Vampire Game Fan Fiction ❯ Second is the Best ❯ Regards ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Title: Second is the Best
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual references and mild hints of yaoi)
Disclaimer: Um...duh.
Summary: First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the hairy chest: The first
and third princes of La Naan wear their hearts on their sleeves for Ishtar, but the second is more
tricky. Political intrigue, vampire possession, and the search for the reincarnation of Phelios
continues...[Laph/Isht/Sel]

Chapter Summary: It's time to leave for Pheliosta where wedding preparations are already
underway. Ishtar drops by to visit the poor, forgotten Laphiji, still weighted down by the funk of
her up and coming marriage. With such high spirits, the future looks dismal for our royal crew...

Chapter Two: Regards


"You're grateful, aren't you, Duzie?" Ishtar cooed, cuddling the bestial cat as if it were a
simpering fuzz-ball. The cat indulged her with a meow that vibrated like a growl.

The muscle in Laphiji's left temple twitched. "It was nothing, highness,"

Ishtar eyed the humble second prince over the head of her blood-sucking kyawl. He
seemed annoyed, as if propping himself up on those pillows of his and accepting her thanks was
too much of a strain for him. Well, the smell of medicinal herbs always made her cranky too.

"But Duzie would have been in such trouble if you hadn't been there to save him," she
cooed, holding up the scowling kitty for emphasis.

Laphiji was tempted, for a moment, to tell her that neither of them would have been hurt if
"Widdle Duzie" hadn't gotten in his way. But he knew he couldn't really blame a cat. It hadn't
known what it was doing, after all. "You're welcome," he digressed.

Duzell yawned as the human royalty lapsed into silence. Ishtar stroked his back without
thought as the time passed between herself and Laphiji without incident. There didn't seem to be
any hostility or discomfort in the air, mostly just apathy, so it seemed the princess had no intention
to leave Laphiji to his own devices. Laphiji, for his part, made no indication that he wanted
privacy. In fact, as Duzell suspected, he seemed to be grateful for something to look at other than
the open doorway, even if it was the spoiled princess of Pheliosta and her sometimes-vampire,
sometimes-cat companion.

"Where is Seiliez?" Duzell jumped. Mr. Strong-and-Silent had said the first thing in ten
minutes. Ishtar fidgeted in Duzell's fur. "I would think that you would be inseparable."

"I...don't know," she replied in all honesty. "I last saw him at breakfast."

The silence reigned again, this time heavily, between them. "You came here because this
is the last place he would be," he said in subtle accusation. As her startled eyebrows rose, Laphiji
felt the first vestiges of guilt settling into the pit of his stomach. Yet again, he found himself
unable to blame the unsuspecting victim for his misfortune.

After the shock ebbed away, Ishtar smiled at Laphiji's probing observation, a bitter tinge
to her lips. She licked it away before answering "Something like that," she agreed. "But it's not
because of him, it's – "

"You," Laphiji's stomach tightened as the intensifying guilt in his stomach churned.

Ishtar couldn't help but laugh. "No, because of Aunt Ramia. Because of Darres. Because
of Vord...,"

"You would allow them to keep you apart?" Laphiji shifted with unease as he awaited
Ishtar's reply. The guilt burned beneath his abs. Her bestial cat growled and flexed his claws into
the fabric of her skirt, as if it comprehended the negative vibes he was forcing upon its master.

Ishtar's lips parted without releasing sound, delaying her eventual answer another instant.
"Actually, it's because they're pushing us together, in one way or another."

Ishtar breathed a silent sigh and leaned back in her chair. Duzell's suspicious glare shifted
her way. "It's not just that I'm getting married at fifteen, or that my next big project is to produce
an heir, it's that there are so few options open to people like us. I never had much of a choice in
these matters; if I had, I would probably marry Duzie before I'd marry one of my cousins!"

She laughed and waved her hand dismissively. The cat on her lap growled and dug his
claws into her leg. "As for Seiliez," she tilted her head back, finding interest in the white tiles
above. "I don't think I'm what he's looking for."

Laphiji was unsure of how to respond. He had expected her to say only that she was afraid
of marriage, that she didn't want to be forced into this just because of her lineage, or, at worst,
that she didn't actually love Seiliez.

"I disagree," he forced out, finding his throat unnaturally sticky. Ishtar shifted her eyes to
the second prince, a curious brow lifted high above her left eye. "I think you're exactly what
Seiliez needs."

After a long moment, Ishtar smiled. "But I'm not the one who wants to be, am I?"

For the first time, Laphiji understood just what it was about this princess that so infatuated
his brothers.

"Even so, regard him kindly, your highness."

"Of course."

-=-

There they go...

The wagons were loaded, the carriages hitched and ready for departure. Knights, stewards
and various other servants gathered into a group with their belongings strapped to their steeds or
backs as they waited for the final preparations to conclude.

"We, of the house of La Naan,"

The activity suddenly paused and the excitement mounted. The servants put down their
tasks to raise their hands in applause.

