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Aruki Willhelm Zestiria

"Just because I'm the youngest prince doesn't mean that I can't devote myself for the welfare of my kingdom."

0 · 1,380 views · located in Demon Civitate

a character in “Negative to Positive”, as played by chrian.

Description

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β–Œ FULL NAME
X> Aruki Willhelm Zestiria
β–Œ ALIASES
X> Ruki
β–Œ AGE
X> 21
β–Œ GENDER
X> Male
β–Œ ORIENTATION
X> Homoflexible
β–Œ ETHNICITY
X> German
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β–Œ HAIR COLOR
X> Silver blonde color with some white shades.
β–Œ EYE COLOR
X> Light blue color that often commented by others to be pretty.
β–Œ HEIGHT
X> 5'9'' | 175 cm
β–Œ WEIGHT
X> 129 Ibs | 59.5 kg
β–Œ SKIN TONE
X> Beautifully smooth and fair complexion.
β–Œ GENERAL APPEARANCE
X> Despite already being over 20 years old already, Aruki is mistaken by most people to only be 17 or even younger. And it's quite easy to tell that he is the youngest of the princes. He's by no mean masculine, but that doesn't mean he's weak either. Aruki stood at a rather average height with a lean, slightly muscular build. He is quite athletic due to the fact that he practices sword fighting and wall climbing almost everyday. He is usually seen with a gentle and cheerful expression on his face and people often commented how peaceful it is to stand within his presence.

In terms of outfit, when Aruki is not on duty as a prince he is seen in casual clothes which normally consist of a dark top and light colored pants. Though, when he is inside the castle, tending to his royal duties, Aruki is seen wearing more appropriate clothing for a prince with the royal crest on his belongings. His sword and glove are always seen on him whether he is sneaking out or attending to his duties. His glove is always on his left hand and it covers his palm and middle finger.

Nonetheless, Aruki has an appearance that is quite similar to what normal people would perceive a prince to look like. Though, Aruki had secretly hoped that one day he could look as powerful and intimidating as his father and eldest brother.

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β–Œ LIKES | LOVES
X> Ever since Aruki is young, sneaking out of the castle and sightseeing around the city has always been his favorite hobby, despite it being frowned upon by his father. He loves nature and would prefer to indulge himself with the wild rather than a stuffy castle. And, as a prince of a country, there's nothing that would make him happier than to see his people could live in prosper and peace.
β–Œ DISLIKES | HATES
X> Aruki acknowledged himself to be a man of freedom, so any types of restraints or strictness are the very things that he abhors. He also hates cocky and selfish people who think that they can look down on normal citizens just because their status is higher. Aruki also doesn't like it if someone is lying to him, as he would expect that people would be honest with their words all the time.
β–Œ PERSONALITY
X> Aruki’s type of personality is easy-going and is a person who is easy to get along with. He cares for all of his servants, brothers and father who he sees as his friends and shows respect towards them. Though he sneaks out of the castle, delaying his work, he treats his title as a prince seriously and cares deeply for his country. Aruki always thinks about his position as a prince and what he can do for his country.

While Aruki is not one to become extremely angry or sad, though when it comes to problems that needed to be dealt with, he's incredibly serious. He's also an honest person and a trustworthy friend, who will always be there to aid those that are in need, whether it be his brothers or just a normal citizen of the kingdom. And unlike many nobles, he treats people equally, even if their social status isn't as high as him. Aruki is also a courageous and determined person, as he will never stop trying and improving himself until the goals he had set for himself is met.

Overall, Aruki is the type of respectable, friendly and reliable prince that would earn a lot of respect and admiration from his both his subordinates and people alike.

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β–Œ STRENGTHS
X> Aruki is a master in swordsmanship because he had taking it up at a very young age and had shown great potential for it, though he's nowhere near as excellent as his personal guard, Isolde. He's also an expert in philosophy and political matters whose advice was taken with great appreciation from his brothers and father. Aruki is also quite intelligent and he also had a range of survival skills.
β–Œ WEAKNESSES
X> Aruki is completely oblivious of the terrors that his father has plunged over his kingdom and people and therefore he doesn't know in the least that his people are in fact suffering. He is also a bit too honest and has never been able to tell a proper lie without being obvious about it. Because of his good-hearted nature, Aruki can also be easily taken advantage of if he's not careful with those he came across.
β–Œ BIOGRAPHY
X> Aruki was born as the fourth son of the King and the Queen of the Demon Civitate. Because the queen fell ill with an incurable disease when she's still bearing him, she immediately passed away after he had his first cry. Her death has left his brothers and father destroyed. Following her final words, they still love him and raise him in her place. Despite no one seemed to blame him, there isn't a single day that he wouldn't feel regret for the death of his beloved mother.

As Aruki grew up, he slowly becoming more and more capable as the Fourth Prince of the kingdom. He excelled in many subjects and become the pride of his father and brothers themselves. And of course, he would always show great cares for his people, knowing that it is his utmost responsibility. And it seemed that the people seemed to adore him for everything that he had contributed for them too. But he, just like his second and third brother, knows naught of all the suffering that his father is forcing the kingdom to went through.

Though Aruki didn't have a particular close friend, he gets on well with his subordinates, as well as his brothers. One example is his personal guard, Isolde, who is also the General of the Exercitus Dei. She was originally a slave from a warrior tribe to the North of the kingdom and was sold to an arena where she was forced to fight as a gladiator every day. It was Aruki who bought her freedom and grateful of his deed, she decided to swear her loyalty to the royal family and become his guard. Aruki also gave many valuable advice for his eldest brother and father on how to rule the kingdom, but whether they carried them out or not is totally beyond him.

Day by day, Aruki would spend his time strolling around the city to observe how people live and offer any helps should they are in need. Such actions are greatly frowned upon by his father and there are times that he was scolded for doing so, but it isn't enough to stop him, since he still takes good care of the jobs given to him. He also secretly hope that he would become Izakyu's adviser when he has inherited the throne, so that in a way, he can further contribute his devotion for the country.

Little did Aruki know that a fateful meeting will soon change his view of the kingdom and his life forever...

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β–Œ CHARACTER SHEET
X> StarlightPrincess

β–Œ INSPIRATON
X> Nyx ; maccotango ; Verix

β–Œ FACE CLAIM
X> Zen Wistaria ; Akagami no Shirayukihime

β–Œ HEX CODE(S)
X> #016A95
X> #90c7e3

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So begins...

Aruki Willhelm Zestiria's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouta Maria Baudin Character Portrait: Aruki Willhelm Zestiria
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#, as written by cl.love


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As the sun reached its peak in the sky, Kou stepped onto the small wooden stage which stood before a room full of tables. Men sat in chairs eating their lunch, some already drunk despite it hardly being noon, and they all gave a cheer as the ashen-headed male bowed to his 'guests'. A seductive smile graced the crowd and the music started, an upbeat melody that prompted swift movements. Kou grinned fakely as he swung his hips to the rhythm, long locks flowing behind him as he danced. The performance continued for quite a bit, and by the time his dance was called to an end, he was out of breath. XX
Hours later, Kou sat in the back room of the pub, staring at his reflection in the broken mirror that hung crookedly on the wall. Instead of a young boy, he saw the flawless complexion of a teenage girl, flowing locks of ashen hair and long eyelashes, with the smallest bit of makeup to hide a bruise he'd been given the previous evening. Its almost sickening, how these men still ogle me even though they know I'm male. Unless they truly do believe the lie... XXX
Kou looked down at the blade he held in his hands. He'd stolen it from the kitchen when he'd gotten the chance, with the intent of doing the one thing his master had always told him never to attempt. Pulling his hair from the ponytail it'd been tied into, Kou took in a breath and held the knife to the base of his neck, slicing through his hair and letting the strands fall to the floor. No turning back now, Kouta. With the knife in hand, Kou stood from where he'd been seated amongst the torn pieces of hair, and quietly stepped toward the door. As expected, the door was locked, but a couple strikes to the handle with the metal blade broke the mechanism and granted him freedom from the tiny barren room he'd been allowed to call his own for the past seven years. XX
Several people looked up as the door slammed open, including that of his master, and Kou bolted. He pointed the knife ahead of him as he rushed through the crowd of men and out onto the street, ignoring the angry shouts coming from behind him. Some of the passers-by yelped at the sight of a knife, and most moved out of the way as he ran, retreating further when the saw the angry horde of men chasing after him. "You're doomed this time!" XX
BrΓ»le en enfer! Kou shoved past a group of noblewomen who were standing idly outside a shop, all of which shouted at him for being 'rude'. He'd hardly noticed them in his haste to get away, more focused on outrunning his pursuers. Unfortunately, they cut him off, and a blow to the head was the first thing that caught his attention. He swung the knife at the man nearest to him, but his wrist was caught in his master's grip and the knife tossed away. Kou stared at the hand that was trying to cover his mouth, and bit down as hard as he could onto the flesh, causing its owner to scream in pain and retreat. XXX
"This is the fifth time you've tried to escape this season, and it will be the last time, Kouta. I've decided that you're not worth all the energy I spend hunting you down, so tonight, you'll be hanged for disobedience. Too bad there won't be anyone to attend your funeral." Kou shuddered at the thought of being hanged, and another blow to the side of his face caused him to finally stop struggling, though it didn't effect his harsh glare. "Even death is better than the way you've treated me for the last seven years!" He spat, clenching his teeth hard enough to where his gums ached. XX
A strong, calloused hand gripped at his chin painfully, forcing him to look up at the man who controlled his life. "I treated you just as well as you deserve to be treated, you insolent brat. And if death is what you want, we might as well get it over with right now and save me the trouble of watching you suffocate." Kou thrashed against his captors and felt his heart rate speed up as a long silver sword was drawn from its sheath, raised high above his head. He forced his eyes shut and tried to think of something positive, anything that could give him even the smallest sliver of hope. XXXX


Translations: BrΓ»le en enfer - Burn in Hell. I tried to find something smaller and more mean, but French insults aren't really, well, insulting! They suck...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouta Maria Baudin Character Portrait: Aruki Willhelm Zestiria
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#, as written by chrian.
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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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It was another beautiful day in the so-called country known as the Demon Civitate. The sun was shining brilliantly and the morning breeze was blowing gently. On the streets and markets, people walking around, doing their every day jobs and chatting with each other happily. At the first look, it really does seem that this kingdom is a peaceful one, although it is relatively small in comparison with the neighboring countries. But in reality, the peaceful front that it always puts up is nothing more than just a facade to hide to darker side of it behind.

Stood in the center of the city is a gigantic castle, the home of the royal family of Zestiria. As always, it retains its tranquility and peacefulness, despite the fact that there are thousands of guards and servants working in within its interior. The heads of this castle - King Zestiria III and his sons, had already risen from their slept and went on with their everyday duty - monitoring the country. Well, except for one young prince...

