Disclaimer: I do not own Kyo Kara Maoh or any of its characters

Claimer: I, chop4tess, own this story, its plot and any and all original characters

Ok so this is the final chapter of this story. The sequel has been posted thought. More info on that at the end of the chapter. There is a little Alviss x Ryan in this chapter for the fans :-D

Thank you for reading and I hope you have enjoyed this story.

Chapter 16: Confessions of the heart

Shinmakoku was on fire. The flames danced in the sky lighting the sky a dull orange colour. Smoke twisted its way to the heavens its tendrils carrying the smell of burning. Ryan watched in horror as the flames burned higher and brighter swallowing his home. People were running screaming from the hungry tongues of flame which reached out for them setting their clothes on fire. Ryan felt is body move forward without his command and he tried to stop himself but his body ignored him. A Mazoku soldier ran in front of him and Ryan raised his sword and killed him feeling his sword sink into flesh and bone. The soldier gazed at Ryan in shock his mouth moving but no sound came out. Ryan felt his lips twist into a smile as the light faded from the soldier's eyes as he died.

Ryan jolted awake his chest heaving. He looked around his room panting and licked his lips. He took in the blue walls, the cream coloured carpet and heavy dark blue drapes at the floor to ceiling window opposite his bed. In the far corner of the room a sink was against the wall filled with water from last night. Ryan got out of bed and walked over the window. He raised a shaking hand and pulled the curtain aside. Shinmakoku lay silent and quite in the morning light. The morning sun shone brightly on the town making the houses glow gold. There was no fire and no terrified screams tearing the air. Ryan closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against the cool glass. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair making it stand on end. Sweat covered his body and he was still trembling from the after affects of the dream. It had been so vivid, the fire and the smoke; the light fading from the soldier's eyes. Ryan swallowed as his stomach rolled dropping the curtain and walking over to the sink to splash his face with cold water. It was just a dream he told himself, nothing to worry about.

Ryan glanced at the clock and noticed that he had only slept for about 7 hours but he was too scared to go back to sleep now. Ryan pulled his night clothes off and washed himself down at the sink before drying off and getting dressed. A wardrobe and a chest of drawers made out of dark wood were against the far wall with a full length mirror beside them. Ryan opened the drawers and pulled out his old clothes and ran his fingers over the soft expensive material. It had been five weeks since he had last worn these clothes and the texture seemed foreign to him now. Ryan dressed and glanced at himself in the mirror. Dark shadows were under his eyes making his skin look paler than normal and his black hair was getting too long. He was wearing his favourite outfit which consisted of a purple/blue jacket that came down to the top of his thighs and matching trousers with a white shirt and black knee length boots. The clothes fitted him perfectly but he felt strange in them, like a servant borrowing his master's clothes.

Ryan left his room and walked through the castle glancing around the stone walls that he had known since he was a baby. He knew this castle inside out and knew every hiding place from playing hide-and-seek with his friends when he was a child. Yet now everything seemed distant, like he was invading someone's personal memories. Dawn was breaking over the land and most people apart from a few maids and the night time guards were still asleep. Ryan could feel eyes on him as he walked down the castle hallways. By now the word of his involvement in the attack must have gone around the castle. Ryan hung his head, he knew that everyone would see him as a traitor and would expect his parents to punish him according to the rules. This kind of treachery carried a death sentence.

Ryan found himself outside the hospital without remembering how he got there. Ryan bit his lip and opened the door quietly and peered around it. A nurse was writing a report at the desk with her back to him and the other patients were fast asleep. Ryan wondered if Alviss was asleep and before he had time to think about it he was tip-toeing to Alviss's room past the nurse. The nurse didn't notice him as he crept to Alviss's room and opened the door and slipped inside.

Alviss was still asleep but his skin had more colour in it than last night and he seemed more relaxed. Ryan stepped up to his bed and watched him as his face twitched in his sleep. Ryan reached out and gently touched Alviss's face wondering what he was dreaming about. Ryan sighed and sat down next to Alviss's bed reaching out to take his friend's hand. Even after talking with Elvira last night Ryan still couldn't believe that they had come after him. They had risked their lives for him and Alviss had even been injured while escaping from the human castle. Ryan laid his head on the bed beside his sleeping friend and closed his eyes. Alviss had tried to rescue him he had been strong in the face of impossible odds. It made Ryan feel terrible, he had given up almost at once but Alviss had kept fighting. He may have gotten back to Shinmakoku by himself but it was Alviss who saved him, Alviss who gave him the strength to fight.

