Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, only the plot.
Here I am, once again, posting another multi chapter story! I thought I want to have a temporary stop from writing, but the bunny plot just doesn't want to leave me alone. Lol.
Note that this chapter is not beta-ed and I do not crosscheck due to laziness. Please pardon any mistakes. Or maybe if anyone willing, become a beta? XD
Anyway, thank you for your support for my last story "Dark Moon" and welcome again to my new story "Scarlet"
I hope you will enjoy this one as well...anndddd happy reading~
Chapter 1: Prologue
Standing beyond an arch window toward the beautiful snow country, a brunette watched longingly. Castle of brick, red and blue roof, brick pathway covered by silver frost crystals like a miniature ice country in his forest-colored eyes. With a hand stretched out, he reached. Near it might seem, but so far away it was.
Winter wind whispered into the tower, concealing away his sigh. Just how much longer should he stay in this cursed tower? Far away from human, secluded in the middle of forest with no one but a girl with the same cursed fate to accompany him, he felt miserably lonely.
"How much longer?" he asked the passing bird. His answer was a solitary silence. "Just how much longer?" At the lack of answer, the boy with brunette hair retracted his hand.
With a frustrated growl, his thin fingers combed his silky brown color hair. So long it had grown, the boy mused, clearly bored. He had considered to have it cut, but a certain girl in his company liked to play with his hair. She'll give me hell if I cut it, the boy shook his head at the thought.
"Are you awake, Teito?"
The boy turned around to his only companion with a deep frown latched on his eyebrows. The girl tilted his head questioningly. Her light-colored pigtails fell graciously to the side. That made Teito smiled.
"What is it, Ouka?"
Teito walked toward the girl. It was weird of her to just stand in the doorway. Usually she would come without warning and invaded the only bed in his room. Despite the lack of furnitures, Ouka felt more comfortable being in the same room as Teito.
Motioning the girl to enter, Teito dragged a single iron-legged chair toward the bed. Patting the side of the mattress, Teito gave another look to Ouka. The latter grinned happily and sat at the spot in front of Teito.
Ouka took a moment - like she always did - to appreciate the boy in front of him. He was - simply say - beautiful. Ouka wasn't too sure if there was any other person more beautiful than Teito here, but she knew only this boy for her whole life. She particularly loved her shoulder-length brown strands. Softer than any fabric, it framed his forest-color orbs perfectly. And the color was definitely more contrast than her light hairs and eyes.
"Well? Are you going to stare at me a whole day?" the boy asked with creeping blush. If allowed, she would want to jump and tackle the boy for being so cute. But instead, she laughed. Her voice was melodious like soft bell in the empty tower.
"I will if only you allow it," teased the girl.
"Stop it, Ouka."
The girl chuckled but drop the teasing nevertheless. "Something is happening. I can smell it in the air."
Frowning at the girl's sudden seriousness, Teito let his gaze wander back to the country of ice. As if responding to Ouka's revelation, the sky was soon blanketed by dark cloud. Thunder growled in the distance but it sounded closer from this tower. Above the red-roofed castle, lightning flashed.
Like an omen of doom, said his grim mind.
"It will be okay, won't it?"
Teito looked back to the girl. A worry frown formed on her eyebrows. Her rosy lips were pressed thin, forming a single line. How such gesture managed not to ruin her beauty, Teito had to wonder. She - in the simplest term he could make - was such a beauty. Teito might not have seen any other girl beside Ouka, but he knew, the girl was one of the prettiest girl in this world.
"Don't let that bother you, Ouka," Teito stood, grabbing Ouka's arm and pulled her up in the process. "It's just another rainy day."
But the girl was not convinced. Still, appreciating the kind gesture, she nod weakly. "I hope so." What she didn't tell the boy, was that her bad feeling scared her very much. It was like the boy was going to disappear from her side. And if that happen, her world would collapse.
I won't let that happen. Teito belongs with me.
At her ferocious thought, another lightning flashed in the distance. Soon after, rain fell down, muting any outside sound. Without sound from insects and other animals, the boy and the girl fell into unbearable silence again.
"Castor, I've had enough of this!"
A chestnut-colored head turned with amused glint in his eyes. The man stood up, dusting his rigid white uniform and walked over to his complaining king. It was the seventh time for the complaint now so Castor thought he would give at least a look at his blond friend's job.
Taking a file from the top most pile of paper, Castor skimmed through it. A sigh soon escaped. As was his usual massage of nose bridge. "Frau, you don't even need to read this! Just sign the goddamn papers!"