Having sneaked out of the castle with his most trusted guard, Aruki strolled his way around the city like he always did. This has become a hobby to him and he will just make up an excuse for this as another duty of him as the prince of the country. He believes that he must form a good and trusting bond with his people and showed a different side of him rather than just the oh-so-almighty image. It's not like he was really bored with being inside the castle, but he sees himself as an "active type" of person, who can always be on the move restlessly. Paperwork and political matters can wait.

Sweeping his sweat off his forehead, Aruki turned to the old lady whom he's just helped to tender her garden and plant the flowers with a smile, "And there we go. Is there anything else you need, madam?"

The kind lady shook her head, "To be helped this much by someone so generous like you is a pleasure that I would forever be grateful with, Your Majesty. I could have never thanked you enough." She approached Aruki and gave him a basket full of apples, "I'm already old, so I didn't have much but this humble gift. I hope Your Majesty will accept it."

Aruki kindly denied the gift at first, saying that helping people is a natural thing to do. But the old lady kept insisting, so he had to accept it as not to hurt her feelings. Bidding farewell to her, Aruki then left her house with Isolde, who was waiting at the entrance of the house.

"It had never seized to amaze me of how good-hearted you are, Ruki-sama." She let out a quiet sigh as they walked their way along the street, "I mean, it's good to be kind and helpful and all, but your father was right to a certain extent after all. You're a prince and you should retain some traits of it, like Izakyu-sama and Akiha-sama."

"Come on, Isolde. You're starting to speak like those nobles." Aruki teased while taking a bite from an apple, "How can I be a good prince if I didn't put the priority of my people on top? And to be able to do that, I need to have the most realistic of insight into their everyday lives, to see what I can suggest my father to change for their lives to be better. It's not like he's going to listen to me as much as he listen to Izakyu-niisama but I'm trying hard all the time, right?"

"Well, I can't change your mind after all. Although I didn't like to stick around the castle all day long as much as you, there are still mountains of papers waiting in your study. And I don't think Yukazu-sama is going to be very happy taking care of them all for you. So let's just head back for now, shall we?" Isolde said while fixed her cap with an informal smile. The border of the subordinate and the master between them had long disappeared so they can talk just as freely as if they're on the same status. Not that it really matters to Aruki in the first place.

"Yeah, yeah. I know that already, school madam." Aruki shrugged, "Let's go b-" Before he could finished his sentence, a commotion happening right on the street immediately caught their attention. There aren't any patrolling guards around so it seemed that it was quite intense, and it has gained the attention of the whole pedestrians on the streets. And, instinctively, they both hastily made their way the scene to calm the situation down.

When Aruki and Isolde approached the crowd of people, they could saw that a big man was restraining a young, feminine boy and forced him to look up at another man who was standing above him. And the other man was pulling a silver sword out of its sheath to snare at the boy. "Stop this commotion this instant." Aruki spoke up with a stern voice, which in turn gained the attention of everyone.

Though normally, Aruki didn't seem to be very stand out, but once he has become the spotlight, everyone realized almost immediately that it was the Fourth Prince of their kingdom. That is why, all people presented there stepped back and all bowed to him in a respectful manner. But beside that, they are also quivering at the sight of the most beautiful and strongest warrior of the Demon Civitate and also the General of the powerful Exercitus Dei army who is accompanying Aruki, so none of them dare to do anything rash.

The man who is holding the silver sword was no exception and he was visibly frightened at their sight. He immediately dropped his sword, though the huge man who is restraining the boy still holding him down. "Can you tell me why such a huge gang like you all cornered and beating up a helpless man like this? Have you no shame?" Aruki asked with a serious tone that caused the whole gang, especially their leader, to shiver.

"M-My greatest apology, Your Majesty. T-This is... umm... a disobedient slave who is working for me. I'm just simply teaching him some manner, it's not like I want to harm him or anything." Isolde let out an annoyed 'tch' as she cracked her knuckles furiously, which only served to scare the men even more, "I-I hope you will not blame us for this commotion, Your Majesty. There won't be a next time, I swear."

Aruki gave the boy who was being restrained a glance. He was indeed beautiful but there seemed to be an undefeated and determined look in his eyes that intrigued him to no end. "A slave, huh. Then how about this?" Aruki held out his palm to Isolde, who sighed and gave him a big pouch full of golds. Aruki then threw it to the leader, who catches it. "I will buy him his freedom, in exchange, you and your men mustn't meddle with him nor any innocent people ever again. If I saw you causing mayhem again, I'm not sure that you will be kept out of prison. Are you clear?"

"W-Well, I..." The man seemed to hesitate at the offer. And right away, Isolde made a step forward and ensnare him with her rapier, "Are you saying that you're defying the order of the prince himself?"

"N-no! Of course not." He was horrified at the sight of the ferocious General and quickly nodded, "I was about to get rid of him anyway so of course, his fate is now at your hand to decide. I promise on my family name that nothing like this will ever happen again. Boy, let him go." He ordered his lackey as they let the boy free from their grips. Though before the man left with his gang, he threw the boy a final taunt, "Considering that you're lucky, you insolent slave. You might be saved for now, but remember that you're a low-life and you always will. Don't be cocky because you won't be as fortunate if I ever see you again."

When the gang has finally left, people watching the whole incident quickly went back to what they were doing and pretend that nothing has ever happened, out of fear for Isolde. Aruki then approached the young boy to help him stood up and gave him a smile, "That was really a close one, wasn't it? May I ask you what your name?"


I really went overboard again this time LOL
Hope you'll be patient enough to read it all :)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouta Maria Baudin Character Portrait: Aruki Willhelm Zestiria
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by cl.love


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With his eyes squeezed shut and his breath held, Kou waited for the blow to come, but it never did. Cracking his eyes opening, he was surprised to find everyone bowing to a white-haired male whom he recognized as the Fourth Prince. The silver longsword was dropped to the ground and Kou let out the breath he'd been holding. Since everyone was distracted, he attempted to pull free of the man who was holding him, to no avail. Why's the Prince here anyways? Seems like he should be in the castle eating custard or something... Kouta had a rather dreadful opinion on members of the royal family, and his disdain only grew as he caught sight of General Isolde Esphire, leader of the Exercitus Dei - which was technically the origin of all his suffering. XXX
Kou observed the discussion before him with curiosity, as well as confusion. Why is a Prince even wasting his time with a scene like this? When the Prince turned to look at Kouta, the ash-haired boy glared back hatefully, half-expecting to be killed by him instead. "I will buy him his freedom, in exchange, you and your men mustn't meddle with him nor any innocent people ever again. If I saw you causing mayhem again, I'm not sure that you will be kept out of prison. Are you clear?" Kouta's expression turned to pure shock, and his master's even more so, unsurprisingly. Wait, he's...helping me? XX
Confused, Kou watched as his master's words stuttered, and couldn't help but smirk slightly as the man grew obviously terrified. "I was about to get rid of him anyway so of course, his fate is now at your hand to decide. I promise on my family name that nothing like this will ever happen again." Tch, that's a definite lie. "Boy, let him go." Grumbling in frustration, the man holding Kou let go, but not without pushing him to the ground in the process. Kouta winced slightly, as impact with the cobblestone road aggravated a large bruise on his leg, though he made no outward show of pain. XXX
"Considering that you're lucky, you insolent slave. You might be saved for now, but remember that you're a low-life and you always will. Don't be cocky because you won't be as fortunate if I ever see you again." Kou glared at the men as they walked away, knowing they were serious about their taunt but still unafraid of it. "That was really a close one, wasn't it? May I ask you what your name?" Looking up, Kou found the white-haired Prince standing above him, smiling. Kouta hesitantly took the hand that was offered to him and stood. "My name is Kou, and I'm not going to thank you." XXXXXX
It wasn't surprising to Kouta that Isolde reacted immediately to such disrespect, yet he didn't back down - or even flinch - as she approached, glaring down at him with one hand on her sword. "In more ways than one, its the fault of the Royal Family that I'm even a slave in the first place, so I'm not going to thank you. Besides, its not like I'm automatically 'free' just because you said I am. I'll probably be enslaved again or dead within the week, so in reality there's not much to thank you for." Turning his head towards the Prince, Kou glared at him. "So, if you don't mind, I'd prefer you leave me alone." XX
Kou moved to leave, and ground his teeth tightly together as he felt a firm hand on his arm, turning to find Isolde returning his glare with equal intensity. XX


Nah, I love long posts, so its no biggie! Besides, first posts usually require more information anyways, so I'm not really all that surprised about it either~ Also, I don't wanna sound rude, but wouldn't it make more sense if Aruki just bought Kou? Kou wouldn't care about repaying him like Isolde did, so...hm, perhaps since Kou's so 'ungrateful' (he hates the royal family), they bring up the fact that they (technically) own Kouta now, so he should work for them?

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Helping the young to stood up from where he was lying, Aruki got a chance to observe him better. Well, to say that he was really beautiful is still an understatement. If he had had long hair, many people would have mistaken him for a girl from the first sight. It was really a shame that such a boy like this has to work as a slave. Aruki sighed and sheepishly thought. He couldn't understand why the slave trades and ownership hasn't been banned in this kingdom yet. He had hinted and suggested for thousands of times but his father wouldn't even listening.

The young boy introduced himself to be Kou, but that is not as intriguing as what he said next, of how he's not going to thank him. And Isolde, as protective as ever, reacted immediately to what the young boy has just said, "You'd better watch what you've just said, boy. If Ruki-sama wasn't there, I'm not sure that you'll be standing safe and sound like that right now." She said with a stern voice, but it seemed that it wasn't enough to scare him.

Then, what Kou continued to say next was even more surprising for Aruki to hear. What does he mean by saying that it was my family's fault? He raised an eyebrow and thought. Though just before Kou could leave, Isolde has already grabbed him by the arm. With such force that could match at least five men, she pulled the slave boy closer to her face, "Do not say anything unnecessary about your painful past or anything like that in front of his face, kid. You can hate me as much as you want and I don't give a freaking care about that. But if you don't want both of our heads to roll and having to take responsibility for thousand more deaths then do as I say." She whispered into his ear so that only two of them could listen.

"Isolde, can you stop baring your fang at anything that moves just for once?" Aruki said with a sigh to his subordinate. By then, she had already let the young boy go, "Well, anytime I left my eyes off you, you'll just turn your tail and up to no good. So I would have to take extra care for you, wouldn't I?" Isolde replied with a shrug.

"Anyway, I can't let you leave, Kou-san." Aruki turned his attention back to the boy and said, "You've just said that if you were to be left alone now, you'll just be turn into a slave again, right? So how about this?" He raised his arm towards the young boy, "Since you probably didn't have any jobs that you could do in the city, why don't you come to the castle and work for me? I'm sure you'll find something you can do. You'll also be provided with a room to live and food to eat every day. Doesn't it sound much better than wandering around the streets and being picked on by shady guys, huh?" He said with the friendliest smile ever.