Ryan sighed and opened his eyes to gaze at his friend's face. The kiss they had shared yesterday was still fresh in his mind. Ryan reached up and touched his lips. He wasn't sure how he felt about the kiss. In 15 years he hadn't kissed anyone then in the space of a few weeks he had kissed by no less than three different boys. Yet Alviss's kiss had felt the most powerful, it was the one that jumped to mind whenever he thought about kissing. It had been warm and bold and Ryan had felt it all the way to his toes. Yet Alviss was his friend, his male friend at that. Ryan had never really given much thought about his sexuality but he had a feeling that he may be gay, or at least bi. But didn't Alviss have a girlfriend a while back? Ryan frowned at his friend's peaceful face. If Alviss wasn't gay then why would he kiss him?

Ryan groaned and dropped his head on Alviss's bed again. Why did life have to be so damn complicated? Ryan had enough to worry about without adding potential boyfriends to the list. Ryan glanced at Alviss again. His lips were parted as he breathed and Ryan found himself leaning forward until his face hovered above Alviss's. He knew he shouldn't do this he should get up and walk away before he did something he would regret. Ryan leaned forward until his nose was almost touching Alviss's feeling Alviss's breath against his lips. Ryan's heart was going at a hundred miles an hour and he felt so nervous his hands were shaking. Alviss's lips were so close to his and Ryan felt his eyelids flutter as he leaned down and pressed his lips to Alviss's. They were just like he remembered, soft and warm and shivers went up and down his spine. For what seemed like forever Ryan kissed his best friend on the lips while he lay asleep in the hospital.

Ryan pulled back slowly opening his eyes to gaze down at his sleeping friend only to be met by a pair of bright blue eyes. Ryan felt all his blood rush to his cheeks in a fiery blush as he jerked back in embarrassment.

"I, I'm s-sorry…" Ryan stuttered not daring to look at Alviss for fear of what he might see there. He couldn't bear to see the disgust on Alviss's face.

"Well I could get used to waking up like that in the morning." Alviss said mildly smiling. Ryan glanced at Alviss out of the corner of his eye unsure what to do with himself. Alviss sat up with a groan and touched his side. Ryan watched him as he stood by the door unsure if he should run for it or to stay where he was. Alviss glanced up and saw Ryan standing by the door with his shoulders hunched and looking completely miserable. "Come and sit here Ryan." Alviss patted his bed with his hand with what he hoped was friendly smile. Ryan glanced at Alviss his body tense then he walked over to the bed and sat down as far from Alviss as he could get. Alviss raised an eyebrow at Ryan's stiff posture but didn't he didn't comment.

"I'm sorry I kissed you, I just," Ryan licked his lips and fiddled with his fingers, "Just forget it ever happened."

"Why? I enjoyed it." Alviss said smiling at Ryan's dumbfounded look.

"I don't understand." Ryan muttered looking warily at Alviss as if he suspected that Alviss would suddenly announce that this was all some sort of elaborate joke.

"Ryan I think I may have a confession to make." Alviss sighed and shifted so he was more comfortable against the pillows behind him. "Although this wasn't quite the settling I had in mind." Alviss glanced around the white walled room that smelled strongly of medical herbs and potions.

"Does your wound hurt?" Ryan asked changing the subject. Alviss blinked at the topic change.

"A little yes but –"

"Show me." Ryan leaned forward and pulled the blanket back. Alviss hesitated then sighed and decided to let Ryan dodge his feelings for the moment. Alviss promised himself silently as he took off his shirt that he would tell Ryan how he really felt about him and damn the consequences. Alviss held in pained gasp as Ryan helped him pull off his shirt revealing his bandages wrapped around his right hip.

Ryan gently pealed the bandages away and looked closely at the wound. Gisela had sown it closed and the skin around the neat black stitches was red and puffy. In fact the whole area around the wound looked sore and was ringed by a black-blue bruise.

"That looks like it hurts." Ryan commented feeling guilt tear at his heart. He had been the one who had inflicted the wound in the first place.

"Just don't poke it." Alviss hissed as Ryan gently touched the wound. Ryan smiled weakly at him before gently placing his hand over the wound. "What are you doing?"

"It's ok, just watch." Ryan closed his eyes and felt his new power rise up inside him and he directed it down his arm and through his hand to Alviss's wound. Alviss gasped lightly as Ryan's hand began to glow a soft blue colour. Alviss closed his eyes as warmth spread from Ryan's hand to the puncture wound soothing the pain. When Alviss opened his eyes Ryan was lifting his hand away and all that was left was a small cut and the skin was significantly less red. Ryan collapsed with a groan and Alviss reached out and caught him.