"Are pleased to present the future King and Queen of Pheliosta, Prince Seiliez, the first
prince of La Naan, and Princess Ishtar, of the house of Pheliosta!"

The announcer stepped away from the double doors in a deep bow as the cheers magnified
in volume. The beautiful prince of La Naan stepped out into the early sunlight with his new bride
on his arm, waving genially to his waiting subjects. His mother, accompanied by the leader of the
Pheliosta guards, followed closely after with a trail of servants behind them. The royal party was
showered by a chain of maids with the purest of white rose petals as they advanced on their
awaiting carriage. A red carpet of the finest velvet rolled out before them cushioned their delicate
feet, leading them to the chariot that would transport them to their destiny.

Laphiji watched the procession, waiting for one of them to look up and spot him in the
window. Seiliez seemed to be determinedly looking the opposite direction, or at his future wife,
and didn't spare the castle a second glance. Lady Ramia, his own mother, was too busy sobbing
again to notice her second born watching from the North tower. Darres stared at his feet to keep
himself from looking at Ishtar who – was waving.

She cuddled that bestial cat of hers to her bosom with one arm and waved with the other.
Laphiji raised a motionless hand in surprised acceptance of her acknowledgment. There was no
one else she could be waving to, most everyone else was in the opposite direction. She raised
Duzell's paw and wiggled it in his direction, signifying that she wasn't the only one who
remembered.


Laphiji allowed himself a smile as she started to make absurd faces, stretching and
prodding Duzell's face to do the same.



Authors Note:

I'm so sorry for the slight delay in this posting...not only did this chapter NOT want to come out
of me, but I've been out of town for the past three or so days. Left on Thursday, got back on
Sunday, and unfortunately I was unable to finish the last few paragraphs before leaving. Visited
Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, one of the colleges I was accepted to ^^. I'm still
deciding between App and UNCC, but this trip helped.

Thank you to all of my reviewers – you really helped spur me on, specially you, Usa-chan. Her
site is advertized below (where you can find this pen name):
http://sentaku.smcrossover.us/ There isn't much there yet, but do them a favor and join up. It's a
really beautiful layout so it seems a shame to not put stuff up. It's set up a lot like ff.net and
MM.org in that you can submit/receive reviews, load your own stories, collect favorites, etc.
Seems like a great place to start collecting obscure anime fanfiction, such as Vampire Game and
Hana Kimi (two of my favorites that just NEVER get much publicity)

Oh, and if you wanna know more about Hana Kimi, just go to this URL for translations:
I'll be writing some Hana Kimi fanfiction soon (cause I've found exactly three fic's so far) so you
might wanna brush up if you intend on reading it. ^^

Also, for those of you discouraged about finding stuff about obscure anime titles (as I am), come
join my group! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/obscureanimeanonymous/ If we all contribute, we
should be able to collect decent amounts of fanfiction and websites for overlooked titles such as
Vampire Game and, one of my personal favorites, Hana Kimi. Other wonderful titles as well.
Join, contribute! Could be fun, really...

Reviews: I just gotta say...I never really thought a reviewer section was all that useful up until
now. But, now that I think about it, I can address each reviewer individually instead of getting all
long-winded and confusing in my authors notes. Just search for your name and all your questions
(hopefully) shall be answered!

(Fanfiction.net)
dani: I've been thinking about it, and I do believe that you're right. Duzell isn't quite protective
enough over Ishtar...but I also have a hard time seeing a bloodsucker like him having an easy time
consoling a princess...Still, I think you're right and you'll probably see him acting more protective
as the story progresses.

MythraPenDragon: Oh, why thank you ^^ I do intend to update fairly regularly and, hopefully,
most of the chapters won't take as long to come out as this one. It really is a shame that there is so
little VG fanfiction, and an even bigger shame that the fanfiction that IS out there is rarely
updated. I know that I get inspiration from other peoples work so, in saying that, one of my goals
in creating this story/pen name was to get other authors excited about writing VG as well. I only
hope that my little "scheme" works ^^;

silverstrings: And yet ANOTHER goal in writing this story was to give poor Laphiji a bit more
time in the sun. In the manga he's just kinda there and doesn't have nearly as much presence as
Seiliez or Vord. You don't ever really think of Laphiji as a contender for the crown, despite his
obvious strength, since the other two are so focused on her. He just keeps getting overshadowed,
poor thing...also, I gotta warn you, I don't intend this fic to be a Laph/Sei pairing. It will actually
turn out to be Laph/Isht, but there will be some insinuations of past "affections" between the two
brothers. The yaoi is mainly on the parts of other characters, though I'm not saying who yet. ^^

(Sentaku)
Usa-chan: My many thanks to you, yet again, O great webmistress *bows* It's nice to have my
first worshiper. I haven't had one in a long time and it's nice reliving the memories (well...except
the one that threatened me w/a rusty spork @@ but that was just creepy)


Coming Up Next...The travelers stop for the night at an inn, unable to continue towards Pheliosta
at such a late hour. After turning in for the night, Seiliez is visited by an old, forgotten friend and a
plot is hatched...

Chapter 1
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