Isolde could only roll her eyes, "Here we go again..."


Well, Aruki isn't the type that would tolerate slave trades and stuff, let alone buying someone's freedom to be his. So he would tried to buy the freedom of the slaves he came across and let them decide what to do xD

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In hearing what Isolde told him, Kou's curiosity was peaked. He glanced at the Prince with a calmer expression. So no one is allowed to talk about their past? That must mean he's completely oblivious to everything the King's done... As Isolde let go, he scanned her expression, finding nothing underneath the harsh glare. If talking about it would kill us both, then that must mean she too was a slave at one point. How ironic. Kou couldn't help but laugh at the realization that the leader of the Exercitus Dei, who made slaves of just about anyone, had once been a slave herself. It was a very interesting situation. XX
"Anyway, I can't let you leave, Kou-san." The use of the title '-san' caught Kouta's attention before the Prince's words even had a chance to register. "Since you probably didn't have any jobs that you could do in the city, why don't you come to the castle and work for me? I'm sure you'll find something you can do. You'll also be provided with a room to live and food to eat every day. Doesn't it sound much better than wandering around the streets and being picked on by shady guys, huh?" The Prince smiled in the most honest, friendly way, and Kou had to admit: the youngest Prince was handsome. XX
Taking a moment to contemplate his few choices, Kou glance back and forth between the Prince, Isolde, and the direction his - former, now - master had disappeared to. Well, I suppose working in a castle would be better than immediate death... Kouta turned back to his two companions with a sigh and nodded slightly. "I will accept your offer, however, on one condition." Smiling softly, Kou folded his hands behind his back, "I would like to prove to me that you are different from those who have owned me in the past. You can take your time, and use whatever methods you wish. That is all I ask of you." XX
Kouta was exceedingly curious about his oblivious young Prince, and hoped that his peculiar request would gain him some answers as to what kind of person the boy was - and how he managed to live his life not knowing of the tragedy the army brought upon others. Raising his arm over his chest, he took a fanciful bow, attempting to show honor while internally mocking the purpose of the action. "Also, I'm afraid I was never taught much about the Royal Family, so I don't really know anything about you. In this case, would you mind telling me your name? I will tell you my full name in exchange." XX


Ah, alright~ I was just making sure there's a way that Aruki and Kouta keep seeing each other, since Kouta would never go near the guy without reason.

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Aruki listened to Kou's request of proving himself to be different than his former masters who owned him before and that he had as much time as he like. Despite how serious it might sound, Aruki couldn't help laughing at such a request, "You're quite a strange young man, if I must say. But rest assure, it's not like I'm "owning" you or anything. I'm hiring you as my worker and if you didn't feel like it anymore, you can just walk away and find your own path in life."

Then, Kou bowed in a fanciful manner, but it was clearly that he was forcing himself. And that's the funniest part. Aruki chuckling at the sight, "If you aren't used to such formal manner than you don't have to. I'm not stressful about mannerisms that much. Well then, if you have asked..." Aruki bowed in return to Kou, in a manner of a prince towards a princess, "My name is Aruki Willhelm Zestiria, the Fourth Prince of this kingdom."

After receiving the boy's full name, the three of them began to stroll their ways back to the castle. "Want some?" Aruki threw Kou an apple from the basket, "Don't worry, it's not poisoned. A kind old lady gave me this after I helped her tending her garden." They talked about some other trivial matters on the walk, though Aruki avoided asking anything about his past, knowing that it was a rather sensitive topic to bring up. Isolde, however, stayed out of the conversation as she quietly walked behind them.

When they've reached the main entrance of the castle, two guards standing on duty there bowed to Aruki and Isolde, "Welcome back, Your Majesty and General." They nodded as the two opened the gate for them to enter. One of them noticed the presence of Kou behind the two, "Your Majesty, this is...?"

Aruki nodded, "This boy here is going to be my new servant. I will ask the Head Butler to provide an identification necklace later so there's no problem." The two guards bowed in reply to his statement, "As you wish, Your Majesty."

As they stepped through the large pavement, they came across another tall, young man who was watering the flowers in the garden next to the castle, "Akiha-niisama, how are you doing?" Aruki called him and gained his attention while Isolde bowed to the other prince, prompting Kou to also bow to. The second prince turned his back and greeted him back with a smile, "Yo, Ruki. Sneaking out of the castle again? Yukazu is searching frantically for you, you know. You better go and see him at your study before he started to throw a baby tantrum again."

Aruki sighed, "Oh please don't mention it. Sometimes I wonder whether he's really older than me or not. But I have just the exact thing for him." He shrugged and said. Akiha chuckled and was surprised to see a stranger who was standing next to Aruki and his guard, "Another new guy? Sometimes you really surprised me with your generosity, Ruki."

He shrugged in reply, "I can't just bear to see my people suffering, can I? Oh well, I better go and find Yukazu-niisama before he chop off my head. See you around, niisama."

Parted with his older brother and stepped inside the gigantic castle. "Ruki-channnn~" A squeaking voice echoed from nowhere as another young-looking man ran right into Aruki, causing him to fell down on the floor with the other man sitting right on his lap. Apparently he had paid no attention of anyone presented there other than him. "How many times did I have to told not to sneak out of the castle before our work is done? Huh? You dare to leave your poor onii-chan here alone with all those work? How dare you ~" He ranted as he pinched Aruki furiously.

"Ow, ow. That really hurts, Yukazu-niisama." Aruki groaned, "Let me stand up first then I'll do whatever you say, okay?" Yukazu let out an annoyed 'hmph' and stood up. Though right after he was back on his feet again, a pouted Yukazu had already grabbed his arm "Isolde, take him to see the Head Butler for me." He said to his guard before being dragged into their shared study room.

Isolde sighed, "If you're going to work here, this is something that you will have to see every day. Not too bad, huh? Try and get used to it." She then began to walk, "Let's go."

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Aruki...that means 'to walk', right? Kou thought to himself. "Interesting name, Oujisama. I am Kouta Maria Baudin, and I look forward to our friendship." XX
His words were only a little bit sarcastic, but his smirk showed it all, and he didn't really care. He never bothered to hide his opinion towards others, especially the Royal Family, and even in the presence of the Prince he was still brutally honest. As Kou began to follow Aruki, he stopped to pick up the knife that had been discarded during the earlier scuffle. He moved to put it into his pocket, but in seeing Isolde's suspicious glace, he instead handed it to her and sped up to walk beside the Prince. Like anyone would be, he wasn't comfortable knowing Isolde was right behind him, though he made no show of it. His suspicions about the woman were put aside for now as he accepted an apple from Aruki, eyeing it over despite the statement of its purity. XX
Kouta was surprised to find that Prince Aruki could hold a decent conversation, even if Kou wasn't saying much himself. He did take notice if how the male made a point of avoiding any mention of the past, and was both grateful and intrigued by the action. And thus, he's showing the first signs of being at least a little bit sensitive toward others' feelings. Kou smiled to himself, and opted to add more to the conversation, if only a few words here and there. XX
The magnificent castle caught him by surprise, as he'd never been anywhere near the building before, nor had he seen anything that could compare to it in size or glory. "Its very...big..." As someone who'd only known small spaces for the majority of his life, Kou became somewhat uneasy at the thought of living in such a large place, and his expression just barely showed it in the awkward glances he gave the place. On pure instinct alone, he gingerly stepped behind Aruki as they neared the two men guarding the front gate. However, they dismissed him easily after the explanation they'd been given. XX
The three then ran into a taller male who looked suspiciously like Aruki, though his hair was much longer. Kou's suspicions were confirmed when Aruki referred to the man as 'niisama'. Beautiful flowers...though I'm surprised a Prince is tending to them instead of a servant. Little by little, Kou's assumptions about the Royal Family were being proven wrong, and he didn't like it one bit. He didn't like being wrong, even if the reality was better than his fantasy. Well, its not like I was ever allowed to learn much, so I guess no one can really blame me for making so many assumptions about things... XX
Kouta observed with silent curiosity as Aruki ran head-on into yet another male who looked like him, and he couldn't help but laugh as the two toppled to the floor. The word 'niisama' was repeated again and Kou recognized that this boy was another one of the four princes. "Isolde, take him to see the Head Butler for me."Kou stiffened at the prospect of being left alone with the General, but said nothing, and only watched as Aruki disappeared with his brother. "If you're going to work here, this is something that you will have to see every day. Not too bad, huh? Try and get used to it. Lets go." XX
As they walked, Kouta and Isolde watched each other from the corner of their eyes, both equally suspicious of the other. It wasn't surprising. Once they were out of earshot of other people, Kou spoke. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you were once a slave as well, weren't you?" His words were quiet, and he didn't look at Isodle in more than a sideways glance. "You brought up the fact that we're not supposed to speak of the Kingdom's past, so I'll politely assume your life's been threatened. It seems a bit cruel, that a Prince should be denied full knowledge of everything that goes on in his own Kingdom." XX
"I won't say anything more about it if your life is indeed in danger, after all, I'm only here to avoid death myself. Just don't expect me to forgive you simply because you were once in the same situation as I was. I still resent the army and everything they've done thus far." Kouta said, blunt as ever. XXX



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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Isolde walked through the seemingly endless halls of the castle, with Kou followed right behind her. For most of the walk, they stayed silent without sharing any words with each other. She knows all too well how the boy felt towards her so it's best that they avoid any contact with each other until his animosity has loosened up. Though it was probably going to be a bit hard since they're now working under the same boss. She knows how good-hearted the prince it, so it's better to keep a good eye on the other boy, just in case. Though she was a bit surprised at how Aruki was interested in the boy.

Kou then suddenly asked whether Isolde once was a slave just like her. Isolde raised her eyebrow before gave the boy an amusing smirk, "For a young and wimpy kid like you, it seemed you're quite sharp indeed." Without turning back, Isolde rolled the glove she was wearing on her left arm down, revealing a tattoo in the shape of a dragon's hoof, thus confirming Kou of his question. When he had saw it, she rolled the glove back on, hiding the tattoo.

The boy then went on expressing on his assumption of how her life was threatened if things were spilled and how cruel it was for a prince to be left oblivious of his kingdom's true face, and how he won't just simply forgive her because they share the same past because of what the Exercitus Dei had done.

After listening to all those words, she couldn't help letting out another amused chuckle, "My life has been threatened for so many times that I've stopped fearing of losing it long ago. I just don't want another life to be wantoned meaninglessly. After all, I become a General so that I can satisfy my desire of conquering and laying defeats on any enemies from outside of the kingdom. You might think that I'm a hypocrite for saying that after all that I've done. But unless you're in my position, you will never understand. My only duty right now is to look after Ruki-sama, and I devote myself for that sole reason only. If the Princes were to find out about the real face of this wretched kingdom, it's better that they found out about it by themselves."

