"Is this the face that lounged a thousand ships?
Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faust
The double heavy doors to the royal bedchamber were pushed open by a petite curly brown-hair, brown-eye human child as she calls out, "Papa Wolfram!"
Greta stopped in the middle of the room while the last servant left with all the last of the personal belongings of Wolfram. With teary eyes, she whispers, "Then it's true. You're leaving Covenant Castle."
Taking one last look around to make sure he hadn't left anything behind that would remind Yuri of his presence, Wolfram turned to face the one that could have been his adopted daughter too. Holding the tears that threatened to fall at any moment, he gritted his teeth, forcing a smile to curl up while addressing Greta, "Yes, I'm leaving for my own estate. I'm going to be living now at Von Bielefeld Castle."
"You lied to me. You said that you loved me, but you never did." Greta runs towards Wolfram, hitting him on his stomach with her tight fists. "You and daddy had an argument and you decided to leave, not thinking once about what would happen to me!" Greta's face is covered in tears while Wolfram holds her tight, Greta continuing to punch him with her fists.
"Greta!" Wolfram exclaimed, a lump forming in his throat. "I'm sorry, Greta! You're right; I'm such a selfish person. I'm too wrapped up in my own pain that I didn't stop to think how this affects you."
Wolfram fell in his knees, holding Greta tighter as he whispers, "I'm sorry, Greta!"
Sobbing, Greta now holds tight to Wolfram's neck while burying her face into his luscious blond locks, "It's okay, papa. I'll forgive you. Just promise me you're not leaving."
Moving away to look straight into Wolfram's emerald eyes, she continues, "I'm sure you and daddy can work it out. You always do. You and daddy always fight but at the end of the day, we're always together. Like whenever, he kicks you out of the bedroom. You always come back when he's asleep and the next day, we're a happy family again." Greta wipes her eyes with the back of her hands.
Wolfram's emeralds glazed over, the silent tears rolling down his cheeks. This time, Wolfram is the one who buries his face in Greta's curls. After a few seconds, Wolfram's lips curl up in a sad smile. Playing with Greta's curls, he adds, "I'm afraid this time is different. I'm not going to be sneaking back into the bedroom because I'm no longer Yuri's fiancé."
At this time, Wolfram gets up from the floor and takes Greta's hand, pulling her towards the bed. They sit on the edge and for a few seconds, each remains silent. Greta frets with her hands as she asks with a low voice, "What's going to happen to me?"
"Nothing is going to happen to you. You're Yuri's adopted daughter, so you'll remain here at the castle like the little princess you are." Wolfram takes Greta's hands into his own, nursing the reddening spot cause by the raw rubbing.
Greta looks up and, gazing into Wolfram's eyes, she adds, "Who is going to read me bedtime stories when daddy goes back to Earth? Who else is going to kiss me good night and good morning when I go to bed and when I wake-up? Who is going to take care of me, Papa Wolfram?"
Wolfram closes his eyes, fighting the new tears forming inside his eyes and the lump growing bigger in his throat, blocking his windpipes and chocking the words he says next. "I'm… I'm sure…there's…there's plenty of…"
"Don't you love me anymore papa?" Greta asks with a pleading voice. Dropping her head into Wolfram's lap, she continues, "I promise to pay more attention to you, papa. I'll do anything you ask me. I'll be a better daughter but please don't go papa."
Wolfram cups Greta's face in his hands as he softly wipes the tears from her face, adding, "Greta, you're the best daughter I could ever ask for. I love you with all my heart. But, I cannot stay. It has nothing to do with you. However, I'm sure Yuri would allow you to come and visit me at my castle."
"No, I don't want you to leave! This is your home too, here with me and daddy!" Greta yells as she starts to hit Wolfram's legs with her fists again.
All this time, Yuri was outside the bedroom in the hallway, listening to the conversation, his heart breaking with every word. It had never occurred to him that his actions would bring so much pain to everyone. He bit his lip as the images of this morning events flood his mind.
Yuri woke up, once more, on the floor after Wolfram had kicked him off the bed for the umpteenth time. "Wolfram! Why do you keep sneaking back into my bed after I throw you out time after time? I better make sure this engagement business gets straightened out today. I'm tire of sharing my bed with you. We're guys." Yuri pulls the covers off from Wolfram just for spite and gets ready to do his morning running with Conrad.
