Kyou Kara Maou Fan Fiction ❯ Premonition ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Author’s Note: This is my first foray into the Kyo Kara Maoh fandom, but this story idea has been swirling around my head for awhile so I just had to get it down.
 
Just a few notes before we get started: I’ll be using translations from the subtitles, not the dub. It takes place after season 3, so spoilers ahoy! As for pairings, because everyone loves pairings, well, I hadn’t initially planned any, so take that as you will as the story goes. Anyway, hope you enjoy and leave me a review to let me know how I’m doing!
 
Disclaimer: I don’t own Kyo Kara Maoh, but if Conrad or Yuri were up for sale, I’d grab them in an instant.
 
—–
 
Chapter 1
 
Premonition
 
—–
 
Yuri struggled to hide a yawn behind his hand. He didn’t need another lecture from his teacher about paying attention in class, especially when he was racking up absences on his attendance record. Coupled with a picture of Murata standing in the doorway and silently chuckling at his browbeaten friend… No, Yuri didn’t need that at all.
 
But really, school on Earth was just as boring as Günter’s dry history lessons. At least when he was in Shin Makoku, he would normally be rescued from death by boredom by Conrad, Greta, or, on a good day, both. Here on Earth, however, he had no such luck. His only hope was Murata, and the boy in question was studiously taking notes from the teacher’s lecture two rows up. Yuri glowered at his friend’s back.
 
He would much rather be spending time with his daughter or playing catch with Conrad, or even running awy from Wolfram in one of his jealous rages. But exams were coming up, and with the time flux between Earth and Shin Makoku, Yuri and Murata had been missing more and more class when they travelled between worlds. He needed to attend some class if he had any hope of passing; Murata was smart enough to pass on his own, as it were. But that didn’t change the fact that it was boring.
 
Forcing himself to decipher his teacher’s monotonous words, Yuri tried with all his might to focus and take notes. But moments later, he found himself staring out the window he sat next to. The weather was beautiful—spring had arrived in full force and everything was blooming. As he scanned the flowerbeds in the distance—because they were much more interesting than class—he felt a twinge of disappointment in not seeing the familiar flowers of Shin Makoku.
 
It hadn’t been until he had seen Lady Cheri’s garden that Yuri had come to truly apprecite flowers, so seeing a garden withouth the Beautiful Wolframs, Secret Gwendals, Cheri’s Red Sighs, Yuri’s Innocences, or—Yuri’s favorite—Conrad Stands Upon the Earths was disappointing. Maybe next time he came home from Shin Makoku he would bring some flowers with him. His mother had enjoyed the ones his friends had sent during his short depressed spell a few months earlier, after all.
 
Yuri suddenly became aware that the class had gone silent. Blinking, he looked up to the front of the room and, to his surprise, the teacher was not standing there. Hearing some stifled giggles and noticing that everyone—Murata too, who had a sympathetic, if amused, expression on his face—was staring at him, he realized immediately why the teacher wasn’t at the front of the class. He was standing to Yuri’s right. The teen looked up at the man through his bangs and grinned sheepishly.
 
“Care to join the class, Shibuya?”
 
“Yes sir,” he replied in what he hoped was a properly deferential tone.
 
“Well, the class is indoors.”
 
Yuri winced. Busted. “Yes sir.”
 
“Good.”
 
Yuri wanted nothing more than to slump into his chair and vanish, but he held strong. This was only school. He was the king of an entire nation. A pretty useless one, a small voice in the back of his mind challenged.
 
I’m still learning, the other part of his mind countered.
 
And while you do that, people like Sara and Flurin surpass you.
 
We’re all different.
 
Tbey rule on their own. You rely on Gwendal and the others when it comes to your affairs, the voice continued. You even rely on Shinou who is long dead.
 
Yuri swallowed. I do the best I can.
 
And what if that’s not enough? What will you do if you really lose one of those people?
 
I will protect my people, Yuri growled at himself, the traitorous part of his brain.
 
You can’t always be there, Your Highness. Right now, for instance, you’re sitting in a classroom on Earth.
 
