At first I am not really fond of IngwayXMercedes pairing since I am so into Gwen and Oswald, but then... their BAD ending lately made me fave them so this is another WHAT IF fanfic for Odin Sphere from me.

Chapter 1: Change of Path

"I need you!"

That must be the most beautiful words he ever heard since his mother's death. Those kind words warmed his heart for the first time, since Odin's cold words torn it apart. Ingway never felt he was needed. He abandoned his mother in mercy of his grandfather. Velvet needed Cornelius more than she ever needed her useless twin brother, it was not like he ever any use for her. He fled when their grandfather in his insanity whipped Velvet because of her resemblance with their late mother. The whole kingdom he had destroyed once and people that cursed as pooka, they respected him as their prince but if they knew what he had done…

Before Ingway knew it, he had become so alone. He had nobody he could trust or depend on. He almost certain that he had become just like their grandfather when he knew an unknown royalty from Titania dared to court his precious sister, just like their grandfather, he was afraid to lose Velvet's love. So afraid that he would become alone to the point he cursed Velvet's lover to suffer the same fate as his people. It was for nothing really, because Ingway knew Velvet would still love Cornelius even if he was a Pooka or even a frog.

He was still as alone as ever…

But then it all changed when he was cursed by wise men to be a frog. He became a slimy green frog, a very disgusting and pathetic creature and yet…

He was happy.

He felt happiness and joy when he followed Mercedes around through Erion in her quest to be the true queen of fairies. Mercedes trust him; he was a reliable frog she could trust more than her subjects. She was a bratty girl whose stubbornness could put Velvet's to shame, brash and childish that annoyed and bemused him in the same time. But now… she had become a splendid queen, one that could live up her mother legacy as Queen of Fairies.

She had become a great Queen and woman despite of her young age…

Ingway was too engrossed on swirl of emotion that he didn't notice Mercedes had become so close and holding his hand to stop him from leaving. And he made a mistake when he looked at those beautiful crimson eyes. She was looking straight to his eyes and didn't let go her hold on him. "Please don't leave me! I can't succeed without you!"

She could, the current Mercedes didn't need him anymore so they could walk on separate way. She had a path to lead her people as a queen and he… his path was a dark path that destined in tragedy, one that he had been willingly walked on for the sake of revenge. Deep hatred that run thickly through his blood to Demon Lord Odin who abandoned him and Velvet… to the point he will willing forsake his humanity for it.

But… would he sacrifice little happiness he managed to taste by Mercedes' side just to kill his wretched father? Throwing this joy just for that old rotten father of his? Odin was the man who had caused him to grief to no end since he destroyed Valentine Kingdom, one who destroyed his life and now when he could be happy… once again throwing his life away just for that man?

"Please…" Her grip on his arm tightened, and warmth spread from her warm hands to his.

She was warm, how long it had been since someone touched him? Even a touch like this elated him, something so simple brought joy. Maybe this was why Velvet chose Cornelius over her own brother? How could he think to part with Mercedes? To let her go alone marching to battlefield against the Aesir.

No! He will not make the same mistake he did.

"Alright…" He found his lips forming words in a gentle tone he never knew, "I will stay by your side… Mercedes…" And at the sight of smile on her lips made him certain that… for once he, Ingway had made a correct choice for once.