The King - Frau - grinned apologetically. His sky-blue eyes glittered, reflecting the light. "I'm tired of signing those! Can't you just sign it for me?"
"No! Do you job properly, you lazy-ass king!"
At the rude remark, the king merely smiled. Castor was one of his best friend. They had been together ever since Frau could stand and walk. Obviously, such banter was normal for them. Lest it be known, they silently agree to do it only when they were alone. After all, hierarchically, Frau IS his king.
Frau turned his attention to the table in front of him. Expensive mahogany table was normalcy in his castle. It was the previous king's hobby but Frau always thought it was a waste of money. Why bother using expensive wood of a table when a cheap one could do all the same? His eyes then wander to his and his friend's uniform. Gold strings adorned pure white fabric in sophisticated - snake like - design. It was beautiful if not for the crazy prize and rigid form. Frau's was not much better. Only his was of phoenix design.
He would love to change many things given time. But as for now, he had more important things to do instead of just sitting here, scowling because of unimportant spending or signing papers.
The king's eyes darted toward the window, gazing at the darkening sky. Black cloud hung low, promising long rain all day. Far beyond the haze, toward the border of Barsburg and Raggs, a single column stood. Tower of the Eyes, smells like adventure, he thought amusedly.
"It's going to rain soon." Frau raised an eyebrow at castor. He was stating the obvious but the blond king urged him to continue. "Lab said he's having a very bad premonition. Darkness is stirring awake."
"Yeah. I've been feeling…restless lately."
"That's not a reason for skipping your job. Now go back to sign these papers, or I'll make you."
"You're no fun."
Castor chuckled good-heartedly. "Thanks for the compliment."
Instead of the urge to reply the banter, Frau decided to engross himself back at the stack of papers. Boring as it was, but Castor was right. It wouldn't do for him to skip this. After all, it was his responsibility.
Seeing his young king get back to his work, Castor returned to his desk. He had papers stack in equal amount - if not more - on his table. Suppressing another urge to sigh, Castor sat down soundlessly and began writing.
A word had already formed across the white paper in front of him before the bespectacled man stopped completely. "Frau," he called. The blond looked up questioningly. "Lab passed you a message." Hearing no response from the king, Castor decided it was cue to continue. "That tower you're so interested in held something you are searching for."
Hearing the news perked the king's interest. Instantly, he stood up, hand slamming the surface of his desk not too gently. "I can go?" he asked a bit too hopeful. At this, Castor smirked evilly. "No."
The blond made a very frustrated sound before falling back into his chair unceremoniously. Castor could hear a few string of curses from his best friend and he chuckled at that. Teasing the blond was certainly the best way to vent his frustration. Not that he felt any guilt.
"You can go if you finish your job earlier than the time I decided," allowed the man finally. But at the lack of response, the king's adviser continued, "What? Not happy?"
"No," answered the king. "I'm just wondering what I would find there."
With a shrug, the bespectacled man said, "Not sure. Lab's foretelling is always vague. Though it's certainly accurate."
Labrador was the two's best friend. He was a gentle soul with light hair and eyes color. The noteworthy thing about him - beside his extremely beautiful and effeminate look - was that he possessed power of prophecy. That power had saved Frau many times. And in return, Frau would never question the value of his power.
"And worse when he's having bad premonition," the blond added, recalling earlier conversation. Castor merely nodded grimly.
Yes…a bad premonition from Labrador usually ended as he predicted. Frau could only hope, this time it wouldn't be a total mess. Or he would have another headache.
Krowell tapped his knee in bored gesture. His light amethyst eyes were practically boring into the end of his long coat. The edge might have burn if his stare could produce the magic. He had been waiting nearly two hours for the King. That damn sly fox - Miroku or whatever his name was - said he would ask the king for a short visit time permit. But where in the seventh hell was he? Why would he had to wait for two hours when the king in question was his own brother?
Ever since that old fox came and take Kreuz's position as adviser, his brother had been weird. He had refused to see Krowell. Worse of all, Kreuz was stripped down his rank and put to house arrest. Who knew when Krom was going to put him into the same arrest, or worse, in jail.
Something was definitely happening in this kingdom. But he wouldn't get answer from his eldest brother. In that case, there was only one person he could ask. Despite his second brother's gentle and obedient nature, he knew so much more than Krowell. Besides, knowing Kreuz, it was unlikely that he hadn't made a move to investigate that sly man.
Standing up, Krowell straightened his black military uniform he wore behind equally black long coat. The uniform wasn't exactly the best outfit to wear since it restricted his movement by its rigid nature. However, Krowell had been wearing it so long, it had become part of him.
