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The Seraphin Throne

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Shibuya

Guren Ichinose walked down the halls leading to the throne room decked out in his golden Kingsguard armor, carrying his golden helmet. He already checked with Lord Tenri Hiiragi. Tenri was currently leading the sack of Shibuya along with his sons Kureto and Seishirou. He was supposed to be the one in charge of watching the king and making sure he did not do anything drastic. However, the king was planning something drastic for a while once he felt all his favor with the noble houses slipping. He told only Guren, his trusted kingsguard that he kept entire barrels of wildfire under the whole city, ready at any point he sensed mutiny to light the fuse and burn all of Shibuya to ashes, Shindo's were always crazy about fire and dragons.

Guren could tell at that point that something drastic needed to be done to stop the King Nikolai Shindo from destroying the city, it was clear the man was losing his mind. So he approached Tenri Hiiragi the head of the other prominent (and richest) house at a small council meeting. He promised him to his eldest omega child Mahiru, though he did always find Shinya the more attractive omega. In fact, he and Shinya did share a few kisses, he can honestly say he loved that omega. He only got stuck with lovesick Mahiru because she was older than Shinya.

His job was to make sure that at the siege of the city, nobody but a Hiiragi killed the King, otherwise their family would never be taken seriously as the next rulers.

However, plans do change.

He got reports from knights under his watch the King locked himself in the Throne Room and only wishes to see him. And that's when he reaches the brown gilded doors of the throne room. He kicks it open and there sits the Mad King. The man frankly looks like shit. Pale blond hair everywhere, it even looks like he pulled some off from frustration. His eyes were bloodshot and red, which became more noticeable as he walked closed there were blood stains on his armor.

The Alpha looked down on him from where he sat on the throne and smiled a wicked, evil smile. "GUREN! My most trusted Kingsguard. I'm glad you're here." he said with the insanity clearly leaking through his voice.

Upon closer inspection Guren took not of the bodies of his knights that surrounded him. The man noticed Guren's hesitation and honestly dumbfounded expression.

"Ah well they didn't listen to my orders, so I killed them all. Maybe you'll listen to my orders, or I'll have to kill you too." Laughed the king.

They stayed silent for what felt like hours. Then Guren heard the king mumble something.

"Burn them all."

"My king, I couldn't hear you." Guren said honestly terrified, not of the man, but of what he'd have to do.

"I SAID BURN THEM ALL TO THE FUCKING GROUND. BURN THIS WHOLE SHIT HOLE OF A CITY TO THE FUCKING GROUND. LIGHT THE WILDFIRE GUREN. THAT'S A COMMAND, GUREN."

"No, Your Grace. I'm sorry I cannot. That would kill all of us, including you and me. What of your house? Who lives on?" Guren said coldly, trying to reason with the man.

"The queen has already been sent to Sannomiya. A raven has informed me that my wife has already given birth, and died from it. And from what I heard so did the child, my house will die, but those Hiiragi cunts will too."

"Your Grace, I still cannot." Guren said.

The King stood up drawing his sword.

"If you stand against me Guren, I'll have to kill you and then finish everything myself. If you're not gonna do it, and you're going to stop me-"

Guren realized this was his chance, the siege had gone on long enough already. He needed to end this, or this insane king would kill him, or at least try to.

"Who said anything about stopping you, Your Grace? They would never take an order like that from just a kingsguard, they need to actual King to give the order for something like that. I am loyal to only you, Your Grace." Guren said surely.

The king acknowledged turned his back to him trying to figure out if Guren was playing him. Guren knew the man was in a fucked-up state, and he can't let him burn this place to the ground so when the king turned his back to him to contemplate. He swiftly unsheathed his sword and stabbed the king in the back. Blood quickly spilled from the stab wound, puddling around the king and getting on his shoes.

"Fucking Kingslayer," the king whispered as he died.

Guren sat on the throne and waited.

Until the door to the Throne Room opened and in came Tenri, a barely showing, but noticeably pregnant Lady Hiiragi, Kureto, Seishirou, Mahiru, and Shinya.


 He was put as a prisoner, though not in chains at least, but he was forced to stay in Shibuya, and had to resign his position as Kingsguard. A year later he was given a trial, even though Shinya and Mahiru both guaranteed him safety from their father executing him, he wouldn't put anything against the Hiiragi's. The only reason he even told them anything about the Mad King's plan was because he wanted to be ahead for when the tide turns against the Shindo's, but now that he was a prisoner he was worried for his life.

"Lord Guren of House Ichinose, I, Tenri Hiiragi, First of His Name, King of the First Men, Protector of the Realm, and Rightful King and Lord of the Six Kingdoms. Honor your service by making you the Warden of the North you will rule the north in our stead, however, because you are the Kingslayer we cannot have you here, so you are banished from stepping foot in Shibuya. Your place will be in ruling the North, and your marriage to my eldest omega will be dissolved." Tenri stated as a matter-of-fact.

Guren looked up at Mahiru's sad expression, and Kureto's and Shinya's smirks, obviously for different reasons. Shinya was rocking a sleeping Shinoa in his arms. Lady Hiiragi had suffered to bring Shinoa out of her, and died because of it. When Mahiru visited she always talked about how that little bitch took away her mother from her, and all Shinya did was coddle her because they were both the same breed of monster, she even implied her father agreed with her about Shinoa.

Guren looked at the king. 

"How do I know you won't kill me when I leave for the North, you won't kill me?"

"Because you are taking a noble child from each of the noble families with you. The Sanguu and Saotome heirs will be given to you when they are born, but you will also be taking Shihou Kimizuki of House Kimizuki and my youngest daughter Shinoa they will be your reassurance, even the lowest of Hiiragi's are still Hiiragi's. " Tenri responded.

Guren had no choice but to be satisfied with that outcome. 


In the morning as Guren got his horse ready for the ride North. A strange, but familiar woman paid him a visit carrying a raven-haired, green-eyed baby that looked almost two years old. From her clothes Guren could tell she was obviously a whore, and definitely an omega one.

"What do you want whore?" Guren asked just looking to get this conversation over with. 

The woman shoved the baby in his hands and said, "He's your fucking bastard! Take him. I don't want him. He'll just make my life more difficult then it already is."

"How do I know it's mine?" Guren asked, hoping to get out of this because he already had four more fucking children to take care of. 

"Well you fucked me about nine months before you stabbed the Mad King in the back, and became a prisoner. And that fucking child is the image of you and me." she said very knowingly.

Guren looked at the whore, she had dark hair like him, so that was always gonna be a sign this baby was theirs, but also she had green eyes as opposed to his eye color. Guren opened the sheet the baby was wrapped him and looked at him. 

He wasn't going to admit it but the baby was cute with his raven hair, green eyes, and he also showed signs of being an alpha when he tried to bite his finger off. Guren knew this kid had to be his. Aside from him looking like him, he felt it in his gut, and even if this whore was just playing him to get this kid off her back he wanted to have this baby. 

I mean what was one more to the number he had right now to take care of. Plus he could give this bastard the noble life he would never get if he stayed with this omegan whore. This little shit is special, he can feel it. He would have to have the bastard name Amane of course, but he'd still be his son. 

"Fine I'll take him. He got a name?" he said.

"Yuuichirou, like the great wolf king." she says

"Yuuichirou Amane, not bad." he mumbled.

And with that the whore took her leave. He handed him off to one of the women riding north with him.

Mahiru walks in as he hands him off.

"Guren"

"Mahiru"

She stands in front of him

"Whose child was that?" she questions.

"My bastard."

Guren sees her face about to explode, so he knows he should probably continue, but he stops just to piss her off. 

"YOU WERE FUCKING WHORES WHILE WE WERE ENGAGED!!" She all but shouts 

"Relax. It was before I even was promised to you. Besides, it's not like we're even betrothed anymore. Be happy otherwise he would be your father's heir."

She calms down at that. 

"How long did you know?"

"About ten minutes ago, not like I was exactly free for whores to approach me with bastards in the past year."

"Hmph." she says leaving in a huff, to Guren's absolute delight. At least he got one last chance to pull one over on her. 

A little while after Shinya came by to bring Shinoa. He gently handed her to him. 

"Be careful, she's a precious thing." Shinya said. 

"Both of you are." Guren said pleased with himself.

Shinya laughed, "I am going to miss you a lot Guren. It's going to be hard to find another macho alpha who pisses off Kureto more than I can." 

"But, you're an omega?" Guren says.

"Yeah, but my presence still pisses him off."

"Probably because he can't figure out why he's getting hard around you and Mahiru, though I figure she wants to do something about that with him."

Shinya breaks out laughing and Guren cannot stop looking at this beauty in front of him. Mahiru was always seen as less beautiful an omega than Shinya and it always caused her to resent him.

Guren can't stop thinking about how lucky he is to have Shinya in love with him and vice-versa, that he doesn't notice Shinya looking at him a bit worried. 

"Hellooooo, Guren. GUREN!" Shinya snaps his fingers in front of his face. 

"What? Huh?" Guren says dazed and confused.

"ANYWAY. I am going to miss you a lot Guren." Shinya repeats.

Guren hands off Shinoa, and wraps his arms around Shinya's waist, and Shinya automatically interlocks his around his neck. They stay like that for a moment until Guren speaks.

"This isn't the end for us. We'll be back together eventually, and when it does happen I'm going to marry you." 

Guren caresses Shinya's long silver hair, and plants a soft kiss on his lips and Shinya deepens it while his hands frame the side of Guren's face, their tongues slowly meeting and dancing, until Shinya pulls back.

"Until that day comes that will have to be enough." Shinya hesitantly unwraps his arms around Guren's next. Guren does the same to his arms around Shinya's waist. When Shinya slowly moves away their hands interlock. 

"I love you Shinya, I'll be back one day." Guren says

"I love you Guren, I'll be waiting for that day." Shinya replies before their hands disengage.

Shinya puts on his cloak and leaves the stables.

Guren makes sure the two babies are ready as the Iron Island Kimizuki heir will be brought to him upon his arrival in the North.

He watches from the top of the castle as Guren and his horde of people leave for the North, the House Ichinose banner raised proudly with the wolf's head on it. At the same time, Mahiru approaches him knowing of her brother's feelings for Guren and hating him starts talking to him. 

"I loved him. I'm gonna miss him. It's that sad our betrothal didn't go through." She said.

Shinya has a small smile at the mention of their failed betrothal. 

"It is depressing how abrupt it had to end, but now that he has a bastard son, so it looks like he'll be unmarried for quite a while, if not ever." she continues.

Shinya makes a shocked expression, not knowing Guren had a bastard child, before quickly schooling it into something more suitable before his sister noticed.

"Well, that sounds so horrible for you sister, to know that you can never marry your great love, as you called him because it looks like father would never want his eldest omega, let alone his heir to marry a man with a bastard. Father probably knew during the trial so that's why he dissolved your engagement. He does have Shigure's little birds chirping around for information, or maybe you should ask your dear brother, Kureto after all you love each other so dearly."

He looks back at Mahiru's pissed face stoically causing her to dramatically huff and storm off. 

Once she's gone Shinya looks at Guren's army leaving wistfully. 

"One day." he whispers. That day Guren is going to have to explain what he's done. 


Sannomiya - The Day of the Siege

The queen had just finished giving birth and was now holding her beautiful baby boy. He really was a beauty with his eyes more blue than the sea, and his hair a pale blonde almost a silver. She kissed the top of his head. 

"I love you, so much, more then you'll ever know. I'm sorry to leave you before you grow my love, my sweet Mikaela." she whispered to him. 

Sensing her time was coming she handed him off to the wet nurse. And a few minutes later all the breath left her body. 

"QUEEN RHAELYA IS DEAD!"

Lucal Wesker shouted to all the people outside the Dragonstone Castle, waiting for news of the queen's birth, to their sad hanging faces. Lucal was about to announce that the baby was born when he noticed the crowd was getting lesser in numbers because men were falling to the ground. He saw the Hiiragi sigil of a lion roaring on the attacker's banners and moved into action. He knew this was coming from a mile away. Being childhood friends with the queen was exhausting because it meant he was her confidant and being that stuck-up bitch's confidant, he knew about the King's declining state of mind, he must have finally been murdered and overthrown. Meaning this baby is the last Shindo and last heir to the Seraphin Throne, so he was his ticket to a better life, his years of biding time will now be worth it all. 

He grabbed the baby, but not before stabbing the nurse repeatedly, can't have anyone knowing about the baby, at least not now. Granted he would have to start using his Shindo name once he grew up and when he presented, most likely as an omega because Lucal could feel the pheromones coming off this kid, and he was too beautiful to be an alpha.

He got out of the castle hiding Mikaela in his cloak before the castle was surrounded and taken by the Hiiragi men. He rushed as fast as he could to the docks and managed to reach the docks unseen. Now getting past the Hiiragi men was another thing. He sneaked past most of them to a empty unremarkable ship. It was large enough for them to go unnoticed until they left the bounds of the Dragonborn harbor and stocked already with provisions. He cut it loose and before any of the men realized it, they were far away from the docks on their way across the Blood Sea to Shinjuku. He had a house there where he could raise the boy until he presents, and then he can marry him off and use his name to get the Seraphin Throne, and rule through him. He'll be his pretty little puppet. 

Chapter Text

Sanguinem - 16 Years Later

Toshi was dazed and tired as hell going into this intel-gathering mission Lord Guren sent them to do. He knew lower-class men like him and most of the North were fodder to the Great Lord of the North. He was only recently appointed just passed his fourteenth birth celebration. Him and two of his "brothers" Katsu and Mako were forced to do this mission beyond the wall. Katsu was a major asshole, while Mako was just plan useless.

They called the place Sanguinem representing the blood-sucking fuckers that was the current cause of the deaths of Northern men. They had a name for them "vampires" he read in one of the books he stole from the Maester of Nagoya. 

He liked blood-sucking fuckers better. 

He sees something ahead on a tree. 

"HALT" he shouts holding up a hand. 

They stop just as they see the dead carcass of a little pink-haired girl nailed on the tree, probably a Wild One, they were the only actual humans who lived beyond the wall free. 

"Let's move on men." he said.

"Don't you think we should bury her?" Mako asks.

"Why bother? Nobody cares once you're dead, and they care even less if it's an omega, and far fucking less if it's found beyond the wall. We ride on."

He looks back and notices Katsu was looking at something to the left of them, and he began to ride over. They followed him and what they found freaked out Mako even more.

Dismembered Wild One body part arranged in a pinwheel shape almost like a ritual calling something to this location. 

"What could have done this?" Katsu asked.

"Beats me, but we need to search, find, and kill it first before it comes for us. We need to see what killed them." He said

"I'll go this way" Mako said heading eastern

Toshi and Katsu both went their opposite directions. 

Toshi rides for quite a bit until he comes across a piece of bloodied brown fur, from a Wild One. He goes further down. 

"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" a male voice, Katsu screams. 

He turns back knowing if it's Katsu screaming, it's something serious.  

He reaches the center of where they were and goes in Katsu's direction. When something is coming closer to him from a distance before being stopped by a pale hand on his shoulder roughly pulling him back.

He sees in the distance Katsu with a big gash on his head, and the hand holding him pale and belonging to a thin, white cloak wearing body with silver hair tied back in a pink ribbon. Looks kinda like an omega mixed with a beta, smells like a beta though, rawer, kinda like a dead body. 

"GO!!!" shouted Katsu.

The creature bit his sharpened teeth into Katsu's neck before pulling his body forward, as he slowly split his body down a third, until he fell to the ground blood spilling as the creature drank it. 

Toshi petrified turned his horse back and rode back to where the pinwheel of body parts was. 

He rode in Mako's direction. He sees Mako running from a red-haired creature, in the same white cloak as the creature before he took his sword and grabbed Mako by the back of his black cloak and chopped his head clean off, before hurriedly drinking his blood from the snow. 

Toshi took that as his cue to escape on his horse riding back until he reached the wall, he passed the tree where the dead girl's corpse was nailed noticing it was gone.

He saw something ahead making his horse neigh in fear. There stood in front of him was the dead girl that was nailed to the tree, eyes closed. Snow falling upon her pink hair, wearing a sleek black dress before she opened her eyes, revealing an unnatural red color. 

He got a hold of the horse's reins as he forced him to jump over the girl into the snow before regaining and galloping back to Nagoya. 


Shibuya - 16 Years After the Rebellion

The bells rang signifying the death of a royal family member. 

Tenri Hiiragi was dead, as far as the Grand Maester could pinpoint from natural causes. 

Mahiru was done, finally the old tyrannical cunt was dead. She held quite a grudge against him since he forced her to marry some stupid noble man, in order to make an alliance with the Goshi House, only for their ability to keep everyone in Shibuya, rich and well-fed. Norito Goshi the man was a whoring, blithering fool. He never had eyes for her, only when he had to fuck her just to create an heir for the throne, and after she bore him a son, not even a second glance in her direction. The man had more passion in one look of normalcy towards her brother Shinya, then when he was inside of her. She was glad the boar took him during The Great Hunt five years ago.

She never loved the man, she was excited at first when they were announced to be wed, but now at her age she realized she was just a foolish girl. At least her father died before the man because she could not imagine ever respecting him as her king. He only cared about hunting and whoring. Even when they first met each other, and when he whispered the name of the whore serving beer on our wedding night to me while he was fucking me, I realized I could never care for that man. 

So, she went to the one place of comfort she always had her dear brother Kureto, more handsome than any man she had ever met, even Guren. The two children she "bore" her husband, wasn't even his, and the man either just didn't care or was too stupid to notice. But, then again rumors about her always circulated around the court. 

"That's the omega that fucks her brother." they whisper, her father never cared for rumors which was always in her favor because he never confronted her about it. and it seems her husband also did not which was good for her even more. 

Probably too afraid of the truth. Her son would become the new king, Takashi Hiiragi was her fucking sadist of a child, but she loved him all the same. He would be the next king the product of the love between her and Kureto. It would be Hiiragi because, not like she wanted to keep the Goshi name, that was her one condition when they married if he dies, she gets her name back, and so do her children. She hasn't been a Goshi for five years and it's been liberating.

She stands in the Great Sanctuary contemplating this staring at her dead father lying on the top dressed in his black robes, and cloak. Might as well bury the old shit in what he liked. 

Kureto walked up the stairs to where she was standing and leaned against the podium. 

"How are you holding up?" he asks her.

"As well as a grieving daughter could her dear father." she replies, trying to keep the smile off her face. 

"Cut the bullshit. You always hated that man. You raised all your children to hate him, they despise him."

"Yes, I did well on that part of raising my children at least." she says smirking.

A pause, then a moment later. 

"You look beautiful." Kureto observes.

"How observant of you, but I look the same as I always do." she said, looking down at her red silken dress and golden necklace, paired with her black heels, after all she is in mourning. 

"Then you always look beautiful." Kureto steps closer and pulls her by the arm towards him behind a pillar. 

They share a kiss before Mahiru separates from him, "It would be horrible if the maester saw us, and we can't do THAT by our father's dead corpse."

"Afraid he's watching. Let's give him a show, after all we did hate him." Kureto replied nibbling her ear. 

"STOP." she whispers loudly and moves from behind the pillar. 

Kureto concedes. 

"Is everything packed for the trip to Nagoya? After all, now that he's gone, Guren can come back to his position as kingsguard for my son." she says.

"I don't know why you insist on bringing him back, after all I am the current kingsguard and I protected our father well. I can do the same for our son." he replies.

She gestures towards her father's corpse, "Great job you did by the way. But I don't want my son dead sixteen years after he takes the throne. Accept the fact Guren was always the better swordsman." 

Kureto frowns.

She takes that as her cue to keep going, "He made the choice from the options I presented, and I support him, as always. Also stop referring to him as your son because my husband and our father may be dead, but we still have our enemies. Now are we ready to head to Nagoya?" she finishes.

"Yes" 

"Good. And I'm assuming the little silver haired monster is already in his carriage surrounded by books, like the recluse he is."

"Of course, as always." Kureto smirks. 

"Good. Well, they look about done here, so let's get ready for departure." 

She walked out the Great Sanctuary with Kureto following close behind her.


Nagoya - 16 Years After the Rebellion

Guren watched from the top of Snowstorm Castle as Yoichi, Kimizuki, and Yuuichirou had their archery lessons. 

Well more like Yuuichirou and Kimizuki have finished their set of arrows and are trying to help Yoichi in his shooting. 

"Come on Yoichi. You got this. Just look where you want to hit, aim for it, and then shoot." Yuu encouraged. Helping Yoichi by positioning him better and helping him hold the arrow causing Yoichi to blush.

"Easier said than done." Yoichi mumbled as he let go and the arrow flew past the target to the other two's laughter, and one deeper voice from above. 

Meanwhile inside of the castle, Shinoa was finishing a new purple flower embroidery on her green dress and turned around to notice Mitsu was gone from her dress. Shinoa snickered to herself.

'Must be trying to show off to the guys how good a shot she is.' she thought.

Shinoa continued to embroider, waiting inevitably for the trouble to come. 

Outside, Yoichi continued to miss shot after shot before barely getting one on the target before collapsing and giving up.

"Oi, Yoichi you know you kind of have to hit the red spot on the target." Kimizuki said. 

"Shut up, Shiho. I wasn't made for this type of whatever this is." Yoichi said knowing he was the only male omega in the North and had a valid point. 

Before Kimizuki could respond a shot on the target straight into the bullseye spot, perfectly centered, in a way not even Yuu and Kimizuku could manage. 

Yoichi shot up following the direction of the other two's stares towards Mitsuba in a blue dress holding a bow and smiling smugly. 

Yuu and Kimizuki started laughing, while Yoichi let out a shrieking "THAT"S BECAUSE SHE'S AN ALPHA!" before running after her. 

Guren smiled down at them from his view on the porch. 

'I did a good job for no woman or omega to help me, even on dumbass Yuu.' he thought.

"Lord Guren, we received a raven from Shibuya."

Guren took the letter and sent the man away. He looked at the seal and saw the Hiiragi seal, instead of the Shibuyan one. He sat on his chair, opened it, and read it. 

The letter basically informs him Tenri Hiiragi is dead, and the queen regent Mahiru Hiiragi, and her soon-to-be king son has lifted his banishment and asks him to return to his post as kingsguard, they ask it, but Guren knows it's a command. The whole Hiiragi clan rides North for Nagoya, including the royal dick Kureto and his beautiful Shinya to retrieve him and Shinoa. He probably might be forced into taking Mitsuba too because the Sanguu's and the Hiiragi's both reside in Shibuya.

They will be here in two weeks’ time meaning he'll have to choose someone to relieve him of his post and take over as Lord Commander and Warden of the North. He knows he'll be stuck with having Yuu watching over the North, but if he has Kimizuki and Yoichi helping him, as well as, the best Maester, and battle strategists in all the Six Kingdoms he should be fine. Besides Guren taught him everything he knows, Yuu may be an academic idiot, but he does have a keen military mind, can strategize for battles, and is by far the greatest swordsman and archer here. He beat Guren as much as Guren won whenever they fought. He was close to edging Guren out in the top Alpha position.

Guren contemplates refusing the offer. If he does, most likely the king will be pissed, and he has heard stories about the queen's first-born son's infamous anger issues. He didn't even turn up to the wedding of Mahiru and Goshi or any of the births due to his banishment. Now, he's forced to go back. If he doesn't go back the North could be facing a war from the Hiiragi's and they don't have the men or resources for another wars. Shinoa would be excited to go back to the Capital, but Mitsuba not so much. He'll probably just get her a new knife. That would satisfy her. 

Well at least he has plan in place for when they do come. He just needs to worry about seeing Shinya again. He never told him about the bastard child he had before he even got into an alliance with the Hiiragi's. Guren would just have to explain it as best as he can, hopefully Shinya will understand. 

He's snapped out of his thinking, when one of the guards on his gate burst through his door. 

"Lord Guren! We have a situation. There's a deserter a little past the gates of Snowstorm, beyond the wall. More closer to us than Ikebukuro or The Last Fire." he said exasperated. 

Guren stood up, a rare thing for a post deserter to show up back at the gates of Snowstorm alive, let alone getting past Ikebukuro and The Last Fire. He must have come through a secret passage because there was a distance between Snowstorm and The Last Fire that could give him access. If there was one he could come right in between and run to Snowstorm. 

"Yuu, Kimizuki, and Yoichi! Put the bows away and get ready to leave at the gate." Guren shouts to the three dumbfounded boys at the bottom.

"What is it Guren?" Yuu asked. 

"Shut up and don't ask questions, Yuu. Now go get ready to go," he said. Yuu frowned at that.

Guren threw on his wolf skin cloak and walked down the stairs to the gate where the horses awaited as Kimizuki, Yoichi, and Yuu finished putting on their cloaks.  

Shinoa and Mitsuba watched as the four men hopped on as the gates opened and rode a further beyond the gates, not by much because the man was caught close to the training grounds where the Watchmen stayed. Sanguinem territory was western beyond the walls of Nagoya. As they reached, they saw a group of watch brothers huddled around a man, holding him. 

Guren hopped off his horse. Yuu following close behind, and then Yoichi and Kimizuki. 

"Is this the one?" Guren asked the senior Watch member. 

"He is, my Lord." the man responded.

Guren turned towards the man. 

"You know desertion is a crime that is considered treasonous."

The man nodded.

"The punishment for desertion is execution. Do you accept your fate?" he asked the man again. 

"Aye, I do, my Lord." the man responded for the first time.

"Very well. Get him ready." Guren commanded the Watch Men.

The brought the man over to a large stone and keeled him over it. Guren unsheathed his sword. 

"Any final words?" he asked the man.

"A warning, my Lord. I saw the blood-suckers beyond the wall. I saw the vampires; my group was attacked by them. I was the only one left alive and I was terrified, so I ran. I should have gone back to our group to warn my brothers, but I didn't. I was only worried with getting myself out of there, my Lord. I apologize. Please send word to my family, my name is Toshi of House Birthe about my death. I want them to know." he finished.

Guren looked at him for a second seeming to think.

Yoichi, Kimizuki, and Yuu all stood back at a distance. 

Kimizuki standing behind them staring at Yuu and Yoichi in front. Yuu noticed Yoichi fidgeting to himself as he saw Guren get ready to execute the man. 

"Yoichi," Yuu whispered to him, putting a calloused hand on his shoulder, "Whatever you do, DON'T look away. Guren will know if you do. He has eyes at the back of his head like that." Yuu says with his cocky smirk. 

Yoichi laughs a little before smiling back at him and thanking the alpha for helping him.

They turn their attention back to where Guren is now with his sword pointed down. 

"I, Guren of House Ichinose, Lord of Nagoya, and the Warden of the North hereby sentence Toshi of House Birthe to death at my hand."

The man was in tears hunched over, as Guren swung his sword chopping the head clean off the man, as blood spurted from where it used to be. 

Yoichi winced only a little bit but didn't look away. Kimizuki put a hand on his shoulder, and Yoichi looked over as the male gave him a small smile. 

"You did good Yoichi." Kimizuku says before walking away to his horse. 

Yoichi nodded, and waited a few minutes before joining them as they were moving away, Guren came to get his horse. 

"I saw you didn't look away this time." Guren gave the omega a small smile. 

"It's not as hard to watch the second time." Yoichi responded. 

"You know why I had to be the one to end it all for him?" Guren asked.

"It's the old way, and the old ways aren't gonna die?" Yoichi questions.

Guren gives a small laugh, "Well yes, but that's not the right answer. A man who passes a sentence should swing the sword."

Yoichi nods, “Is it true what he said? About the vampires?" he asks

"He could be a mad man, but I would be lying if I said I never saw one. I saw one back when I just came to the North with you children. My curiosity got the best of me and I went beyond the wall to see what was there. The one I saw was a child, a boy, kind of like you. Young with white and red hair. He attacked me and when I went to fight him, he walked into my Valyrian Steel sword and shattered. After that I never went beyond the wall more than when I had to, and I never went as far as I did that day whenever I did go." Guren said.

Yoichi just took in all he said, nodding mutely, as Guren gave him a ghost of a small smile and a nod before walking ahead of the three boys. 


As they cross the bridge back to Snowstorm, Yuu sees something interesting near the bridge, and goes to check it out. Once he gets closer, he sees what it is. 

"FATHER!" He shouts to Guren who comes towards him with Yoichi and Kimizuki.

They see a dead wolf surrounded by four cubs, obviously dead from having to give birth to four. 

"There's four for each of the noble children you father here." Yuu says.

"So?" Guren asks.

"They're a symbol of your house and the North, meaning it would be bad luck to kill them or leave them for death. So, one for each of them." Yuu states.

Guren considers it for a second before deciding what harm could really come if they are trained by the children, well maybe except for Shinoa, she's all trouble. Nevertheless, he already sees Yoichi is cradling and attached to one. While Kimizuki has one following him. 

"Fine, let's head back." Guren concedes. 

Yoichi notices a rustling bush behind a log.

"Wait, what's that behind the log?" Yoichi asks.

Guren looks and finds a fifth pup, hiding with peculiar yellow eyes. Guren laughs to himself a bit before handing the pup by his hide to Yuu. 

"That one can be Yuu's. It's weird like him." Kimizuki laughs.

"A different looking pup for my actual son, makes sense." Guren says. 

Yuu takes the pup looking grateful before it immediately takes to him when he puts it down and it curls up against his leg barking when Yoichi tries to pet him. 

"Must be an alpha, like his father," Yuu says with a cocky smirk.

"Or a bitch, also like his father," Kimizuki smirks back.

Before this gets into an actual alpha brawl Yoichi or him will have to mediate, Guren cuts off Yuu's response.

"Alright, let's get going so we can be back before supper." Guren says, leaving Yuu to shoot killer daggers at Kimizuki with his eyes.


It's been two weeks since the "Noble Children of the North" received their wolves. The royal party was ready to come in today. With the whole Hiiragi clan.

Yuu petted his wolf Asuramaru he named after a famous queen of the wolves from his favorite childhood book. He was waiting for Kimizuki and Yoichi to finish their haircuts, and in Kimizuki's and Yuu's case shaving.

"I heard the future king is an angry boy from Guren, which means he has the personality of a little prick, probably with a matching prick the same size as his personality." Kimizuki said. 

"I heard the queen is called the 'great beauty of the West' mockingly among omegas because her brother is like twelve times more beautiful than her, and her father never wanted to admit he was the prettier one." Yoichi said.

That had all three laughing in stitches, while Asuramaru was nuzzling into Yuu's rough palm in agreement.  

Yoichi finished his trim, looking almost the same. Yuu got up and sat down where Yoichi was while Yoichi waited for Yuu where he originally sat. 

"Well whatever it is, we'll be seeing if all those rumors are true, especially the one about the queen's beautiful brother." Yuu smiled and wiggled his eyebrows, before he frowned as the man roughly started cutting his hair. 

On the top of the castle. Mitsuba watched as the first carriage started to emerge into view a smile growing into her face. She realized when she looked down that she was supposed to be there as Guren stood waiting for all the children he cared for to join behind him. She started running down the grounds hoping she can reach before they start to enter the gates. 

Shinoa got there first rushing to fix her braids in preparation for seeing her family again. From what Guren told her the only person she should be happy to see is Shinya because the rest of her family blame her for her mother's death. So, she wanted to look her best to see Shinya again, and to show her family how better off she was without them. Shinoa fixed her dress before standing behind Guren who gave her a look. 

"Where are the rest of the lot?" he asked.

She shrugged. She didn't have an answer for any of their whereabouts. 

Next came Yoichi. 

"Sorry I'm late just got out from the haircut. The other two are almost done with their shaves." he said, out of breath, right before the other two arrived. 

"Sorry." Yuu and Kimizuki both said as the got in line. Yuu behind Guren first, then Kimizuki, Shinoa, Mitsuba, and Yoichi side-by-side with Yuu. 

"Where the fuck is Mitsuba?" Guren asked to blank looks and shrugs. 

Then Mitsuba came running with a helmet on, clearly rushing here. Guren pulled the helmet off as she moved to stand in-between Yoichi and Shinoa, right as the gates opened. 

Guren watches as the first carriage steps out the King Takashi and the Queen-Mother. 

Mahiru looks beautiful still, but she has gotten old.

"Queen-Mother," Guren says

"Lord Guren how nice to see you again." she says holding out her hand, which Guren kisses and rolls his eyes as soon as she turns away to glare at Shinoa, and Mitsuba steps in front of her a bit protectively.

Guren then bows before the king. "My king" he says as he does it, rolling his eyes internally at bowing to this child.

"Lord Guren, it is truly an honor to meet the Kingslayer." he begins with a sneer and everyone down to Shinoa already wants to punch him. "I come here to end your banishment, and formally ask you to come back to your position as kingsguard to me, based on my mother's advice and my personal knowledge of your history that leads me to believe you to be the greatest swordsman in the west. Will you accept my position as kingsguard and return with me to Shibuya?" he finishes. 

Guren looks at the king, then behind him at his children's reactions, zeroing in on Yuu's shocked face ready to object and giving him a look saying, 'We'll talk about it later.' Yuu nods not removing the angry look from his face.

Guren remembers what happens if he doesn't accept due to Mahiru's fragile ego. "I accept, my king." Guren says and bends the knee while putting his sword in the ground.  

"Good. I thank you in advance for your service, Lord Guren." the king says.

The King's party leave after that to rest, as the welcoming party disintegrates.


As Guren turns to go to the crypts to think, he sees the best thing he's seen in a long time. Shinya silver-haired and still beautiful, if not more so with age. He's coming out of his carriage and catches Guren's eye. Guren gives him a small smile and signals with his eyes to the crypts to which Shinya nods in understanding. 

In the crypts Guren stares at the statue of his dead father he put up once he came to the North. 

"You still have a thing for brooding in the dark, Guren. Some things never change." Shinya laughs. 

Guren turns towards him and hugs him. They hold each other for what seems like centuries, before Shinya separates. Guren moves in for a kiss, but Shinya narrowly dodges him. 

"Heh, Guren you have some explaining to do before I can think about kissing you again." Shinya says as he pulls away from Guren's embrace.

"Like what?" Guren smirks lovesick always around Shinya, forgetting the bastard sized elephant in the room.

"The bastard child, Guren." Shinya deadpans, "I have to know did you have sex with the whore before you met me or before we began our affair?"

Guren shocked by the omega's bluntness, "No. I had sex with her before I ever got involved with the Hiiragi's, before I even met you. The whore didn't even want him, so I took him in." 

"Good. That's all I needed to know for the past sixteen years, Guren. I always knew you would never do anything like that to me, but a small weak part of me always thought, what if I wasn't enough? And that's why you went and found some omega whore-" Shinya started.

"Don't finish that sentence." Guren growled, letting his alpha takeover for a moment before coming back to normal. "It was before I knew you. Before I met you. After I met you, I knew we were always gonna be us, and you were gonna be the only one for me." Guren finished caressing Shinya's cheek lovingly, before Shinya moved in for a kiss. 

They kissed for a straight two minutes before pulling away. 

"So, listen, I know the vow I made to you, Shinya..." Guren looked into those beautiful blue eyes, wider than the ocean, looking back at him so lovingly, and got lost in them.  

Clearly seeing where Guren was going with this Shinya continued for him.

"But it wouldn't be exactly be a smart move to get married. Especially since you're going to be a kingsguard and you can't take a wife. We'll both be back in enemy territory. If we do have a wedding, I guarantee it, we'll die. I can wait if you can too. I know one day we'll get married, even if it's at the end of the world. I understand, and if you got married as a kingsguard you'd be executed for going against your vows." Shinya finished.

"Wow." Guren said, a little bit mind-blown, "On-the-nose."

They both smiled before Guren got close to Shinya and whispered, "You know Shinya, I haven't done it in sixteen years because I was waiting for this exact moment." 

Shinya smirked looking both sweet and mischievous at the same time, "Same for me, my sweet. But here, where the dead lie? In front of your father?" Shinya pointed out.

"Old asshole is dead anyway." Guren mumbled in a low voice moving towards Shinya's lips. They met in a sweet kiss before they heard steps pounding down the stairs towards them in the crypt. 

"Shit." they both said as they went to hide behind a statue.   

 They remained quiet until Guren heard a familiar voice. 

"Guren, I know you're down here, I saw you go down here and weirdly the prince for some reason." Yuu's deep voice shouted echoing off the crypt walls.

Guren was hoping he'd give up and leave. Then Yuu kept on going. 

"Guren, you know I think it is true when they say the prince is far more beautiful than his sister. He's more beautiful than any omega I've seen-" Yuu said before being cut off.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP YUU!" Guren shouted in his alpha voice and coming out with Shinya in tow putting a hand on his shoulder to relax him. 

"I knew you were hiding." Yuu said to him, before bowing to Shinya, "Your Majesty." Shinya nodded to him. 

"Guren, who's this?" Shinya asked.

"The aforementioned bastard son I took in." Guren said. 

"Ah." Shinya said.

Shinya moved to Yuu and stood in front of him, examining him, "He really is your son huh, Guren? He even has the same personality, let alone looks."

"Well he IS my son." Guren said

Yuu not knowing what was going on with these two, or what they were doing down here in the first place, tested out his suspicion.

"So, what are you and Guren to each other?" Yuu asked Shinya, who looked at Guren who nodded. 

"I'm your father's mate, destined love, and hopefully future wife." the omega said looking at Yuu.

Guren who smiled with pride at Shinya affirming his feelings for him.

Yuu turned back to Guren, "Is this true?"

Guren gave him a confident nod. 

"Yuuichirou Amane." Yuu clasped Shinya's gloved hand and kissed it. "Guren's BASTARD son."

"In both senses of the word." Guren smirked.

"Nice to meet you. Shinya Hiiragi." Shinya replied laughing.

"Obviously." Yuu responded. 

They stood like that for a bit before Shinya realized Yuu came here for a reason. 

"I should probably get going before Mahiru or Kureto realize I'm not in a large pile of books in my room. I have to get ready for the feast too." Shinya smiled at Yuu bowing again, as he kissed Guren on the lips and walked out of the crypt, black and white furred cloak dragging as he left.

"He seems nice." Yuu said. 

"He's perfect." Guren states obviously. 

They stay silent for a moment. 

"What did you want? Or did you just interrupt us to piss me off?" Guren questioned.

"You didn't tell me about you leaving for the Kingsguard." Yuu said.

"It never came up." Guren stated trying to play it off. 

Yuu gave him a knowing look. 

"I never wanted to tell you, but I guess I was just delaying the inevitable. Yuu, when I leave, I want you to take over and rule the north in my stead." Guren says.

"I don't think I'm ready for that." Yuu says, a bit shocked.

"No, you're not. But, either way you're my only son and heir, so you must learn one way or another. Shinoa and Mitsuba are coming with me, but you'll have Yoichi and Kimizuki, and you'll also have the best maester. But, it's not like you're a complete idiot, you've seen me strategize and I know you haven't been completely blinded this whole time. You're smart Yuu, even though we may all call you an idiot. You can do this." Guren says with a small smile as he claps his son on the shoulder. 

"Wow." Yuu said a bit shocked at his father's sincerity, "that prince must have really softened you up. That was the kindest thing you've ever said to me."

"Shut up." Guren said playfully smacking his son's head as he walked out of the crypt, "But, I'm being honest Yuu, you can do this. Just don't fuck it up."

Yuu stood there alone in the crypt contemplating what Guren had just said. 

"I hope I can." he whispered.


As the feast gets underway Guren goes to speak with Shinoa, who is also conveniently sitting with Mitsuba and chatting animatedly with her. 

Guren hands Mitsuba her new knife as a piece offering. He did say he would forge her one to soften the blow. Mitsuba takes it with a happy smile, before realizing Guren would never just do this. 

"What did you do?" Mitsuba asks. 

Guren sits across from the two of them. 

"One of the conditions for me resuming my post of kingsguard is that you two would accompany me back to the capital as both of your families want to see you. You don't have to stay with them, at least they understand that living with me your whole lives makes me a better choice for being where you live, so you'll stay with me, but they want to see you every day when we go to the capital." Guren stated. 

He looked up gauging their reactions. It was as expected, Shinoa looked excited and started shouting happily about finally seeing Shibuya, while Mitsuba looked more hesitant. 

"And we have to go?" Mitsuba asked.

"Those were the terms, if we go against them, we risk starting a war between the North and the South, and with winter coming we won't have the resources or men to win."

Mitsuba nodded solemnly in understanding, while Shinoa looked happy, but still tried to comfort Mitsuba. 

"At least we'll still be together." Shinoa said trying to cheer Mitsuba up, and Mitsuba gave her a small smile. 

Guren knew they'd be fine if they had each other, he did have a suspicion there was something more there, but he didn't have time to dwell on it, with that he took his leave. 

Meanwhile outside Yuu bored with the feast deciding to get a little bit of sword practice in with the dummy. 

"You're really good with that, reminds me of the way your father used to wield a sword." Shinya said throwing his cloak behind him as he walked over. 

"Well I hope so, he taught me all he knows, my Prince." Yuu said. 

"Please just call me Shinya when it's just us two."

"Okay, Shinya." Yuu said.

It was silent before Shinya spoke again.

"I always did want to see the wall, it's quite a sight especially from all the way down here." Shinya said.

"It is, very much. Father wants me to rule the North when he's gone, you know. His BASTARD son, with no real claim to anything." Yuu said continuing to focus on his dummy, not even realizing all he was saying.

"Don't do that."

"What?"

"Underestimate yourself just because you're a bastard." Shinya responds curtly.

"What do you know about being a bastard?" Yuu almost growls out. 

Unfazed, Shinya continues, "I'm worse than a bastard, I was adopted and made an official Hiiragi by my father. I don't know why or what he saw in me to want me, but that's what made my sister and brother hate me. Knowing father chose to let me in the family, while they were born into it, knowing he loved me more and trusted me more than them because he had the ability to choose me. Now that he's gone, I won't be treated any better than a bastard by my family, and I won't have his protection. It's a good thing the little shit of a king likes me enough to make me his Right-Hand Adviser, it was father's last death wish after all. I couldn't even stay more than five minutes for his funeral because I now have to rely on myself for protection." Shinya laments.

"That is a lot, I guess we both won't have our fathers to protect us anymore." Yuu gave a small laugh. 

"Well like I said, I must rely on myself, and so do you. Don't forget that you are a bastard, but wear it like armor, and nobody will be able to hurt you with it."

With that Shinya left, silver hair flowing as he went back to the feast. 

Guren was walking across the hall when he saw the devil in human form come towards him.

"Guren." Kureto said. 

"Kureto." Guren said ready to maul the beta alive. 

 "I'm glad to hear you're coming with us to Shibuya." Kureto continued.

"Well not like I had much a choice," Guren said pointedly.

 Kureto laughed at that, loud and echoing in the noisy hall. 

"Still I'm glad. The competition in tournaments has been becoming stale," Kureto said.

"You and I both know I would never fight in a tournament."

"Why? Too old now, Guren? Aren't you in your thirties?"

"When I fight a REAL man, I prefer for them to not know what I can really do." Guren said.

"How honorable, from the fucking kingslayer himself." Kureto says. 

"I'd still have more honor than you." Guren responds, "Don't you have a sister to "talk" to?" Guren says as he brushes past a fuming Kureto.

Shinya reached back to the elevated table set for the Hiiragi clan to Mahiru's knowing smile and uppity hair. 

"Back from talking to your lover?" she asked.

"Back from talking to his son. How are you enjoying the feast, sister?" he responded not even glancing at her as he sat down. 

"These Northerner's know how to get drunk." she cringed at her son feeling up a male omega. 

"Well they do mostly drink ale." he said.

They sat in silence until Shinya was greeted by a lovely girl wearing a violet dress, purple hair in a style like his, a braid around the back with his hair down. He immediately knew who this was as she walked up the steps and stopped in front of the stage, he got out of his seat and walked towards her.

"Shinoa! I missed you so much! How are you, my sweet child? You have grown up to be so beautiful, just like your mother used to look." he exclaimed happily as he pulled the younger omega into an embrace.

When let go. They beamed smiles at each other.

 "I'm doing well, Guren has always treated me with respect, he even told me all the stories about how inseparable we both were when I was born. But I've longed to meet you since he told me." Shinoa told him with a smile on his face. 

Guren smiled at him, when his eyes found him, happy they finally reunited. Shinya loved her so much as a child, he was basically like a mother to her when the Hiiragi matriarch died. Shinya smiled back at him. 

"Shinoa, how are you little dove?" Mahiru creeped up behind them like the viper she was. 

Shinoa jolted a bit surprised at seeing her sister talk to her after what Guren told her before putting on an easy fake smile for her. 

"I've been doing well in the North, your grace." she responded.

"And have you bled yet?" Mahiru asked. 

Shinya gave her a look saying 'What. The. Absolute. Fuck.'

Shinoa bristled and told her honestly, "No, your grace."

"Well you will do well with your real family back in Shibuya, when we leave for there tomorrow. Such beauty and grace should not be hidden in the icy North. You will do well in the capital." Mahiru responded brushing the length of Shinoa's hair on her left side behind her shoulder before walking away. 

With one last hug, Shinya said, "I'll see you tomorrow. You'll be riding with me in my carriage." he said as he smiled at her before she left. 

After that the Hiiragi's promptly retired in preparation for the journey to Shibuya.


The next morning, Guren gets up early to prep the horses for the journey. He sees Yoichi scaling the walls of the castle. How many times does he have to tell him to not do that? If he goes too high, he can end up breaking his legs if he falls. 

"Oi, Yoichi. Get the fuck down from there, you can fall and break your neck." He shouts to the boy at the top.

"I'll be fine Guren you know climbing is my best skill after all." Yoichi responds. 

'Heh if only you could kill a man by climbing them' Guren thinks. 

"Fine, but be careful, and don't go any higher than this castle." Guren gives in before returning to the task at hand.

Yoichi scales down the castle walls and sets his sights on the abandoned tower. He sneaks away while Guren is busy dealing with a situation. 

Yoichi heads to the tower with Gekkōin, his wolf named after a bird demon from his favorite story Old Nan used to tell him, he called him Gekko for short. 

He starts scaling the tower but is only about a quarter way up when he reaches a window and starts hearing sounds. 

He hears the grunts of a man working hard.

"Ahh-fuck Kureto. Yeah just like tha-AAHH!" A female voice, he hopes somebody's not hurting the woman and looks through.

What he sees is a shocker. 

The "great beauty of the West" is getting plowed in the ass like a horse by her brother.

Both are sweaty, and disheveled. As Queen Regent Mahiru's gown is pulled up exposing her lower body, while he sees her brother's cock thrusting into her on the cold stone ground of the abandoned tower. He heard rumors, but it's not like anybody has ever witnessed them fucking. Mahiru looked up to the window and saw Yochi. 

"STOP. FUCKING STOP." she said as she pushed Kureto off her, the beta looked pissed before realizing what she was staring at. He saw the boy and ran to grab him before he fell off the window to the ground. 

Yoichi trying to move to climb back down was grabbed and pulled in by Kureto to be held by his shirt, balancing on the windowsill. 

"Whoa there, aren't you the little climber?" Kureto asked him.

"He saw us. If he tells them-" Mahiru starts.

"If he tells them nothing will happen, not like the court hasn't been spreading rumors about what we do for years."

"Yes, but he's a noble child, a Saotome, and if he tells them what he saw here, we'll be executed, and my son will be taken off the throne and shunned. The Hiiragi's would become an old joke. He's old enough to remember what happened here. It's the only option." Mahiru said trying to cover herself, gets up to where Kureto is putting her hand where his hand grasps Yoichi's shirt.

Kureto looked at him, then back at Mahiru with his hand firmly grasped in Yoichi's shirt.

"The things I do for love." he says as he and Mahiru both let go and push Yoichi out of the window. 

Yoichi falling and landing unconscious. 


Shinjuku - 16 Years after the Rebellion

Mikaela stared out in the distance on the balcony, his long, pale, blonde hair down waiting for his handmaids to finish preparing his bath. 

As he waits, he hears from a distance a voice he has learned to dread. 

"MIKAELA!" shouts Lucal. 

Lucal rescued Mikaela when he was younger, after his father was executed, he brought the omega across the Blood Sea, where he raised him in his home. 

Lucal also thought because he saved Mikaela's life, he could do whatever he wanted to with Mikaela and his body, and he did when Mikaela turned around twelve. Mika never saw it coming until it happened, then he prepared himself as it happened more and more often even now when he was sixteen. 

At least three times a week now, Lucal took Mikaela to his chambers like some common whore, whether he wanted to or not. Mikaela never wanted to, not even today after all the time's it's happened. Mikaela could still feel the pain from last night as Lucal thrust into him harshly, even as he screamed and begged for him to stop. Lucal was shouting it was his fault that he had to leave his home, and Mikaela couldn't help, but just let him do it. 

He was the one who even gave him the nickname Mika. It happened during one-time Lucal brutally raped him (Mika wasn't going to soften what it really was), he tried to soothe him after what he did. Even though Mika wanted to tell him to stop he couldn't bring himself to ever do it. The man was extremely intimidating and would either scream or hit him, but never in the face, he always said he needed the face. 

Strangely, Mika was an omega, but he never felt the need to submit to him. When he let Lucal do what he wanted to him, it was always his choice made out of fear and fright. It was almost as if the omega in him had given him the reins to live as he wished. Mika honestly felt a little liberated at the thought. 

Even more strange, Lucal had not left any scars more recently, but it was only a week ago after IT happened that he found out. He was going to be married off to some horse-lord of the Dothraki. Khal Makoto, he thinks Lucal had said. He explained it needed to be done so he could go back home and get the throne that was taken from him. Mikaela understood it was his birthright and if he can't get it back, Lucal would be angry with him. When Mika takes the throne though he planned to get rid of Lucal, as soon as possible, after all he'll be the Queen of the Six Kingdoms, they'll have to follow his orders, and if he orders his execution, they'd have to carry it out.

Mika was grateful for Lucal taking him away from the west, but that all went down the drain once he took him like a fucking horse. He would still save him reluctantly for all he's done for him, but he hated and pitied him. He still desperately needed him to live as he does now.  

At least, he didn't have to worry about Lucal forcefully fucking him anymore because he can't do it anymore if he wanted to make this marriage a success, and secure Mika an army. At least he'll be safe from him, but Mika doesn't know anything about this new husband aside from his tribe are a bunch of savages, and he's a barbarian who's never been defeated in any fight, so he has a long ponytail of hair as a trophy, so Mika's chances of just being handed off to another rapist goes up.

"Mika, there you are." Lucal enters as Mika turns his blue eyes towards Lucal carrying a dress. 

Lucal brings it to Mikaela in his robe as he studies it, it really is stunning. Beautiful white silk, two straps, embroidered with fine rubies all around the bottom gave the impression of a bit of fire, and it came with a matching red jeweled head piece. 

"It's beautiful." Mika says in an obvious tone. 

"It's for your presentation to the Khal." Lucal replied smiling at Mika, making him internally cringe.

"We've been receiving lots of gifts." Mika stated.

"Well, from supporters to your claim, they know once you ascend the throne, I'll give them this tenfold."

"Are you sure they'll all be interested in wedding dresses?" Mika asks sarcastically. 

"No, you simple boy." Lucal replies not picking up on the sarcasm. 

"I've had the best education, I know multiple languages, I know the kingdom history, and I know a lot more. I'm not exactly simple." Mika replied smartly. 

"So, you did that just to piss me off?" Lucal asks irritation evident in his tone.

 Mika remained silent, it wouldn't be smart to rile up that alpha before he does something that will make Mika regret being born. 

"Undress him." Lucal tells the handmaidens. 

They remove his robe, leaving him bare and naked. He has a surprisingly large cock for an omega, but then again Mika's never been normal. 

Mika stands as Lucal approaches him. Mika tries to keep his face stoic, when Lucal starts caressing his nipples. 

"You have a beautiful omega's body, Mika. You need to need to learn to show it off. They don't call you the most beautiful creature in the world for no reason." he says as his hands move lower down Mika's body. Reaching his barely visible pubic hair, Mika visibly winces as he starts running his fingers through it.

"I need you to be perfect for me today, Mika. If you don't impress this Khal, your chances of invasion are as good as dead, and don't you think you've kept me from my home long enough Mika?" he asks still rubbing him, while Mika tries to not look disgusted. 

"You don't want to awake the alpha again, do you Mika?" he finishes. Mika nods again stoically, before he leaves, and Mika releases the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding in. 

Mika more dazed than usual turns around, and slowly steps into the boiling hot tub, ignoring the screams of it being too hot from his handmaidens. He doesn't feel it burning him, so he ignores it hoping to cleanse the filth he's had to deal with his whole life. When he looks down, he sees his body completely unharmed. He feels more relieved. Today can be a new start. 


Mikaela stands next to Lucal as they wait for Makoto and his horde to arrive at the front steps. 

"He's fucking late." Lucal mumbles next to him. Mika is wearing the dress and heels sent from another "anonymous supporter."

They hear horses. Lucal steps forward as Khal Makoto approaches the steps on horseback. Brown hair, long and braided, tanned skin, a very toned body with bulging muscles. Makoto immediately looks Mikaela in the eyes once he appears in his vision. Mika is busy looking upon his future betrothed, he doesn't realize Lucal has started talking.

"I am Lucal Wesker, of House Wesker. I present the heir to House Shindo and Iron Throne, Mikaela Shindo, most beautiful omega in the world." Lucal says holding his hand out to Mikaela at the bottom of the steps. Rolling his eyes at the beauty comment, not missing Makoto's smirk at that. Mika slowly walks down and takes Lucal's arm before he pulls him close to whisper in his ear, "He's one of the finest killers, and you'll be his queen," and sends her down to him. Mika slowly walks down the stairs not even realizing his trembling.

When he does reach him, he looks him in the eyes, and Makoto smirks at him with something in his eye, before riding away. Mika doesn't realize he's been standing there until Lucal walks up behind him and squeezes his butt cheek. 

"I think he liked you." Lucal tells him before walking back into the house. 