I trust them, Yuri told himself, squashing his insecurities down. They had been gaining a stronger voice since he thought he lost his maryoku after defeating Geneus. Though he had said—and truly believed—that he would still go on as Maoh even without maryoku, the prospect of being unable to defend himself or his people bothered him. It was true he had people like Conrad and Wolfram looking out for him at all times, but he didn’t want to be a burden. He wanted, no needed, to be able to protect them in turn. A king should protect his people no matter the risk.
 
Yuri was just relaxing and preparing to once again try to listen to the lesson and perhaps salvage his grades when a sudden sense of terrible foreboding gripped at his chest. His eyes widened and his muscles tensed as he grabbed at his heart, grasping his jacket instead. Something was terribly wrong. He didn’t know how he knew, just that he did. He didn’t remember jumping to his feet, but at the teacher’s irritated look, he realized he had interrupted the lecture.
 
He didn’t care.
 
His eyes met Murata’s for a split second before he said, “I feel sick,” and ran from the room clumsily. All he could think about was the sense of dread washing over him as he ran to the bathroom. He bumped into the walls repeatedly, not really paying attention to his surroundings. He was too distracted. He had just turned on the sink when Murata came into the room behind him.
 
“What’s going on, Shibuya?” he asked, putting a hand on his panicked friend’s shoulder.
 
“Something’s wrong.”
 
“In Shin Makoku?” Murata asked, eyeing the rapidly filling sink. At Yuri’s nod, Murata frowned. “How do you know?”
 
“I just felt it. It… it was like the worst thing imaginable happened,” Yuri babbled, trying to make sense of his premonition. “I… we… have to go. Now.”
 
Murata frowned. “But we’ve barely been back on Earth. And what about your brother? Won’t he want to come? And your parents?”
 
Yuri was about ready to leave Murata behind when he answered. “No time. I just want to see for myself.” He should have just gone without explaining… or grabbed Murata and explained later. Something was wrong.
 
Murata sighed and shrugged. “Okay, let’s go then. We can sort everything out later.”
 
“Great,” Yuri said, simultanteously pulling Murata up to the sink. Thrusting his head into the water, Yuri released his maryoku and engaged the familiar trip to Shin Makoku. He vaguely felt his companion follow him; he was too worried about what could have happened to think about much else.
 
When Yuri and Murata surfaced once more, they found themselves in the pond at Shinou’s temple. Ulrike was rushing toward them, mini-Shinou perched precariously on her shoulder. Yuri absently picked a lily pad off his shoulder as he watched the priestess’ approach.
 
“Your Majesty, Your Grace,” she greeted in surprise as the two stood up.
 
“You’re back early,” Shinou commented, looking between the teens.
 
Murata shrugged. “Ask Shibuya. I’m just along for the ride.”
 
Yuri swallowed, suddenly feeling unsure of himself. “I… has anything happened since we’ve been gone?”
 
Ulrike blinked in surprise. “Not that I know of, but we are often the last to hear of many goings on.”
 
“Did you think something had?” Shinou asked with a frown.
 
Yuri shrugged as he sloshed his way out of the pond with Murata in his tracks. “I… I had this sudden feeling that something terrible had happened, and had to come immediately to see.”
 
“A feeling?” Ulrike asked.
 
“What do you mean?” questioned Shinou in turn.
 
Yuri wrung out a handful of his jacket with a frown as he gathered his thoughts. He wasn’t sure how to put such an intense dread into words. “Everything was fine and then it felt like my whole body completely locked up.” He paused, his hand unconsciously gripping at his chest at the memory. “I felt like someone had grabbed my heart and squeezed. I could just feel that something was wrong—here in Shin Makoku.”
 
Murata, Ulrike, and Shinou exchanged glances.
 
“You believe me, don’t you?” Yuri asked, notcing the atmosphere. He wasn’t going crazy… was he?
 
“Of course we do, Shibuya,” Murata said slowly. “It’s just—”
 
The Great Sage’s incarnation was interrupted by galloping horses and indisctinct yelling. The three companions looked at each other in surprise when a horseback Wolfram barged into the courtyard, followed by a harried-looking Günter.
 
