effort to examine the baby. Maybe he has a stomach ache? Colic?
The second she touched the doll, emerald eyes shined dangerously. He gripped the doll tighter and then it burst into flames.
"Oh, no!" the woman screamed. On impulse, she grabbed the flaming bearbee by the antenna and flicked it back further into the crib.
"What's going on?" a very young Gwendal demanded, rubbing a sleepy eye while wearing a white nightshirt and bathrobe. He was worried about his baby brother and he wanted a report on the situation right now.
Conrad, who was also in his white nightshirt, followed quickly with "Is he okay?"
"The baby…he just set the crib on fire!" The wet nurse gaped at the blond child in her arms. He was reaching out for the flames and giggling impishly.
A blond figure stepped quickly through the doorway. "I thought I heard..." Cecile chimed in, her black dress flowing behind her, "Wolfie!" She grinned broadly and clasped her hands together. She took the baby from the wet nurse and held him to her ample bosom. "Well done, Wolfram! You're a fire wielder Mazoku. And so young, too. This has got to be a record!" She swung Wolfram in her arms. The baby laughed and gripped her dress in his fat, little fists as she danced with him. "So proud! So proud!"
Gwendal eyed the display with a sudden sullen attitude. He stomped out of the room and came back with a bucket of water. "I really don't see the point of celebrating right now, mother. His crib's on fire." He heaved the bucket at the bed.
"And the curtains," Conrad chimed in.
"Right. Need another bucket. Back in a minute."
The wet nurse took that as a chance to sneak back to her room. She did it while passing a very disgruntled, water-toting, Gwendal in the doorway. People were beginning to gather in the hall, too.
"Well, I know what present to get Wolfram now," Gwendal said, sending a gush of water at the almost non-existent drapes.
Black smoke billowed up.
"What?" Conrad said with a slight smile as his baby brother opened his palm to show him a flame that would look good on the end of a matchstick.
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