"Ryan, are you ok? Ryan?"

"I'm fine Alviss relax, I've just used a lot of power without much of a break. I just have to eat something then I'll be fine." Ryan tried to sit up but Alviss locked his arms around Ryan's torso and held him against his chest. Ryan felt his breath catch when he noticed how close Alviss's face was and how naked his chest was.

"Ok I let you dodge the issue at hand but now we're going to talk."

"I said I was sorry for kissing you can't we forget about it?" Ryan snapped trying to break free of Alviss's grip but the blue haired Mazoku was surprisingly strong considering that he fainted from blood loss only yesterday.

"I don't want to forget about it and I'm not sorry that you kissed me." Alviss said firmly and Ryan blinked at him in surprise. "Look Ryan, I was going to save this for another time but you need to know this." Ryan licked his lips and Alviss only stopped himself from ravishing the boy through sheer will power.

"Could you let me go first?" Ryan asked shyly and Alviss responded by pulling Ryan into his lap so Ryan straddled his hips. Ryan blushed and looked at the floor. "This is not what I had in mind."

"Ryan, I really like you." Alviss confessed. He was going to say "I love you" but he guessed that Ryan wouldn't be ready for that kind of statement just yet. "I've liked you for a long time but it was never the right moment to tell you."

"How could possibly like me?" Ryan exploded taking Alviss by surprise. "I'm a traitor who killed his own people and tried to kill the Maoh who just happens to be my own father!" Ryan slumped down as if all his energy had been drained out of him. Alviss sighed and placed his hands on either side of Ryan's face.

"Ryan, look at me." Ryan's green eyes stayed firmly fixed on the floor. "Ryan you are not a traitor and no one thinks that you are."

"Yeah right," Ryan's voice cracked and for a moment Alviss thought Ryan was going to cry.

"I understand that you blame yourself for this but you were being controlled by that black smoke. I saw it leave your body after I kissed you for the first time." Ryan blushed lightly and Alviss grinned. "Not the way I had imagined kissing you for the first time I must admit."

"How can you still like me after all that has happened?" Ryan whispered softly. He hadn't seemed to notice that Alviss was no longer holding him in place.

"Because I know that the thing that attacked the Mazoku soldiers and attacked Shinmakoku was not you. It was that black smoke thing."

"An underworld spirit that's what the black smoke was. It doesn't have a physical form." Ryan added seeing Alviss's confused look.

"Well whatever that is it wasn't you and therefore you are not to blame." Alviss said but Ryan shook his head.

"It was controlling me but I did nothing to stop it, I was weak."

"You are a lot of things Prince Ryan Shibuya Von Bielefeld, but weak will never be one of them." Alviss lifted Ryan's chin and looked into his boyfriend's green eyes. They were filled with pain, uncertainty, and vulnerability. Alviss tenderly kissed Ryan's forehead and slowly moved his lips down Ryan's face until his lips hovered over Ryan's. "Can I kiss you?" Ryan licked his lips and he let out a shaky breath.

"OK." Alviss tilted his head and kissed Ryan gently. At first Ryan's lips were hard and unresponsive but they softened as Ryan's eyes slid closed. Alviss deepened the kiss sliding his hands into Ryan's hair. Ryan sighed softly and placed his hands on Alviss's shoulders in response. Alviss parted his lips and licked Ryan's lips making said boy gasp lightly allowing Alviss entrance into his mouth. Ryan moaned softly as Alviss's tongue slid over his encouraging him to respond in kind.

Ryan kissed Alviss back slowly at first but gaining in confidence as the kiss progressed. Alviss groaned as Ryan's shy kisses became bolder and he had to stop himself from taking the beauty in front of him right there and then. Ryan's gentle movements on his lap were not helping matters. Ryan tilted his head as his tongue followed Alviss's into the blue haired Mazoku's mouth. Alviss ran his fingers down Ryan's back lightly digging in his nails making Ryan arch into the touch his arms sliding around Alviss's shoulders. Alviss bit back a moan as Ryan's crotch slid over his groin, Ryan was not ready for that just yet. Besides he had a feeling that if he were to deflower Ryan at 15 years of age Yuri would kill him. Then again he would have to bring him back to life first because Wolfram would have most likely have set him on fire.