She said and then stretched her arms, "That being said, of course I'm not asking you, nor anyone, for forgiveness. In fact, I would pretty much appreciate it if you keep on hating me. That would make me sleep much easier at night."

Isolde stopped in front of a big door, "I don't deny that what you have gone through in your life is hellish, Kou. But believe me, there are far worse things that you are yet to see." She turned and gave him an ambiguous look, before opening the door with both of her arms. It was a big study with a big desk situated in front of a window. And standing in front of the window and looking out was a tall, blue-haired man wearing a formal suit.

"Hey, Mia. Ruki-sama has just brought back this new guy." Isolde said to the man as he turned back and look at them. A rather surprised look appeared on his face. "He's all yours. I'm off. See you at lunch." With that said, Isolde turned her back and left the room.

Meanwhile, in a large study room shared by the two Princes, Aruki sighed after having signing a mountain of papers. But there are still plenty of them lying around his desk. "Who says being a Prince is a good thing?" He groaned.

"That's the punishment for playing around." Yukazu, who is sitting at the desk across of Aruki, commented, "Anyway, I saw you came back with a new guy. Was he a slave?"

"Yeah, I actually had to stop a commotion from happening and in the end, I managed to ask him to work here. Not too bad, eh?" Aruki grinned.

"Well, just remember that Ruki-chan is mine alone. I'm not going to share you with any of them, remember?" Yukazu said with another pout, which Aruki chuckled at. "Okay, okay. I will never leave niisama's side, happy?" He teased slightly and went on with his work.

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Kouta glanced at the tattoo on Isolde's arm, his hand instinctively running over his own, hidden on his waist beneath the cloth of his pants. While Isolde's mark was a dragon's hoof, Kou's own was the number ninety-nine written in crude Roman Numerals - XCIX. Apparently it had been symbolic of the fact that he'd been the 99th slave his now-previous master had bought. If I remember correctly, the dragon's hoof signifies a gladiator...well, her fighting skills certainly make sense, and her cold demeanor as well. Kou thought to himself, listening intently to every word Isolde spoke, intrigued. XXX
"I don't deny that what you have gone through in your life is hellish, Kou. But believe me, there are far worse things that you are yet to see." Well that's a positive thought. Kou's sarcastic monologue prompted a smirk from him, though it lasted only a few seconds before the expression faded back into a stoic frown. He took a moment to admire the intricate and near-unnoticeable designs etched into the huge wooden door before Isolde swung it open and led him inside. The room was large, and filled with an immense amount of bookshelves, which Kouta stared at in silent awe. I've never seen so many books in one place before. Its amazing... Isolde spoke, though not to him, and it was then that Kou took notice of the other person in the room. XX
Kouta went stiff as he saw the face of the man standing before him. A face he recognized, no less. Isolde spoke, bid her goodbyes, and disappeared, closing the door behind her with a soft thud. "Hana-san?" Miachelis nodded in confirmation, grinning, and Kou threw himself into the taller man with a wide smile. "I thought I'd never see you again! So the Prince freed you too, huh?" Nodding, Mia wrapped his arms around Kou to return the hug. "Kou, you've gotten taller. You're only just barely shorter than me now." The next few minutes were spent discussing how they'd ended up in the palace. XX
"Ah, that's right! Kou, what happened to Maya? I'm assuming she's still in captivity if she isn't here with you?" Miachelis' expression was hopeful, while Kouta's soured at the question. "...Maya's dead. She fell ill with tuberculosis last year, and our master refused to get her help, so..." Turning their gazes to the stone floor, both males sat in silence for a moment. "I'm sorry I wasn't there. It must have been hard, I know how much she meant to you." Kou shook his head, offering a weak smile to his friend. "Don't be sorry, it isn't your fault. You weren't there because you didn't have a choice, that's all. Besides, I honestly think she was better off in heaven than where we were before she died. Maya was never meant to be a slave." XXX
After the conversation concerning Maya ended, Miachelis explained to Kou why identification was necessary in the palace, and how it worked, which was fairly simple for the most part - if someone asks, just show them your tag. The tag itself was a small piece of metal hung on a chain, a name, age, and status etched into the metal. Mia went with him to the smith to get the tag made, and once it was finished, Kou tied it secured it around his left wrist. XX
"I'm sorry Kouta, but I'm afraid I won't be able to accompany you to the servant's quarters, I have too much work to do. However, my assistant can take you there and show you around~" As if on cue, a small blonde girl rushed around the corner and into the smith's area, tripping over a shovel and nearly falling flat on her face. She steadied herself with a relieved expression and bowed to Mia, taking his instructions and waving as he left before turning to Kouta with an awkward smile. "My name is Aiko, n-nice to meet you! Mia-san talks about you sometimes, so its an honor to meet you for real!" Kou smiled sweetly back to her. "Well, its nice to meet you too, Aiko. I hope Hana-san didn't say anything bad about me~" XX
Aiko assured Kou that their friend hadn't, and the two chatted with one another as they made their way through the large palace halls. Apparently, Prince Aruki had took her in when he was only a child, orphaned and starving on the streets. She went on to tell Kou about how Aruki had helped a large majority of the servants working in the castle, and how he'd even gotten the King to agree to allowing most of them an education. The more Aiko spoke about Prince Aruki, the more impressed Kouta became, even if he still doubted the older male's five-star reputation. Well, I'll just have to wait and see. XX
The servant's quarters was a surprisingly large building, stone with long tendrils of ivy covering its every surface. It seemed that each servant had their own room, unless they specifically wished to share, which most did. There was a small main room at the front of the building, a few well-filled bookshelves and armchairs scattered about, and a large staircase in the middle of the room with hallways on either side of it that led to a wide array of bedrooms. "Since most of us prefer to room with someone else, we have quite a few empty rooms. You can have your own, and if you ever get lonely, I don't mind if you'd like to stay with me." Though Aiko looked awkward in saying so, Kou thanked her for the offer, and for the tour as well. XX
Aiko took the time to write Kouta's full name on a sign on the door to indicate the room was taken, and then the two headed back to the castle, where she led him down another set of halls and to what seemed to be a study. She told him to wait outside for the Prince before rushing off into the crowd, smiling and waving goodbye to him as she left. What a sweet girl. I'm glad she was brought here before anyone had a chance to mess with her. Kou thought to himself, leaning against the wall with his hands clasped in front of him. People passed without so much as a second glance, and he wondered why the Prince even wanted to talk to him in the first place. Well, I guess I did make a bet with him, and I have to be near him for him to prove his worth, don't I? XX
Kou waited for a decent while, busying himself with thoughts of the future and what kind of work he would be doing in the palace, until finally the door opened and the older Prince hopped out of the room. Yukazu grinned at him before disappearing into the crowd, and Kou scowled after him, instead turning to lock eyes with Prince Aruki. "If I may ask, what kinds of tasks should I be completing while I'm here? I assume you have something in mind." XX


Kou calls Mia 'Hana' because the name 'Edelweiss' is also a flower, which is reminiscent of Mia's slave tattoo, which is a flower as well. Also, Hana and Kou together make Hanako, which means 'Flower Child' - or, in this case, 'Flower Children'. And I don't know if you've ever seen the film August Rush (if you haven't, you must), but this song August's Rhapsody has been stuck in my head all day, as well as the entirety of Haikyuu's season two soundtrack.

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Aruki signed the last paper he had to signed with an inked quill and throw it on top of the last mountain of papers sitting proudly on his desk. Letting out a sigh of relief, he literally flopped with his face lying flat on the wooden desk. It was already lunch time and the sun has reached its peak. "Urg. Finally. I don't understand why we always have mountains of papers to sign every day. Where do they even come from?"

"Well, it's your punishment for leaving your adorable onii-chan alone so that you can go out and play. Don't you have any pity for this poor lil' brother of you?" Yukazu rearranged the paper while pouted at Aruki, making a face as if he was really mad. But Aruki could only chuckle at how cute and cuddly he was. From the first sight, it was hard to believe that Yukazu was the older one between the two of them. After all, out of the four princes, he was attached to Aruki the most.

Jumping from his chair, Yuzaku hopped to the door of their study room. "Anyway, I promised Akiha-niichan to go and find some truffles and herbs with him in the woods today. Don't be too lonely without me, okay?" He winked to Aruki and skipping out of the room. Kouta, who has been watching the whole thing, asked Aruki if there's anything in his mind that he needed him to do. "Oh, Kou-san. You've seen my niisama, huh? Sorry, he's a bit of a bro-con. But he's pretty cool when needed."

Aruki moved from his chair and gave a thorough glance at his new servant, from head to toes. "I'm not being rude but it seemed that you certainly don't have a whole lot choices of clothes, huh? Mia-san didn't show you where you should get your uniform? Let's get you some changing and find something for lunch first then we can talk, kay?" He winked as he took Kou through the long hall towards the staff's quarter of the castle. "It's literally a maze here if you're new. But you'll get used to i. Feel free to ask around should you ever get lost."

When they've reached their destined room, which was a large dressing room. Aruki walked inside and greeted the staffs in there. Everyone just waved to him with a smile before going back to what they were doing. "Okay. Let's see what we got." Aruki opened the door of a huge wardrobe. He skimmed through the hanging uniforms and picked two from them, each have a different style, "These will suit you. Are you more comfortable with this style..." He showed a more revealing type of uniform, "...or this style?" And the latter which was more covering.


Urgh, tests are really hectic >.<
And yeah, that sounds interesting. I'll watch it when I had time :3
In term of OSTs, I like those that are composed by Yuki Kajiura. She had many epic themes. You should listen to them too.