"Good morning your majesty! I hope you had a good night's sleep." Conrad asks cheerfully with a grin on his face. He loves doing laps with Yuri whenever the Maoh is back from Earth.
"Stop calling me your majesty, Conrad. You're my godfather, so call me Yuri." Yuri adds, irritated. His usual smile was definitely absent from his face this morning and replaced by a frowning face as they started to warm up for the daily run.
"I gather you did not have a pleasant night, Yuri." Conrad asks, amused. It was the first time he actually sees Yuri so irritated.
"Conrad, let me ask you a very important and serious question." Yuri keeps stretching, stopping as he says, "I don't feel like running. Can we go and play some catch at the baseball field instead?"
Conrad's face illuminates as his grin widens. "Sure, your majesty."
"Yuri! Call me Yuri, Conrad. Unbelievable, you know everyone claims that they live to serve me and obey me and I do the smallest of request and no one, and I mean no one, listens to me." Yuri spat, throwing his arms in the air as he walked away from Conrad to the Castle stables.
"This seems to be more serious than a simple tantrum. I wonder what's eating Yuri?" Conrad follows Yuri closely, mounting onto his horse as Yuri whips 'Ao' hard, forcing him to dash forward full speed. Conrad lashes his also to catch up to Yuri and when he does, they both ride their horses hard in silence. Finally, they arrive at the makeshift baseball stadium. Everyone poured their love and soul to the construction of this baseball field, the first ever here in Shin Makuko; however, the project was going slow since the soldiers only work on it during their days off.
"Yuri, would you tell me what's wrong?" Conrad dismounts from his horse quickly and grabs Yuri by the arm.
Yuri sighs; it's not fair taking it out on his godfather, or 'Ao,' his loving and gentle horse. "Let's play some ball then I'll talk to you, and Conrad, please, I mean it, call me Yuri. I understand why everyone else must call me majesty but not you. You're my godfather. Okay!"
Conrad let go of Yuri's arms as he agrees, "Okay! Let's play catch, Yuri." Yuri smiles; the ride and the openness of the field has helped him relax.
After a few minutes of throwing the ball and playing catch, Conrad asks, "So, what's the important and serious question you want to ask me?"
Yuri puffs some air then with a grin, he keeps crouching, signaling Conrad what type of pitch to throw. "Tell me how serious my engagement to Wolfram is. Do we have to actually marry? Or can we call it quits? How soon? Stuff like that."
"Oh! I see. So, that's why you're so wound up, today." Conrad pitches a fast ball, forcing Yuri to move backwards a few inches.
"That was a good one Conrad! I like the form and speed." Yuri throws the ball back to Conrad as he takes his position again.
Conrad now winds up his arm, getting ready to throw a center-curve, "Well, Yuri, your engagement to Wolfram is very serious. People expect you to marry him, making him your consort once you come into your full powers." At this point, Conrad releases the ball.
"It was off center. Too much to the left, but you're getting better… What do you mean my full powers?" Yuri sends the ball back to Conrad who stands still at the pitcher's mound.
"What I mean, Yuri, is once you become the full fledge demon king. Right now, you cannot control your powers. They only appear during times of stress or emotional turmoil for you. But eventually you will be able to command them and call upon them regardless of your state of mind and that's when you'll become the demon king and make the pact with the elements. Once you achieve this milestone then it is when your engagement to Wolfram would require you to marry him. It could take a year, maybe longer. It all depends how long it takes you to become the demon king permanently instead of only during times of stress." The ball flies through the air, falling inside Yuri's glove.
"Wow! That was a beautiful curve to the center Conrad!" Yuri whistles as he stands up and walks to the mound. "So, you're saying once I become the demon king, I must marry Wolfram for real, even if we're two guys."
"Yes, Yuri, even if you and Wolfram are of the same sex. You must honor your engagement and marry Wolfram if you don't want any civil disturbance in Shin Makuko."