Lucal walks ahead on the balcony talking of plans while Mika follows close behind still in his presentation attire.

"I wonder if it's true that they fuck their horses?" Lucal asks himself. "What do you think Mika?"

Mika shrugs, not really feeling like talking. 

"Well anyway, I got the notice that Makoto accepted the marriage proposal. He was quite taken with you. You were perfect today Mika, like I needed you to be. Soon enough you'll have an army, and we'll retake your throne. The common people have already heard of your existence, they probably cry out for you, their true queen, and drink secret toasts to your health." he said. 

Mikaela rolled his eyes from behind him, knowing that was a large amount of horse shit. 

"I gave him a queen, and now all he needs is an army." he finished.

Mikaela was tired of being referred to as some queen when he was just a fucking horse being sold to the highest bidder, he couldn't hold it in any longer. 

"I don't want to be his queen." Mika said. "I want to go home."

Lucal turned around and walked back to him.

"How do you expect to go home? Your home has been taken away from you. You would be killed as soon as you stepped foot on western soil. You need an army to get back there, especially being the Mad King's son. To get that army I would let the Khal rape you, all his riders rape you, and hell I would even let those horses rape you if you needed to get that army. It's not like you're a blushing virgin anymore." Lucal said to him in a low terrifying, slightly murderous voice, tucking a lock of his hair back before walking away. 

Mika stood there terrified, until he was sure Lucal was gone before breaking down. 


Mikaela never thought his wedding would be on a beach, let alone to the leader of the Dothraki.

He was in his wedding attire a simple white dress, with off-the-shoulder sleeves and accents of silver, Mikaela wore his hair down, with one braid pulled back and going down his hair. He never thought a wedding would be so barbaric. 

Men and women were fighting each other in the center for their "pleasure," much to Mikaela's disgust. Lucal looks more uninterested by it and begins trying to talk to Makoto through his translator about starting war plans. To which Makoto replies soon in his own language. He hasn't taken his eyes of Mikaela and it honestly worries him. Mikaela watched still disgusted as one man killed another man and started plowing a beta woman right there.

A purple-haired man, with brown eyes and walks up to Mika and Makoto. 

"Lacus of the West." Makoto said smiling as he approached them. 

Mika looks at him before the man starts talking. 

"I am Lacus Welt of House Welt." the man says before bowing to them and coming to Mika handing him a pile of books. "Songs and histories from your homeland, your grace."

Mika thinking this man doesn't sound like he's from Shinjuku due to his accent tests his suspicion, "Thank you, are you from my country?"

"I am, your grace. And I've vowed to come serve the true ruler of the six kingdoms." Lacus replies.

"Thank you." Both Lucal and Mika say.

Mika rolls his eyes.

I also have been asked to deliver a gift from an admirer of the Shindo's, my queen." Lacus stands aside as a large box is brought before Mika. 

He opens it to find three eggs with scales. He's seen eggs like that in books, they're dragon eggs. One is blue colored with light pink markings, the next is black with red speckles, and the last is white with golden shapes that look like stars. Mika picks the red and black one up in awe. It's the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. 

"Your admirer wanted you to know they're all dried up and basically stone, but the only person this can truly belong to is a Shindo, so he sent them for you." Lacus said. 

"They're beautiful. Like nothing I've ever seen before." Mika said as he picked up the white one to examine it, not knowing everyone's eyes were only on him. 

"Thank you, Ser Lacus and please tell my admirer they have my greatest thanks." Mika finishes as he picks up the blue one to examine. 

Makoto stood up. 

"The feasting is done, now is time for the laying ceremony."  he says in his loud deep voice. He gets up and starts walking. Mika after catching the translation gets up to follow him, where he leads her to a beautiful white horse, with a mane almost like his actual hair. 

"A beautiful gift for my beautiful queen." he says smiling down at Mika who pets the horse. Mika has never seen a stallion like this one, it's gorgeous. 

"Ser Lacus, what is the word for 'thank you' in Dothraki." he asks

"There is no such word, your grace." Lacus replies. 

Mika just turns to Makoto then and looks him in the eyes with a bright smile and gives him a nod to which Makoto gives him a kiss on the cheek for before lifting him and putting him on the horse, Mika petting him. 

As Makoto gets on his horse, Mika feels a hand dangerously close to his crotch on his thigh. He looks down and see Lucal. 

"Make him happy tonight, Mika. Do whatever you have to, just make him happy." Lucal told him as Lacus glared at him watching the whole exchange. 

Mika nodded before following Makoto with his horse.


Mika knew what was going to happen as he rode way with Makoto to a secluded valley where a tent was pitched, outside the tent was a large sheet. Mika realized he needed to do something before it happened, he accepted his fate as Makoto lifted him off the horse. 

Mika went to the large sheet before Makoto joined him. Makoto made him face him, and Mika lifted his eyes to Makoto's. 

He gave Mika a small smile, a gentle one before undressing and settling on the sheets. He looked up at Mika. 

"Do you want this, my queen?" he asked him. 

Mika could tell it was a question, but he didn't know what he was saying. Mika still dressed, sat next to him and took a moment to think about this. 

From the way he sounded Makoto asked him if he wanted this, to have sex with him, but to him it seemed like he was also asking if Mika wanted him.

Nobody had ever asked him what he wanted.

He looked at Makoto again who gave him an adoring smile, in return.

Mika realized he could learn to love this man. This man understood him and cared for him more than Lucal had ever, even in such a short time. He didn't even try to rape him, which already beat the expectations Mika set for him. He let Mika be the one-in-charge, he let Mika control something.

For once, Mika was going to make his own choice.

Mika stood up before the alpha and nodded. He reached for his shoulder sleeves and let them loose before the dress dropped to the ground. Mika settled on the ground as Makoto moved on top of him, his legs wrapped around Makoto's body like an impulse. Makoto looked him in the eyes before moving in to kiss his lips, and Mika felt it. 

He felt passion, he wanted this man, this alpha to fuck him, and make him his. The alpha kissed down his body. He sucked his nipples causing Mika to groan loudly. Mika began producing so much slick, and his scent was starting to overwhelm even him. Makoto licked down his body until he reached his cock and took it in his mouth. He kissed the tip before sucking on the head and going down on him causing Mika to roughly pull his hair.  

"You taste amazing, my angel. " Makoto pulled off and said in his thick alpha voice before coming up to him and recapturing his lips in a heated kiss Mika shifted up to allow Makoto's thick length entrance into his slick hole. Makoto thrusted into him, while jerking him off causing Mika to moan loudly. Mika managed to cum first before Makoto came inside of him. 

Makoto collapsed beside him, and Mika nuzzled his chest, as rough, calloused fingers reached up to card through his hair. 

"I love you, my queen." Makoto said as he kissed the top of his head. 

Mika looked up knowing exactly what he said. "I love you too," nodding for extra effect.

Mika laid their nuzzling Makoto who drifted off.

'Maybe this marriage wouldn't be so bad.' he thought, before he finally drifted off content.

Chapter Text

Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Shinya wakes up bright and early to get ready for the journey back to Shibuya. 

His handmaiden dresses him in tight white pants, and putting on his many top layers made of cotton and leather in a shade of green. As she starts to comb through his hair he hears a knock. 

"COME IN!" he shouts, a little annoyed someone would disturb him so early. 

He immediately calms down once he sees Guren come in dressed in all black and brown leather with a brown furred cloak. 

He nods for his hand maiden to leave them. 

Guren walks towards him until he's right in front of him. He takes his hand when he reaches him. 

"Can I ask you for a small favor?" Guren honestly looks downright shy, as he says it, surprising Shinya who knows how the alpha usually is. 

He nods. 

"Stay here in Nagoya for at least a week. You're the smartest person I know, and since I'm being called immediately to serve as kingsguard, I need someone to help Yuu settle into his new post better, and make sure he doesn't fuck up the North." Guren says

"Okay." Shinya says without a hint of hesitation. 

"Really? I thought you would be more against it." Guren says a bit shocked. 

"I should settle in here fine. I mean I've been doing well so far. Another week shouldn't be any trouble. I was supposed to diverge from your path on the way to Shibuya to see Seishirou whose taking father's death and the new king's ascension hard, so I'm not in much of any rush to go see him. The downside is just that you won't be here, but I can cope with it." Shinya says giving the man a small smile. 

Guren kisses him, which Shinya gladly reciprocates. 

"Thank you. And you know now that we're alone, I can finally properly thank you." Guren says voice husky with a smirk. 

Shinya moves to kiss him again, as things once again turn heated. Shinya moves onto the bed as Guren lifts him onto it, and pulls him down, not breaking the kiss. 

"FATHER COME QUICK, WE NEED YOU!" somebody knocks on Shinya's door, both recognizing the voice as Yuu. 

"Oh for fuck's sake, that bastard is going to be the cause of my permanent blue balls." Guren moves grumpily off of Shinya who lies on the bed.

Guren opens the door to see a disheveled looking Yuu. 

"What is it?" Guren asks still angry. 

"It's Yoichi. He was climbing again and fell from the tower. They found his body." Yuu says his alpha distressed. 


Yuu started walking and Guren and Shinya followed, as he moved. 

"Fuck. I should have been stricter about getting him to stop the climbing. I encouraged him to keep going." Guren said his alpha pissed. 

"It wasn't your fault, Guren." Shinya said placing a gloved hand on Guren's shoulder trying to soothe his alpha. 

Guren relaxes, but not completely. 

"Where is he?" Guren asks. 

"They brought him back to his room where the maester's looking at him now." Yuu says as they reach Yoichi's room. 

Guren looks at the young boy solemnly. Noticing how pale he looks with his eyes shut. Almost like he's dead. 

"Will he pull through?" Guren asks the maester. 

"If he wakes up, he just might, but his legs are too destroyed from the fall. He'll be a crippled omega if he pulls through. Never able to bear any children for an alpha."

Guren nods looking at the boy before turning to Shinya. 

"We'll delay the journey for a day. That's all your family will be willing to spare for this I'm assuming."

"Maybe even less knowing Mahiru, but I could probably convince her to go with a day." Shinya responds before going to tell Mahiru. 

Guren sits down. 

"Yuu, you'll prepare the horses for tomorrow's journey. I want to spend my last moments in the North with Yoichi." Guren tells him. 

Yuu nods before leaving, giving Guren one last glance.

"No more fucking climbing." Guren says to Yoichi's body as he looks down at him covered in furs.


Shinya was striding down the hallways on his way to the dining table where his family was eating. 

Shinya was moving so fast he almost runs face-first into his shit of a nephew Takashi. 

The boy sneers at him before Shinya starts talking. 

"Uncle."

"We ride for Shibuya tomorrow morning, instead of today. There has been an injury towards the Saotome boy, and Lord Guren asks for a day." Shinya says.

"Very well, he can have another day. But, that's ALL he gets because I can't stand to remain in this white covered shit-hole." the boy says menacingly.

"Well your mother will be the one to decide that." Shinya says before moving to walk away from this brat, before turning back. "You will offer your condolences to the lord and his sister, and tell them you will be at their service if they need anything."

"Why would I do that? I hate the wailing of omegas."

"Because you are king and it is expected of you if you are to be a good king."

"The boy means less to me than horseshit." Takashi replies. 

Shinya having enough of this conversation, walks back and slaps the boy to him angrily whimpering like a bitch. Shinya could barely keep the smile off his face. 

"Go fulfill the fucking courtesies." Shinya tells him angrily. 

"I'M TELLING MOTHER!" he whimpers, so Shinya hits him again. 

"You can, but after the condolences. One more word and I slap you again." Shinya says.

"I DON'T WANT TO! YOU BITCH!" the king replies seething with rage, before Shinya pulls an even harder slap outta him and he simpers off to go fulfill the courtesies. When he's gone Shinya smirks to himself. 


 

Shinya reaches the mess hall where Mahiru, Kureto, and his more likable nephew Tyuri sit. He sits down next to him hugging the young boy.

"Guren asks to delay the trip back to Shibuya because the Saotome boy suffered a fall from the tower." Shinya says. 

Mahiru and Kureto suspiciously perk up upon hearing this, Shinya notes and decides to test the waters.

"I'll be staying here in the North for a week before coming back to Shibuya to keep watch and make sure Guren's remaining children settle in fine without him. The boy is expected to wake up anytime now, though he won't be able to walk again." Shinya says. 

Mahiru and Kureto are subtle in the way they change their face when they're caught, something Shinya has caught on to over the years, even more so when they exchange looks meaning both were involved.   

"I'll allow it, but that's no way for a boy to live, as a cripple forced to live out the rest of his days pathetically." Mahiru says. 

"The boy was an omega, so it's not like he would be much a hope for a great warrior." Kureto shrugged.

"Still there's no mercy for him." Mahiru says angrily as she takes her son from the table and walks out the hall, leaving Kureto and Shinya. 

"If the boy lives, he'll be a defective, grotesque, crippled omega. You do realize that right?" Kureto says.

"I do, but still. There are possibilities for the boy, he could become a maester or a scribe. The boy was an omega so chances of him becoming a warrior were always going to be low." Shinya says.

"I'll take a good clean death any day over being a useless cripple." Kureto said. 

"I'm just curious to see what the boy will have to say when he wakes up." Shinya says, a little knowing tint in his voice.

Kureto irritated asks, "You know sometimes I wonder what side you're on?"

"Why, of course my family's side, the ones who I love so much." Shinya answers before Kureto gets up and walks away. 


Guren was staring at Yoichi contemplating, when someone came in.  

He was expecting Shinya, but in came Mahiru wearing an elegant pale blue dress, her purple hair down. 

"Guren."

"Queen-Mother"

"I've come to pay my respects towards the Saotome boy, and offer my condolences, as well as, tell you have an extra day." Mahiru says.

"Thank you." Guren says coldly.

They stay like that silently for a while. 

"You know I was devastated after our engagement was broken off." Mahiru started. 

Guren remained silent, not really caring due to the boy lying in front of him. 

"Then my father promised me to Goshi and we married the year after, and pregnant within a fortnight. When I gave birth to the child, he wouldn't open his eyes. He had hair that was blonde like his father, and I begged to any god that would listen for him to live. He never opened his eyes." Mahiru said. 

"I'm sorry. I didn't know." Guren said still cold, but a little less gruff. 

"Well how could you? Goshi punched the walls until his fists were red with blood. I couldn't bear to be separated from my child. MY child. The one I gave birth to, the one that died inside of me. Goshi had to pull me away kicking and screaming when they took him from me. It was the one time he was actually a good husband." Mahiru says voice cold, yet still a bit of a vulnerable edge to it.

Guren stared at the boy in silent contemplation and shock at what Mahiru just told him, out of everybody before Mahiru spoke up again. 

"I will pray to the mother that she return the Saotome boy to you. The bastard child may be the only one that has your blood, but you raised all of them like your own. It's something I envied about you all this time. You got chances with your child, and children that weren't even your own that I never got with the one I lost." Mahiru says before leaving a trail of tears rolling down her face as Guren still just stares in silent shock at Yoichi trying to process Mahiru's revelation.


Yuuichirou was still reeling from what happened to Yoichi this morning. He'd always thought of him as his own brother. Soon enough he wouldn't have Guren to look after him and his "brothers," and he'd be left in charge of the North. Before the three newcomers on the road to Shibuya went back he had to pay a special visit to one. 

He knocked on the door, and it opened to reveal Mitsuba looking as short and mischievous as ever, her hair tied back in a braid. He noticed her wolf was with her in the room. 

"Well I see you've taken to your wolf. What'd you name it?" Yuu said smiling at her as he walked in. 

Mitsuba smiled, "Tenjiryū. I call her Tenji for short. I managed to get her to at least carry things for me that aren't food. Watch. Tenji bring that scarf for me." 

The wolf only stared at her blankly, as Yuu started to laugh, it only grew louder when Mitsuba started saying to wolf's name like a petulant child before she joins in.

"How's Yoichi?" she asks a blank expression on her face. 

Yuu stays silent for a moment before answering with a solemn expression, "If he lives, and I pray he does he'll be crippled for life." 

Mitsuba looks sad for a moment before trying to break the ice, "He always never wanted to fight, I guess now he got out of it."

Yuu looks at her before getting up and wrapping his arms around her, knowing that's just how the girl always took bad news. 

"He'll get past this. He'll live. And Kimizuki and I will be here by his side to look and care for him."

Mitsuba softens at this before giving Yuu a hint of a smile, which Yuu reciprocates. 

"Why are you really here?" she asks. 

"I wanted to see you before you leave. And knowing Shinoa she probably won't let me near her room to say bye." Yuu said. 

"And why is that?"

"You and I both know, she's never liked me a lot because Guren always favored me, being his son. So give her this on the road so she can't pelt it at me." Yuu said handing her a ring with an amethyst gemstone, "I had the blacksmith forge it."

Mitsuba took it, "I know she'll appreciate it."

"I also got you a gift." Yuu said before pulling out something wrapped in a rag. Mitsuba unwrapped it before her face broke out into a huge smile. 

I was a small, thin sword. 

"I also had the blacksmith forge that for you. Figured you could finally find somebody to teach you to fight there like you always wanted. It's Valyrian steel. A word of advice though. Stick em' with the pointy end." Yuu told her smiling brightly. 

"Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!" Mitsuba jumped into Yuu's arms excitedly, the alpha ably catching the short girl and lifting her up. 

"I'll miss you the most." Yuu mumbles. 

"Me too."

 They pull away. 

"You know the best swords have names." Yuu said smirking at her. 

Mitsuba looks at the sword before smiling at Yuu and saying, "I'll call it Needle, its way more fun than the needles the Septa has me using to sow."

Yuu laughs at that and gives her one last hug before departing. 


The next morning everyone gathers out to watch the king's procession leave. 

Yuu sees Shinya and Guren coming from the crypts and laughs to himself, knowing they were probably making out. He knows Shinya was staying with him for a week and he couldn't be more grateful. He needs all the help he can get.

Guren pulls Shinya behind an entryway so nobody can see them, and pulls them close. 

"Make sure you keep an eye on Yuu for me. He needs the help." Guren whispers against Shinya's mouth before moving into kiss him, which Shinya gladly reciprocates before pulling away.

"It's just a week Guren, you know you can trust me, and you know I will take good care of him. The hardest part will be dealing with you not being here." Shinya says. 

Guren smiles before Shinya gives him another passionate kiss, and they step out and walk towards the procession. 

Guren climbs on his horse and looks at Yuu who insisted he walk them to the borders of the North. He sees Shinoa and Mitsuba as inseparable as always going into a carriage behind them. And of course, Kureto and Mahiru already in their own carriage together. He sees Kimizuki standing to the side and nods to him which he nods back, as the gates open and they begin moving out, he reluctantly lets go of Shinya's hand slyly under his big one. 


They ride through the grassy plans, thankful it’s still summer. 

They reach the border by afternoon, and here's where Yuu stops, and Guren joins him over to the side, as the procession continues. 

"There's great honor in what you're doing for me, dumbass Yuu. You needn't be afraid to lead. The Ichinose's have manned the wall for thousands of years." Guren says to him as Yuu looks at him silently, "You are an Ichinose. You may not have my name, but you have my blood and that's worth more than anything."

"I know I never asked you this, but can you tell me about my mother? Is she even still alive? This might be my last chance to know." Yuu asks Guren with a pleading look. 

"Yuu, your mother didn't want you, she was a common omega whore from Fleabottom. She told me she never wanted you. She's probably dead from the plague, whores don't exactly have a high survival rate, let alone an omegan one." Guren says seeing Yuu deflate a bit, brooding now.

"Yuu the thing is, I wanted you. You are my son, my only one. My heir to everything. And don't tell anybody this, but keeping your dumbass was the best decision I ever made. You may not have a mother who wants you, but I sure as fuck do, and I'm grateful I kept you." Guren says. 

Yuu turns to Guren smiling a bit sincerely, "Thank you. Safe travels father. Take care of Mitsu and Shinoa, I guess. Until we meet again."

Guren nods giving him the same small smile and a hard slap on the back before riding away. Him and Shinoa did always have a distant, but still affectionate relationship, as opposed to his one with Mitsuba.

Yuu watches him leave feeling a tiny bit hollow. 


Five days have passed since Guren and the Hiiragi clan (except Shinya) started their journey back to Shibuya. 

Yuu and Kimizuki were sitting by the boy watching him, hoping for a miracle. For Yoichi to open his eyes so both of them could pull him into a hug. 

Shinya walks in. 

"Yuu there are some matters with the management of the castle to deal with, particularly with the King and his procession staying here."

Yuu looks at the man, "Talk to the castle steward about it"

"The steward went with Guren down south, and nobody has been chosen as his replacement. There are also other appointments that need to be made." Shinya tells him imploringly.

"I can't leave Yoichi's side. What if he wakes up? He needs us all to be there. All of us that's left here, at least." Yuu almost growls the alpha coming out of him. 

"I understand that, but you are the warden now. Your father left you in charge, and you accepted it. You need to step up and rule the North." Shinya says in a more sharp tone, refusing to be shaken on the outside by this alpha.

Before Yuu can respond.

"Yuu, go. He's right, you're the ruler now that Guren is gone, and you have to do it. Yoichi won't be alone if he wakes up, I'll be here, and I'll call you first thing if it happens.  Guren told you to not be afraid to rule, so go deal with the appointments. You have people who depend on you now. Unless you're not alpha enough?" Kimizuki says knowing just how to rile you up. 

"I AM THE FUCKING TOP ALPHA HERE!" Yuu shouts before calming down and receding, "Fine. I'll go deal with the appointments, but call me first thing if he wakes up."

Kimizuki nods as Yuu and Shinya leave. 

He brushes the hair from Yoichi's eyes and gives him a small smile before bending down and kissing the omega's forehead. 

He notices a light from the window when he looks up. He goes and sees there's a fire outside.

'Well, that might keep Yuu and the Prince preoccupied for a while.' he thought, as he turned around and saw a large alpha male had entered the room brandishing a knife. 

"WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?" Kimizuki shouts.

The man looks up with cold bloodshot yellow eyes, "It will be a mercy anyway, and the omega is as good as dead. Now he'll finally be able to die." 

The man moved to stab Yoichi and Kimizuki tackled him before he started punching the man until his face bled. The man kicked him off and pulled on his scarf. He started to strangle Kimizuki with it to grab him so that he can cut his throat.

Kimizuki grabs the blade of the dagger, squeezing and pushing it away as the blood starts to emerge from his hands where he now has fresh cut marks. The alpha being stronger pushes it back and as he's about to reach Kimizuki's throat he hears a howl as the man is no longer on top of him.

He looks over blood pooling on the floor where Gekko and his wolf Kiseki-Ō (Kiseki) is fighting over the man and ripping him apart like a piece of meat. Blood pools all over the floor as the wolves take turns ripping him apart one body part at a time. He watches in shock as the man screams and his blood overflows from his hands as he grabs a towel to stop the bleeding and slowly walks over. He watches the wolves tear the man apart. Not even noticing the hint of a smile on his features when the wolves finish and Kiseki stands by his side, and Gekko moves atop Yoichi's bed alert and awake, standing guard over the omega. 

Shortly after Yuu and Shinya came back and Kimizuki explained what happened, Kimizuki took his leave. Yuu looked over the body bathed in dry blood, as Shinya picked up the knife to look at it.

It was definitely the knife of a noble, at least. Made of Valyrian Steel with a real golden hilt. Shinya only knew one family that could make such rich things, and this man was definitely not one of them. As he suspected he needed to go investigate the tower the Saotome boy fell from in the morning.

In the morning, Shinya got dressed as the sun rose and made the short journey to the grey, decrepit tower, he reached by sunrise. 

There he began his search scouring the tower grounds and coming up empty. He decided to go inside and see if there was anything. He kept his eyes everywhere as he walked up the stairs to the room, searching for any sign. Soon after he reached a large wooden door and opened it. Inside was dust, dirt, and hay. Clearly nobody cared to refurbish the tower. He saw the window where the Saotome boy supposedly fell. He searched every inch of the room, before coming to the conclusion that his search was futile. He was about to leave when something caught his eye hidden in hay as he was walking to the door. 

He knelt and removed the hay to find a single strand of purple hair. He only knew two people with purple hair, and he was pretty sure Shinoa cared for Yoichi quite a lot. He noticed the strand was also longer than Shinoa's meaning he had his answer of how the Saotome boy was crippled. 


Shinya summoned Yuu and Kimizuki to the large godswood tree in the North, where the Northern men worshiped their old gods. 

Yuu and Kimizuki stood there while Shinya stood on a large rock.

"Why did you ask us here?" Kimizuki asked, a bit annoyed.

"I don't think Yoichi was pushed from the tower. I believe he was thrown out of the window." Shinya said. 

"What makes you think that?" Kimizuki asked.

"Well, Yoichi has always been pretty sure-footed." Yuu said.

"There have been two attempts made on the life of Yoichi. And the only explanation I can make is that he saw something he shouldn't have and was pushed from the tower because of it. When he didn't die the noble house, sent a lowly assassin with a dagger far above the type for a man like that to own." 

Shinya held up the dagger, "Real gold and made of Valyrian steel, the only house that can make this dagger is the richest one." 

Shinya pulled out the purple hair to Yuu and Kimizuki's shocked faces. 

"I found this in the tower. We all know the only family with purple hair, and one of the two omegas that possess it would never have done this. I do not know what exactly he saw, but it's something important to kill over. I also suspect my sister and brother, also murdered my father to put her son on the throne." Shinya said.

"THOSE FUCKING HIIRAGI CUNTS!" Yuu and Kimizuki shouts. 

"If they want war, we'll give it to them." Yuu said angrily. 

"Calm that boastful talk. We don't know the truth yet, but someone needs to inform Guren to be careful." Shinya said.

"I'll go." Yuu says assuredly.

"No you can't. You're in charge of the North, you can't afford to leave. I'll go. I leave at the end of the week anyway. I go back there to warn him and say I needed something before I go see Seishirou who's being dramatic about our father's death. It will work. None of my siblings won't acknowledge me much anyway so no suspicion too." Shinya said.

"How can we trust you? You are a Hiiragi after all?" Kimizuki asks. 

Yuu glances at him before responding," We can. He's one of the most important people to Guren, he would never do anything to harm him."

Kimizuki looks to Shinya who responds, “And I don't care for my family. Now that my father's gone, my siblings are now even freer to show their disdain of me. They never treated me like their family, and I never will be one of them. I love Guren, and I'd do anything for him." 

Kimizuki looks at the man who answered so honestly before nodding his affirmation of his trust. 

At the week's end, Shinya leaves. Bidding a farewell to Kimizuki and leaving a seven pointed star for Yoichi.  

Yuu rides with Shinya and his guards to the borders climbing off his horse and hugging him. 

"Have a safe journey. And tell my father I send my regards and thanks to him for allowing you to help me." Yuu tells him.

"I will. Stay safe Yuu. If any of my suspicions are true, our world will become more dangerous than it already is. Good luck ruling the North." Shinya responds before hopping back on his horse and riding off as Yuu rides back.


Shinjuku

Mika stares ahead wistfully as he watches the passing khalasar go past him. It has been about two days since he was married, and they were riding back to Khales Dothrak , the ancestral home of the Dothraki. He sees Makoto's head at the front turning to look, eyes searching for something. He spots Mika and meets his eyes and gives him a bright smile, and Mika allows himself to give a shy smile in return before Makoto turns back. 

"You both do make quite a pair." he hears from behind him. 

The man he was waiting for Ser Lacus rides up to him carrying jerky and water.

"I should hope so, he is my husband after all." Mika says, a little unknown pride coming from him at saying that.

Lacus gives him an inquiring look, before handing him some jerky and a pouch of water. 

Mika takes it, thanking Ser Lacus before biting and immediately wishing he didn't.

"Horse-flesh." Mika says with a disgusted face before swallowing it down with a swig of water. "I grow tired of it." 

Lacus laughs at Mika's reaction. 

"The Dothraki have two things in abundance horses and grass, and you very well can't eat grass."

Mika makes a sullen face before gulping down the horse meat and water. 

"The Dothraki believe that in the Shadow Lands there is a grass that grows and consumes other types of grass, it glows in the moonlight so they call it ghost grass. They believe it will conquer the whole world." Lacus tells him.

Mika smiles at that, "Very interesting." he says before riding along with Ser Lacus following beside him. He stares at the back of Makoto's braid. 

"It gets easier, you'll assimilate. Your marriage will get better if you try to make it work with him. I've known him for quite a while and he's quite taken with you. He's not a monstrous warlord, at least not with you, no matter how much things that creature stalking around you will tell you." Lacus gives Mika a small smile. Mika returns it mainly because of what he said about Lucal. 

Mika turns back ahead with an indifferent expression riding ahead. He trusted Ser Lacus, of course he had been a constant source of comfort during this whole new ordeal, and Mika was grateful for him. 


 The Dothraki have set up camp because Mika made his heat is either this night or the next, so he informed Makoto to camp for three nights, who agreed immediately wanting to impregnate him as soon as possible. Mika also for sake of fear of what Lucal would do if he didn't get pregnant. 

Ser Lacus helps a pink-dressed Mika off his horse who waves at him as he walks away with his handmaids. 

Turning around he spots white-haired creep Lucal Wesker and walks towards him. 

"You should probably return to your home in Kyrna. It would be a more comfortable than staying here in these tents with fleas." Lacus told him standing straight. 

Lucal laughs a scoff, "I will stay with Makoto and the horse-fucking savages until I get the army I was promised." 

"You do realize Mika will be the one ruling."

"Omegas like him don't have what it takes, they're built for fucking and looking pretty. He'll need me, he'll want me. I made sure of that." Lucal tells him.

Lacus stares at him, realizing how absolutely deluded this alpha was, Mika may have been an omega, but he was smart and capable, he just needed to be more assertive, and yes he was beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful omega he had seen, but that would go a long way in ruling too. Mika would make a fine ruler, so long as he didn't have this crazy fool hanging off him. He realized what he just heard. 

"Wait, made sure of that how?" he asked

"I took him." Lucal responds.

"Mika would never let that happen. Unless you did it against his will." Realization and horror on Lacus' face as he spoke.

Lucal looked unabashed and unashamed so Lacus tackled him into the ground, giving a shrug. 

"You ever touch him again like that and nobody will recognize your body from the amount of disrepair it will be in." Lacus growled at him.

"I can't he's married now. Makoto would smell me on him and kill me." Lucal gritted out from under the man, looking slightly terrified. 

Lacus got up and eyed him warily as Lucal stood up. 

Lacus moved to walk away. 

"Welt." Lucal said.

Lacus turned around. 

"What did you do to get banished?" he shouted.

Lacus walked back to him, "I found poachers on my land and sold them to slavers, Guren Ichinose found out and wanted me beheaded. But, the Hiiragi's managed to calm him down and they exiled me here."

"That's nonsense when me and Mika take the throne you won't have to worry about that. Under our reign, people will not have to fear of such things. Mika needs me to make that happen. He needs me in his life, he always has. I need to be in his life to rule. I will be like a second ruler with Mika." Lucal looks like a mix of desperation, fear, and deranged happiness.

"Mika's married now so I wouldn't get your hopes up on the second ruler thing. Lacus says before leaving doubtful of Lucal's vision ever coming to fruition. 


That night Makoto goes into Mika's tent and they make love, with him under Makoto, like a horse. Mika is glad that his new husband is getting pleasure from him, but he's not exactly getting much pleasure anymore from their sex because he feels like he doesn't have much control. Even on their wedding night it was mostly just Makoto doing things to his body that he wanted. Mika never took or had any real control, not even in his bedroom. 

He assumed that was the Dothraki way of sex. Or maybe it was everywhere, with the alpha always in control. It was definitely the Shinjuku way, but he wonders if that's how they do it in the west. Mika never felt the need to submit to Makoto like he knew omegas usually should feel from the books and scrolls he read.

Plus when fucking creeper Lucal took him against his wishes he was always held down and forced to submit like this, but Makoto wasn't Lucal he was far better and more understanding.

And when Makoto finished first and lazily jerked him off as his head pressed to his back, he pretended it was the best orgasm he felt, even though he felt guilty lying to his husband. 

He looked at his dragon eggs a few feet away and felt a special kind of comfort curl in his body, hopefully he could get Makoto to go with his lead for his heat.


Mika sits in his tent as his handmaids attend to him. Tonight was the night of his heat he made sure it was on this night so he could use the extra day to recuperate. He was in the pre-heat stages. His eyes were on his dragon eggs as they sat in front of him.

"Have any of you ever seen a dragon?" he asks his handmaidens

"No Khaleesi, long ago many brave men came and killed them all." Aleana told him. 

"Actually Khaleesi, A trader from Quaithe once told me that dragons come from the moons." Dyara told him.

"Moons?" he asked.

She nodded, "Originally there were two moons and one drifted to close to the sun and cracked like an egg, and from that moon thousands of dragons were released and fell upon the Earth. They got the sun's abilities for light so they were able to breathe fire."

The other girls laugh, while Mika looks at his eggs intrigued. 

"Everybody knows the moon is the wife of the sun and we worship them both." Aleana told her with a giggle, as the other girls nodded.

"Aleana and Jhaqiu leave. Dyara stay."

The girls left which left him and Dyara. 

Mika in his nightgown sat on his bed. 

"Why did the trader from Quaithe tell you that fable?" he asked.

"Men say a lot when they're happy." she shrugged. "When I was seven I was sold to the pleasure houses and taught for four years before I was allowed to touch a man in Kyrna brothels."

Mika considers this before an idea forms in his head. 

"Can you teach me how to please the Great Khal?" Mika asks her.

"Of course, Khaleesi and I guarantee you it won't take three years." she smiles at him. 


Mika lays on the bed and Dyara on top of him. 

Mika blushing furiously looks away, before Dyara turns his face towards her. 

"Khaleesi, you need to always look him in the eyes. Love comes from the eyes. It is said Lysandrian of Jhannia could finish a man with his eyes."

"Finish a man?" Mika asks, and Dyara looks at him deadpan before he realizes that she means, "Oh, I've never heard that phrase in the books."

"Most people who write books about sex, don't know how much it really encompasses." she tells him. "He was a famous omegan courtesan, many men and women tried to marry him, but he turned them all down." she moved closer towards his face.

"He sounds like an interesting man." he smiles nervously before realizing, "I don't think Makoto will like it with me on top."

"You will make him like it, Khaleesi. He likes you a lot, so he'll like anything you suggest, especially if it has to do with sex. Alphas only know to fuck an omega or a beta like they ride a horse, and the Dothraki take most of them for slaves. You're not a slave are you Khaleesi?" she asks him. 

Mika looks away with a shake of his head and she guides his hands to her waist. 

"Then don't make love like a slave." she tells him before he realizes what she said and flips her so now he is on top. 

"Oof. Very good Khaleesi, out there he is the Great and Mighty Khal, but in here he's just another alpha male looking for you. He belongs to you in this tent." she says brushing a long strand of his pale blond hair behind his ears. 

"I don't think this is the Dothraki way." Mika says pulling away. 

"If he wanted the Dothraki way." she says sitting up and caressing his cheek, "Why did he marry you?"

Mika gets off her and she gets up to leave the tent. 

"Good Luck Khaleesi."

"Thank you." he says still a bit dumbfounded as the girl leaves his tent.


The Dothraki Camp fills with noise in the night as Mika sits in his tent on the bed waiting for Makoto to come in any second now. He's nervous, sweating only a tiny bit. 

Mika doesn't get the regular heat feelings the begging, the inability to move, which he's honestly grateful for. Make his heats easier to deal with.

Makoto walks in, and looks at him. He looks shocked at seeing Mika just sitting there waiting for him to come. He strips off until he's fully naked cock hanging thick and erect. 

"My angel, you're in heat?" he asks.

Mika nods, knowing he asked him if he was in his heat. His stronger scent is the only thing that gives away Mika's heat. Plus his pretty perfect cycle timing. Knowing this would come up he picked up on a bit of Dothraki so that he could explain his situation to Makoto better from his handmaids and Ser Lacus. 

He walks up to him. 

"I have control over when I want my heats, my whole life I could never go through with heats unless I wanted to get pregnant. Now I do, I'm not a normal omega, so I have that kind of control over my body that most do not. I am in heat if I allow myself to get into that state, but I act like myself when I'm in heat, not like a normal omega would too. I am in heat right now and I want to carry your child. I love you and trust you, so I wanted you to know. You're the only one that knows, not even Lucal knows."

Makoto knows Mika's scent is stronger, and he knows Mika would never lie to him. He trusts him completely. He smiles knowing he got a one-of-kind omega, and him secretly learning to speak Dothraki for his whole explanation. He smiles also hearing the omega communicate his love for him. 

"I love you too, my queen." he says before allowing Mika to walk him over to the bed. He decides he should take the lead when Mika pulls him onto the bed flipping him over onto his stomach to fuck him. 

"No." Mika says he tries to flip him to Mika's reluctance, "Tonight I would like to look upon your face, like our wedding night." 

Makoto stops looking unsure before relenting and letting Mika lay him on his back. Mika hesitantly gets on top of him in his nightgown and begins to grind his hips onto Makoto's crotch. 

Mika makes eye contact to find Makoto giving him a wry sexy smirk as Mika continues to grind onto him. Mika pulls off his nightgown and throws it to the ground. Makoto moves his hands to Mika's waist and begins synchronizing with Mika's hips as his hands move to caress Mika's abs, chest, and nipples. As Mika's breath grows heavier at the feeling of Makoto's rough, thick hands caressing his body, he smiles down at Makoto breathlessly, who looks driven insane by this powerful omega. 

Neither realize how slick their cocks and Mika's entrance has become until they feel it. Makoto sits up fast and looks into Mika's amazed gaze as their faces so close to each other allow their mouths to dance around each other, nuzzling noses before they meet in a passionate embrace as Mika continues grinding before allowing Makoto's cock entrance into him with enough slick from both ends allowing Mika to ride Makoto as he caresses his face kissing him while Makoto jerks him off both finishing at the same time. 

Mika collapses into Makoto's body and nuzzles his head against his chest. 

"Think that did the trick, my angel?"  Makoto asks him, looking down. 

"Tired already?" Mika asks.

Makoto kisses Mika. 

"Never." he says honestly and Mika's heart just about bursts. 

"We should probably be safe?" Mika smirks at him, hoping Makoto catches the double meaning. 

"We have all night to get the job done." Makoto tells him.

"Is that all I am to you, a job?" Mika asks not at all serious.

"Never, you are the best thing that ever happened to me, my angel." he smiles down at him, and Mika gives him a bright smile leaving Makoto in awe of the omega's beauty. He had heard the words most beautiful creature ever to grace this planet thrown around when it came to describing Mika, but that didn't do him justice. He was beautiful, obviously, but he was also clever, smart, and unique in a way he's never seen another omega as. Beauty was only the surface of Mika, but there was also a beauty within that was winning to see. 

Mika looked at him lovingly, he couldn't stop smiling. "Well we should probably get started, night isn't something that lasts forever." Mika says, silencing Makoto's laugh by crawling on top him and kissing him passionately.


The Inn at the Crossroads/The Riverlands

The traveling party to Shibuya had stopped shortly for pissing breaks, while people snacked. But this was their first real lunch break five days into the trip to Shibuya. Guren was checking on Shinoa and Mitsuba and making sure they ate something.

He was laughing at something Mitsuba said about Shinoa's new dress making her look like a plum, when he heard from behind. 

"Lord Guren."

He turns and standing there is Kureto Hiiragi, and he internally groans before externally rolling his eyes. 

"What do you want?" Guren asks briskly.

"The soon to be king and queen regent ask that you lunch with us."

"Ask? I've never known Mahiru to ask." Guren raises an eyebrow.

"Orders, my apologies."

“‘Kay, much more like her." he turns to Shinoa and Mitsuba. "You want to come?" 

"Pardon, my lord, but she only said you." Kureto says with a tight frown.

Guren frowns getting ready to tell off the alpha, before Shinoa tugs his arm, "It's fine. I don't really think the queen likes me anyway." Shinoa said, arm slung around Mitsuba. Guren looks at her trying to decipher what he can get off her face, noticing her uncomfortable look he realizes she just doesn't want to be around Mahiru, probably because of what she told her at the feast in Nagoya. 

"Okay." he says, small smile crossing his features before turning back to Kureto with a frown. "Let's get this fucking over with Shibuya is a long way." he says as he walks past him pushing him with his shoulder, smiling at Kureto's baring of teeth. 


 "Guren, nice of you to join us." Mahiru said as he stepped toward their small table packed with various foods.

"Didn't have much of a choice." Guren said before plopping down to the little twat and his mother's cold stares.

"Lord Guren so honored for you to join us." Takashi said with an eye roll.

"You know you look so much like your mother, not really much of your father. Are you sure you aren't a girl, or an omega?" he asked the prince trying to hit him where it hurts to narrow down the amount of people in this situation. 

By the time he reached the father part, the prince's little head already turned red. He looked to open his mouth, but his mother grasped his had tightly and looked him in the eyes, grasping his hand so hard their knuckles turned white and she shook her head. Kureto had his hand on his sword standing by the king, but waiting for Mahiru, not him to give him an order. Takashi got up and stalked away and as he walked away Guren could hear the little shit mumbling before screeching like an ape, cracking a smile. One down, two to go. 

Maybe he can kill two birds with one stone. 

"You do realize he'll be your king. The one you've sworn to protect." Mahiru said eyeing her ex-love warily. 

"I haven't sworn any oaths yet. As far as I can tell, you're the one in charge. Though even after his coronation, I doubt that's going to change." Guren said in an as-matter-of-fact tone.

"Better be careful around me then Guren, you may have been someone I once cared for a while ago, but my son will trump everybody who resides in this world, including you. Best keep your mouth and temper in line, otherwise I may need to have Takashi give out some unseemly orders." Mahiru told him dead seriousness written all over her face.

Guren smirked at the woman thinking it was his temper, rather than getting out of this situation as fast as possible. 

"Why am I here?" he asked coldly.

"To reminisce with me and Kureto about the long past we all shared together. I also need a drinking companion because Takashi is a lightweight, poor boy." Mahiru told him as she invited Kureto to Takashi's seat, pouring three goblets of wine, her's the biggest. 

"I don't want to reminisce with you both, and you both look like you'd do fine in the drinking already.” Guren said eyeing his and Kureto's cup, compared to her almost goblet-sized drink.

"Now Guren, I ordered you here, and you cannot leave until I say you can, otherwise Kureto will gladly challenge you to a duel right now, either ending with you dead or arrested for attacking my brother with no witnesses, but myself. Of course, I'd have to back my dear brother though. Do you really want to leave the world like this? Leave Shinoa? Leave the Sanguu girl or your bastard son? Leave Shinya, alone without you? Now that father is dead, who else will care for him?" Mahiru says to Guren threateningly knowing she's already won when she says the last word before leaning back and taking a long sip of wine out of her goblet.

"Fine." Guren gets out through gritted teeth, may as well make the smart move rather than the brave, but stupid one. Guren sits wordlessly waiting for them to continue. 

"Well Guren, it looks like you're back in power with the Hiiragi's. The last time any of us saw each other was that trial for your kingslaying. Here you are back to us, striking up your sword to resume your post. Probably found a few whores and tavern-sluts to warm your bed in the years we haven't seen each other..." Mahiru implied, expecting Guren to answer back. 

"Nope. Never. I always had somebody who is in every way the brightness of my life. His beauty ruined any other omega or woman for me. Plus I never had the time what with the children your father saddled me with. “Guren wasn't lying there was nobody for him other than Shinya. He would never stop saying that even in death he would always say that when asked with a question like Mahiru asked him. 

"Our brother is quite the omega, smart and beautiful, you were always taken with him." Kureto said, and Guren didn't like that knowing what happens when Kureto calls one of his siblings beautiful. "But you could have had the best omega this world has ever seen." He says looking at Mahiru who glares back, annoyed at being held in comparison to Shinya who many named more beautiful than her and calls her to this day as a joke, "The Great Beauty of the West."

"Your brother is the best, plain and simple." Guren said confident.

"We were forced to be mature, when we were so young. We never had a chance to enjoy our youth. We were fighting wars. Arranging marriages. Bearing children." Mahiru looked wistfully for the first two reasons before looking back at Guren for the last one. 

Guren knew where this was going.

"What was your bastard's name again, Guren?" Mahiru asked knowingly.

"Yuuichirou Amane." 

"Ah what a name for him, I believe there was a famous Yuuichirou from the past five-thousand years that had primarily Ichinose genes, but also the tiniest amount of Hiiragi in him, he also had some of the stag like Takashi's father. The first Warden of the North, you really are sharp with your names. You chose a good name for him, too bad he also has the bastard name tainting him. Why did you never legitimize him?" Mahiru asks him.

"Because he has to prove to me he's worthy of being an Ichinose of the North by ruling it. Now is his time to prove it to me, how much being my son is worth to him. If he can keep his rule when I see him next I'll legitimize him. He's always my son either way." Guren replies calmly.

"And what of his mother again wasn't she some whore for Shibuya. I'm assuming you conceived with her when you and father were making your alliance, before you met any of us. The only place you could meet was a whore house to keep the dirtiest of secrets safe, an uprising." Mahiru said.

"Actually no." Kureto piped in. 

Guren and Mahiru turned their eyes towards him. 

"I was with you and father. You were too drunk to remember, but you and father both took whores that night. You were too stupid and ended up with a son." Kureto said.

"That's right." Guren said remembering him, "You refused to partake. I forgot all about your existence. My mistake. You were just a boy hiding behind his father's shadow, never to be seen as nothing but only a disappointment to him and his future anyway."

Guren chose now to make his move to get rid of Kureto. "Never even bearing him a son, at least not to his knowledge." he finished.

Kureto's face contorted to anger and downed the rest of his wine before getting up and stalking away.

"Well at least this time you told something to someone who can't kill you without an order." Mahiru watched as Kureto left. "Enough formality, since Shinya won't be joining us at the time due to my other brother Seishirou, overreacting to father's death and my son about to become king. I need you to act sort of as an adviser or Hand to me and Takashi. You're smart and you know a thing about ruling from your long time in the North. While, Shinya is out dealing with that I'll need some help reigning in Takashi. He'll listen to you if I tell him to. I received this message from our spy in Shinjuku." Mahiru hands him a scroll which he reads.

Guren scans it before reading it aloud, summing up the information as Mikaela Shindo, the last heir to the Mad King he murdered, has gotten married off as an omega to an alpha horse-lord. Guren held no ill-will towards the child himself, in fact this child may one day press his claim and become their new ruler.

The child must be around sixteen if he was born before the Mad King died. About Yuu's age, to be married off already as an omega must be difficult, and the only reason he can think of is he's getting ready to come back to his home one day.

He might be a better ruler than Takashi, but he serves him right now, and he hasn't even met the omega, who’s to say his father's madness isn't in him. He loved the child's father until he had to kill him.

What if he needs to do the same thing to him if he comes back to the Western Kingdom to rule? He would be justified in killing him though after all he's done to the child's family.

He thought all Shindo's were dead, but it seems one lucky omega lived. Hopefully he won't become his father. Madness isn't something that happens often to Shindo's only five out of their whole bloodline stretching back thousands maybe millions of years ago into the time of Aelriov the Conqueror.  

Guren decides he will monitor this situation with Mikaela Shindo.

He lets himself look shocked at the child still living from behind the scroll, before schooling his face into a more neutral expression and removing the scroll from the front of his face. 

"Mikaela Shindo has married a Dothraki horse-lord. So? Should we send him a wedding gift?"

"Yes, a knife with a man behind it to stab him and his husband. As well as, that traitorous cunt Lucal Wesker. He's the one who escaped with the child." Mahiru tells him.

"He's just a child." Guren says shocked Mahiru an omega who gave birth would want to kill a child.  

"Yes, but he's also an omega and when he starts popping out children we'll have a major problem." Mahiru tells him, before a beat passes, "I also thought you'd like some revenge after what his family did to yours by killing almost all of them a good seven hundred years ago." 

"That was a long time ago and he has arguably more reason to want me dead after I killed his father forcing him into exile." Guren replies. 

"He's also going to bring his armies westward eventually to invade the Western Kingdom. When he does those that claim the Hiiragi's as usurpers will support his claim." Mahiru brings up.

"Aye he might, IF he can get across the Blood Sea. The Dothraki have no ships and are no threat to us from the other side of the sea. If they were to find some way to get ships and get across the sea, the West united would be able to fight them and throw them back across the Blood Sea." Guren says knowing full well, he's playing smart with the Hiiragi's. 

"I hope you're right Guren, I really do. But, war is coming. I don't know when, or who against, but it is going to come for all of us." Mahiru says dead serious in tone, but Guren can see there's a flicker of fear and worry in her eyes, probably for her child. "And when it does may the gods have mercy on us."

Mahiru gets up, red dress showing under the green cloak as she sashays away.

Guren sits there a bit shook at the lunch that just took place. At least it's just him, like he wanted.


The next stop they make is on their fourth day at the Crossroads Inn, halfway through their journey to Shibuya. 

Shinoa walks around in a pink silken dress as Shikama Doji, named after a vampire king she heard in her favorite story from her Septa, followed her around the camps where the Hiiragi knights pitched their tents outside the inn where the nobles stayed. She petted Shika as they walked. Shika is a sweet wolf, she listens to her and gives her plenty of love. More than she could say from Mitsu's wolf, who would barely let even Mitsu touch her. The men nodded to her, and she allowed herself to smile before wondering where Mitsuba was. Probably off somewhere training with Yuu's new gift to her. 

As she walks she sees a man staring at her with wide eyes. She walks over.

"Are you alright, ser?" she asks the man.

He doesn't answer her, he just keeps staring at her creepily with something akin to anger in his eyes before walking away leaving a dumbfounded Shinoa.

"Don't mind him Ser Hayao." a woman's voice says behind her. She turns and sees a girl with blonde hair, like Mitsuba, but tied in a ponytail with a blue ribbon, hanging off the right side of her hair. "Aoi Sanguu, my lady. Ser Hayao can't speak because his tongue was cut out with a hot knife. He's the new royal executioner." She says bowing to her.

"Sanguu? Like Mitsuba?" Shinoa smiles and asks. She notices the woman's armor and sword, like a knight.

The alpha girl nods, "She's my sister, Lady Hiiragi. Do you know where she's at? I'd like to meet her. I saw her at the procession, but I couldn't attend the feast because I was feeling ill. So I never got a chance to talk to her."

"Please call me Shinoa, and no I haven't seen her. I was actually just wondering where she was at. I'll send her your way if I find her." Shinoa tells her with a smile. Allowing a beat to pass staring at the lady before her curiosity gets the better of her. "Why do you have a sword and armor?"

"I'm a part of the City Watch, malady." she says.

"They allow women to fight with swords in Shibuya! Mitsu's gonna love that." she says in a fond tone that Aoi takes notice of.

"Well not all women. Noble women, and only if they're not interested in being ladies. We have to work harder than all the alpha and beta males tenfold. They only allow alpha women though, maybe a tough beta, never any omegas of either gender. Too much of a liability if a bout of violence breaks out." Aoi says eyeing Shinoa.

"Well it's a good thing I'm not interested much in that. But, it's good for Mitsuba. In the North, women aren't allowed in armies. The only omegas allowed are male ones who train and have to work harder and only if they wanted. One of the other children Guren took in, Yoichi was one of them. He was never much good, but he always tried and was well loved for it, but he was much better at more scholarly pursuits." Shinoa said with a fond smile thinking of her now crippled brother, who she missed dearly. 

"Pardon, Lady Hiiragi." She turns again and there is the "little shit" himself Takashi Hiiragi with his smug smile. "Auntie care for a walk? I'd like to get to know my family better." he says, offering her his arm. Shinoa knows she can't say no or risk getting on his bad side, and he is her family, unfortunately. She turns to Aoi.

"I'll send her your way if I see her." Shinoa tells her. The woman nods in response before leaving. Shinoa takes the prince's arm and he leads her through the trees.


Shinoa was drinking some of the wine the prince brought with him, as he was making thoughtless chatter. They weren't too far from where they began and she can only assume it was his mother who made sure of that. Can't afford to let the future king get murdered or kidnapped.

"Drink more." Takashi tells her as she hands him back the skin. 

"I'm not used to so much. Guren used to limit us all to one cup at feasts." Shinoa responds, not wanting to get too inebriated before this shit-stain tries to do stuff to her.

"You're a Hiiragi. Guren is nothing here, he holds no power, but as a current lord and my future kingsguard here. You can do as you wish." he tells her with a shit-eating grin.

She smiles extremely falsely, not wanting to cause more trouble by telling off this king before taking one more sip and handing it back to him.

In the distance they hear the sound of sword's clacking. Takashi turns to go, but Shinoa stops him. 

"It's probably just some knights training. A king like you doesn't need to get involved in such trivial matters." she says trying to avoid danger.

He holds the hilt of his sword, "You omegas have weak, worthless hearts, auntie. Very well, you go back. I'll go see what it is." he sneers.

Takashi walks away, while Shinoa turns around and walks the path they came from, grateful she got out of this five minute walk wishing she had the wine back.


Mitsuba is training with Hisaki a butcher's boy, she manages to knock his play sword away. 

"You gotta do better than that." she says looking a bit ragged in her red dress, sweat on her forehead.

She turns around drawing her sword when she hears rustling from the bushes. Out appears the littlest of shits, Prince Takashi.

"Well what do we have here, the Sanguu girl play-fighting with some butcher's boy." Takashi walks past Mitsuba before going over to Hisaki. 

The boy frankly looks terrified as Takashi keeps talking. 

"You think you're some knight, boy? That girl is my auntie's best friend, you want to hurt her? You want to go against your king and the Hiiragi's, boy?” he leers down at him. Takashi was only thirteen, but he knew how to leer menacingly like most of his family already. 

"Leave him alone!" Mitsuba said.