Alviss pulled back from the kiss when the need for air became too much. Ryan's face was red and flustered and his lips red and swollen. Alviss had never seen such a beautiful sight before. Ryan opened his eyes unaware that he had closed them and saw Alviss's eyes darkened with lust and passion and his lips swollen. Then he realised that he was sitting right on Alviss's private regions with his chest pressed right up against Alviss's naked chest. Ryan leapt off Alviss as if burned and scrambled to sort himself out while Alviss gave him a confused look.

"Ryan what –"

"I can't do this right now." Ryan cut in trying to fix his hair and failing dismally. "I have too much to think about without adding a relationship on top of that. Besides you deserve someone better than me." With that said Ryan turned and almost ran out of the room.

"Ryan wait!" Alviss tried to get up but his wound tore sending pain blazing through his body. Alviss fell back against his pillows and fought the urge to punch something. Well you blew that didn't you, you idiot, Alviss thought to himself.

Yes you did indeed blow that one. An amused female voice entered his thoughts making Alviss jump.

Sliver?

Yes?

Have you been mind eavesdropping again?

I just heard your question and thought it was open to discussion. Sliver sounded like she was trying not to laugh. Alviss glared at the wall.

Sliver I'm glaring at you. Now get out of my mind and let me wallow in self pity and hate.

You know that that Prince loves you right?

I didn't get that impression somehow. Alviss thought leaning back against his pillows.

It is because he loves you that he runs from you.

Ok that makes so much sense. Alviss thought sarcastically.

He's afraid of his feelings, you two have been friends for a long time and he thinks that by loving you he is destroying that friendship.

How the hell do you know that?

I read his mind. Sliver thought smugly. Alviss rolled his eyes.

Of course you did.

:-:

Josak finished tying the note to a white carrier pigeon and released the bird into the sky. Josak watched as it disappeared into the sky with a feeling of foreboding. Letters had been sent to all the kingdoms under the Mazoku-human alliance with information about the attack, who started it and what the end result was. Ryan's part had also been noted and Josak worried about how the other kingdoms would react to that. Ryan was only 15 years old, still just a child and Josak hoped that they would go easy on him. It wasn't Ryan's fault that he was kidnapped and used to get the human army to Shinmakoku.

Josak rubbed his chin with a frown. He just couldn't believe that the Lord Eric or his advisor David had expected to gain anything by this attack. True if Elvira and Alviss hadn't saved the day then things would have been a lot worse; they might have even lost Shinmakoku to the humans. But even if that had happened their allies would have come to their rescue and taken back Shinmakoku; how did David expect to fight off so many nations with just a small army? There was more to this picture that they didn't know yet.

"Josak?" Josak glanced over his shoulder and smiled at his husband.

"How are the kids?"

"They are still asleep, but I think Joey still blames himself for getting captured by that woman yesterday." Conrad sighed and stood next to Josak his brown eyes concerned.

"I'm sure he will ok he has his father's strength." Josak winked and Conrad smiled and laughed. "I am worried about Ryan however." Conrad's face turned serious and he nodded.

"Have you sent the letters to the nations under the alliance?"

"Yes I just sent the last one before you arrived." Josak glanced in the direction the bird had taken his blue eyes dark with concern. "I hope they believe like we do that Ryan is not responsible for what happened yesterday."

"I hope so to, the fact that Ryan is still so young will help matters." Conrad leaned on the low stone wall and gazed over the town below him. "If Ryan was older then people might well say that he should have been able to fight off the effects of the spirit."

"I agree but they are also going to be twitchy about Ryan's new power. That tiger looked pretty powerful and we all know that even when nations form an alliance they never completely trust each other." Conrad glanced at his husband with a frown.

"You think they might worry that we will use Ryan as a weapon?" The very idea horrified Conrad but he could see Josak's point. That was why Ryan was kidnapped in the first place, to be used as a weapon.

"There is always that possibility." Josak looked grim, "The ten Nobles might also want to know why Ryan was unable to fight the effects of the spirit if he had such power at his command. They are not going to go easy on the kid." Josak sighed and Conrad nodded. For a moment they were both lost in their own thoughts the light wind playing with their hair. They both knew that this was only the beginning and many more trials awaited the young Prince in the future.

:-:

Yuri woke up with a light groan. He sat up and glanced at his sleeping husband before rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Yuri felt a smile curve his lips, his son was back! Yuri had gotten to the point that he believed that he would never see his son ever again but now Ryan was home and safe Yuri wasn't going to let anyone take him from him ever again. Then Yuri sobered remembering the attack and the effect that would have on the alliance. At least they wouldn't be fighting with each other any more but they would want to see justice done against the human kingdom for its crimes. On the one hand Yuri wanted to destroy the human kingdom and punish those who dared to hurt his beloved son, but he had matured a lot as the Maoh and he knew that that particular course of action would only bring more suffering.

