Beyblade Fan Fiction ❯ Schwarze Unterwelt ❯ Chapter 6

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

This chapter is dedicated to all our readers who are most probably too pissed off at the long update to read this anymore.
Disclaimer: Not Ours.
Schwarze Unterwelt - Chapter 6
Kai hid in the shadows, blending in easily with the darkness he had become so accustomed to. Within the room, the cluster of soldiers sat at the table, laughing uproariously at some joke that only sounded funny to their alcohol-addled minds. He sneered at the lack of self-discipline the bunch displayed.
`Palace guards indeed. It is of no wonder that the King had thought Ray was captured - with the level of competency this group shows, anything was believable.'
He had never found the patience to withstand their mindless chatter. Thus, he had built up this blank personality, with the added hint of apathy to ward off any idiot who thought he might be lonely. He scoffed at the thought. Any form of peacefulness he might have was very much appreciated, thank you very much.
His ears perked at the mention of his name, something that never seemed to spur the conversation on amongst those goons. His interest perked when he realized they were debating the odds of who would win the tournament tomorrow.
“What about that kid with blue hair?”
`Kid, indeed! I probably have much more experience in battle than that brainless captain, and speaking of brains…'
“Nah, it's impossible! He'd probably be the first to fall - have you seen those wimpy arms of his?”
The troop of men broke up in laughter, some slamming fists on the table.
“He looks as though his arms were to break from carrying the practice sword! He won't survive ten minutes on the field!”
“Ten! I say, five!”
An evil glint entered his gaze as he eyed his soon-to-be opponents. As much as he was proud of his own skills at deceit, having weak and mindless fools insult his capacity to fight was something they would never live down. Not without much pain, of course.
He smirked, pushing himself off of the walls as his unknowing prey within started to place bets. Oh yes, there'd be pain, lots and lots of it.
“Your Highness, it is almost time. We should leave soon if we are to arrive at the match on time.”
He stood in a fluid motion from the desk, smoothing out his attire as he went. Today was the day they would decide on his personal guard. After much contemplation, he had decided to heed Max's warning. After all, what harm could being a little extra careful be? At least he'd know that he need not fear for his life in his sleep.
He followed the guard out of his study, hastening toward the courtyard in the middle of the palace. He was looking forward to this fight; the list of contenders for the spot as his personal guard had seemed fairly promising. Besides, he would never pass up the opportunity to witness a fight, what more a fight between the Palace's personally trained guards. What he didn't know, of course, was that much of them were practically the epitome of a wasted investment.
Silence met him as he entered the courtyard and seated himself next to his Father. Noticing his arrival, the commentator practically bounced onto the dais and started to announce the rules of the competition. Soon enough, the fighting started as Ray studied each and every soldier that might become his personal guard.
“Started, have they?” Max questioned from his place beside him.
“Yes,” Ray murmured distractedly.
They were silent for a few moments longer, as Ray started to categorize the fighters. Those that had fallen within the first five minutes of the fight had been shoved into the `No Fucking Way' category, whilst most of the rest that had started to resort to some form of brute wrestling went to the `Only If Hell Froze Over' corner. Belatedly, he realized that any hope of witnessing an interesting fight would be dashed today.
“So, how is it?” Max asked awhile later, noticing the look of disappointment on Ray's face.
“I must say, this performance is starting to be merely that - a performance,” he replied, staring uninterestedly at the fighting below.
He would be damned if any of these people were to become part of his personal guard. He was more likely to be defending them against any attacks than the other way around. However, Max obviously did not think so, as he let out a short laugh.
“Surely they are not that bad!”
Ray eyed his long-time friend dubiously, directly implying for him to get his eyes checked. Max only laughed, turning his attention back to the arena.
“Alright, if you insist, then point out one decent fighter and I shall reconsider your judgment, flawed as it may be,” Ray replied imperiously, crossing his arms.
Max watched the fight a few moments longer, before pointing out a soldier.
“There, that one. Look at him pick off his opponents one by one! That surely must attest to something.”
Following his finger, Ray turned to watch as the blue haired soldier toss one of his opponents out of the way, almost as if flicking off an annoying bug. He then turned to his next opponent, charging at him from behind and almost methodologically executed a perfect dive, coming up behind his opponent and kicking him in the back of his knees before slamming a fist into his opponent's neck.
Grudgingly, Ray found he had to reevaluate his previous opinion. The soldier was good, if anything. At least, he wasn't simply brawling, but was actually properly defending and attacking his opponents. Although, that didn't make the triumphant look in Max's eyes any easier to stomach.
