"You have got to be kidding me…" Ran answered as his delicate brow rose slowly towards the garment presented before him. "There is no way in hell I'm wearing that… that thing!" He nastily spat in disgust.

Chapter 10: Piece by Piece: Discovery

"Come on," Lady Cecile had urged on as she smiled blissfully towards the younger blond boy before her. "You'll look absolutely beautiful in it!"

And Ran stared blankly towards the pink translucent nightgown that seemed to have mocked him with its white frills and laces (that followed a certain elegant pattern) on every end. It was beautiful, perfect enough for a young bride to wear on her first night with her spouse. However, there was a bit of a small problem—the Midori child was a boy that had been dragged into some county fair by a schoolmate he barely even knew. Not a beautiful blushing female bride.

Thus, Ran Midori was all but pleased about the clothing that limply sprawled onto the bed that he had been offered to rest in for the evening.

The blond's distasteful expression deepened in annoyance. "No, Lady. I am a boy. There would be no way in hell that I'd be able to wear something… like that!" Emerald eyes glared towards the small group of people that surrounded him.

"But don't you want His Majesty to fall deeply and madly in love with you?" The latter blonde woman glistened in self-euphoria. "Oh, just think about it! You two… in his bed…"

Once again, their castle visitor stared blankly—emptily towards the eldest in the room, who had just then clasped her hands together as she bounded to the left side. "I'm not gay." He easily spoke before turning to the raven monarch who sat on the chair to the right of the bed.

Catching Ran's eyes, Yuuri stiffened in his seat as he rapidly straightened up underneath his guest's scrutinizing stare. "What?"

"And you're a pervert." Said guest calmly replied while he guiltlessly plopped down on the end of the bed. His arms crossed, just like his legs as his nose shot up high in the air…

…a gesture normally made by a certain prince.

"What did I do?!" The double black snapped, pushing all thoughts of Wolfram to the back of his mind.

"Allowing people to wear see-through night gowns in your," Ran mocked. "Kingdom."

"But it would really look good on Mister Ran." Greta easily cut through the oncoming argument as she tugged onto the blond teen's sleeve. Her toothy grin tearing its way inside the said blond's heart just as he turned to look at the little girl beside him.

Cecile grinned once more, taking her spot behind the small child while she rested her hands gently onto the younger lass' shoulders. "See, even Greta agrees." The former queen happily spoke, shooting her grin towards the present ruler. "Now, if only His Majesty approves as well, the night gown will be an official order!"

And soon, all occupants' eyes were set on the raven teen, who was still on his seat as he simply blinked back towards the three people before him, before he realized that the latter persons were in need of his answer.

Thus, Yuuri stiffened once more—shifting his sights from expectant glimmering orbs to annoyed emerald eyes that had been shooting death glares since the whole ordeal started.

"Uh…" The king chuckled, coughing a bit. "I guess…"

"Spit it out," Ran frowned. "Not everyone has the time to wait for you." The blond snorted in annoyance—

—as blackened eyes widened, the latter boy's words riling him back to Wolfram's own…

speak a little faster.

At least, until the eighteen year old monarch was pulled back into the current times as he felt a pillow crash on his face. With such strong force.

The Midori child demanded, "Well?!"

I may not be there to hear anything you say anymore.

"Sorry!" Yuuri rapidly stood from the chair, his expression—shocked and anxious, earning himself questioning looks. "I—I mean," He shook his head. "I mean, Ran can wear whatever he wants to wear."

The mentioned teen smiled in satisfaction towards the double black. "Thank you." The emerald boy shortly nodded while the other two sighed in defeat.

"…don't mention it…" Yuuri whispered in reply—barely noticing the disappointed expression that graced his adoptive daughter's face—

"But I really want to see Mister Ran in it…" The human girl pouted, clinging onto the soft silk. "It really would look pretty on him…!"

And the younger blond occupant sighed—not finding the cold demeanor in himself to ignore the lass that stood and sniffed (muffled her little tearful hiccups) against the long, albeit elegant, translucent night gown that they had earlier imposed upon him.

"Greta," The eighteen year old emerald lad started—a bit too forced for anyone's liking. "I don't know what the heck your dad's teaching you," Ran shot a glance towards the other eighteen year old. "But, I believe in beauty being in the eye of the beholder." He whispered softly as he kneeled beside the little brunette, who had merely nodded back. "So… it doesn't have to mean that I'd have to wear a nightgown to prove that I look good, because I know that for Greta… I look great, right?"