Beside him Wolfram, clad in his horrific pink nightgown, snored loudly and rolled onto his back his legs and arms flung out trying to take as much space up on the bed as possible. Yuri smiled fondly and reached out and gently placed his hand on Wolfram's stomach. His second child, another son if Wolfram was to be believed, was growing inside there. Yuri knew that he should tell Ryan about his sibling but he wasn't sure if Ryan was ready to hear that. Yuri feared that Ryan may feel like he was being replaced. That was nonsense of course but he had read back on earth that teenagers often felt abandoned or left out if their parents had another baby. In a way Yuri could understand, babies needed 24 hour care and that didn't leave much room for the parent to give their teenage child the love they needed.

Wolfram sighed and rolled over so he was facing Yuri again curling up slightly. Yuri removed his hand and chewed his lip in thought. He would talk to Wolfram about it but he believed that Ryan should hear the news about his father's pregnancy from them. If Ryan heard it from another source he might think that his parents were keeping secrets from him. Yuri groaned and rubbed his face. Dealing with feelings and trying to predict how people would react was so difficult and the situation was more complicated now.

"Yuri?" A sleepy voice asked and Yuri smiled at a half-asleep Wolfram. His blond hair was messed up and his green eyes clouded with sleep.

"Morning sleeping beauty." Yuri kissed Wolfram on the lips and Wolfram wrinkled his nose.

"Ugh, you have morning breath." Yuri chuckled as Wolfram sat up stretching his arms above his head.

"Wolfram when do you think we should tell Ryan about your pregnancy?" Yuri asked and Wolfram glanced at him.

"What brought that question on?"

"I was just thinking about it while you were still asleep. I'm worried Ryan will think that we are replacing him." Yuri drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. Wolfram sighed and folded his hands in his lap.

"That is possible but I don't think my brothers felt that they were being replaced when I was born." Wolfram said thoughtfully. "I was born last but both Gwendal and Conrad took care of me. As far as I know they never felt that mother was abandoning them in favour of me."

"They hadn't led and attack on their own people before your mother told them she was pregnant again though." Yuri pointed out and Wolfram sighed.

"I think we should tell Ryan sooner rather than later, leaving it will make it worse I think. I would have thought he would be glad to have a baby brother."

"Maybe…" Yuri still sounded unsure. Wolfram moved closer to him.

"Did you brother feel abandoned when you mother had you?"

"Not that I am aware of." Yuri said and Wolfram nodded.

"Exactly, I'm sure Ryan will be fine and he will love his little brother." Yuri laughed.

"So you're sure it's a boy then?" Wolfram sat up and puffed out his chest.

"Of course I'm sure." Yuri laughed and kissed Wolfram lightly on the lips smiling at him.

"I love you Wolf."

"I love you too you wimp."

:-:

Gwendal woke up to an empty bed. He looked around but Gunter's clothes were gone so Gwendal guessed that he must have sneaked out early this morning. Usually Gwendal had to drag the lilac haired Mazoku out of bed in the morning. He couldn't remember a time when Gunter had been up before him. Gwendal scowled when he thought about the mess he had to clear up. Yesterday had been a complete diplomatic disaster. Although Gwendal didn't blame Ryan for the actions of the Lord Eric or David's power crazy ideals, he did wish that Ryan hadn't gone and gotten himself kidnapped in the first place.

Gwendal dressed in his usual green military outfit and went in search of his husband. The first place he looked was the library. The smell of old books and dust hit Gwendal as soon as he opened the large wooden door. Sunlight slanted in through the large windows giving everything a golden glow. Gunter was sitting at a table next to the window with a stack of books beside him. Sunlight shone on his light coloured hair and Gunter's eyes were fixed on the book in front of him. Gwendal let a rare smile grace his lips as he walked up to his husband.

"You're up early." Gwendal remarked making Gunter jump slightly. Gunter glanced up and smiled when he saw Gwendal.

"I was thinking about Ryan's story all night." Gunter admitted, "I was hoping to find some evidence to back him up in these books." Gunter waved a hand at the pile. "These are the oldest books we have so if the human Ryan is mentioned anywhere it will be in these books."

"You believe that the human Ryan existed then?" Gwendal asked sitting down opposite Gunter.

"I believe that Ryan believes it to be true." Gunter said simply marking his place in the book he was reading. The pages were yellow and curled making the tiny black writing almost impossible to read.

