Disclaimer: I do not own Kyo Kara Maoh. I only own the humor I find in the cheesiest pickup lines of the 21 century….
#5. It's a good thing that I have my library card. Why? Because I am totally checking you out!
Chapter 10 – Missed Connections
Jace held a fist out in front of him, a sense of adventure along with a determined look in his eye, and a slick grin plastered on his face. "We're going to find out if he's the guy we're after Albert, and if he is, we're going to bring him to justice! He'll pay for everything he's done." Albert grinned and placed a fist on top of Jace's. "Indeed he will, young master."
"Hold up, I don't think so…" came an unexpected voice from the doorway.
Jace and Albert turned their heads towards the doorway, where behind them, listening to every word, was Keji.
Albert's face was relieved. "Oh Keji, it's just you. How long have you been there?"
"Wait, what did you mean by what you said?" Jace added, staring hard at Keji.
"I've only heard enough to understand what you and Jace were plotting, and I mean I'm not going to let you two do this, at least not without me." he replied.
"Oh, so does that mean you're going to aid us in our search of the truth?" Albert asked. Keji nodded.
"May I ask why?"
Keji walked over to the table where Albert and Jace were. "For one, I actually sympathize with the little brat about the stress of finding this guy not being good for mother. Second, I cannot allow anyone to just roam and murder as they please, at least not while I can help it. I believe this guy, whoever he is, needs to be investigated and punished immediately if found guilty."
Staring long and hard into Albert's eyes, Albert conceded.
"I see. Then it's settled. Keji, since you're going to help out with this, then while I'm out I'll need you to-"
"About that," Keji interrupted, "it's a good plan, but it's too obvious. I mean, how many times have you really left the castle for personal reasons before? Twice? Maybe even three times? With you snooping around the town, it could possibly raise this guy's suspicion more than it already is."
"But that's why we're saying he went to go visit a friend." Jace explained.
Keji turned towards his brother. "Yes, and still, how many times has Albert stayed in the castle with us while people were sick? Do you really think people are going to buy that? If this guy has any connection to the murders, then Albert's appearance will be an automatic tip off."
"So what do you purpose Keji?" Albert asked.
"Hmm…" he thought for a moment, "it can't be helped. I'll go."
"What? You'll go? Hold on, this was mine and Albert's plan before you even got in here, you just can't go and change everything like that!" Jace exclaimed.
"Stupid! Keep you're voice down." Keji snapped. "And it makes more sense for me to go. Albert's our right-hand man and it's obvious to everyone when he's not around, and we don't want to risk any chance of putting him at risk. I leave all the time, its nothing new. I have connections that will allow for me to get information easier, without even giving off a hint of my real intentions or even being seen."
Jace shook his head. "But that's just dumb, you just want to be the spy instead. Why do you always have to-"
Jace was cut off by Albert holding out the paper with the complaint and information on it to Keji, a stern expression in place. Keji nodded, accepting the paper.
With one last cocky glance at Jace, Keji turned and left out the room immediately.
Jace sat quietly after the exchange, feeling very uneasy. Albert placed his hand on the young boy's shoulder. "Don't worry, everything will be alright," Albert reassured. "Why don't you go and get started on gathering information from the records?"
Jace appreciated Albert trying to reassure him, but he still wasn't convinced. Nevertheless, he rose from his chair and walked towards storage records anyway.
The next few days passed by passively and predictably. Everyday Jace would research anything he could about Rye Whittaker, and then report his findings to Albert in discretion. Keji had long since been absent from the castle, to which Albert told Nora he was simply spending time completing various minor tasks. Nora accepted the explanation easily. As Keji had said, it was nothing unusual for him.
Nothing new happened at the castle until Keji suddenly returned home one evening. He appeared right when Nora, Jace, and Albert were ready to begin dinner, a worn and contorted expression marking his face. Seeing his expression, Nora was instantly concerned, while Jace and Albert waited for whatever words he had to say with great anticipation.
Keji drew a small breath before locking eyes with Albert. "It was him," he said solemnly.
The man seemed to freeze in mid-action, his face showing mixed signs of shock, relief, understanding, and small disappointment. Jace nearly dropped his spoon.
Nora was the only one confused by the suddenly tense atmosphere Keji's statement caused. "Keji, would you like to explain to me what's going on dear?"
"Are you sure Keji? Are you absolutely certain that he is the one?" Albert questioned urgently. Keji nodded.
Nora watched the two, noting the oddly serious tone Albert used. "Is everything alright? Why do I sense such-"
"Alright! We found him! We caught the murderer!" Jace exclaimed, throwing his fist into the air in celebration. Nora threw a suspicious glance at the boy. "Murderer, what, wait, are you talking about the one that has been attacking the children? That murderer?"