"I see. So there's no way I can break up the engagement with Wolfram?" Yuri frowns as he takes in his serious face, thinking about the situation further. Then his face illuminates as he points to Conrad, "Wait a minute! What about the time Wolfram broke up our engagement? Remember, when the aristocrats wanted to make him the Maoh, he left me that letter in that official stationary telling me he broke up with me. Gwendal and Gunter said it was an official break up."
Conrad smiles as he ruffles Yuri's hair. They walk towards the temporary changing rooms and showers to change from the baseball uniforms into the clothes they wore awhile ago.
"Yes, Yuri, it was an official break up from Wolfram but since your majesty never acknowledged it, it never happened."
"What! It's my fault we still engage!?" Yuri screams as he waves his arms wildly above his head.
"I'm afraid so Yuri."
Yuri goes into the showers and begins to soap, "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! How could I?"
While rinsing, Yuri asks, "So is there is no way I can break up the engagement with Wolfram now?"
"I did not say that Yuri. I only said you couldn't use the letter as an excuse."
"Oh! So what can I use as an excuse to break up the engagement?"
"Between now and before you make the pact with the elements, you don't need an excuse. You can terminate your engagement at any time, no excuses needed except you better give a good monetary or land gift to the family to avoid any hard feelings." Conrad explained as he dried himself and changed into his usual soldier uniform.
"However, once you become the demon king and you're still engaged, you better honor it. The only way you can dissolve it is only if Wolfram or any fiancé for that matter has committed any acts of treason against the Maoh, first, two both parties agree to dissolve the engagement, or in the case of death." Conrad stood, still waiting for Yuri to finish dressing.
Yuri on the other hand was lost in deep thought. "So, tell me exactly what's the proper procedure to dissolve the engagement right now and how to avoid having any hard feelings between me and Wolfram? Don't get me wrong, I like Wolfram. I can honestly say that I love him but only as a friend."
Conrad lips curl into a soft smile. He loves his little brother and is torn between serving Yuri and protecting his brother; however, Wolfram is a Von Bielefeld and a soldier above everything else so he is sure he would manage well enough.
A few hours later, Yuri is at his office talking to Gwendal and Gunter about some matters of state when Wolfram enters to berate Yuri about a small incident that involved Yuri and a peasant girl this morning at the market while shopping with Greta.
Yuri, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes then opening them, he stares back at Wolfram as he states, "Wolfram, I want you to stop getting on my case for every single thing that involves girls or whatever; furthermore, please listen carefully, as of right now I dissolve our engagement."
Wolfram's color drains from his face as he feels a chill spreading through his body, a single word escaping his parted lips. "Yuri!"
Yuri points his forefinger to hush Wolfram before continuing with his speech. "I already asked Gunter to send a generous monetary gift to the Von Bielefeld estate in addition to granting you some additional lands to increase your estate. Furthermore, I asked Gwendal to look into an office that is appropriate for someone of your status so you can continue serving your country in an honorable manner." Yuri grins, satisfied with himself. This would appease any anger Wolfram might harbor.
Wolfram looks around to study the faces of each one present at the office. He sees the silent Conrad standing away from the group, looking at him with those big brown eyes full of love and sadness. Gwendal's usual frowning expression has been replaced by a painful look. His eyes reflect sadness and a desire to be someplace else other than here. The downcast eyes of Gunter reassure Wolfram that this is not a joke of bad taste but a royal command that must be obeyed. "I see your majesty."
Wolfram now bows as he continues, "Would it be too much to ask of your majesty to allow me to take a sabbatical? I want to stay for awhile at the Von Bielefeld estate before I take charge of the new office you decide to assign me."
"Wolfram you don't have to leave. We're still friends; we're comrades." Yuri approaches with a smile and extended hands.
Wolfram looks at Yuri's arms then, as he straightens, he asks, "Are you saying, your majesty, I cannot visit my relatives at the Von Bielefeld estate?"
"No, I did not say that Wolfram. If you want to go and visit, you're free to do so as long as you want." Yuri now brings his arms close to his chest as he feels a tingly sensation growing slowly in his heart.
"Then if your majesty has nothing else to add, I take my leave." Clasping his sword tighter, Wolfram bows once more.