Mildly satisfied, Ray settled back into his chair as he continued to watch the fight.
Kai, on the other hand, was probably having the best time in his life. It was like someone had declared open season on those idiots he had been forced to endure for all these years (and in actual fact, they did - the rules only said no killing), and he was happy to deliver their `punishment'.
From what he had heard the previous night, those idiots thought he was an easy prey, and as expected, they had all turned on him as soon as the fight started. However, many of them had been very surprised as Kai suddenly started to wield his weapon like an extension of his arm, an evident look of sadistic glee on his face. Those that were slightly smarter had back away, whilst the other more idiotic ones had eagerly charged into the battle, only to find themselves being swatted away in the most painful ways ever.
To the innocent bystander, it might not seem as much, but his studies in the human anatomy and nervous systems ensured that wherever he hit, the victim could not only feel the painful jab - most of them would awake later to find that they had the most horrid headache of the century, even worse than any hangovers they had ever experienced. And it was in happy glee that he executed each perfect strike with practiced ease.
His opponents started to edge away, suddenly wary of their `prey's' sudden proficiency in fighting. Kai only smirked, twirling his weapon teasingly with one hand. The soldiers looked to each other uneasily, before a certain sense of self-righteousness seemed to seize the group as a whole.
“Think you're better than us, do you? Think you can best us all just because you defeated a couple of them?” one brazen soldier stood forth, making rude motions at Kai.
Slightly amused, he surveyed his surroundings to find that his opponents had gathered around him - which was a smart tactical approach, but not one that would work with him.
“You call 15 soldiers a couple? My, I fear to think how many you could put down in ten minutes!” he mocked.
The soldiers glared, and with a combined battle cry, charge towards him as one. A feral grin tore across Kai's features as he dropped into a battle stance, whipping out his blade.
`Finally, this might just be enough of a challenge,' he grinned as he backhanded one soldier, `or not.'
He ducked low, bringing his sword up to clash loudly with another sword that was making its way down toward him. Making use of the momentum, he pushed upward, forcing his opponent's hand backward and flipping the weapon out of his hands. Glancing a quick blow to the temple, he side-stepped an oncoming swipe and turned, jabbing the end of his sword into the offender's neck.
Leaping mildly into the air, he avoided the two long flat blades that were aiming for him and landed gently on aforementioned blades as the two soldiers blinked at his sudden disappearance. Not giving them a moment to recover themselves, he extended his arms, catching both of them in a brutal uppercut. Blood sprayed from the damaged appendage as both his opponents collapsed, out cold from the jarring impact.
He continued to defeat each and every idiot that thought themselves capable of trouncing him, until he suddenly realized that there was no one left standing, other than him. Heaving slightly from the exercise, he turned to face the stands as applause broke out. The King was making his way down to the arena, whilst the overly excited commentator was blabbering non-stop at the corner.
“Well fought, soldier!”
Kai almost groaned when he heard the overbearing tones of his captain. His brows twitched imperceptibly as he turned to survey the man.
“Well fought indeed,” the King arrived with Ray not far behind him, nodding to the Captain before turning his attention to Kai, “it seems we have found our winner.”
Kai knelt, forcing his gaze down to the ground below. He wanted nothing more than to grab Ray and be out of this fucking place.
“You have done well, and as such earned your new position as my heir's personal guard. I congratulate you on this great honor you have received, and trust that my heir will be safe in your care.”
“Of course, Your Majesty. Thank you for the honor of proving myself to the Royal Court. His Highness the Prince Ray will be safe in my guard.”
“See that he is,” the King nodded, before turning and leaving the arena.
Kai watched sullenly as Ray turned from him as well, following after the King's footsteps. Ah well, he would have a better chance to reacquaint himself with the Crown Prince again. Hopefully, sometime in the near future.
Step, step, turn, step, step, stomp. His cloak billowed behind him, swirling back into place with every step he took. Beside him, his hands were balled into fists, tension lining his face as he continued to pace the Throne room in nervousness.
It had all seem so surreal - the whole deal with the arranged marriage. In fact, he probably had not truly believed it right up till this moment. Finally, the princess, his soon-to-be-wife was arriving.
Wife. How odd it felt to be thinking of anyone in that way. He could hardly begin to imagine having a relationship anything like his parents' with anyone else at this point in time. Not that he was not interested in women - he did have some brief affairs with the women of court - but this was on an entirely different level. Those women knew clearly not to expect anything of him; they knew better than to go against the wishes of the Royal Family. But this princess was here to stay, possibly for good. Hopefully. It wouldn't do his country much good if their new Crown Princess was to ditch the Crown Prince. There was enough tension as it is.
