Chapter Two: You are the prince
A heavy sigh filled the large, lush chambers, almost echoing against the stone walls. Before silence could settle in, the sound of rustling sheets ensued as a bespectacled blonde boy rolled to his stomach. His elbows dug into the mattress has he propped his head in his hands, looking up at the older teen in front of him. "Do I have to go Arthur? Can't those old farts take care of everything and I can stay with you?"
Smiling, Arthur shook his head and ruffled the boy's hair. "Come now Al, you know that can't happen. You have true responsibility now. Time to step up to the plate and be a man." Putting on a thoughtful expression, he tapped Alfred on the nose. "Besides, weren't you the one whose first words out of his mouth upon learning he was going home were, I get to see Mattie again?"
Alfred stuck his bottom lip out in a pout and averted his gaze, a light blush spreading across his cheeks. "Yeah, but I'm gonna miss you."
"Who said you can't come an visit? I'm not your parents silly, I'm not going to stop you from seeing me," Arthur said, rolling his eyes.
As Alfred visibly brightened from the reassurance, he sat up to give Arthur a quick peck on the cheek. "Good because you wouldn't be able to keep me away!"
With another roll of his eyes, Arthur shoved the hyper child off his bed. Alfred squeaked, but quickly landed on his feet, glaring accusingly at the still seated blond. "Hey! What was that for?" he demanded, firmly crossing his arms.
"Your boat is leaving soon. You can't miss it. Go get your bags. I'll meet you downstairs in a bit." The boy left and silence once more settled on the room. Arthur fell back into his pillows. One thing was for sure; the Blue Palace was going to be quiet without the boisterous foreign prince residing in it.
It was common practice among royal families to send their heirs to foreign kingdoms during their schooling years to gain a better view of the world outside their own lands. Arthur had done so himself, having been sent to the neighboring Green Kingdom in his childhood. The same went for Alfred, now King of the Yellow Kingdom.
It was a strange thought for Arthur, thinking of Alfred not as a younger sibling, but as a King of another kingdom. Laughing sadly, the teen rubbed his face vigorously. He couldn't be thinking like that. Alfred was never and never will be his brother. Any love for the child had to be thrown away now that he was going to be the leader of the Yellow Kingdom. As a king himself, Arthur could not allow the matters of heart to dictate his decisions. If Alfred ever proved to be an enemy… Well, simply put, Arthur could not have anything as frivolous as feelings stopping him from defeating the enemy.
Arthur growled and smacked his cheeks, jumping to his feet. This was disgusting; Alfred was still a child, now orphaned and being thrown into leadership at such a young age. Granted, Arthur had become king around Alfred's age, but he had also been much more mature. Alfred was innocent and optimistic; he would never do anything to become an enemy of the Blue Kingdom.
Yet there was still the uncertainty in Arthur's heart as he crossed the room to stand at the window overlooking the bay. There were those rumored advisors of the Yellow Kingdom that- a muffled gasp pulled the contemplating blond away from his thoughts. Arthur looked away from the vast sea outside to the tapestry a few feet away. It looked slightly askew, which just proved his internal suspicions.
A cruel smile spread across the king's face as he silently walked over to the thick material. Without warning, he slammed his fist into the tapestry-concealed wall. Sure enough, the action elicited a loud squeak of surprise. Arthur pulled the material out of the way and grabbed the frail wrist of his spy. He threw the small body sprawling to the ground. Before the tiny servant could run, Arthur placed his foot on the other's chest.
Cheeks puffed in a pathetic cross of a child pout when caught doing something wrong and a furious glare, the androgynous servant stared up at his master without an ounce of respect or fear. Arthur could see his jaw muscles clenched tight, as if he was resisting the urge to spit in Arthur's face. Smirking, Arthur leaned down, applying more weight on the servant's chest in doing so. "You have go to be the worst slave in history Yao dear. I do hope you realize this."
Yao remained silent and continued to glare up at the blond, refusing to show any sign of his deteriorating ability to breath under Arthur's weight. Seeing that Yao was going to continue with his stubbornness, Arthur leaned more into his foot on the small man's chest. Gasping for air, Yao pushed at Arthur's leg. "Get off! I can't breathe!"
"Good slaves don't eavesdrop on their masters. You're a very bad slave. Tsk, tsk." But, a bad slave was much better than a dead one. Arthur removed his foot to grab hold of Yao's wrists, mercilessly pulling him to his feet. He placed his lips against the Oriental man's ear to whisper, "Were you thinking if you caught me in my moments of mental weakness as Alfred is leaving, I'd be more likely to say yes to your request?"