“Yuri!” Wolfram exclaimed. He dismounted in one fluid motion, and Yuri flinched as the blonde descended upon him.
 
“Your Majesty!” Günter wailed by way of greeting as he dismounted.
 
“Günter,” Yuri breathed as he dislodged Wolfram from his neck. “What are you doing here?”
 
“Why, greeting you, of course, Your Highness.” The silver-haired man sounded scandalized that Yuri even had to ask.
 
“Are you not even going to greet me, your fiance?” Wolfram growled.
 
Yuri rolled his eyes. “Hi Wolfram. And you broke off the engagement, remember?” While Wolfram stuttered incoherently, Yuri turned to Günter. “And I meant how come you’re here? Where’s Conrad?”
 
“Ah, well as we were not expecting you back for some time, Conrad and Yozak went on a scouting mission. When we received world that you and Your Grace,” Günter said with a bow to Murata, “had arrived, I agreed to accompany Wolfram in Conrad’s stead.”
 
“So nothing out of the ordinary has happened in our absence?” Murata asked.
 
Both Wolfram and Günter looked startled at the question. “No, why?” the former asked.
 
Yuri exchanged a confused glance with Murata. “Ah, no reason, really…”
 
“Speaking of strange,” Wolfram said, crossing his arms, “you haven’t been gone very long. Did you already take care of whatever you were going to do?”
 
“Not exactly,” Yuri said, scratching the back of his head sheepishly.
 
“Let’s talk about it at the castle, why don’t we?” Murata prompted.
 
“Good idea,” Shinou piped up. At the strange looks he received, he cleared his throat. “Ah well, you all together are pretty loud. And this is sacred ground, you know.”
 
Murata’s eye twitched, and Yuri couldn’t help but laugh. As far as he could tell, things weren’t catastrophically bad. It seemed his terror had been misplaced. He was relieved.
 
—–
 
Yuri wasn’t sure if he wanted to share his foreboding feeling with the others in Blood Pledge Castle. Now that he knew nothing world-shattering had occurred, that feeling felt strangely removed from him. It was probably just the stress from being in school again with no clue as to what was going on. Or so he told himself repeatedly. But the looks Murata gave him on the ride back from the temple and all during the trek to Gwendal’s office forced the young king to reconsider.
 
And now, standing in front of Gwendal, Yuri couldn’t help but feel a bit intimidated by the prospect of hiding something like that. So when Gwendal point-blank asked why Yuri had returned early—punctuated by Günter’s reminders that Yuri was always wanted in Shin Makoku and not to take the question the wrong way—he decided to relate the whole story.
 
“And when everyone said that nothing had happened, well, I felt a bit silly,” he concluded with a forced laugh. Gwendal didn’t appear amused.
 
“I’ve learned in my years not to take such feelings lightly. Perhaps this was a premonition, and whatever event hasn’t occurred yet,” he said.
 
Yuri frowned, a bit surprised to be taken so seriously, even if he was the Maoh. Maybe the feeling had been some kind of prompt to bring him to Shin Makoku to prevent whatever catastophic event from happening? But it wasn’t like Shinou was summoning him anymore. He was the one in charge of traveling between worlds now. But if everything was fine, how was he supposed to know what to prevent? The Maoh ran his fingers through his hair before crossing his arms.
 
“So now what?” Yuri asked at last.
 
“Perhaps send inquiries to our ally nations?” Günter suggested.
 
“Don’t bother,” a weary but familiar voice broke in. Everyone looked up to see Yozak standing in the doorway. Yuri gasped at his appearance—there was dried blood on his face, arms, and tunic, which was ripped in several places. His red hair was disheveled, and he looked as though he was ready to collapse. Before Yuri could think to help the man, Wolfram and Günter were at his side. As they eased Yozak into the closest seat, Günter had Wolfram summon Gisela.
 