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Kouta rolled his eyes at Prince Aruki's comment about his clothing, letting out an exasperated sigh to accompany the gesture. This guy... He said nothing in reply, though, in glancing down at the revealing, gypsy-style outfit he was currently dressed in, he could definitely see what Aruki meant. XXX
The two started walking, and Kou folded his hands neatly in front of him out of pure habit, listening to the Prince as he spoke. As the conversation shifted to talk of the castle, Kou sucked in a breath and made the decision to open up. He spoke - although vaguely - about how, before today, he'd never been in a room any larger than five meters wide. "I have to admit, I was rather unnerved when I first saw the castle. All my life I've been confined to small areas, where I can be familiar with every aspect of my environment, every crack in the floor or dent in the ceiling. Vast places such as this are almost scary in a way." Kou turned to look at Aruki with a calm stare. "I will not deny that I am grateful to you, but it still doesn't feel as if I'm truly free." XX
Kou's voice was quiet, but stern, and he showed no hint of fear in his expression although he couldn't help but feel the slightest bit nervous. He said nothing more, his gaze turning to the floor in front of him as he followed Aruki into a large room - almost as big as Mia's study had been - which he soon defined as a dressing room, judging by the clothing and bits of cloth scattered about. Is every room in the godly castle so large? Its a bit ridiculous... XXX
As two different outfits were held before him, Kou almost laughed, finding his two choices to be rather amusing. His eyes lingered for a moment on the former of the two, picking out the similarities between it and the outfit he was wearing, but he chose the second without doubt. He'd always preferred warmer clothing. Surprisingly, though, he reached into the wardrobe himself and pulled out a set identical to the one Aruki had in his hands, only several sizes larger. "If you don't mind, I'd much prefer to wear something that isn't form-fitting. I'm a bit tired of wearing clothes that are far too small for me." XXX
With a barely noticeable smirk, Kouta changed clothes right then and there, having no shame whatsoever. He couldn't care less about who saw him, after all, he'd spent years near-naked on a stage in front of a crowd, so what room did he have for getting embarrassed? Kou's demeanor softened the slightest bit when he was settled into the new clothes, sleeves that hung just past his fingertips and pants that slipped just barely off his hips. Grateful to be out of his previous garb, Kou didn't realize he was smiling until he saw Aruki's surprised expression. "What? Even I smile sometimes." He grumbled. XX
"Excuse me..." Aiko entered the room then, spotting the Prince and walking over with a soft grin. "Um, Ruki-sama, a couple of your personal servants were requested to work in other parts of the palace, where they're needed more. Y-Yukazu-sama asked me to give these to you to sign..." The girl handed Aruki a small stack of papers, and from the small amount of words Kou could read, he assumed they had to do with 'accepting or denying a transfer' or something similar. I really should have let Hana teach me how to read, instead of turning him down. I can't even remember why. XX
Recalling his earlier deal with Prince Aruki, Kouta allowed himself to go against his instincts, which were screaming bloody murder. "Oujisama, if you need a personal servant, I'd be more than happy to fill that role. It would certainly make it easier for you to hold your end of our deal, and I'd much rather spend my time with someone I recognize than someone I don't know." He lied. He honestly didn't want to spend time with anyone, much less a Prince, but so far Aruki hadn't done anything to steer him away, so he had no reason to dislike the idea of being a prince's personal servant. "If you'll have me." XX


I HAD HALF A POST WRITTEN OUT AND THEN I ACCIDENTALLY CLOSED THE WRONG TAB FUCK MY LIFE MAN!!! *enraged screams & sobs* Also, I wanted Aruki and Kouta to be seeing each other constantly (my heart), and this was the first thing that came to mind? I don't know what I'm doing.

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Aruki watched in a rather amused manner of how Kou ignored the clothes that he was holding on his hands to pick another one that had the style of the latter uniform. "Well, it's up to you though. I know servants don't have a whole lot of choices in terms of attire. But when you're off-duty, you can wear anything you like. We'll can head to town and buy you some new clothes if you don't have any."

Then, he placed the uniforms he was holding back to where they were as Kou just got dressed right in front of him. Well, they're of the same gender so there's really nothing to be embarrassed about. Aruki is confident that he almost knows how each and every male servant in the castle would look like when they're half-naked or literally didn't wear anything at all. The same also applies to his brothers. Gazing at Kou, he really felt that the boy was beautiful, almost in a pure feminine way, though not on the same level as Yukazu yet. His skin was smooth and fair, with some scars here and there but they didn't spoil how good it looks.

However, what really takes him aback was the smile that suddenly appeared on Kou's face. He blinked furiously at the sight, until the other boy's blunt statement was spoke up. Though in reply, he just shrug with a whistle.

The door suddenly swung open again, and this time walked in was Aiko, one of Yukazu's personal maids and confiding friends. And she was carrying another mountain of papers. And unsurprisingly, they did come from Aruki's "adorable nii-chan." Making a facepalm, he let out a sigh, "Even when he had gone truffle hunting, he still could come up with work for me to do, huh?" Then, he gazed up at Aiko, "Can you bring it to my study? I will take care of them later after lunch."

The girl nodded as she went away. Kou then went on asking something like being his personal servant, though he brush it off while threw his head towards the direction of a pendulum clock standing at the corner of the room. "It's lunch time in the castle around this time every day. I think most of everyone had gathered there so let's go and grab something to eat before they all ran out. We can't discuss about it with empty stomachs, can we?" With that said, Aruki led Kou through the halls towards the servants' dining room.

Inside, it looks just like an inn you can found in every street of the country - noisy, bustling with chatters, drunkards and mountains of food. The only difference is that it has a more elegant feel to it due to the structure. Most of them didn't even notice that the Prince himself was entering and just got on with their conversations. What was even harder to believe a Prince actually have to stand in line and waited til his turn to get his foods, in a dining room which was meant for servants and workers alike only. But it's just how he had lived since he was young and the servants under him had also stopped concerning themselves about it.

When picking up their food, Aruki and Kou then proceeded to find a seat. And the caught sight of Mia and Isolde sitting together in a table in the corner of the room, chatting while each holding what seemed to be the largest glass of ale ever. "Hey, mind if we sit with you guys?" Aruki asked as they sat down at the table.

"So, how has our new maid boy get on with the life here after his first few couple of hours?" Isolde asked and gulped down the beer in her glass.

"Well, he certainly is learning fast, am I right?" Aruki replied and gave Kou a grin, before turning to Mia, "And by the way, Miachelis-san. There is still opening spot for my personal servant, right? Do you think you can apply Kou-san here to that spot? I'm pretty sure he'll fit that position well. And there will be less burden of having to babysit me for Isolde too."

Isolde rolled her eyes, "Puh-lease. If there's a day that I can get my eye off the oh-so-independent Ruki-sama here, it probably would be the end of the world."


Aw, I certainly understand how that felt xD
And there isn't a better idea, girl :D

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Kouta followed Aruki to the dining hall, and was only slightly surprised when the Prince joined him in line. I can't tell if he's just showing off, or if he really does do this every day. He was getting frustrated by how difficult it was to decipher Prince Aruki's expressions. Most people were easy to read, easy to understand, but he wasn't. Not that it really mattered in the whole of things, Kou was just convinced the guy wasn't as 'nice' as he seemed to be. XX
What genuinely surprised him, however, was the amount of food he found on his tray. An apple, meat, potatoes, milk. The meal itself was more food than he'd had in the past three days altogether. Wow...no wonder everyone seems to like it here... As Aruki took his seat, Kou sat down a foot or so away from him, across from Mia. His old friend smiled comfortingly at him and Kou returned the gesture before Mia returned to the conversation he was having with Isolde. Kou didn't pay much attention to what they were speaking about, too preoccupied with the outstanding quality of his food to care. XXX
A few moments later, Aiko joined them at the table with her own lunch, and Kouta smiled gently to her as she took a seat beside him. The two chatted softly, about his new clothing and the food. He pretended not to notice Mia's eyes watching him, most likely imagining Maya's form instead of Aiko's. XXX
The blue-haired man turned to Aruki with a grin. "I think it'll be good for him to work closely with someone of the Royal Family, so I don't mind giving him the position. But I should warn you, Ruki-sama: Kou isn't someone who is easily persuaded. You'll need to be patient if you want to befriend him. However, once you gain his trust, I can assure you that he will never leave your side. It's just a matter of earning his respect." XX
Kouta heard none of this, absorbed in his now-animated conversation with Aiko. Mia gave the two a fond look before standing. "Well, I'm afraid I have to go back to work. Enjoy your meal~ Ai-chan, try not to take too long, alright?" The blonde girl nodded in response, and Mia left, waving goodbye to Kou as he did. Aiko then focused on finishing her meal, and Kou turned to look down at his own empty tray. Has it really been years since I had a full meal? How pathetic. On instinct, his arms curled around his stomach, and he found himself feeling the smallest bit embarrassed by how thin he was. XXX
Once Aiko was done eating, she politely excused herself and bid Kouta goodbye as she left, hurrying out of the room. Kou waited patiently for his companions to finish their meals, watching the people around him and trying not to eavesdrop on the conversation Aruki was having with Isolde. He didn't want to be curious about what they were talking about. He wasn't supposed to be curious, he was supposed to keep to himself, as if he wasn't even there. At least that's what he'd been taught. It's going to be hard to adjust to this environment, I can tell already. Kou decided, letting out a sleepy sigh. XXX
It was only then that he noticed how tired he was. After waking up at the crack of dawn, dancing for nearly five hours without rest, running through half the city, fighting several grown men, and exploring the castle, he was downright exhausted. He tried not to let it show. It was also then that he realized a personal servant might actually sleep in the Prince's room, and he was both intrigued and genuinely frightened by the thought of having to share space with someone he didn't know. Not because he was embarrassed, but because he still didn't know if he could trust Aruki enough to sleep around him. XXX
Though, if he does end up being trustworthy, it'd probably be safer than sleeping in an unlocked room by myself. Kouta didn't feel like asking Aruki about it, so he didn't bring it up, and simply followed the Prince's lead when he finally finished his meal. As they left the dining hall, Kouta followed dutifully behind Aruki and Isolde, close enough to not lose them in the crowd but not close enough to hear their hushed conversation. This might not be so bad... XX


I was listening to this song earlier today, by Coldplay. The lyrics and video remind of how Hina would've felt during the in-between time after Makko had died and before he'd been reborn. The main vocalist's wife left him a while back, and that's why that's probably why the song - and album - sound so sad. XX
Also, I feel like despite Kouta's disliking of Aruki, he'd still be a wonderful servant, following every order perfectly even before he starts to trust the guy.

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Aruki listened to Mia's advice while munching sausage and then nodded in reply, "Well, that's something I can tell at first sight anyway. After all, reading people and befriending them is something of my professions, right? Aren't you the same when Akiha-niisama found you and bring you here?" He winked, "So, you don't have to worry, even though he's going to be a bit of a headstrong for now but everyone has their own beginnings. He's going to make one of the best servants I've ever had."

Moments later, Mia excused himself and left to take care of his work, in which Aruki waved to him with a smile, "Don't work too hard." Aiko also left when she had finished her meal. And when they've finished their own dishes, Aruki and Isolde also stood up from where they were sitting to head out of the dining room, along with Kou. They now headed for Aruki's study to finish with the work that Yukazu has given him, much to Aruki's dismay.

While they were still walking and talking, Isolde turned back to Kou, apparently both of them had noticed how Kou had tried to keep his distance with them ever since the beginning of the meal, "Hey, shorty. Why are you walking so far behind? Just move up here, we're not going to eat you or anything. How can you know more about the charming prince who are now your boss if you're like that."

Aruki hit Isolde with his elbow, "That's exactly why you're still single, Isolde." He said with a hint of joking and sarcasm.

"The same also goes to you, my oh-so-highly prince." Isolde snickered back.

They managed to pull Kou into their conversation, after all. Of course, they didn't mind the slightest having someone else joining them. But that's the first step of earning someone's trust, after all. When they've arrived at the study, Isolde decided to take her leave, saying that she "got some shits she needed to take care of." And once again, Aruki could only facepalmed when he saw the amount of papers standing proudly on his desk.