Takashi ignores her, before continuing an idea forming in his head, "You think you can be a knight? A knight has to be better than the king to protect him. Pick up your wood, boy. Test your skills." The words should be encouraging, but when said by Takashi take on a sadistic edge.

"I can't, your grace. You'd surely beat me. I'm just some stupid butcher's boy. You're a king. I'd be dead in one blow." Hisaki says terrified. Mitsuba watches this scenario played out alarmed on what to do against this prince. She picks up Hisaki's sword that fell next to her letting her sword fall to the ground.

"Oh come now. Pick up your blade or I'll start fighting you without a weapon." he says before using his sword to slash Hisaki's face. 

Mitsuba gets angry, face going red and eyes narrowed about to kill. She walks up to him and hits him with the wooden sword in her hands allowing Hisaki the opportunity to escape. "GO!" she shouts and he runs.

Takashi turns on her anger evident on his face before aiming to strike her with his sword. She uses the wooden sword to dodge a few strikes before seeing her sword and picking it up throwing the wooden one at Takashi, hitting him satisfyingly.

They trade clashes and strikes with their swords for a bit until, Takashi uses his strength to push the girl back forcing her to trip and fall under the tree dropping her sword.

Takashi has his sword in front of her smiling threateningly holding her at sword point. 

"I'LL GUT YOU LIKE A STAG, YOU ROTTEN LITTLE CUNT!" he shouts at her menacingly. 

As soon as those words were uttered, Tenji appears, tackling and biting Takashi in the wrist, drawing blood. Mitsuba sees Takashi's sword and picks it up before holding it to him now at sword point. The wolf pulls off him. 

"No, No, please no." Takashi whimpers holding his bloodied wrist. 

Mitsuba looks at the sad, pitiful waste of air in front of her. Tempted to just stab him in the brain, or heart, or cock. She realizes she can't do that and throws the sword in the river going downstream before running away with the wolf following her. She has to get Tenji to safety. When they find out what has happened to Takashi they'll kill the wolf immediately.

A while after they left, Takashi gets up and runs back to the Inn to tell his mother.


Mitsuba watches the wolf roam, trying to hide by the riverbank so nobody will see them. 

Mitsuba walks up to her knowing she can't prolong it anymore. She bends down and hugs the wolf 

"Tenji, you need to go. The Hiiragi guards are going to kill you for attacking the prince. Thank you for always protecting Me." she tears up. 

The wolf nuzzles her face, looking into her eyes, almost as if knowing and dreading what had to be done. 

Mitsuba forces herself to get up and face Tenji petting her. "Go girl. I'm going to miss you, and I'll always love you, but you need to go now."

The wolf walks away from her before turning back. 

"GO!" Mitsuba shouts before throwing a rock a few paces of where the wolf was startling the wolf into running away as Mitsuba cried.


"Any sign of her?" Guren asked his men. Mitsuba had not been found, and it was past dark. Guren was worried for the alpha girl. 

The men shook their heads. 

"MY LORD!" Hiroyuki, one of his banner men runs up to him. "They found her. The Hiiragi's took her back to the inn for interrogation."

Why the fuck wasn't he told? Guren angrily gets back on his horse and rides back to the inn, his men following him.


When he reaches he parks his horse at the front door, and angrily walks into the main hall. Mahiru sits in the center of the table flanked by Kureto and Takashi with a bloody wrist and dirtied clothes on his left. Mitsuba stands in the center in a tattered and dirty red dress with Shinoa close by. As their varied guards surrounds them. 

"Why wasn't I informed of them taking her back?" he asked Mahiru.

"Careful Guren, you should not speak to your king like that." Kureto tells him. 

"I'm not. I'm speaking to the one who has the power now." Guren angrily tells him.

"Quiet brother." Mahiru says to him, already knowing how this will play out. Mahiru knows she must look impartial. "Guren, we have a problem here. Takashi and The Sanguu girl's stories conflict with each other. I don't know who to believe."

"Mother, I actually have a secret witness, my aunt, Lady Shinoa Hiiragi. I sent her to hide behind the bush for her own safety." Takashi says. 

"You were there and you let him do what he did." Mitsuba looks at Shinoa shocked. She jumps at her, before being pulled back by Guren. 

"The girl is as wild as a beast." Kureto mutters.

"Mitsu, I swear to you that I was not there. I left after the prince said he was going to see what the noise was behind the tree. I was not there. Many of your men can corroborate my story, as they saw me walking back from the woods before the sun started to even set. Please I never would have let him do that to anybody." Shinoa pleaded with the girl to believe her.

Mitsuba could see the girl was sincere. She forgave her, even if she wasn't there.

"She should be punished." Takashi says.

"DUE CAUSE?!?!? He slashed an innocent boy’s face because that's what he wanted to entertain himself with!" Mitsuba shouted.

"What do you want her to be flogged on the streets as people hurl food and shit at her? She's a little girl. It's natural for children to fight. Let's just put this behind us." Guren says believing Mitsuba's telling the truth, but trying to get her out of punishment because she did still attack the prince. 

"Takashi will bear these scars for the rest of his life. He needs a new sword because his ended up in the river." Mahiru tells him.

"She's a fucking little girl like I said before. She may be older than him, but she's a hell of a lot shorter than him. The prince, soon-to-be-king allowed a little girl to disarm him. He should be ashamed to call himself a swordsman." Guren said trying to keep the smugness out of his voice. 

Mahiru had enough of this, and before Takashi got any more humiliated before he becomes king she decided to end this, "Very well, Guren. You will discipline your charge, as I will discipline mine."

"Gladly." Guren replies before gesturing Shinoa and Mitsuba to walk out the hall. 

"There's still the matter of the direwolf." Kureto said.

Of course it had to be sister-fucking Kureto. Guren internally rolled his eyes. 

"I'd forgotten about that. Where is the wolf?" Mahiru asks.

"We think it’s fled your grace. No trace can be found." A Hiiragi guard reports.

"Ah very well then. What can be done?" Mahiru says in a nonchalant manner, which Guren knows means something's up.

"We have another direwolf. In the kennels." Kureto tells her. 

"I see, very well then." Mahiru nods to Kureto who gets up to move.

Mitsuba and Shinoa struggle to realize what that means until they see a nod and they realize what Mahiru means. They turn to each other shocked before to Guren who looked incredulous.

"YOU CAN'T KILL HER SHE'S DONE NOTHING! PLEASE SISTER. DON'T DO THIS." Shinoa begged her as tears started to stream down her face. Mitsuba holds the girl and tries to console her.

"I'm sorry, Shinoa, my dear, but something needs to be punished for this. And it looks like there is no option left, but your wolf." Mahiru tells her without even blinking an eye. 

Shinoa burrows deeper into Mitsuba sobbing in the girl.

"Really Mahiru? Those wolves are only the pets for these girls. They are the last gift I gave to them from the North." Guren tells her still incredulous.

"A wolf is not a pet Guren, you should have given her an actual Northern dog." Mahiru tells him unflinchingly. 

"Let me do it then. They're sigils of my house. They're of the North. They deserve an honorable death from a Northerner." Guren says through gritted teeth, glaring at Kureto.

"Very well." Mahiru tells him. "But bring the corpse back so I know the job is done."

Guren gave one last look at Shinoa sobbing in Mitsuba's hold giving them a sorrowful look.

Mitsuba caught the look and nodded at him solemnly.

Guren crossed the hall out the doors of the inn.


Guren leaves the inn to go to the kennels as he goes, he walks past Aoi Sanguu carrying a boy's body on a horse. She stops when she sees him. 

"Guren long time no see." Aoi gives him a small smile and nod.

"You too Aoi, who's that?" Guren asked with suspicion.

"The butcher's boy. Guards caught him and killed him. Apparently he ran, just not fast enough. Gotta get rid of his body. We gotta catch up." she said. 

Guren nodded sadly as she rode off, always a tragedy when a child dies. 

Guren continued walking and made it to the kennels. He opens the door to one with the wolf in it. 

Shikama Doji perks up when he hears Guren. Guren kneels down and pets her to reassure her. Then he pulls out the knife and stabs her in the heart to give her a quick merciful death. Guren allowed a single tear to fall from his eyes. He thinks about all the years he's waited to find a direwolf, and now he has to take a life of one of the one's he just found. 

"Sleep now, Shika." Guren said knowing that's what Shinoa called him. Knowing Shinoa should be the last thing the wolf remembers when he dies. She loved the pet dearly and she protected her.


Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Yoichi lies fast asleep in the bed, as the wolf on the bed slowly awakens, feeling that there is now one less of him now.

As the wolf dies in the Riverlands, Yoichi feels a need to wake up from his slumber. To finally allow himself the strength to open his eyes. He feels the death, the loss as his wolf did, and he realizes he finally needs to find the power to awaken himself. He conjures up many visions and dreams with his happy family sharing great moment’s together things they've all done. It all goes to black before he sees something approaching him from the dark. As it approaches he realizes he needs to open his eyes. As it moves closer to him and comes at him he sees it. A three-eyed raven, he screeches as the wolf dies feeling it.

Yoichi opens his eyes and sits up.

Chapter Text

Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Yoichi feels wide awake and rested. But he can't feel his legs. He can't get up or allow himself to move around. He tries to will himself to walk, but he can't find it in him to move his legs even a little bit. 

Yoichi comes to the realization that he can't walk anymore. His eyes widen and he feels nauseous. He doesn't realize it until something catches in his throat and he breaks down into the fur of his wolf, who nuzzles him comfortingly. He looks into the wolf's eyes, as his tears stain the wolf's fur.

"Oh Gekko. What happened to me? How did I end up like this?" the omega asked his wolf. 

The wolf howls before staring at him, Yoichi can see the remorseful look. 

His door opens in comes Kimizuki. He has a shocked look on his face with tears pouring down it. 

"I thought..." his voice trails off as he walks toward Yoichi and pulls him into an embrace, caressing the back of his head. "You were asleep so long. We missed you, Yoi."

Yoichi pulls away after two minutes. Kimizuki looks worried the "Yoi" was too much.

"What happened to me? Why can't I walk?" Yoichi asks dazed and confused. 

Kimizuki looks slightly relieved before he goes to respond to that, before Yuu walks in with his dark feathered cloak, looking like a crow. 

Yuu has a different shocked expression from Kimizuki's one that's more brotherly, less broken, more familial.

He walks over pushes Kimizuki out of the way before embracing Yoichi. Yoichi can't help, but sadly chuckle. 

"We missed you, brother." Yuu whispers in his hair.

Yoichi again pulls away after a minute, before asking the same question, but to both Yuu and Kimizuki.

"You don't remember?" Kimizuki asks him.

Yoichi tries to remember anything of how he got like this. The last thing he can remember is bidding Guren a good morning on the day they were supposed to leave for Shibuya. After that it's just the three-eyed raven. He shakes his head "no."

They look shocked before slightly downtrodden the omega doesn't remember. They then looking at each other quickly, silently agreeing they can't tell Yoichi about the suspects of his "accident" for two reasons.

One, it would only put stress on the omega, especially if the suspicions were false when he needs to recover now more than ever. 

Two, once he learns of where Shinoa, Mitsu, and Guren went with them he would take on that worry too. 

They decide to tell him once they get any type of confirmation from somebody, Shinya or Guren.

"You fell from the tower, on one of your usual climbing journeys, and we were told you would never walk again, if you even woke up at all." Yuu told a shocked Yoichi.

"We were all grieving, worrying, and hoping you would open your eyes." Kimizuki finished.

Yoichi nodded and slowly took it in. His face went through many expressions shock, sadness, and loss. He felt there was something the alphas were withholding from him, but he kept it to himself. If they withheld it from him now, they knew it was something damaging to his mental health, and he knew to let it go, at least for now. He wouldn't get anywhere asking them until he fully recovered.

"Okay. Where's Guren? Shinoa? Mitsuba?" he asks.

Kimizuki picks his words carefully, "They're in Shibuya. After your accident Guren, Shinoa, and Mitsuba only had a day before Guren needed to go to Shibuya. He had his "lover" Shinya Hiiragi stay with us to make sure dumbass Yuu can rule the North." 

Yuu looks ready to fight, but takes Yoichi into account and holds himself back.

"Now they're all gone. It's just us." Yuu tells him.

Yoichi looks at them before nodding. He didn't know how to really feel, but it was definitely down. He lost his legs so he could never walk or climb again. Couldn't ride a horse. Probably couldn't be a soldier with bows and arrows, definitely not with a sword. Not like he was good with a sword anyway, but the archery is lost. He's also left with no Shinoa, which was a loss, no other omegas who could even understand him like she could. He always felt a kinship with her the most like a family or a sister he never got to know. He loved Yuu like a brother and Kimizuki was his home and comfort when they were together. No Guren to protect him. No Shinoa to understand him. Hell, even no Mitsuba to show him up at archery and sword fighting. He loved the two boys in front of him, but this was all too much to take in. He needed time to think and reckon.

"I'd like to be alone right now." Yoichi tells them.

"But, Yoi, we just got you back-" Kimizuki says before Yuu cuts him off.

"No. He needs everything he wants to feel better. I'd need a moment alone after finding out all that information." Yuu says understanding before rubbing Yoichi's back and pushing Kimizuki towards the door with a hand on his shoulder both close in height, but Yuu taller ever since he went through puberty.

"Tell us if you need anything Yoichi." Yuu turns back and tells him before shutting the door.

He settles back on his pillow and hears a cawing. He turns and sees a crow out his window cawing. 


Yuu and Kimizuki survey the fighting quarters outside the Castle of Snowstorm in Nagoya. Not like he could keep his army of rapists, pillagers, and plunderers they get from the South in the castle where Shinoa and Yoichi lived. They were relieved Yoichi was awake and they needed to tell Guren and the girls, so they sent a raven. They also understood the boy needed some time to think and come to terms, so they were waiting now to give some time for him to think.

He sees a circle where the men are watching a fight between Eita Kusunoki and one of the lesser men. The head swords teacher defeats the poacher easily. Yuu watches as the man's eyes land on him. The man points up at him.

"THAT RIGHT THERE IS THE GREAT BASTARD WARDEN OF THE NORTH! HE THINKS HE'S THE GREATEST SHIT WHO EVER LIVED BECAUSE HIS DADDY GAVE HIM THE NORTH! HE MAY HAVE THE NORTH, BUT WE ALL KNOW WHO IS THE TOP ALPHA HERE NOW." the man shouted up to him. 

The man always had something against Yuu, even when he was learning the basics of the sword with him before Guren took him personally under his wing. That was arguably the turning point the man was physically agressive when teaching him the basics beating him harder than necessary down with his sword. Before switching to more verbal taunts when he started training under Guren. The alpha was probably jealous now, knowing he trained under Guren could be far better than him at fighting. He was arguably better then Guren, narrowly winning about half of their fights before he left for Shibuya. 

But Kusunoki didn't know that. Yuu was going to take advantage of that. After all he did rule the North, he can't afford one of his men mouthing off and making him look like shit, when he knew he was better. If he beats the man now, nobody will take him seriously in the future when he tries to talk shit. Yuu eyed the man coldly before opening his mouth.

"WELL HOW ABOUT WE SETTLE WHO IS THE BETTER MAN AND ALPHA ONCE AND FOR ALL, OLD MASTER." Yuu hollers down at him before moving to walk down the steps, taking off his cloak and handing it for Kimizuki to hold. "YOU COULD ALWAYS BEAT ME WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY WITH A COCK BIGGER THAN YOUR ONE NOW. LET'S SEE HOW IT IS NOW WHEN I HAVE THE SKILL, AGE, AND BODY TO MATCH YOURS, YOU OLD FUCKER." Kimizuki laughed, which encouraged the men to laugh.

Yuu walked toward the man going in the circle and lowering his voice more, unsheathing his newly custom made sword. It was a sharp and long blade with a wolf on its hilt, he called it Longclaw. Yuu got closer to him, "The best taught me, let's see how you measure up now old man."  

"Let's see what you can do King Amane." The man told him and moved to strike him. Yuu dodged swiftly, turning away from the man to give him the false alarm of not paying attention. The man swung at him harder this time before Yuu turned, dodged, and swung back with more strength the adrenaline pushing him forward forcing the man to fall back in shock of Yuu's strength. Now that the man was caught off guard, Yuu used it to swing strike after strike the man hastily trying to dodge them not seeing the rock Yuu was leading his path towards as he fell backwards Yuu's last strike knocking the sword out of his hands. 

The man looked at his fallen sword. Yuu held the sword's point to his throat. 

"You're finished old man." Yuu told the man before giving him a hand. The man hit it before standing up. 

"Aye I am old. Just because you beat me doesn't mean you're the right man to lead the North." the man said before shoving past Yuu. 

"As charming as when we were younger." Kimizuki told him. Yuu nodded not turning around. He turned to the man Kusunoki beat. "YOU need to not be afraid to hit back. The only way to get out of a fight alive, not just with a bloodsucker, any fight with a sword the only way you can win is by hitting back. Know when to strike an opponent when they are down." Yuu tells him before turning back, "ALL OF YOU SHOULD HAVE USED THIS FIGHT AS A LESSON ON WHAT TO DO. USE YOUR SURROUNDINGS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR OPPONENTS, EVEN IF THEY DO YOU. AND DON'T BE AFRAID TO HIT BACK." Yuu shouted in his deep voice to the men who all nodded at him. He earned their respect as their top alpha by defeating Kusunoki, and he was the ruler of the North. They now trusted him. 

They went back to their stations fighting each other trying to take Yuu's advice.

"You're doing a surprisingly good job at this, dumbass Yuu. They respect you." Kimizuki told him.

"They do respect you too, you know." Yuu told him taking his cloak and putting it back on.

"But not like they do you, and not that much. It's good you should command respect." Kimizuki told him.

"Thanks. You softening up on me Kimizuki? I thought you only had eyes on one boy, by the name of Yoi." Yuu smirked at him sarcastically.

"That's not it dumbshit Yuu." Kimizuki sputtered face turning pink like his hair.

"Oh really? Think I'm stupid enough to miss that? Your insults really need reworking. The whole dumb-something is getting stale." Yuu tells him before walking away laughing, feeling pretty good now that Yoichi woke up, showed up Kusunoki, and pissed off Kimizuki.

"Fucking Yuu." Kimizuki mumbled, missing the days he could punch Yuu without being put in a cell. Now he had to wait until training to release his pent-up anger. 


Yoichi still stares at the crow as Nanny Fanny comes into to keep him company. The old lady sows as she tells a long story about Balerion and Selyse of the Dread. 

"My lord, are you okay? You know the crows tell lies. I once knew a story about a crow." the old woman finally notices him not paying attention, "I can spin a story about the Shindo's and their dragons. You always liked those ones."

"Nobody's seen one in a thousand years, and it's not like they're going to suddenly come back." Yoichi tries to smile kindly at the old woman, but it probably looks like a grimace. "Besides, I always liked your scarier stories, like the one with the bird demon. Those were my favorites."

"Oh, you poor sweet summer child. What do you know about fear? There was once a winter that took the whole western kingdom by storm. A cold, long night that caused winter to last for years. When women killed their children so they wouldn't freeze to death. When children were birthed and died in darkness. When the icy cold air swept through kingdoms and lands. Is this the story you want? Where the sun was blocked out, and out of the darkness emerged the bloodsucking vampires riding on their dead horses with armies of vampires and dead animals reanimated craving human blood to ravage lands and destroy everything during this long night." Nanny Fanny finished her story, and looked up to see Yoichi looking at her in fear. 

Yoichi looked up startled when he heard a new voice.

"You're still spinning your old tales. You're scaring the boy when he needs to rest and relax." Yuu entered the room looking at the old woman. 

"The little lord wanted to hear it." she responded. 

"Go get your supper. I wanna talk to him alone." Yuu tells the woman who dismisses herself. "She once told me we all cry because we live in the eye of a blue giant."

Yoichi smiles at that.

Yuu sits on the edge of the bed.

"How are you feeling?" Yuu asks him.

"I'm better." Yoichi respond.

Yuu tries not to bring up anything with the fall before he accidentally reveals he doesn't think it was an accident.

"Will I really never walk again?" Yoichi asks him quietly.

Yuu looks down at his clasped hands, elbows on his knees, before looking at Yoichi and nodding.

Yoichi looks away back at the crow-less window. 

"I wish I was dead." he blurts out almost without control, but not a lie. 

Yuu turns back to him shocked and angry, "Don't ever say that."

"I'd rather be dead." Yoichi tells him with finality.

Yuu looks shocked at Yoichi's reiteration of the statement. 


Yuu still shocked by Yoichi's brutal honesty. He goes to the old healing maester of Snowstorm to make sure of Yoichi's diagnosis, and if anything can be done. He's in some conversation with an educational maester.

Yuu enters. The maester stands and bows. "My Lord."

Yuu nods as he gets closer he sees the other maester is blind, old, and in a wheelchair. "My Lord. I don't believe we've been introduced. I am Maester Aererion." 

"Pleasure to meet you, maester."

"My lord, is the business you seek urgent?" Maester Cessarian asks.

"Yes. Are you sure Yoichi can never walk again?" Yuu asks him. 

"Unfortunately so, my lord." the maester says sadly to Yuu's disappointed look.

"Can anything be done to make him more active without his legs? Something like archery or riding, something he liked before." Yuu asks him sadly.

 "He can also still ride horses. He can also still do archery, just on horseback. You can put in an order with a craftsman to make him a special saddle that can hold him as he rides, so he doesn't fall off the horse no matter what." The maester tells him.

"Thank you Maester, you've been a great help. Also he's having trouble sleeping." Yuu smiles at him.

"I have milk of the poppy to help with that. I just need to find it." The man tells him before turning to go find it.

"What were you saying Aererion?" the maester calls back.

"The summer that is now ending has lasted ten years. This winter is going to be longer and more bitter." the maester answers.

"The Citadel sent us a report. The days are getting shorter and the seasons are changing." the healing maester answers looking in a cupboard.

"Winter is coming as the Ichinose's say. And I fear some dark things will come with it." Aererion says. 

Yuu's been listening in chooses now to intercede. 

"We've been capturing more of the Wild One's fleeing No Lord's Land. Many are saying they've seen vampires. One of our rangers also claimed they saw vampires, he swore it right until my father chopped his head off for desertion. We're the last resort for stopping the Wild One's and whatever else lies beyond the walls of Nagoya. I don't believe in what I haven't seen, but my father's told me he's seen a bloodsucker. I guess we just have to do our best to survive this and the coming winter. We'll survive. Father always used to tell us, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives." Yuu tells them, their attention on him.

"Aye, my lord." they both agreed as the maester brought back the milk of the poppy to Yuu who took it gratefully and moved to walk out. Before deciding to turn back.

"Besides its Nagoya, when is it ever not cold. Pleasure to meet you Maester Aererion." Yuu grinned at them as he walked out. 


Shibuya

The crowds in Shibuya gathered around the incoming royal party as they went in. Takashi at the front followed by Guren at his right, Kureto on his left, and Mahiru directly behind him. Shinoa and Mitsuba watched in amazement as crowds waved at them from inside the carriage. 

Guren sees a fat short man at the gates of The Royal Keep, probably the castle steward to greet them. 

"My king, queen mother, prince, ladies, and lords. What a pleasure it is to have your safe return to Shibuya, as it is a pleasure to see you back in Shibuya, Lord Guren. The Small Council has convened and is waiting for you all to begin the meeting." The steward says.

"Already? We just got back. Mother!!!" Takashi whined.

"Hush boy. You are about to be king and you are expected to conduct yourself as one." Mahiru disciplined the boy.

Takashi sulked and stewed. Guren rolled his eyes, annoyed, so much for rest. Guren turns to his right-hand alpha. "Jorrian, carry Mitsuba and Shinoa to their rooms and make sure they get settled in."

The man nods before leading the carriage westward to their quarters in the Keep. Mahiru, Kureto, and Takashi go eastward to change.

"My Lord, you may want to go with them so you can get changed into something more appropriate." The steward tells him when he just gets off his horse. 

Guren looks at the man, giving him a curt glare before the man turns to lead the way for him.


The man apparently has some urgent business, he said that. Guren could tell he needed to take a shit, so he needed to find his own way around. 

Guren gets lost, apparently The Royal Keep underwent design changes because Guren was pretty sure he was wondering for about fifteen minutes before stumbling on the big doors leading to the throne room. He opened it and walked in. 

It was nice one thing hadn't changed. The room was exactly as it was a golden brown color on the bricked walls and tiled floors. Steps that led to where the ladies and omegas waited in court, usually the floor in front of the throne would be crowded, but currently it was empty. The steps leading to the throne were black as coal from his viewpoint, and the throne itself hadn't changed one bit. Throne was made entirely of swords forged by Aelriov the Conqueror, ancestors to the Shindo's. Everything was made from melted swords, the bottom, the armrests, the front, the back, and at the top were famous blades of Westeria with tips pointed up. In the center of the foremost sword the hilt glowed blue from the jewel forged into the sword. 

He was busy staring at it, he didn't notice the person on the steps until he cleared his throat. There was the beta Kureto Hiiragi in pristine, golden, City's Watch armor, with his sword sheathed. He stood up and walked to Guren. 

"Well Guren, same as you remember, I'm assuming. Father never wanted to change anything in the throne room itself. It was a symbol of his conquest over another family if he took their things and left it the same." Kureto said as he walked towards him. "Honestly I'm glad you're here, Lord Guren. We need some stern Northern leadership, which was the one thing father always admired about you. Your ability to lead." 

"Really? You have a funny way of showing it. You know I noticed your armor looks practically new. You must choose your fights wisely." Guren baits him.

"I have a talent for it." Kureto tells him. "It must be strange for you to be here though. Asked to resume your same exact post before, the one that made you a kingslayer. But, then again who could've blame you, after all The Mad King murdered your father and brother in this exact room too. That and the tides turning in our favor caused you to switch sides. Let me tell you, Lord Guren, you'll have another problem if you want to slay this king. I'll behead you myself."

"I wouldn't be that stupid, Takashi's just a cruel child kept in check by his mother at least. You can relax Kureto." Guren tells him, hotly. "I highly doubt you would do anything, but, I see if I did it now it would be personal for you because he's your "nephew". You didn't do anything for my family. Only yours."

Kureto chuckled, "Nobody did anything they watched as your father and brother's screams filled the hall in a contest with the Mad King's laughter. When you killed him it must have felt like justice, but no it probably felt like putting down a rabid dog who was too far gone. You loved him like a brother, but you loathed what he did and became."

"Tell me then Prince or is it Lord Kureto now? what would you have done if it was you in the same situation. Your father, mother, brother, and sister burned alive as you were forced to watch. The man stood in front of you, unguarded, alone, ready to burn a whole city to the ground out of insanity. Would you have killed him then or before? What would make you snap would it be Mahiru dying first? Or your mother? Or Shinya? Your family could live away from them in comfort and security, completely protected. I was the one who did the dirty work and removed the Mad King Nikolai when he went mad with power. I was just the unlucky one whose family was in the capital because of my post. I was unlucky because I betrayed him when they were still here and he thought my family was the main perpetrators, no matter how much I told him it was only me. He needed me to guard him because he thought I would never betray him. Your family and you served the Shindo's as long as it was safe for you all. " Guren finished the conversation, practically growling all this at the beta, who looked shocked at Guren's honesty. 

"We should get going." Guren tells him before walking past him as Kureto follows him. 


Guren and Kureto walk in to see the three remaining council members seated at the table. 

"Lord Guren allow me to introduce you to the remaining council members. This is Shigure Yukimi, the Master of Whispers." Mahiru tells him standing up in her red and golden dress with golden shawl. She points to a long blue haired woman, almost Guren's color, with bangs parted to the left on the right side of her face with golden eyes. She's wearing golden robes with her hands tucked in the opposite wide sleeve. 

Shigure nods to him, "Pleasure, Lord Guren. I hope you had safe travels. Please call me Lady Yukimi. I prefer it. We pray for Prince Takashi's recovery as we heard of his injury."

"You should pray for the butcher's boy. Pleasure's all mine m'lady." Guren tells her. Yukimi nods.  

Mahiru continues, "This is Taro Kagiyama, the Master of Coin."

"Pleasure to see you again, my lord. You look exhausted. I tried to postpone the meeting." Kagiyama says.

Guren nods warily, he remembered this fucker always had the eyes for Shinya, he knew the fucker hated how Shinya always flocked to him with his love. 

"Same here. And that is much appreciated, but not needed." Guren responds curtly.

Mahiru sensing the tension there decides to continue with the meeting sitting down, as Guren and Kureto takes a seat. 

"Seishirou would be the Master of Law, but he's decided to throw a tantrum, so Kureto is filling that position, as well as the Commander of the City Watch, which you will now take over. The Grand Maester would be here now, but he's fallen a bit ill, he'll also be back next week." Mahiru tells him, gesturing to Kureto. 

"I remember the old man." Guren nods, he hates the old man. He remembers him not even serving a king the last time he saw him, probably bribed with Hiiragi gold. 

"I am of course the Queen Mother and hand. You are here to retake your post as head kingsguard, as well as, help advise Takashi until the real hand Shinya finishes in the north and with Seishirou. When all that business with Seishirou is settled with him either dead or back here to be Master of Law and Takashi has his coronation. Shinya will be hand, you will be Kingsguard to Takashi, I will be the Queen Regent Mother, Kureto will resume command of the City Watch, until then you will be busy, Lord Guren." Mahiru tells him.

"I understand." Guren says knowing what he was forced into beforehand.

"How can we trust him?" Kagiyama tells him, "With all due respect my lord. You are after all the kingslayer, how do we know we can trust him?" 

Guren glares at the man about to open his mouth to respond before Mahiru pipes in.

"Guren has no reason to kill Takashi. He did it last time because the Mad King was insane. Takashi is violent and aggressive, but he can always be reined in by me, Kureto, or now Guren. He is also a smart man who has led the North successfully through summer and winter so he is qualified to give advice to me and Takashi until Shinya returns and Seishirou is dealt with." Mahiru responds politely, the man looks wary, but relaxes. 

"The Grand Maester wanted you to wear this, as well. Until, the real hand comes back you and the Queen Mother need to have the symbols." Yukimi said handing Guren and Mahiru two pins with a hand on it. Guren pinned his, while Mahiru held hers, not wanting to tear her dress. 

They sit in silence for a moment. Before Kureto gets up, "Well if that's it. I should get going."

"Meeting Adjourned" Mahiru says before they all get up to Guren's confusion.

"Isn't the king supposed to attend?" Guren asks.

"Takashi has asked to live as he wants before his coronation, and he'll join when he becomes king, until then he won't come." Mahiru tells him.

"Its small matters right now anyway. Most kings use us to take care of that." Yukimi says.

"We're the council of small matters." Kagiyama says. 

"Wait one more thing." Mahiru turns all eyes towards her. "The king has asked for a tournament to be held for Lord Guren, Lady Shinoa, and Lady Mistuba returning." 

"How much will it cost?" Kagiyama asks.

"40,000 gold dragons to the winner, 20,000 for the runner-up, and 20,000 to the winning archer." Mahiru tells them. 

"Can we afford it?" Guren asks.

"Yes, considering we the crown are still 3 million dragons in debt to altogether for the noble houses of Westeros from the time of Hiiragi's rebellion, 80,000 won't be much of an add-on." Kagiyama says.

"Wait? Really? The crown is 3 million in debt?" Guren asks angrily. 

Kagiyama looks in his books, "My mistake we are actually 6 million gold dragons in debt, including the other creditors."

"All kings usually prefer to spend money rather than ask where to get it." Kureto remarks.

"Tenri Hiiragi let the realm fall into debt for his rebellion? I find that hard to believe." Guren says.

"Father had to find funds to overthrow an empire of people, of course there will be a debt of that magnitude. I'm surprised it wasn't more." Mahiru says. 

"With a huge debt like that, we can't afford a tournament now because that's what the king wants. There will be no tournament." Guren angrily declares.

"I agree. I didn't realize the magnitude of this debt." Mahiru says trying to calm Guren down warily. 

The council members nod. 

"Pardon my tone." Guren tells them.

"We live to serve for the pleasure and greatness of the realm. And if you and the Queen Mother see no benefit then we agree." Yukimi says. 

All of the council members go their separate ways adjourning the meeting.


Mahiru checks the wound on Takashi's wrist, it's healing up nicely, becoming pink, but looking like its disappearing. 

"We can say what we like about the incident." Mahiru tells Takashi and looks into his amber eyes and noticing his dark short black hair, like his real father. She sees how he's grown, and what can happen if there secret gets out. "You can say you fought a direwolf bravely, and killed the beast. You only spared the Mitsuba girl because she was close to your aunt and our family. The truth can be malleable for a king. When Nikolai sat on the throne, your grandfather was seen as a rebel traitor and usurper. When you sit on the throne the truth will be what you make it."

"Do I still get to visit Aunty Shinoa?" Takashi asks. 

"Yes, but don't get to close to her. Remember Guren raised her. She's a Ichinose in Hiiragi clothing." Mahiru tells him, she doesn't trust Shinoa, ever since that bitch killed her mother by daring to be born. 

"Mother."

"Yes, my sweet?"

"I think we give the Northerners too much power. Guren Ichinose thinks he's seen as a Hiiragi." Takashi tells him.

"What would you do when you are king?" Mahiru asks him. 

"Double their taxes and force them to contribute 10,000 men to the Watch and Royal Army. Each lord commanding their own force is primitive, and I would have them dealt with and install a Hiiragi loyalist to the crown. Maybe even execute Guren and the Sanguu bitch." Takashi says.

"How would the North and the Sanguu's respond?" Mahiru asks him calmly.

"They have no choice, but to obey my will." Takashi responds.

"Your plan is a foolish one. The North is too big to be invaded and occupied by force. Your army would be annihilated come winter. The Sanguu's would also turn against us and we would have no choice, but to go to war with them if the tensions the Sanguu girls death would cause festers past our control. We would lose a powerful ally. A good king knows when to save his strength and destroy his enemies." Mahiru says. 

"Are the Northerners our enemies?" Takashi asks her.

"Anybody who isn't us is an enemy." Mahiru answers back. 


Mitsuba and Shinoa sit with their Septa eating their supper. 

Mitsuba angrily stabs the meat with her knife and fork repeatedly. Shinoa watches with concern before going back to her food still depressed and mourning her wolf. She knows it's nobody's fault, but the little shit, Takashi. She knows Mitsuba did what was right because otherwise he would have killed an innocent boy. In the end, she can't be mad at Mitsu for doing what was right, even if the outcome was bad for her. 

"Mitsuba, what are you doing?" The septa asks warily.

"Practicing for Takashi. He's a liar and a coward. He hurt Shinoa and Shika suffered for it. He made the Hisaki die for no reason." Mitsuba growls angrily at the beta woman before going back to murdering her meat. But, she knew she wasn't blameless, that's where the anger came from too from her partial feeling of blame. 

"ENOUGH MITSUBA. GO TO YOUR ROOM." The septa says before Mitsuba gets up angrily and leaves in a huff. 

It was just Shinoa and the Septa until Guren came in. 

"Hey." he said to Shinoa and handed her a package. "I wanted to help you feel better because you still look sad, from the incident. I'm sorry that I had to be the one to kill her. She deserved to live freely."

She opened it and it was a beautiful princess doll, Shinoa laughed. Guren was pretty terrible at gifts, but he was a damn good father figure, at least. She saw him as her father always when she never really had one and she knew Guren always saw her as a daughter. Always protective of her like a father was. When the alphas and betas would eye her, Guren wouldn't waste a second before he set them straight. 

"This is a shit gift. I haven't played with dolls since I was five." she said, knowing she can curse because it's Guren.

"SHINOA LANGUAGE!" the septa said. Oh right, she forgot the septa was still there, but Guren was on it.

"Septa, can we have a moment?" the septa got up and left.

Guren smirked at her, "You know it isn't proper for omegas to curse. The only one I know that does is Shinya. Seems he rubbed off on you a bit in your time at Nagoya. He never liked the rules for an omega. Good thing Tenri was fond of him enough to encourage him to be different."

"I'm grateful for the gesture Guren." Shinoa got up with a smile hugging Guren, who rubbed her head that hit his chest. Before moving back and fixing her lavender dress. "I guess he has. He was nice to me. Treated me like a sister the first time he met me. He seemed very fond of you. Though you seem pretty incompetent at relationships." Shinoa wiggled her eyebrows.

"Be quiet. Like I haven't seen what you and Mitsu have been pulling. And you're talking about my relationships." Guren rolled his eyes.

"You love him?" Shinoa asked.

"Yeah, more than anything. And I miss him every time we're apart. It was literal torture when the exile first started, but raising all five of you kept my mind off it enough to persist." Guren says.

"Good, he loves you back. I can tell. You know I can." Shinoa says confidently. "At least look on the bright side you can be together when he comes back from the North."

"And when he returns from dealing with Seishirou." Guren says. 

"Before you know it you'll be reunited." Shinoa smiles up at him.

"Thanks. I saw Mitsuba angrily leaving. I'm guessing her and the septa had it out?"

"When do they not?" Mitsuba snorted before getting a serious face. "Guren. I think it's time. Yuu gave Mitsuba a sword, and she's in a place where it's normal for a woman to train with a sword. She's not an omega. I know you only put the restriction on her for her protection, but Guren please consider giving her some lessons. She's not good or happy at the womanly activities, and she's an alpha. Just consider it." Shinoa walks out leaving Guren alone in the dining room a little shocked at Shinoa's information.


Mitsuba unsheathes her sword in her room and stares at it. It's a thin but, beautiful blade. Somebody comes in and she hastily moves to sheath it before accidentally dropping it, turning around to see who came in hoping it was Shinoa, it was Guren. 

Fuck. But, he didn't look angry. 

"Don't try hiding it. I know a Northern forged sword when I see it. Got a name?" Guren said picking it up and inspecting it.

"Needle. Guren, I don't want to be a proper lady." Mitsu says.

"I know, it's a fine little blade. Fit for you, you'll be the perfect surprise on the battlefield." Guren says.

"It was my fault Hisaki died. I mean Takashi did it with his lies, but if I didn't force him to fight with me...." Mitsu's voice trails off.

"Then it was my fault for not letting you fight properly all these years then if you follow that logic. It wasn't your fault. Takashi, the little fucker spread his bullshit." Guren says.

 "I'm just so fucking pissed. At the little fuck-face prince. At the queen. At myself. I can't believe their Shinoa's family." Mitsu says.

"She's in a hard position too being a Hiiragi raised as an Ichinose. Now she's forced to associate with them all, and the only good one is Shinya. It's not your fault, it's the prince's fault. Shika's death is on him, but you need to be there for Shinoa." Guren says.

"Shinya's the white haired one you pop a boner to when you just think about him?" Mitsu says nodding at what Guren says.

"Yeah, you little shit!" Guren laughs at her response, nearly wheezing and sputtering. 

"I give you my approval." Mitsu shrugged.

"Glad to have it." Guren says with a smirk.

Guren sits on the bed and Mitsuba next to him.

"Look Mitsu. Winter is coming and we need to rely on each other. We need to act smart. We've come to a dangerous place."

Mitsuba nods.

"Good. You can keep the sword." Guren gets up and walks to the door, opening it before turning back and seeing Mitsu's smile. "I just need to find someone to teach you to wield it." Guren leaves and Mitsuba's smile widens.


Shinya arrives with his main guard, Ser Masaaki at a smaller gate of Shibuya. He kept the rest of his men waiting at camp so this will be a quick visit and warning to Guren, then he will go back to the camp and enter through the front gates to make it look like he just arrived back with no detours. He's wearing a green hooded cloak on his recognizable silver hair so no one recognizes him.  

They keep their eyes peeled as they ride in. 

Something stops their horses as they ride in. They look down and see two gold cloaks.

"Welcome Back, Prince Shinya, you've been expected. You are to come with us."

"How? Who?" Shinya asks confused.

The guards give Shinya a scroll. He reads it and looks up before nodding to Masaaki to relax. He looks to the guards and nods his approval.

"Follow us, Prince Shinya."


 The guards lead Shinya to a brothel. 

"What the fuck?" Shinya thinks. 

"In there Prince Shinya. Top floor."

Shinya rolls his eyes, thanks the guards, and gets of his horse. Ser Masaaki follows him into it. He walks up the steps passing some form of sexual pleasure everywhere he turned. Mostly by male omegas and women. Various men and women; alphas, betas, and omegas in various states of undress or full-blown nudity. 

They reach the top floor, and on the couch being sucked off by an omegan male with pink hair is Taro Kagiyama. The man's eyes rolling back as the omega hollows his cheeks.

Shinya looks away and clears his throat. The man looks up and sees him. He truthfully only saw the man as a younger brother, he did trust him because he truly cared for him.

"Shinya!" the boy pulls off him and he tucks himself back into his pants, "Go on. Go downstairs." he sends him off with a smack to the ass.

Shinya internally cringes. Masaaki looks furious his prince is being exposed to such things.

Shinya gets pissed. "A FUCKING BROTHEL. You had me, a Hiiragi omega brought to a brothel. What do you take me for some back-alley-Sally?"

"I meant no disrespect." Kagiyama tries to explain to the omega.

"How dare you take me to such a place? Have you lost your fucking mind?" Shinya seethes.

"You didn't want to be found and nobody will look for you here?" Kagiyama tells him.

Shinya calms down, still angry, "How did you know when and where I was coming back?"

"A dear friend." Kagiyama says.

Shinya ponders who before she walks in: Shigure Yukimi. 

"Prince Hiiragi or is it Lord now?" she says.

"Lady Yukimi. Not until Takashi is coronoated, but even then it won't stop people from calling me that." Shinya says now understanding.

"To see you here safely and still beautiful as when you left is a blessing." she says taking his hands. "Your poor hands." she says.

Shinya pulls away, "How did you know where and when I was coming?"

"My little birds, of course. Did you bring the dagger with you?" the beta responds.

Shinya and Masaaki looked shocked before Yukimi continues.

"My little birds have access to whispers everywhere. Even up in the North, my prince. They tell me all the stories of every realm."

Shinya figures he can't hide anything from these two so he nods to Masaaki who hands it to Yukimi. 

"Valyrian Steel." Yukimi says in awe.

"Do you know whose dagger it is?" Shinya asks hopeful.

"Unfortunately not, my prince." Yukimi says.

"I'm surprised you don't even know Yukimi." Kagiyama says he walks up and takes it from her.

"It's mine." Kagiyama says.

"Yours?" Shinya asks for clarification.

"Well was. Before the tournament last time. I bet it on the Norito knight against your brother. A foolish move, I admit, so I lost it."

"To who?" Shinya asks.

"Your father, Tenri Hiiragi." Kagiyama says with finality. 

Shinya looks shocked, and when Tenri dies that meant the dagger went to Kureto meaning it was true. Meaning he needed to be very careful around his siblings and whatever secret the Saotome boy saw that they covered up in attempted murders. He needs to warn Guren. 


Guren sits in The Royal Keep reading a message that came from Nagoya. 

"Is it good news?" he recognizes that annoyingly creepy beta voice from Taro Kagiyama.

"Aye. Yoichi Saotome has woken up." Guren says, feeling happy and relieved before realizing he isn't there to comfort Yoichi finding out he's a cripple and feeling a bit dejected.

"Wonderful news. Maybe you should share it with a silver-haired, smart-tongued, omega?" Kagiyama says.

Guren already knows who he's talking about, "Shinya's still on his way back from Nagoya."

"Is he though?" Kagiyama says

Guren knows this beta is trying to get him somewhere so he might as well play along, if anything he can just kill him. 


Kagiyama takes Guren to a brothel. 

"What the fuck? Is this little fucker mocking me by taking me to a whorehouse?" Guren thinks.

"I thought he'd be safest here. Not my finest establishment." Kagiyama tells him.

Guren had enough of this. He grabbed the man by the scruff of his collar and shoved him against the wall. His hand moves to his throat, not even his dominant hand. 

"You're a funny man, aren't you?" Guren says, this close to killing the man when he hears a familiar beautiful voice above him.

"GUREN! Calm yourself you fool. Get in here" Shinya whisper-yells from above. Guren missed the beauty, but he knows he wouldn't be here secretly without a reason.

Guren walks in. Kagiyama composes himself before walking in, "Ichinoses, quick tempers but, slow minds." He mutters.


Shinya and Guren embraced each other before Shinya pulled away.

"Yoichi is awake." Guren said first. 

"That's amazing news. Does he remember anything of the fall?" Shinya asked hopeful.

"No. They say he has no recollection," Guren said.

"I see. Guren, I need to tell you something." Shinya says, grateful Yuu was smart not to disclose their suspicions by raven.

"And I'm assuming nobody can know considering they haven't announced you back yet, and you're in this shit-sty." Guren says.

Shinya nods.

"Guren, I think Yoichi was pushed because he saw Mahiru and Kureto doing something secretive. Outside the tower I found this lock of purple hair, and I know one out of the two people I know with purple hair wouldn't do this. A day after there was an assassination attempt on the boy by a man carrying this Valyrian steel dagger that belonged to my father, but he was saved by Kimizuki and Gekko." Shinya tells Guren this calmly.

"Those fuckers pushed Yoichi out of a window because he probably saw them fucking! I'm going to confront them and get them executed!" Guren growled angrily trying to rein in his alpha. 

"Guren, please calm down. Nobody can know we're here. If they find out you, I, Shinoa, and Mitsuba could all be in danger." Shinya tried to explain to him hand rubbing soothingly on his chest. Guren relaxes a bit.

"Besides the fact that if you make any accusation of the attempted murder or incest is treason and would get you executed. Your bastard executed. The children you cared for executed. Shinya I might be able to save, but even then the evidence you would show is sketchy and can be dismissed easily. They'll say the dagger you have was stolen from him, and nobody would be able to deny that because the man who used it is now dead thanks to the Saotome boy's wolf. The hair they can just say you got it from literally anywhere, or worse they could turn it on Shinoa." his voice trailed off.

"He's right, and we both can't let anything happen to Shinoa. I wouldn't be surprised, they can be ruthless and they already hate her since birth. We may all know they committed this crime, but we'll be shot down with just this." Shinya says moving closer to Guren to talk to him more personally, while making sure Kagiyama can hear.

"Look I know Taro is weird. I walked in here to an omega sucking his cock. But, I trust him. He's always cared for me, like a good little brother would. He's promised to find us the truth and I know he would never betray my trust, Guren." Shinya looks at the man in question.

"I promise you, Shinya, I will keep Guren alive for your sake. It might be a fool's errand, but I can't refuse you anything you ask of me." Kagiyama tells him.

"You are a true friend. I won't forget this." Shinya tells the man before hugging him, ignoring the chub he feels from Taro. 

"Just don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to maintain." Kagiyama tells him looking pointedly at Guren who's barely holding in how pissed he is.

Shinya pulls away and embraces Guren calming the man, "I need to leave now, so that I can make it to the front gates before the sun sets. Otherwise Mahiru and Kureto will wise up."

"I'll find the proof to get them executed. But, I'll do it in the shadows. The amount will be so overwhelming there will be no argument from anybody." Guren gives him a determined look before hugging Shinya once again. "You know he still loves you. Not as a brother." Guren whispers in his ear. 

"Does he?" Shinya whispers back before pulling back and passionately kissing Guren on the lips. The alpha smiling down at his omega. 

"I should get going. Taro, make sure Yukimi knows to keep this a secret, although she'll probably do that automatically." Shinya tells him as him and Masaaki leave the brothel, then the back gates. 

Kagiyama and Guren look at him leave before Guren leaves the brothel not wanting to be in the horrid place anymore.


Mahiru hears a knock at her chamber doors, in her blue nightdress she opens it, when she sees Kureto she turns away, "How could we be so stupid?"

"Calm down, Mahiru." Kureto tells her closing the door.

"He's a child! What were we thinking?" Mahiru says stressed.

 "We were thinking about us. About each other. It's a bit late to start complaining." Kureto tells her.

"I could have intimidated him into silence. Forced him to keep quiet. I shouldn't have been so stupid. I was dazed from the fucking!" Mahiru stresses.

"What does he remember anyway?" Kureto asks her.

"Nothing. He remembers nothing. He says he remembers nothing." Mahiru says.

"Well there, the boy doesn't remember. Our little dirty secret is safe." the beta tells her.

"What if it comes back to him?" she asks him.

Kureto walks to her, "We tell him he's lying. He was dreaming. I don't give a shit, we can outfox a child." Kureto tells her. 

"What if they find out our secret?" she implores him one more time.

"We do what we can to ensure that we both make it out alive with Takashi, it might turn into a war, and you might have to sell your cunt. I'll buy it." Kureto tells her smirking.

Mahiru slaps him, she goes for another, but he grabs her hand and spins her around to hug her tightly around the waste. 

 "Let me go." she tells him. 

Kureto begins kissing her neck. "Never."

"Let me go." she repeats. 

"Never. If he remembers and talks, I'll kill him, I'll kill Guren, I'll kill everyone in this whole fucking world until we are the only two people alive if I have to. I don't care. You're the world." Kureto says as he gropes her breast with one hand and her pussy in another causing Mahiru to moan and turn around kissing him.

They hear the bells, announcing Shinya has returned to Shibuya, but they didn't care.   


 Shinya arrived thirty minutes later to a disheveled Guren and Mahiru in the throne room. Obviously back from their dirty little secret.

"Shinya, you're back later than expected. Welcome back, I suppose." Mahiru tells him passively.

"Nice to see you, dear sister Mahiru and brother Kureto. Yes, we stopped quite a bit, so our expected time back was pushed back a bit." Shinya told them.

"What kind of stops?" Kureto asked.

"The Inn at the Crossroads, and a few more places, the men needed their rest." Shinya tells them.

"You leave in the afternoon to handle the Seishirou situation. If you can't, come back here as fast as possible. Takashi will need a good hand, and as much as it pains me to admit this, you are the best option if Seishirou goes insane. He's always had a soft spot for you that most men have." she said eyeing Kureto warily, with relief in her eyes that he didn't.

"I understand. Will do. If you'll excuse me, I have to get everything handled in the early morning for the journey to be ready to go in the afternoon. I'm heading to my chambers." Shinya said turning away and walking to someone's chambers but not to his.


Guren gets a knock on his chamber's door. Hearing the bells he knew exactly who it was. Smirking as he opened the door to Shinya in his blue nightgown and robe, who was already smirking back at him.

"Well Lord Ichinose, it looks like we have all night to make up for the time missed. Best not waste a second." Shinya said, walking past Guren. 

"I've been waiting sixteen long years for this, Prince Shinya. I don't plan on it." Guren said, grabbing Shinya and pulling him in his arms, when they were close to the bed. 

"Guren..." Shinya said dazed in delight that he could finally have sex with Guren.

"Shinya..." Guren says mocking Shinya's horny tone with a smirk. 

Shinya chuckles heatedly before Guren raises his chin to meet his lips in a searing kiss. Guren's arm wraps around him tighter, and Shinya loops his hands across Guren's neck.

Their eyes close in bliss. Shinya opens his first and sees the bed. He pulls away and pushes Guren onto the bed. Guren tries to catch his lips but Shinya pulls back and steps backwards further away from him, Guren sits us bracing himself on his elbows. He looks slightly dejected before he realizes what Shinya is doing.

Shinya takes off his sandals, moving forward. Then, Shinya slowly reaches to the shoulders of his robe pulling it gently off his shoulders allowing it to pool around him when it falls. He takes a significant step forward to Guren, still to far to reach him and pull him in without some effort.

Guren bites his lip. "Fucking tease."

"The best one in the west." Shinya tells him. 

Shinya takes one of the straps of his nightgown and pulls it out of place before doing the same to the other side, they're around his arms before he lets it fall to the ground again pooling around his naked body, cock bouncing on his abs. Guren takes him in, his beautiful naked form, only better with age. Abs and ass more filled, back in an angular somewhat-omegan or feminine curve, legs thicker, pubic area shaven, and hell even his arms have more meat than before. 

"Well, Guren, like what you see?" Shinya asks knowingly, moving out of his night gown closer to Guren. Guren took off his shirt, having removed his boots beforehand. Shinya stares at the man's muscular arms. His broad shoulders and chest, filled with defined muscular abs. He could even see his legs had more muscle, and took notice of the large bulge and leaking wet spot. The body of a prime, top alpha. He was busy ogling Guren, he didn't notice Guren moving his arm closer until he pulled him into his arms and on top of him.

"Fuck yeah. Get over here, darling." Guren growls out staring at Shinya.

Their lips met in a passionate kiss, this time with Shinya initiating it. He pushed Guren down on the bed pulling off him and beginning to pull off his pants, getting him naked.

When he was coming up Guren used his distraction to flip them over so he was on top. 

"Let's get the alpha back on top." Guren whispered.

"Fuck...Guren." Shinya barely got out before Guren kissed him again. Shinya could feel the slick his asshole and Guren's cock were making. 

Guren began kissing down his chest, sucking his nipple into his mouth causing Shinya to moan his name.

"Fuck, baby. I missed the way you said my name like that." Guren told him as he moved to suck on his other nipple before kissing down his body.

Guren kissed his abdomen, then his hip before taking him in his mouth. Guren sucked him hollowing out his cheeks and licking the tip before pulling off.

"Fuck Shin. I missed the way you tasted. The slick is pooling up. I'm gonna put my fingers in." Guren told him taking the resounding moan of his name as a sign to continue. He kissed his tip as he entered his thick calloused fingers into Shinya's entrance. Shinya's moans only grew as Guren sucked him, hollowing his cheeks. Guren knew he needed to keep him quiet, so he removed his slick covered fingers, and put them into Shinya's mouth which he greedily sucked on causing Guren to think about Shinya's beautiful mouth on another part of his body.

Guren pulled off Shinya, trailing kisses back up his body as Shinya sucked on his fingers. "I'm gonna put it in now. Get ready and keep on sucking, otherwise someone will hear us."

Shinya nodded. 