Scowling, Yao struggled to pull free from Arthur's grip. "I don't have anything to ask of you. Now let me go! Don't you have to go see Alfred off? You'll regret it if you don't!"
With a laugh, Arthur dragged Yao over to his bed and threw the man onto the lush mattress. This one was still so undisciplined, even after residing in his household for several months now. Now that he didn't have Alfred occupying his free time, perhaps it was time to crush Yao's obnoxious pride. He was, after all, a former ruler. "Sudden care for my well being Yao? How kind of you. I best take your advice, shouldn't I? After all, you know best. You never got to see your siblings before leaving, did you? That must have been devastating."
Almost immediately, the prideful ex-king looked like a kicked puppy as he bit his bottom lip, trying very hard to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. Arthur was satisfied with himself as he turned to leave. He was almost to the door when the small man yelled out to him.
"Please let me go with you! Back home, just to see them, please! I know you're going on a voyage in a few weeks to my kingdom! I-I miss them so much! And Hui is still so young, I'm the only thing he's had resembling a parent! Please, just please."
Looking over his shoulder with an almost bored expression, Arthur examined the Oriental man with raised bushy brows. He was on his hands and needs, staring up at Arthur with teary, pleading eyes, his long hair falling out of its ponytail and into his face. It should be criminal for a man to be so gorgeous. With a smile devoid of emotion, Arthur turned his back to Yao and opened his door. "Maybe if you stay there, I'll consider it."
They both knew he would say no in the end, but they also both knew that Yao would still be there when Arthur returned. They both knew it and neither was going to act differently than expected. Thus was the endless cycle of stubborn souls.
"Arthur! Come on! You need to see me off stupid!"
A truthfully loving smile spread across Arthur's face as he looked down the hall to see a pouting Alfred. Once again, the Oriental man was right. Arthur would regret not being with Alfred before he left… "Yeah yeah you little brat, I'm coming."
The smile on Alfred's face would forever be imprinted in Arthur's mind. The smile full of joy and love, all for man so full of sin and deceit. To love and to be loved in return, such a wonderful feeling it was. Why did he always realize these things at the end of everything?
"Are you going to tell him before you leave?"
Matthew jumped and clutched his chest with a gasp, positive his heart must have leapt right out. With a glance over his shoulder he saw Katyusha smiling brightly in the doorway. Letting out a sigh Matthew pulled himself to his feet to face his friend, a scolding look on his face. "You scared me Katyusha! You should have knocked."
Giggling, Katyusha waved away the lecture with her hand. A light blush touched her cheeks as she crossed the room to sit on Matthew's small cot, even with the small movement her breasts jiggled noticeably. "Matvey, if you don't tell him before we leave, he'll probably never know."
"B-but Katyusha!" Matthew sighed heavily and sat down next to the girl. His clasped his hands together and dared not look away from them as he spoke. "He probably doesn't even know I exist. How can I just run up to him before we leave, and tell him I love him? It-it just doesn't work that way!"
A bright red blush claimed Matthew's cheeks as tears threatened to fall. In an attempt to comfort her companion, Katyusha put an arm around his shoulders and pulled him into a hug. Before the girl could speak, Matthew looked up with a pained expression.
"Not to mention I'm just a kid. I'm not stupid, I know he goes around. A confession from someone like me won't even stick in his mind. It's pointless, completely pointless."
Matthew forced a laugh and jumped to his feet, vigorously rubbing his eyes. He turned to Katyusha with a saddened smile. "Besides, I'm going home! I get to see Al! I'll forget all about this in no time! L-Let's get going, eh? There's no need to keep dilly-dallying around here. We have a long ride ahead of us!"
Seeing there was no hope of changing Matthew's mind, Katyusha returned her friend's smile and helped him gather his bags. Matthew grabbed her bags as well, despite her protests to carry them herself. With a sigh, the well-endowed teen followed Matthew down the halls. They waved to those they passed, stopping a bit to exchange farewells and good lucks.
As the two entered the courtyard, Matthew was close to tears again. This place was like a home to him and he was probably never going to return. It was rather ironic; he was going home, yet sad to be leaving this place. Really, could he get any sappier?
With a sniff, Matthew shifted the hold on his and Katyusha's bags to rub his eyes. There was a shout and the next thing he realized, the bags were everywhere and he was splayed out on the ground.
"Mon Dieu! Are you alright cheri?"
That voice… That sultry voice that seemed to caress him with each word. Thump-thump. Matthew slowly opened his eyes and looked up to meet concerned blue orbs. Thump-thump. Blood was rushing into his face and he was stuck in a state of shock as he was gently pulled to his feet. Pulled to his feet by him.