"Yes my lady…" Albert said, sitting down to explain their plan to catch the murderer. Keji sat down and joined the conversation also, describing the details of what he had found out during the past few days. Apparently some of Keji's contacts lived around or right beside Rye Whittaker, remembering witnessing strange various noises coming from his home a few nights before the child was reported missing, along with what sounded like a child's cry, but it was silenced in an instant. The next morning, the man was seen taking out the trash, along with an outfit that appeared bloodstained. According to neighbors, the man kept to himself and seemed to have an odd behavior about him, but was never disruptive.
After doing some snooping and investigating into the situation some more, Keji attempted to talk to the man directly. He knocked one evening, and Rye opened his door, greeting him appropriately. Keji asked if he could come in and chat for awhile, and although hesitantly, the man seemed to agree. After a small portion of small talk, Keji started asking about the murders, trying to get a reading on him. Rye visibly tensed and after a few more questions insisted that Keji leave. Keji came back later that night, when Rye was gone from the house, and snooped around the house. The backdoor had happened to be unlocked, and Keji entered silently and after poking around, found the object that solidified his accusatory conclusions; a large butcher knife, seemingly only recently used within the past few days and heavily bloodstained. Rye was a builder, not a butcher. Keji returned here soon afterwards.
Keji had taken the knife as evidence, removing it from his coat to show it to Jace, Albert, and Nora.
3 pairs of eyes went wide as they fell upon the object. None said a word, absorbing and digesting the information they just received. Suddenly Nora stood and stalked abruptly towards the door. She stopped for a moment, turning towards Keji.
"Thank you Keji. Now it is time to get this monster" she smiled.
"After that, mother gathered all the higher-ups and officials and whoever else, and went on to go get the man. He didn't even know what was coming when everyone arrived. They arrested him on the spot and there was a town trial the next day. He was found guilty, and sentenced to death. We were so happy relieved then, thinking that we had finally captured the serial killer. If I had known then what I knew now, I would have known we needed to investigate more. Mother and Albert were so happy, what I would give just to see Albert's and mother's smiling faces just one more time. If only, standing beside Keji then, I hadn't been so stupid…"
Jace's voice trailed off once more as he stared off into the distance. He had been relating part of his story to Wolfram for a little more than an hour now. Wolfram had said little to nothing the entire time Jace talked.
The two boys sat on the bench in the gardens, listlessly basking in the warmth of the sun and in the light that shined between the trees.
Jace turned back towards Wolfram, trying to see if he could read any thoughts radiating from the boy. It was pretty difficult as Wolfram's expression seemed very apathetic.
"Wolfram, what do you think of this so far?" Jace asked.
Wolfram waited a moment before responding. "I'm not sure. On one note, it seems like your story so far doesn't have much relevance to the reason why you stayed gone for so long. Right now, it just seems like you're keeping me out here just for conversation rather than anything else. And you keep repeating that you liked-"
"Love," Jace implied.
"like me, which has no effect right now has no effect. I'm still waiting for a real story with a real reason."
Jace arched his eyebrow slightly before nonchalantly shrugging his shoulders. "Yeah, I guess you have the right to criticize me for now, but I'm not done yet. There's still something that you need to know. Then again, if I had been smart and did the right thing back then, I suppose we wouldn't even have to have this conversation anyway huh? So shall I pick back up with it?"
"I guess I'll skip forward some. The rest of it until that day isn't really important. What we did was wrong, when we-"
A sudden noise from behind a large nearby tree interrupted Jace from continuing. Both boys jumped up from the bench and turned towards the large tree the sound came from.
"You, whoever you are, have no right to spy on private conversations. Show yourself!" Wolfram ordered. Jace started walking towards the tree, shaking his head.
"Save your breath Wolfram, he's not worth it. He's been here the whole time." Wolfram gave a sideways look towards Jace before eyeing the tree cautiously. His hand was ready and resting on the hilt of his sword.
Yuuri's heart pounded slightly more than usual now that he knew he'd obviously been caught. All that time sitting behind the tree left his body stiff and sore. He didn't find anything special about Jace from what he'd heard; all he got was that Jace was the same brat then that he is now.
Unfortunately, Yuuri's nose had been itching during most of Jace's tale, and while scratching it had been a temporary solution, the loud, inevitable sneeze was something he lost the fight against.
Hearing footsteps approaching the tree, Yuuri didn't see any other way out of his predicament. He stood and stretched slowly, mentally preparing himself to face the music.
Jace stopped a step away from the tree. "There's no need to hide anymore. You might as well come out now, Heika." Jace said. Wolfram's irritated expression turned to one of surprise as Yuuri stepped out uncomfortably into view, delivering a sideways glance towards Jace.
"Dear Heika, listening in to other people's private affairs is no way for a Demon King to behave." The blond criticized.
Yuuri narrowed his eyes and was about to deliver a smart retort of his own when the sound of Wolfram's voice caught his attention.
"Yuuri…it was you hiding back there? Why, is this some kind of joke or something?" Wolfram's tone was full of disbelief. "Wolfram, I just, err, umm…" Yuuri was too embarrassed to say anything.
"How long were you here?"
"How long Yuuri?"
"Just the whole time…" Yuuri admitted guiltily. Wolfram shook his head, not sure what the think. "Why, Yuuri, are you spying on us?"