Guren lined up his cock with Shinya's entrance and put his cock in the hole and started to thrust slowly. Shinya moaned around his fingers before opening his mouth and getting an idea, he sat up and kissed Guren again. "Keep me quiet a different way." he said before Guren got the idea and kissed Shinya with renewed passion jerking him off simultaneously as he thrust into him harder and faster, slick making it easier to thrust. Shinya wrapped his legs around Guren, holding his face as they kissed. 

Shinya soon came moaning in one of their long kisses before Guren came soon after feeling the relief of finally having Shinya back in this way and relieving himself of his pent-up knot. Guren collapsed on top of Shinya before rolling off him and nuzzling into his hair as Shinya curled into him.

"That was..." Guren said.

"Fucking Amazing." Shinya finished for him.

"I missed you too, Guren. Considering you said it so much times during." Shinya said propping his chin up on Guren's chest.

They both smiled warmly, tenderly at each other. Shinya laid his head on Guren's chest. Before getting up and putting on his nightgown. 

"What are you doing?" Guren asked him.

"Going back to my room. If we're found, you with the prince. Imagine the uproar." Shinya told him as he pushed his hair over his shoulder.

Guren got out of bed putting on his pants and wrapped his arms around Shinya's waist and putting his chin on his shoulder, "Stay. You can leave in the early morning."

"Guren. What if we oversleep and somebody finds us? We have to be smart about this if we want to get rid of Mahiru and Kureto." Shinya told him.

"Then we had insanely great sex, with your loud moaning." Guren said.

"Which we handled." Shinya chuckled.

"Stay Shinya." Guren kissed his neck.

Shinya turned to face him and kissed him, he wanted to stay to. "Guren, you can come see me off tomorrow. I need to be up early to check everything is ready for the trip to Ebina to deal with the Kureto situation. My handmaids are going to be at my room early to wake me. If I'm not there, they will be suspicious as to where I am. Mahiru and Kureto will hear about it. Guren we need to play smart, otherwise everyone we love is dead."

Guren nods, somber before grabbing Shinya's face into a kiss, "Alright, but I'm seeing you off tomorrow."

"I know I couldn't stop you, even if I wanted to." Shinya said before returning the kiss and leaving Guren reluctantly.   


 "Alright stay safe, my beautiful omega." Guren has his hand on Shinya's thigh, as he's on his horse, ready to leave with his men talking so none of them can hear. 

"Will do, my sweet. I have my guards they'll protect me. I'm also not completely helpless." Shinya said, grabbing Guren's hand and squeezing it, Guren kisses his.

Guren nods to him, "Safe travels, my prince." for Shinya's men to hear before moving away.

Shinya nods to him exchanging a loving look before leaving out the front gates of Shibuya. 

From a distance behind an alley Yukimi watches this exchange, intrigued. Also watching from the top of the Royal Keep tower is Mahiru with a desolate, yet calculating look on her face. 


Mitsuba walks out in a pants and shirt, hair in a ponytail. Ready to get scolded by her septa. When she gets there she sees a short woman with dark curled hair.

"You are late girl, tomorrow you will be here at midday." the woman tells her.

"Who are you?" she asks. 

"Sakura of Harajuku, your dancing master. The former First Sword of Harajuku at your service." the alpha woman says bowing to her.

She throws a woman sword at Mitsu who misses it.

"Tomorrow you will catch it. Now use it." Sakura says.

Mitsuba picks it up with both hands on the hilt. 

"Not like that, girl." she says and corrects her so she has one hand around the hilt. 

"It's too heavy." Mitsu says.

"Now you are standing wrong." she says and turns her side-faced.

"You're a bit skinny, which is good. The target is smaller. Now the grip must be delicate." Sakura says.

"What if I drop it?" Mitsu asks.

"You must use the steel like it's a part of your arm. Can you drop a part of your arm, girl?" Sakura tells her.

Mitsu shakes her head, and corrects her form to what Sakura advised her. Sakura walked around her. 

"Yes. Good, girl. You must listen to what I say. I know about these things." Sakura says.

"From Harajuku?" 

The woman nods. "You are the sword, the grip. That is it."

Fixing her grip, "You are not holding a war hammer. You are holding...." her voice trails off.

"A needle." Mitsu says.

"Ah that's it. Now you get it." she chuckles.

She moves in front of Mitsu and mimics her stance. "Now the dance begins. Remember this isn't the dance of the Western Kingdoms. This is the dance of Harajuku. A water dance. It's swift and sudden, not blunt and clumpy. Now strike me!" she says.

"HA!" Mitsu strikes her the woman disarms her, Mitsu tries a few more attempts each time ending with her disarmed and Sakura saying, "Dead." Mitsu starts picking up on a few things as she fails. 

"Up! Come again, faster!" she says.

Guren walks into the room after seeing Shinya off this afternoon and stands at the door watching with a smile as Mitsuba slowly starts to pick up on a few things. He's proud of the young alpha girl, to see her working so hard to win.

Guren slowly realizes, "Win what?"

The battle? 

The war?

He looks at them and hears the sounds of swords clashing and men dying fill his head as he watches them clash and Mitsuba gets happier, gets better. He knows they're wooden swords. But, he can't help feel like he's training Mitsuba, his Mitsu for war and battles to come.

Guren turns away feeling slightly uneasy and walks away as the sounds of swords clashing and dying men fill his head.


Shinjuku

Mikaela looks at the men and women lined up in chains behind bloodriders horses with disgust.

His marriage and integration into Dothraki culture had been going good, not perfect so far. But, the one thing he could never see himself supporting is their ability to keep people as slaves. He stares at the pale skinned woman, an omega walking behind a horse with pity and fury.

People should never be enslaved, and treated as less than people by others. All humans were equal, there were always classes, but slaves should never be allowed. When he looks at all of them chained walking in a line, he gets the urge to strike their chains off and liberate them. Let them regain the freedom that was taken from them that only they should be allowed to decide what to do with. All people are born free, none better than the other, and nobody has the right to take away that freedom a person has to make themselves feel better. 

But, then again Mika may just be a too modern mind for the world. He knew Westeria needed no liberation, but Shinjuku was filled with slave cities and slavers. He knew he can't do anything now as he is just a foreign Queen, but maybe when he bears Makoto a son he can start trying to bring real change to the Dothraki and Shinjuku. Makoto himself not too fond of the practice, not having any behind his horse. But, it was the Dothraki way, at least for now.

The khalasar were passing through a bamboo forest only one more riding day away from Khales Dothrak. Mika rode with Ser Lacus next to him when a question came into his mind. 

"Ser Lacus, do the Dothraki buy their slaves?" Mika asked him.

"No, the Dothraki do not believe in any form of money. They get their slaves as spoils from cities, so that they are not sacked. Sometimes they'll feel insulted by the quality of the slaves and still sack the city. Other times they take slaves and sack the city because they haven't had a good fight in months." Lacus told him.

Mika looks at a paler man as a bloodrider whips him. Mika cannot keep the nausea he feels from his face, but he swallows it down. 

"Tell them all to stop." Mika tells him.

"You want the whole horde to stop? For how long?" Lacus asks him.

"Until I tell them otherwise." Mika tells him.

Lacus is impressed and his face shows it, "You are learning to talk like a true Queen."

"Not a Queen. A Khaleesi." Mika responds to him before dismounting and walking into the forest after hearing Lacus relay his orders.


Mika reaches a nearby clearing after a few minutes of walking.

He stops when he hears grass crunch sounding like it's coming towards him, before Lucal storms in on horseback wielding his sword looking deranged.

"YOU DARE TO GIVE ME COMMANDS?" Lucal growls at him.

He gets off and stalks toward Mika, grabbing his neck and squeezing the area, cutting off Mika's airway.

"I AM THE ALPHA! YOU TAKE ORDERS FROM ME, YOU HORSE-LORD CUNT! YOU WON'T BE ANYTHING ONCE I USE YOU TO TAKE THE WESTERN KINGDOM, BUT A ROYAL FIGUREHEAD. I'LL USE YOU LIKE A WHORE. I DO NOT TAKE ORDERS FROM SAVAGES AND THEIR SLUTS." Lucal yells at him. 

Mika is trying to decipher what he's saying, while trying to get him to let go of his throat. A whip wraps around Lucal's neck before it pulls him to the ground choking him. He sees Takoto one of Makoto's bloodriders holding Lucal, while Dyara and Jhaqiu come in. 

"Do you want me to kill him, Khaleesi?"  Takoto asks him. 

"No!" Mika tells him trying to catch his breath, Lucal flails on the ground trying to pull off the whip, and Mika internally smiles at how pathetic he looks. He needs to find out more about Lucal and his motives before he can kill him. What he just told him was a red flag and he did rape Mika, but he sheltered and protected him when he could have let him die on the streets. He can't kill him, at least not yet. But, he can't protect him much longer with the man growing more and more erratic every day. He'll do something that not even Mika can stop the execution of him.

"Should I remove his ear? That would teach him some respect." Takoto asks him smiling. 

Mika ponders this for a quick second before deciding it would probably end up worse for him somehow. This incident should hopefully get the man in line now. 

"No. Do not harm him, please." Mika tells him.

He lets Lucal go with a disappointed look on his face, who gets up as Ser Lacus comes into the clearing. 

"Good! Welt, kill this Dothraki dogs!" Lucal tells him.

Lacus exchanges a look with Takoto, neither make any movements. Lucal looks insulted and even more pathetic.

"Shall we return, Khaleesi?" Lacus asks Mika.

"Yes, Ser Lacus." he says glaring at Lucal as Dyara helps him on his white mare.

Lucal makes moves to get back on his horse, but Takoto grabs his by the reins moving it away from him as they leave. "You walk," he says as Lucal stands alone in the clearing shocked and insulted.


Mika is sitting in his tent with his dragon eggs close by. 

Jhaqiu is there teaching him more Dothraki while she braids his long pale blonde hair. 

"Very good Khaleesi. You are almost fluent. You speak like a true-born Dothraki." she tells him.

"Thank you. Not like there's word for that in Dothraki." Mika tells her and they share a laugh.

She abruptly feels his stomach, then his chest. Mika looks at her tense and laughs uncomfortably. "What are you doing?"

"My apologies, Khaleesi. But, have you been feeling nauseous?" she asks him.

Mika thinks about it before nodding. 

"Your chest also feels weightier, and your stomach feels a small amount more full. The Great Khal and you made love during your heat?" she tells him. 

"Yes." Mika tells her suspicious but, starting to catch on.

"Khaleesi, you are changing." Jhaqiu tells him.

Mika realizes immediately what she means. He knows the signs, he just never felt them. He thought he felt normal.

"How do you know?" he asks her incredulously hoping it was true.

"I know what a pregnant omega looks like, Khaleesi. You show all the signs." Jhaqiu tells her.   

"I'm pregnant." he says in shock before a huge smile breaks out on his face and he puts a hand on his stomach. 

"It's a blessing from the stallion. I'll send a midwife to confirm." Jhaqiu tells him before getting up to leave.

Mika can't stop smiling. For once in his life he knows what it's truly like to be happy. 


 Ser Lacus and Takoto are comparing their weapons to each other in Ser Lacus' tent.

"For a man on horseback, the curved blade you have is good. But for dueling a man in full armor. That's where this comes in." Lacus tells him unsheathing his broadsword. "You use it to pierce the steel armor."

"Dothraki do not wear the steel dresses, it slows them down." Takoto tells him. 

"Armor." Lacus tells him.

"Arrr-mor." Takoto tells him.

"My father taught me how to fight. I heard yours was a great warrior too." Lacus tells him.

"He was a bloodrider to the last Great Khal. And your father was a great warrior?" Takoto asks him.

"Yes, he was. I disgraced our house's honor by what I did to get banished." Lacus tells him mournfully. 

Jhaqiu walks in. 

"Takoto, Khaleesi does not wish to dine on horse tonight. Go hunt a rabbit or duck for him?" she tells him. 

"There are none of neither." Takoto tells her. 

She rolls her eyes, "Dog then. I've seen many around."

"He won't like dogs." Lacus tells her, knowing Mika won't.

"The Khaleesi is pregnant. His belly swells and his chest grows." Jhaqiu tells them annoyed.

Lacus looks conflicted to say the least. 

"A blessing from The Great Stallion." Takoto says.

"He definitely won't want horse." she tells them. 

"I'll have them butcher a goat for him." Lacus tells her. 

She looks satisfied and leaves.

Lacus gets up urgently. 

"I need to ride to Qohorian."  He tells Takoto. 

"We reach Khales Dothrak after tomorrow." Takoto responds. 

"Don't worry. Tell the Khaleesi and Great Khal, I'll catch up with them. The horde isn't hard to spot." Ser Lacus tells him before leaving the tent. 


Mika waits eagerly for Makoto to arrive at their tent. 

When Makoto walks in with an easy, loving smile for Mika he can barely keep it in. 

"What's got you so excited, my queen?" Makoto asks him a little excited because of Mika's excitement and eagerly anticipating what Mika wants to tell him, putting both big hands on his waist. 

"I love it when you call me Khaleesi." Mika starts looking up at him smiling brightly, before realizing Makoto can't understand. "I love it when you call me that. I love it when you come see me. I love seeing you smile so much. I love making you happy. I love you." he tells him honestly.

"I love you too, my angel. But, what's got you so stirred?" he asks Mika still happy, but a little wary.

"I'm telling you this because now, I'm going to have to share your love." Mika says smile somehow getting brighter as he moves one of Makoto's hands from around his waist to on his stomach and looks into his eyes.

Makoto looks at him, mind slowly piecing together what Mika's telling him before his face becomes a toothy grin. "Really? You're with child, my angel?"

Mika nods tears in his eyes.

Mika has never seen Makoto look so happy with his smile. He picks Mika up by the waist and Mika wraps his arms around his neck, Makoto's adrenaline supporting all his weight. Makoto laughs, he's full of joy for his wife, his queen, his angel, as well as, their future child. 

Mika and Makoto gaze lovingly at each other.

"And you know what? It's a boy." Mika says confident.

"How do you know?" Makoto whispers to him.

"I know." Mika says never taking his loving gaze off Makoto who kisses him smiling. Mika wraps his legs around his waist as they move to the bed.

Chapter Text

Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Yoichi nocks another arrow as the one he's just shot lands on the outer edges of the target. He expects to hear Yuu and Kimizuki laughing, see Mitsuba showing him up, and looking up to see a small smile, hopeful on Guren's face. Hopeful he can't hit it, or hopeful he can, he could never tell with Guren. The only reason Guren allowed him to even do archery was because Yoichi insisted and begged him to let him, until he broke him down.

The boy fully functioning and able to walk to collect the next arrow he doesn't even land on the target. Yoichi looks down and sees his legs walking. He's able to move them in his brown slacks. He feels a small sense of happiness. Yoichi goes back and nocks the arrow he picked up, slowly breathing and drawing the bowstring back to his cheek. He's about to release when he hears a cawing and sees a black raven land on the wooden stable posts. 

Yoichi for some reason feels curious to follow it as it flies through Snowstorm. He puts his bow and arrow down. He follows it as it leads him through the stables and kennels. Before flying into the crypts, where Yoichi follows. 

He walks in and sees it perched on a lit candle holder. The raven caws at him almost directly before turning to him, and revealing it has three eyes. 

The three-eyed raven.

Yoichi wakes up in a startle. 

"You've been dreaming again, my sweet summer child." Nanny Fanny tells him.

Kimizuki walks in. "Hey, Yoichi. How you feeling?"

"Fine. Still getting used to everything." Yoichi tells him which isn't a lie, but it's not what's bothering him. Still wondering what the three-eyed raven means and why he's in his dreams, until Kimizuki continues.

"We got a surprise that might make you feel better." Kimizuki tells him. 

In walks Esther Lee a kind man with giant's blood, they call him Estle, who has now been made Yoichi's carrier. Poor man, probably had much better things to do than carry Yoichi around. But, Yoichi couldn't put the stress of carrying him on Gekko. The man smiled at Yoichi, who gave him a kind smile in return.

"Estle." the man told him gesturing for him to get on his back which Yoichi did. The man only said that word, nobody ever knew why. He just did. Kimizuki gave him a small smile as he followed them out.


 Yuu is waiting in the stables in his black feathered and furred cloak, as Estle carries Yoichi on his back in a brown wolf cloak with Kimizuki following in a grey wolf cloak. 

"Good, you're here." Yuu gives him a smile. 

Yoichi gives them both a smile when Kimizuki stands in front with Yuu and his horse whose back is covered by a sheet. 

"Why is Yamanaka here, and covered in a sheet?" Yoichi tilts his head to the side, the omega looking adorable. 

"Well, telephone pole and I thought of this as a way to help you feel better. You said you wished you were dead, and you seemed like it was because you thought couldn't do all the stuff you liked doing before. But, that isn't the truth." Yuu said before pulling off a sheet, revealing a saddle perfectly fitted for Yoichi and his legs so he doesn't fall off the horse, while keeping him mobile. Kimizuki smirked angrily at the 'telephone pole' comment remembering that was one of his first fights with Yuu when they were kids and Yuu occasionally calls him the nickname.

Yoichi looked at it in awe before turning back to Yuu and Kimizuki with a look of gratefulness tears in his eyes. "You both really did this for me."

"Ehhh, it was mostly Kimizuki, he designed the thing with the stable-master while I got the clearance from the maester's." Yuu said, winking at Kimizuki. Estle getting the move, and allowing Yoichi to launch himself into Kimizuki's arms who embraced him. 

Kimizuki mouthed a 'Thank You' to Yuu before allowing himself to enjoy the omega's scent, ruffling his hair and supporting his weight. Yuu smiled a bit before easing it off. 

"You can also use this vantage point to learn to shoot arrows on horseback, so your favorite archery doesn't need to stop. You can use a short bow. Now I better not ever hear you say you wish you were dead, okay?" Yuu tells him seriously, with his alpha coming out of his voice.

Yoichi nods feeling happier than he's felt since this terrible incident and the Hiiragi's visit. Yoichi feels a jolt in his mind when he thinks of the Hiiragi's like he should be remembering something about them. He feels a little weird and stressed for Guren, Shinoa, and Mitsuba, and he doesn't understand why. He brushes it off. Ignores it, it's probably nothing, just him missing his family. He still has some family with him and revels in the home he feels when Kimizuki strokes his hair, closing his eyes in bliss.


Kimizuki spars with one of the men on the ground as Yuu watches all the men fight at a distance correcting things here and there. Yoichi watches from the top where Yuu used to watch in a chair. 

Yuu watches 'telephone pole' abrasively rush the man he's against knocking him down. Say what you will about Kimizuki, but he's always been one of the best fighters. When they were younger he and Yuu were neck-in-neck for the position of the next top alpha. Yuu at least won that title and Warden of the North as he smirks to himself. Kimizuki always gave him a run for his money though. He goes back to watching his other men and giving them more tips.

Kimizuki spars with two men now and when he defeats them faster than the last huge one he just defeated, their alpha egos can't take that. 

"Aren't you the Kimizuki boy?" the first one says to him. 

"I wonder how Fujio Kimizuki would feel knowing his only son and heir was now a lackey to the Ichinose's. To know you are so loyal to your captors." the other one says. 

Kimizuki could feel his alpha growing in anger, but he tried to keep it in check. Hell, even Yoichi was watching. He couldn't lose it. "Shut the fuck up." he growled.

"I remember the Tenri Hiiragi burning your family's fleet to ashes in the ocean. The work of your uncle's. Nothing prettier than watching sailor's burn." one said

"It was stupid to launch a rebellion when you knew you couldn't win. I wonder if his father would be glad to see his son playing a squire bitch." the other alpha says before Kimizuki launches at him punching him until his face bleeds, the other one tries to pull him off before Kimizuki elbows him in the face as hard as he can and throws this alpha at the other one. 

"OI, KIMIZUKI! GET THE FUCK OFF. CALM DOWN. KEEP YOUR ALPHA IN CHECK. REMEMBER YOICHI." Yuu tells him pointing up without looking back before Kimizuki pushes past him to blow off some steam. 

"GET THE FUCK UP. YOU TWO ARE ON KENNEL DUTY FOR A WEEK." Yuu alpha growls at them, they scurry terrified of the top alpha. 

During Kimizuki's sparring, Eita Kusunoki approaches Yoichi siting on the stairs. Yoichi never liked the man, but he tolerated him because the man was decent to him.

"Ser Kusunoki." Yoichi greets him with a polite smile.

"Lord Saotome. I'm glad to see you well-rested and out of Snowstorm. I was sorry to hear about your condition." the man smiles at him, but a fake one. 

"Thank you." Yoichi nods to him.

"It must be difficult adjusting to the way you are now. A broken cripple. You're definitely more restricted now, my lord. I wonder what your father, the Great, war general would think of what you've become. Guren probably wouldn't have cared, but he was a kingslayer anyway." Kusunoki said, looking at a fuming Yoichi. 

"Why should I care for what a man I've never once met before believes? Lord Guren was my real father, he raised me as his own. If you're looking to cause trouble I suggest you remember you're speaking to a Lord, a crippled Lord, but still a Lord. You forget yourself, Ser Kusunoki. Now leave me be." Yoichi turns away from the man trying to cause divisions in his family. 

He would like to meet his biological family someday, but he had more than enough to make up for if they didn't want him. He had Guren, Shinoa, Mitusba, Yuu, and Kimizuki. He loved them all. He would never let the man talk ill of himself or of his family, especially not one of lower status. 

Yuu looks up after the sentencing to see Yoichi looking shocked and angry, but not at Kimizuki's alpha rage, but at the man talking to him. Fucking Kusunoki. Yuu walks up the steps giving the man a hard-earned glare and baring his teeth before walking to Yoichi. 

"What'd that fuck-face want?" Yuu asked Yoichi.

"He tried to make me feel bad for being a cripple now. He also spoke ill of Guren." Yoichi told him.

"I guess I gotta teach that fucking bastard..." Yuu starts growling before Yoichi continues.

"Relax, Yuu I set him straight. Told him off, and he looked very downtrodden at being told off by a mouthy omega. But, keep an eye on him. What happened with Kimizuki?" Yoichi said with concern. 

Yuu smirked before becoming serious at Yoichi's question, "Two alphas egged him on after he beat them. I couldn't hear what they told him, but I've never seen him lose it like that. I put them on kennel duty for a week. Now he's cooling off." 

Yoichi nodded, "I think they must have told him the same thing Kusunoki told me. It was a setup, probably to turn us against you. Kusunoki is probably still pissed you beat the shit out of him. I say we all teach him a little lesson, when Kimizuki cools off. He needs to see us as threats. ALL of us. Once he gets in line his men will follow, whatever small number there is."

"What did you have in mind?" Yuu smirks.


That night Kusunoki wakes up in his bed to a wetness on his face.

He opens his eyes and sees the eyes of three wolves growling at him on his lap. Gekko, Asuramaru, and Kiseki drool and growl on his face with hunger in their eyes. Kusunoki loses his resolve and begins freaking out. He pulls back and sees Yuu on his bed with Yoichi in a chair beside him and Kimizuki next to him with identical smirks.

Yuu has a devious smile, "Let's hope you learn your place now, Kusunoki. If you ever mess with either of us, you and your supporters will become our wolves' next favorite meal. Understand? We won't tolerate any traitors among us and you'll be dead faster than you can blink."

The man nods terrified, "I swear, my lords. No more trouble from me."

"Good. You're not gonna break apart this family. When the bloodsuckers come we cannot afford to have mutiny among ourselves. That will be the only war that matters when they wreak havoc on us. When winter comes we must unite against them." Yuu nods and moves to get up, nobody noticing Kimizuki's unsure look before going back to the smirk.

The man nods somewhat actually agreeing with Yuu's words and moves of intimidation and superiority. He can respect the commander even as he hates him. He definitely sees the Guren in him, but then again the man raised him.

Kimizuki grabs Yoichi bridal style, which causes him to blush and Yuu to laugh as they walked out the door. "Telephone pole has moves."  

Each wolf teased the man like they were going to have a go at him at any second as one-by-one they slowly moved off the terrified man who remained in the same position for the rest of the night. 


Yuu, Kimizuki, and Yoichi were alone in his room. Yuu and Kimizuki drinking ale and Yoichi wine to celebrate the upper hand they gained on Kusunoki.

Yoichi was nervous, drunk, and wanted to ask them about something. He assumed they'd probably be experts in the subject. 

"Yuu, Kimizuki, have either of you ever taken an omega?" Yoichi asks him.

"No. Never. There was once with a whore, a blonde one. But, in the end I couldn't stand to bring another bastard in the world, like I was brought." Yuu told him honestly.

"The only way I would ever is if I fell in love with them first." Kimizuki said to him trying not to eye Yoichi with love.

"Oh. I was just wondering what it felt like because you know...I'm defective." Yoichi trails off starting to tear up. 

"Hey, Yoichi. You may not be able to do that anymore, but, that doesn't mean you can't have love. You'll find somebody who'll love you in that way. I can think of one in particular now, but there are still many others who look at you with interest. You are not defective, you are desirable as fuck. Any alpha would be lucky to have an omega with your brain power. Plus with all those books you read, your archery skills, and your cute face, who wouldn't want you." Kimizuki kneels and tells him with a hand on his thigh.

They both share loving gazes at each other. Each coming to the start of a realization. 

Yuu smirks, "You'll find someone. Everyone has a match. Who knows you may have already found someone interested." Yuu eyes the scene in front of him, the only thing that would make this more interesting is if Kimizuki proposed right now on the spot, and Yoichi became a lady-in-waiting and started dropping handkerchiefs for him to pick up.  

They both catch Yuu's implication and break their gaze, Yuu's smirk now turns into a smug smile. 

Yuu and Kimizuki bid Yoichi goodnight before they go to their chambers and all three fall asleep drunken off of love and victory. 


Shibuya

Shinoa walks with her septa by her side her green earthy dress with yellow shawl trails behind her. They tour the Royal Keep before reaching the room of the Seraphin Throne, as though she's drawn to it she walks in with her septa following her, her purple hair down and bouncing as she descends the steps. 

She walks the hall to the steps at the foot of the throne and looks at it. 

"Do you ever think, I'll get to rule, as a queen? Or even as a lady?" she asks subconsciously to her septa.

"Maybe, if you marry a king or a lord." her septa tells her.

"The only one I see is Takashi and that's not happening. But, maybe the reason our world has been so terrible and violent was because we've never had a queen in charge and ruling primarily." Shinoa tells her with a smirk.

"That may be true. But, it's the world we live in." The septa shrugs. 

"Well I hope to have only daughters so they can have the power to rule." Shinoa tells her.

"You will and all the lords and ladies will gather to see your little princess." she tells her.

Shinoa smiles at the thought, thinking of babies with blonde hair and amber eyes. 

"You know what could also help? You need to stop bringing up the incident with the wolf. A wolf is not a pet." she tells her.

Shinoa looks at her with an angry frown and moves to leave. 

"Wait, my apologies, princess." she tells Shinoa. Shinoa looks at her at the title change. "Well you are a Hiiragi now, back home."

"Well, I still prefer Lady Hiiragi." she tells her, the only Hiiragi she wanted to associate with was Shinya, otherwise she was basically Guren's daughter. She wanted to be a queen not a princess. But, she'd much rather be a lady than be a queen for the Hiiragi family in waiting.

The septa nods, "Whatever you'd like, my lady. How about some history. Who forged the throne?"

Shinoa grateful for the change in subject, "Aelriov the Conqueror forged the Seraphin Throne, and Maegon the Great created the Royal Keep."

Shinoa realizes something as her septa nods, "Guren's father and brother were killed here, correct? By the Mad King, Why? I remember not many Shindo's going mad in their bloodline, but why did he?"

"That's best discussed with Guren. However, the Shindo's do not have mad genes, but it was said the Mad King inbred and it destroyed his mind." she tells her.

Shinoa nods, "I feel bad for them, the Shindo's. Guren, I feel for, but they weren't all insane and to have your family name wiped out like that..." she trails off.

"I know, child, but if rumors are true not all are gone. But, we mustn't talk here, it could be treason if we're caught."

Shinoa nods understanding. 


Guren sits in his chair bored of this small council meeting. 

Yukimi, Mahiru, Kagiyama, Kureto, and the Grand Maester Sycelle.

"There's also unrest in the city as knights and visitors are coming to the Kingsguard's tournament." Kureto tells him.

"That shit's still going on!" Guren exclaims angrily. 

"Takashi insisted and cut down the reward money after I explained to him the reason. He wants the tournament." Mahiru says.

Guren reluctantly nods, at least the king can compromise, and annoyed he has one command. "Fine, but it's the King's tournament, I want no part."

They all nod at Guren. 

"Anyway, there have been riots in the streets, tavern fights, a brothel fire, and ten stabbings." Kureto says.

"Well, Kureto you are the new commander of the watch, so you should deal with them accordingly." Guren tells him condescendingly.

"We need more men." Kureto growls at him.

"We'll get you the more men, find the money Kagiyama." Mahiru tells the man who nods.

"I'll also give you twenty of my men. I pray for the end of this tournament." Guren tells them trying to appear more cooperative, but still normal to not arouse suspicion. Yukimi looks a little disapproving of this move, but Guren gives her a look.

"It allows the common folk a small respite from woes and the chance of glory." Yukimi says.

"Well I'm satisfied because all the inns are booked full and the whores walk the streets open-legged." Kagiyama says.

"Meeting adjourned then if that's all the business." Mahiru says.

They all get up and Guren goes to the Grand Maester as they all leave the slow old man. 

"Grand Maester, I wanted to speak about Tenri Hiiragi." Guren tells him.

"Of course, my lord. Terrible tragedy. I did everything i could to save him. The fever got him hard and fast. I saw him the night before in my chambers. He often came to me for counsel." the old man tells him regret in his voice.

"Why?" Guren asks.

"I've been a maester for a while with the Hiiragi's and they have always trusted me to give them sound council. They benefit from my wisdom." the old man indignantly tells him.

Guren internally rolls his eyes. "I meant why did he come to see you? The reason for the visit." 

"Oh, if I do remember it was for a book."

"I'd like to see the book, as well." Guren says. The man nods.


 The Grand Maester hands him the book and he reads the title in big, bold letters. 

"The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Six Kingdoms consisting of descriptions of the high lords, noble ladies, and the noble children of Westeria." Guren reads.

Guren is finds himself puzzled, wondering why Tenri Hiiragi a well-informed man sought this. 

"Why did he want this? What did he say on the last night you saw him?" Guren asks the old man.

"He kept repeating 'the seed is strong.' I have no idea what he meant." the old man ponders and shrugs.

"You're certain he died of natural causes?" Guren asks him.

"Who would think to commit such a murder on our iron-willed king? Poison maybe could have been the only way, but nobody could detect how it got in, his wine was tested well after and it was clean, as well as his food."

"Poison, it's a woman or an omegan weapon." Guren says.

"The blue haired master of whispers could do anything undetected. I always wondered how a woman like that made it onto the council." the old man says.

"Well, I've taken up enough of your time Grand Maester, thank you." Guren tells him taking the book with him, now more suspicious than ever of everyone as he leaves. 


Guren returns to his quarters with the book in tow and sees Mitsuba balancing on her tip-toes at the top of the stairs.

Guren smirks at her. "What are you doing?"

"Practicing for lessons with Sakura." Mitsu tells him.

"You know it's a hard and painful fall from the stairs if you slip." Guren tells her.

"Sakura says that making mistakes makes me get better." Mitsu tells him.

"Tomorrow I'll have you chase cats to help your speed." Guren says chuckling and taking a seat on the steps, inviting Mitsuba to sit with him.

She sits down, a beat passes before, "Will Yoichi come live with us now that he's awake?"

"He needs to get his strength back first." Guren tells her not wanting to make her know of his troubles and not wanting to take Yoichi here, where it's dangerous. He at least has an option with him.

"He wanted to be the greatest archer of the kingsguard. Until he met Takashi. Now he can't be one." Mitsu says.

"Well not on the front lines, but he can on horseback. Even then he can still be a lord or sit on the council or raise castles." Guren tells her.

"Can I be, a lord?" she asks.

"You will marry a high lord or lady omega and your sons will one day be alphas like you, knights, lords, princes." Guren tells her.

"No, that's not me." Mitsuba simply tells him. Guren looks at her with an unknowing look.

Kagiyama comes in. "Lord Guren, may I have a word?"


 In the gardens of the Royal Keep, Guren walks with Kagiyama, the bastard needing a word with him.

"I heard you were reading a boring book." Kagiyama tells him.

"Fucking old man talks too much." Guren grumbles.

"He rarely stops talking." Kagiyama replies. "Have you ever heard of Ser Tokyan?"

"No, who is he?" Guren asks.

"Tenri Hiiragi's squire, knighted immediately after his death." Kagiyama says not surprised.

"Why?"

Kagiyama stays silent. 

"Why are you helping me?" Guren finally asks the man.

"Because I need to keep my promise to Shinya." Kagiyama says.

"I'll speak to him myself." Guren says.

"Not a good idea. You see that boy. One of Yukimi's little birds." Kagiyama says pointing at the boy discreetly.

"The gardener, a spy for the queen mother. The septa on the bench one of my own. Everyone is watching everyone else." he finishes.

 Guren eyes the spies. 

"Do you have a man you trust completely here, in Shibuya?" Kagiyama asks him.

"Yes." Guren says.

"The wiser answer would have been no. Nevertheless, get a message to this man and get him to talk to Ser Tokyan for you." he tells him silently more personally.

"I wonder if I was wrong to distrust you." Guren says honestly considering. 

"Distrusting me was the wisest thing you've done since you came to Shibuya." Kagiyama told him before walking away leaving Guren in the middle of the garden.


Guren is pissed as hell. 

"THE ASSHOLE REFUSED TO SPEAK WITH YOU."

"Yes, my lord. He said if I wasn't a knight he wouldn't talk, but he would be willing to come see you." Jorrian told him.

"Fucking Ser Tokyan. All these knights strutting around the city like they have a stick up their asshole, even the ones who've seen real battle." Guren chuckles.

"I'm sorry, my lord."

"Don't be it was probably a dead end anyway. I'll see what to do." Guren tells him dismissing the man now contemplating what to do.


Takashi sits in the center, his mother and brother flanking his sides as he waits impatiently for the tournament to start. Aoi Sanguu stands beside Kureto eyes searching for her sister, but not finding her. 

Guren sits with Mitsuba and Shinoa in the stands. 

Shinoa feeling eyes on her looks back and sees Takashi's eyes on her, giving her a wink when he catches it. She immediately wants to vomit, gag, and die at the same time.

"Having a family quarrel?" Kagiyama asks as he sits next to her and Mitsuba and Guren on her other side eyeing him warily. "Taro Kagiyama I'm a friend of your brother, Shinya."

"Nice to meet you, Shinoa and Mitsuba." Shinoa responds gesturing to her and Mitsu. 

That's all they get in before the first combatants come out. 

Saito, a man they called "The Mountain." Huge and hulking with black hair and a confident smirk on his face. 

Ser Tokyan comes out on his horse. 

The joust started and they made a first run with no casualties. The crowd watched apt with attention, even with knowing who was going to win. On the second round, Saito pierced the man's throat with his lance killing him as blood sprays on the ground. Shinoa and Mitsuba watch with interest, Guren notes this. Takashi laughs sadistically. The man falls and dies shortly after.

"An unfortunate accident. Not the first for Saito, he burned his brother alive for playing with his toys. He also has a rivalry with Aoi Sanguu, she's the only one who can compete with him. Though, I don't think she's here. He's always had a love for the queen mother, one that goes forever unrequited." he whispers to Shinoa.

Shinoa looks in shock at the monster of a man in front of her, as he walks away satisfied and smiling.


Guren sits in his room after the first day of the tournament finally relaxing at Saito's barbaric display. Jorrian walks in.

"Lord Guren, the queen mother is here for you." he tells him.

Guren ponders what she could want. "Send her in."

Mahiru walks in still in her golden silken gown with red jewels, her hair done up in the same style from the tournament. Jorrian leaves.

"Guren, I wanted to talk with you."

"So talk." Guren tells her.

"I think we should put the past behind us, the kingsroad, our engagement, and just take a fresh start." Mahiru tells him.

"I thought that's what we were doing." Guren says, not buying it.

"Well good. But, I felt I should at least voice It." she says.

"Well if that's it. I'll show you out." Guren says getting up.

"What do you hope to accomplish? From acting as a hand and kingsguard to Takashi." she asks him.

"Serve your son and the realm in the best way I can while protecting him." Guren replies simply.

Mahiru laughs, "All we can do is pick up the pieces he'll leave behind and try to keep him in check."

"If that's what I have to do, so be it." Guren says simply.

"You're just a soldier, aren't you? Doing as you're told and following commands. Happiest when taking orders." Mahiru taunts him.

"Aye, I was also trained to kill my enemies." Guren tells her keeping his alpha in.

"So was I." she tells him with a small, wry smirk. She gets up and leaves Guren to think about the words they just shared, while she does too.  


Riverlands/Road to Ebina

Shinya in a red cloak rides with a large group of his men to bring Seishirou back home dead or alive. 

Shinya knows the man would never hurt him and so did his siblings, which is why they sent him. He just hopes he hasn't drowned too deep to come back up for air, he hasn't seen his brother since news of his father's death first hit him. Seishirou left in a huff when he learnt Takashi was going to inherit the throne. The man suggested he would be a better choice for the throne and left with an anger and vengeance.

This could cause trouble for them if the people of Shibuya learn the Hiiragi's are fighting internally for the throne because sooner or later the word would spread and enemies would learn they are vulnerable. His father fought too hard to build a barely stable country filled with war and internal politics. He may have been a tad bit insanely savage with people, but not as much as the Mad King and which ruler wasn't? He was scheming, calculating, and ruled with an iron fist, but he loved Shinya at least. He was strong and tough, but never gentle with his people. He may not have been well-liked, but not many rulers were. He acknowledges his father was not a good king, at least not in his book, but he still loved the man, and who could possibly be a good monarch? Not much better options except Aelriov the Conqueror, but all Shindo's and dragons were long gone. There weren't many cases of madness in their family, but now it was touted as fact after one Mad King. Shinya honestly felt a bit of sympathy towards them. Shinya thinks about how great it would be to ride a dragon or even see one, but their time is done. 

Seishirou only had the Knights of Ebina, and their army is only half the men of the Hiiragi's, so Shinya would lose if he sides with his brother and goes to war against his family. As much as he doesn't trust them for what they did to the Saotome boy and Takashi for being born a shit, he can't join a losing side to be defeated. Not when he has himself, Guren, and Shinoa to worry about. He needs to get to another winning side and it has to be a strong one. Somebody with all the possible good resources. Armies, wealth, and lands. 

His best chance was to convince Seishirou to come back and work with him and Guren secretly to overthrow Takashi. But, he only hoped his brother would listen. 

"My prince, are you alright? You look a bit troubled?" Masaaki asked him.

"I'm fine, just worrying about what I'm going to say to Seishirou to get him to give up his tirade." Shinya tells the man tiredly.

"You'll find the right words, my prince. You usually do with that mind of yours. Just be honest and make him see your reason. He was always the simplest of you all, be straightforward, and he'll hopefully reconsider. He always loved you the most, he even respected you more than the queen-mother and princes. Let's just hope he's the same man than before. I pray the rumors of him being unhinged are false. Hopefully the hill tribes won't kill us before then." He tells Shinya who gives him a grateful look before a look of worry before nodding. 

"I hope so too, but Masaaki if things take a turn for the worse, get word back to Kureto and he'll bring the men to deal with Seishirou." Shinya tells him.

"Yes, my prince. But, I will lay down my life gladly for you. I would hate to have to be your brother's murderer. I've known him since his childhood." Masaaki tells him looking solemn.

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that." Shinya tells him and the man nods.

They continue riding for another half-an-hour before a stone hits a man on the head, knocking him off his horse. Shinya looks back in shock. 

"MEN BEAR ARMS, WE ARE BEING ATTACKED. GET READY FOR A FIGHT." Shinya shouts as multiple hill tribesman appear. 

"My prince, I ask you to stay behind the rock for your own safety." Masaaki tells him. 

Shinya nods and gets off his horse to hide behind the rock. He watches some of his men fall, but the hill men are outnumbered. As they swing swords and clash, blood being spilled on the ground. He looks in shock and a little fear.  

Shinya looks around to see a man running for him, he grabs the sword from one of his men's corpses and stabs him in the throat. Another man runs behind him, he pulls out his sword as the man grabs him from behind forcing him to drop it. He bites his arm before grabbing the first thing he sees, a sharp pointed shield and pushing it down on his throat. Piercing him multiple times before he's dead with his head almost chopped off in the messiest way. 

Blood drips from the shield, and he drops it. He's in a daze of killing two men for the first time, when Masaaki comes behind him wiping the drops of blood on his face off with a handkerchief. 

"Are you alright, my prince?" he asks him.

"Fine." Shinya nods coming out of his daze. 

The man nods, "We should probably continue?"

Shinya nods. The man goes to grab his horse.

"Was that your first kill?" he hears a feminine voice ask. 

"Yeah." Shinya tells her and turns to see a wavy dark brown haired girl, a beta, wearing light armor. Shinya remembers seeing her, she was quite impressive with a sword. Probably the best of his men he saw during the fight.

"Aiko Aihara. Around nine dead for our side. All for the other." She tells him.

Shinya nods.

"You need an alpha or beta after a first kill. Always the best cure for that feeling."

"Mine's in Shibuya. But, I'm willing if you are." Shinya tells her feeling more like himself with sarcasm dripping his voice, letting the girl know he wasn't serious at all.

The girl smirks. 'I think I'm gonna like this omega.' she thinks.

Shinya moves to Masaaki bidding the girl a farewell before climbing on his horse. He checks his men and the dead's gathered horses, he still has a lot left, at least. He nods and they continue to Ebina.


Shinjuku

Mikaela rides alongside Makoto with Ser Lacus and Lucal not far behind, they've just crossed the Dothraki Water, a narrow stream. Mika approaches with Makoto who can't keep his eyes off him. Mika's the same, he watches his husband with rapt interest both holding small smiles. He's begun wearing two braids in his hair connecting in the back to a larger one that goes down with the rest of his loose hair. They approach the gates of Khales Dothrak. The gate being a large archway built by statues of two horses warring with each other. They pass under the gate into the capital city.

Lucal looks unimpressed coming next to Mika, "Ugh, it's a place of mud, filth, and shit fit only for savages."

Mika getting more and more annoyed with Lucal every passing day responds curtly, "These are my people now, you shouldn't call them savages."

"I'll talk whatever way I want. I gave them you, they're my people and armies. Khal Makoto's marching the wrong way with my army." Lucal says riding past him sneering. Makoto looks with a veiled disgust. He may not understand the man's words, but he can tell his actions distress his queen. He hates the man, he sticks out like a sore thumb.

Mika gets frustrated. He falls in line with Ser Lacus.

"Ser Lacus, do you really think I could go back home to the six kingdoms and take it back with him by my side?" Mika asks him. 

The man looks at the man in question before turning back, "No, he's a liability that's growing more and more unstable, Khaleesi."

"What if he was the heir and had an army of Dothraki?" Mika asks.

"The Dothraki have never crossed a sea and fear any water their horses cannot drink from. But, if they did somehow, whoever's wearing the crown might be fool enough to meet him on an open field in battle, but his advisers won't be." Lacus tells him.

"And you know these advisers?" Mika asks. 

"I fought beside them once, now Guren Ichinose wants my head." Lacus tells him.

"The kingslayer had his reasons for killing my father, and I expect to hear them if I ever meet him one day. I know he's called the Mad King, but most assume I understand why, without ever telling me. I'll hear the truth one day from people who were actually there. But, you sold slaves, even I would exile you for doing such a thing, only because I wouldn't be able to execute you. So, I can see his justification. But, what was yours?" Mika says.

Lacus looks at the boy, he really was different from his killing-hungry father. "I had no money and an expensive wife to take care of."

"And where are they now?" Mika asks.

"In another place with another man." Ser Lacus tells him. They ride in silence for the rest of the trip.   


The night falls on the camp and Lucal bathes with one of Mika's foreign sluts, her name started with a D.

"Is it true that the Khaleesi has dragon's blood in her?" Dyara asks naked and scrubbing Lucal's chest.

"It's possible." Lucal grumbles.

"What happened to the dragons? I hear brave men killed them all from my fellow girls." Dyara asked him.

"Brave men rode the dragons. Flying them from Valyria to build the greatest civilization the world has ever seen. The breath of the greatest dragon forged the Seraphin Throne out of the greatest swords from the conquered kings and lords of Westeria. The throne a usurper is keeping warm for me and Mika." Lucal snaps and tells her before taking a calmer tone.

"I always wanted to see a dragon. I love how free they are. They can go anywhere they choose with a flap of their wings and kill anyone with a single breath." Dyara tells him trailing fingers up his naked chest. 

"After fifteen years in the whore house, you're probably glad to see the sky." Lucal grumbles.

Dyara laughs, "I wasn't locked in. I've seen things. I've seen a man from Asshain who had a dragonglass dagger. I've seen a man who can change faces as fast as he can change clothes. I've seen pirates who wear their weight in gold and had a ship with silken sails."

"I've never seen a dragon. The last one died many years before I was born. I have seen their skulls, they used to decorate the throne room in the Royal Keep. The ones closest to the door were the last hatched, stunted and deformed. The ones nearest to the Seraphin Throne were the largest belonging to Baleriov whose breath forged the six kingdoms." Lucal tells her.  

"Where are they now?" she asks him.

"I don't know." Lucal snaps, "Probably destroyed by the usurpers."

"That's sad." Dyara looks down.

"It is." Lucal tells her lifting her chin, annoyed, "But, I didn't buy you so you can make me sad. I didn't buy you so you could teach Mika to make Khal Makoto happy. Now get on with it."  

The girls head goes underwater as Lucal sighs happily.


The next afternoon Mika is seeing jewelry with Jhaqiu with his dragon eggs close by. He stands tosses one into a plate for keeping. They hear whimpering getting closer. Looking at each other confused before Lucal drags in Dyara by her hair causing her to whimper out in pain and throws her on the ground. 

"YOU SEND THIS WHORE TO GIVE ME COMMANDS! I SHOULD HAVE SENT YOU BACK HER HEAD." Lucal yells at her. 

Mika looks at the girl who looks up at him and whines, "Forgive me, Khaleesi. I did as you asked."

"Hush now, sweet girl. It's alright now. Jhaqiu tend to her and make sure she's all right." Mika tells her.

"Yes, Khaleesi." Jhaqiu says taking the girl and leaving Mika and Lucal alone.

"Why did you hit her?" Mika asks incredulous, barely keeping his anger out.

"How many times do I have to tell you? You do not command me." Lucal walks up to him seething.

"It wasn't a command. I just wanted to invite you for supper." Mika tells him trying to calm him down.

Lucal takes notice of a male Dothraki outfit picking it up, "What's this?"

"A gift. I had it made for you." Mika tells him, hoping the gift would calm the man and keep him in line. 

Lucal walks up and turns Mika around and pushes him against the table grinding against him.

"What are you doing?" Mika asks going tense.

"Taking you, I've missed you my omega." Lucal whispers as he kisses Mika's neck. 

Mika goes lucid about to let him have him, even if he didn't want to. He never wanted it before and he still doesn't. Terrified of the man's instability. Hoping Ser Lacus or Makoto would come in and save him. He starts to think of Makoto and their love for each other, and the child he carries for them. A symbol of their love. He finds the strength in himself to push Lucal off him roughly, who looks shocked. 

"No. I can't. I am married now, I am taken." Mika tells him looking terrified of what the man could do, but he was determined to stand his ground.

Lucal looks at him, accepting his conclusion, but hating it with an anger. He picks up Mika's gift. "Dothraki rags, are you going to dress me now. It smells of horse shit." 

He throws it at Mika who blocks it barely, allowing it to fall to the floor. 

Lucal picks up a golden chain with a large amount of golden circle charms and throws it at Mika who swats it. 

"Stop it." Mika tells him frustrated and now angrier.

"You would turn me into one of them, would you? Next you'll want to braid my hair?" Lucal says getting closer and leering at an unflinching Mika. 

Mika's not terrified of this pathetic man anymore, bolstered by his love for Makoto and his unborn child. "You have no right to a braid. You've never won a single victory your whole worthless life. Spending your time raping an omega who's far too young for you and couldn't fight back. You were born pathetic and you've done nothing to prove the world wrong. "

Lucal looks shocked and angered at Mika, "You do not talk to me like that." He tells him and smacks Mika in the side of the head causing him to fall. Lucal gets on top of him and tries to hold him down and Mika fights back smacking his hands away. "You are a horselord's slut and now you've awaken the alpha." Lucal tells him as Mika fights desperately.

Mika sees the golden chain grabs it and smacks Lucal across the face with it knocking him off and getting up triumphantly. Mika grows satisfied at the bleeding gash on Lucal's face and his stunned expression. Mika is furious, and Lucal gets up still stunned. 

"I AM THE FUCKING KHALEESI OF THE DOTHRAKI. I AM THE WIFE TO THE GREAT KHAL AND I CARRY HIS CHILD INSIDE OF ME. THE NEXT TIME YOU RAISE A HAND TO ME WILL BE THE LAST TIME YOU HAVE HANDS!" Mika tells him with a new kind of omegan fury never seen before in this world, and the rage of a dragon.


"It felt amazing." Mika told Ser Lacus who smiled as he sat in the tent and heard of Mika's encounter with Lucal.

Finally, the omega had stood up for himself. He realized he didn't need the man who had done unspeakable things to him since his childhood. Lucal had abused and raped him, hopefully he finally realized how untouchable Mika was now. He would finally fall in line accordingly. If he didn't, one more strike against Mika and he was going to need to be handled definitively. Mika gave him his word on that. He thought it was this drastic action that would finally get him to realize his place.

He never heard of an omega like Mika standing up for themselves the way he did against an alpha. Mika really wasn't a normal omega, he was the last dragon. 

"Well you needn't fear the man who's barely a snake's shadow. Let alone an alpha. You didn't really want him on the Seraphin Throne with you? The man always held the assumption he'd be the primary ruler with you as a figurehead." Lacus told him with a smile.

"I realized that a little after he mentioned it in the bamboo forest, but I was in denial after all he's done for me. Now, I see the bad outweighed the good, when it comes to him." Mika tells him still in his leather dress made from horse. "No, I could never have him with me. I never even wanted him with me since he first took me forcefully."

Lucal's words about the common people praying for Mika's return comes to his thoughts from the mention of the throne and his original thoughts about it being horse shit, as well. He wonders if Ser Lacus has any insight.  

"Ser Lacus, what do you believe the common people pray for?" Mika asks him.

"Probably rain, health, and summers that last forever. Why do you ask, Khaleesi?" Lacus inquires.

"Lucal always said they prayed for my safe return. That they cry out for their true queen. I dismissed it in my head as horse shit." Mika tells him curiously.

"The common folk do not care what games the high lords play." Lacus tells her.

Mika ponders this, questioning if he was queen how could he make the people love him or even want him if he goes to Westeria. A question comes to him. "What do you pray for, Ser Lacus?" 

"Home."

"I pray for home too, but, Lucal could never take me there. He could never lead an army, even if Makoto gave him one." Mika tells him somberly and surely.

Chapter Text

Ebina

Shinya's been riding for quite a long time. He's recovering from his first murder, but he's at least feeling better about it. They're at the Vale of Ebina. Masaaki looks at him with concern, as does Aiko Aihara.

Men and women ride up to them on horses as their party rides through. Wearing the silver-clad armor of Knights of the Vale.

A man removes his mouth cover, "Far from home Prince Hiiragi. Is King Seishirou expecting your visit?"

"To whom, do I speak to?" Shinya asks.

"Ser Tardis, Knight of the Vale."

"Ser Tardis, there was no time to send word from where I was coming from. I am here to visit my brother who I have not seen in a very long time. I miss him and love him very much." Shinya smiles sincerely.

"Very well, Prince Hiiragi. We will allow you entrance. Follow me." the knight tells him trusting him. 

Shinya nods and his party moves to follow him. 

"Ebina, they say it's impenetrable." Shinya says.

"Give me ten good men and climbing spikes. I'll impregnate the bitch." Aiko says with a smirk.

Shinya laughs, "I like you."   


Shinya is brought to the Vale of Ebina where he is taken through the doors of the high castle. 

There sits on the Throne on the Vale high above him is his brother Seishirou. 

"You stand before King Seishirou Hiiragi, Lord of the Vale, Rightful Heir to the Six Kingdoms of Westeria and the Seraphin Throne, and Protector of the Realm." the steward announces for him.

Shinya takes a moment to study his brother. His face is more angled and handsome. He was always a handsome man, but he's flourished with age. The man's red eyes bore into him a blank expression on his face. Shinya sees his new hairstyle is thick black and dark grey hair styled as a Mohawk with thicker eyebrows. His eyes resonate a tiredness. He was always seen as inferior to his siblings and when Tenri died he really took the inferiority complex to heart and surrounded himself with loyal followers. He at least had a claim being a real Hiiragi son and used that for loyalty. He uses his people to stroke his ego to satiate his inferiority complex. 

Seishirou in his dark green and black clothes and crown gets up. He walks down the steps eyes never leaving Shinya. When he comes to stand in front of him. He pulls Shinya into an embrace. Shinya allows himself to relax in the embrace. 

"Seishirou, I've missed you. You look great, maturity suits you." Shinya pulls away to tell him, small smile on his face. 

"I have missed you too. You look gorgeous. It's King Seishirou now, though." he tells him with a hint of a smile.

Shinya backs away more towards his men. The words Masaaki told him, echo in his mind. He needs to be honest with Seishirou.

"Seishirou. You need to end this." Shinya tells the man point blank, hoping he's still the same man as he was before. 

"End what? The war for my rightful claim? The Six Kingdoms are ours, mine. Father did not teach us to rule so Mahiru's little fuck of a son could rule." Seishirou tells him calmly.