"Ah, Mathieu, there are tears in your eyes. Are you hurt somewhere? Or perhaps you're saddened at the thought of leaving the magnificient moi, non?"
"N-no, I'm all-all right, merci…" Matthew stared into those eyes of captured sky with a hitched breath. Maybe he was dreaming, but because there was no way this was real. "Wh-what happened?"
"A stray arrow from archery practice was coming your way. I was hoping I could come and save you heroically, but Mademoiselle Katyusha stole that honor from me and pushed you out of harm's way," Francis said with a chuckle and a wink to Katyusha, who promptly turned pink and looked the other way.
"But I'm glad I caught you before you left," he continued with a teasing smile. "Did you really think you could leave without saying goodbye? I thought mon Matthieu has better manners than that!"
"J-je suis désolé!" Matthew cried out as he bowed apologetically. "I ju-just thought th-that you would be too busy s-so I didn't want to both-bother you and-and-"
Melodic laughter cut Matthew off and sent his heart racing. Francis pulled the shy boy into a hug and nuzzled the top of his head. "Come now Matthieu, how could I be too busy to see off my best assistant? You are a true culinary genius mon cher," Francis said as he pulled away to hold Matthew by his shoulders in front of him. "Who knows, maybe one day your cooking can challenge mine."
"I wouldn't dream of it!"
"So modest, mon petite Matthieu~" Francis cooed as he pinched Matthew's red cheek. "Now be a good boy back home and come visit, you hear?"
"Ou-oui!" Matthew chirped as he smiled brightly and in a moment of courage, quickly hugged Francis before gather all the dropped bags. "I promise, I will come visit the second I can!"
"You too Mademoiselle Katyusha," Francis said with a charming smile to the voluptuous girl.
"Of course Mister Francis!" Katyusha said with a hurried bow. "W-we should be leaving now. Matvey, don't you have something to say to Mister Francis before we leave?"
Matthew's eyes bulged out of their sockets and his blush turned a whole new shade of red. "Of-of-of course I d-d-don't!" He all but yelled as he turned on his heels and sped out of the courtyard. Francis' laughter echoed behind him, making Matthew nibble on his bottom lip. "Je t'aime," he murmured to himself.
"Now why didn't you say that to him?" Katyusha asked, jogging slightly to keep up with his fast pace. "I gave you the perfect opportunity to do it."
"It doesn't matter! I just can't do it Katyusha," Matthew sighed, looking longingly over his shoulder the palace they were leaving. "Maybe I'll have the courage to say it when I come visit, whenever that is."
"I'll hold you to it."
"Sounds like a plan then," Matthew said with a laugh as he looked away from the old palace. He only had eyes for his home now.
"What's taking him so long? Mattie should be here by now! God he was so punctual and a stickler for showing up on time and shit when we were kids. Surely he couldn't have changed that much since then!" Alfred was ready to continue rambling on about his twin when one of his advisors cleared his throat. Already fed up with the crusty old men, Alfred sighed and looked to Alaric with a bored gaze. "What?"
"Your Majesty, I merely offer a suggestion that you do not show such a level of excitement for your brother during the coronation," Alaric said in a monotone voice. At the sight of Alfred opening his mouth, ready to protest, the man quickly added to his statement. "Although he is your brother and your twin, Matthew is just a servant. You cannot give the impression that you do not care about social classes or else everyone else will pay no mind to them as well."
Alfred huffed and crossed his arms. "Whatever," he muttered as he looked away from the stern man. It didn't matter what stuffed Alaric said, Alfred was going to be king! He could do whatever the hell he felt like doing.
"Mister Matthew and Miss Katyusha have reached the palace," a servant said from the doorway.
"Mattie!" Alfred yelled as he jumped to his feet and ran out the room, despite the calls of his advisors to come back and act responsible. He ran down the hall with all his might, determined to be the very first person to greet Matthew home. Once out of the palace, Matthew was in sight. With a shrill squeal, Alfred ran over to his twin and tackled him to the ground. "Mattie!"
"Alfred!" Matthew whined, pushing his brother off of him so he could sit up. "Should you really be running around and tackling me now that you're King?"
"Oh please, as if I give a shit about that crap. Give your big bro a hug! Oh Mattie I've missed you so much!" Alfred leaped for Matthew and tackled him to the ground again with a hug.
With a laugh, Matthew gave up trying to protest and simply hugged his dear brother back. It had been years since they last saw each other, but now that they were together again, it felt as if they had just seen each other yesterday. "I missed you too Alfie."