Shrugging, "Well, it's my every day job, after all. When it comes to Yukazu-niisama, he'll never ran out of jobs and errands for me to do. Okay, while I'm signing them, your first job is to assign those books over there to their shelves. Their covers have the exact same colors with their selves so it should be easy, right?" He grinned as both of them get down to their work.

After Aruki is finished with whatever he got to do, he took Kou around the castle or let him observe things that he'd do everyday. They took a few ride around the castle's ground and he was a bit surprised that Kou did know how to ride, which was something quite unusual. Then, he did some sword practice session with Isolde. He managed to withhold for 15 minutes at best, which is something remarkable for someone who stands before the kingdom's strongest soldier already. They fooled around the castle and Aruki showed Kou the life around the castle.

When Yukazu and Akiha returned, it was already quite dark already. Though both of them are now looking quite ragged, which was quite normal after a whole afternoon around the woods, "Ruki-chan, have you finished the work I've given?" Yukazu said.

"Of course I have. You would have my head for breakfast if I didn't, right?". He said with a chuckle, which Yukazu replied with a pout. "Anyway, I think the bath is ready, why don't we just go and relax ourselves a bit before dinner? Kou-san, why don't you come along?"

And so, the four of them headed for the royal bathroom. Inside, it was a huge room with a huge bathing pool in the middle. While Aruki was washing Akiha's back and chatted with him about what had happened during the day, Yukazu had managed to pull Kou down with him into the pool as he couldn't seemed to be relaxed while immersing himself in the warm water.

"Wah ~ It was such a long day. I think I've found more than enough truffles to eat for 10 years." He said while leaning himself on the edge of the pool and grinning to Kou to ease his seemingly awkwardness, "Don't be so tense. I know you might think that it's weird that you are to bath with the Princes of your kingdom, but if you ask around then you'll find out that something like this isn't unusual. We see our servants like our family. So, you're Ruki-chan's new servant, huh? Looks like you're exactly the type that he would pick. But just keep in mind that he is always my cute little brother and I'm not handing him over to anyone." He pouted in a rather childish manner.


I see, well that seemed to suit Makoto and Hinata a lot :D
And yeah, Aruki probably would see that, he knows how to choose people working for him xD

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Kouta walked in silence, observing the people they passed by. It took him a moment to realize Isolde was speaking to him, as he was making a decent effort not to hear what they were talking about. "Hey, shorty. Why are you walking so far behind? Just move up here, we're not going to eat you or anything. How can you know more about the charming prince who are now your boss if you're like that." Shorty? Kou frowned at the nickname, but moved up anyways, walking between Aruki and Isolde as the two quickly dragged him into their conversation. It was actually quite pleasant, and although Kou didn't add a whole lot himself, he found enjoyment in hearing his companions complain about politics or argue over fighting techniques. XXX
Isolde took her leave as the three arrived back at Aruki's study, and Kouta stared in admiration at the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, most of which were filled to the brim. He was broken out of his awe-inspired trance as Aruki spoke to him, and Kou nodded in reply, moving the stacks of books from the desk to the floor, where he sorted them out in terms of color. From there he sorted them by the hue of the color - if he was going to do a job, he was going to be thorough - and then moved them onto their respective shelves. He didn't stop himself from opening up a few of the books and attempting to read. XX
Aruki finished his paperwork only shortly after Kou finished shelving the books, and the two left the study, instead embarking on a detailed tour of the castle. Kou had already been shown a few of the more important rooms by Aiko, but Aruki took him just about everywhere in the castle, showing him different routines and small everyday tasks that were common in the palace. He was impressed and surprised at the Prince's enthusiasm about the tour. XX
The two eventually ended up in the stables, and decided to go horseback riding. Prince Aruki showed obvious surprise in learning that Kouta already knew how to ride a horse, not knowing that Kou had once lived on a farm and gone riding nearly every day. The ride was pleasant, but what Kou found most enjoyable out of the day was his sparring session with Isolde. He managed to hold against her for a full fifteen minutes - which apparently hadn't happened before, considering the crowd that had formed around the match - before he was disarmed. Kou could sense that even Isolde was impressed. XX
After the sparring session, Aruki continued to show him a little bit more of the castle, and Kouta started to feel drowsy, though he neglected to show or make any mention of the fact. He did, however, tense very visibly when two of the older princes suddenly showed up behind them. Kou stood off to the side and watched the three brothers converse. "Anyway, I think the bath is ready, why don't we just go and relax ourselves a bit before dinner? Kou-san, why don't you come along?" Kou nodded after a moment of confusion. He asked permission? Aren't I his servant? And what's with the honorifics? Odd. XX
The bath was filled with people, too many for Kou's comfort, but he said nothing and followed everyone else's example. He stopped for a moment to stare at the steaming pool of water, and yelped slightly when Yukazu pulled him into the water. he coughed a bit and settled against the wall of the pool, letting out a sigh as he sunk into the heat of the water. He couldn't remember the last time he'd actually had a real bath, as he'd usually only been given a bucket of lukewarm (or cold) water to keep his hair from looking obviously dirty whenever he danced in the pub. Baths were nicer than he'd thought. XXX
"Don't be so tense. I know you might think that it's weird that you are to bath with the Princes of your kingdom, but if you ask around then you'll find out that something like this isn't unusual. We see our servants like our family." Yes, I've noticed. "So, you're Ruki-chan's new servant, huh? Looks like you're exactly the type that he would pick." What the hell does that mean?! "But just keep in mind that he is always my cute little brother and I'm not handing him over to anyone." Kou chuckled at that. "Don't worry, Oujisama, stealing him away is not my intention. XXX
Yukazu seemed pleased with his statement, and moved on to chat with other people while Kou sunk deeper into the water. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt relaxed. The heat put him at ease, and he felt even more tired than he'd felt all day, until he finally passed out from pure exhaustion. XXX



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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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When Aruki has finished washing every pinch of dust off his body, he went to check on Kou and Yukazu. While his brother is seemingly enjoying himself, Kou seemed to have passed out as he was leaning himself against the edge of the bath and sleeping in a rather peaceful manner. Aruki sighed but smiled, nonetheless, "Really, who would fall asleep when taking a bath like this? But it couldn't be helped, today was a long day for him." Aruki said with a shrug.

"Looks like you're having someone to look after now, eh?" Yukazu swum over Aruki and said, "I'll still be watching you very closely from now on so don't get too comfortable."

Aruki nodded to his brother, "Yeah, I guess so." He grinned before holding Kou up from the bath. The boy was surprisingly thin so it wasn't really a hard task and he seemed to be in a deep slumber so he hadn't woken up. Aruki then carried Kou to a dressing room nearby and dressed him up in a bathing cloth before place him on his back to carry him to the servants' quarter. Most of the servants are now at the dining room already so he isn't bumping into anyone.

When he arrived at Kou's room, he gently put the boy down on his bed and cover him with a blanket. Gazing at his sleeping face one last time, Aruki grinned before heading off the room. Isolde was waiting for him outside of the door, "The Prince itself is actually caring for a mere servant as if they've been friends for years." She said to her master, "I wonder if I could ever find a country where something like this happens." A peaceful smile appeared on her face.

"Finally you've said something nice about me." He chuckled, "Come on, let's see what's on the menu tonight." He said as both of them headed for the dining room.

A long day seemed had finally passed, and when tomorrow came, it's going to be a new beginning, for both himself and Kou. He doesn't know why, but he can be certain about it.

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When Kouta awoke the next morning, he spent a full minute staring at the nicely painted wall in confusion before he remembered where he was, and all that had happened the day prior. His last memory of the day, in fact, was of the bath and a lot of white hair. What happened? Is that really all that I can remember? Something else must have happened... Annoyed, Kou got out of bed, only to realize he was still wearing nothing but a bath towel. Could this situation become any more mysterious? Looking around the room, he found his clothes folded neatly at the foot of the bed, and hastily put them back on. XX
Upon looking out the window, Kou was relieved to find that the sun was just barely rising, casting a soft, barely visible glow over the gardens outside. He jumped slightly as a quiet knock sounded at his door. "Kouta-san? Are you awake yet?" Opening the door just a crack, Aiko poked her head into the room, smiling when she saw he was already up and out of bed. "Ah, ohayo! I brought your breakfast, and thought perhaps we could eat together before we have to get to work~" Aiko stepped into the room and held up two trays of food. "Thank you. And I wouldn't mind some company!" XX
They ate their breakfasts leisurely, and Aiko explained a couple of the different jobs he might have to perform while working with Aruki. Kou noticed how she made a point of saying 'with' instead of 'for'. "Ruki-san is probably a lot different than the people you're used to, but I can almost guarantee that you'll end up liking him~" Aiko grinned widely, and returned the gesture with a wary, unsure smile of his own. "Now, since we're finished eating, I can show you where Ruki-san's room is. That way you can be there when he wakes, since I doubt he's up this early in the morning." XX
There were a surprising amount of other people walking about the castle - a small amount, yes, but still surprising - though everyone seemed to be putting a decent amount of effort into being as quiet as possible. Aiko and Kouta didn't say much while they walked, instead both observing those they passed and admiring the sunset that shown through the floor-to-ceiling windows that lined every hall. They stopped in front of a tall set of intricately decorated doors, Isolde sitting in a chair outside. Aiko greeted Isolde and then bid goodbye to both her and Kou before running off toward Mia's office. XX
Kouta watched Aiko walk away with a fond smile, then turned to Isolde and bowed slightly, moving to stand beside her. Neither said a word. Go figure... XX


So I decided to start watching Another (...so much death) and thought this song was really pretty, so I figured I should share it with my fellow J-Pop fan~

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Isolde stood quietly with her arms crossed next to Aruki's room. It's still quite early in the morning, but ever since she was still a gladiator, she had already been known for waking up with the sun. Well, it's not really a problem since her room is right next to her boss's - personal guard stuff. After having some morning warming-up with her boys, she's waiting for Aruki to accompany him to the grand hall of the castle, where the King and the First Prince have specifically required their sons and brothers to arrive - which was pretty much a rare thing.

Moments later, Isolde was rather surprised to see that Aiko - one of Yukazu's personal maids, and Kou was approaching her. Aiko greeted her before leaving for Mia's office for her morning duties. Nodding in return of Kou's bow, they both waited in silence for their boss to come out. Aside from her boys, Mia and Aruki, there doesn't seem to be anyone else she's particularly closed with in this castle. Most of them will either fear her or hate her, despite their outer polite demeanor - which was exactly how Kou is reacting to her. She's given up her hope of ever making any new friend now, not that it matters, anyway.

As the two of them are still lost in their own worlds, the wooden doors swung opened as Aruki stepped out from his room. He was in his royal attire and a white cape. Different from when he's in his informal clothes, Aruki really emits an aura of a true Prince now. He was a little surprise to see that Kou was also waiting for him, but greeted him with a smile, nonetheless, "Good morning, Kou-san. I didn't think you would be up this early. Did you sleep well?"