"Well if you find anything it could greatly help us understand Ryan's new powers and how to control them." Gunter raised an eyebrow at his husband.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean the ten Nobles may want a demonstration of Ryan's powers and to be comforted that Ryan can control them. They will fear that Ryan is a loaded cannon which could go off at any time."

"People always fear what they do not understand." Gunter sighed and shook his head sadly. "Ryan has a difficult time ahead of him."

"He's not the only one who as a difficult time ahead," Gwendal muttered, "I have to try and sort out this diplomatic nightmare. I understand His Majesty not wanting to go to war but we must not seem weak."

"After all this time I doubt Yuri will be seen as weak." Gunter pointed out mildly, "Everyone respects him a great deal now even if they choose not to show it." Gwendal grunted but he knew that Gunter had a point. Yuri had grown into his role as the Mazoku's Maoh quite nicely over the past 17 years. The birth of his son had only strengthened Yuri's resolve to create a peaceful world with no fighting where his son could be safe from harm. Unfortunately not everyone believed in the value of peace like Yuri did.

:-:

David sat in his cell and glared at the wall. His left leg was chained to the floor and two guards stood outside his cell. All his clothes had been taken from him and he had been forced to wear a grubby prison outfit. The outfit was grey in colour and the material was itchy and too big for him. The head of the guards had been worried that David would have some sort of drug hidden in his clothes that would kill him if taken. David however was not suicidal. He knew that Ashi and Kirai had escaped detection and he had waited all night for them to rescue him. They never came.

Now David was furious. He had given those two life. Without him they wouldn't even exist yet they had left him to rot in this cell? David ground his teeth and swore that he would punish those two when he got his hands on them. Kirai must have been responsible for not coming for him. Kirai had always been difficult to control and he recently started to question his orders. Ashi was loyal to him so David believed that she would come back for him once she was strong enough. She must have been too weak from the fight to get him out but David knew that she would come. Ashi was like Kage, too weak to think for herself. She would obey his orders simply because she couldn't even comprehend anything else. Kirai however, he had started to think for himself and he had even developed a conscience. David spat curling his lip. Kirai was his biggest failure, he had rushed the process too much and the underworld spirit had lost its control over Kirai's human side. He should have taken him away from his mother much sooner.

Yami, Kage and Ashi had been five months old when they were taken away from their mothers but Kirai's mother had escaped from him after Kirai was born. It had taken almost a year for David to find her, by that time Kirai had bonded with his mother. Even though Kirai couldn't remember her face or her touch, the bond had been made and it got in David's way. He needed cold blooded killers not soft human wimps who couldn't follow his orders.

David frowned when he thought about the attack on the demon kingdom. It had failed the moment that the prince had thrown the spirit from his body. Yet David had made sure that that was impossible. Once the spirit was inside the prince is was supposed to control him until the prince was killed or David personally removed it. David couldn't understand how the prince had managed to throw off the spirit's control and summon the tiger.

The attack was not a total loss though. David smiled as he leaned back against the cold wall of his cell. He knew that the Maoh wouldn't start a war and that would be his downfall. He would be seen as weak and afraid by the other countries in the alliance and they would start to break away. David had supports in each country who would whisper in their leader's ear that they should make their own alliance against the Mazoku. Soon everyone would be fighting each other and David could just sit back and watch. He had started the war but he would not finish it. And when the flames died out and the war ended David would take over the victorious country and become the true ruler of the world.

:-:

Yuri walked to his son's room thinking about what he and Wolfram had talked about that morning. He still wasn't sure if Ryan was ready to hear that he was going to have a younger brother in less than eight months. Yuri stopped outside Ryan's room and gazed at the wood deep in thought. I won't tell him today, he has enough to think about, Yuri decided and knocked on the door. There was no answer. Yuri opened the door and glanced at the bed thinking that Ryan may still be asleep. His bed was empty but Yuri could tell that it had been slept in. The covers were thrown back and a pillow was on the floor. Yuri glanced around but there was no note telling him where Ryan might have gone. Yuri left the room and closed the door behind him refusing to panic. Maybe Ryan was visiting his friend at the hospital.

Yuri walked to the hospital in long determined strides and opened the door. A young nurse was talking to another nurse as they prepared breakfast for the patients. They both looked up as Yuri entered and hurriedly dropped into a curtsy as he approached.

"Have either of you seen my son this morning?" Yuri asked.