"Of course you did," Alfred said in a singsong voice as he sat them up. His gaze drifted up to Katyusha and his jaw dropped. "Holy- Dude those are huge knockers you got there!"
"ALFRED!" Matthew yelled, blushing furiously as he bopped his brother on the back of the head. "That's rude!"
Katyusha was even redder than Matthew as she wrapped her arms around her chest as if to hide her bosom, which only pushed her breasts up and made them more prominent. "I'm sorry!"
Rubbing his head with a smirk, Alfred looked up at Katyusha. "Why are you apologizing? I'm the one that was rude! I'm Alfred by the way, who are you?"
"Kat-Katyusha, very nice to-to meet you, Yo-Your Maj-Majesty!" Katyusha exclaimed as she quickly bowed to Alfred, only making him snicker as he breasts jiggled at the action.
Suddenly there was a shadow over the twins. The two looked up to see a large and pale man with silver hair and purple eyes, an unsettling smile pulling at his lips. "Little King, I hope you aren't laughing at my sister's chest."
"Of course not Braginski, I'm laughing at your face!" Alfred spat out with a scowl.
"Al-Alfred that's very rude," Matthew stuttered, completely baffled as to how Alfred wasn't terrified of the giant standing behind them.
"Oh do not fret over it little Alfred imitation, Alfred is King after all. He is free to insult me as he pleases," the large man said as his smile grew, but there seemed to be a dark aura growing behind him.
"N-no, I'm Matthew, very nice to meet you-"
"Ivan," he responded curtly as he looked to Katyusha and his aura lessened. "Cестра!"
"Vanya!" Katyusha exclaimed as he ran over to him and hugged him tight, her head barely reaching his chin.
"Aw well that sucks, how come she has gotta be that jerk's sister?" Alfred said with a pout as he pulled himself and Matthew to their feet. "Anyways, come on Mattie, let's bring your stuff to your room! You're gonna be right next to me!"
The morning light shone through the large windowpanes and filled the large room. Standing against the bathroom door was a lanky soldier clad in his blood red armor. His pale skin and even paler hair contrasted greatly with the dark wood of the door and the red of his outfit, giving him the appearance of almost glowing. He scowled a the door and knocked harshly against the wood as he called to the man inside. "Oooi, pansy boy! You better get your ass outta there and into the damn carriage if you want to make it to be able to sleep in a bed tonight!"
"For goodness sakes Gilbert, have some patience. I'll be out in a second!" Came the response from insides, much to Gilbert's dismay.
"Stupid pansy boy having to make himself all pretty with make up and hair products like a woman," he grumbled as he crossed his arms and leaned against the door. "He's worse than Elizabeta."
"Don't talk that way about Master Roderich you dolt!" Yelled the exact woman he reference to as she swung a frying pan for his head.
Gilbert yelped and tried to move out of the way in time, but still got conked in the head by the deadly cooking dish. He toppled to the ground, whimpering pitifully. "Eliiizaaa!" He whined, rolling onto his back to stare up at the woman. "What was that for?"
"You insulted Master Roderich!" Elizabeta barked back.
"Elizabeta," Roderich sighed as he opened the door. "As much as I appreciate you defending my name, I'd rather you left our protection for the road intact."
"But Master Roderich! I'm more than plenty protection for you! We don't need this idiot!"
"I couldn't ask you to fight Elizabeta," Roderich said as he placed his hand on her head gently. "I wouldn't want you to get hurt defending me."
"B-but Master Roderich! It my du-"
"Oh shut it the both of you," Gilbert grumbled from his spot on the floor, his head propped up on his hand as he stared up at the pair. "Do us all a favor and get together already."
Both Elizabeta and Roderich flushed as they pulled away from each other. Roderich pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and muttered, "I don't know what you are talking about Gilbert."
"Yeah, really Gilbert. Who are you to talk about relationships and the likes? You're just a soldier, you now diddily-squat about romance, no-not that there is any!" Elizabeta said as she kicked his side on her way over to Roderich's bags. "Now go do your job you idiot!"
"Yes ma'am," Gilbert said mockingly as he lithely jumped to his feet, despite his bulky armor, and headed outside to check on their carriage.
Pleased with sending the idiotic albino away, Elizabeta smiled to Roderich as she started picking up all his bags. "I'm rather excited for the coronation. The Crown Prince was a delightful child, I sure do hope that bodes well for the future of this kingdom."
"As do I Elizabeta, now let me help you with those bags! You're practically drowning in them!"