The third prince turned his head slightly. From the corner of his eyes, he stared silently at the sophisticatedly engraved lines on the door to his king's chamber. No, he wouldn't get to meet him even today and Krowell wasn't going to force his way through. He wasn't a barbarian. If he had to fight, he would with grace and tactic. Snapping his head back, Krowell walked away.
As the third prince stomped away, he noticed, the castle was strangely silent. There was no sign of the usual bustling of human activity. Not even maids were seen.
Krowell stopped in his track. His eyes scrutinized the deserted corridor. Absentmindedly, he noted each pillar that was painted silver and engraved in similar lines as the door. But none of that took his interest. In fact, the lack of dirt on the floor was interesting. It had been raining quite often recently, and yet, the floor was clean except for his own muddy footsteps.
No one has visited this place for sometimes.
Looked like the issue was quite serious. It was even more important for him to visit his second brother. Krowell wasn't at the best relationship with him, but he was the only person in this place who had the best position to know.
Resuming his walk, Krowell exited the king's quarter. Usually he would take the straight path to his own living quarter, but instead, he turned right. Despite not visiting often, Krowell had no difficulty to navigate around. After all, the quarters was built in the same structure. He knew just when to turn left or right.
In not more than fifteen minutes, Krowell arrived in front of a large door of familiar lines but different color. If Krom's was gold, Kreuz's was white, and Krowell's was light purple.
"Tell my brother I'm here to see him," the third prince instructed to the door keeper.
One of the men saluted the prince before entering the door, slightly running. The other gave the same salute before replied by Krowell with the same gesture.
For lacking of things to think of, Krowell decided to inspect the place. It wasn't often he came here and so he felt it was wise to at least familiarize in case he needed it someday.
Despite the same structure, Kreuz's garden was not lacking of warmth as compared to his or Krom's. Raggs was a country of winter, so flower could hardly survive, but his second brother's garden was adorned with abundant white flowers. Winter lilies - it was the only flowers capable of withstanding the cold. Other than that, Krowell couldn't find any more differences.
He would soon feel bored for the lack of something to inspect, but thankfully, the guard return. "Your Excellency, please, this way."
With a confident stride, Krowell followed the guard and arrived at another door of similar color and pattern. It was a wonder how people in this country could differentiate each and every door.
Instead of contemplating the useless thought, Krowell stepped inside. He had expecting bemused look from Kreuz for his out-of-place visit, but the man did no such thing. If any, apprehension was written on his face.
The two stared at each other for a moment until the guard excused himself with a salute before Krowell took a seat in front of Kreuz.
"I know why you have come, brother," started the second prince. "It's about elder brother, isn't it?"
"Good. It'll make things easier. What happen to him?"
Smiling at the lack of courtesy, Kreuz replied, "You must have had a guess?"
"Indeed." The older man nodded. "I have yet to know his motive, but seems like he intends to start the war."
"I expected as much. I notice uneasiness amongst the soldiers. Rumors are not something you can stop once spread." The younger replied in somewhat grim expression.
"I can't do much, Krowell. Not in my current situation. I will try to investigate as much as I can, but you must not involve in this. Unless you're in a bind, do not try to oppose the king. Understand?"
Krowell simply stared at his brother. His eyes were unreadable, but his mind gears had moved quite rapidly in thinking. This was why Krowell couldn't stand Kreuz. The ashen-haired man was a suicidal type. He would do anything to ensure his family's safety. But the third prince wanted nothing in that line. Despite their awkward relationship, Kreuz was still his brother.
"I will interfere should I deem it necessary," said the youngest with finality in his voice.
At this, Kreuz laughed. "Yeah."
With that answer to close the conversation, Krowell's pale purple eyes traveled to the scenery outside the window. It had started raining - quite heavily - outside. But despite the lack of visibility, Krowell could still see the tower.
I will have to visit that place soon, he thought silently.
This time, the story is inspired by a certain fairy tale. Take a guess? XD
Anyway, for the sake of the story, I made a lot of changes:
Krowell is Ayanami's real name in case anyone wanted to know
Krom is Teito's biological father in the manga, but here, he's not
Frau is the king of Barsburg, Castor is Frau's adviser
Neither Teito nor Ouka is a royalty
Krowell is the third prince of Raggs (this is a fact taken from manga)
As FrancoisLaraLapis can no longer beta for me. I need another who is willing to do the job. Please notify me if you're interested.
I expect this to turn out better than Blood or Dark Moon since my preparation is better this time XD
Lastly, please review if you think I should continue with this one!