Yuuri couldn't tell the truth, not with Jace present and smirking. He couldn't make himself admit that he was jealous of Jace and ended up stalking the two boys; instead he said the first thing that came to mind…
"I wanted to make sure you and Jace didn't do anything!" The astonished glare Yuuri received from Wolfram made the double-black wish wholeheartedly that he could retract his words. He never saw as much disappointment in Wolfram's eyes as he did right then.
"I can't believe you Yuuri…" Wolfram huffed, his words were barely above a whisper.
The young prince turned and started striding back towards the castle with Yuuri calling after him.
"Wolf wait, come back, Wolfram!"
"Let's go Jace. Now!" Wolfram commanded. With one last small smirk in Yuuri's direction, Jace turned and followed after the pissed-off demon, suddenly remembering a certain rumor that he thought Wolfram might as well know about…
Yuuri stood rooted to his spot, sporting a dumbfounded expression. His fiancé, for how long isn't certain anymore, just left him without giving him a chance to explain, and called Jace, the person he hated most in the world right now, to follow after him.
After a few more moments, when Jace and Wolfram were out of sight, Yuuri let out an loud angry cry that he felt rise from deep inside him, before slumping over to the bench where both blonds had been sitting. He calmed his breathing and tried to control himself. He could feel his power stirring within him because of his emotions.
Yuuri stretched out on the bench and rubbed his hand across his face, letting a loud exasperated groan escape from him. He looked through the trees at the sky overhead, mulling over what just happened.
"Damn it! How is it that everything that I do lately seems to backfire against me?" He asked to no one in particular.
Yuuri lied on the bench for awhile more, replaying the events of the day in his head. Deciding that he needed some serious relief, Yuuri got up from the bench and started the walk towards the baseball diamond.
He spent the majority of the day at the field hitting balls with whatever random person happened to be there, mainly Conrad since he was the one that had been looking for the young king.
As they tossed a ball back and forth between each other, Yuuri talked with Conrad about what happened, and Conrad had told him not to worry about it too much. He said Wolfram loved him too much to stay angry with him. Yuuri wanted to believe him, but remembering the painstakingly disappointed look in Wolfram's eyes made Yuuri know better.
After spending hours on the field getting dirty and sweaty, it was close to time for dinner as the sun was starting to set and the afternoon was starting to transform into the grace of night. Covered in dirt, Yuuri decided that a nice, warm, relaxing bath before dinner would help ease his troubles. Conrad agreed with him as they threw their last pitches of the day to each other.
Yuuri stood in his pajamas on the balcony connected to his bedroom, staring at the stars in the sky. This day was definitely not one of his better ones…
After Yuuri got out of his royal bath, he headed back to his room to put on some comfortable clothes to wear before going to dinner since he forgot to bring some clothes with him to the bath. As he approached his bedroom door, the soldiers guarding it blushed but asked him to stop and not enter.
Seeing the confused expression on Yuuri's face, one of the guards explained to him that Prince Wolfram was in there with Greta and at his request Yuuri was not allowed to enter.
Yuuri wasn't sure what to do. He was standing in with nothing but a towel wrapped around him, in a hallway he didn't remember being so drafty, holding his other clothes dirty in his hand, and was refused entrance to his own bedroom.
Of course, as the Maou Yuuri could have overridden the command and entered anyway, but doing so wouldn't have helped his situation with Wolfram any.
As he thought about what to do, he caught the taller guard sneaking long peaks at his chest. Once the guard noticed he'd been caught, he blushed furiously and turned away. "You could wait here if you want, we're not sure what he's doing but price Wolfram said he wouldn't be long." He said.
Although not sure if he should if should have mentioned anything about feeling perverted on, Yuuri nodded and decided to take the soldier's advice anyway.
Yuuri tapped his bare foot against the floor impatiently, curious as to what Wolfram was doing in the room. Even though he'd been caught earlier, the soldier was still sneaking glances at his half-covered body, and if that weren't enough, the other one was doing it too, although being less discreet about it. Whether the other soldier was doing it on purpose or not, Yuuri wasn't sure.
Right when Yuuri was about to bust into his room after noticing a even more obvious bulge protruding from one of the soldiers, the door suddenly opened and Greta came bouncing through carrying one of Wolfram's nightgowns.
"Hi Yuuri!" The little girl smiled.
"Hi, Greta" Yuuri replied, eyeing the pink item in her hands. "What are you doing with Wolfram's nightgown? Just because it's a girl's thing doesn't mean you should just take it."
Greta gave a small giggle. "No, it's for Wolfram. He says he's going to have a sleepover with me tonight!"
"A sleepover..?" Yuuri was confused. He was about to ask her what she meant by that when he heard Wolfram's voice at the door.
Yuuri looked up from Greta to see Wolfram's startled eyes staring hard at him, a small blush creeping onto his cheeks. "Yuuri, why don't you have any clothes on?"