Elizabeta scoffed and headed out of the room, leaving Roderich to run after her. "It's the least I can do sir. Really, it's no trouble at all!"
Roderich groaned and followed after Elizabeta sullenly. He never won in arguments against the girl, so continuing now would be pointless…
"Oi you slow pokes, load that shit up and get in already!" Gilbert yelled from his perch atop the carriage, reins in hand. "We have a coronation to get to tomorrow! Kesesese! History in the making!"
It was stifling inside the cathedral. Every spot was occupied by a hot body dressed in his or hers finest clothes for the event of the year. The crowds extended into the streets of the city as townsfolk joined the masses to catch a glimpse of their new ruler. The only empty space was at the very front of the cathedral. There was a small group seated in this spot under the giant stained glass windows, which stained the group all colors of the rainbow.
There were the two head royal advisors, Alaric and Augustus. The two men were in their forties and held no sign of age with their fit bodies and heads full of hair. Augustus was the taller of two, slightly more muscular as well and held a dark tan. His hair was chocolate brown and tussled about his hair in an almost boyish fashion. Two distinct hairs curled out of his hair, one on the upper right side and the other on the lower left side. In his eyes was the hint of a playful smile.
Alaric, unlike his follow advisor, sported no amusement and never did. His eyes were almost always squinted in a stern stare, giving anyone who looked at him the creeps. His blond hair was long, much like a woman's, and a small portion on the side of his head was pulled into a braid. On his hip rested his sword, of which he went nowhere without.
Seated in front of the men in a decorated throne was Alfred, decked up in the most elaborate outfit he had ever seen in his life. There were layers upon layers of fabric, lace, tassels, and any other decoration imaginable. His hair was slicked back, but that one rebellious cowlick still stuck up at the front of his head. He personally felt like a buffoon, but Alaric wouldn't let him wear anything else. It had taken several hours and with Matthew's help to get the damned thing on.
After much argument and bargaining with Alaric, Alfred was able to get Matthew up on the dais as the final person. The meek boy now held a fancy title that Alfred made up, ensuring there was no way they could be separated again. As if to represent this new title, he wore a simpler, but similar outfit to Alfred's and stood next his throne with a small smile.
In the throng of nobles stood Roderich, Elizabeta, and Gilbert. The three were dressed to impress, just as everyone else in the building. The three stared up at the dais and their new soon-to-be king, all with their own expression. Roderich held a contemplative look in his eyes, already going through all the scenarios as to how this new rule could go. Elizabeta was sympathetic towards the young boy being thrown into such a responsible position. Gilbert's gaze was not on the scrawny teen, but rather his blond advisor, a hint of a frown tugging at his lips.
Across the land in the Green Kingdom, Francis was in the palace kitchen, preparing dinner for the royal family. A messenger from the king interrupted his work, calling him to audience with the ruler. With a worried frown, Francis left his work to his assistants, silently wishing Matthew was still there. He followed the messenger to the king's study, where he would be informed of a new and peculiar assignment.
Further yet and across the ocean lay the Blue Kingdom. In his vast gardens, Arthur was sparring with his army general, trying his best to block out all thoughts of his former charge. There was a gaping hole in his heart with the absence of Alfred, but it was his duty to block it out. He stumbled and lost grip of his sword, only to receive a stern scolding from the general to keep focused. Hidden in the foliage of the garden was Arthur's rebellion prisoner of war. The small Oriental man watched the scene with calculating eyes. A plan was already forming in his mind…
As the crown was placed atop Alfred's head and the people of the Yellow Kingdom erupted into cheers, there was no turning back. Little did anyone know, their future was decided.
End of Chapter Two: I am the servant
Eheh heh heh... *slinks away* Super long hiatus fail? x'D I LOVE YOU GUYS! Like for serial, even more I'll love you if you actually came back to read this chapter. I swear I'm not gonna neglect Aku no Maple anymore! I love the Aku no series and I need to prove to myself I can actually finish something x'D SO! Now all the players have been introduced! We'll be getting into the real events of the Aku no series in the coming chapters! I just felt the need to set the stage better x3 Ummmmm. Nothing else to talk about I think... Hope you enjoyed! Please review! Oh I do so love reviews. They totally make my day! And if I didn't reply to your review for the first chapter, I apologize profusely! I really appreciate the support, but I'm a dirty procrastinator and end up forgetting who I've responded to or not... ^^;; See you next time!
EDIT:: I totally forgot I had something else to say xD Y'all totally gotta look up Music Box Story of Evil on YouTube. It is the most amazing thing EVER and totally got me through writing this chapter today XD