"Anyway, sorry for keeping you two waiting. I think my brothers are now on their ways too, so shall we?" He asked and began to walk his way through the halls, with his two servants accompanying him from behind. For the rest of the trip, they exchanged a couple of conversations with each other. On their ways, the other servants and guards also bowed and greeted them. Though there aren't that many people yet.

When Aruki arrived at the grand hall, Akiha and Yukazu had already been there. It seemed that they were waiting for him. They too are in the same attire as Aruki, which only serves to tell how formal this meeting is going to be. After greeting his brothers, the guards opened the doors as the three princes formally walked in. Isolde and Kou also made their way into the hall, but she told him to stay and wait at the door with her.

Sitting in the throne situated in the middle of the hall was Kain Zestiria III - the current King of the Demon Civitate and standing next to him was Izakyu - the First Prince. Standing in a horizontal line, with Aruki and Yukazu standing at the sides while Akiha is in the middle, the three of them placed their right hands over their chest as they knelt down, bowing their heads in a respectful manner to their father.

"Dear father and Izakyu-niisama, we have arrived." Akiha spoke up, "Is there any urgent business that require our presences?"

The feared King then risen up from his throne and began to talk in a stern and stoic manner, "As you all may have known by now, a neighboring kingdom is planning an invasion in the north. It seemed that they have already breached the borderline and taking into account of how weak our defenses there, there's no doubt we'll be outnumbered if measures aren't taken. Which is why, me and Izakyu will personally head there to command our army this afternoon."

Aruki still held his head down, but raised his eyebrow upon hearing what his father said. It seemed that the situation was bad from the sound of it, apparently. "During our absences, I want the three of you to take charge of everything within the citadel and the castle while we are focusing our forces for the sake of the northern region. Can I entrusted this great duty to you?"

"Yes, father." The three of them replied.


LOL That anime is creepier than Final Destination, I tell you.

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Kouta observed Isolde in his peripheral vision, though the subtle side-stare doesn't last long before Prince Aruki appeared, the beautiful wooden doors swinging open dramatically and falling closed behind him. "Good morning, Kou-san. I didn't think you would be up this early. Did you sleep well?" Kou silently shushed the voice in his head telling him Aruki was handsome in his formal garb - he didn't like the guy, but he couldn't exactly say he looked bad either - and replied with a curt nod. "Better than I have in a long time, actually." He allowed himself to smile. A small one, but a smile all the same. XX
"Anyway, sorry for keeping you two waiting. I think my brothers are now on their ways too, so shall we?" Both Kouta and Isolde nodded in agreement, and the three headed off down the long, near-empty halls. Once again, Kou found himself standing outside yet another set of humongous, beautifully decorated doors, though these were even taller and more detailed than those of Aruki's chambers. Kou had never seen doors so large, and stood staring at them in awe for a full second before he turned to look at the other two Princes. This must be of the utmost importance if all three Princes are here... XX
Kouta walked with his shoulders only inches from Isolde's forearms as they entered the vast hall, and immediately his breath was taken away by how grand the room was. If the castle walkways were beautiful, this room was so much more so: tall stained glass windows casting soft colored light across the floor, stone pillars with images carved into their faces, huge glass chandeliers that hung on chains from the vaulted ceiling. He would have spent the next hour staring at the beauty of the room if Isolde hadn't nudged him with her elbow, stopping him from walking any further. "Wait here, with me." XXXX
"Isolde, who are they?" Kou asked, making a vague gesture toward the two men on the other side of the room. Isolde stared straight ahead, and almost looked reluctant to tell him, but spoke firmly and without a hint of hesitation. "The First Prince, Izakyu, and King Kain Alfonso Britannia Zestiria the Second." Kou stiffened. Several different emotions played in his mind - anger, fear, hatred - as he eyed the man who had caused all his suffering. The King's rule had forced his parents to send him away, and they were probably dead now, just like his aunt and uncle, whose deaths were also his fault. XX
Kouta began to take a step forward, but Isolde's strong hand wrapped around his arm. He turned to glare harshly at her, and all she did was stare back, shaking her head ever so slightly. With a disgruntled sigh, Kou jerked his arm from her grasp and moved to lean against the wall beside the entrance, watching as the King addressed his sons. He was surprised to find that he actually knew what they were talking about. The neighboring kingdom - Caelum, if he remembered correctly - had been one of the places his aunt had taught him about as a child. According to her, they were the only kingdom strong enough to fight back again King Kain and the Exercitus Dei, and as thus, many of the Demon Civitate's citizens had fled to the happier country. XX
Once the King had finished speaking, the three younger Princes replied in such a robotic and formal matter that Kou was actually reminded of the way he replied to his previous Masters. It made him visibly cringe. Does the King even have a relationship with his sons? Everything is so formal and impersonal, as if they're simply his servants instead of his own flesh and blood... The whole ordeal was getting on Kou's nerves, but he said nothing as the three exited the great hall. He didn't ask about what kind of duties the Prince would now have either, knowing it wasn't his place to be inquisitive. XXX
If the Prince is going to be more busy from now on, I suppose I will be, as well. Not that it isn't welcome, anything to occupy my mind would be nice. Kouta followed along with Isolde and Aruki's conversation, adding in a few words here and there, but mostly observing the words they used and how comfortable they seemed to be with one another. Almost as if they were siblings or a couple. I guess I can't say I don't know what its like to be close to someone else... After all, Kouta had been ever so close to Mia and Maya all those years ago, even if he'd long since lost that sense of trust in others. XX
Kouta spent the rest of the walk stuck in his thoughts, paying no more attention to his surroundings than was necessary not to crash into anybody else. XX


Oh, I agree! But I've already finished it, and I've grown to like it, despite the gore. I was surprised to find that it was even more graphic than SNK, though. Also, this is kind of interesting, but I feel like Kouta and Isolde are going to become really good friends over time, gaining a lot of respect for each other.

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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"Ah ~ It looks like I wouldn't get to sneak out for some patrolling often for the next month to come." Aruki groaned and scratched the back of his head as he made his way back to his room with his subordinates. Things are certainly going to become busier for him now that his father and eldest brother are off to take care of the invasion of the Caeden Empire in the North. "I really want to personally taking part in a war too ~"

Isolde snickered, "Believe me. When you've actually seen a war by your own eyes, you'll run and hide behind my back."

Aruki hit his guard with his elbow with a grimace, "I'm not a chicken, you know."

"We'll see." She smirked before turned quiet for a moment to think about something, "Caeden Empire is not an opponent to be taken lightly should they ever planned an invasion, because their army is the only force strong enough to fight against our Imperial Army and even the Exercitus Dei. I was surprise that he didn't command me or my guys to take action though. If they were to take direct counter-attack just like that, I don't think it was a smart move."

"Well, Empress Isabella is the youngest ruler in the history of their country, but within just two years, she had set out many policies and innovations that had led Caeden to be one of the most prosperous empires of the continent that could potentially surpass even us. Her wisdom sure is something that would really pose a threat. But I don't think my father will give up easily." Aruki remarked with a grin.

"Figure." Isolde shrugged.

The three of them chatted a bit until they reached Aruki's room. He got changed into his casual attire and had breakfast with the other two right in his room, as he had requested the chef to bring some for himself and both Isolde and Kou. They chatted while enjoying their meal, though in a haste manner because Aruki didn't want Yukazu barged into room for being late, which was something he'd rather not happening this early in the morning.

When they've finished, they began to set their way to Aruki's study. "Oh, Kou-san. I almost forgot. There's a class for new servants this afternoon and I've arranged our scholar so if you like, you can take that class." Aruki turned to Kou and said with a grin.


I think so too :D
Anyway, I've added up some more characters. I've had some ideas for them xD

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"Ah ~ It looks like I wouldn't get to sneak out for some patrolling often for the next month to come." Kouta almost laughed aloud. I can't tell if his inability to sneak off is going to more work for me or less. It made sense that it would be less work for him if he didn't have to spend all day searching for the guy, but then again, it could also mean dealing with whatever ridiculous shenangins he'd pull out of boredom. I guess I'll have to wait and see. He clasped his hands behind his back as they walked, listening to the conversation between Aruki and Isolde. "I really want to personally taking part in a war too~" XXXX
What? Surprised, Kou looked to Aruki with slight distaste. This guy wants to go into a war? He's never even faced real combat, he's far too naive to want to be a part of such bloodshed. Isolde was quick to say something about it, and Kou watched with amusement as the Prince protested about 'not being a chicken'. He became especially interested in the conversation as the topic shifted to the neighboring country - Caeden. Kou himself could only remember small snippets of information he'd gotten from his aunt about how the country's original Heiress had apparently disappeared several decades back, leaving all royal affairs to the country's council until the younger Heiress came of age. Although, he had no way of knowing if such facts were true. XX
The conversation shifted through a couple of other topics before they finally reached their destination. Kouta was genuinely surprised by the breakfast that was waiting for them, and despite having already eaten a meal that morning, he didn't hold back his appetite. By no means was he messy, but he definitely wasn't shy with how much he could eat. It seemed that Isolde and Aruki both had similar appetites, though, so he didn't stand out too much. I suppose they'd be expecting this anyway, considering I've lived nearly half of my life with hardly any food at all. Its not like I wouldn't be hungry, really. XX
And, once again, they were traipsing through the castle halls, this time heading for the Prince's study. As they neared the room, Kouta began to think about the massive amounts of books he'd seen the day previous, and silently wondered if he'd ever be able to read any of them. He couldn't see how the skill could be all that important, but it wouldn't necessarily be bad to learn. "Oh, Kou-san. I almost forgot. There's a class for new servants this afternoon and I've arranged our scholar so if you like, you can take that class." How ironic. Its a good idea, although...I don't think being away from him would be a good idea. Not yet, anyways. "Thank you for the offer, Oujisama, but I must decline. I'm afraid being near strangers isn't something I'm quite cut out for." XX
Well, lets just hope I don't go and regret this decision someday. Kouta offered a half-smile and followed Prince Aruki into the study, once again taking a moment to admire the tall cases of brightly colored books before taking the orders given to him and getting to work. No, I'm not allowed to have regrets. XX


I hope its okay that Kouta didn't take the class. I thought it'd separate them too much. (and who doesn't wanna see Aruki teaching Kou how to read, eh?)

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

[color=black]【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】

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Aruki listened to his new servant's decline of studying with their scholar, claiming how he didn't like to be near strangers. He raises his eyebrow and thought for a moment, before grinning again, "If that's the case, then how about I will be teaching you instead? If you're able to read then it would be a great help for me. Think about it and tell me soon, okay? I'll be waiting for your reply ~"

When they arrived at the study, the first things they saw were mountains of papers and books lying all over the room, as if all the work that the King and Izakyu had left behind were all transferred into their study. Yukazu and Aiko were also there, who seemingly waiting for them. Aruki gave himself a facepalm at the sight, "Man, this is going to be a real hassle."