"You plan to go to war with Mahiru and Kureto for the Six Kingdoms? How do you see that panning out? They have the Hiiragi army, City Watch, and number of armies loyal to them. You only have the Vale, which is only half the men of the Hiiragi army." Shinya tells him desperation lingering at the end.

"I plan to make alliances with Harajuku and certain companies from Shinjuku." Seishirou tells him.

"How long will that take? Our enemies will learn of the internal conflict among us and take advantage of that. We can't fight with each other, like this. We need to be united." Shinya tells him.

"Shinya, you have always been on my side, even after I left. But, Kureto and Mahiru have never cared for me. Even father never cared for me like he did any of you. This is my chance to save the realm from what they will do to it. To fix the mistakes of our family is my destiny." Seishirou tells him confidently.

"But, you can't with the resources you have now. By the time, you make all of those foreign alliances, Kureto and Mahiru will be already attacking you. Destiny is something that can be left to interpretation. Maybe you can rule, but get there secretly. Come back with me and plot to overthrow them in secrecy. We have the support of Guren, which means the North for when the time comes." Shinya tells him pleading.

"You'd have me do this like a scheming manipulator? To work with Guren is also not attractive." Seishirou tells him, "It is my right to rule as a Hiiragi, and I will not hide it to serve that fuckwad son Mahiru has. I am the King. I do not need to do such things, and here I thought you were here to join me." 

Seishirou looks slightly infuriated. Shinya tries to calm him, "I am here to see you and help you. Seishirou, you are being unreasonable."

"King Seishirou. If you want to help me, acknowledge me as king and swear your allegiance." Seishirou tells him with a finality.

"I can't. You know I can't." Shinya tells him, not wanting to acknowledge there was no way for Seishirou to win this war.

"Well then if you can't swear to me on my terms and land, you are enacting treason." Seishirou glares at him.

Shinya knowing what comes next begs Seishirou, "Please don't do this. I am your brother, and I have always wanted the best for you. Please just listen to me."

"I am, but you are wrong, dear brother. Guards take him to his quarters and have a Knight guard him until his trial." Seishirou tells him coldly, with a hint of sadness.

"Trial?" Shinya asks as his men move to protect him.

"For treason. Don't worry, you will be given a room fit for a Hiiragi, but you can't leave until I have deemed you innocent." Seishirou tells him blankly.

Shinya looks at the man he thought loved him, would never harm him. He should have believed the rumors and let him and Mahiru have a war. This man he thought was a brother had been corrupted by his inferiority complex and turned into one who couldn't give a fuck about him. Shinya looked at him in shock and depression before a fierce gaze took his face. As the men moved to take him, his men drew their swords. If they were still alive he would have a chance of getting his other siblings to save him.

"Drop your weapons." Shinya tells them.

"My prince?" Masaaki questions him. 

"Get word to Mahiru and Kureto that Seishirou has lost all sense of family. He cannot be reasoned without allegiance to him alone as king. Tell him he has taken me as prisoner and is forcing me into a trial, which can end in the death of their hand for their king. Tell them to bring the Hiiragi army and prepare them for battle in Ebina because Seishirou is not going down without a fight. News won't reach the knights yet so GO NOW." Shinya whispers to Masaaki who nods and slips past the rest of his men who surround them out of the Vale of Ebina.

"I'll go willingly." Shinya tells his men, they hesitantly drop their weapons after letting Masaaki pass them. The guards lead him out of the Throne Room to his new quarters. Aiko Aihara watches as the omega is taken away. She's stuck here until his fate is decided.

Shinya is taken to his quarters which look luxurious, except for the missing wall on the back side of the room giving view of the open sky with a long drop to the valley thousands of feet below. Shinya sits on his bed with a determined look and starts thinking, "How the fuck do I get out of this alive?"  


Shinjuku - Khales Dothrak

Mika sits in his tent in Khales Dothrak. He's begun showing more in his pregnancy, his belly growing bigger as his pride grows too. His eyes are always drawn to his dragon eggs. He picks up one, the white one with golden star speckles. He studies it and marvels in fascination at it.

He looks up and sees a smoking brazier. An idea slowly forms in his head. Mika walks over to it and puts the egg on the burning coals. He looks at it expecting something to happen. As he watches it Jhaqiu walks in. 

"Khaleesi?" she asks, wondering if the boy is okay. He's in his own world right now. 

Mika is disappointed and picks up the egg out of the coals. Jhaqiu rushes over "Oh, Khaleesi!"

Jhaqiu reaches him and Mika snaps out of his trance when she grabs the egg before dropping it almost immediately from the burning heat that has affected her hands. She looks at Mika's hands which are miraculously unharmed. Both stare in shock before Mika notices her burn scars.

"You're hurt." he says.

Jhaqiu can only stare at her hands and Mika's in complete shock. 


Mika looks up intensely, blood staining his mouth. He's in the Temple of the Dosh Khalees, who are the widows of the dead Khals. They chant things he can't understand in the state he's in. He kneels on the dais in the center of the Dothraki temple all eyes staring at him.

Mika looks at the object in his hand, a raw and bloody horse heart as he takes another bite from it. Makoto looks at him with pride from his seat as Mika forces it down. 

Lucal stands with Ser Lacus next to him unwillingly. Lucal is astonished. 

"He has to eat the whole heart?" Lucal asks.

"He's doing well." Lacus says.

"He'll never keep it down." Lucal says with surety.

The chants grow louder as Mika grows closer to finishing the heart. Makoto stares at him with intent. Mika stares back determined to finish the heart. Makoto gives him an encouraging smile.

"Tell me what they're saying." Lucal orders Lacus.

"The prince is riding. I have heard the hooves of horses as he rides swiftly. Men will die and their wives will weep. It's a boy." Lacus tells the man.

"He'll never be a real full Shindo." Lucal responds looking threatened.

The chanting reaches its peak crescendo as Mika finishes the last of the heart. Mika struggles feeling nauseous, he retches, long pale-blonde hair covering his face from view. He gags and the chanting stops. Makoto looks at his Khaleesi in anticipation. Mika makes more noises wanting to throw up, but not letting himself. When it subsides, he slowly gets to his feet and gulps allowing the last of the heart to go down his throat. 

Makoto smiles brightly at him, looking proudly at Mika. 

"The Stallion Who Mounts the World." the women chant repeatedly.

"What does it mean?" Lucal asks. 

 ""The Stallion Who Mounts the World” is the Khal of Khals. He will unite the people into a single khalasar. All the people of the world will be his herd." Lacus tells him.

Mika stands up triumphantly. 

"A prince rides inside of me. His name shall be Naego." Mika says with pride in his voice.

Makoto smiles even wider as the room begins to chant, "Naego. Naego. Naego."

"They love him." Lucal says shocked.

The chanting gets louder as Mika looks overwhelmed. Lucal looks insulted and walks out. 

Makoto gets up and walks to his bride. He hugs Mika's thighs before picking him up and carrying him around the room. Mika's arms wrap around his neck caressing his face as the chants grow louder, and the couple in love more than ever.

Ser Lacus cannot help, but be in awe and admiration of Mika. "He truly is a queen today."


Shibuya

Guren walks with Jorrian to the tourney grounds in the early morning. He was still pondering the book and wondering why Tenri Hiiragi wanted it. He enters a large red tent. 

The tent is filled with the Silent Sisters preparing the body of Ser Tokyan, throat gash still present.

"You've done well, sisters. Did he have family?" Guren asks them, they shake their heads as they leave. "It was bad luck for him to go up against Saito in his first tilt."

Jorrian nods, "They pick which ones fight by which one draws the shortest straw."

"I wonder who draws the straws. I'm relieved I never had to face "The Mountain" on the battlefield." Guren muses appraising the corpse in front of him.

"Aye, my lord. I don't think the role of a mourning widow would suit the prince. But, I do think you're underselling yourself. I've seen you cut down multiple great knights on the battlefield. Your father himself thought you were the best knight he'd ever seen." Jorrian tells him. 

"He was." Guren thinks about his father and the memories he had sparring, similar to the ones he had of Yuu and him sparring. The old generation does really get overshadowed by the new one. He doesn't regret killing Nikolai, he did kill his family. But, he was just the unlucky Shindo who went mad.

"What the Mad King Nikolai did to him was terrible." Jorrian says.

Guren wanting to change the subject notices, "I wonder how he afforded this full suit of armor. He was only a squire until a few months ago."

"It's possible Lord Hiiragi maybe left him something, after squiring for him for so long." Jorrian tells him.

A Hiiragi guard comes in, "Lord Guren, the queen requests your presence."

"For what purpose?" Guren asks.

"The soon-to-be king wants to joust today and she wants you to deal with it while she stalls the start of the tourney." the guard tells him.

Guren rolls his eyes. "For fuck's sake. Okay lead the way."


Takashi Hiiragi is being fitted for an armor, however, it's a bit small on his pre-pubescent body. "Fucking fit it properly, or I'll have your head."

Guren walks in and bursts out laughing. "You're too green for that armor, boy. You can't fit, so you can't joust."

"Go and get the smaller armor. I know there's one. If you take too long I'll split your cock." Takashi tells his terrified squire who leaves.

Guren keeps his disturbance in check that this little shit was gonna be in charge of the west.

"I wonder how long it will take him to realize you already have on the smallest size. And then what will you do?"

"I'll do as I said." Takashi smirks to himself.

"You have no business being on a horse, jousting like a knight when you are a prince." Guren tells him.

"Where's mother?" the boy asks aggressively.

"If you keep needing your mother for everything that's going to be a problem when you have to rule six kingdoms." Guren tells him.      

The boy stays sullen. "I want to hit something."

Guren chuckles smugly, "That's pointless. Nobody in the kingdoms would ever risk harming the king." 

The boy gets angry, "You mean they'll let me win?!?!?!"

"Yes."

The boy finally looks deflated, which is surprising for Guren. "I thought as king, I'd be able to do as I wanted."

"You can't. You have the realm to think of. You have your mother to think of. Your uncles and aunt. You have to keep yourself alive and avoid as much idiotic situations, where you can die as much as possible." Guren tells him dead seriously.

"Very well." The boy concedes and Guren leaves to go take his seat as the squire comes back in.


Guren finds Shinoa alone in a pink long-sleeved dress. He raises an eyebrow at the absence of a certain blonde. Takashi is just coming in with Mahiru and Kureto already sitting next to him.

"Where's Mitsu?" he asks her.

"At one of her dancing lessons." Shinoa tells him as he sits down. 

He's glad Mitsuba's at least taking her training seriously, and it makes her happy.

The horn rings signaling the first joust is to start. The competitors arrive. 

First comes out Saito in all of his black-armored glory. Large and the audience applauds.

Next the Knight of Flowers comes out, Reo Inoue with his flowing long blonde hair and silver armor to equal amounts of applause. He's the youngest child of House Inoue. He rides around to the other side. He pauses halfway where Shinoa conveniently sits and hands her a red rose, which she takes with a blush. Guren gives the man death eyes as he rides past them.

"He seems nice. I hope that beast doesn't rip his face off and eat it for breakfast." she says as the men take their positions. Nobody notices Saito's horse giving him trouble with the reins. 

Guren mumbles curses under his breath, but tries to comfort the omega. "The flower knight rides well."

"I PUT A 100 GOLD DRAGONS ON THE MOUNTAIN. I could probably buy a nice omega from Kyrna or a good red wine." Kagiyama shouts to Yukimi.

Yukimi smirks and calls, "You could buy a friend."

Guren laughs at that and Kagiyama glares at him before bowing at the joke.

The joust begins and the men charge at each other going around for three times with each narrowly gaining the edge on the other, but Saito's horse continues to act up. Ser Reo narrowly manages to get enough momentum to hit Saito off his unstable horse. Yukimi cackles in delight as Kagiyama grimaces at having lost the bet.

Aoi Sanguu by Kureto's side lets a small smile cross her face at her enemies defeat. 

"It's a pity you could have done with having a friend." Yukimi teases Kagiyama who stays silent.

Kagiyama puts a hand on Shinoa's shoulder to get her attention, but drops it when Guren gives him eyes of murder. He instead whispers to the omega, "Ser Reo rode a mare in heat, which was clever. It threw The Mountain's stallion into confusion and made it easier for him to defeat Saito. It's not the most honorable tactic."

"No, but it does get you a bit of gold. Most knights view that as their priority." she responds, Kagiyama and Guren impressed with the omega's tact.

Saito finally gets up and takes off his helmet his face red with fury he roars like a lion. Takashi looks excited. "GET THE FUCK OVER HERE!" He summons his squire who runs over and brings him his fallen sword. He decapitates his horse to everyone's surprise and disgust. Horse blood spurting and spilling all over around the horse's head. Takashi licks his lips in a hunger to see bloodshed.

He smashes Ser Reo's armor off his horse and attacks him as he barely raises his shield in time. As he's about to get overwhelmed Aoi Sanguu busts in and dodges the attack. The two exchange blows so strong that it knocks each other off balance. 

"STOP!" Mahiru shouts, Takashi and Kureto stands as she does.

Aoi Sanguu drops to her knees with her blade in the ground as Saito swings air and realizes what he's done. Still angry, he storms off. 

"Thank you. I owe you my life." Ser Reo tells Aoi Sanguu who stands up. He takes her hand and swings it in the air victoriously as the crowd applauds. With a front-row view of the audience she searches for her sister, she finds Shinoa's eyes who shrugs and gives her a pitying look. So concluded the joust that should never have happened in the first place.


Guren sits in his office looking through the book, but to comb through the large book is hard to find evidence of something that would cause Tenri Hiiragi's murder. It's long and boring, so he's a bit glad for a reprieve when Yukimi comes in. She's at least the most tolerable person on the small council. She takes notice of the book he's reading.

She walks in distressed closing the door and moving to the windows to lock them. 

"What are you doing?" Guren asks curiously.

"Making sure there are no ears can hear this conversation, but us." she tells him. "How is the Saotome boy?"

"He'll never walk again."

"Is his mind still sound?" Yukimi asks him. 

"Yes." Guren replies.

"That's good to hear. I myself suffered an early mutilation when I was younger, now I can't bear children. Not, that I've ever had much interest for that. But, the closure of that door opened up new possibilities for me and it could do the same for the Saotome boy." Yukimi tells him.

"I'm sorry. But, why are you here?"

"I needed to tell you something, but if the wrong ears hear it, off comes our heads. North or south nobody mourns spiders. The king is a fool." Yukimi tells him.

"That I know." Guren tells her.

"But, he'll be a doomed one."

"How? And why'd you wait so long to tell me?" Guren asks.

"I wasn't sure if I could trust you, but watching you carefully I believe you to be a man of honor, despite the kingslayer title. The same type of doom as his father. The poison that killed him was the Tears of Kyrna, odorless and tasteless poison." Yukimi tells him carefully.

"Who killed him?"

"It could have been anyone, but Ser Tokyan was the most likely candidate." she replies.

"Who paid him to do it?" Guren asks her.

"Someone who could afford to do it." the woman tells him with a flatly.

"Why would somebody kill him? He may not have been well-liked, but the kingdoms were at least running good enough." Guren ponders to Yukimi.

"He started asking questions." she tells him with a solemn finality.


In the corridors of The Royal Keep, Mitsuba tries to catch a white cat who scurries away just as she's about to get the edge on it. She huffs frustratingly repeatedly.

She tries to catch it as she runs through the halls and down steps leading to a dark storage room. Mitsu looks around and sees the skulls of large dragons. She stares in awe. She always did have a fascination with the creatures, as well as, the strong queens who rode them. 

Mitsu hears footsteps approaching with voices getting louder. She hides behind the largest one. She can't see who's the people talking, but she knows they're both women. Probably betas.

Yukimi talks with the Magister of Qohorian.  

"He's found the book. The rest will come soon." she tells her.

"What will he do when he finds the truth?" she asks Yukimi.

"I have no idea, the fools tried to kill a boy who he raised as a son and they botched it. The wolf and the lion will be at each other's throats and war will come." Yukimi tells her. Mitsuba eyes widen in suspicion.

"War now is too soon. Can Guren not just be executed?" The Magister replies. Mitsuba's eyes widen in shock as she has to cover her own mouth to silence it. 

"No, this hand is different, he's not like the last one." Yukimi tells her. 

"Khal Makoto will not make a move until Mikaela has his son. It's the way of savages. Can you try to delay the onset of conflict?" she asks her.

"Or maybe you could try to speed things along with Makoto? The game has more than two players now." Yukimi tells her.

"It always did." The Magister responds.

The women leave up the way Mitsuba came in. Mitsu sees the stairway where they came from. She leaves disturbed and urgent terror on her face down the passage.


Yukimi arrives in the throne room to see Kagiyama already there staring at the Seraphin Throne. 

"You know I do admire the way your dedication. You are always the first here and the last to leave." Yukimi tells him as he comes down.

"You should come and visit my brothel. You know the first boy is on the house." Kagiyama tells her as they meet each other halfway.

"You're confusing business with pleasure." Yukimi tells him.

"My establishments cater to all sorts of inclinations." Kagiyama tells her smugly.

"I've heard the same. In the case of Lord Samenia who likes his boys "very" young." she replies.

"I am a purveyor of beauty and discretion."

"What about Ser Ryu who prefers the company of amputees?" Yukimi asks him.

"All desires are valid to an alpha with a full purse." Kagiyama tells her. 

"I also hear of a lord that looks for cadavers, tell me how do you find a corpse that has yet to start rotting? Fresh and Beautiful." Yukimi asks coyly.

"That would not be in accordance with the king's laws, strictly speaking." Kagiyama tells her.

"Strictly speaking. We also don't currently have a king." Yukimi nods triumphantly walking past the man her hand in the sleeves of her robes.

Kagiyama feeling like he's lost the round goes for a repetitive low-blow, "What happened to your cunt? I mean I know you can't bear children ever, which is a shame." the man shrugs nonchalantly.

Yukimi maintains her composure raising an eyebrow and deadpanning, "Would you like to see?"  

"No, I prefer to keep my attraction towards women." He mocks her.

"Ah, so I see you've given up on the prince. Oh well, you never really had much of a chance. Not when you go up against a handsome alpha like Guren." Yukimi smirks triumphantly.

He glares at her, before she breaks the silence, "So how have you been since we last spoke?"

"The last time I saw you or you saw me?"

"The last time I saw you with "eyes" I "own" you were speaking to Guren. We all have so much to discuss with him." she tells him growing serious. "If the Hiiragi's were behind the attempt on the Saotome boy's life and if the queen-mother were to discover you helped him come to that decision because of your enduring fascination with the prince, it would be an unpleasant situation."

"The last time I saw you was when you were talking to Guren followed by a meeting with a certain foreign dignitary. Maybe on council business?" he tells her.

She looks visibly shocked at him knowing her meeting with Guren was taking place. 

"It's not really surprising you have friends across the Blood Sea considering you're from there too. I could tell the queen-mother about this too?" he finishes smugly.

Yukimi was about to retort when she sees Kureto and Takashi coming to the meeting walking through the throne room, here's her win.

"Best get going the soon-to-be-king's sitting in." Kureto tells him as they walk past a shocked Kagiyama and Yukimi with one raised eyebrow.

"There's been some disturbing news from far away. Across the Blood Sea. I'm surprised you haven't heard." Yukimi tells him before walking in glad she had the last word.


Mitsu finds her way out of the Royal Keep using the passage leading to the shore. She needs to get to Guren.

She makes her way back to the gates where two Hiiragi guards stand. She tries to walk past them.

"Where the fuck do you think you're going? Piss off, you little shit. This palace is for nobles."

"I am a noble, I am Lady Mitsuba Sanguu of House Sanguu and Snowstorm Castle of Nagoya."

"Yeah fucking right!" the guards laugh at her.

She looks at her clothes her pants and shirt are ragged and dirty, with probably some on her face. She also feels her hair and it's more ragged. She must not look like a lady, but these shit-fuckers weren't going to stop her.

"I am. I am with the Hand of the King. Warden of the North. Guren Ichinose, a top alpha. Imagine what would happen if he found out what you told me and that you turned me away. He'd probably torture you and then kill you." Mitsuba says. The guards look at the little alpha girl, she was right they would be in trouble if she's who she says she is. They look at her, how much trouble could she do. 

"All right, just this once." they tell her letting her pass. Mitsuba smiles.


"WHERE WERE YOU? I HAD HALF OF MY MEN LOOKING FOR YOU? You promised me this would stop." Guren shouts at her from his desk. 

"They said they were going to kill you!" Mitsu tells him desperately.

"Who did?"

"I didn't see them, but they were women." Mitsu pleads.

"Oh Mistu." Guren rubs his head exasperated, he doesn't need to worry about rumors any more than he as to. He is also heavily guarded and he currently had no qualms with a woman that wasn't Mahiru and even she wouldn't enter the bottoms of the Royal Keep. She never did. 

"I'm not lying! They said you found a book. And the wolves are fighting lions. And some shit about a savage. A savage." she implores sounding exhausted, Guren looks confused at her incoherent musings trying to piece together this. 

"And you heard this in the dungeons with the dragon skulls? What were you even doing there?" Guren asks her.

She looks sheepish, "I was chasing a cat." She realizes her mistake that it could discredit her and Guren can say she imagined the voices after the words spill out. 

Guren rolls his eyes. The door opens and draws their attention away. Jorrian comes in.

"There's a night's watchmen here from Nagoya for new recruits. He has news of how Yuu and the boys are faring." he tells Guren. 

The dark haired man walks in with amber eyes.

"A name, friend?" Guren gets up and walks to him wrapping an arm protectively around Mitsu.

"Torrhen. This must be the Sanguu girl." the man says gesturing to her.

Guren nods, "Jorrian escort Mitsu back to her room. We'll finish this later."

Mitsuba stares at the man who stares at her back. Each taking in each other's features. She leaves knowing she probably shouldn't insist she stay. Guren will tell her later what the boys have been up to.

She walks out and Jorrian closes the door, "Come on little lady."

Mitsu looks at Jorrian, and knows he'll protect her father with all he has. 

"Jorrian, how many men do we have from the North in Shibuya?"

"Fifty."

"Don't let anybody kill Guren." Mitsu tells him. 

"I won't." He promises her. 


Guren walks through the Royal Keep satisfied after learning that at least things in Nagoya are stable. Yuu's adjusting to leading the North still, but better. Yoichi is recovering, and Kimizuki is keeping an eye on him of course. 

"Lord Guren." The Royal Steward calls him.

"Yeah?"

"You're summoned to a special small council meeting. The king is in attendance." he tells Guren.

"Is the meeting about anything involving me?" Guren asks.

"No, it's about Mikaela Shindo." he tells Guren puzzled. Guren is relieved and makes his way to the council chambers curious.


"THE BOY IS PREGNANT." Mahiru tells Guren when he walks in.

"He and his unborn child must die." Takashi seethes.

"As must that weasel, Wesker." Kureto adds.

"You will dishonor the Hiiragi name if you do this. Mahiru, think about this, it's a child, an omega." Guren tells them not wanting the boy to die, he was a child that was Yuu's age.

He can see this from Mahiru's perspective she may have attempted to kill Yoichi because he saw her and Kureto having sex which is still unjustifiable to him. But, Mikaela has done nothing to her or Kureto. He can hope to reason with her because the boy is innocent, at least. Mika knows none of her secrets. Guren knows they will kill a child if they make a move against them. Yoichi was something he had no control over, but he was going to do his best to stop another child from having to survive an assassination attempt.

"I HAVE THE SIX KINGDOMS TO FUCKING RULE, LIKE YOU TOLD ME! I CANNOT CONCERN HONOR! IT'S FEAR AND BLOOD THAT KEEPS THE PEACE!" Takashi explodes in rage. 

"Then that makes us no better than the Mad King." Guren says not at all intimidated.

Takashi growls in rage. 

"Where did the information even come from?" Guren asks.

"It came from Qohorian from Ser Lacus advising the Shindo's." Yukimi tells him. 

"You're basing murder of a child, barely older than your son off the word of a man who sold slaves. A fucking traitor to the realm." Guren says.

"All right then, what if he's true to his word, and he has a son that will lead a Dothraki army across the sea to Westeria?" Kureto says.

"The Blood Sea is between us. I'll fear the Dothraki when their horses learn to swim hundreds of miles." Guren tells them heatedly.

"SO YOU WANT US TO DO NOTHING?" Takashi asks incredulously.

"Guren, perhaps listen to the rest of the advisers of the small council." Kureto says.

"Guren it's a vile thing that we are asked to do. But, as servants of the realm, we must sometimes do vile things. If Mikaela has a son, then the realm will bleed." Yukimi tells him. Guren looks shocked.

"I bear the boy no ill will, but the realm will suffer if the child is born. Towns will burn and thousands will die. It is better he dies now to spare us the death and destruction later on a greater scale." The Grand Maester tells him.

"We should have cut his throat a while ago. Let's just do it and get on with it." Kagiyama tells him. 

"I can't support this. I've followed your family into war and exile, but I can't do this." Guren says.

"You are the King's Hand and Kingsguard, do your job or we'll find someone who can." Kureto tells him threateningly. Guren can tell it's a threat on his life.

Guren couldn't follow through with the murder of this child. The same child who he put in this situation by killing his father. 

"I resign my post." Guren says removing his badge and throwing it on the table. "Good luck Mahiru, but I thought we were all better people, well, almost all of us." he finishes eyeing Takashi and Mahiru.

"What if it was Takashi?" Guren asks as leaves. Mahiru is shocked, Kureto is more angry.

"FINE THEN, GO BACK TO SNOWSTORM, BEFORE I TAKE YOUR HEAD!" Takashi yells at him.


"Well darling, I am sorry your "marriage" to Guren Ichinose couldn't work out." Kureto tells Mahiru snidely.

Mahiru had come to visit him after the small council meeting to check up on him, and try to decide the next course of action. She wanted to include him, but the man wanted none of it, so it would seem she had to decide things for herself. She needs to get Guren to stay somehow. "Well I'm glad I could amuse you."

"Was it wise to lose Ichinoses and the North, dear?"

"Not lost yet. I have a plan formulating. We need him here, where we can use him and keep an eye on him. If he goes back to the North he may try to rally men and knowing Seishirou he would let Guren support him, and Guren would do it for vengeance against us. I think he knows about what we did to the Saotome boy, somehow. Shinya might have had something to do with it and he might defect. Without a hand the kingdom will fall into ruin." Mahiru tells her brother.

"I could be the hand." Kureto offers.

"You're not serious enough about it. Guren, has always been serious when it comes to the safety of the realm he takes care of." Mahiru tells him pointedly.

"Guren was a bad investment." Kureto tells her angrily.

"And if the Dothraki do come to Westeria. None of us can stop them." Mahiru says worriedly.

"The Dothraki don't have ships, armor, discipline, or siege weapons." Kureto says.

"It's interesting when you open your mouth, your words sound like father." Mahiru tells him.

"Don't act like I'm the only one." he responds and looks at her.

"He was never wrong much, at least. If the Dothraki land, they'll hide behind the walls of castles and cities. But, they won't stop there. They'll burn, enslave, loot, and rape their way around the countryside. Destroying crops and murdering livestock. How long then would it take for people to decide that Mikaela Shindo is the rightful ruler of the Six Kingdoms?" Mahiru says.

"We'd outnumber the Dothraki."

"One real united army under an experienced leader who serves one purpose will do more than five armies of different leaders serving themselves. The unity of Westeria dies with the Mad King. The realm is now a land of backstabbers, money-grubbers, and ass-kissers. I don't know what holds it together." Mahiru retorts getting up to pour a goblet of wine to sip.

"Our undying love." Kureto says.

They look at each other before breaking out in a long laugh. 

"Better than the hate that held up my marriage to Goshi until his death." Mahiru says.

"Did you ever have feelings for him?" Kureto asks her. 

Mahiru gets up and walks toward the balcony dress dragging a bit. "I did at first. Who wouldn't have? He was dashing and strong. A manly alpha. I was just a foolish omegan girl desperate for love. But, after he took me on our wedding night, I knew he could never love me back. I had feelings for him even when we lost our first child, but not much of it by then. I built up a hatred for him when Takashi was born and after that it festered completely. He returned it which made it easier. And then I fell in love with you, and I knew how it was supposed to feel since." Mahiru did not want to tell him of what Goshi told her on their wedding night when he was inside of her. That was the only information she ever really kept from Kureto. She didn't want to relive the feeling of anguish that came with his revelation to her, not ever. She had buried that deep within her, and moved past it. She would have kept the miscarriage a secret too, but everyone in the family knew because of father, so there was no use keeping that in. 

Kureto took it all in, slightly jealous of the man and questioning of what could have made Goshi and Mahiru's marriage go wrong. He knew she would tell him because she wouldn't keep something from him unless it would hurt him or her to mention it, so he just let it be. He loved her and if she was never going to tell him he could accept it because they are the only two people in this world who matters. "Did you ever think there could have been more?"

"No. It makes me feel nothing to say that, but it's the truth." Mahiru says. They sit in silence as her mind goes back to contemplating what to do about Guren. She gets an idea. "But you love me and our sons, right?"

"More than anything." Kureto tells her. 

"Then to protect us and the kingdom we're going to build. You need to do something about it and act as though I had no knowledge of this. I will pardon you. You are Kureto's uncle, after all it would only be fair to protect your future king and nephew's honor by defying me and doing what you must to keep Guren here. Not harming him in a fatal way." Mahiru tells him.

"Yes it would. But, how would I get him at a disadvantage?" Kureto catches on to what she's saying.

"Leave that to me. I'll send word with an offer Guren cannot refuse." Mahiru says taking a long sip of her wine.


Guren is making preparations to leave in his chambers, when Kagiyama walks in. 

"The king was very upset with you. The word "treason" was thrown around."

"What the fuck do you want?" Guren asks him infuriated.

"Relax, my lord. I just wanted to extend an invitation if you're still in the city by nightfall." Kagiyama says secretively.

"Why?"

"To meet the last person who saw Tenri Hiiragi before he died." Kagiyama tells him

Guren hesitates. He realizes it was probably the only opportunity he has. "Fine."

Kagiyama leaves. He calls for Jorrian and he comes.

"We're going to Kagiyama's brothel. Bring your two best swords and station the rest of your guards outside Mitsu and Shinoa's rooms." Guren tells the man who nods.


Guren, Jorrian, and the two best swordsmen of Nagoya step out of the carriage Kagiyama sent for them.

Immediately they are struck by the sight of Kureto and sixteen Hiiragi men surrounding the carriage. Guren realizes he's been setup as he looks in shock for Kagiyama who's nowhere to be seen. This building is not a street Kagiyama even has an establishment on. "How did you fucking know?!?"

"Don't worry, it wasn't Kagiyama who gave you up, Guren. We do have ears everywhere after all who heard your little conversation. We just managed to intercept you before you could reach to the other side to his brothel." Kureto said calmly. 

"And why is that?" Guren said slightly relieved at the belief Kagiyama was still on his side.

"Circumstances have changed. The future king is furious at you and has asked me to take justice on his behalf."

The Hiiragi men close in. Guren's men to draw their weapons causing the Hiiragi men to do the same.

"What does this justice entail? You can't kill me otherwise the whole North would be at your throats." Guren says holding his sword's hilt still sheathed.

"I never said it involved your death, but a bit of bloodshed for his majesty. Kill his guards." Kureto orders his men.

The men charge at Guren, Jorrian and the two men.

Guren unsheathes his sword and cuts down three men impressively, their blood staining the dirt. 

Jorrian and the two men manage to take out a total of five guards. One of the men goes to charge at Kureto who doges and holds him to stab him straight through the eye.

Guren watches as one falls in silent shock. Kureto looks at him. Jorrian gets incapacitated and stabbed in the arm, he is then thrown into a fish market booth. He gets knocked out. The other man takes out one more guard and is then stabbed in the back.

Kureto moves to him at the center as the remaining seven men surround him weapons drawn. 

Kureto raises the blade of his sword to him inviting him to challenge him to a sword fight. Guren with no options left strikes his blade. 

They clash blades both men twisting to dodge. Guren gets a slash in that almost hits Kureto before Kureto moves back with a smirk surprised. This is the best fight he's had in years.

Kureto swings at Guren who dodges setting off another chain of narrow dodges and slashes at each other. Guren advances using his strength managing to bring his blade to Kureto's, their strength being tested as they both push forward. Kureto looks to be about ready to give up. The beta uses all of his strength to push Guren off him who draws his sword to him waiting for him to make the first move, Kureto is excited to try. Kureto is impressed with Guren's strength and speed. Despite, being older he still fights the same. Guren is to a lesser degree impressed with Kureto, but his desperation to win crowds out that. None of them see a Hiiragi guard who stabs Guren in the leg.

"AAHH!" Guren shouts as he's forced to his knee. Kureto looks pissed at the guard who interrupted the amazing fight. Annoyed he walks up to the man and uses the hilt of his sword to knock him out. He gets on the man's horse riding slowly past Guren and saying, "Justice has been served for Takashi Hiiragi." He rides away to the Royal Keep.  

Guren looks at the damage and his lost men. Jorrian gets up and sees Guren on his knee. Guren is relieved at least he lived before collapsing in the middle of the street.

Chapter Text

Shibuya

Guren's eyes open, he's feeling groggy and there is a blurriness to his vision. Guren feels the sweat surrounding his body and looks around, he can recognize his room. He's on his bed under the canopy. His sight clears and he sees Mahiru and Kureto in front of him. They're arguing when he opens his eyes, then they immediately take notice. He tries to get up, but winces at the pain. He looks down and sees his barefoot is propped up on a pillow with a gauze covering the leg wound from his fight with Kureto. Guren feels angry at just Kureto being in his presence. He looks back at their disapproving, yet slightly concerned stares. 

"I apologize for the actions of my brother and son, Guren. It seems they both need to be kept on tighter leashes." Mahiru tells him. 

"The future king asked me to make sure he knew his place." Kureto responded. "It was all him."

"His orders come through me, remember that." Mahiru tells him seriously. Neither of them meant a word they were saying, they just needed all of this to look convincing to Guren.

"I am the acting Hand of the King and current Kingsguard. That gives me the authority to do what I must to keep the peace of the realm." Guren says weakened, yet very strong.

"You are no longer the Hand. Remember you resigned, and now you will face justice for your crimes." Kureto told him.

"I thought this was the justice." Guren told him pointedly. 

"BOTH OF YOU BE QUIET." Mahiru commands, "Kureto apologize for your actions and then be on your way, Shinya can't rescue himself."

"What happened to Shinya?" Guren asked delirious and worried.

"Seishirou has him and we need to get him back. Kureto is going with the Hiiragi army to wage battle with Seishirou." Mahiru tells him.

"I'm going too." Guren tries to get up, but winces and backs down. 

"You can't even if you could walk." Mahiru tells him. 

Guren tries but barely sits up before falling down.

"Stop, Guren. I'm going and carrying the army, we'll get him back." Kureto tells him.

Guren resigns himself to nod, at least somebody was doing something and the Hiiragi's had the largest army in Westeria. He could at least trust them to not let Shinya die, they needed him almost as much as he did. They would never let one from their house die like that, even if they did hate him. Their father's qualities still show in them, their loyalty to family especially. But, Guren was still bitter he couldn't help Shinya.

"Well, I could have helped if you didn't ambush me and my men on a street." Guren said. 

"You assaulted me when I could have just killed one of your men and have been gone. It was while you were on your way to a brothel too. Going to go impregnate another whore, Guren?" Kureto told Guren knowing full well he needed Guren injured anyway. 

"Mahiru, he needs to face charges for the murder of my men!" Guren growls angrily.

Mahiru considers this with a look of contemplation.

"Sorry Guren, the only man who can attest to your story is the man we found there. I think his name was Ser Jorrian. He sustained a good amount of wounds and collapsed after helping you back to the Royal Keep before we could question him. And even when he awakens it seems he has sustained a wound to the head meaning he's not a reliable source to remember how things took place." Mahiru says.

Kureto looks smug. 

"But, Kureto I do think you at least owe Guren an apology." Mahiru looks at him snidely.

"You want me to apologize to him! When he was in the wrong? Next, what will you do get on your knees and suck his-" Kureto started angrily, but was cut off by a slap to the face from Mahiru.

"Finish and I will have you executed. Now apologize and go save our brother." Mahiru tells him with a finality. 

"I'll wear this as a badge of honor. Sorry Guren." Kureto says briskly. 

"Leave or I'll bestow this honor again." Mahiru tells him. Kureto leaves. 

"Nice job dear sister. We acted spectacularly." Kureto thinks in his mind when he closes the door. He knew it was all an act to ensure Guren stayed here and not incite rebellion over the Saotome boy. Hell, Takashi didn't even know about their scheming, all for him. He feels his sore cheek with a smile before leaving to save Shinya. 

"I probably shouldn't have hit him." Mahiru says.

"Satisfied me enough until I can do it." Guren told her.

Mahiru smirks before pouring a goblet of wine and sitting down. Her dark purple dress dragging as she moves gracefully. 

"Guren, we need to make peace with each other. Like I told you before, the kingdoms will be at war soon. We can't afford petty squabbling among ourselves. Make peace and try not to cause any trouble. This conflict among us is damaging the kingdoms' equilibrium. We won't be able to control it when unrest comes for us." Mahiru tells him placating him.

"Can I go back to Nagoya? I am no longer the hand." Guren questions. 

"No, you're staying right here. I refuse your resignation. One, you are injured. Two, Takashi and I had a change of heart after he sent Kureto to do his bidding and we still think we need you here to help us, Guren. You are invaluable." Mahiru says honestly with a hint of falseness that's undetectable.

She throws the hand pin and it lands near his elevated foot. Guren reaches out and takes it, realizing now he's stuck here. At least for a little while. Maybe he can use the time to find out what exactly Tenri Hiiragi was doing on his final days. 

"Takashi wants us to rule in his stead. He wants to go on one final hunt before his coronation. You can sit on the throne. Clearly you'll need to. You'll hate being on it more than father did." Mahiru says eyeing him warily.

"What of Mikaela Shindo? His execution was the reason I resigned." Guren says.

"Guren we can't reconsider. It's already set in motion. Put the badge on and return to you post. If you ever resign again I'll appoint the little Sanguu girl as the new hand, and she seems like a worse fit than anyone." Mahiru says dryly.

Guren supposes he should leave it before he gets into any more trouble. He smirks at that Mitsu comment and when Mahiru leaves, he changes his face and looks at the hand pin with a growing uneasiness and agitation inside of him starting to fester at the thought of this position.


Sakura of Harajuku shuts the doors to the quarters. She turns and tosses an agitated Mitsuba a wooden sword. 

She takes her stance and waits for Mitsu to pick it up, "What's wrong girl?" she asks.

"I don't feel like practicing today." Mitsu tells her. "The Hiiragi's, they've injured Guren and Jorrian. I don't care about wooden swords."

"You are troubled?"

"Yes."

"Good!" Sakura says and hits her with her sword. "Trouble is the best time for this. Not when you're happy and playing with your little dollies."

"I don't like dolls!" Mitsu says irritated before Sakura hits her again.

"Good. You're not here. You are with your trouble. And when you are with your trouble when you need to fight..." Sakura says striking her again. Mitsu picks up her sword and begins to fight back. Her and Sakura trade blows before Mitsu trips and ends up on the floor. Sakura steps back. Mitsu stands up. 

"More trouble for you comes." Mitsu picks up her sword. 

"How can you be quicker than a snake if you're somewhere else?" Sakura jabs, Mitsu blocks. 

"How can you be quieter than a shadow if you're somewhere else?" Sakura jabs and Mitsu continuously blocks her. Sakura lunges and Mitsu blocks. Sakura then brings her sword to Mitsu's neck by the leverage from Mitsu's blocking before pulling away and putting a hand on her shoulder.

"You still worry about your father, child? Tell me do you pray to the gods?"

"Yes, the old and new ones." Mitsu tells her. 

"There is only one. It is called death. And what do we say to death? Not today." Sakura tells her. Mitsu is captivated by her admiration for this woman.

Sakura tosses her the wooden sword. Mitsu catches it and assumes the counter position with a smile.


In the throne room of the Royal Keep. Guren sits atop The Seraphin Throne leaning forward on his walking cane. Guren feels miserable and tired. He just wants to get out as soon as he can with Shinoa and Mitsu. Mahiru stands next him with Kagiyama and the Grand Maester. 

There's a large host of people from the Riverlands with a crying beta man at the front. A leader of the village men and women.

"They burned almost everything in the Riverlands, my lord. Our fields and homes. They raped our women and omegas and then they did it again. Then they butchered them like they were animals and lit our children on fire." The man says, breaking down.  

"Probably brigands." the old man whispered to Guren.

"They didn't steal anything, my lord. They couldn't have. In fact, they left something." the beta said.

A man brings in a net and opens the contents and drops it for Guren to see. 

A severed lion's head. 

Mahiru looks disgusted. "Lions, our symbol."

"Did they fly a symbol or a banner?" Guren asked.

"No, my lord. But, the one leading them was taller than any man I've ever seen with inky dark hair. Saw him cut the blacksmith down his line and behead a horse with one swing."

"Sounds like a certain large person - The Mountain." Kagiyama says. 

"You're describing Ser Saito." Guren tells the man.

"Why should he turn a brigand? He's an anointed knight." Mahiru says.

"He's your mad dog and you let him off his leash at the tournament." Guren tells her. 

"If Saito's out of control and rebelling against our family..." Mahiru ponders shocked.

"That would be almost as brazen as attacking a future kingsguard in the streets of Shibuya." Kagiyama finishes.

Guren thinks about that for a moment. He looks thinks about making peace with the Hiiragi's, but he knows something must be done because Saito's actions are inexcusable. He looks at Mahiru who nods her consent for him to decide. He stands leaning on his cane.

"I cannot restore your homes, nor return your dead to you. But, perhaps we can get justice for you on behalf of the king. Lord Rene Sim." Guren calls the beta.

The man comes forward in his brown cloak with dark hair pulled back, his drooping eyes filled with casual interest. 

"You have the command go with 100 men and bring Ser Saito back here to face his justice. In the name of former King, Tenri Hiiragi and future King, Takashi Hiiragi, I denounce Ser Saito and charge you to bring the King's justice to him. I strip him of all ranks, titles, lands, and sentence him to death." Guren tells the man, who nods.

"As you command." he says before turning away.

Guren moves to leave.   

"Queen-Mother, isn't this rather drastic?" the old man asks Mahiru.

"I actually agree with him. We need to keep peace at every cost." Mahiru tells the old man who looks scandalized.

Guren hobbles away. 

"A bold move, my lord. I was sorry to hear about your accident." Kagiyama tells him.

"At least you didn't cause it. Is the last person to see Tenri alive still available to talk to?" Guren asks him.

They walk side-by-side.

"I had nothing to do with it. I was waiting for you with them the whole night. Unfortunately, they were forced to leave due to extenuating circumstances."

"Fuck, and I thought we were almost close to finding out the truth." Guren says weakly. Kagiyama can tell the man is getting weaker, less defensive. More sloppy. Guren is wearing down slowly.

"I am sorry, my lord. You will find another trail. I am sure of that. I need to leave to deal with an issue at one of my establishments. Good luck." Kagiyama says. Guren nods to him as he leaves. 

Guren realizes he needs to be able to get out of this situation without any leverage the Hiiragi's can use against him. Things are getting more dangerous for him with each passing day. He needs to make sure his loved ones are safe, in case things take an unfavorable turn for him.


Shinoa sits at the table with the Septa enjoying her favorite lemon cakes and grape pies in a yellow silken dress.

"You wear your hair like a real Southern Lady now." The septa observes.

"Well we are in the south." Shinoa says.

"It's important to remember where you come from."

"I do. I'm from the North, I've grown up in the North. I've had my hair in Northern styles my whole life. Now I'm in the South, I'm adjusting. Just because I am from the North doesn't mean I'm going to always look like it. Most people need these little changes in their lives." Shinoa tells her. "Why do you care anyway about my hair? Do you even have any under that thing?"

The septa touches her cap and frustratingly responds, "Yes I do."

"I've never seen it." Shinoa says.

"Would you like to?"

"No." Shinoa responds. "Where are you from anyway the North or the South?"

"I come from a small village in the-"

"Oh wait, I just realized I don't care." Shinoa says with a grin. 

"Shinoa."

"Septa."

"Now you are just being rude." the Septa told her.


Shinoa and Mitsuba are sitting on Guren's bed in his chambers waiting for him to say what he needed to so urgently say. They both look at him expectantly. 

"I'm sending you both back to Nagoya." Guren tells them. 

"What!?!?" They both say in unison.

"Listen..."

"Are you dying because of your leg? Is that why you're sending us home?" Mitsu asks. 

"What the fuck? No!" Guren says.

"Wait please don't. Mitsu has her sword lessons and I've really taken to the South. What did we do?"

"This isn't a punishment. I want you back there for your own safety where Yuu and Kimizuki can protect you." Guren tells them sincerely. 

"Can't we keep Sakura?" Mitsu asks.

"She's not a pet, Mitsu." Shinoa says.

"I KNOW THAT!" Mitsu squawks. 

"Enough girls. Get your septa and start packing your things." Guren says in a definitive tone.

"Wait!" Mitsu tries to continue.

"Come on. At least this way none of us will have to see Takashi again. Not even the sight of his dark hair." Shinoa says dragging Mitsu with her.

Guren double-takes at the dark hair part something forming in his head.

He closes the door, goes to the book the Grand Maester gave him and opens it. He sits at his desk and searches through it looking for something. He finds it and his mouth goes open in realization and shock of what secret Tenri Hiiragi found out the night before he died. The reason Yoichi was crippled was the proof he always needed. Under the Goshi and Hiiragi sections, both put together he reads aloud to make sure he's reading it correctly.

"House Goshi. Lord Taio Goshi, blonde of hair. Lord Nairo Goshi, blonde of hair. Norito Goshi, blonde of hair." Guren moves to the Hiiragi section under it, "Takashi Hiiragi, black of hair."

Guren closes the book. He finally has the evidence he needs to get rid of the Hiiragi's and overthrow them. He feels exhausted and just wants it all to be over and soon it will be.


Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

A raven caws in the courtyard of Snowstorm Castle perching itself on a hay wagon.

Yoichi watches as the raven caws putting down his bow and arrow to follow it as it flies to Snowstorm's Crypts.

The raven rests on top of one of the stone direwolves near the doorway. 

Yoichi walks across the courtyard to where the raven is, and the bird flies inside when he reaches it. Yoichi follows it inside to where it sits on another stone wolf. He gets a clear view and sees what it is. 

The three-eyed raven stares at Yoichi who stares back at it. The raven caws one last time before continuing down the crypt. Yoichi moves to follow it, but his vision goes white. 


A door opens in a burst and Yoichi jumps awake in shock. In comes Estle holding Yoichi's saddle made by Yuu and Kimizuki with an innocent smile. 

He holds up Yoichi's new saddle with its straps, buckles, and a high back. Yoichi smiles back realizing this is the day where he finally gets back to himself.


The forest spins past Yoichi seeing various shades of green and brown smiling happily as he rides in circles. 

Yuu and Kimizuki keep watch over him, sitting on a log and taking pride in the omega's happy smile. They cheer him on as he rides longer.

"NOT TOO FAST!" Yuu shouts at him smile on his face.

"When should we tell him?" Kimizuki asks Yuu concerned.

"Not yet." Yuu tells him. 

"Blood for Blood, we need to make the Hiiragi's pay for what they've done to the men." Kimizuki says.

"It would incite a war." Yuu says.

"It would be justice." Kimizuki tells him.

"A Hiiragi guard put a spear through Guren's leg. You can take Sannomiya or Ebina." Kimizuki tells him heated.

"Ebina is occupied by Seishirou Hiiragi. Sannomiya is where he'll retreat once he's kicked out of there by the marching Hiiragi troops, which would be another problem. If we're there it would be a slaughter of our men. Father wanted me to protect the North from the threats that lie beyond the wall and that's what I intend to do. It would be stupid." Yuu says standing up.

"Justice is stupid to you? You aren't a little boy anymore. They attacked your father, they started the war. It is your duty to represent your house when your father can't." Kimizuki stands up angrily.

"We can't go to war with them. They're the largest army in the west, and winter is coming. There will be other threats we need to worry about. Our job is to protect and watch over the North from threats beyond the wall. It also seems you've also forgotten that it's not exactly my house nor is it yours. I am a bastard. It isn't my or your duty to avenge or fight in any war, but the war against the bloodsuckers. Guren asked me to be Warden of the North to protect it, not to fight in wars that have nothing to do with Nagoya. The only one we need to be worried about is the war against the bloodsuckers. Do you really want to put Yoichi in a position where he could lose it all again, just not his life this time? The answer is NO." Yuu tells him decisively knowing he's being tough on the alpha, but Kimizuki needs to understand. Yuu loves the alpha like a brother, but he'd never tell him that.

Kimizuki feels put out by the response. It may not have been his house, but he loved each one of his "siblings," even Yuu the same way. He even loved Guren, though he would never admit it. He knows deep down Yuu is right, and he could never do that Yoichi on purpose. But, he's also right when he says this isn't his house, but just his found family. None of them are his blood, he's only come to love them through knowing them and growing up with them like they are. He felt a longing for knowing what his blood relatives were truly like. He's happy most of the time in Nagoya, but he can't dwell on it much because he registers the quiet of the area and Yuu's voice talking to him. He comes to his senses.

"Where's Yoichi?" Yuu asks.

Kimizuki looks around in shock. "I don't fucking know."  


Yoichi rides through the Winterwoods past a short stream, not seeing the imminent danger sneaking from around him. 

"Kimizuki? Yuu?" Yoichi calls.

Four Wild Ones come up to him. Three men and one women. Two alphas and two betas. Yoichi looks at them nervously, trying to regain his composure.

"All alone in the dark woods?" the woman asks him menacingly.

Yoichi looks around desperately for Yuu and Kimizuki.

"I'm not alone my family is here." Yoichi tells them haughtily.

"I don't see 'em."

The woman spots his pin on his brow fur cloak. "That's a pretty pin."

Yoichi is getting more scared and grabs the pin.

"We'll take the pin and horse. Get the fuck off." the man tells him.

He can't move. 

"Be quick about it." the other man says. 

 "I can't."

The other man lifts his cloak to see the harness, "You some kind of cripple?"

"I AM YOICHI SAOTOME OF SNOWSTORM AND I WILL HAVE YOU KILLED!" Yoichi shouts angry at the man's statement.

"Let's cut off his cock and shove it down his throat." One man says.

They begin cutting the straps loose.

"The boy's worth nothing dead. Think what the king would give us for a Saotome." the woman says.

"Shut up Chihiro! Fuck the Wild King! We're going so far down south that no bloodsuckers are ever gonna catch us. "

They cut Yoichi's leg, but he can't feel anything. Tears start to form in his eyes of fear he might soon be dead.

"Drop the knife. Let him go and you'll live." Yoichi hears a deep familiar voice. He looks up and sees Yuu. 

Yuu starts to draw his sword. One charges at him with an axe, Yuu smirks. He evades the man easily for a few swings and manages to cut his throat. The woman charges next. Yuu had personal morals so he pulls her hair and tosses her. Yuu kills the other Wild One easily as the last man gets Yoichi off the horse and holds a knife to his throat. Yoichi has wet eyes, but remains strong as the man holds his head back to get his throat at a better angle.

"YUU!" Yoichi shouts as Yuu holds the knife to Chihiro's throat. 

"Shut the fuck up, whore! You drop the blade." The man shouts at Yuu. 

"NO, DON'T!" Yoichi shouts. The man covers his mouth muffling him with his dirty hand. Yuu looks ahead before meeting Yoichi's eyes giving him a look of reassurance before dropping the knife.

Yoichi accepts his fate, but the hand muffles his screams. He hears a sound like an arrow going through flesh and the man's hand falls off his mouth as the man falls to the ground. He bleeds from the arrow wound to his heart. Yoichi's never felt such relief. He falls to the ground as the man does.

Yoichi turns around and sees Kimizuki moving towards them with his bow and arrow. Eyes meeting Yuu and smirking at each other before he falls by Yoichi's side. He caresses his cheek and wipes his tears away, face softening. "You okay?"

Yoichi nods still in shock. Yuu eyes his cut, "It doesn't hurt." Yoichi tells him.

"We're glad you're okay." Yuu tells him.

"Thanks, you guys." Yoichi tells them, grateful they had a plan, at least.

"What do we do with her?" Kimizuki asks, gesturing to the beta Wild One before notching another arrow. 

The woman moves towards Yuu.

"Give me my life, my lord. I'm yours!" The woman begs.

"Fuck that, what do we need her for?" Kimizuki says.

"We'll keep her alive." Yuu declares. 

"What? Why?" Kimizuki asks angrily.

"Because I said so. And we need more help in the kitchens." Yuu says. 

Yoichi still calming down, doesn't care much to do or say anything. Kimizuki picks him up and carries him in his arms back to his horse. Chihiro sighs in relief following the men.


Ebina

Shinya lies in his bed. He tosses and turns forced to stare at the stone wall or the backless wall with a drop that would cause nobody to recognize what would remain of him. Having enough of this and feeling restless enough to form a plan. He gets up and bangs on his door to signal the guard. The guard, a turnkey, Tord comes in angrily short after.

"WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT?" Mord asks him, hitting him in the arm with his turkey leg.

Shinya yelps, rubbing his arm, "How would you like to be rich?" Shinya asks him. 

"OMEGA, FUCKING BOTHERING ME." Tord tells him hitting him again to Shinya's sulk. He saw it coming this time. Clearly he was dealing with simpleton.

"My family is the richest. We have lots of gold. GOLD. We can give YOU a lot of it." Shinya tells him. 

The man looks at him up and down before feeling him up. "What are you doing?" Shinya asks annoyed.

"No gold!"

"Well I don't have it here!" Shinya responds, the man hits him in the arm with the meat again. 

"FUCK OFF!" The man tells him before storming off and locking the door. Leaving Shinya to stare out at the sky view, holding his bruised arm contemplating what to do. 