"Well, I forgot my clothes in the room, and since I couldn't get in I decided to just wait." Yuuri explained. Wolfram shook his head and moved from the door, urging Greta along. "Well I'm finished now. Allow me to move out your way. Let's go Greta."
As he moved, Yuuri noticed the stuff in Wolfram's hands for the first time. "Wolf, where are you going with your day clothes and why is Greta carrying you nightgown?"
Wolfram kept walking with Greta at his side, his back towards Yuuri. "Don't wait up. If you get lonely, go find Gunter." He stated.
Yuuri wasn't sure what Wolfram meant by that but was sure he didn't like the uneasy feeling he got by Wolfram's words. He thought about it and realized that Wolfram must have heard some obnoxious rumor from someone about him and Gunter. Feeling chilly in the hallway and as though he'll be raped by his guards if he didn't leaved, Yuuri hurried into the room and threw some warm clothes on. He decided to try and talk to Wolfram at dinner to try and straighten everything out.
Wolfram's meaning became obviously clear to Yuuri after awhile, neither he nor Greta showed up for dinner. When Yuuri asked, one of the maids explained to him that Wolfram ordered for their food to be brought to Greta's room instead. Yuuri ended up losing his appetite and left the table to head to bed early. On his way, he happened to see Jace walking towards Greta's door. After observing him for a minute more, Yuuri saw Jace knock and be let in by Wolfram. Instantly Yuuri felt himself tense and a scowl cross his face. He thought about going to the door and listening in on what was going on, but after being caught spying once, he decided against the idea, choosing to go to bed anyway…
With so much on his mind, Yuuri couldn't fall asleep, which is why he found himself gazing at the stars in the sky, thinking that if he were one of them, then life would be so much easier.
To Yuuri, all the stars had to do was be there. They didn't have to worry about people constant doing or saying things to ruin their lives or trying to successfully rule a peaceful country while failing in maintaining a relationship. They didn't have to worry about making all the wrong or difficult choices all the time or end up paying for it big time later. They didn't even have to worry about their own feelings and emotions confusing them and getting in the way of what they do.
To Yuuri, all the stars do is exist.
With a small, tired sigh, Yuuri turned and went back into the bedroom, closing the balcony curtains behind him. He climbed into his side of the bed, staring at the pillow that usually held Wolfram's head.
He remembered that at one point in time, this was all he wanted. He just wanted to be normal without worrying about his sexuality or his fiancé's, or at least being able to have a bed to himself. Yuuri found it sadly ironic that the missing lump in the bed made him feel so alone.
Yuuri closed his eyes and turned over, pulling the covers up over his head and forcing himself to relax. Staying awake late into the night dwelling over things that already happened wasn't going to help, he'd just have to find a solution to things tomorrow…
A quiet noise stirred Yuuri from his slumber, causing his tired eyes to blink open. Another noise, sounding like footsteps, alerted Yuuri as he became more awake; someone was in the room.
Yuuri pulled the covers back from over his head and sat up in the bed. It was already early morning and, to Yuuri's surprise, Wolfram was in the room, but apparently not for long as the emerald-eyed blond was heading towards the door with a jacket in his arms.
"Wolf…" Yuuri called. Wolfram paused momentarily, and then continued to the door.
"Wolfram wait!" Yuuri cried. Wolfram was already turning the handle on the door. "I didn't mean to wake you, I simply forgot something. Go back to sleep Yuuri."
"No, please Wolf, just talk to me."
"Yuuri, I have things to do, and so do you. I suggest you enjoy these few minutes before the day starts so you can-"
"Do you love Jace more than me?" Yuuri blurted. Yuuri covered his mouth as soon as he said it. The thought had came to his mind, but he hadn't actually meant to announce it. Wolfram, who already had a foot out of the room, froze in place.
"Wolf, I, I mean, I, uh…understand..?" Yuuri stammered.
"No you don't Yuuri…" Wolfram whispered to himself. He sighed silently before slowly closing the door and walking towards the bed. Yuuri stayed quiet, mainly out of fear that he would say something that would make Wolfram officially terminate their engagement right then and there.
Wolfram stopped and stood at the edge of the bed and looked deep into Yuuri's eyes as if trying to read his thoughts. He threw his jacket on the bed. "You still don't realize why I'm upset, do you?" he asked.
Yuuri's face turned guilty. "Is it because of the rumor with me and Gunter? Wolfram I promise, whatever you heard, it's not true!"
Wolfram raised an eyebrow and folded his arms. "Oh, so it's not true more or less that Gunter just happened to walk in while you were getting dressed and picking up your clothes?"
"No you see, wait, that's right actually." Yuuri wasn't expecting that. He thought Wolfram would be a lot more upset than he was after hearing about it.
"No, I'm over that, I made Gunter tell me the truth himself after threatening him with more experiments from Anissina. I will admit that when Jace told me, the only thing on my mind was how many ways I could burn you and Gunter, but I realized what happened couldn't be helped."
'Jace…' Yuuri thought to himself. He and Jace really needed to have another talk.