Yuri sees the hurried figure of Wolfram close the door behind as he whispers, "Wolfram!" Then with a sigh he turns to watch the men standing with him. Everyone busying themselves with something while the silence weighs in on everyone. "Be patient Yuri, Wolfram will get over it and then we can be good friends again."
Greta's pleading voice brings Yuri back to the present. "Why can't you stay, papa? Tell me why!"
Yuri puffs some air, then inhaling deeper he moves to go inside the room. He pushes the doors open and with a grin he says, "Greta! Let me talk to Wolfram just for a second please."
Greta and Wolfram turn to face Yuri, Greta wiping her face again with the back of her hand as she answers, "Okay, daddy." Then turning to look at Wolfram, she adds, hopping down from the bed, "Papa, you better come and drink tea with me outside in the garden, it's tea time." Greta rushes outside the room, only pausing to receive a kiss from Yuri.
Wolfram's jaws tighten as he quickly wipes his teary face, avoiding looking directly at Yuri. A pang seems to have taking residence inside Yuri's rib cage. With another sigh, Yuri speaks, "Wolfram, I know that right now you hate me."
"I don't hate you Yuri." Wolfram answers too quickly as he struggles mentally, "I cannot hate you. I love you too much to hate you. It's not your fault that you don't love me and you cannot love me back."
"Okay, you don't hate me but you're still angry." Yuri walks until he reaches Wolfram who was sitting on the edge of the bed.
Wolfram cannot help it but to hiss as he turns his face away from Yuri who takes a place next to him on the bed. "Well at least you're not running and screaming away from me; that's a good start."
"Wolfram, I understand that your only desire to leave right now is because you don't want to see my face."
"You got that right!" Wolfram's body is tense to the point where if pushed a little further, it would explode into thousands of shards. "It's too painful to look at you right now, Yuri. I don't think I can keep my sanity if I was to see you flirting with others right now."
Yuri keeps looking at Wolfram who has fixed his gaze towards the window. It is easier for him that way since his emotions can be kept in check for the time being. Yuri feels tempted to wipe the dried tears from Wolfram's rosy cheek but instead he brings his arms to rest on the back of his head as he keeps smiling. "Okay! Would you stay if I promise you that you won't be seeing me at all? I won't cross paths with you. I'll make sure there is not the slightest chance for us to see each other until you're ready to forgive me and be friends for Greta's sake."
At this, Wolfram turns to face Yuri as he asks, "Why?"
"Because Greta needs you," Yuri states, getting lost in Wolfram's liquid emeralds. "I need you too Wolfram. I'll always need you by my side, just not the way you want me."
"You're Greta's father. I'm nobody anymore." Wolfram casts his eyes down, closing his hands into fists.
"That's not true; I might be Greta's father on paper, but you're the one who has been taking care of her ever since I adopted her. So you can say you're more of her father than I am. I'm like the part-time dad while you're the full time."
Wolfram cannot help it as his lips begin to curl into a small smile. "Are you trying to make me laugh?"
"If it works and you stay, sure."
"Where am I supposed to be staying for the meanwhile?" Wolfram pauses before he continues. "Before you came to Shin Makuko, this used to be my room. Then, I was moved to mother's room since she left for her quest for free love journey but now Greta has that room."
"Really, I had no idea." Yuri takes on his deep thinking face, "So is that the reason you're always sleeping with me? You missed your room?"
"Conrad says that a new section on the west wing has just been remodeled so I guess you can take over the west wing that way we don't have to see each other for awhile."
"It better be in excellent conditions; otherwise, you'll be the one taking over that wing." Wolfram stands up quickly before finishing, "Now if you excuse me, I have a tea party to attend to."
Yuri grins as he sees Wolfram close the door behind him, "At least he agreed to stay."
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters of Kyo Kara Maoh! That totally and unashamedly appears on this fan fiction. They are the product of Tomo Takabayashi and Temari Matsumoto's wonderful imagination and art. However, the plot is totally my selfish desire to get some romantic thrills, which are only alluded to or implied, in their creative work.
Author's Notes: The story is inspired on the legend of Helen of Sparta/Troy. I like to thank anonymous void for helping me beta this chapter. However, any more grammar mistakes are entirely mine since I did change some stuff. Arigato, anonymous void.