He wondered briefly what would happen if the princess decided he wasn't worth her time, after all. Perhaps then he wouldn't have to go through with this ordeal, and maybe they would find some other method to save the country from its approaching demise? He let his mind wander upon the possibility that they had not yet exhausted every single alternative they had to save the country, other than bartering himself off to a neighboring country in the hopes that someone else could do the job for them.
How disgraceful it was to have to depend on another country for your survival! They might as well give reign to them now, what with the obvious scheming that proposal letter had shown. Ray glared at the pristine marble floor beneath his feet and barely withheld against cuffing his shoes against it.
Taking a deep breath, he shook the errant thoughts from his head. No, it would not do to lose his composure now. The minute they agreed to this marriage, he had signed his own passport to the arena of political struggles for power, and likely much worse was to come. He had to keep his wits about himself, if he was to survive this debacle. After all, that's what that new bodyguard was for, wasn't he? All in the hopes of protecting the Crown Prince; although he sincerely hoped it wouldn't come down to blows between his future wife and his own personal guard. Clearing dead bodies were such a messy business, after all.
Meanwhile, the King watched with quasi-amusement as his heir polished off a corner of the throne room with his shoes. His nervousness was to be expected, of course. Under better circumstances, he would never have had wanted to force his son's hand on this kind of matter. Relationships were a tricky thing - the female counterpart of it usually being the trickiest of all. Female emotions were something he never could understand, nor could he hope to comprehend anytime in the near future.
He peered at his wife and Queen from the corner of his eyes discreetly, taking in the slightly worried look she had on her face. The Queen did not completely agree with this marriage. Whilst she had been elated enough that her son was (finally) getting married, she didn't like the circumstances any better than he did. The Queen turned towards him, sensing his pondering gaze. A small mischievous smirk flitted across her features.
“I wonder.. Were you much like that when you found out about our engagement?” she whispered softly, eyes twinkling in laughter.
An almost boyish grin tugged at his features as he shrugged nonchalantly.
“Perhaps… but I've always been sure of my ability to charm you off your feet, my Queen,” came the haughty reply, eliciting a short gasp of laughter from the Queen.
Almost much too soon, the doorman was announcing the arrival of the princess.
“Her Imperial Highness, Princess Maria of Katze!”
Ray froze near to where the King was seated, pulling his `court' face over his features almost immediately. The door slid open smoothly, allowing the princess to enter the throne room. (Ray studied her intently as she glided forward in all her pink glory.)
Ray studied her intently as she glided forward into the room her head held high, the way royalty would. She had the perfect posture, an almost graceful gait in her walk - her dress swirled prettily around her feet. Everything was perfection, as was expected of royalty. And then, he noticed a trait that he would never forget - his future wife had pink hair. Not the soft, light shade of pink, but stunning pink. Pink of the most eye-catching kind. How had he missed this of her before?!
“Greetings to Your Royal Majesty, and Her Highness,” she curtsied, dropping into a deep, respectful bow before turning her gaze towards her intended.
“Welcome to our country, Princess of Katze. I do hope you find your accommodations here well-suited to your tastes,” the King returned, smiling pleasantly, “May I introduce you to our Crown Prince again? This is Prince Ray.”
“Prince Ray, it is a pleasure to meet you again,” she curtsied again, this time her head slightly raised to study his face.
A small, teasing smile tugged at her lips, her eyes almost glinting at the prospect of who she would be married to. Ray repressed a shudder at her almost predator-like smile. Could anyone ever feel more dread looking at someone smiling at them?
`Calm and collected, calm and collected!!' he chanted in his mind, stepping forward to greet the princess.
“The pleasure's all mine, Princess,” he bowed, lifting her hand to graze his lips slightly, dropping it as soon as decorum deemed right.
The princess giggled demurely, covering her mouth slightly in the manner as expected of well-bred ladies.
“My, I do think I rather enjoy my accommodations already, my King,” she trilled, resting her hand innocently against his arm.
The King chuckled deeply at the turn of events with the Queen nodding encouragingly in their direction.
“Perhaps I will let Ray show your around our Palace now, if you don't mind?”
“Oh no, I certainly would not want to impose on Prince Ray's busy schedule,” she drifted off, chancing a peek at Ray from below her long lashes.