"But Yuuri, what you said in the garden, about making sure Jace and I didn't do anything-"
"Wolf that was just-" Yuuri started to protest, but Wolfram held his hand up to stop him.
"I know you probably just blurted whatever came to mind first, but of all things, to defend spying on me by saying you're just making sure we weren't doing something? Really? That makes me believe you don't trust me."
Yuuri's eyes widened a bit. "I do trust you."
"No, because if you did, you would trust that I would always stick by you and never turn on you. You wouldn't have to spy on me from behind a tree, instead of just asking to come along like a man. Why did you feel like you had to hide from me? I would have let you come with us."
Yuuri hesitated, thinking about what to say.
"Are you ashamed of me?" Wolfram asked.
"No!" Yuuri blurted. He thought about it and decided to come clean. "I, was err, I was jealous of Jace, and when I saw you and him walking to the farthest part of the garden, then I just kinda ended up following behind."
"Yuuri, do you, or do you not, love me?"
"Hm?" Yuuri looked up, not expecting the question.
Wolfram narrowed his eyes again. "Do you love me?"
"Yes." Yuuri answered quickly.
Wolfram glared at Yuuri, still looking as though he was trying to read the young Demon King's mind to see if he was telling the truth. "Yuuri, I've waited a long time to get that answer from you. I know I've had my share of past jealous fits also, but it was all just to gain some attention from you then. After I finally had it, and after the other night, I've put all of that behind me. You finally loved me, and that's all I wanted. No more chasing girls away, no more overbearing shadowing, and no more jealous fits. I don't have to do it anymore because if you truly love me, then there's no need to, I trust you completely. I need you to give me that same kind of trust and support back. You're the king and a father Yuuri, be up front and stop acting like a wimp, understand?"
Yuuri wasn't sure what to say to Wolfram's words, it was something he never thought about or thought he would ever hear come from Wolfram. Wolfram even declared he wasn't jealous anymore like before, just because Yuuri had assured him of how much he wanted him.
What hurt the most at that moment was Yuuri's pride, feeling stupid for resorting to spying instead of having the same faith in Wolfram.
Yuuri avoided Wolfram's eyes with a pitiful expression on his face. He just nodded slowly like a child after being scolded.
"Good." Having made his point, Wolfram allowed a small smile to slip through. He placed a hand on Yuuri's cheek and tilted the double-black's head towards him to meet his gaze.
"Smile, I still love you. I know you can't help but be a wimp sometimes, but you're too cute to look so pitiful." Wolfram bent down to give Yuuri a quick kiss, but at the last moment decided to just kiss Yuuri's forehead instead. "And make sure you brush you're teeth after you get up."
Yuuri blushed slightly but both boys smiled at each other, having overcome another trouble, relatively minor, in their relationship. The morning sun was angled just right through the balcony curtains so that it's warm light hit the faces of both boys, making their faces and smile light up in delight of the other's company.
Wolfram pulled back and picked up his jacket. "I have to go train the men. It's cool outside, dress warm if you go out." He walked back to the door.
As Wolfram was about to leave, Yuuri thought about something. "Hey Wolf!" he called.
"Yes?" Wolfram stuck his head back into the room.
Yuuri grinned. "Did you really mean it when you said you're not going to have anymore jealous fits from now on?"
Wolfram thought about it, and gave a mischievous grin. "We'll see…" he replied. Then the boy left to go tend to his daily duties.
A moment after Wolfram left, Yuuri let out a long, happy sigh and flopped back onto the pillows, glad to have resolved his problem with Wolfram with barely any damage. A satisfied smile was formed by Yuuri's lips as the boy thought about how far he and Wolfram had come, and how far they still had to go.
No matter what, Yuuri realized that Wolfram was crucial in his life, and nothing can change that, the talk he just had with Wolfram reassured him greatly and put him in a much more optimistic mood than before. He felt as though nothing could ruin it, not even the one annoying violet eyed ghost from the past that, as far as Yuuri was concerned, needed to become a ghost again.
Still, as Wolfram's once best friend, Yuuri thought he and Jace should still have a private talk between just the two of them. Maybe he could work something out so that they could get along better. If Jace decided to become pestering and tried to taunt Yuuri again, then Yuuri decided to be more mature instead of a wimp and not play into Jace's game. He'd just leave and let Jace rant on about whatever and not let it affect him in the slightest.
Yuuri yawned, and for the first time, he noticed what Wolfram was talking about. He decided to get up and start the day early since he was already awake, beginning with brushing his teeth.
He had a feeling it was going to be a great day today…
At breakfast, everyone noticed Yuuri was in a much better mood than he was in last night. Conrad, Greta, and Cecile had commented on his recent change in demeanor, while Gwendal merely noted that since Yuuri was in such a good mood, then Yuuri would also be able to handle a good stack of paperwork that needed his name and approval. So it was no surprise that after about 4 hours later, Yuuri was complaining of a stiff back and stiff muscles, pleading to Gwendal for a break.