Yuri hurried to the spy’s side, worried. He had never seen Yozak looking so beaten and downtrodden. It was eerie to see the normally cheerful man so stoic. “What happened, Yozak?” Yuri demanded, a bit more harshly than he intended.
 
“And what did you mean `don’t bother’?” Günter asked from Yozak’s other side. “Where’s Conrad?”
 
Yuri’s heart clenched again. Yozak had been with Conrad on their scouting mission. If Yozak looked like this… The look on the spy’s face only made the pressure in Yuri’s chest heavier.
 
Yozak looked Yuri directly in the eye as he spoke. “We ran into some trouble on our mission in the form of Dai Shimaron’s troops. The Captain was captured.”
 
Yuri had to brace himself against the table in front of him to keep standing. He vaguely heard gasps and exclamations around him, but tuned them out. “Captured?” he whispered, eyes wide.
 
Yozak nodded grimly. “We were checking some towns near the human-Mazoku border, just to make sure things were going smoothly. Since the complications with Dai and Shou Shimarons, small problems have been popping up all over. We were making our way back toward Blood Pledge Castle when we were ambushed.
 
“There was nobody and then in an instant were were surrounded by at least fifty soldiers. How we both missed their presence for so long is a mystery,” the spy said, sounding disgusted with himself at the last part.
 
During Yozak’s speech, Wolfram had returned with Gisela in tow. Yozak waved her attention off for after he finished his story.
 
“Anyway, the two of us stood with swords drawn, and those fifty men circled around us. Their leader rides up to us and greets us both by name.”
 
Yuri blinked at this. Who in Dai Shimaron would know Yozak by name? By necessity he kept to the shadows to evade notice. Yuri could tell Yozak was perturbed by whatever he had done to slip up and allow someone in unfriendly territory to learn his identity. That could be fatal for a spy. But that was the least of anyone’s worries at the moment.
 
“Then what?” Gwendal prompted. His face was carefully devoid of expression.
 
Yozak shifted and winced as the movement pulled at one of his wounds. “So the leader says he’s come to bring the Captain to see Ranjeel, that the king required his presence. The Captain, of course, refused.”
 
“Of course,” Wolfram grumbled. “He’s not stupid.”
 
Yuri squeezed the edge fo the table hard. He needed the support. As Yozak spoke, Yuri could feel that familiar tenseness, complete body freeze from earlier returning. Had he sensed Conrad’s trouble like Conrad so often seemed to sense when Yuri was in danger? “And then, Yozak?” he whispered. He needed to hear this.
 
“Their leader smiles and says he expected as much, and in that case was authorized to use force. The Captain and I, we’ve faced worse odds than that,” Yozak said with a cold smile eerily accentuated by the dried blood on his face, “so we were ready. But they had houjutsu users among them.”
 
“But weren’t you on Mazoku lands?” Wolfram demanded. “Houjutsu shouldn’t work here.”
 
The spy nodded. “That didn’t stop the White Ravens, did it? This was similar.”
 
Yuri remembered the stones the unfortunate lackeys of the White Ravens had used in battle; it hadn’t mattered where they used those. If that kind of magic was spreading, it could mean trouble in the future. But for now…
 
“Their leader says that his business is with the Captain only, and that if he came quietly, they’d let me leave.” Yozak’s voice turned bitter. “The Captain knew we couldn’t fight our way out with houjutsu users among the soldiers since neither of us have maryoku, so he agreed.”
 
“He agreed?” Wolfram exploded. “What was he thinking?”
 
“The outcome would have been the same, it sounds like,” Gwendal replied, interrupting his younger brother. “Conrad just prevented unnecessary bloodshed.”
 
Yozak nodded wearily. “That’s right.”
 
“So they took Conrad to Ranjeel,” Günter said with a frown. “But what about you, Yozak?”
 
The spy grinned, albeit a bit reservedly. “We all knew they weren’t really planning to let me leave, at least not so easily. They either didn’t want me to get out or slow me considerably… which they succeeded at,” he grumbled. “But I took some damage in my escape.” He indicated his visible wounds with a wave of his hand.
 
“When was this, Yozak?” Gwendal asked.
 