Ray felt more than knew that it was all a charade, what with how her hand had curled around his arm possessively.
“No, of course not. I would love to show you around, Princess,” he gritted out, sounding much more enthusiastic than he felt.
The King shooed them out then, chuckling softly to himself at the terrorized expression his heir shot him as he led the princess out. Perhaps this new princess would liven up the atmosphere around the palace with her presence. He hoped that the princess' attachment to Ray would save the kingdom and protect his son from coming to any harm. Although, Ray was of another mind.
The sun was beginning to set in the horizon. Finally, the day was reaching its end - it was close to twilight now. Sighing softly, Max turned a wistful gaze at the beautiful expanse above him - the sky was a splash of colors at this time of the day.
Kicking his feet up from the ground, he swung backward lightly on the swing that sat in the middle of the palace gardens. Today proved to be interesting enough - the castle was brimming with excitement over the Crown Prince's new bride-to-be, whilst the guards were thrilled at the offer to become the Prince's own personal guard. As much as he hoped his premonition never came true, it never hurt to be too prepared. In fact, he wondered if anyone could ever be too prepared for anything.
The image of a rather flustered Prince as he showed his future wife around the castle surfaced in his mind. A wide grin spread across his features at the recollection. If what he knew of the Prince proved right, he had probably ditched the princess in her room as quickly as etiquette allowed. After all, it wouldn't do for the Queen to hear of any uncouth behavior from the Prince to his bride-to-be; he doubted the Queen would behave very kindly to Prince Ray if that happened.
He pondered if anything would change after the Crown Prince's marriage. Prince Ray would definitely become much more occupied with state affairs of course, but he silently hoped that nothing changed between their friendly relationship. Much as he wanted to refute his feelings, he saw the young Prince like his best friend - or if he was bold enough to admit - like a brother.
It never ceased to amaze him that someone of Royalty would even bother to look at someone like him, and be willing to spend time with him, talking, laughing, outside of matters of the state. Was it even possible that the royalty could find him interesting enough to want to spend almost everyday with him? Or perhaps he was being too presumptuous to think in that manner. Max shook his head violently. No, he was certainly overstepping his boundaries to think in that manner. To have feelings of admiration and respect for the young Prince was a given. He should not indulge in feelings as such these.
Standing swiftly, he took down the path towards where his rooms were located, wondering what was for dinner tonight. His mother had been so busy trying to figure out what was the most auspicious date for the grand wedding, she had forgotten about dinner quite a few times now. He was beginning to get worried, so much so that he had never dared to share the vision he had with her.
Picking his way gingerly through the shrubbery, he came to a pause as he noticed a figure standing in the middle of a clearing. Said figure had a pigeon perched upon a finger which promptly took flight when it registered another human's presence in the clearing. Max stared at this unknown person a while longer, waiting for him to turn around and greet him. The stranger plaintively ignored him though, now looking up at the quickly darkening sky. Huffing slightly in irritation, he took a few steps into the clearing, snapping the twigs under his feet with a satisfactory crunch.
“Hello,” Max greeted, slightly miffed at being ignored, “Are you new here? I've never seen you before.”
The person finally turned, surveying him for a moment before responding.
“I'm the princess' knight, Bryan,” he introduced, his tone bland.
“And I'm Max,” he returned cheerfully, “Priest-in-training.”
The boy turned his back to him again, staring up at the sky again. Max huffed, wondering if the sky really was so much more interesting than himself. Deciding not to let the conversation end like this he took another step closer to the stranger, now known as Bryan.
“How do you attract pigeons like that anyway?”
`Did he just eyeball me? He did!' Max decided. Forcing his frustrated sigh down, he was determined to keep talking until Bryan grew too irritated to ignore him any longer. Never had he met anyone who ignored other people like that! It irked him. Greatly.
Coming to that conclusion, he moved to stand next to him and nattered on about something inconsequential or other. He would make him talk. Or at least, spill how he managed to attract the damned bird to stop on his finger. Either way, he'd get his way, magical powers or not!
AN: And so, we welcome the pink-haired princess to our merry little band of masochistic, gore-loving and homicidal freakos who make up our story! Weeellcoommmee *evil laughter*
P.S. Sorry about the super long lack-of-updates-or-news, it had been an incredibly crazy-busy period for both of us ie internship and enrollment in a university with the reputation of having one of the highest workload in the country. Plus writer's block. It's hardly funny, really.
On towards better news, we have a sidestory planned. It will be up… err… soon! Probably a few days time. Seriously, it's half written already.