"No Your Majesty we have not." One nurse replied and Yuri nodded and thanked them before leaving. Where are you Ryan? Yuri asked himself as he walked back down the hallway. Yuri rounded a corner and almost walked into a soldier coming the other way.

"Oh excuse me Your Majesty." The soldier stepped back bowing.

"Never mind it doesn't matter. You haven't seen my son have you?" Yuri asked and to his surprise the soldier nodded.

"Yes sir he was in the stables visiting his mare last I saw him." Yuri sighed in relief.

"Thank you." Yuri smiled and turned away hurrying to the stables. Soldiers bowed and stepped out of his way as he walked past them but Yuri ignored them as he hurried to the stables. He wanted to see Ryan for himself to know that he was safe. Yuri walked into the stable and breathed in the strong smell of horse. The stable was cool and quiet with the only noise being the sound of rustling hay. A few horses put their heads over their doors to look at the new arrival hoping that he was going to feed them. Yuri heard someone talking quietly and he walked around the corner and saw Ryan leaning on the stable door talking to his mare Snowfire. Snowfire had her head over the door and her ears pricked as if she could understand everything Ryan was telling her.

"Ryan?" Ryan stopped talking and turned to look at his dad.

"Oh hi father I didn't hear you come in." Ryan patted Snowfire's neck and the mare snorted gently at him.

"Have you had anything to eat yet this morning?" Yuri asked walking up to his son and patting Snowfire. Snowfire turned her head towards him and nudged him with her nose. Yuri smiled and rubbed her face between her eyes.

"No I wanted to be alone." Ryan looked away. There was no way he was going to tell his father about what happened when he went to see Alviss this morning. He had been telling his mare all about it just before his father came in. Ryan knew that many people would think he was weird to talk aloud to his horse but Ryan believed that Snowfire did listen to him and even if she didn't it was nice just to talk. He could say anything to her and she would keep it a secret forever.

"Are you ok Ryan?" Yuri's voice was soft but Ryan could hear the worry behind it. Ryan glanced at his father before looking away.

"I feel guilty about what happened yesterday. I even dreamt about it last night, about the first soldier I killed." Ryan cursed himself when his voice shook. He jumped as his dad's arms wrapped around him holding him tight.

"I understand Ryan but you've got to stop blaming yourself. The past is the past and no one can change that."

"How could you understand?" Ryan asked his voice muffled against his dad's shoulder. Yuri sighed and rubbed his son's back in soothing circles like he used to when Ryan was little and had a nightmare.

"In my first three years as the Maoh I made many mistakes and I felt terrible about them. I made everyone run around after me because I had no idea what I was doing or what the rules were. I was pretty useless actually it's amazing everyone has put up with me for so long." Yuri chuckled and pulled back to look at his son. Ryan's green eyes reminded him so much of Wolfram it was like looking at a dark haired version of him.

"Really?"

"Yeah I messed up but look at me now." Yuri spread his arms grinning. "I have forged an alliance with the humans and the Mazoku; I have a beautiful husband and a wonderful son who I love very much." Ryan blushed making Yuri smile. "Ryan we all make mistakes its part of growing up. We just need to learn from our mistakes and move on. Success is not final and failure is not fatal."

"So I need to remember that getting kidnapped, possessed and almost destroying my home is bad?" Ryan asked but he was smiling. Yuri smiled and ruffled his son's black hair.

"That's the spirit son. Everything is going to work out fine you'll see."

"Aren't the other nations going to want you to enact some form of punishment on me for my involvement in the attack?" Ryan asked.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now I just want you to remain within the castle and the grounds. The ten Nobles will want to talk with you but all you need to do is tell the truth." Ryan didn't look too happy to hear that piece of news.

"Aren't they really mean and strict? I don't think I've met them before but everyone seems to be afraid of them." Yuri laughed.

"Their bark is much worse than their bite; I should know I've been grilled by them in the past." Yuri winked and wrapped an arm around his son's shoulders to lead him out of the stables. "You'll have them for breakfast. Speaking of breakfast let's go eat I'm certain that you must be very hungry by now." Ryan opened his mouth to answer but his stomach beat him to it by growling loudly. Ryan blushed while his dad laughed.

"Maybe I'm just a little hungry."

"Well then let's not keep you stomach waiting." Yuri grinned and Ryan gave Snowfire one last pat before leaving the stable with his dad. Ryan felt more relaxed now but he knew that the next few months would be difficult for everyone. The leaders of the nations in the alliance would want to speak with him, not to mention the ten Nobles, and some action would have to be taken against Lord Eric's kingdom. Ryan briefly wondered if Henry was alright. He hadn't seen him among the dead or wounded human soldiers yesterday. Maybe he had been sent back to his own kingdom with the rest of the human soldiers.