After some persuading from the always supportive Conrad, along with an implied threat of Anissina needing new test subjects again, Gwendal reluctantly agreed. Yuuri and Conrad left Gwendal in the office knitting what he called a dolphin, when really it looked more like a horse.
Yuuri and Conrad stretched and talked about whatever random topic as they walked through the castle hallways, mostly baseball. When asked what he wanted to do for his break, Yuuri said he was hungry and that a picnic would be nice. Conrad suggested that he, Yuuri, Wolfram, Greta, and Yozak, if they weren't too busy, go for a small horseback ride towards the lake and have a nice picnic there. Yuuri enthusiastically agreed to the ideal, explaining that the scenery would be perfect for watching the sunset and getting away from the castle for a bit.
"Well, shall we go see what the others think?' Conrad asked.
Yuuri nodded. "You know what? I didn't even know Yozak was back at the castle. It always seems like Gwendal sends him off somewhere all the time."
Conrad's happy expression subtly saddened. "Yeah, his profession keeps him on the move. I wish he did have more time here at the castle though…"
Yuuri missed the slight tone change in Conrad's voice. "When was the last time Yozak had a vacation?"
"It has been a few months."
"A few months? No, all that traveling Yozak does isn't good if he doesn't get a break every now and then. I'm going to talk to Gwendal about giving Yozak some time off. He has the right to spend time with his family and friends instead of being a workaholic like Gwendal." Conrad didn't reply, but his soft smile did widen a bit at the boy's words. "Where is Yozak?" Yuuri asked.
"Some of the guests from the last party who are not coming to the next one are leaving today. He's probably in the guest chambers or out escorting some of the nobles to the town gate." Conrad explained.
"Ok, let's go see if he's by the guest rooms then since its closer. Then we can go find Wolfram and Greta." Conrad nodded and they turned into the next hallway towards their destination.
As they reached one of the halls that held some of the guest rooms, Yuuri noticed up ahead a certain blond going into their room. Remembering what he decided after talking with Wolfram and not sure if Jace was leaving today or not, Yuuri decided to have their talk now. He stopped walking and turned to Conrad.
"What is it Yuuri?" The man asked.
"Hey Conrad, can you get everyone together and get things started for me please? There's someone here I wanted to talk to."
Even though his eyes were piqued with curiosity, Conrad nodded and continued on, leaving Yuuri alone on the spot.
Yuuri waited until Conrad was gone to approach Jace's door.
With no one else in the hallway, Yuuri decided that it was safe for him to collect his thoughts before knocking on the door. For some reason, even though he knew he didn't really care who saw him, Yuuri didn't really want anybody to know he was there. He found it strangely ironic that he was about to knock on the door and try to make peace with the person who was trying to steal his fiancé.
Holding his hand up to knock and taking a deep breath, Yuuri tried to force any bad preconceptions he had about Jace out of his mind in order to stay positive, a task which Yuuri found to be pretty difficult. After all, when he thought about it, he trusted Wolfram greatly. Jace was the one Yuuri didn't trust.
While Yuuri stood and pondered his thoughts, the door suddenly opened before him. Jace froze, surprised to seeing Yuuri ready to knock on his door.
The two stood there and looked at each other without exchanging a word, the atmosphere was quickly becoming an awkward one. "Uh, hi…" Yuuri finally said.
"Hi…" Jace echoed.
It was now or never. Yuuri looked away from Jace and started scratching the back of his head. "I, um, wanted to talk to you about some things-"
"Concerning Wolfram?" Jace assumed. Yuuri nodded. "And about us. Is this a bad time?" Yuuri couldn't tell from Jace's unreadable expression how he felt, but the other boy shook his head, almost reluctantly.
"By all means," Jace moved from the door to go sit on his bed. Yuuri went in and closed the door after him, taking a deep breath as he did.
"So, what is it you want to say?" Jace inquired, wasting no time in getting to the point.
Yuuri's eyes found the floor. "Well, I…you see…ugh, this isn't coming out as easy as I hoped."
Jace folded his arms. "It's about Wolfram right? There are only two reasons I can think of as to why you visiting me right now. One is because you're mad at me over whatever thing and wanted take out some aggression on me. Clearly, that isn't the case. You're tripping over you're words, you can't look me in the eyes, and above all you're much too weak to do something like that. So it must be the other reason, which is you want us to get along, at least in front of Wolfram. Am I right?"
Yuuri knew before coming into the room that he couldn't have this conversation with Jace without being insulted in some kind of way. A few words came to his mind automatically, but Yuuri let things slide, as long as he and Jace came to some form of a truce.
"Yes…" he finally said.
Jace stared at Yuuri for a few moments before turning his head away. "Does Wolfram know about this?"
"No, I wanted to do this."
Jace stood up off the bed. "No you didn't, don't give me that shit. I haven't given you a single reason to make you want to do anything like that. You'd just as soon have me thrown from the castle so you can have Wolfram all to yourself."