Greta sniffled, looking up towards the jade orbs of their visitor. "Right…!" The lass breathed through her hiccups. A smile, forming onto her young lips.

Ran smiled back, "Can I wear a normal sleepwear tonight?"

"…okay…" Was the youngest occupant's reluctant reply.

There, the latter two of the group watched their guest and their princess converse—with said guest attempting to make said princess understand that not all female abilities or items worked for male specimens. Nonetheless, the warmth and happiness were emitting from them—their atmosphere was that of a loving family once more…

…Cecile's crimson lips stretched into a reminiscent smile…

…while Yuuri, on the other hand, easily tore his eyes away from the scene and settled onto the four walls that caught his attention only then (for some random reason.)—

Oddly enough, they were red—or brown. Maybe it was a lighter shade of mahogany, with a few frames hanging from all around. And they had paintings intact—small, simple ones of vast fields, trees and flowers—nature, everything inside the room consisted of natural entities. Like the obviously varnished bed posts, the round wooden table that had been partnered with three chairs—settled in the middle of the vicinity and the wide closet that stood at the left of the bed. At the far back, beside the large overlooking window—a half smaller bookcase, filled with all sizes of books and all colors. Beside the case was a smaller drawer. All, wooden. All, varnished to its luster.

Light mahogany and lighter green shades—those were the colors that adorned the area. That adorned Wolfram's room.

He always seemed like a blue-type of guy… The king silently thought as he brought his sights back to the people before him. They were laughing—and that urged the double black monarch to smile.

"Well, then!" Cecile chirped. "I'll tell the servants to bring decent sleepwear! What do you think, Your Majesty?" The woman asked, turning to the present-day royalty.

The Shibuya child nodded and smiled wider, "Whatever comforts Ran."

"…thank you." The Midori boy once again nodded towards the raven teen—this time, catching the monarch's smile—

—and thus, he winced.

"Mister Ran!" Greta rapidly came to his aid. "Are you okay?"

"Y—yeah… I… I think so. Augh."

The eldest frowned, "Oh, dear…" Cecile von Spitzburg muttered. "We better leave you to rest, come on now, Greta. Your Majesty." She called as she ushered the younger two out the door after assisting her late son's look-alike onto the bed.

Yuuri frowned, as well. "B—but!"

"Your Majesty." The blonde woman called out strictly, silencing Greta's oncoming protest.

"…alright." The double black huffed in defeat.

The former queen turned to their visitor, a motherly expression gracing her features. "The maids will be up shortly, for now rest."


Greta quickly ran down the empty, dimly lit hallway after bidding goodnight to her father and grandmother. Her eyes glistened in the purity of her joy, just as her smile did. It was as if full life came back and boosted her energy…

…to which, as well, boosted the king's spirits as he watched his little girl disappear into the deep distance.

"Was it your first time entering Wolfram's room?" The monarch's companion had suddenly asked, causing the younger to merely snap his head towards her with blinking onyx orbs. "It was, wasn't it?" Cecile soon released a light fit of laughter.

And Yuuri could only blush in embarrassment. "Y—yeah," He replied with uncertainty. "I never thought he'd be the nature type."

"Oh, Wolfie loved the natural wonders!" The former queen exclaimed with pride of her son's memory. "He loved the trees, flowers… everything, even water. Especially water."


"It really doesn't seem like him, does it?" Cecile let on a laugh once more. "Tell me, Your Majesty, does Ran love nature too?"

The younger of the two merely scratched his chin in wonderment. "I… don't really know." Yuuri confessed—not really knowing which one to be embarrassed about, the fact that he did not know more of Wolfram or he did know anything more of Ran.

"I see," The blonde sighed wistfully. "He just… really reminds me of Wolfie," Cecile whispered as she went ahead, "The way he handles children… and the way he turned down wearing the negligee…" She continued. "I remember Wolfram almost wanting to tear the thing apart."

At those words, the double black could only nod as he decided to slowly follow the woman—he did not know, and he never knew.

"This Ran-boy acts just like Wolfram."

Yuuri stopped in his steps. "…e—excuse me?"

But the monarch's voice did not reach Cecile's ears, who had simply continued on her way to her suite. "Though, what we see now is how Wolfie acts externally," She paused as she took another step. "And it makes me wonder what would happen if you had gotten to know more of him internally…" The ex-queen ended in finality—soon, too, disappearing in the depths of the castle corridors…

…leaving one very distraught king alone in the light of the wall candles.

"…more about Wolfram, huh…?"

To Be Continued