Isolde chuckled, "Now you really can't escape, I almost feel bad for you. Oh well, have fun working then. I'm still having some asses to kick."

With that said, the General excused herself and took her leave. "Well, let's get working then." Aruki stretched his arms and both of them walked into the room with caution as not to accidentally trampling on any of the paper. And so, while Yukazu and Aruki kept signing the papers in a rushing manner that their arms were aching, but they couldn't have a moment to stop since the deadline is hanging over them. Meanwhile, Aiko and Kou were asked to rearranging things, which is why they kept running around the room picking books and papers in a non-stop motion.

Things went on like that until lunch break as they were undoubtedly exhausted.

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"If that's the case, then how about I will be teaching you instead? If you're able to read then it would be a great help for me. Think about it and tell me soon, okay? I'll be waiting for your reply~" Kouta was very obviously surprised by Aruki's offer, though his expression was quickly restored to its calm and hard-to-read state. "Oh, thank you very much, sir. I will certainly think it over." Though he knew it was for the Prince's own gain, Kou was still impressed by his willingness to help. After all, teaching someone to read was definitely going to be a lot of work, especially when teaching a person who could only read about eight words as it was. He had doubts about the idea, but overall, he knew he'd end up accepting the offer, only if it would give him a chance to understand some of the many books sitting in the Prince's study. Learning from him can't be too bad. Anything's better than being clueless. XX
Upon entering the study, Kou was greeted by Aiko's bright presence, and she waved to him with a smile. He couldn't help but feel bad for the Princes when he caught sight of just how many papers they had to read and sign. Who knew royalty had a job like this... Kou watched with silent amusement as Aruki frowned at the sight. He didn't miss how Yukazu smirked at his brother's demise, and found it ironic, as the older Prince had just as much work to do, if not more. "Now you really can't escape, I almost feel bad for you. Oh well, have fun working then. I'm still having some asses to kick." XXX
Kouta watched Isolde disappear out the door with a blank stare. "Well, let's get working then." As Aruki and Yukazu got to work on the tall stacks of papers around them, Kou and Aiko were asked to tidy the cluttered study. The mess has somehow managed to return despite Kou's efforts at cleaning the place the day prior, but then again, all he'd really done was re-shelve some of the books that had been scattered about. Aiko allowed him to shelve the books by himself, and got to work dusting the shelves and whatever else had accumulated dirt in the room, every once in a while moving to straighten a leaning stack of paperwork and picking up any that happened to fall to the floor in the Princes' rush to sign everything that was there. XXXXX
Several hours passed. By the time a lunch break was announced, the study was spotless, and the stacks of paperwork were now tremendously smaller. Another servant came in to take the signed documents and left to deliver them. As they all made their way toward the dining hall, Kouta listened intently as Aiko told him about one of her favorite books. It was an old love story about a young girl who worked as a slave, and dreamed of living in a castle and finding true love. "Then she goes to the ball in disguise, and falls in love with the prince! And even after she leaves, he goes searching for her, and then they get married and live happily ever after~" Kou listened, amused by how much Aiko loved the fairytale, despite how impossible it was. XX
Oddly enough, all the people in the room don't seem as suffocating as they were yesterday, although it may have been simply because I was so exhausted at the time... Looking around the crowded hall, Kouta watched as people chatted animatedly about who-knows-what and he couldn't help but notice that not a single person looked upset or unhappy. Everyone's smiling but me, I suppose. He turned back to his conversation with Aiko as they moved through the line to collect their meals, and then followed his companions to where Isolde and Mia were already sitting and talking about the war. XX
The conversation stopped as they approached, unsurprisingly. Mia smiled as Aiko and Kouta sat on either side of him, ruffling both their hair affectionately. "How was your first official day of work, Kou?" "It was...different from what I was expecting. But not that different." Kouta said, vague as ever. Mia gave an understanding nod. "Well, I suppose this is your way of saying it was enjoyable, or at least tolerable?" Kou said nothing, focusing completely on the large amount of food in front of him, and Mia let out an exasperated sigh, though he didn't bother Kouta about the subject and instead struck up a new conversation with the rest of their groupmates. Kouta ate in peace, adding nothing to the chat except mild and silent disinterest. XX
After Mia had left - Aiko joining him this time, for whatever reason - Kou returned his dishes to the cooks and returned to the table, taking a seat next to Aruki and ignoring the animated chat going back and forth between Isolde and Yukazu. "Oujisama, I've been thinking over your offer from this morning, and if you don't mind teaching me, I would like to learn how to read. However, I must ask - why bother? You're a Prince, the second highest rank in the Kingdom. Wouldn't it just be easier to force me to take the class than to teach me yourself?" Kou stared straight into Aruki's eyes as he spoke, in a way that could have been extremely unnerving, had there been anything other than pure honesty whirling about inside them. "It just seems like a hassle." XXX


I just watched the movie Hal and hoo boy is it sad. Hugest freakin' plot twist too! If you haven't seen it, you should, the animation is absolutely stunning~ (Also, if it isn't obvious, the story is Cinderella. I'm thinking she represents Kouta in a way, and Aruki could be the Prince she ends up marrying, hehe~)

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⌈ I believe that no matter what your status is, you still deserve to have a good life. βŒ‹
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【 Planetarium - nero 】

【 Dialogue : #086CDF : Thought : #016A95 】

【 Face Claim : Zen Wistaria | Akagami no Shirayukihime 】


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When they're finally finished with all the mountains of documents and paperwork, Aruki couldn't felt more relieved as the servants came in and took them all away. Lying faced-down on his desk, he sighed, "Wah, I'm totally beat..." Though this had become his everyday job since long ago, Aruki still couldn't get over how tiring, exhausting and boring it was. Yet his "cute" older brother just love to torment him in all ways possible. So much that sometimes he secretly wondered if Yukazu was a sadist or something.

"Well, you shouldn't complain. If there's someone you should show some pity, it's Akiha-niichan." Yukazu pouted once again as he rearranged some of the stuffs on his desk.

"Yeah, I know..." Aruki sighed again. Well, it's true. Akiha is pretty much the one who takes charge in place of Izakyu now, not to mention the amount of papers he had to signed is just as much as theirs, plus he's also the Head Pharmacist of the Castle. It's pretty much easy to see how much work are being poured on his head now. So it's naturally that they also had to help him however they can.

But at least lunch break is here, so they can get off their line of work for some times. As the four of them made their ways to the dining hall of the castle, they all indulged in their own conversations. While Aiko was telling Kou a fairy tale, Yukazu bugged Aruki about all sorts of herbs and plants that they found yesterday on Akiha's and his hunt. Apparently Akiha is testing with them to invent some new cures for the soldiers in the North.

As usual, Isolde was caught chatting with Mia while enjoying a large ale of beer as usual. It seemed that the topic of war had become quite hot, as everyone was chatting about it. Well, it's certainly not something that everybody wants. Their relationship with the kingdom of Caeden has always remained in a neutral state. Making enemy with a kingdom whose strength matches up to your own doesn't seem to be a smart move, but no one knows what Empress Isabella thinks.

When Aiko and Mia took their leave, Kou suddenly raised the question as of why Aruki offered to teach him instead of forcing him to learn with the scholar. Aruki blinked at first, then burst out laughing, "That's a cute question. Why would I do something like that with my servants? You are not a slave anymore, so no one has the right to force you to do anything, right?" He grinned brightly, "Besides, since I'm pretty much having to stick around the castle now, I have to find something to do."

"Trust me, shorty, if there's a day when the so-called "second highest rank in the Kingdom" Prince here uses his force to subdue any of his servants then it would also be the day when I slit my own throat." Isolde commented as she gulping down the beer from her ale.

"Oh, do you want me to subdue you right here?" Aruki throws his bodyguard a challenging look.

"Like you would dare." Isolde stuck out her tongue and teased.

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Kouta was taken aback by Aruki's words, and felt his face heat up as he came to realize just how wrong he'd been about the Royal Family. Or at least about the youngest Prince. This guy really is a saint, isn't he? So far, Kouta hadn't found a single reason to hate Aruki, and it was infuriating. He didn't want to like him, didn't want to enjoy his presence or be grateful to him. He wanted to prove that all men were the same, that everyone who held power over other people were cruel and vicious and mean. Yet he couldn't do any of those things, not so long as Aruki was the way he was: sweet and caring. XX
Glaring at his empty plate in frustration, Kou picked at a chicken bone with his fork, trying - in vain - to ignore the otherwise amusing conversation going on beside him. He let his thoughts wander, eventually going back to his sparring session with Isolde the previous afternoon. He'd managed to hold his own for a full fifteen minutes against the country's strongest and most feared warrior, which no one else had ever done before, that he knew of anyway. I wonder if I'll end up becoming his personal bodyguard, like her. When he thought it over, the idea of being a Prince's bodyguard was rather promising. XX
As Aruki's bodyguard, Kou would be spending all his time with the Prince, which would offer plenty of opportunities to observe him. Being a bodyguard would also mean a decent amount of battle training, which could definitely come in handy. Not to mention being respected by others, perhaps even admired, not that he really cared about either of those options. Still, being a personal servant sounds much more peaceful and enjoyable, in every way. XX
By the time he had finished his lengthy inner monologue, Aruki and Isodle had finished their meals. Kouta turned his attention to them, and the conversation continued for a few more minutes before the three returned their dishes to the kitchen and headed out of the cafeteria, Yukazu tagging along. Kou was pretty sure the older Prince enjoyed teasing him, as Yukazu continued to chat on and on with him about everything under the son, and didn't seem to care whether or not Kou actually contributed to the conversation. Kou was also pretty sure Isolde and Aruki enjoyed watching him suffer. XX
After about twenty minutes of walking and a lack of decent responses, Yukazu got bored and disappeared. Kou was relieved. He listened intently to the conversation between Isolde and Aruki, though he offered nothing of his own, and silently twisted his fingers around each other out of habit. It was a nervous tick he really didn't understand. When the question arose of what they were going to do for the rest of the day, Kou quietly spoke up about how much he'd enjoyed horseback riding the day before. It wasn't a lie, he'd missed horseback riding. He cringed out how suppressed the suggestion was. XX
Why should I feel like I can't give my opinion? They already said that I wasn't a slave, so why do I feel so conflicted about speaking up about things? XXX


This is random, but I'm positive Kouta will just burst out crying the first time Aruki kisses him, because he hasn't been treated gently since he was a kid. I also started re-reading Nabari no O, and Kouta kind of reminds me of Miharu in a way. You should read the series when you get some spare time after final exams! The art is pretty bad at first, but once you get into the later volumes, its really beautiful, and the plot is absolutely amazing. Plus, NINJAS!!!