In the morning, Shinya changes into his normal clothes now. He formulates another plan in his head. Knowing what he needs to do. He can't wait on Kureto forever. What if he becomes a hostage?

He knocks on his door to signal Tord who comes in with his leg of lamb this time. 

"WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT, NOISY OMEGA?" The man hits him with the leg of lamb in the same arm. Shinya wincing despite seeing it coming. 

"About the gold?" 

"No gold!" Another hit from Tord.

"They took my purse when they took me, and I want to be free." Shinya tries to explain.

"You want free? Go be free then." Tord gestures to the part of the room with the missing wall.

Shinya ignores that, "Have you ever heard the phrase, "Rich as a Hiiragi."?" 

Tord looks intrigued and Shinya takes that as cue to continue. "The Hiiragi's are the richest family in the land. Maybe the whole world. am a Hiiragi. Shinya Hiiragi. Son of King Tenri Hiiragi. And you've also heard the phrase "A Hiiragi always pays his debts." If you deliver a message to my brother. will owe you gold. "

Tord takes it all in, understanding slowly, "What message?"

"Tell him I wish to confess my crimes." Shinya tells him.


Shinya stands at the center of the hall before Seishirou on his throne. He knows his men have been kept out on purpose, but he thinks he saw a familiar head of long black hair. Must have been another omegan courtesan.  

"You wish to confess your crimes?" Seishirou asks him.

"I do." Shinya says. 

"Speak then omega. Then your fate will be decided." Seishirou tells him coldly. Shinya flinches.

Shinya gets a far-off look, "Where do I start then, my lords and ladies. I am a vile omega. I confess it. My crimes are countless. I have lied and cheated. Gambled, not particularly gifted at violence. But, I am good at convincing others to do violence on my behalf. But, you want specifics. When I was seven, I had a crush on an alpha boy who liked to mistreat omegas. When he was bathing in a pond I took his clothes and he was forced to return naked and shamefully. When I close my eyes, I still remember the look on his face as his little cock was on display for everyone to see."

Many omegas gasp in shock; alphas and betas look at him disapproving of an omega doing such a thing, but clearly amused. Seishirou raises an eyebrow. A black-haired beta at the back who managed to sneak in, barely holds in her laugh. 

"When I was ten I stuffed my uncle's boots with horse shit and blamed it on the stable boy. The poor boy was flogged and I escaped justice." Shinya says bashfully with tears in his eyes.

The crowd laughs and the black-haired beta lets loose a few with them. Seishirou raises both brows at this.

"When I was twelve I got my brother Kureto to cream a soup, which I do believe my sister ate. At least I hope she did." Shinya says fake tears in his eyes making a gesture to indicate it wasn't cream he got Kureto to add to the soup. The crowd falls into fits of laughter. Seishirou gets increasingly agitated. "I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb to a brothel...."

"SILENCE!" Seishirou shouts. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Confessing my crimes?" Shinya says coyly. 

"You are accused of treason by refusing to bend the knee to the rightful king." Seishirou tells him.

"Oh well, I don't see any king here." Shinya says.

Seishirou gets angry, "Alright, you've had your little fuckery. I trust you enjoyed it. Tord take him to a regular prison cell." 

Tord moves to take him. Shinya shouts, "IS THIS HOW YOU PLAN TO DO JUSTICE BROTHER WHEN YOU BECOME KING? YOU ACCUSE ME OF CRIMES AND I DENY THEM, SO YOU THROW ME IN A CELL! WHERE IS THE KING'S JUSTICE? I DEMAND A TRIAL!"

Seishirou turns towards him, "Fine your trial will take place now. I will listen to your actual arguments, and if I decide you are guilty then by the King's laws you die. I cannot go against them while the court bears witness. Open the sky door."

Servants turn a pulley and the well in front of Shinya opens up from the bottom to reveal a large opening. It's also a fall no man would surely survive from. Higher than the one from his cell. Shinya looks fear barely evident on his face. He's unnerved. If he does this trial by Seishirou's judgment that will surely be his fate. He only has one option left.

"No bother. I demand a trial by combat. The King's laws state I have that right." Shinya says.

"You do." Seishirou says reluctantly.

Several of Seishirou's followers step forward to offer their championship before he settles on Ser Verdian a tall, filled-out knight with a whole head of heavy armor. Shinya looks expectantly hoping one of them comes forward. 

"I also have the right to a champion."

Seishirou nods. "You do." He looks at his followers and none move forward. 

"No need. I ask for Lord Guren Ichinose." Shinya says.

"The kingslayer is hundreds of miles from here and your trial is taking place now." Seishirou says.

So that ruled out Kureto too. 

Shinya looks around desperately, "Do I have a volunteer?"

Most of the people in room laugh. 

Seishirou looks smug, "I think it's safe to assume-"

"I'll stand for the omega." a feminine voice says.

Shinya turns around to see Aiko Aihara stepping forward, Shinya looks at her in shock and relief. She shrugs at him.


The trial by combat is about to begin. Ser Verdian is in full plated-green armor all on his body. Aiko wears a simple leather armor. Shinya talks to her.

"You're sure you shouldn't have more armor on? Or a shield." Shinya asks worried for the woman. 

"Yes. I know what I'm doing. Trust me. This is enough." She tries to placate the omega who nods at her.

She takes her fighting stance opposite Ser Verdian. Seishirou watches from above, confident the woman is going through the sky door. Shinya still looks concerned as he watches them both draw their swords.

"FIGHT!" Seishirou shouts.

Verdian and Aiko begin advancing on each other. Verdian tries to strike at her, but she deftly dodges him. He takes a few more swings at her, while she dodges every time. The observers cheer on Verdian. Aiko gets on the step subtly daring Verdian to strike her again. He does and she dodges. Aiko leaps over the railing dodging another of those attacks.

"STAND AND FIGHT WOMAN!" Seishirou shouts losing more confidence as the fight goes on.

Verdian comes at her. Aiko knocks a candelabra down forcing the man to step on it. His moves become heavier and clumsier. He swipes at her a few more times which she easily dodges. Aiko's on the edge of the sky door backed close to it due to the man's strikes. She blocks another one of his strikes. She's about to lose her balance, Shinya looks worried. The man uses his strength to try to push her causing Seishirou to regain some confidence. She uses all her strength to push him off with the hilt of her blade. He swings at her and she dodges and he hits pillars around her causing rocks to crumble. Shinya gets his hopeful look back. Aiko notices a blind spot on his stomach when he swings. She dodges the rest of his swings, even throwing one of the observers as a distraction. When he swings she catches the blind spot and slashes his stomach, while narrowly dodging the aim he had for her neck.  

"YES" Shinya shouts.

"SER VERDIAN! FINISH HER!" Seishirou shouts.

Aiko continues dodging the man's weaker swipes at her. He's getting weaker and sloppier. Right where she wants him. He swings his sword more than he needs to, she ducks and slashes his leg. Seishirou looks worried, while Shinya gains more confidence. 

The crowd encourages the man to stand up who does and charges at her. Aiko trips him. They encourage him to stand up again. He struggles to, Aiko walks to him. She dodges his strike from the ground grabbing his arm and stopping him. The crowd makes noises of shock. Aiko makes eye contact with Seishirou and then Shinya before cutting the man's throat and pushing him out of the sky door. Aiko looks at Shinya again, wearing a smile and nodding in appreciation. Aiko grins back.

"Are we done?" she asks Seishirou.

"You don't fight with honor." He responds to her. 

"He did." she says gesturing to the sky door. 

"You're free brother." Seishirou says reluctantly.

"Thank you. I'm getting the fuck away from you." Shinya tells him curtly, he walks to a guard, the one he knew had his gold purse and holds his hand out. "I'll take what is mine."

The guard looks at Seishirou who nods. Shinya takes the purse handed and tosses it to Tord. He walks past him with Aiko Aihara behind him saying, "A Hiiragi always pays their debts."

Shinya walks out the door Aiko Aihara in tow to go retrieve his men and leave before Kureto comes.  


Shinjuku

Ser Lacus stands walks the grounds and sees a strange sight: Lucal Wesker going inside of Mika's tent while he was bathing at the lake with his handmaidens with a bag and sword. 

Lucal is inside Mika's tent. He has had enough of Mika's insubordination and disrespect. Mika has grown too out of line, the omega needs to be reminded of his place. It didn't help that the fucking savages had embraced him. Lucal was going to show Mika he needed him, even if it was by whatever threads he could grasp. He opens Mika's chest containing his dragon eggs. Perfect little hostages. Mika would respect him when he had these. He might even get rid of them to make him unhappy. He took and put them in his bag, when he heard someone else enter the tent. He draws his sword and turns to face with the person intruding on his intruding. 

Fucking Lacus Welt.

"Don't let them see you carrying a sword in Khales Dothrak. You know the rule." Lacus tells him.

Lucal sheathes his sword, "It's not my law."

"They don't belong to you." Lacus tells him.

"Whatever is his is mine." Lucal responds as he stuffs the remaining eggs.

"Once, perhaps." Lacus tells him.

There's a silent pause. 

"If I sell them he'll learn his place."

"And where is his place?" Lacus inquires heatedly.

"Beneath me. By my side. He's an omega. He's mine. He needs me. I'm his only hope." Lucal growls.

"He's not anyone's property. And if he had an alpha, it would be the Khal." Lacus growls back.

"Don't act so high on your morality and honor, Welt. Don't think I haven't seen the way you look at him to. I know exactly what you want." Lucal sneers.

Lacus remains impassive. Trying not to be affected by the taunting. Lucal smirks and moves to get out, Lacus stops him.

"You can't leave, not with the eggs." Lacus tells him with finality. 

"You swore an oath to me and Mika! Does that mean nothing to you?"

"I swore it to Mika. You are nothing to me." Lacus tells him, staring down the man. 

Lucal and Lacus stare at each other before Lucal realizes he's not leaving with the eggs. Lucal throws the bag on the ground. Lacus allows him to pass before moving to put them back to their place when Lucal leaves.

Lucal walks out angry, "Drastic times call for drastic action." He mumbles angrily a plan formulating inside his mind.


In a large hut, a feast in celebration of Mika and his forthcoming child takes place.

A pig roasts in the center and the whole khalasar is carrying on in joy. Mika, Makoto, and Lacus are seated in places of honor. Mika and Lacus are beside Makoto's sitting spot where he keeps glancing at Mika, caught up in the beauty of his pregnant and happy omegan bride. Mika catches his eyes and gives him a wink, making Makoto chuckle excitedly. Mika gets caught up in a fascinating conversation with Dyara and Jhaqiu, and he's laughing from them telling him a joke about a honeycomb and a jackass. Even Ser Lacus laughs at the joke.

"MIKAELA!" he hears a familiar shriek of his name and rolls his eyes. He looks up and sees Lucal stumbling in drunk. Dyara and Lacus look up their attention caught in the drunken man.

"Where's my omega?" Lucal slurs.

Mikaela gets Ser Lacus and pulls him down, whispering to him, "Stop him."

"Where is he?" Lucal shrieks louder.

Lacus gets up and moves to a drunken Lucal talking to other members of the khalasar. "I'm here for the feast. Where is he? The whore's feast."

"Come." Lacus tells him trying to drag him out.

Lucal pushes him off, "DO NOT TOUCH ME! I AM THE ALPHA! I AM THE DRAGON!" Mika is taken aback.

"Dragon where the fuck did that come from?" Mika thinks. "He was a Wesker, he had a whole house in Westeria he belonged to. Ser Lacus would have told him if any rumors like that existed. Lucal always proudly referred to himself as a Wesker and that he would unite the houses under his and my name as an alliance. There was no way he was a Shindo. Then what was it?"

Then the realization hits Mika, "Unite the houses under his and my name under an alliance. He meant Wesker. He meant in his mind to make me a Wesker somehow after they crossed the Blood Sea by an alliance through marriage. He would probably do something terrible and make it look like Makoto dies in battle. By making me his, he would have the blood of the dragon, he would be a Shindo by extension. He would have free reign to rule the West and make him his permanent whore. If the man is thinking that his mind is growing more delirious and deranged. I'm not going to let that happen."

Mika was worried, but still determined. He observed Makoto and Ser Lacus' actions.   

One of Makoto's bloodriders whisper something to Makoto and he laughs.

That catches Lucal's attention. "KHAL MAKOTO!" he waves, "I'M HERE FOR THE FEAST."

Makoto points to the back of the hut where nobody's at. "There's your place, you cockless alpha. Back there."

"He says your place is there." Lacus gestures his eyes to where Makoto is pointing. 

"That is no place for a king!" Lucal hollers.

"You are no king." Makoto says in the common tongue.

Lucal offended draws his hidden sword. Lacus moves to stop him, but Lucal turns it on him. "KEEP AWAY FROM ME!"

The Dothraki start to hiss at Lucal as the noise suddenly stops. Mika knows he needs to step in now. He stands up. "Lucal, please!"

"There he is." Lucal points his sword in Mika's direction with a malicious grin. Mika looks terrified.

"Drop the sword. They'll kill us all." Lacus warns him. Lucal drops the sword to his side.

"They can't. They can't spill blood in their sacred city." Lucal chuckles as he moves towards Mika. Makoto moves to get up, but his bloodrider stops him. They can't spill any blood.

He approaches Mika like a snake. Dyara moves in front of him to try to protect him, Mika moves her out of the way with his arm knowing she would die if she got in the way. Mika wears a stoic expression. Lucal reaches him and smiles insanely. 

"But, I can." Lucal tells him. 

Mika feels a point on his stomach, he looks down and sees the tip of the sword blade on his stomach. He looks at him in shock. The man had gone too far. Threatening to murder him and his unborn child was the last straw for Mika, who schooled his face into one of calm fury. 

Lucal pushes it gently forcing Mika to sit down on his place of honor. Mika looks at Makoto who looks worried and is whispering with Jhaqiu. He assumes she's translating. 

"I want what I came for." Lucal tells Mika, getting his attention back. "I want what I came here for. I want the crown that was promised to me. He bought you. But, he never paid for you."

Jhaqiu translates what Lucal tells him for Makoto. He turns to her sword still on Mika. "Tell him I want what was bargained for or I'm taking you back. He can keep the baby. I'll cut it out and leave it for him."

Lucal turns back to Mika as Jhaqiu translates what he just said. Makoto gives Lucal a hateful, murderous glare. 

Makoto whispers threats to Jhaqiu about Lucal loudly. Lucal turns to Mika insane smile still in place. Mika can hear the threats.

"What's he saying?" Lucal asks Mika. Mika hesitates and thinks for a second.

Mika decided this was the final straw and after he figured out the man's plan, now knows the man needs to die. After all the rape, abuse, and threatening against him and his loved ones he's put him through. Mika can't and doesn't feel any remorse or sorrow for what he was about to say. He can't show any more mercy than he already has, the man was a liability and dangerous for Mika to have around him. Mika was grateful to him for keeping him alive. But, as he looked at the man now that was all he could really thank him for. Mika educated himself and was put through hell by this man. He's done more bad than the one good deed he's done. Mika looks up at him and with a calm, furious, and determined face responds, "He says yes. You shall have a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold."

The man's smile grows wider and he looks madder. Mika looks at him with pity at what the man has become. Dreading what he was doing, but feeling slightly liberated by it. The man had been on a downward spiral ever since he took Mika forcefully as a child. The slap was the last chance of many he got to fall in line behind Mika, but he couldn't come to his senses and stop conspiring against him. Mika was never going to keep the man close to him once he came back to the West after what he's done to him, but he would still be there. Now he would never. His madness for power killed him like it did his father. Mika was going to make sure he never became what they became. 

"That was all I wanted. W-what was promised." Lucal smiles. He looks at Mika and Makoto before pulling the sword away chuckling. Mika stands and Makoto comes to him caressing his stomach protectively. They look at each other in the eyes silently communicating they're okay and what needs to be done about this. Mika nodded giving Makoto confirmation.  

"Take him." Makoto tells his bloodriders who grab Lucal who was looking expectantly at them. He looks at them in shock before one of the bloodriders break his arm. He screams in pain. 

"NO! NO! YOU CANNOT TOUCH ME! I AM THE ALPHA! I AM THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGON! I AM THE KING!" he shouts as they bring him to the cooking fire. Lucal struggles against them. They force him to his knees. 

"Bring me gold." Makoto tells Dyara who leaved the tent and comes back bearing the golden chain Mika smacked Lucal with. Makoto dumps the contents of a pot out and throws in the chain. 

Lucal looks frantically from Mika to Makoto. Mika has a stoic, yet slightly pitiful expression. Ser Lacus walks to Mika. 

"Look away, Khaleesi." Lacus urges him.

"No. I gave the order now I must see it through." Mika tells him eyes not leaving Lucal. 

The chain's finished melting. Lucal looks back at Makoto and realizes what's about to happen. He looks at Mika. 

"No - Mika, tell them! Make them! Mika, make them....." Lucal begs unhinged and pathetic before he looks at Makoto.

Makoto takes the pot and walks in front of him. "NO, YOU CAN'T!" Lucal whines.

He looks at Mika one last time, "MIKA, PLEASE!" Mika breaks his expression into one of sadness and pity for a quick second before schooling back to the stoic one. Mika sees the man for a slight second the one before the monster he became. But, it's too late. Lucal's done too much damage.

Lucal looks up at Makoto absolutely terrified. 

"A crown for a king." Makoto tells him smugly before raising the pot over Lucal's head. 

Makoto pours the pot of gold on top of Lucal's head. Lucal screams in anguish. The heated gold incinerates the flesh on his head. It burns off all of his hair and falls on his clothes. The gold attaches itself to his head, permanently searing his flesh. Makoto bends to get a better look at the man who threatened the love of his life and his child getting the justice that he deserved. His face stays in the expression of his screams as the gold hardens on his head covering one eye completely. The bloodriders let Lucal's corpse fall to the ground, the gold making a knocking sound as his head hits the ground. 

Mika's eye's never left Lucal's throughout the whole ordeal. He stares at the man who's done so much terrible things to him and really cannot summon much sorrow or remorse. Mika hears Ser Lacus next to him. 

"Khaleesi?" Ser Lacus asks for his assurance.

Mika stands there frozen. His mind goes back to the dragon Lucal thought he was in the end. The man's cruel and awful plans for him ran through his mind. As the heated gold melted his face Mika remembered Lucal's thoughts on being a Shindo and finally responds, "He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon."

Chapter Text

Ebina - Camp of the Hiiragi Army

The Hiiragi camp is bustling. They reached the gates of Ebina a fortnight ago, and prepared to lay siege and take it back to end Seishirou's tantrum. Inside the largest tent, Kureto Hiiragi is skinning a stag. He always hated the beasts. Reminded him of Norito Goshi, the damn bastard who took his omega way from him.

"My Prince, Prince Shinya has returned with his men and is requesting entrance into your tent." A Hiiragi guard comes into tell him. 

Kureto looks mildly impressed wiping the blood off his hands, "Send him in." 

Shinya comes in dressed in the same clothes as the trial. 

"Dear brother. Glad to see you made it out well. I knew you were among the smartest of us." Kureto told him as he began skinning the legs of the deer.

"Thank you." Shinya said alarmed, "Seishirou's not well. He thinks he's entitled to the crown when there is Takashi, and when I suggested otherwise. He took me prisoner."

"For what crime?" Kureto asked while pulling the skin from the flesh.

"Treason. He was willing to execute me and you know he always loved me more than even father." Shinya said rolling his eyes.

"It was usually a contest between him and father when it came to your love. The fool's lost it. How'd you even get free?" Kureto says alarmed and astonished.

"I was tried and demanded one by combat, my woman won. I know he's unstable now. The question is, what are you going to do about it? I support whichever way you fall. He was my brother. But, he just tried to murder me without even an ounce of remorse. He may not have said this, but I think he's renounced us as Hiiragi's and considers himself the only true one. He trying to get foreign allies to back his claim." Shinya said.

Kureto considers this for a long pause, finally turning to Shinya, "He needs to be stopped now before he gets too far. We're already here and have blocked out the front entrance. We outnumber him by a lot. He cannot win. He either retreats or fights, and after what you just said I'm sure it's the latter. He seems hot-headed and impulsive. We'll win. However, you don't need to be here when we do attack. It would be dangerous and we need you to be Takashi's hand. You and your men will go back to Shibuya where you'll likely start your position as hand on Mahiru's instruction. The battlefield is no place for an omega."

"Sounds appropriate. How have things been in Shibuya?" Shinya said nodding to Kureto wanting to get out of here and back to Guren before leaving to begin the journey back to Shibuya.

Kureto stiffens at that, "Nothing of concern. The common people whisper. But, you know as father said, "A lion does not concern itself with the opinions of sheep." Otherwise, it's just been common Shibuyan events. A tournament and a few politics. You'll hear about it when you get back. Mahiru will give you the full summation." Kureto tries to avoid stressing the omega, not wanting to deal with any of the drama that could be caused if the omega finds out what's happened to Guren because of him. He would find out anyway, just not now. Not like Guren's dead anyway.

Shinya nods warily, "Well, we'll leave at night fall."

Kureto nods before resuming the task of removing the deer's head when Shinya exits.

Before Shinya left, Kureto saw the number of his men and insisted he carry more of his for added protection. He was an omega after all, and nothing could happen to the King's Hand, not like he had good reason to deny the request. Shinya reluctantly agreed and handpicked ones he knew were loyal to him the most. They looked happy to leave. Shinya rode with Masaaki on his right and Aiko Aihara on his left with more men behind him leaving, then when he came to the camp. He rides to the outskirts of the camp exiting Ebina with the men following him. Kureto nods to him farewell, and he nods back before riding out the camp back to Shibuya. 


Nagoya

Chihiro scrubs the floors of the Great Hall. She scrubs it roughly trying to forget about all she's seen beyond the wall. They only took her because they figured they'd need a woman to do the cooking and cleaning for them down South. She's grateful the Warden saved her life and gave her something to work for, so she plans on repaying his mercy. He looked young, he was tall with inky indigo hair spiked around a handsome face with green eyes. She hoped he didn't want her for what she thought, but the Warden didn't seem like that kind of man. The pink-haired one was different in a terrifying, but merciful enough way. He was like most men in this country. The brown haired cripple was a cute lad. He was an omega. She didn't want to kill him in the first place, but she knew she was to blame for some of it. She would protect that omega with her life. She's so deep in thought she doesn't even notice the pink-haired one walk in.

"You're very lucky, you know that?" Kimizuki tells her, trying to make conversation still not over the attempt on Yoichi's life. "I was born in Osaka Bay. There we don't let criminals live. If you attacked a little lord there, you would be chained to an anchor and thrown in the sea while gutted." 

"Osaka Bay is it far?" she asks.

"You never heard of it?" he leers over her slightly. 

"Trust me, you've never heard of where I'm from either." She tells him.

"Trust me, my lord. You're not beyond the wall anymore, you're in civilized lands. Act like it." He tells her.

"And how should I act like it?" She says smirking to herself while scrubbing.

"I am a Lord, the black-haired fool is the Warden, and the brown haired one you tried killing is a little Lord." He tells her.

"Is his title really a little lord?"

"No that's just how we always thought of him." He tells her with a small smile.

"I see, and why are you a lord?" She asks.

"My father is the Lord of Osaka Bay, the Iron Islands." Kimizuki tells her slightly proud.

"So that means you're not a lord?" She asks genuinely curious.

"Not yet." He tells her in a warning tone. 

"I don't understand how you Southerners do things." She tells him shaking her head.

"You're in the North." He tells her.

"You're from South of the Wall, so you're southerners to me." She tells him.

"Why did you come here and flee from your Wild One's territories?" He asked her.

"I needed to before the Long Night comes, when the bloodsuckers come for us. They've been asleep for a long time, but now they've awoken and they're coming for us." She tells him.

Kimizuki considers this before sitting down on a bench and ripping a piece of bread and goat cheese for a snack.

 "Care to join?" He asks her.

"My lord, I don't think I can stop scrubbing after how long I was ordered to finish." She tells him cautiously.

"It's a small respite, and your better commands it." He tells her.

She nods and gets up, walks over, and sits down. Chihiro takes the food offered with a small thanks, not forgetting the lord part. She eats it before Kimizuki starts talking again.

"If you try to harm him again. I will make sure your death is personally delivered by me and very long, do you understand?" He tells her.

"Yes, my lord. I will never harm the Omegan Little Lord. You have my word. If you do you can do as you will with me. Though, why haven't you killed me? The little lord is gone and the warden left you in charge." Chihiro tells her.

The man nods, "Yuu would know if I had you executed and undermined him. I don't want to deal with that. I'm glad we understand each other. Welcome to Snowstorm Castle." 

The woman nods drinking the water handed to her.


Yuu and Yoichi carried by Estle walk through the path beyond the wall where the forest godswood tree lies. They walk with two Maesters, Asuramaru, and Kusunoki where Yuu will make his vows to the Night's Watch and be made the official Warden of the North. He brought Yoichi with him as a family witness, considering Kimizuki was left in charge while he was gone. He liked to alternate between the two when it came to leaving them in charge of things. Yoichi and Kimizuki didn't need to say them. You only needed to if you were a part of the Watch or the Warden of the North, and they were neither. They were southern lord's sons, so it was also looked down upon. Unless, they committed any crimes.  He knew his father didn't care about the wives part the second he reunited with Shinya. And he was exempted when he was brought back to his post. This was Yuu's coronation. He knew his father took his when he was banished, now he's in his father's position to take up the war against the bloodsuckers.

Yuu reaches the tree with the red leaves and face carved on it with bleeding eyes. He looks at the men even blind Maester Aererion. Before he pulls out his sword and kneels, feathered black crow cloak covering his back. 

"Hear my words, and witness my vow: night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, and father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night, and all the nights to come. I am the Warden of the North." Yuu says perfectly from memory which was a chore.

"Rise Yuuichirou Amane, a man of the Night's Watch and Official Warden of the North." Maester Aererion tells him. 

Yuu does and turns around to Yoichi jumping into his arms which he catches him reflexively. "Congratulations!"

Yuu laughs and holds the back of his head before giving him back to Estle in a hug, then the Maesters hug him, before Yuu reluctantly shakes Kusunoki's offered hand. He looks around and realizes Asu is gone.

"Asu!" He calls for the wolf. She hears him and comes back with something in her mouth. 

"What's he got?" Yoichi asks.

"To me, Asu! Here!" He shouts. The wolf comes up and drops the object.

A dismembered icy hand. 

"Is that a hand?" Yoichi asks shocked.

Yuu looks down at the hand icy, but stained with frozen blood. A grave look crosses his face as he's felt the first bit of fear he has in a long time.


Shinjuku

Mika sits on a bench in a leather dress braiding the hair of his husband sitting cross-legged below him on the ground, both content in peace. Mika's felt freer without Lucal around as a constant reminder. Mika can never forget all that the man did to him, like it or not it's a part of him, but it wasn't all of him. Mika's free to move past without the man as a constant reminder of the rape and abuse he suffered. He has moved past it and kept his future moving forward. His and Makoto's relationship is at its current best. Their love was strong and growing more every day. Especially as Mika's belly began to grow bigger. 

"The Stallion Who Mounts the World has no need for iron chairs." Makoto tells him.

"According to the prophecy the stallion will ride to the ends of the Earth." Mika corrects him.

"The Earth ends at the Blood Sea and nobody can cross the poison water." Makoto responds.

"The Earth does not end at the sea. There are many lands past the sea. The one land I was born on. "The omega responds.

"Lands?" Makoto questions.

"Yes, and there are thousands of ships in the Free Cities. Wooden horses that can fly across the-" Mika tries to explain before Makoto cuts him off.

"Let's speak no more of wooden horses in iron chairs." The alpha dismisses.

"It's not a chair, Makoto. It's a...Throne." Mika says with a smile.

"Throne?" Makoto asks him.

"A chair that a king can sit upon....or a queen." Mika says leaning his head down near Makoto's shoulder, who turns back to look at him before turning fully to him, and setting his hands on Mika's thighs. They're eye level with each other.

"A king doesn't need a chair to sit upon, only a horse." Makoto tells him. Makoto moves to kiss Mika who gladly reciprocates before Makoto gets up.

Leaving Mika looking disconcerted and alone in the tent.


"Can't you help me make him understand?" Mika asks Ser Lacus. They're walking through the Khales Dothrak marketplace. Mika has his dragon scale tank-crop top on with his leather skirt, dragon's tooth necklace, and running boots. He's taken to wearing more braids in his hair tying it back. 

"The Dothraki do things on their own time. You just need to be patient, Khaleesi. We will go home. I promise you. Your ancestor Aelriov the Conqueror didn't seize the kingdoms because they were his right. He did it because he could." Ser Lacus tells him.

"And he had dragons." Mika tells him.

"Aye, that does make a difference." Ser Lacus tells him skeptically.

"You don't believe it?" Mika asks. 

"Have you ever seen a dragon, Khaleesi? I believe what I can see and hear. As for the rest It was years ago, who knows what really happened? Now if you'll pardon me, I'll seek out the merchant captain, see if he has any letters for me." Ser Lacus tells him.

"I can just come with you." Mika assures him.

"No. No. Don't trouble yourself, Khaleesi. Enjoy the market. I'll rejoin you soon." Ser Lacus reassures him before walking away.

Mika stares at the man's back before walking away with his handmaidens. 

Little eyes monitor Ser Lacus and Mikaela Shindo's conversation, "Ser Lacus!" A child's voice calls when he's isolated.

Lacus sees him and approaches him. The boy hands him a scroll, "The Spider sends her greetings and congratulations."

Lacus reads the scroll. 

"A royal pardon. You can go home now." The boy tells him before running off.

Ser Lacus is conflicted about his feelings for Mika and his desire to go home. But, then the realization soon dawns on him: He wouldn't be getting this if he was still needed as a spy, meaning Mika's in trouble. He hears the shouts of a loud merchant and follows it hoping he finds Mika before it's too late.


A wine-seller promotes his product loudly as Mika walks around the marketplace. He soon reaches the man. 

"Sweet reds! I have sweet reds from Kyrna, Harajuku, and the Arbor! Tyrish pear brandy! Osaka sours! I have them! I have them! " The short, stocky man shouts.

Mikaela walks up to the wine-seller with Jhaqiu, Takoto, and Dyara following behind him.

"A taste for the stunning queen. I have a sweet red from Shibuya. One taste and you'll name your first child after me." The man tells Mika taking a glass and offering it to him. Lacus watches from afar.

"My son already has a name, but, I'll try your summerwine. Just a taste." Mika tells the man with a kind smile.

"My Khaleesi, you are from Westeria?" The man asks.

 "You have the honor of addressing Mikaela of the House Shindo, Khaleesi of the riding men, and the Princess of the Six Kingdoms." Dyara says.

"Princess." the man addresses Mika and bows.

Mika smiles genuinely, "Rise, I'd still like to sample the summerwine."

"That? Not worthy of a princess like yourself." The man balks and pours the wine on the ground.

 Lacus' eyes widen in realization. 

"No, princess. I have a Red from the Arbor. The best nectar you could ever drink." The man tells him.

Mikaela grins in appreciation. 

"Let me give you a cask. Uh....gift." The man tells him.

"Ser, you do honor me." Mika tells him.

The wine-seller goes into his store and comes out with a cask, "The honor is all mine."

He hands the cask to Takoto before bowing again. "You know there are many in the homeland that do pray for your return, princess."

"Well, I hope I can repay your kindness someday." Mika tells the man.

Ser Lacus chooses now to come in, sure of exactly what is happening. "Takoto put the cask down."

"Is something wrong?" Mika asks Ser Lacus confused at his unusual behavior. 

"I have a thirst. Open it." Ser Lacus tells the man.

"The wine is for the Khaleesi, not the likes of you." He eyes Ser Lacus.

"Open it." Lacus repeats.

The wine-seller looks at Mika and Lacus before he finally opens the cask. 

"Pour." Lacus tells him.

"It would be a crime to drink a wine like this without letting it breathe." The man says worriedly.

"Do as he says." Mika says now suspicious of this man's nervous hesitance.

"As the princess wishes." The man obeys and pours it. Mika exchanges a look with Ser Lacus who looks like he has something to prove. He hands a glass to Ser Lacus who sniffs it.

"Sweet, isn't it? Can you not smell the fruit? Taste it, my lord, and tell me it's not the best wine you've ever tasted." He tells Ser Lacus who still sniffs it. Ser Lacus brings it to his lips about to drink and notices the man's excited expression which Mika does too before he offers the cup to the wine-seller.

"You first." Lacus tells him. The wine-seller looks nervously at him.

"Me? I am not worthy of the vintage. Besides, it is a poor wine-seller who would drink up his own wares." He tells him.

Mika now finally catching onto the situation insists, "You will drink."

The man now looks from Mika to Lacus and takes the glass with a nervous smile and toasting gesture. He lifts it to his lips before throwing it to the ground and running away. 

"Khaleesi! Stop him!" Jhaqiu shouts.

The wine-seller runs as fast as he can from them before Takoto catches up to him enough to catch him with his whip tripping him. He brings him back after tying him and knocking him unconscious.

"Come." Ser Lacus tells Mika who follows along with Dyara, Jhaqiu, and Takoto with the unconscious wine merchant.


Inside the primary communal hut of Khales Dothrak. Mika waits impatiently with Ser Lacus by his side. The man is tied to a post on the other side of the room with multiple bleeding cuts on his face from the Dothraki keeping themselves entertained.

"What will they do to him?" Mika asks curiously, warily eyeing the man.

"When the khalasar rides he'll be leashed to a saddle naked forced to run behind the horses as long as he can." Ser Lacus.

"And when he falls?" Mika asks.

"I once saw a man last nine miles once." Ser Lacus replies.

"The Hiiragi's still want me dead." Mika says.

"This prisoner was the first, he won't be the last." Ser Lacus tells him. 

"I thought they didn't know I existed." Mika tells him.

"They do, Khaleesi. And they won't stop. No matter where you go the spider's assassins would find you. They'll never abandon the hunt. You're the last Shindo. Your son will have your blood with 40,000 bloodriders following him." Ser Lacus tells him honestly.

Mika places a hand on his stomach protectively, his face determined, "They will not have my son."

"They will not have you either, Khaleesi. Not when I'm here." He assures Mika. Mika smiles in response. 

Soon bloodriders begin entering before finally Makoto enters lastly looking at Mika with concern and worry as soon as he walks in. He looks to his right staring down the man who dared to hurt his queen. The man sobs. Makoto tears away his hate-filled gaze before making his way to Mika with the concern and love back in his eyes.

"Moon of my life, are you hurt?" He asks Mika gripping him softly by the cheeks. Mika shakes his head. Makoto sighs in relief before kissing his forehead, Mika's hands caressing his large ones now on his shoulders. He then glances to Lacus.

"Lacus of the West. I heard what you did. Choose any horse you wish, I make this gift to you." Makoto puts a hand on Lacus' shoulder. 

"Thank you, Khal Makoto. It was my duty." Ser Lacus responds before the alpha moves back to Mika and puts a hand protectively over his stomach going a step down to reach his height. He looks at Mika in his eyes who runs a hand down Makoto's face. 

Makoto hand still on the omega's stomach, and looks at Mika's stomach when he starts speaking getting louder to address everyone, "And to my son, the Stallion Who Will Mount the World. I pledge a gift: I will give him the iron chair that his mother's father sat upon. I will give him Six Kingdoms. I, Makoto, will do this."   

He moves away from Mika who watches him with awe. As he circles the room with the crowd cheering him on. Makoto's voice roars in anger, rage, love, and confidence, "I will take my Khalasar west to where the world ends and ride wooden horses across the blood salt water as no Khal has done before! I will kill the men in their iron suits and tear down their stone houses!"

The crowds cheering gets louder. Makoto's eyes keep finding Mika's love filled ones.

Makoto's eyes finally definitively meets Mika's, "This, I vow. I, Makoto, son of Nhaegho. I swear before the Mother of Mountains as the stars look down in witness!"

Makoto and Mika both look at each other with determination as the crowd clamors on.


The next day, Makoto, Mika, Ser Lacus, and the Khalasar ride out of Khales Dothrak. Both riding side by side. Makoto smirks at Mika who gives him a small smile. Behind Mika's horse is the wine-seller tied to the back of the white mare.

The man is naked, dirty, bloody, and barely able to walk straight, but following behind Mika's horse nonetheless.


Shibuya

Guren sits on a bench in the gardens that surround the main fountain. He's tired, weary, but, he finds his cane having less need each day. He leans on it waiting for someone looking down at his hands. A feminine shadow blocks his share of the sunlight. He looks up and sees purple hair and a pink dress.

"You're in pain." Mahiru observes.

Guren stands, "I've had worse."

"The south doesn't seem to be agreeing with you, Guren." She tells him.

"I know the truth your father died for." Guren says getting straight to the point.

"Do you? Is that why you've summoned me? To pose riddles? Kureto never could stand those formalities." Mahiru sneers.

"Aye, he never could. Your brother and your lover is a tough man to befriend." Guren says.

Mahiru realizes what he's implying and smirks. Guren realizes he was right all along.

"Many families wed brothers and sisters to keep the bloodlines pure. Kureto and I are more than brother and sister. We shared a womb. We came into this world together. We belong together." Mahiru says confidently.

"You tried to kill Yoichi because he saw you." Guren stated.

Mahiru considers the man in front of her, before asking, "Did you love your hostages? Were they like your children?"

"Yes." Guren says confidently.

"You love them as your children, like I love mine." Mahiru says honestly.

"And both are Kureto's." Guren states, catching Mahiru's implied confirmation of what happened to Yoichi.

"I am blessed when it comes to that. When Goshi would come to bed drunk, for a good lay. I'd always find some way to avoid it and finish him off before making it look like we'd done it in the morning." Mahiru told him.

"You always did hate him..." Guren trails off.

Mahiru scoffs, "Hated him? I worshiped him. Every omega in the six kingdoms desired him, and I was fortunate enough to get him by oath. When I saw him on our wedding day, lean, fierce, and golden-haired, it was the happiest moment of my life. Then that night when he crawled on top of me, and he did what he did what little he could do, he whispered the name of a tavern slut in my ear. I loved him and worshiped him, but he'd rather have been around a tavern slut. Then, I realized there was no hope for any kind of love with us."

"What about your father?" Guren asked. 

"I hated him, but not like many people ever cared for him. He loved only Shinya, neglecting me and Kureto in favor of his brilliant false omegan son. Shinya was loved while I was deemed the "Great Beauty of the West" as a permanent joke. My father only cared for his adopted son, rather than his own flesh and blood children. He was a cruel and cold man who only cared about his family and its legacy. It's no wonder he died after finding out his family and legacy were a lie. I'm glad it happened, no man deserved it more than him." Mahiru finishes, eyeing Guren knowing she's not the one who killed her father. Guren was becoming a liability like her father would have been.

Guren hears enough to be convinced this is the reason why Tenri Hiiragi died, and Takashi Hiiragi is nothing, but an incestuous bastard son to the Hiiragi's. His claim is completely undermined. "I'm going to present this evidence to the court, and it will become public knowledge. I tell you this because I can't bear innocent children dying for the sins of their parents. You and your children need to be gone by then. Maybe find your brother and flee the West. Though, if you can't, his execution will be proper justice. Go as far as you can with as many men as you can because this chance may not be able to completely stop the wrath of the reckoning your family will receive. "

Mahiru smirks vengefully, "And what of my family's own wrath? What of my wrath? You should have taken the realm for yourself. When we rode in, we already saw you sitting on the throne after murdering your king. But, you still relinquished the throne. I know you were a good enough swordsmen at the time to defeat eight men easily. Yet, you gave up your chance. Such a sad mistake."

"I've made many mistakes in my life, but that wasn't one of them." Guren responds.

"Oh, but it was. When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground." Mahiru tells him. 

Mahiru walks away with worry for her children's fates as Guren looks at her retreat warily.


Inside one of his brothels, Kagiyama watches as one omegan whore acts like an alpha would kissing the abdomen of the other whore. His attention soon shifts to the window staring into the distance and thinking, while observing the commoners. 

"Oh yes. Oh yes! OH YES!" The whore receiving the oral stimulation shouts, Kagiyama rolls his eyes, attention back on them. 

"No. No. No. No!" Kagiyama says. They stop their actions, "Is that what they teach you in Kyrna? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound? Do either of you understand what I'm trying to tell you?"

"Yes, my lord." The silver haired boy says frustrated. 

"Let's start over and switch positions now, you the alpha and you the omega." He points to the dark-haired woman, then the silver-haired boy.

They nod and the boy gestures for her to kiss his neck. 

"Slowly. They know what you are. They paid for you." Kagiyama says.

The girl climbs onto the boy. 

"They know it's all just an act. Your job is to make them forget what they know and that takes time." He tells them as he watches them run their hands on each other's bodies.

"Ease into it, go ahead." He tells them as the woman sucks his nipple. Kagiyama watches with interest. "He thinks he's winning you over. He might be, and he wants to believe he is either way."

The girl shoves fingers into the boy's hole, and he moans.

"They've enjoyed the fucking since they were old enough to play with their genitals. Why shouldn't you? They think they're the best fuck you've ever had. This is his proof. He's reaching something in you, something you never knew was there." Kagiyama says.

"Why don't you join us, my lord?" The woman asks.

"I'm saving myself for another." He says.

"What they don't know, won't kill them." She says.

"A stupid saying. What we don't know usually gets us killed." Kagiyama says.

The girl begins riding the boy, their moans growing. "They must be beautiful."

"Oh, he is. But, that's not it. His bloodlines are impeccable." Kagiyama says.

 "I do believe my lord's in love." The boy gasped out.

"For many years, Most of my life, really. And he loved me too, for a while. I was his confidant. His plaything. He could tell me anything. Anything at all. What books he liked. What castles he wanted to live in. Who he wanted to marry. A northerner with dark hair." Kagiyama says as the thrusting speeds up. "I challenged him to a duel. I mean, why not? I always read stories about the big hero vanquishing the villain. In the end, they wouldn't let him kill me. Saying, "He was just a boy." "Don't hurt him." So I got a nice little scar as a remembrance and life went on."

"Are they still together?" The girl moans outs.

"Oh no. He died in the rebellion. But, it turns out it was never him, it was his brother he truly loved. He was an even more impressive specimen. He's loved him for quite a long time. And why wouldn't he? I mean, who could compare to him? He's just so...." Kagiyama trails off as they climax, finishing, "Good."

The whores straighten up. 

"Do you know what I learned losing the duel? I could never win. Not that way. It's their game and their rules. I'm not going to fight them. I'm going to fuck them. That's what know, that's what am. And only admitting what we are, can we get what we want." Kagiyama tells them. 

"And what do you want, my lord?" The boy asks.

"Everything, my dear. Everything there is." Kagiyama informs him before getting up. "Now wash yourselves, you both are working tonight."

They leave him and Kagiyama watches with a smirk as they leave.


 Yukimi opens the door to Guren's quarters. Her little birds have found something hiding in the office chambers of Tenri Hiiragi. She closes the door and walks to Guren sitting at the desk.

"Lord Guren, I've found something you may like to see. My little birds uncovered it stuck between the drawers in the late King Hiiragi's desk. We've been searching the rooms of the Royal Keep for anything that the late King could have left, and this is something you need to see." She hands the dazed man the paper who opens and reads it quickly.

"He left the care of the Six Kingdoms to Shinya, it has his official signature." Guren says in awe. Things were going better for him now. "This makes sense. He uncovered the secret of who the parents of Takashi Hiiragi were, and left the kingdoms to Shinya. The only child he cared for and knew was fit to rule. One who would be left undamaged of the legacy that his siblings would leave. Shinya should be king, he may not want it, but it's the only option we have left right now, at least. What's the status on Mikaela Shindo?"

"Guren, those birds have flown. The queen insisted. It's very likely the boy's dead already." She tells him, sadness barely leaking in her voice. 

 Guren looks mournful for the boy he couldn't save for a second before schooling it into a serious expression, "Thank you. I'll present this to the court today. This will help get the sibling fuckers out of power."

The woman nods warily, "Are you certain, that's the best course of action? We should have them killed in their sleep." 

Guren looks at her in shock, "I'm not having another child killed. Dragged from his bed to be hanged. The boy is only thirteen." He states simply thinking of the Shindo boy dead.

"Very well. Do it your way. It's your information now." She responds.

The woman bows to him before leaving.


Kagiyama comes into Guren's chambers having been summoned. 

"My Lord." He tells him.

"Neither of Mahiru's sons are Goshi's. They are all illegitimate bastards from Kureto. We found a letter from Tenri with his seal on it saying he leaves the kingdoms rule to Shinya." Guren states tiredly wanting to get this out of the way. 

"That means..." Kagiyama thinks.

"Shinya is the best current option." Guren says.

"He can't take the throne without your help. I'd advise you to let nobody know about this, and support Takashi." Kagiyama tells him.

Guren looks at the man with disgust. "Do you have a shred of honor?"

"I never thought the kingslayer would. You are the hand and kingsguard right now. Power is yours, you only need to take it. Make peace with the Hiiragi's, wed the Sanguu girl to Takashi and your son to Shinoa, we have plenty of time to handle Seishirou, and Shinya never needs to know about this. You know he'd never like to rule anyway. We can always use him as a backup plan if Takashi becomes a problem we seat Shinya with the paper as evidence." Kagiyama tells him.

"We?" Guren questions.

"You'll need someone to share these burdens with. My price is modest." Kagiyama says.

"It makes no sense. Shinya will do what needs to be done. He knows the trouble his siblings cause, he'll understand. I'll help him as much as I can, and you will too. It would be treason to unseat Takashi if his coronation has taken place. Right now, he's not king. There's still a chance to this right." Guren tells him aggressively.

"It's only treason if we get caught." Kagiyama shrugs.

"Make peace with the Hiiragi's?" Guren asks to Kagiyama's nod.

"The ones who tried to murder my boy?" Guren states.

"We only make peace with our enemies." Kagiyama tells him.

"No. I won't do it." Guren says.

"Your way can cause more war, than my way could." Kagiyama tells him.

"There is no other choice. Shinya is the heir of the Hiiragi's. He'll understand." Guren says assuring himself.

Kagiyama looks disappointed. "Why did you summon me here then? Not for my council, it seems."

"You promised Shinya to help me. The Queen-Mother has a dozen knights and a hundred guards, enough to overwhelm what remains of my household guard. I need the Gold Cloaks. The City Watch is 2,000 strong and sworn to defend the King's peace. Kureto is not here, so Aoi Sanguu will be in charge, and she serves the king's laws." Guren says.

Kagiyama grins, "Look at you. You know what you want me to do. You know it has to be done, but it's not honorable so you can't speak. When the Queen proclaims one King and the Hand proclaims another, whose peace do the Gold Cloaks protect? Who do they follow?" Kagiyama contemplates.

Guren sits down. 

Kagiyama's grin falls, face going serious, "The man who pays them."


It's time. Guren knows what must be done. Shinoa and Mitsu are secure in their quarters. He walks to the Royal Keep with all of his remaining guardsmen. 

"Lord Guren!" Guren hears from behind and sees the royal steward rushing towards him. 

"Stop!" Jorrian tells the steward. 

"No let him pass." Guren says.

The man passes. "King Takashi and the Queen Regent request your presence in the throne room."

"King Takashi?" Guren raises a shocked eyebrow.

"He was just hastily given his coronation." The man tells him.

Guren is petrified at this, but knows this needs to be done. This is his last chance, and he has plenty of support.

Guren and his men cross the courtyard to meet Yukimi and Kagiyama. Both walk with him.

"All is accomplished the City Watch is yours." Kagiyama tells him.

"Is the old man joining us?" Guren asks.

"The man has no idea, but he wouldn't anyway. He supports the Hiiragi's too much." Yukimi tells him.

Guren nods and sighs. They walk and see Aoi Sanguu with the City Watch. "We stand behind you, Guren." She tells him.

Guren nods his thanks. "Let's get this over with."

The entire group enters the throne room filled with Hiiragi guards. Takashi sits on the Seraphin Throne with a golden crown on his head. Mahiru sits next to him hair and green dress done perfectly for a coronation. Five members of the kingsguard stand in front of the throne.

"All hail his grace. Takashi of House Hiiragi and Goshi, the First of his Name, King of the Seraphs and the First Men, Rightful King of the Six Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm." The royal steward announces when they reach.

"I command the council to hold the largest tournament in honor of my coronation. Today I shall accept oaths of fealty from my loyal councilors." Takashi tells them with a sneer. Mahiru and Guren's eyes meet briefly.

Guren opens the scroll and begins reading. "Your father wrote this, in his handwriting. Prince Shinya Hiiragi is named as Protector as the Realm to rule as King until an heir is produced and comes to age.

Takashi confused, looks to his mother for an explanation. Mahiru stands up holding out her hand, "Lord Guren, let me see the letter."

Guren looks to his group who nods and he reluctantly gives it to her.

"Protector of the Realm? Shinya? My adopted brother? Is this supposed to be your shield, Guren? A piece of paper?" She says after glancing at the letter and sneers condescendingly at him, the crowd gasps in shock at the admission. She knows now Shinya can never be seen as the king with the secret out in the open. She tears up the paper. 

"Your father signed it and it's his handwriting. Those were the king's words." Guren says shocked.

"We have a new king now. Lord Guren, when we last spoke you offered me some council. Let me offer you some now: Bend the knee and swear your loyalty to my son and we shall allow you to live out your days in the snow filled waste you call home." Mahiru smirks at him.

"Your son has no claim. He's a bastard born of an affair between you and your brother." Guren tells her to some gasps.

Mahiru scoffs. 

"LIAR!" Takashi shouts. 

"You condemn yourself with your mouth, Lord Ichinose. Ser Honte, seize this traitor with no viable evidence." Mahiru says knowing this man threatened her family and her children. Whatever semblance of feelings or friendship she had for him are now completely gone after that. Her children's protection comes first.

The man looks confused, but advances on him.

His men and Aoi Sanguu with the City Watch draw their swords. 

"KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL! I COMMAND IT!" Takashi screeches, the Hiiragi men draw their swords. Commotion begins among the front as the members of the court watch the chaos from the back.

"AOI! TAKE THE QUEEN-MOTHER AND HER CHILDREN INTO CUSTODY! ESCORT THEM TO THEIR ROOMS AND KEEP THEM THERE GUARDED." Guren shouts among the commotion to Aoi Sanguu.

"MEN OF THE WATCH!" Aoi shouts.

The City Watch all draw their swords and point their spears up at Mahiru and Takashi.

"I want no bloodshed." Guren tells his men.

"Tell your men to lay down their swords. Nobody needs to die." Guren calls up to Mahiru.

Mahiru makes eye contact with Aoi Sanguu, who does a small nods and shouts, "NOW!"

The City Watch starts to attack all of Guren's guards. Guren looks around shocked at the betrayal. He begins to draw his sword, but a knife is soon held against his throat. 

Kagiyama whispers up to a petrified Guren as he holds the knife, "I did warn you not to trust me." 

Chapter Text

Kingsgold Inn - Between Ebina and Shibuya

Shinya laughs at something Aiko Aihara says. They are enjoying each other's company sitting at a table to themselves and drinking ale. They get to know each other. Shinya learns the woman is a sell-sword from Shibuya being paid by their family for her services. He was impressed with the woman's fighting caliber. He was awe-stricken when she took down that alpha. They are only about three days ride to Shibuya with the amount of stops they took. Shinya sees a figure on the edge of his line of sight, he turns and sees a distressed Masaaki coming to him. Shinya originally thought it was the little girl servant who kept on watching them with observant eyes. Probably bearing bad news. Masaaki was talking with a merchant who came from Shibuya the last time he saw him.

"My prince, or my lord now. The merchant's told us news of what's going on in Shibuya and the situation has taken a turn for the worse." Masaaki tells him.

"What do you mean? What's happened?" Shinya gestures for the man to sit next to Aiko. 

He does and leans closer to whisper, "He was in the throne room during the coronation. Guren was betrayed and taken prisoner to be executed for treason. He's currently chained in a cell awaiting his fate. Takashi has had his coronation and is now the ruling King of the West. Mahiru conspired to put him on the throne after Guren found something damning. Guren is to be executed if he doesn't accept Takashi as king in the next three days."

"That's when we're set to get back. What of Shinoa and Mitsuba?" Shinya says.

"No news yet on that. But, they both should live. Shinoa is a Hiiragi, she'll be completely safe. The other is a Sanguu. If she gets killed it could cause us to lose their house's loyalty." Masaaki says.

Shinya takes it all in with a shocked face. Mahiru and Kureto must have always planned for this. But, Kureto did not seem to know anything about it meaning that Guren must have found evidence and couldn't stop himself from confronting Mahiru. The omega probably was desperate and accelerated her plan without telling Kureto to save her children. There was no way if this was just now happening that he could have known. Kureto must now be finding out in Ebina as the information spreads. Mahiru knows when to expect him back now if Kureto responds, so around three days with the breaks. 

He isn't going to let them win. He can't. Even, if he didn't win he was not going down without a fight. 

Shinya had to save Guren, or at least die trying. He left him all alone there with no protection from his family. This was at least, partially his fault, if not all of it.

A plan started to formulate in his head.

He had men with him who were loyal to him, rather than the Hiiragi name. The three days could be lessened slightly with less leisure time. As far as Mahiru and Kureto know he should be there in three days because he knows nothing of what's happening.

"We need to save him." Shinya said before explaining his concept to them, keeping out his thoughts about them all die trying. He doesn't want to fear them or give them less motivation. 

The two people at the table nod their consent, loyal to their prince.

"How do we get into the city undetected?" Aiko asks him. 

Shinya ponders this before a realization hits him when he looks to see the little girl watching them with interest. He stands, walks over to the little girl who served them, and kneels in front of her. He realized who she was watching them for. The two others stare at him from the table. If there was someone who could get him in undetected she could help get to the person. "Who do you serve?"