Yuuri folded his arms, allowing some of the irritation he felt to slip from his control. "No, I haven't ever thrown someone from the castle just because of something like this. I'm not in the habit of mistreating people, although you've definitely come close. Besides, what kind of king throws people out because of selfish reasons?"
"What kind of king allows his subject to rule over him instead of the other way around?" Jace accused. Yuuri was startled briefly.
"A good one!" Yuuri retorted. "I'm not some kind of tyrant, I'm not going to just use people to my benefit, especially when it'd hurt them."
Jace glared daggers at Yuuri. "If that's so, then tell me why you used Wolfram to your benefit and mistreated his heart all this time. Why did you and your damned cowardliness hurt Wolfram over and over again knowing what it was doing to him?" Jace demanded.
"Why did you leave him all alone when you were once his so called best and only friend for over 20 years?" Yuuri demanded back. Jace's face flushed crimson and his eyes flashed a burning passion of hatred.
"Shut Up! YOU DON'T KNOW THE HALF OF IT! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL I'VE BEEN THROUGH!" Jace shouted.
Allowing his emotions to overtake him, Jace drew his sword and pointed it at Yuuri. As an added bonus, Jace used his own fire element to encase the sword in swirling and increasingly hot flames. In Jace's free hand, a giant fireball encompassing his entire forearm formed and sat, ready to be used in whatever fashion. It became so hot in the room that the room itself seemed to begin to soften; light materials such as the candle wax all around the room began to melt. All of this was because of Jace's power and temper.
Even with everything going on around him, Yuuri wasn't affected by the temperature in the least. "I'm tired of this. I'm tired of always being the one to have to take shit all the time, especially from you!" Yuuri's form started to glow a familiar light blue with all of his attention trained on Jace.
Through the window in the bedroom, one could see that what had once been a warm, sunny afternoon had mysteriously and rapidly turned into the pedestal of stormy weather. Anyone near a window could see how heavily the raindrops fell, accompanied with threatening clouds and loud boisterous thunder and lightening. The wind howled with excitement, seemingly carrying a deadly foreboding intent within its noise. All of this was because of Yuuri's power and his own temper.
"You don't deserve Wolfram!" Jace accused.
"Like you're innocent either, I love him! And Wolfram loves me!" Yuuri snapped back.
"Only because I haven't been given the chance to make things right!"
"You had your chance 20 years ago!"
"Shut the hell up!"
Both boys stared defiantly at each other, realizing that at this point words were useless. Both were armed and ready, just waiting on the first move to be made. Outside the window, the water from the rain created a large water dragon that peered through at Jace. It bared its fangs and was ready and waiting for the command to strike.
The flames that Jace conjured grew hotter in intensity and what were once vicious red and orange flames became a cool and deadly blue fire, igniting anything in the room that was flammable, which was nearly everything. Had Yuuri noticed, it would have reminded him of the time Conrad was fighting in the church through the fire to protect him and ended up losing his arm.
With their sights locked on each other with deadly focus, neither one paid attention to their surroundings. All that stalled the battle the wait for whichever one of them moved next. A blink or a flinch in the next second would be all that it took…
"YUURI! JACE! STOP! YOU TWO ARE GOING TO DESTROY THE CASTLE!"
Conrad busted down the door and had to immediately back away from the room. Just touching the door had been hot, but after Conrad knocked it down, the surrounding temperature became scorching to the point he couldn't take it. Just standing in the hallway had his clothes beginning to melt.
"JACE, YUURI, YOU HAVE TO STOP!" he shouted.
Conrad moved back, but risked his life and pressed forward to the doorway of the room anyway. If he didn't do something quick then he knew if those two fought in the castle, then things would be a disaster.
"YUUUURI!" Conrad called again. This time he finally seemed to get the Demon King's attention, Yuuri turned around towards the noise that was a desperate Conrad.
"YUURI, YOU GUYS HAVE TO STOP OR- AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!" Conrad dropped to the floor and began rolling around frantically. The incredibly heated temperature had already dissolve Conrad's clothes to the point the burning material was melting like hot wax all over Conrad's body, essentially burning the man alive.
"CONRAD!" In seeing his godfather in trouble, Yuuri realized what he and Jace were doing. Yuuri made the water dragon he summoned bust through the window towards Conrad, covering and cradling him.
Jace also realized what he was doing too, immediately extinguishing any and all flames that were present.
Both boys ran over to Conrad, the water dragon dissipating into a mass of water on the floor after cooling Conrad's body back down. The soldier had burn marks all over his body. Jace was speechless, and Yuuri was nearly in tears as Conrad didn't respond to his voice.
"Conrad! CONRAD! Wake Up! Get up! Please get up, I'm so sorry! Please Conrad!" Yuuri kneeled beside the unconscious man and placed both hands over his heart, emitting a fairly large green light from them. "Please…please wake up…" Yuuri pleaded some more. Jace slumped to the singed floor, feeling helpless. Because of his irrational emotions, he allowed his flames to become out of control, incarcerating anything in its path. When Jace looked around at the room, only melted puddles and disfigured shapes greeted his eyes. He had definitely overdone it.