“Yesterday afternoon.”
 
But that didn’t make sense, Yuri thought absently. If he had sensed Conrad’s trouble, how could his capture have occurred yesterday when he only felt it this afternoon?
 
“Have you slept?” Gisela asked.
 
“No. I rode straight to the castle.”
 
Yuri slumped limply into a chair behind him. Conrad was in the hands of Dai Shimaron. Again. Only this time he was a prisoner. Yuri thought his chest felt hollow as the truth finally set in.
 
“Yuri…”
 
The young Maoh looked up to find Wolfram at his side looking worried. The others were watching him too. Looking at their faces, he realized how selfish he was being. He wasn’t the only one upset. But he couldn’t help it. Conrad was his knight, the ever-present support at his side. Without him, Yuri felt very, very alone and vulnerable.
 
“Why?” Yuri asked weakly. “Why Conrad?”
 
“A variety of reasons, undoubtedly,” Günter replied resignedly. “For one, Conrad did betray Dai Shimaron, claiming to be loyal to them, only to defect back to us.”
 
The familiar knot in Yuri’s stomach labeled `Conrad in Dai Shimaron’ tightened, as it always did when Yuri thought about that torturous period of time when Conrad appeared to have betrayed Shin Makoku.
 
“He is also a legitimate heir to Dai Shimaron’s throne,” Murata added. “Ranjeel took out all his competitors for the throne, except Lord Weller.”
 
“But Conrad doesn’t want the throne!” Yuri protested.
 
“No, but Ranjeel is the type of man who only understands power. He can’t comprehend a man of Conrad’s stature turning down a throne,” Günter explained. “He’s very distrustful already, and Conrad’s previous encounter with him as well as his antics spreading discord in Dai Shimaron likely only made the man more suspicious.
 
“But Ranjeel is also a man of great pride, and Conrad has repeatedly wounded it in a relatively short period of time. Ranjeel is the type of man to do this out of revenge as well,” the silver-haired Mazoku continued.
 
What wasn’t said—but understood by everyone, even Yuri; especially Yuri—was that Ranjeel was using Conrad, Yuri’s closest subordinant and personal knight, to get to Yuri himself. By capturing Conrad, Ranjeel was effectively attempting to avenge numerous wrongs against him and his ilk by both Conrad and Yuri. It was clever and dastardly.
 
Yuri swallowed and struggled to find his voice. “So what do we do?”
 
Gwendal opened his mouth to speak when a messenger dove flew in through the window. The man relieved the bird of its cargo, and it flew off without a second glance. Gwendal read the note silently before speaking.
 
“Ranjeel is confirming that he has Conrad,” he said. “And he hopes the Maoh will come visit soon.” Gwendal looked disgusted—moreso than usual as he reread the note.
 
Yuri could tell Gwendal wasn’t telling the whole truth, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to know what was being hidden from him. He didn’t know if he could handle any worse news at this point.
 
“Your Majesty,” Gisela said suddenly, reading the room’s atmosphere, “you look exhausted. As the resident healer, I order you to rest for your health.”
 
Yuri nodded gratefully at the medic for giving him the perfect excuse to leave the room. No one dared disobey Gisela’s orders, after all. Gisela gave him a wan smile of understanding in return. The Maoh rose and looked around. “Let me know if anything changes.”
 
“Of course,” Günter agreed readily.
 
Yuri nodded again and left the room in a daze. As the doors to Gwendal’s office closed behind him, Yuri caught a snippet of the hushed conversation.
 
“What did the letter really say, Brother?”
 
“Everything I said,” Gwendal replied curtly.
 
“And?” Wolfram prodded.
 
“And that Ranjeel can’t promise that Conrad will be treated well. Traitors are given the death penalty in Dai Shimaron.”
 
Yuri’s hand went to his mouth and his knees felt weak. Conrad… dead? No, that couldn’t happen. Not now, not ever.
 
With that thought hanging over his head, Yuri drunkenly made his way in the direct of his chambers where he knew nothing but nightmares awaited him.
 
—–
Purpose