The girl observes him before seemingly accepting she can't hide and saying, "The Spider." 

"Give her a message for me." Shinya says and waits for the girl to nod before continuing, "Tell her two nights from now we're going to meet back to play where nobody can find us, like when we were children. Make sure she doesn't forget to bring her toy ships, I'd like to pass them around while we're in there, as well. Understand?

Shinya coded the message, but the Spider should know exactly what he's telling her in light of recent events. She's the smartest woman he's ever met. And if the message gets to the queen regent, there is not much in it that can be considered evidence of treason.

The girl nods before running off to send a raven, knowing to underline the words he emphasized, it probably had special meaning to her master.   

Shinya walks back and sits down. "It's handled." Both giving him a questioning look, he answers, "The Spider."

"How do you know you can trust her?" Masaaki asks.

"She serves the people. Takashi is the worst possible choice for the people. He'll cause more war and torture, just for his sick pleasure. She knows he's the worst the realm can offer. We can trust her. Besides we need to let her in on it. Her little bird saw and heard us all. She could use that information against us. It's better to get her in, so if we die, she dies too. She's involved now, whether she likes it or not. Her and her little birds are in as much danger as we are. She'll realize that." Shinya says.

They nod their consent. Shinya's thoughts about mostly worry for Guren, shift to thoughts about Yuu and what the alpha might do after learning the news. "Masaaki also send a raven to Yuu."

"Telling him what, my prince?" Masaaki grabs a paper and quill. 

"He's probably sworn his oath and being an oathbreaker is punishable by execution, even for the Warden. Tell him to not start a war he cannot win because of an impulse. The Nagoyan bannermen don't have the numbers to take on the Hiiragi army, especially if he marches south, which would put his army at a disadvantage. Guren wanted him to protect the North from the threat of the bloodsuckers and would kill him if he found out he was the reason he went to war. This happened because Guren found evidence against the new King and Queen Regent. He needs to know that and be smart about this. If he does nothing and protects the North, the Hiiragi's will have no reason to bother him, and I'll make sure of that. I'll keep them away from the North. Shinoa and Mitsuba are safe, I'll protect them. I'm handling the Guren situation. And tell them to have faith in me." Shinya tells him making sure to not go into any detail about plan, and not much detail on the evidence, knowing if the letter got into the wrong hands all of them would be dead. As it stands this letter is no form of treason right now, but if anymore was to be said it could be an open lining. 

He can't tell Yuu the man is alive even if the plan does go well, because it would draw too much suspicion if he went to Nagoya to deliver the news, and he can't do it through letter. Either way they'll all think Guren is dead. Only one way he actually is, along with all of them. And the other way his men and he will know the secret of Guren's fate. He hopes Yuu can forgive him for that. He hopes Yuu can read between the lines and figure out what he's trying to say about Yoichi's accident. He hopes all of them can. Shinoa, Yoichi, Mitsuba, and Kimizuki, he hopes they'll understand why he's doing this. It's the only option left. Things are more dangerous than ever now for all of them with Takashi as King.

Masaaki nods finishing writing. 

"Send it to him, now." Shinya implores the man who moves to complete the task. Leaving only Shinya and Aiko Aihara at the table.

"Are you scared?" She asks him, taking in the man's dazed and frightened expression.

"Yes." He says more vulnerable now.

"The plan will work." She tries to assure him.

Shinya gives a light scoff, "What worries me is what happens if it doesn't."

"What do you mean?"

"I lost Guren for sixteen years, and only now got him back. I can't lose him again. I don't know if I could take losing him a second time, only this time there's no hope of seeing him again." Shinya says quietly, with a little fear creeping in.

"We'll do it." Aiko says putting a hand on his shoulder when she gets up, "I'm going to go inform the men about the plan."

"Good, we need to leave now. We'll have to make one stop on the way and one when we're almost there." Shinya nods his assent before chugging the rest of his ale. Worry shows on his face. If this plan fails in any way, they're all fucked. But, he was determined to get to Guren even if it meant they both might die. He needed to see him before it happens and he'd rather die with him than watch it happen.


Nagoya

Kimizuki is sitting in his room after the meeting with Chihiro when a Northern man comes in with a distressed look.

"Pardon, my lord. The Warden and his party have returned." The man announces. 

Kimizuki gets up grabbing his light-brown furred cloak as he goes to the top of the wall to make sure. 

He climbs the steps to the elevator and reaches the top of the wall, he walks to the edge where some men are crowded around. Snow falls in his pink hair. He looks down and sees Yuu, the Maesters, Yoichi, Estle, Kusunoki, and two dead bodies being dragged. 

"OPEN THE GATES!" He shouts. 


Yuu and Kusunoki drag the corpses through the gates. Kimizuki comes down as they come in from the tunnel. 

"Recognize any of them?" Kimizuki asks Yuu.

"Aye, it's Goro and Satou. They were from the last ranger mission I sent out." Yuu replies eyes filled with dread.

"I'm surprised there's something left. I'd thought they'd be bone and dust by now." Kusunoki grumbles. 

"The smell." Yoichi says.

"What smell?" Kusunoki asks.

"There isn't any. They were dead for a long time, shouldn't there be rot?" Yoichi states.

Yuu and Yoichi glance suspiciously at the bodies.

"We should burn them." Yoichi says.

"Aye, we should. But I want the maester's to examine them. Get them inside." Yuu tells them before ordering his men.

"Maester, there's an influx of ravens from various places that need to be read." One man tells them.

"Very well, let us go Aererion." The Maester says to the blind one that is led away from Yuu's group.

"Yuu, are you sure? I think we should just burn them." Yoichi says slightly imploringly. 

"The sooner we get the maester's to inspect them, the sooner we can burn them. There's something fishy about these bodies, and I wanna see if they can find anything." Yuu responds. 

Kimizuki and Yoichi share a glance before silently agreeing. Yuu walks away to get some rest tired from what he has seen.


Yuu's making the journey back to his room, when he hears the sound of his name being called. "Lord Amane!"

"I am not a lord." Yuu says sullenly turns back to the man who's running up to him. "What?"

"One of the ravens are from Shibuya and Maester Aererion says its news you need to hear." The man gasps out.

Yuu's tiredness immediately fades into excitement for hearing about his father's and sisters well-beings. He begins the walk to Maester Aererion's chambers.


"You said you had news about my father Maester Aererion." Yuu says as he walks into the room. The old, blind man sits at a table waiting with a letter.

"Sit." He tells Yuu. 

Yuu raises an eyebrow before pulling out a chair and taking a seat, black feathered cloak ruffling.

"The King has had his coronation." Aererion simply says.

"Any news of my father?" Yuu says.

"He's been charged with treason. They say he conspired to prevent Prince Takashi from getting the throne." The blind man responds.

Yuu looks grave. He holds out a hand asking for the letter, the maester sensing it hands it to him. The blind man gets an expectant look as Yuu reads through the letter. When Yuu finishes reading it shocked and despaired he moves to leave.

"I hope you aren't thinking of doing anything stupid. Your duty lies here now. You swore an oath." The Maester tells him.

Yuu turns back with a worried look, "Shinoa and Mitsu are in Shibuya too."

"I'm sure they'll be treated gently, they are noble children after all." Aererion says.

Yuu still looks worried before walking out tense. Deciding to take a walk.


Yuu walks around the training grounds, news has spread quickly, except for the remaining two noble boys who Guren cared for. Kusunoki sees Yuu, his face tense and angry. He decides to get a rise out of him. Kimizuki walks with him as Yoichi watches in a chair from the top.

"LOOK THERE! NOT ONLY A BASTARD! BUT A TRAITOR'S BASTARD!" Kusunoki shouts. 

Yuu hears this and turns his anger and attention onto the grinning man. "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST CALL ME?!?"

Yuu charges at him with a knife, giving away and letting his anger and fury take over. Shouting furiously, he holds a knife to the smug man's throat. But arms pull him back. The arms of Kimizuki who holds him back. 

"Calm down, dumbass." Kimizuki hisses in his ear, "People can't see their leader losing their temper over something as trivial as words."

Yuu looks around at the shocked faces of the men around him and looks up to see Yoichi's shocked confusion causing him to calm down before Kimizuki lets him out of a hold he could normally have broken out of. Yuu looks at Kusunoki's smug face. 

"Your father will hang bastard." Kusunoki says before sauntering away while Yuu gives him a death glare. 

Yuu knows his men's eyes are on him, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? BACK TO YOUR TRAINING!"

The men warily get back to their training. Yuu still embarrassed walks up to Yoichi with Kimizuki following. 

"What was that all about?" Yoichi asks.

"Kusunoki just said something that got to Yuu, but what did it mean, anyhow?" Kimizuki says.

Yuu looks at Yoichi's questioning stare to Kimizuki's. "Father, was imprisoned for treason against Takashi. They said he tried to overthrow him, when his coronation took place."

Yoichi and Kimizuki look shocked, worried, and depressed all in one look at their faces after hearing that news. 

"What about Shinoa and Mitsuba?" Kimizuki asks. 

"They'll be fine. They're noble family children of Shibuya. They'll be treated gently." Yuu says.

"How do you know?" Yoichi asks.

"They're Sanguu's and Hiiragi's they're family name is protection from any sort of death. They'll know to play nice until Guren comes out. They're smart enough." Yuu says. 

"And what do we do about Guren?" Kimizuki asks.

"I don't know. Even with all the Northern banners we could launch a full-scale war against the Hiiragi's and still lose. We'd lose the North. Guren left it to me so that we could defeat the bloodsuckers in the coming war. That is our Northern fight. But, I still want to amass a force to take down the Hiiragi's, even knowing we would fall. Father, I, you, Yoichi, Shinoa, and Mitsu would all die. I still want that revenge. But, we won't be able to do it successfully if we try. Guren would kill me if he knew, what I was thinking." Yuu said. 

Yoichi and Kimizuki looked down thinking before coming to the same agreement. 

"Okay." Yoichi pipes up, "It's your choice, you are the Warden and we respect your choice. It wouldn't be smart if our real fight is here in the North, right? There should always be an Ichinose in Nagoya, like Guren said, you are the closest we got to one."

"Yeah, dumbfuck Yuu. We don't have the forces, so we're stuck here right now. And with the bloodsuckers coming from Sanguinem, we need to focus on this fight before we can. We just need to have faith, Guren will get free somehow. It's who he is. He's always managed to avoid death, even from being the kingslayer. He wouldn't want us to go to war just for him. He'll make it out of this." Kimizuki said.

"I thought you were all for going to war after what happened with Kureto?" Yuu questions.

"Well, like you said. We need to stay together. I realized after that, Guren would want us to stay in the North, and not forget about the threat of bloodsuckers to go war with petty Hiiragi's. They are what we need to be worried about, and like you said we don't have enough men to launch an attack against the Hiiragi's that won't end in a loss for us. We'd all die and I can't let that happen to Yoichi....or you. We all want Guren to live, but we can't do that if it comes with us all dying." Kimizuki tells him.

"Yeah, you're right. Thanks." Yuu says feeling a slightly better about the whole situation. "I'm gonna go get some rest, before I actually gut Kusunoki like a trout."

They both give a chuckle as Yuu walks off to his chambers.


 Yuu wakes up from his rest when he hears a knock around his chambers. Groggy and tired barely seeing anything through his eyes, waiting for them to catch up. When they do, he sees Asu is already alert on his bed. She seems on edge before she starts growling and snarling.

"Asu, what is it, girl?" Yuu asks the wolf. "Is something out there?" 

The wolf is on edge, and Yuu gets up and puts on his weapons belt before he and Asu open the door, seeing an empty and dark hallway. They walk through the halls, patrolling it looking for signs of anything suspicious. Yuu never noticed he left his door slightly ajar when he comes back to the door of his chambers. Feeling wary Yuu walks back into his room with Asu. When he walks in past his open door he feels like something chilling is in the air. Something eerie. His senses spike up before he hears the sound of the door slamming shut. Yuu turns around and sees the reanimated corpse of Satou rushing to him. Ice covering him, red eyes and sharp teeth are distinct. The man has been reanimated as a bloodsucker. Yuu had never seen one, so he didn't know how to describe this undead being in front of him.

The corpse grabs his throat and shoves him against the wall. Asu tries to bite the hand off the corpse before it smacks her away. Yuu gags from the pressure in his neck, he barely manages to pull out his knife and stab the corpse. It has no effect. Yuu breaks his grip a little bit and punches the corpse in the head. Yuu uses the distraction to get some distance between him and the creature and draws his sword. He slices off Satou's hand, which has no effect before the corpse seizes him by the throat in a stronger grip. Shoving him against the wall. Yuu manages to plunge his sword into the creature's heart causing them both to fall, with him coughing and gagging. 

Kimizuki emerges brandishing a lantern hearing the noise and wondering what was happening, "Yuu!"

"Telephone Pole!" Yuu says moving to him as he gets up. 

"Is that..." Kimizuki asks.

"Satou's....something." Yuu gasps out as Satou stands up facing them pulling Yuu's sword out of him. Yuu notices Kimizuki's lantern and in a snap decision, he grabs it and throws it at the corpse. He screams in pain as he burns his hand in the process. Kimizuki looks terrified as the creature catches the fire and falls to the floor as it engulfs him and burns him causing growls of pain to come out. 

"MOVE! MOVE!" Yuu shouts to Kimizuki as both alphas hurry to leave the room to get away from the monster. 


The next morning, Yuu's congregated his men to burn the corpses of their fallen brothers. Yuu, Kimizuki, and Yoichi who heard about the whole ordeal stared in silence at the corpses of the men. Yoichi was shocked to hear of such a thing. Dead men managing to be reanimated back to life. It was something that Nanny Fanny would have told him to terrify him. Yoichi never thought it could be possible. All three stared uneasily at the corpses burning. A realization then hit Yoichi. 

"They were touched by the vampires. We've never seen one. That's why they came back. That's why they had red eyes and sharp teeth because they drink the blood of humans. Only fire can stop them." Yoichi says awed. The other two stare at him. 

"How do you know that?" Yuu asks.

"I read it in a book. From Maester Aererion." The omega smirks to himself somberly. 

Yuu looks back at the burning men looking uneasy. "What else did the book say?"

"Vampires sleep in the dark of night, under the coldest of ice for thousands of years. When they wake up...I hope the wall is high enough." Yoichi says looking up at the wall.

Yuu and Kimizuki worried also look up to the tops of the wall. 


Yoichi prays in the godswood for Guren, Shinoa, and Mitsuba to be safely returned to them, while he waits for Estle.

"You hear them boy? The old gods are answering you." Chihiro approaches him. 

"What are you doing here?" Yoichi asks with mostly surprise and a little malice.

"They're my gods too." The wild woman says.

"I didn't think Wild Ones had gods." Yoichi says a little shocked.

"You think we're that savage enough to not believe in anything." Chihiro says mildly offended.

"I meant no offense." Yoichi says courteously.

"Beyond the wall, they are the only ones." Chihiro says rubbing the tree. "Even slaves are allowed prayer."

"You aren't a slave." Yoichi says.

"These chains and my dead men say otherwise." The woman says.

"Well they did hold a knife to my throat." Yoichi shrugs, unapologetic.

"Not complaining, just saying the truth." Chihiro tells him sitting next to him.

"What do you mean by hearing them?" Yoichi asks.

"You asked them. They're answering you." She says before closing her eyes. "Listen."

The wind blows through the leaves.

"It's only the wind." Yoichi says.

"Who do you think sends the wind?" The Wild Woman asks. "They see you. They hear you."

They both glance at the tree. 

"Your father will get no help, neither will your sisters. They can't help those in the South. They have no power there. Trees like these were cut down, how can they watch where they can't see?" Chihiro asks.

Yoichi looks back at the tree, but turns to the bushes where he hears somebody approaching. Chihiro does too and stands up. 

In comes Estle naked, horse-sized cock hanging out ready for a bath. Yoichi rolls his eyes, muttering, "Not again."

Chihiro looks impressed, mouth slightly open, "Well there's a big man. I'd say he was blessed with giant's blood."

"Go and find your clothes, Estle." Yoichi tells the man imploringly causing Chihiro to laugh. "Go dress"

"Estle." The giant man says happily before leaving.

"Are there really giants beyond the wall?" Yoichi asks the woman curious about her comment before. 

"Giants and worse." She says. "Your brother is at least marching the right way to fight the threat to the North."  

The two looks up when they see a draft and notice a breeze blowing the leaves.

"The cold winds are rising..." Chihiro says.


Shinjuku

Mikaela watches as the Dothraki wreak harm upon a blameless village called Aftyia. He walks with Ser Lacus, Takoto, and his handmaidens by his side. His belly has been growing larger and he knows the baby is coming any day. It's his pride and happiness to watch his stomach grow carrying his child. He feels so much love for him already without having met him. After the oath was taken by Makoto, he began his conquest to march across the Blood Sea to Westeria. 

Mikaela watches in shock as the Dothraki pull down a statue, while the others slaughter people all around, including children causing him to hold his stomach. 

"What did they even do?" Mika asks.

"They make good slaves. Khal Makoto will make them a gift to the slavers. The slavers will give us gold, steel, and silk."

"I thought the Dothraki had no belief in money?" Mika asks horrified. 

"Gold for ships, Princess. Ships to sail to the West." Ser Lacus tells him.

Mika continues to walk through the ruins of the village, growing more alarmed and uncomfortable as he sees what's going on. After a while his group comes upon a group of Dothraki brutally abusing a group of omegas and women. Mika is reminded of the things Lucal did to him while watching this happen. He can't take it. He gets furious seeing it happen to other omegas and women.

"Ser Lacus, tell them to stop." Mika says.

"Khaleesi?" Ser Lacus says confused.

"You heard me." Mika commands.

"Those men have shed blood for their Khal, now they take their rewards." Ser Lacus tells him.

Mikaela looks back to see a Dothraki alpha beating a woman omega into submission. His face expression morphs into one of greater disgust.

"If the girl's screaming bother's you, Khaleesi. I can bring you her tongue. The Khal's do her a great honor." Takoto tells him.

"Princess, you have a gentle heart, but this is how it's always been." Ser Lacus tries to reason with him. 

It may have been how it's always been, but it won't be for much longer, not if Mika has anything to say about it. "I do not have a gentle heart, Ser. Do as I command or Khal Makoto will know the reason why." Mika tells the bloodriders.

Takoto and the others go to do Mika's bidding with Ser Lacus joining them. Takoto gets into an argument with one of the brutish bloodriders, clearly not happy at being forced to stop. Mhaegho, Mika thinks his name is.

"What do you want done with them?" Ser Lacus asks him.

"Bring her to me. And those women and omegas over there." Mika points to another area where the Dothraki are raping and abusing.

Ser Lacus looks where Mika points with concern, "You cannot claim them all, Princess."

"I can. And I will." Mika declares.


Mika walks back to where he knows Makoto is with a group of women and omegas following him. The large group walks up to where Makoto sits arguing with Mhaegho.

The bloodrider looks and talks angrily. He says a curse to Mika in Dothraki, who rolls his eyes. Makoto amused, tries to placate the man, but he will not calm himself.

Mika reaches the area where the man looks at him with disgust to Mika's second eye roll.

"Moon of my life, Mhaegho says you have taken his spoils. Tell me the truth of this." Makoto says with love showing in his eyes. 

"He speaks the truth, my sun and stars. I have claimed many daughters and sons this day so they cannot be mounted." Mika says returning the love.

Mhaegho glances between the two expectantly.

"This is the way of war. These women and omegas are our slaves now to do with as we please." Makoto tells him.

"It pleases me to keep them safe. If your riders want to mount them, let them take them for wives." Mika says.

"Does the horse mate with the lamb?" Quatho, another of Makoto's bloodriders muses.

"The dragon feeds on horse and lamb alike." Mika says in response. Makoto grins at him admirably. Mhaegho turns to face Mika.

"You are a foreigner. You do not command me." He tells Mika.

"I am the Khaleesi. I do command you." Mika responds looking at the man disdainfully.

Makoto snickers with a smile on his face, "You see how fierce he grows? That is my son inside of him. The Stallion Who Will Mount the World, filling him with his fire. I will hear no more. Mhaegho, go find somewhere else to stick your cock."

Mhaegho insulted, spits on the ground in front of Makoto. He draws his arakh and points it at Makoto. Ser Lacus pulls Mika away protectively. 

"A Khal who takes orders from a foreign whore, is no Khal." Mhaegho says.

Quatho steps in to protect Makoto who pushes him back and he reluctantly does so. Makoto stares at Mhaegho with a sinister grin.

"I will not have your body burned. I will not give you that honor." Makoto tells him.

Makoto stands up and the arakh hit his chest where his heart is cutting him, but not deep enough to stop the man. He keeps walking towards the bloodrider, blade still in his chest. "The beetles will feed on your eyes. The worms will crawl through your lungs."

Mhaegho finally pulls his arakh away taking a swing at Makoto who dodges out of the way. He swings at him two more times, but Makoto is able to dodge. When he gets a bit of distance he pulls out two daggers of his own. "THE RAIN WILL FALL ON YOUR ROTTING SKIN."

Makoto drops the daggers to the ground. "Until nothing is left of you but, bones!"

The bloodrider swipes more times at Makoto who dodges each time. "First you have to kill me." Mhaegho tells him.

Mhaegho moves to strike him again before Makoto grabs the blade of his arakh. Mika gasps as he's watching this shocked with attention on Makoto and his safety.

"I already have."  Makoto tells him.

Makoto disarms him and cuts his throat open with the weapon. He grabs Mhaegho's throat, crushes it, and rips out his tongue. Mika looks at the display shocked. Makoto shows Mhaegho's tongue to the crowd, walks back to his chair, and throws it onto a pile of corpses. As he sits, Mika worriedly rushes over to him. 

"My sun and stars is wounded." Mika says eyes wide.

Makoto glances at his scratch then back at his beautiful omega's face with a smirk, "A scratch, moon of my life."

Mikaela turns and addresses the crowd, "Where are the healers?"

Makoto dismissively says, "It's the bite of a fly." Not wanting to worry his omega.

 A woman steps forward, "I can help the great rider with his cut."

She tries to come forward, but Quatho holds her back. "The Khal needs no help from slaves."

"She is mine, let her speak." Mika says, hating having to say it.

"Thank you blonde beauty." The woman tells him, probably a beta. 

"Who are you?" Mika asks.

"I am Irri Ill Inez. I was the healer of the temple." The round beta woman says.

"A witch." Quatho tells them, spitting on the ground. 

"My mother was a maegi who taught me how to make healing smokes and ointments. I believe we were all put here for a reason. The Great Shepherd brought me here to clearly save this..." The woman was cut off when Quatho slapped her making Mika glare at him.

"Too much words. The witch's words poison the ears." Quatho tells them derisively.

"Lamb or lion, his wound needs to be washed and sewn, otherwise it will fester." She tells them.

Mika contemplates, knowing he can't let the wound fester, otherwise Makoto would be dead. Mika decides he needs to trust this woman. Either way can end with death, but with this way there's a good chance he'll live, rather than definitely die the other way. He needs Makoto to live. There are no healers with them, so this woman is their only chance.

Mika looks back up at Makoto, eyes pleading, "Let her clean your wound, my sun and stars. It can kill you if you don't. It hurts me to see you bleed."

Makoto glances at the woman not keen on the idea, but looking at Mika vulnerable and glowing and knowing he has to live for his future son and him resigns himself. He can't let the wound get worse. He gives the woman a look indicating her to come over and she does. She gets down do look at his wound, as Mika steps out of the way to give her the space to heal his husband.


Shibuya

In the Royal Keep, Hiiragi guards continue to slaughter all of Guren's men. They stain the ground with the blood of the Northern men. They overwhelm the Northern men with their number and skill.

They make their way through the Royal Keep to Guren's side of the castle. 

They see the Northern men loading a carriage up with multiple boxes and sacks.

"If you break anything, the septa will have my head." One of them says before a Hiiragi guard lunges and pierces a spear through him.

They move further into Guren's side as they slaughter the men.


Shinoa walks down the hall with her Septa. Shinoa smirks to herself as her sister frets about Mitsu.

"Your sister knew perfectly well we were supposed to leave today. How could she possibly forget?" The septa muses frustrated.

"She didn't forget. She's with her dancing master, she spends every morning with her. She always comes back scraped and bruised, she's such a klutz." Shinoa fondly says.

"Hush!" The septa says hearing something abnormal. Shinoa stops speaking and listens.

They both hear a commotion coming closer to them. The septa seems alarmed. 

"Go back to your room and bar your doors. Do not open them for anyone you do not know." The septa tells her scared.

"What is it? What's happening?" Shinoa says fear creeping in.

"Do as I told you! RUN!" The septa frantically tells her.

Shinoa looks at her before looking forward where the commotion is coming from. The omega turns and runs, following her septa's orders. 

As she does another group of Hiiragi soldiers come around the corner, brandishing bloodied weapons. She approaches them slowly with shock and fear on her face. 


"Yah! Left high. Low left." Sakura tells Mitsuba who's at her usual dancing lesson. She's improving rapidly and strongly with her dancing lessons.

"This way! Left! Rah, right!" Sakura tells her before knocking the sword out of her hand when she moves right and Sakura moves left, "Now you are dead."

"But you said right." Mitsuba says with her hands up confused.

"And now you're a dead girl." Sakura shrugs.

"Only because you lied." Mitsu tells her. 

"My tongue lied. My eyes told the truth. You were not seeing." Sakura tells her.

"I watched you!"

"Watching is not seeing, girl. The seeing - the true seeing. That is the heart of swordplay." Sakura tells her.

A group of Hiiragi soldiers enter, "Mitsuba Sanguu, come with us. Your caretaker needs to see you." The head one in charge states. Mitsuba went to go after hearing Guren needed her.

Sakura holds her back and suspiciously asks, "And why would Lord Ichinose send Hiiragi men to collect his child, in place of his own men?"

"Mind your place dancing master." The man, Mitsuba thinks his name is Fuola Honte sneers at her teacher.

"She's right. Guren wouldn't send you." Honte looks annoyed as Mitsu goes to pick up her practice sword, "And I don't have to go with you, if I don't want." 

 She points her sword at him, the man laughs, "Take her." 

The soldiers start to advance on Mitsu and Sakura.

"Are you men or snakes that you would threaten a child?" Sakura asks.

"Get out of my way, woman." A soldier tells her.

"I am Sakura of Harjuku." The woman tells him.

"Foreign slut...." The man charges at her, and she manages to knock him down before his strike.

"And you will be speaking to me with more respect." She tells them.

Sakura turns to face the men with Mitsu standing behind her staring at her teacher in awe.

"Kill the Harajukian. Bring the girl." Honte tells his men.

"Mitsu girl, we are done with dancing for the day. Go to your father." Sakura tells Mitsu.

Mitsu doesn't budge looking at her mistress with worry. The soldiers charge at her and she manages to knock and attack each one down as they come to her. At times taking on more than one man. When all the soldiers lie dead, Sakura goes to face Honte. Mitsu still stands there shocked, feared, and awed.

"Bloody shits." The man says before drawing his sword. 

"Go now, Mitsu." Sakura says to Mitsu on the brink of tears.

"Come with me! Run!" Mitsu pleads with the woman. 

Sakura chuckles, "The First Sword of Harajuku does not run."

Honte moves to strike Sakura who dodges. They briefly duel before Honte slices her wooden sword in half. Sakura stares the man down defiantly, accepting her fate.

"Mitsu, what do we say to the God of Death?" Sakura asks Mitsu. 

"Not today." Mitsu responds.

"Go." Sakura says to her. Mitsuba finally allows her feet to move, running from the scene as Sakura accepts her fate.


Elsewhere in the Royal Keep, Shinoa rushes back to her room trying not to trip from her long dress.

Out of the corner appears Aoi Sanguu. 

"Damn, I was hoping it was my sister I would find first. Guess you'll work." Aoi says nonchalantly before slowly walking towards Shinoa.

Shinoa stops fear on her face as she realizes everything's gone to hell.

"Stay away from me. I'll tell Guren. I'll tell the Queen-Mother." Shinoa tries to threaten the woman, it coming out more fearful than she had hoped.

Aoi grins at her menacingly, "Not the queen-mother. The Queen Regent."

Shinoa stares at the woman with shock now mixing with the fear on her face. 

Aoi advance towards her, "And besides, who do you think sent me anyway?" She chuckles.


Mitsu runs down a hallway terrified. She hears the screams and sees silhouettes of men fighting in the other rooms. Her fear grows, but she forces herself to continue on. 

"Not today...Not today...." She tells herself.

Mitsu soon arrives at the stables, now empty of the men. She sees their carriage and runs to it. There's carnage and bloodied bodies everywhere of men she grew up with. She stares at them feeling a hollow loss before collecting herself. All of their belongings are on the ground.

"Needle." Mitsu says, knowing what she needs.

She begins looking through a chest for needle. She doesn't see the stable boy approach her from behind.

"There she is." The fat boy says.

"What do you want?" She says angry and filled with grief as she continues looking through the chest.

"I want you, Northern girl." He tells her.

"Leave me be. My father's a lord. He'll reward you." She tells him trying to get him off her back.

"She'll reward me! The Queen!" The boy says excitedly.

He goes over to grab her, right as she finds Needle. 

When he does she tries to pull away.

"Stay away!" Mitsu shouts.

She goes to push him away, but he has a tight grip. Mitsu in the rush of all her emotions and the situation runs Needle through his stomach, not intending to. The boy falls to the ground dead. She's the one who killed him.

Horrified at what she's just done, she stares at the boy's dead corpse in terror and shock before remembering she needs to leave before she's found. Mitsuba gives the boy she murdered one last, pain-filled glance before she runs away.


In the black cells of the Royal Keep dungeon, Guren sits sweating and chained in his old clothes. Stinking because he hasn't showered. He hears the sound of the door opening. He looks up in the darkness to see a light approaching him. It's the light of a lantern carried by a hooded figure. When they come up to him, he finally gets a look at who it is.

"Lord Guren, you must be thirsty." Shigure Yukimi says to him as she kneels offering a skin of water.

"Yukimi?" Guren questions.

She offers the water, but Guren doesn't take it.

"I promise you, it isn't poisoned. Why is it nobody ever trusts the whispering woman?" She assures him before taking a sip and offering it.

Guren's handcuffed takes the water and gulps it down rapidly. 

"Not so much, Lord Guren. Save the rest. Hide it, men have been known to die of thirst in these cells." She tells him.

"What of Shinoa and Mitsuba?" Guren asks.

"The Sanguu girl seems to have escaped the castle. Even my little birds cannot seem to find her." Yukimi tells him.

Guren looks relieved before remembering Shinoa, "And what of Shinoa?"

"Still here. Mahiru will keep her close, she is a Hiiragi after all. Most of your household is dead with a few noble exceptions. Your man, Jorrian is being kept, as is a few other as hostages. The ones who have some value for the North. It pains me, I do so hate the sight of bloodshed." Yukimi explains.

Guren looks at her, bitter, "You watched my men being slaughtered and did nothing?"

"And I would do so again, my lord. I was unarmed, unarmored, and surrounded by Hiiragi swords. When you look at me do you see a heroine?" Yukimi asks.

Guren still looks bitter as he drinks more from the skin.

"What madness possessed you to tell the queen you had learned the truth of Takashi's birth?" Yukimi asks incredulously.

"The madness of mercy. That she might save her children. I also needed to confront her of what she did to Yoichi." Guren says honestly.

"Ah, children. It's always the innocents who suffer. The truths of the family he bled for killed King Tenri. Now the revelations will kill you, as well. But, really it wasn't the revelation, but your mercy. It got you killed against a more powerful foe." Yukimi tells him.

Guren glances at her looking bitter, but now thoughtful.

"I trust you might as well be called dead currently, Lord Guren?" Yukimi tells him.

"If that's true than slit my throat right now and end it." Guren tells her.

"Not today, my lord. Now is not your time." Yukimi says before getting up to leave Guren to ponder. A question comes to him.

"Yukimi." Guren calls as she's about to leave. She turns back to him. "Tell me something, who do you truly serve?"

Yukimi looks at the bitter man before honestly answering, "The realm, my lord. Someone must."

Yukimi leaves Guren to the darkness of his cell.


Shinoa sits in front of Mahiru, Yukimi, Kagiyama, and The Grand Maester Sycelle. All appraise the purple-haired, golden-dressed girl in front of them. 

Shinoa looks at them all warily with confusion and fear. 

"Lord Ichinose has proven to be an awful traitor, dear." Yukimi tells her.

Shinoa looks even more confused at them. 

"He plotted to overthrow Takashi's rightful throne." Sycelle sternly tells her.

"He wouldn't do that! Guren is the most honorable man I know. He's like a father to me! There's been a mistake." Shinoa tells them before pleading to an eerily calm Mahiru. "Please, your grace. Send for him, he'll tell you."

"Shinoa, sweetling, you are innocent of any wrong. But, you've spent your whole life with Guren. You have a favor toward him as a father figure, like you never could your real one. You said it yourself. We cannot trust you can allow him to see reason." Mahiru tells her placating and fake.

"A child raised by a traitor is no fit to give any counsel! Now you are a sweet thing, but who's to say you won't also launch treasons ten years from now." Sycelle says disdainfully.

"No, I am not! I'll be good and follow what is expected of me as a Hiiragi! I won't hatch anything." Shinoa says worried.

Mahiru is in deep thought before Kagiyama pipes up, "The girl is innocent, your grace. She's also your sister. She should be given a chance to prove her loyalty before we hear her out."

Shinoa looks from Kagiyama to Mahiru before Mahiru sighs, "Little dove, Write to your bastard brother. Word of your father's arrest will reach him soon. Tell him not to take up any arms against us. If he does he will be branded a traitor for violating his oaths as the new Warden of the North and everyone in the North will be executed. Tell him to stay in the North and don't ever come here. If he moves an inch away from Nagoya it will be seen as treason and our forces will be sent to deal with him." 

Shinoa looks at her, uncertainty and fear in her face, "If you would let me see him...I could..."

"You disappoint me, girl. We have told you of Guren's treason. Why would you want to speak with a traitor?" Mahiru looks at her disappointed.

"I only mean, what will happen to him?" Shinoa asks timidly.

"That depends..." Mahiru says.

"On what?" The omega asks already knowing the answer.

"On you." Mahiru says sliding a paper and quill to Shinoa who pauses uncertain and frightened at the expectant stares. Shinoa picks up the pen slowly and begins writing with no option left. She needs to save Guren.


Seriya approaches Shinoa's door the next morning flanked by two Hiiragi guards, she knocks on it. Shinoa opens it looking beautiful with her hair done up in an elaborate Southern hairstyle wearing her house's colors of red and gold in a dress.

"Greetings, Lady Shinoa, we're here to escort you to court." Seriya tells a forlorn looking Shinoa. Shinoa closes her door and walks with her and guards.

"You know I met Lord Guren, while I was here. He was kind, not the kind of man you'd expect to be a traitor." Seriya says.

Shinoa looks conflicted before responding, "I don't really know what happened." 

"Maybe it's a big misunderstanding then." The girl tells her.

"Maybe..." Shinoa trails off.

They reach the throne room where Takashi sits on the Seraphin Throne, Mahiru smiles at her when their eyes meet sitting by Takashi's side.

"Good luck." Seriya tells her before leaving her. Shinoa smiles at her before proceeding. A large host of people are present. Aoi Sanguu, and members of the kingsguard and small council. Fuola Honte stands at the front waiting for the honors to be bestowed on him. Shinoa greets people as she makes her way through the crowd. Mahiru's smile catches a jealous glint as Takashi grins at Shinoa walking to him.

"In the place of the traitor Guren Ichinose, it is the wish of his Grace that Shinya Hiiragi be appointed Hand of the King. Lastly, in these times of treason and turmoil, it is the view of the Council that the life and safety of King Takashi be of great importance." Sycelle says as he finishes reading his scroll.

"Ser Fuola Honte." Takashi says. 

Honte steps forward. 

"I have decided to appoint you in place of Guren Ichinose for the position of my Kingsguard." Takashi tells him. The man kneels before him.

"I humbly accept this honor, your grace." Honte says. 

"Rise, Ser. Take your rightfully earned place by my side." Takashi says to the man who moves to his side.

"If anyone in this hall has other matters to set before His Grace, let him speak now or hold his silence." The royal steward says.

Mahiru and Shinoa briefly meet eyes. Shinoa knows what she must do to save Guren. What they told her to do.

"Your grace?" Shinoa says.

"Come forward, my lady." Takashi says.

Shinoa slowly comes forward and stops in front of the Seraphin Throne. 

"The Lady Shinoa of House Hiiragi." The royal steward announces. 

"Do you have some business for the King and the council, Shinoa?" Mahiru asks.

"I do." Shinoa says before kneeling. "As it please, Your Grace, I've come to ask you for mercy on Guren Ichinose's life."

"Treason is a noxious weed." Sycelle says sternly who Shinoa glances at worriedly. "It should be torn out, root and-"

"Let her speak, I want to hear what she has to say." Takashi says to the old man irritated.

"Thank you, Your Grace." Shinoa tells him. 

"Do you deny your caretaker's crime?" Kagiyama asks her.

"No, my Lords and Ladies. He needs to be punished. All I ask is mercy. I know now he must regret what he's done." Shinoa pleads with them as Mahiru appears to be in deep thought.

"He said I wasn't the King. And my mother fucked my uncle. Why did he say that?" Takashi asks.

"He was badly hurt. The Grand Maester gave him large amounts of milk of the poppy. He wasn't himself. Otherwise, he'd never say it." Shinoa says.

Takashi glances at the now sheepish old man, looking guilty. He ponders this.

"A child's faith....such a sweet innocence. Yet, they say wisdom oft comes from the mouth of babes." Yukimi says.

"Treason is treason!" The old Maester shouts.

Shinoa glances at the old cunt, who glances at her suspiciously. 

"Anything else, my lady?" Takashi asks her.

Shinoa ponders this, "Please, Your Grace. I am your family, if you have any affection for me, please do me this kindness, Your Grace."

Takashi thinks for a moment as Mahiru glances at him expectantly. Shinoa has a nervous look on her face. 

"Your sweet words have moved me, my dear aunt. But, Guren needs to confess. He has to confess and say that I am the king, or there will be no mercy for him." Takashi tells Shinoa.

There's a silent pause in the Throne Room.

"He will." Shinoa responds with hope and uncertainty.   

Chapter Text

Ebina

Kureto stares at the army that stands in front of him. He searches for a dark-haired man at the front of them, but sees none. He smirks to himself. Of course, Seishirou would be too much of a coward to even show his face at the front of his army, knowing he'll lose. The man is probably sitting on his throne waiting for death to come for him. Kureto will serve as his aid. He heard of Mahiru that she's taken Guren as prisoner. It was only a matter of time the man was a growing nuisance to them both. He wonders what Shinya will think when he goes back to see Guren being executed the day he returns. The poor omega knew nothing of it, but he figured that would put him in his place so he knew who really held the power. Not like father's last letter held anymore value torn up.

He rides at the front of his army leading his men. He knows they'll win without a doubt, and he's glad to see Seishirou recognizes that he can't. Sending his men to early deaths on behalf of him. What kind of king would a man like that make? Kureto decides to not to let the five rows of Seishirou's men, in comparison to the twenty rows of his suffer any longer. This would be nothing more than a one-sided slaughter and Kureto was thankful for that. 

"CHARGE!" Kureto shouts and he begins riding, sword drawn to fight the men, taking off the head of one as he rides by. He has to give it Seishirou, the men he has knew how to fight. But, they were quickly overpowered by his men's numbers and skill. They rode through them all with some trouble, but in the end the field was stained with their blood. 

Kureto smirked as his remaining men killed any more left over. He took twenty good men and rode up with them to The Vale of Ebina. Killing any knight they found on their way. Kureto couldn't wait to see the look on Seishirou's face when he came in and took his head off for treason. The boy was always a pest when they were children, he still is now. His other siblings could keep up with him, but Seishirou was always a fool who acted like he was more than he really was.

They reached the doors of the high castle and opened it to find the throne room empty. Kureto's confidence quickly plummeted.

"Search for anyone. My brother, bring him to me." He says distressed before his men disperses. He goes on the steps to the throne, and looks out the window at the back to the ocean. He sees little brown spots far off in the distance. Then the realization hits him. Those are ships.

The beta calls out to his men angrily, "ANYTHING?"

They all come back with the same response. Nothing. Nobody was in the castle.

He feels the walls closing in around him, realizing he let his cockiness get to him. His brother outsmarted him. He feels his anger coming up to his throat and releases it in a hateful and vengeful shout. His men around him startle. Kureto lets it all out before he calms down. Kureto comes to another realization.

He realizes his brother set him up, leaving a small portion of his men and escaping to the only other open territory: Sannomiya. The home of the last Shindo's. He smirks angrily to himself knowing he has lost this battle, but he will win this war. His brother could never beat him. He will make sure of that. He will meet him in Sannomiya. With Ebina taken back and filled with his men, he'll have nowhere to run now. He'll have to stay and accept his death. Kureto will take half of his army with him, and leave the rest here with a trusted general, in case another threat came and they needed a defense. Now he wishes he hadn't let Mahiru keep Aoi Sanguu. He supposes one of the old men will do. Not like anyone is looking to take back Ebina.

"My lord, what shall we do?" One old general asked. He thinks his name is Yuri. He'll do.

"Acquire some ships from a nearby dock by any means necessary. Half the men will remain here, the other half will be with me. We'll ambush Seishirou in Sannomiya when his ships dock there. He'll think he's safe having just outwitted us and won't be prepared for another attack. He has few ships and men so half of our army will do. With nowhere to run, we'll execute him on the spot. Yuri, you will make sure the defenses are restored and supporters of my family are allowed back here. We leave now." Kureto says determined and furious. 

Yuri nods before taking action. Sending a man to the docks before he leaves with the rest of his men to gather half of the army for Kureto and count their losses. Kureto sits back on the throne and anticipates murdering his brother with a vengeful smirk.


Hearing the shout Seishirou smirks to himself at the head of his ship going to Sannomiya. He has Kureto right where he wants him. This will finally show his family he should not be trifled with.  


Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Yuu walks slightly worried, but mostly excited to Yoichi's room. He said he had something for him. That could be a lot of things.

When he got there, he took a deep breath before walking in. Yoichi immediately smiled up at him excitedly. 

"Yuu!" Yoichi says.

"Yoichi!" Yuu mocks.

Yoichi rolls his eyes, "So you're probably wondering what I have to give you."

"I'm pissing myself in excitement." Yuu says.

"Ew." Yoichi mutters before shifting back to his excited tone, "Anyway it's on the table."

Yuu looks at the table with a large object clearly covered by a sheet and back at a smiling Yoichi. A sight he's longed to see ever since his brother was injured. He goes over and pulls it off before his mouth goes slightly open. His chest warms up at the sight. 

"I had it made for you. I figured you'd need it. I know how difficult it's been with Guren's situation and not being able to do much without everything being destroyed. And I wanted to do something to make you feel better. Also you were attacked by an undead vampire." Yoichi says behind him.

Yuu picks up the shiny silver blade. Long and thick, could cut someone's head off. With a blue hilt that had a white wolf's head as the top.

"Yoichi this is amazing." Yuu says awed. 

"It's a great sword." Yoichi shrugs.

"Thank you. I really mean it." Yuu tells him sincerely. 

Yoichi nods, "Just use it well. I had it made so Guren never leaves you wherever you're at. He's not here in person, but his spirit is with you now."

Yuu looks at him with a smile before back at the sword. He realizes he needs to finally come clean about what happened to the omega. Yoichi had never not been honest with him, he needs to not be anymore. They only have each other to rely on. There can't be anymore secrets.

"Yoichi, I need to tell you something." Yuu says.

"What?" Yoichi asks a little worried.

"There's a suspicion that you never fell from the tower. You were pushed by the Hiiragi's. We didn't want to tell you because you were still recovering and in such a delicate state. Now that you're healed and with what's going on with Guren, I realized I can't keep anything from you anymore. You deserve to know. We've been sheltering you for too long. It's only a suspicion though. I'm sorry." Yuu says gently.

"How do you know?" Yoichi asked shocked.

"Shinya found a purple hair, we only know two people in Nagoya with that, and one of them loved you more than she loved herself. We never got confirmation from Shinya it was really them. But, it's what we suspect." Yuu says.  

"Okay." Yoichi says taking it all in shocked with teary eyes, but still coming to the same conclusion. "We have no confirmation so this is just baseless, we'd be executed with this claim. This still changes nothing. I'm crippled, we don't have the men or resources, and they have Guren, Shinoa, and Mitsuba. We'd still die in a war, no matter how much I want to kill them, I need to live to see it when they die. I also need to make sure they don't win, right now we still can't do anything." 

Yuu nods quietly. "Are you okay?" 

"I'm shocked, pissed, terrified, and surprisingly cold. I understand why you and Kimizuki did it. I just need some time." Yoichi says.

"I understand. I'll send Kimizuki by later to check on you. You always did like him more than me. He knows how to make you feel better." Yuu says.

"He does. I also have a gift to give him too. He's been feeling down too. It should make him feel better." Yoichi says with a ghost of a smile, gesturing to the golden and dark green bow with silver arrows. The colors of House Kimizuki combined with Ichinose.

"He'll love it. They're beautiful. Though, he'd love anything you gave him. Even a shit you took." Yuu says.

Yoichi chuckles as Yuu gives him one last glance before thanking him again and leaving with the sword.


"Warden!" A man shouts to Yuu as he walks down the hallway. He recognizes this one, always with Maester Aererion.

"Let me guess. Maester Aererion has ravens that he needs me to read." Yuu tells the man when he catches up to him. 

He nods trying to catch his breath as Yuu walks past him.


"Maester Aererion, what news do you have?" Yuu says.

"One from Shibuya and another from the Kingsgold Inn." Aererion tells him.

"Kingsgold Inn?" Yuu asks confused, he's never heard of the place. "I'll take that one first."

The Maester hands Yuu the raven. He reads it, learning it's from Shinya. It tells him all he has already figured out about not being able to save Guren himself, but at least it offers reassurance that Shinoa and Mitsu will be safe from harm. If anyone can handle the Guren situation it's Shinya, and he's glad that he assures him of that. There's also the assurance that as long as he stay in the North nothing will happen to them. The one thing that catches his eye is the words about Guren finding evidence that would implicate the Queen Regent and King. He knows Shinya can't directly say anything and the evidence could be any of the crimes the Hiiragi's are known to pull. But, Shinya wouldn't have put it there for no reason. Its confirmation of what they've done to Yoichi. But, as Yoichi told him even if it's true the North would be wiped out if he made a move. Shinya said to have faith in him and he will. Still, he can't help, but feel increasingly frustrated over not being able to do anything, so much so he lets out an alpha growl catching the attention of the maester.

Yuu takes the other letter from Shibuya and scoffs as he reads it. He's pissed as hell. This can't be Shinoa. No matter how unreasonable the girl is, she would never write this. This is the queen's words in Shinoa's handwriting. It basically reinstates that they're all stuck here, but at least this comes with the reassurance they'll be fine and safe as long as they don't move from the North. Yuu finds himself angrier as the same thing gets reinstated to him: He cannot save his father. Yuu growls loudly in a way that sounds more like a shout. 

"What is it?" The Maester asks.

"Nothing, it's just the same thing is being said to me constantly: I can't save my father. Like a constant reminder of what I can't do. That I'm stuck here." Yuu says louder than normal.

"Well, your father would kill you if he knew you destroyed the North for him. It may not feel like it, but you are making the right choice for the people you have sworn an oath to protect." Aererion tells him.

"I know!" Yuu shouts before calming down at seeing the blind man shrink, "I know."

"You are making the right choice, even your brothers agree with it. Even the pink-haired one, I hear he was rather hard-pressed for fighting. You did swear an oath to stay here. Tell me do you know why the men here take no wives or father no child?" Aererion tells him.

"No." Yuu says.

"So they will not love. Love is the death of duty. That applies to the love you have for your father. What is honor compared to real love? And what is duty against the feel of a newborn babe in your arms? We're all human. We all do our duty when there's no cost to it. Honor comes easy to us then. Yet, sooner or later, in every person's life, there comes a day when it is not easy. A day where we must choose." Aererion tells him.

Yuu considers this, "Is this my day? Is that what you're saying?"

"It hurts boy. Oh it does. I know." Aererion tells him.

"You don't know! No one knows!" Yuu gets annoyed at that. "I may be a bastard, but, he's my father! Yoichi and Kimizuki are my brothers!"

Aererion chuckles, and Yuu looks insulted. 

"I was old when my fate was tested. Old and blind when I found out about the death of my family. The ruin of my house! I heard they killed my brother! His wife was dead! They even killed his child. The little child. The poor babe." Aererion tells him. 

Yuu is at a loss for words, he gasps out, "Who are you?"

"My father was Kaerion, First of his Name. My brother Slatrian ruled after I refused the throne. He was followed by his son Nikolai, whom they call The Mad King." Aererion looked up and said.

Yuu looked at him in awe, "You're Aererion Shindo?"

"I'm a maester, bound in service to Snowstorm and Nagoya." Aererion tells him before getting up and putting his hands on Yuu's shoulders, sadly saying, "I won't tell you to stay or go. You must make that choice yourself and live with it for the rest of your days. As I have."

Yuu still in awe stares at the man in front of him as he departs leaving him alone in the room to contemplate.


Shinjuku

Mikaela watches with concern as Makoto looks more like he's going to fall off his horse as the khalasar covers more ground. Mika watches ahead as Makoto seems to be semi-conscious, leaning closer to the ground before pulling himself up a bit. Mika watches the man with worry, he needs to do something.

"My lord..." Mika tries to get his attention to no response. "My sun and stars...?"

Makoto again doesn't respond. 

"Makoto." Mika calls before Makoto falls off his horse. Mika rushes to get off his horse minding his large baby bump. The child could be ready to come out of him at any second. Mika rushes to Makoto's side.  

"My horse...moon of my...no, I must ride..." Makoto says deliriously as Mika runs a hand through his hair caressing his face. Quatho rides up. 

"He's fell from his horse. A Khal who cannot ride is no Khal." Quatho says. 

"He's tired, that's all. He needs rest. We've ridden far enough today. We'll camp here." Mika tells him, distressed.

"This is no place to camp. An omega does not give us orders. Not even a Khaleesi." Quatho tells him.

"We'll camp here. Tell them Khal Makoto commanded it." Mika says frustrated.

"You do not command me, Khaleesi." Quatho tells him. 

Mika stares down the man, angry, stressed, and bothered, "Find Irri Ill Inez. Bring her to me."

"The witch? I will bring you her head, Khaleesi." Quatho tells him.

"Bring her to me unharmedor Khal Makoto will hear why you defied me." Mika tells him pointedly.

Mika stares down the man again, who looks at him defiantly before going to do his bidding. 

Mika looks down at Makoto's tired and unresponsive face with worry. 


Inside Mika's tent of Khal Makoto's camp, Makoto lies on the bed with Mika on his side. Jhaqiu and Dyara are there by his side. Makoto is ill. He's sweating and mumbling in Dothraki with his eyes half-lidded. There's a patch of grass that covers his wound acting as a bandage. Mikaela looks at his husband with worry. Ser Lacus walks in catching his attention.

"Khaleesi." 

"Come." Mika responds.

Ser Lacus approaches looking worried at Mika and Makoto.

"He's very strong. No one understands how strong he is." Mika tells everyone in the tent, including himself.

Makoto mumbles and Ser Lacus unsheathes his knife before cutting away the grass patch. The wound has now blackened and looks much sicklier, letting out green puss. The wound has festered. Mika realizes this, but won't let the words come from his mouth. Ser Lacus has a depressed expression on his face looking between the wound and Mika.

"He will die tonight, Khaleesi." Ser Lacus says gently.

Mika determined and not ready replies, "He can't. He can't. I won't let him." 

"Even a queen doesn't have that power." Ser Lacus comforts him before standing. "We must go quickly. I heard there is a good port in Asshain-"

"I won't leave him." Mika declares.

"He's already gone, Khaleesi." Ser Lacus tells him pleadingly.

Makoto mumbles to himself much quieter. 

"Even if..." Mika sobs before holding it back, "Even if he dies, why would I run. I am the Khaleesi, and my son will be the Khal after Makoto."

"This isn't Westeria, where men honor blood. The Dothraki decide Khal based on the strongest. They will fight and whoever wins will be the new Khal. He won't want any rivals. Your boy will be plucked from your teat and given to the dogs." Ser Lacus tells a horrified and determined Mika.

"I won't leave him. I can't." Mika says definitively.

Irri Ill Inez enters with Quatho. She bows to Mika before looking at Makoto's wound.

"The wound has festered." The woman says dismissively.

"You did this, witch!" Quatho says grabbing her hair pulling out his knife.

"Stop it! I don't want her hurt!" Mika says desperately.

"No? You don't want her hurt? Pray we don't hurt you, too. You let this witch put her hand on our Khal." Quatho tells him, kicking Irri.

"Mind your tongue. He is still your Khaleesi." Ser Lacus tells him.

Quatho loses his temper, shouting, "Only while he the blood of my blood still lives! After he dies, he is nothing."

Mika infuriated forces himself to stand, "I have never been nothing. I am the blood of the dragon!"

"Look around, Khaleesi. The dragons are all dead." Quatho tells him glancing at Ser Lacus before leaving. 

"I think you should wear your armor tonight, Ser." Mika tells Ser Lacus.

"I think you're right." Ser Lacus tells Mika before leaving to put on his armor.

"You've saved me once more." Irri tells Mika.

"And now you must save him." Mika replies.

"He's beyond a healer's skills. All I can do is ease his path." Irri says.

"Save him and I will free you from the Dothraki. I swear it. You must know a way." Mika says desperately. "Perhaps, if there is some...magic?"

Irri gets a look on her face indicating she has had an idea. Mika catches it.