Yuri glanced at his son and could tell that he was deep in thought about something so he left him to his thoughts. Yuri felt bad about lying to his son but right now Ryan needed support not more worries. If Ryan felt that talking with the ten Nobles was easy then he wouldn't worry himself over it as much. When dealing with the Nobles it was best to be calm and collected. Yuri was also concerned about the nations' leaders who would be coming over to Shinmakoku as soon as they received their letters telling them that Ryan was home safe but Shinmakoku had been attacked. Yuri wasn't sure how they were going to react and that worried him slightly. It was like a game of chess waiting for your enemy to make the next move but not knowing what that would be. There was also the issue of Wolfram's pregnancy that needed to be addressed.

Wolfram's belly wouldn't start to show his pregnancy until around his fourth month if Yuri remembered correctly from when Wolfram was pregnant with Ryan. Since Wolfram had a slim build his pregnancy would show sooner than on someone else. Wolfram however would parade around showing off his pregnant state and lap up all the praise and kind words. Yuri sometimes felt that people forgot that it takes two people for someone to get pregnant.

Ryan glanced at the castle and saw a nurse walking past a window which made him think about Alviss. By now Gisela would have done her rounds and found Alviss's wound almost completely healed. Alviss would have told her how Ryan healed it and Gisela would most likely want to talk to him about it. Ryan chewed his lip as the kiss between him and Alviss jumped into his mind. He had enjoyed that kiss, more than he cared to admit. Yet he wasn't the one for Alviss. There was no way he could ever be good enough to be Alviss's lover. The idea of dating Alviss gave him a funny feeling in his stomach and made his heart jump but Ryan ignored them. He could be Alviss's friend but nothing more. After stabbing Alviss in the side and almost killing him Ryan was frankly amazed that Alviss was willing to even look at him. Wasn't Alviss angry at him? After all, Alviss had flown across nations to find him only to get stabbed, twice, for his effort. If that happened to me I would be pretty peeved by now, Ryan thought to himself. Yet Alviss hadn't pushed him away he had done the exact opposite, even told him that he liked him.

"Father how do you know when you like someone?" Ryan asked and Yuri's eyebrows shot up.

"Oh well, it's different from person to person." Yuri said warily eyeing his son. Who could Ryan have fallen in love with, he had only been back a day.

"Then how did you know that you liked dad? I mean, why did you ask him to marry you?"

"Ah well, I asked him to marry me by mistake actually." Yuri looked embarrassed and Ryan stopped walking and stared at his father.

"How do you accidently ask someone to marry you?"

"Back on earth the man gets down on one knee to propose but here the guy slaps the girl or guy on the left cheek. I didn't know that so when I slapped Wolfram for insulting my mother I asked him to marry me."

"You slapped him for insulting grandma?" Ryan asked in amazement. "Don't guys usually punch other guys for saying things like that?"

"Well I was never one for violence." Yuri said shrugging, "But I grew to love him and we are happily married. He has his faults but if he didn't have them he wouldn't be Wolfram and then I wouldn't love him." Yuri smiled his eyes soft as he thought about his blond husband. Ryan saw the look and wondered of all people in love looked like that when they thought about the person they loved.

"So you didn't fall in love at first sight? It was gradual thing?"

"I believe in love at first sight but Wolf and I grew into love. He was bossy and over protective and constantly nagged at me for cheating on him, which I never did. We drove each other nuts." Yuri chuckled, "But we like people for their good qualities and love them for their faults."

"I see." Ryan paused to take in this information. If his parents hadn't loved each other to begin with but then grown into love then maybe that's what had happened with him and Alviss. They had started off as friends but Alviss's feelings had grown into something different over time. Ryan wondered if his feelings had changed without him even noticing it.

"Is there a reason why you're asking me this?" Yuri asked lightly watching with interest as Ryan's face turned red.

"No not really I was just wondering."

"Ok." Yuri arched an eyebrow to show that he didn't quite believe that for a second but Ryan offered no further information. Once again Ryan's stomach made itself known. "Come on Ryan, let's go get that breakfast."

The End

Ok, that is the end of this story but the sequel has been completed and posted. It is called; Kyo Kara Maoh: Rise of the White Tiger and continues the adventures of Alviss, Elvira, Ryan and Kirai as they face down David and his evil master in the Black Forest. You can find more information on my profile.