"…Conrad come one…" Yuuri cried openly now, pouring everything he had into his healing. After about a few more tense moments, Conrad's eyes finally began to open. "Yuuri…" Conrad whispered, much to Yuuri's relief.
"There they are!" A voice from the end of the hallway registered in Yuuri's ears. One of the maids that heard the commotion had left to get help, returning with Gunter, Gisela, Gwendal, Dorcus, and Wolfram in tow. They all saw Jace slumped on the ground along with Yuuri crying and hunched over Conrad's body. They also smell the burnt odor lingering in the air.
"Someone tell me what's going on here?" Gwendal demanded.
Gisela made her way straight for Conrad. She placed her hand over him and examined him. "He's alive, with severe burn marks all over him."
"Burn marks?" Wolfram repeated. He looked around, then into the room that was horribly seared. Remember how the weather had changed drastically a few minutes ago, Wolfram put two and two together and started at the boys on the floor, neither of which returned his gaze.
"He needs to be moved to my headquarters for proper treatment. Dorcus! Come help!" Gisela commanded. The bald-headed man straightened up and hurried over to Conrad's side, much too slow for Gisela's taste. As soon as they started to lift Conrad, he grunted and groaned in pain.
"Agh, ugh, AGH…" Conrad moaned. Yuuri guiltily winced with each noised Conrad made. Jace turned his head away.
"Ah. Father, if you could help move him, then I could apply some magic to his spine to lessen the amount of pain he feels." Gisela said to Gunter.
"Of Course" he replied. Gunter moved to Conrad's aid, and with him holding up one of Conrad's sides and Dorcus holding up the other, Gisela began a technique she learned on the battlefield, applying healing magic to Conrad's spine as they began the trek back to her H.Q.
Gwendal had already pieced together the evidence nearly the same way Wolfram had. He went inside the room to inspect the damage. Looking around, he grumbled to himself that even when Wolfram had one of his jealous fits and burnt something in a room, then at least his baby brother knew how to hold back. He stepped away from the room and walked down the hall back towards his office mumbling to himself, not sparing Yuuri or Jace another glance. He felt the need to knit some very cute animals right then.
Now all that was left were Yuuri, Jace and Wolfram.
Wolfram stared at the two boys slouched on the floor, their heads hanging in guilt. "I can't believe you two. What they hell were you fighting about?"
Neither Jace nor Yuuri answered him.
"Someone give me an answer or I'll get rid of both of you."
"It was over you." Jace answered quietly. Wolfram was stunned for a few moments.
"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard! Don't you two realized what you've could have done? If you hadn't stopped with you did, then probably half the caste if not more would be gone right now, and Conrad would be dead right now." Wolfram huffed in irritation. "Who started this?"
Jace knew as soon as he said it, he'd be kicked out of the castle, if he was lucky. No matter what, Yuuri was still the Maou, and pointing a sword deliberately at him is the same as jumping into an active volcano. However, Jace couldn't help it now, truth was truth. He sighed, "I did-"
"It was me." Yuuri interrupted. The look on Jace's face clearly showed of sincere surprise and confusion. Wolfram eyed the both of them suspiciously.
"I started it Wolf. I went into Jace's room looking for a fight, and this is what happened." Yuuri continued.
Wolfram's eyes narrowed on Yuuri, but shook his head disgustedly anyway. "I can't stand to look at either of you right now." Wolfram walked past them down the hallway and left.
Jace and Yuuri sat in silence. Jace stared at Yuuri, wondering if this was some sort of trick or something. He stood up and Yuuri sat glued to the floor for a few more moments before getting up also. Jace started dusting some dirt off of him. He had to know.
"Soo, why didn't you just tell him the truth? You know that was your perfect opportunity to get rid of me? If I were you, I'd-"
Jace didn't even see it coming as he flew back down to the ground.
Yuuri's fist throbbed painfully from the impact, making sure to hit Jace as hard as he could. Jace held his tender cheek in his hand, infuriated as he had no idea what just happened. "What the hell did you do that for? What the hell is wrong with you?"
Yuuri turned his back on Jace and started walking slowly down the hallway. "Shut up and think sometimes. Murata once told me sometimes pain is the only way some people can understand. Try it."
With that said, Yuuri reached the end of the hallway and turned the corner, feeling as though he really needed to be alone right then…
Ok, so a scene between Jace and Yuuri was bound to happen somewhere along the way, right?
Omg, I know I said Halloween I wanted to post this chapter up and, for once, I was actually ready, and then on the freaking day before, my friend decides to use my laptop and accidently deletes my chapter! Talk about pissed! I had to completely rewrite this entire chap, and it's actually different from had I had originally planned, but that's just writing in general, you never know what you're going to get. So if you see any mistakes or whatever that I hadn't gotten to, blame my friend lol.
Thanks to all of you for reading, and remember, never have fear of the review button, it won't hurt. Suggestions always welcomed, and if you're not doing anything, go see 'The Immortals', it's awesome.
Until next time!