"There is a spell, some would say death is cleaner, though." Irri tells him.

Mika looks at Makoto. He's stopped his mumbling. But, his eyes are glazed and his breaths are labored. He's as good as dead as is. This is his only option left. 

"Do it. Save him." Mika tells her.

"There is a price..." Irri trails off.

"I'll pay it. Gold?" Mika says.

"It's not a matter of gold. This is blood magic, only death pays for life." Irri tells her.

"My death?" Mika questions.

Irri hesitates before comforting, "No, not your death, Khaleesi." 

Irri glances at Makoto, "Bring me his horse."

Mika nods to Dyara to relay the order, which she leaves to do. Mika looks at Makoto, taking his hand in a death-grip.

Mika gets up when the neighing horse is brought in by Takoto and two other bloodriders. Mika and Jhaqiu move to make room. Irri takes a bronze dagger. Takoto moves to stand with Mika.

"Khaleesi, I beg of you don't do this! Let me kill this witch." Takoto tells him. 

"Kill her and you kill your Khal! Without her Makoto will surely die." Mika says.

Takoto looks terrified, "This is blood magic. It is forbidden!"

Mika struggles to keep his voice final as Irri marks ash on her forehead, "I am your Khaleesi, I tell you what is forbidden."

Irri begins chanting in a foreign language, walking slowly to the horse with a sinister grin. The horse calms itself as she approaches. "Go. Now." She tells everyone in the tent.

"Take Jhaqiu and leave." Mika tells Takoto. They hurriedly leave.

Irri glances at Mika, "You must also go, beauty. When I begin the singing, no one must come in. The dead will dance tonight."

Mika looks at Makoto, who now has his eyes closed with slower breathing. Mika strokes his forehead. "No one will enter."

Irri suddenly slits the throat of the horse splattering blood on Mika's clothes and face, as well as, Makoto.

Mika stands up as the horse falls to the ground. "Bring him back to me." 

Mika turns and slowly exits the tent. The two other bloodriders stay in as Irri begins singing in a strange language eerily.


As Mika exits the tent, face and clothes bloody in a daze. He sees the rest of the khalasar waiting. Some back away from him as he approaches. Ser Lacus walks up to him in full armor, looking horrified. 

"What have you done?" Ser Lacus asks him.

"I have to save him." Mika responds through little gasps.

Ser Lacus places a hand on his shoulder guiding him forward, "We could have been 10 miles away from here by now, on the way to Asshain. You would have been safe."

A demonic, guttural screech is suddenly heard from Mika's tent causing both Mika and Lacus to look back in shock. Quatho emerges from the khalasar with his arakh drawn looking horrified. 

"This must not be!" Quatho says to himself.

"This must be." Mika tells him.

"Witch!" Quatho shouts. Takoto tries to pull him back, but Quatho elbows him. 

"No, you can't!" Mika says trying to block Quatho who pushes him out of the way causing him to land on his pregnant stomach. Mika lets out a wail of pain and begins to hyperventilate.

Jhaqiu rushes to his side as he screams putting himself on his back. "Khaleesi?!" 

Quatho moves to the tent, Ser Lacus draws his sword pointing it at him and assuming a fighting stance. "No further, horselord!"

Irri's singing is heard in the background. Lacus and Quatho stare each other down before he comes running at him with his arakh, which Lacus blocks and shoves him away. Lacus aims an uppercut, which he blocks. Quatho then manages to slash Lacus' face. He swings at Lacus twice more each time with him blocking. Quatho aims for his head, but Lacus ducks and moves around him. Quatho leaps in the air bringing his arakh down on Lacus who blocks it with his forearm armor, but the swing forces him to kneel. Lacus quickly gets up, but Quatho swings at his abdomen, but the blade gets stuck in his armor. He tries desperately to pull it out, but to no avail. Ser Lacus brings his sword up and slices through Quatho's temple, killing him. 

Ser Lacus kneels down next to Mika, "Are you hurt?"

"The baby is coming..." Mika gets out as he lazily moves his arms around.

"Fetch the midwives." Lacus tells Takoto who helps him pick up Mika in his arms.

"They will not come. They say he is cursed." He tells him.

"They'll come or I'll have their heads." Ser Lacus responds holding Mika.

"The witch - She can bring baby. I hear her say so." Takoto says.

Ser Lacus looks at the tent where the singing continues. Mika's face contorts in pain. Ser Lacus looks at Mika. Mika's face is still covered in blood, pain evident on his face. With no other option left, Ser Lacus takes him inside the tent where the demonic screeches and singing is coming from. Hoping the witch will save the baby and Mika.


Shibuya

In the dungeons of the Royal Keep, Guren lies more disheveled than ever. He hears the door open and sees a lantern approaching, he knows exactly who is coming. The hooded figure approaches him and pulls down their hood to reveal the familiar face of Shigure Yukimi. 

"You've seen better days, my lord." She tells him.

"Yukimi. Another visit. It seems you're my last friend." Guren says nonchalantly.

"No, no. Many still love you." She says pulling out another skin of water, which Guren takes and begins drinking.

"Shinoa came to court this morning to plead for your life." Yukimi tells him.

Guren pauses before continuing to drink. "On her knees begging for me. Hm...Did you laugh with the others?" 

"You do me wrong, my lord. I assure your blood spilled is the last thing I want." Yukimi tells him.

"I don't know what you want. I've given up guessing." Guren says.

"When I was a girl, before they made certain I could never bear a child. I traveled with a group of actors through the Free Cities of Shinjuku. They taught me every man has a role to play. The same is true at court. I am the Master of Whispers. My role is to be sly, obsequious, and without scruples. Forgive for that, my lord. I am a good actress." Yukimi says.

"Can you free me from this pit?" Guren asks her. 

The woman stays silent, "I'm a good actress, but I'm no heroine. I do well with providing aid to those who need it. This is my aid to you."

"Tell me, before I die. Truly, what is it that you want?" Guren asks the woman.

"Peace." She enunciates.

Guren looks at her skeptically. 

"Your bastard has been forced to stay in North by the queen." Yukimi tells him.

"As he should. Nagoya doesn't need to be wiped out for me. That is the legacy for the Ichinose's. Yuu will carry it on when I'm gone." Guren said.

"He's not the one who keeps Mahiru awake at night. The second son of the late King does. He's migrated from Ebina to Sannomiya. Your beloved prince having been freed, and on his way back. Mahiru has set this all up for a triumphant victory only for her. Shinoa pleaded so sweetly for you. It would be a shame for you to not make it out alive. You made the foolish mistake of showing mercy to a woman desperate to protect her children. I wish you learn from this, but it might be too late. Your confession is set for the morning after tomorrow. Think of those you love. Remember them, you'll need to." Yukimi says knowing she's being heard by the guards, but still preparing the man.

Guren looks at the woman, uncertainty of whether he would live or die showing on his face. Not knowing of what would be coming for him as the woman got up and left him in the darkness of his cell.


Shinya reaches the Bloodgold Inn the morning of the day before Guren's set execution. It's only a half-day ride to Shibuya and an hour around to the back. He rides in with his large sum of men knowing the full plan. He sees the pink-haired, blue-eyed, old innkeeper and walks up to her.

"Seven blessings, my lady." He tells her.

"My lord." she nods to him bowing.

"We'd like lodging for all of us. On the name of Shinya Hiiragi for two days." He tells her gesturing to the full room knowing there is no price for one and a half days of stay.

She writes down his name and the time he's arrived into a guest book. Shinya knows it will be future evidence if his whereabouts are questioned.

"I'd also request no help or services sent to my room for the night as I am quite tired and prefer to be in my own company for all of my stay. My men will check on my needs and report to you what I need." Shinya tells the woman, who nods.

"Pleasure to have you, Lord Hiiragi. You will be shown to your rooms." She says handing him keys to disperse seeming to be used to large crowds of Hiiragi guards staying here.

"Thank you, my lady." Shinya nods before dispersing the keys and giving the woman a generous tip to buy her loyalty. 

He remains there for an hour so that he's seen before he gathers Masaaki, Aiko Aihara, and eight of his best men out of their Hiiragi armor. Shrouded by the cover of the remaining men and the woman placing him at the inn, Shinya rides off with his small group to Shibuya to save his alpha. 


Shinya's party reaches Shibuya just past dark before carefully spending an hour going around to the back entrance where they enter the back gates guarded by men under the service of the person he's called upon. Shinya is covered in a long cloak with a hood on, the only recognizable figure. He approaches the woman whose aid he requested. 

Shigure Yukimi turns around and gives him a barely detectable smile, blue hair shines off the moon. 

"I hope my message was not too hard to decipher." Shinya says getting off his horse and greeting the woman. Her men take their horses to somewhere untraceable.

"No, I could never forget about our youthful schemes. Getting the necessary resources coordinated under such short notice was the difficult part." Yukimi snarks back.

"No one suspects anything?" Shinya asks.

"Mahiru knows nothing of what she'll find in the morning. Kagiyama may, but he won't do anything. Not if it would cause you distress. His hands are tied." Yukimi says.

"What of Shinoa?" Shinya asks.

"She's in the Royal Keep, but in no danger. She'll be even safer when you "return."" Yukimi tells him.

"The Sanguu girl?" Shinya asks.

"She's escaped. My birds cannot find her." Yukimi says.

Shinya takes this all in with a nod.

"Thank you for this." Shinya tells the woman taking both of her hands in his. 

"I understand why you would. That man is one of the best. This shit world needs him alive in it. Besides, I know you could never let your great love die. You and Guren have always found a way back to each other. This will be another barrier until you are reunited again. Make sure you get everything out of this. It will be a long time before you see each other again. This is the best for our realm." Yukimi says deadpanning and honest.

"I know." Shinya tells her, sad and relieved at the same time at what was about to take place.

"You'll make it through this, my prince. You won't be alone here. Remember that, after it all happens. We need to do this quickly now." Yukimi tells him, which he nods at.

The group make their way further down through the back of Shibuya before they reach the back-alley door that leads directly to the Royal Keep's underground tunnels. Masaaki opens the door with his sword drawn. Aiko leads Shinya, the men, and Yukimi inside while Masaaki flanks the back. He watches to make sure nobody has seen them before going in and shutting the door.


The party makes their way down the tunnels. They walk through the tunnels by Yukimi and Shinya's direction for two hours before they reach the storage area of the Royal Keep. They pass the large dragon skulls and make their way one level down the Royal Keep to where the prisoner's dungeons are by going down the steps in the storage room. The same steps that Mitsuba used to escape the palace after hearing Yukimi making plans. 

They reach the entrance to the hallway where prisoners are being kept guarded and enter silently. Killing men along the way by silently slitting their throats, though there's not many guards. They hide behind the arches as they reach the most guarded door.

"Is this the door?" Shinya whispers to Yukimi. 

"It is. Mahiru doesn't have the resources without all the men here to fully guard Guren, so she's been forced to become lenient. She also has no worry because as far as she knows you know nothing of what's happened and will return in the city for Guren's execution as it happens. The night only has five guards on watch by his door because most have gone with Kureto to siege Ebina. It should be easy work for your men." Yukimi whispers. 

Shinya nods to Masaaki who uses that as his order to lead Aiko Aihara and the men into silent killing positions as two aim to take each man. In unison, they each cover the mouths of the guards while the other slits their throats, blood pouring like all the others. Shinya moves to grab the head guard's keys. He opens the door they were guarding to enter the cell with his men silently.


Guren hears a commotion outside, curious to what it could possibly be. His eyes adjust as the door opens and he sees several figures enter from the light carrying lanterns. Guren closes his eyes thinking it's the executioner finally coming for him. The first one stops in front of him and embraces him to his confusion. Guren opens to see familiar silver hair, and a face looking up at him. 

"Shinya? What? How?" Guren says confused. 

"There's time to explain, but on the way out of the Royal Keep with you in tow. We need to go now. Yukimi, did you find the key?" Shinya says.

Yukimi hands him the ring back with one held out for him, "This is it. It's the smallest one that can fit into those." The woman gestures to the cuffs and chains. 

"Yukimi? I thought..." Guren says, mind-blown as Shinya opens the cuffs.

"Like I said, my lord. I am a good actress." Yukimi says. Guren now catches all the hints she dropped in their previous conversations and mentally hits himself. The cuffs come off and Guren gets up wobbly with Masaaki's help. He catches himself and embraces Shinya properly, giving him a passionate kiss before they pull away.

"We're getting you out of here, Guren. I'm not losing you permanently, but we need to go now." Shinya tells him, Guren nods. Relief washes over his whole body as he walks behind Shinya in the middle of the group as they go out the way they came. Leaving the trail of dead guards as they leave the hallway and head back up the steps to the storage room where they exit through the Royal Keep entrance to the underground tunnels. 


Shinya holds Guren's hand as he leads him through the tunnels. 

"First thing Guren, Shinoa will be taken care of by me. I'll make sure she stays safe, however the further the Sanguu girl is from Shibuya the safer." Shinya says.

"Okay. I trust you to not let anything happen to her. Mitsu will be fine. I know that. She can use a sword. I worry for her, of course. But, I know she's a survivor. Shinoa is the one that will need the protection. If you do find her, send a man to escort her back to Nagoya discreetly." Guren says.

Shinya nods, "I booked you passage on a ship to Shinjuku. There you will make a life. You need to stay away. You cannot come back, until it is safe. Do you understand?"

"I can't come back then? Westeria will never be safe with Takashi in power." Guren says shocked, but knowing it was coming.

"You can't come back for a long time." Shinya enunciates. "You will someday return here. I'm making you a vow you are not going to be in Shinjuku for the rest of your life. You just can't be here for a long time. Takashi won't always be in power. Who knows? Hopefully someone will assassinate him."

Guren not liking never seeing Yuu, Shinoa, Kimizuki, Mitsu, Yoichi, or Shinya again reluctantly agrees. 

"You'll be safe there. You're an alpha that is good with a sword, maybe do something with that." Shinya says not knowing the specifics.

Guren takes it all in. He won't be able to come back to the place he was born, where he grew up, where he raised his children, where he fell in love because of his mistakes. "It's all my fault, we're in this situation." 

Shinya turns back stopping them, "Don't ever say that! If anything it was mine for leaving you here."

"I shouldn't have confronted Mahiru, but I felt like I had to for Yoichi." Guren said.

"It was a stupid move, I'm sure Yukimi told you already. Learn from it. Don't make the same mistakes again. Be smarter. You'll need to be to survive in Shinjuku." Shinya tells him. "Do what you want in Shinjuku. Use this wisely. Though don't be afraid to spend some on you. The seven know you need a respite." Shinya tells him as he hands him a pouch containing gold before turning back to continue the walking.

They were about three-quarters way through getting back to the entrance near the back gates. From there it was a short journey to the docks, where the ship would be waiting and gone far before dawn as Shinya would be left to reenter the city inconspicuously in the later morning after they reach the inn. 

"I've advised Yuu to stay in the North. Mahiru has also deadlocked him into it, as well. He and the other two noble children should be safe." Shinya tells him.

"Good. I would have killed him if he moved to war for me and let the bloodsuckers invade the North. Either them or the Hiiragi's would kill them all." Guren says.

"He's sworn his oath and is the official Warden of the North. Power looks good on him." Shinya tells him. 

"Shinoa's taken to the South, as well. But, I'm glad you're here to protect her. How'd you even pull this escape off?" Guren asks out of curiosity.

Shinya smirks at that, "Well I used the Bloodgold Inn as a place for my whereabouts bribing an innkeeper for loyalty. I told them my men would tend to me and report what I needed to them so they didn't bother me. I showed up for an hour so people can say they saw me, and I'll do the same when I get back before coming here to see what Mahiru will do. I took this group of men and rode here. I reached here by early night, where I met up with Yukimi whose little bird I used to send a message to her. She made sure to have her men on guard tonight and gathered information in her visits to you. We entered through the tunnels we used to play in when we were children to rescue you, and we did. I sent Yuu a letter with some subtle hints about what went down here and reassuring him the girls would be protected. Though, I'm in trouble with the Sanguu girl. I also told him I was handling your situation in the most uncompromising way possible. But, all of them will probably think you're dead, once Mahiru realizes what's happened, she'll frame it in some way that you'll be dead. They have to for this plan to be successful. Your bastard would try to find you the first second he heard you were alive. That's about it."

"Wow." Guren says shocked, impressed, and bit turned on. "I knew you are the smartest omega in the West, but I'm pretty sure you just shamed the East too."

Shinya gets a faint blush that causes Guren to smirk.

Masaaki calls out at the front, "We're here."

"Here." Aiko says handing Guren her hooded cloak, "You won't be recognized."

"I don't think we met, my lady." Guren said stretching out his hand.

"Aiko Aihara. Saved your omega from dying of "treason."" She tells him shaking his hand.

"Thank you for that and all of this." Guren says sincerely, putting on the cloak and hood.

"Well, I can't stand to see your omega suffer. As do many others." Aihara tells him.

"We have that in common." Guren says before following Shinya out of the alleyway as Aiko closes the door. 


 The journey was short to the docks, made easier by the fact that Yukimi's men were the ones on Watch. They reached there silently and secretly guarded by the night. The ship was boarding. Yukimi handed the captain a whole three bags of gold, putting her finger to her lips as the man nodded in understanding. 

"Farewell, my lord. I am sorry, couldn't have been more honest with you. You are someone the world needs, but not right now when there's a bounty on you. You'll be needed in the future though. I'll try to keep you both in touch with what the other is doing." Yukimi said to Guren after turning back. 

"Fuck you, Yukimi. But, thank you. I mean it. Keep Shinya safe, you know I would, but it's kind of hard with the sea separating us. And take care of yourself too. I guess you are my last friend." Guren says musingly, while hooded. 

Yukimi nods to him before walking off to Shinya telling him, "Come to the back gates, and don't take too long. Make it count. It will be the last time for a while."

Shinya nods to the woman before she walks off. He watches as Guren gives thanks to the group of men that saved him, including hugging Masaaki and shaking Aihara's hand. Shinya walks up to him when they all move away. 

"I'm going to miss you." Guren tells him.

"I should hope so." Shinya says with tears in his eyes moving to Guren who embraces him, "I'm going to miss you too. I love you."

Guren pulls back, bare hands frame Shinya's face, thumbs wiping away the tears on his cheeks. "I love you. Like you said, it won't be forever."

"It's still going to be a fucking long time. Who knows what can happen between then and now?" Shinya says, getting a good look at the man finally. He looks handsome, but weary all at the same time. Inky indigo and black hair messed up, face covered in sweat, and eyes tired. He's still a dashing alpha, but more worn out because of this ordeal. 

"We'll make it back to each other. I know it. We always have. It's fate prescribed by the bloody gods. Nothing will happen before that to either of us. Say it to me." Guren says.

"Nothing will happen to us." Shinya says with sniffles, "We'll make it back to each other."

"Good. Thanks for saving me by the way." Guren smirks.

"I kind of had to once I found out. I could never let you die without a fight. You're mine." Shinya tells him.

"I'm yours and you're mine. My omega. My beautiful prince. My Shinya." Guren tells him before Shinya closes the gap that's been reduced since Guren's hands held his face. They kiss passionately. One that lasts for a long time. Tears flow freely down Shinya's face as it's held by Guren's hands. Shinya's hands hold the one's on his face. When they pull away he sees Guren's also crying.

"You need to go now." Shinya tells him.

"I know. But, I don't want to." Guren tells him, shaking his head.

"I know you don't want to, neither do I. But, you have to." Shinya says kissing him softly once more, which he reciprocates.

"You're right." Guren says quietly.

"I promised you we'll make it back to each other last time, and we did. This time I'm making the same vow. We will make it back to each other one day and won't separate even when we die from then." Guren says determined glare in his eyes.

"I'll be waiting for that day." Shinya says.

They seal the promise with a kiss before they both reluctantly separate. Guren and Shinya's eyes never leave each other as he gets on the ship. Not even as they sail away. Only until they are far gone and Masaaki tells him they need to leave before sunrise comes, even though there is no glimpse of the Sun. Shinya follows his men to the back gates, their horses guarded and ready with Yukimi there.

"I'll see you, when we officially return." He tells her as they ride out back to the hotel.

"Until then, old friend." She tells him.


In the morning, Mahiru awakens to news that Guren has escaped and there are many of her guards there. The anger and shock is evident on her face as she receives the news. She knows she has to think of something quick. She has no idea how this happened. Shinya couldn't have possibly known. The only explanation is that one of the guards must have been coming to murder Guren causing him to fight back when he got close enough. He had to have some help, maybe some disloyal guards who favored him, or hated her. The guards were loyal to the crown because of the money, but they hated her and Kureto. The Hiiragi's were not exactly the most beloved family of Westeria. She would have to look into it discretely, but now she has no time. She definitely can't let Takashi find out, otherwise the boy may start to lose faith and rebel against her. She loved the boy, but he now had the power to deal with situations as he saw fit. Takashi could act reckless and savage before, but now he had the power to control everyone in the West. If he finds out this could be the start of him realizing he holds the power, and make him take irrational and impulsive actions. But, Takashi is young and easy to manipulate. She just has to find a way to appeal to his savage instincts.

Then the idea hits her as she thinks about the prisoners, and remembers the history of her family and all they've done. She rushes to Takashi's chambers, who's in the process of being dressed for Guren's confessional.   

"Mother?" The boy says startled before he sends away the betas sent to help him dress, leaving just the two of them.

"Takashi, something terrible has happened." Mahiru says looking distressed.

"What is it?" He asks her worried.

"Guren has just attacked and murdered several guards. He's apprehended now, but it seems as though the man will not listen to any reason and confess, we need to execute him before he becomes a menace to us all and tries to kill you. But, we can't let him persuade the crowd we need to find some way to keep him silent. Have you ever heard of a blind killing?"

"No?" Takashi said intrigued with a vengeful glint in his eyes.

"It's where the face of the accused is too shameful to be seen by the people, but also where they commit a crime as treasonous as Guren. Our ancestors used to do it in the past. We tie the man's face in a tight wrap except his nose so he lives. And then we bring him in the front and execute him dishonorably with his face hidden. A criminal like Guren certainly deserves that don't you think?" Mahiru says.

"He does!" Takashi says excitedly.

"Then do not worry, my sweet. You finish getting ready. I'll take care of everything. You just be there and ready to give the order." Mahiru says.

Takashi nods to her as she leaves.


Jorrian lies in his cell, when the door opens and the Hiiragi guards grab him after they beat him. Mahiru walks in dressed in her formal dress and hair. 

"That's the one." She says. Another guard enters with what looks to be a sticky, dark gauze. Realizing what was going to be done Jorrian looks at her pleadingly.

"NO! PLEASE, MY LADY! I BEG OF YOU!" Jorrian pleads.

"This is for all your liege lord has done. You die because of his actions against my family and their men." Mahiru says.

Jorrian doesn't have time to process what she said before the gauze starts to wrap around his head silencing his screams and pleas. Mahiru smirks as she walks away.


Mitsuba blonde hair ragged with clothes and face covered by dirt grabs a bird and twists its neck as she turns to face a food salesmen in an alley. She sees him bringing out his bread and her mouth waters at the thought of getting real food. 

"Can I have one?" She asks.

"PISS OFF." The man tells her.

"How about a fat pigeon?" Mitsu asks holding up the bird.

"Piss off." He tells her before she notices people running past her. 

When one bumps into her, she asks, "Where's everyone going? What's happening?"

"They're carrying him to the Sept of Maegon!" The boy tells her.

"Who?" She asks.

"The Kingsguard." He tells her before running off. Mitsu looks at him running away with shock, dropping the pigeon to follow everyone else. 

Mitsu reaches the Sept and climbs onto the statue of Maegon to see. She sees a man brought out. His face is tied with a dark gauze, but there's no mistake to her. That's Guren. The man is wearing his clothes and armor. The man's eyes meet hers. He looks at her with worry. She knows now its Guren. 


Jorrian is moved through the crowd forces to stay silent. He catches Mitsu on the statue as the people hurl shit at him calling him a traitor. He sees the watchmen in the crowd from a bit ago? What was his name? Torrhen! He stopped for a second and caught the man's attention who must have thought he was Guren. He met his eyes and gestured to the statue. The man looked over and saw Mitsu. He nodded before moving to get her.


Jorrian is brought up to the steps to see Shinoa looking shocked and disgusted hair done up in a beautiful green dress. She wondered how he was going to confess. Maybe Mahiru had a written one? She hoped she did.

He looked to see the smirking queen and Takashi in their royal dress and robe with pants. Takashi holds up his hand, silencing the crowd.

"Guren Ichinose was set to confess here and be banished for the crime of treason. But, last night he murdered five Hiiragi men. Writing his own death sentence. His appearance is because his face is too dishonorable to even gaze upon the common folk for his crimes. I am instituting a blind killing which my family used in the past as a form of executing those who were deemed too dishonorable to even face peasants like you all." Takashi addresses with a smug disgust.

Shinoa looks shocked and terrified. It was here Jorrian realized, he wouldn't be dying if Guren was still here. Meaning he must have escaped somehow, and the queen was trying to make it seem like he was still her prisoner. He was able to at least feel relieved and welcome death for the sake of his Lord escaping. If he must die so be it. He only felt for the poor children who would think the man who raised them like a father was dead, when he wasn't.

Mahiru looks in the distance to see a familiar head of silver hair with tears running down his face and anger in his eyes. She smirks at Shinya, just getting back from Ebina. He returns it with such a hateful and weep gaze, she turns away. Shinya smirks inwardly at getting Guren out, but outwardly cries for the children who think the man that raised them like his own children is dead. He cries for his alpha forced to hide in Shinjuku for a long time. They reached back a little after a sunrise to the inn. He showed his face and checked them out while the men were cleaning themselves. His outfit was spotless from not many altercations, but he still changed it in case anyone saw him. He went down to breakfast before they left for Shibuya. Throwing the clothes in a nearby lake on the road back. The ringing of the bells for his return coincided with the execution bells, so he wasn't noticed much. Shinya wonders who they executed in place of Guren, but remembers Yukimi mentioning one of his men. Mahiru was crafty and cruel. It's safer this way, though he does hate not telling Shinoa what really happened, if a secret is spread it grows bigger until everyone knows. Only he and his men will keep this secret. They're all trustworthy. He knows this and Mahiru should suspect nothing.  

"Lady Shinoa has begged mercy for him." Takashi looks at Shinoa who looks hopeful for a second, "But, she has the weak heart of an omega. As long as I am your king, treason will not go unpunished. Ser Honte, bring me his head."

All hope dies on Shinoa's face as the men hold her back, she screams as tears fall down her face. They move Jorrian to a kneeling position as the crowd erupts into a frenzy. 

Mitsu tries to run to her father, but is pulled back. She looks up and sees Torrhen holding her back.

"LET ME GO!" Mitsu shouts at him.

"DON'T LOOK!" Torrhen tells her. 

"LET ME GO!" Mitsu repeats.

"Shut your mouth and look at me!" Torrhen tells her grabbing her and holding her close to him. Mitsu looks at the man's face.

Shinoa cries out loudly with tears as Mahiru and Takashi watch. One with enjoyment and the other with attention. Shinya with hateful eyes watches the scene unfold before him.

"STOP!" Shinoa shouts as Ser Fuola unsheathes his sword moving to Jorrian.

Jorrian looks at Shinoa pityingly and then at the statue and sees Mitsu gone before feeling relieved at that. Knowing both girls were safe, as well as, his lord. He mutters his prayers and shuts his eyes. Ser Fuola brings the sword down slicing his head clean off as Shinoa's screams get louder. 

Held closely and strongly to Torrhen, Mitsu is forced to look up at the sky. As the birds finally flutter, Mitsu shuts her eyes tightly.

Chapter Text

Shibuya

The crowds raise a storm of commotion as the sword of Fuola Honte drips with blood. Honte picks up Jorrian's head and raises it to everyone in the crowd. All of them convinced it was Guren's head, except for two omegas. The commotion grows louder from the rapturous crowd as they stare at the taped head with blood dripping from it. The body pours blood onto the wooden platform.  

Mitsuba still has her eyes closed, wanting all of this to be a nightmare. Knowing it was real, but so desperately wishing it wasn't. Mitsu hoped she would never have to open her eyes. She even briefly hoped she was dead, drowning out everyone around her as she was tucked into Torrhen's chest tightly. She wished it was her instead of Guren. She wanted to jump onto the platform and kill the King and his mother. She regretted not doing anything. She could have done something. Anything. Maybe if she had Guren would have been alive. She was grieving when she heard the shouts above her. 

"Look at me!" A hand turns her face upward to see Torrhen's aged one staring back at her, black hair covering the sides of his face. She looks at him with anger, sadness, and regret in her watery eyes. "Do you remember me now, boy?"

Mitsu gives the man the exact same look, which he must take as confirmation.

"There's a bright boy. You'll be keeping your mouth shut." Torrhen says. 

He takes Mitsu in the same hold he had her inside of his cloak and drags her away from the mob. Mitsu looks back and sees Shinoa faint. She couldn't have known. Otherwise, she would never react like that. Mitsu knows she had nothing to do with this. Why would she? She wanted so desperately to run to her and take her away from here. As she tried to move back to go to her, Torrhen tightened his grip and force. Mitsu looked back at the man then at Shinoa. She realized she wasn't going to get to her, she couldn't. There was no way. The pain showed and the tears started to pour down her face as she realizes she's lost two family members today. Guren, the man who she saw as a father was dead and she would probably never see Shinoa again.

Mitsu wanted to keep hope she might get to Shinoa, but it was hard for her to. Realistically, Shinoa will be safe because she's a smart Hiiragi, but Mitsu wanted Shinoa by her side. To protect her. To keep her safe. But, really how could she? She couldn't save Guren, no matter what Sakura taught her. She knew she couldn't get to her easily. As much as she hated it, Shinoa was safest here. No matter what her alpha told her, Shinoa's name would keep her guarded and she was smart enough to not do anything foolish. This would not be the last time she ever saw Shinoa, though. Mitsu would make sure to live long enough to reunite with her, no matter the cost. She had to live to make it back to Shinoa. She made this vow to herself. Mitsu's eyes never left Shinoa's unconscious body until they turned a corner out of the crowd. 

They walked for a bit, before Torrhen guided her into a back-alley staircase.

"Keep your mouth shut, boy." The man tells her as he takes out his knife. 

"I'm obviously not a boy!" Mitsu shouts angrily at him.

"You're not a smart boy, are you? Do you want to live boy?" Torrhen asks her. Mitsu considers this. Guren is dead. Shinoa is alone with the Hiiragi's. Mitsu needs to live to have any chance of getting to see her ever again. To save her from them. She nods reluctantly as the man begins to cut her blond hair. Torrhen makes a vow as he cuts. "North, boy. We're going north. I'm gonna get you back to your brothers or die trying."

Mitsu looks at the man shocked before nodding her consent. 


The Throne Room is filled with an uneasy voice singing. 

Takashi listens to the song with a tight smile on the Seraphin Throne. Mahiru stands by his side while a dead-eyed and broken Shinoa looks on with no interest.

The bard named Haruki sang in a loud voice, "The boar's great tusks, they boded ill for good Lord Goshi's health. And the beast was every bit as big as Goshi was himself. But our brave lord cried, "Do your worst! I'll have your ugly head! You're nowhere near as murderous as the lion in my bed." Lord Goshi lost his battle and he failed his final test. The lion ripped his balls off. And the boar did all the rest.

Takashi clapped slowly at that seemingly bemused. "Very amusing. Quite the funny song. Though, I assume the rendition was better received at the tavern."

"I am so sorry, Your Grace. I'll never sing it again. I swear it on my life." The bard begs.

"Tell me which do you prefer, your fingers or your tongue?" Takashi tells.

Shinoa looks at him despondent. 

"Your Grace?" Haruki says confused.

"Fingers or tongue? If you could keep one which would it be?" Takashi asks coldly with a sadistic edge, "Or I could just cut your throat."

Haruki looks terrified before gasping out, "Every man needs hands, Your Grace."

"Good. Tongue it is." Takashi grins gleefully.

"YOUR GRACE, PLEASE! I WON'T SING!" Haruki begs.

"Ser Honte, who better than you to carry out the sentencing?" Takashi tells Honte, who moves towards the man.

Hiiragi guards hold the bard down as Honte moves to heat his knife from the torch fire. 

"PLEASE, YOUR GRACE! I WILL NEVER SING AGAIN!" Haruki shouts as Honte with a heated blade moves towards him.

Takashi watches with amusement as the man's jaw is pried open and his tongue removed twitching and bleeding. Shinoa doesn't look away and just stares at the scene before her unfazed. Mahiru watches coldly. Takashi gets up. 

"I'm done for the day. I leave the rest of the matters to you mother." Takashi walks away from the throne as the bard is dragged out, unconscious with head down and blood dripping on Mahiru's order.

Takashi, Aoi Sanguu, and Fuola Honte walks past Shinoa who's watching detached. When he sees her Takashi stops. 

"You look quite beautiful today, Aunty." Takashi tells her.

"Thank you, Your Grace." Shinoa says distantly.

Ever since the morning of her Guren's execution, she's felt so hollow and depressed. She feels alone in a strange place. Forced to grieve in silence or risk being seen as a traitor for caring about the man who was like a father to her. She would feel better if she knew Mitsu was alive, but there's been no sighting of her. Though, considering what happened, she's glad Mitsu didn't have to see what she saw. She's hopefully out of the city by now. Mitsu would probably do something out of anger and impulse. She ached to do something too, but she was resigned to be angry and regretful all alone in silence. She misses her so much. But, she's safer out there, like Shinoa's safer in here. She hated her sister and her nephew with a passion, but all she could do was keep it to herself. 

"Walk with your King. I have something I want you to see." Takashi tells her before moving past her with Fuola Honte. 

She watches them move past her before looking at Aoi Sanguu left behind.

"Do as you bid, my Lady." She tells Shinoa, gesturing her to follow them before walking behind her.  


Shinoa follows Takashi outside as he drones on. They walk past a row of spears in the Royal Keep with the guards following close behind.

"And as soon as you cross your heat, mother will find a suitable husband to put a son in you. Mother says that shouldn't be long." Takashi says annoyed.

They reach the other side of the castle with a whole new row of spears this time with heads impaled on them.

Shinoa's eyes catch up with the sunlight and finally sees them before looking away in terror. The arms of Fuola Honte come to hold her in place. 

"No! Please! No!" Shinoa pleads.

"This one was Guren. This one here. Take a look and see what happens to traitors." Takashi points at one.

"You were supposed to be merciful!" Shinoa says distressed. 

"I was. I gave him a clean death. Well, as much as a taped face could give him. I was merciful enough to keep it on so you wouldn't have to look at his horribly scarred face. Look the tape is still there." Takashi tells her, when she doesn't he gets angry. "LOOK AT HIM!"

Shinoa in fear looks up at the taped severed head. At least, she did not have to see Guren's face like all the other heads. Still, she felt the terror and sadness staring up at the man's head on the spike. Even if it was taped, it was still Guren's.

"How long do I have to look?" Shinoa asks feeling faint.

"As long as it pleases me." Takashi tells her smugly. "Do you want to see the rest?"

"If it please Your Grace." Shinoa tells him not feeling alive, even though she was.

"There is your septa." He says pointing. Shinoa turns and see the head of her septa. The woman she took for granted, hanging on a spike. Shinoa felt awful for all those times she ignored the poor old woman. All of these people she cared for are dead because of this little shit tyrant. It made her furious.

"Maybe I might give you your bastard brother's, if he tries to war with me." Takashi muses.

"Or maybe he'll give me yours." The words uncontrollably come out of Shinoa's mouth before she can stop them due to her deliriousness and depression. But, she didn't care. It felt good to defy this shit of a child. Takashi cowers for a second before regaining his composure.

"My mother tells me a king should never strike a woman. Ser Honte." Takashi tells her before nodding to Fuola Honte. 

Honte strikes Shinoa with the back of his armored hand, leaving her with a bloody lip. She barely feels it with all that's going through her mind and body. She turns back to Takashi and looks down the stone bridge. She sees a street that is a far way down from the bridge and moves towards Takashi slowly. She knows she wants this. She'll be saving the world and getting her vengeance on the little shit for what he did for Guren. If she dies, so be it. She'll be preventing the loss of more lives. She moves to lunge him off the edge before she's pulled back by different hands from Honte. 

"Here, girl." Aoi Sanguu wipes her bloody lip with a rag. 

"You will obey now or I'll give you another lesson. I'll look for you in court." Takashi says as he walks past her with Honte eyeing her. Aoi Sanguu hangs back with her.

"Save yourself some pain, Shinoa. Act the way he wants you to. Give him what he wants. You don't need to really feel it, but act like you do." Aoi tells her. 

Shinoa nods at the woman's words before trying to give back the handkerchief to her, which she declines.

"You're going to need that again." Aoi tells her before leaving Shinoa alone at the bridge. 

Shinoa looks at the heads of the men and women she knew from her childhood hanging on spikes and lets the tears pour down her face. All of the anger, regret, and melancholy she feels shows in her face as she cries for all those she's lost. With these tears she made a vow: She was going to live, so that she could reunite with the rest of her true family. She was going to be smart about this. She had to be, if she wanted to live. She needs to make it back to Nagoya. She needs to make it back to Mitsu.


Mahiru sits in her chambers with her hair down drinking wine. A knock sounds and she immediately knows who it is. She gets up with her goblet of wine and opens it to see, as she expected, Shinya. Shinya wears a well-placed angered and sullen expression as he comes in, brushing past her.

"Little brother, what a gift. I see you've finally returned to take your title as Takashi's hand. What did you think of your welcome home present?" Mahiru taunts him sitting on her bed as he pours a cup of wine for himself.

"You're a hateful bitch." Shinya tells her, not entirely acting.

"Careful, you can't speak to the queen-mother in such a manner. Otherwise you may follow Guren's example." Mahiru tells him proudly, knowing full well he's not dead. But, wanting to get a rise out of Shinya. She thinks he doesn't know anything. That he's like every other commoner in Shibuya. Foolish and under her control now. 

"Why?" Shinya asks furiously.

"Guren became too much of a liability. Searching places that needed no investigation." Mahiru tells him.

Shinya stays silent at that. "Why are you so filled with joy by this? You loved him too."

"Loved. In the past. He threatened the one thing that wins my love no matter what." Mahiru tells him.

"The throne or your children? You seem to go back and forth between the two." Shinya says in fake shock.

"My children." Mahiru says tersely. 

"Your illegitimate children." Shinya says.

Mahiru feels emboldened by the statement and the wine, "And what of it? Nobody will ever know. Takashi will rule and prosper."

"You really believe that?" Shinya asks sincerely.

Mahiru hesitates before responding without any remorse, "I do. And Guren had to die for it to be possible."

Shinya's face morphs into anger, "I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you are safe and happy. And your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. Then you'll know the debt is repaid."

"Get. Out." Mahiru tells him heatedly. Shinya gets up and walks out infuriated. 


In the Throne Room, Yukimi and Kagiyama stare at the Seraphin Throne in awe. 

"When you imagine yourself up there, how do you look? Does the crown fit? Do all the lords and ladies bow to you, the ones who sneered at you for years?" Yukimi asks Kagiyama.

"It's hard for them to bow with no heads." Kagiyama remarks.

"A man with great ambition and no morals. You're not one to bet against." Yukimi observes moving her hands further down the opposite sleeves.

"Morals may cripple your resolve when it comes to making choices. Your morals I know helped to get a specific someone out of a situation." Kagiyama tells him.

"I would know nothing of the sort." Yukimi tells him.

"Nothing of a dead man running on a boat across the Blood Sea?" Kagiyama tells him.

"Dead men don't speak, let alone run." Yukimi says.

"Tell that to the North." Kagiyama says.

"That's where your morals also cripple you. This dead man may have an affiliation that could bring harm to someone you don't want to see harmed. Ending your leverage there." Yukimi tells him.

Kagiyama considers this before changing the subject, "And what would you do, my friend? If you found yourself sitting up there?"

"I must be one of the few people who don't want to rule." Yukimi tells him.

"You must be one of the few people in this city who nobody knows anything about." Kagiyama says weakly.

"Oh come now, you can do better than that." Yukimi tells him.

"When they made you unable to bear, what exactly did they do to you? I always wondered that." Kagiyama asks her.

"Have you? Do you spend a lot of time wondering what's between my legs?" Yukimi questions.

"I picture a whole section of pink scarring where everything used to work." Kagiyama muses.

"I am flattered to even be pictured, of course." Yukimi says.

"It must be strange for you, even after all these years. A beta woman from a foreign land, broken down, despised by most, and feared by all." Kagiyama tells her.

"Am I? That's good to hear. Do you lie awake at night fearing my pink scars?" She says feigning naivety.

"But you carry on, whispering in one king's ear, then the next. I admire you." He tells her with no trace of mocking.

"And I admire you, Lord Kagiyama. A man from a minor house with a talent for befriending powerful men and women." Yukimi tells him.

"A useful talent. I'm sure you'd agree." Kagiyama tells him.

"So here we stand in mutual admiration and respect." Yukimi says.

"Playing our roles." Kagiyama says.

"Serving a new king." Yukimi says.

"Long may he reign." Kagiyama declares. 


Shinoa sits on her bed, still in a daze from all of the events from the day. She can't believe all that's happened. She doesn't want to believe what happened. She's in her same dress from earlier in the day, sending her handmaidens away so that she could be alone. The closest person to her was the guards posted outside her door. Her eyes were red and puffy with dark spots in her vision from the tears she continuously shed. She feels alone. Isolated from everyone around her. Guren dead. Mitsu gone, which is for the best, even if she selfishly wants her here. Yuu, Yoichi, and Kimizuki in the North. No real family with her. She wonders if Shinya is close to coming back. The man would be a welcome presence for her. Shinya had proven to be a loyal family member to her and a good brother. Without him here, it's just her in this hell. 

She hears voices outside of her door and out of curiosity stands up as the door opens revealing familiar silver hair.

Shinya stands there in a green cloak and stares at her with an indescribable emotion before running to her and pulling her in an embrace. For the first time, Shinoa allows herself to reveal her true emotions to someone besides herself and begins to break down uncontrollably in the man's arms. 

"I-I couldn't d-do....anything! I was....stupid...foolish...a useless omega." Shinoa stammers out between her sobs.

"Hush now, there was nothing you could do. This is not your fault. Not in the slightest. I know you can't help but feel that way. You can't help it. I feel the same way too. Like I could have done something. Like I should have known. Like I should have never left him." Shinya told her stroking her hair soothingly as his own eyes started to water. He lied through his teeth, hating it, but knowing it needed to be done. What he said wasn't all a lie. It was how he felt, but at least he got to him in time.

"It definitely wasn't your fault!" Shinoa looked up at him with teary eyes angry at the man for blaming himself. Shinya looked back at her, shocked at the girl's defense. "You were sent away to deal with business. For all we know the queen-mother planned this so that this would all happen."

Shinya was a surprised at how fast the girl could catch on, but quickly regained his composure, "That's what I mean. It's not my fault, like it's not your fault. But, we still blame ourselves for him being...gone. Mahiru might have planned this. She's a snake, rather than a lion. Which is why you need to be careful and smarter around her. You need to be able play her game better than her. We both do. We need to be smarter than Guren was. For his sake we need to live. We need to survive." 

Shinoa nods with her eyes shining from the crying. 

"Also that means, not saying things like what you just said about Mahiru planning Guren's murder. It can get you killed for treason if it gets back to her or Takashi. You need to watch what you say and do very carefully now. Just know, you will not be alone. I am here for anything you need. I'll protect you and keep you safe. I'll die before I see you dead." Shinya tells her with a finality.

"I understand." Shinoa tells him with a new resolve. She's glad the man is back. Besides her actually enjoying the man's company, he would keep her safe and protect her. 

"Good, I'll do something about the guards. Now that Guren is...gone, there's no reason for Mahiru to keep them on you." Shinya tells her, hugging her before pulling away and standing up with red eyes. 

Shinoa gets up feeling slightly better, but still terrible as Shinya moves to the door. 

"Remember, Mahiru's not your only family. I'm your brother, and I will not leave you to bear this burden alone. You loved Guren as a father, I loved him as my everything. I know more about what you're feeling than I may seem. I'm here for you always, no matter what." Shinya says to her before opening the door and leaving. 

Shinoa looks at the closed door. She still feels horrible after suffering so much loss. But, there's a lighter feeling at knowing she will not bear the burden alone. She has someone with her who knows how she feels and probably feels even worse. She thinks maybe she'll be able to move past all this, just not now. Not for a long time. She'll never forget, but she will grow from this.


Mitsuba trails behind Torrhen eyes downcast. Usually her hair would be able to hide her face easier, but now it was short enough to go down only past her nape. She looked unrecognizable. She looked like a boy. But, that was probably the point. Still, she missed her long blonde hair, even if it was hell to manage sometimes. This thinking at least took her mind off her troubles before she started to remember the events of the past day. She had no idea where Torrhen was even taking her until he leads her past the gates to an area. 

They continue walking as Torrhen starts to talk, "You're Mitch now. Mitch, the orphan boy. Nobody asks an orphan questions because they don't give two shits. What's your name?"

"Mitch." Mitsu says.

"You've a long way to travel and in bad company. I've got twenty this time - alpha and beta men sent for the wall." Torrhen tells her.

"What about omegas? Or women?" Mitsu asks.

"Those that are criminals aren't even given much of a trial, they mostly end with executions." Torrhen tells her. Mitsu bristles in anger before Torrhen continues from where she interrupted. "This lot - half of them would turn you into the King for a pardon. The other half would do the same, but they'd rape you first. So keep to yourself. Piss in the woods alone. You stay with this lot, boy. Stay or I'll lock you in the back of the wagon with these three." Torrhen and she reach a cart with three menacing men inside. The man leaves her to stare before she accidentally bumps into another recruit. 

A fat boy is there when she turns around and he attempts to leer at her. "Watch where you're going, midget."

"He's got a sword this one." Another boy says.

"What's a gutter rat like you doing with this sword?" The fat one asks. 

"Maybe he's a little squire." The other one says.

"A squire? Look at him. He looks like a girl. I bet you stole that sword. Let's have a look." The fat boy tells her before tackling her to the ground. Mitsu angry and exhausted thrashes holding Needle close to her. "Grab the sword!"

The other boy goes to grab it, but Mitsu had it in a death grip. 

The fat boy brings his face to hers and begins talking, "You better give that sword! I once knocked down a boy and kicked him in the balls. I kept kicking him until he was dead. I kicked him all to pieces."

Mitsu manages to crawl out from under him and draws her sword, pointing it at his throat. She looks at him angrily and satisfied at his terrified expression. She was getting her anger and sadness out through this encounter. She let out her vengeful side staring at the terrified boys. She already lost everything. She was not losing the last thing she had to remember her family by. "You want it?!? I'll give it to you. I already killed one fat boy. I bet you never killed anyone. I bet you're a fucking liar. But, I'm not. I'm good at killing fat boys. I like killing fat boys." 

The boy next to him pissed his pants running away. The fat boy tried to back away before bumping into another taller dark-haired boy. The boy turns around and Mitsu sees he's a little older than her, maybe around Yuu's age. He was handsome with purple hair and blue eyes. The boy looked like an alpha.

"So you like picking on the little ones? I've been hammering an anvil for the past ten years. When I hit that steel it sings. Are you going to sing when I hit you?" He leers at the fat boy. The boy shakes his head rapidly before running away, scared. The older boy turns back to her and grabs the sword, examining it. Mitsu would normally be on alert, but having heard what the man just said and appreciating what he just did lets him. "This is castle-forged steel. Where'd you steal it from?"

"It was a gift." Mitsu replies. 

He looks at Mitsu, appraising her before continuing. "Doesn't matter now. Where we're going they don't care what you've done. They've got pickpockets, rapists, and murderers." 

"Which are you?" Mitsu asks curiously.

"Armorer's Apprentice. My master got sick of me. So, here I am." The boy replies.

Mitsu is about to ask him his name when she sees Torrhen shout at the front.

"Come on, you sons of whores! It's a long ride from here to the wall, and winter is coming!" Torrhen shouts on a cart at the front of them all. 

The caravan begins moving forward and Mitsu looks back at Shibuya. The place she lost it all. Her family. Her father. Shinoa. She knows she'll be back here someday. For her vengeance against those who caused all of this to happen. She turns back, looking forward. She knows it will be a long time before that day.

"Don't want to get left behind!" The purple-haired boy shouts at her. 

She gives one last lingering look before following him and the party out of Shibuya. 


Sannomiya

Kureto watches from the head of his ship as Sannomiya comes into distance. He takes in the castle's majesty. The original home of the Shindo's. Where the dragons were born and raised to conquer the world. He could see them in his head flying across the sky around the castle. But, there's no more dragons. Not anymore. They were all killed. One hasn't been seen in ages, the skulls in the Royal Keep are the last remnants of them. He sees the peaks of the stoned mountains that surround the castle with caves. The salt-water surrounded castle has around ten ships already docked there. It should be easy work for his army. All of his men fit on thirty ships tightly. His stood at the head as he moved closer to the castle. 

He smirked to himself. He thought about finally getting rid of his brother, once and for all. The man had become and unstable threat to the crown, and has always been just a plain annoyance to Kureto. 

Seishirou always used his family name and father's status to get by in life. Never making anything of himself. The man was always a pathetic leech. Now he was trying to use his name to claim a crown he could never handle ruling. He would throw the realm into chaos and ruin, and for that he must die. He's a coward still hiding behind his father, he's not fit to rule. No matter how much he wants to force it. He was always inferior. He needed the people around him to stroke his sad ego all the time. Never truly standing on the front lines to fight in any war or battle. Mostly leaving it to him and father. 

Seishirou is smug about getting rid of his pest of a brother. He knows this is going to be his last day to live. He stares directly into the window of the tallest part of the Sannomiya Dragonstone Castle. He knows Seishirou is there. Watching them and waiting for death to come embrace him.   

As they move closer to the shore he looks to his right to see multiple figures in the distance coming rapidly towards them. As they move more into his sight he sees a whole fleet of about one-hundred ships moving closer to their thirty ships. Kureto looks in shock and anger. He's been played twice by his brother. First, from his cockiness and now from his impulsiveness. 


Seishirou smirks watching out the window in the map room of Sannomiya. He knows his brother must finally think he's going to get to kill him. Finally going to get rid of his pest of a brother like he always wanted. 

What he doesn't know is that this was all meant to happen. He was not going to die today. He was going to win. He was going to survive to take the Seraphin Throne and rule as is his fate.

He looks ahead to see his ace coming from the right towards the forward-moving fleet of Kureto. He sees the bounty of ships from Shinjuku. The allies from Harajuku, Asshain, Kyrna, and Qohorian he called as soon as Shinya left and Kureto arrived with the Hiiragi army. When Shinya came to visit him he realized he was right and sent his best emissaries to recruit them quickly. He timed their arrival for his entry into Sannomiya, so they could be here just in time to prove their worth and fight for him. The escape from Ebina was a red herring to lure Kureto here.

Seishirou smiles ready to watch the culmination of his hard work and planning take place in the form of a naval assault. He was going to enjoy watching his brother being taken down by his hand. He made sure his guards knew to bring his brother to him if he washed up on the shore and make sure they do everything to keep him alive. If he dies so be it, but if he lives, Kureto is to be brought to him. Kureto will be valuable to him in his campaign. All other men are to be killed. This should be fun to watch. 


"Fuck." Kureto curses to himself in shock. "TURN BACK! TURN THE FUCK BACK!" 

Kureto's screams do nothing because the whole entire fleet is upon them before the men can even turn back one ship. All of their ships face his thirty when they're at a close distance. Then some of them fan out to surround them, cutting off their escape.

Kureto realizes they're all fucked because of him. All of these men, he led into the jaws of death because he couldn't think for more than a second. He was rash and impulsive. They had no other option left, but to fight. Seishirou in his state would never allow a surrender, they were here to kill them all. 

"PROVE YOURSELF AS TRUE MEN WITH HONOR AND STRENGTH! MEN WITH COURAGE! YOU SWORE TO SUPPORT THE HIIRAGI'S! WE'RE NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT!" Kureto shouts with fierce anger. If this is his last stand so be it. He was not going down without a fight. They were all probably fucked anyway.

His men watch before readying the cannonballs and drawing the swords in anticipation for a fight on each ship. Kureto watches the men on the other ships not moving to fight man-to-man. Meaning they're going to sink them by cannon.

"BAM!"

Kureto turns around to see one of his ships on the end assaulted with a cannonball right in the center. They drew first blood. 

"NOW OR NEVER! SHOOT AS MANY OF THESE FUCKERS DOWN AS YOU CAN! FOCUS ON THE CANNONS!" Kureto shouts. 

Cannons begin to go off from both sides with ships going down leaving broken wood. The screams of men being killed by being caught in the cross hairs of the cannonball's landing, drowning from the loss of the ship, or getting a flaming arrow in the head for hanging onto a piece of wood and being seen floating. Kureto watches as one-by-one all of his ships are shot down. Some of the arrows land on the ships causing them to catch fire. They manage to shoot around forty of their ships down before there's only Kureto's ship left front and center. Kureto watches the large fleet surround his one ship, knowing what was coming. 

"FIRE!" Kureto shouted. They knocked down one more ship as another cannonball crashed into their one. 

Kureto was thrown off the ship immediately being at the head. He held his breath as he fell in the water. His ship was the closest to the shore, maybe he could make it. He started swimming hastily trying to stay under so he couldn't be seen. He was losing his ability to hold in his breath as he moved more aggressively forward to the shore. When he reached the tide, he couldn't hold it in anymore. Kureto let the air out of his mouth. He felt the unconsciousness overtake his body as he gave out. The tide moved him rapidly closer to the shore where multiple Hiiragi guards awaited for any sign of his body.


 A Hiiragi Guard Captain sees a familiar body wash up on the shore. He sends a group of men who drag the body from the water and drop it in front of him. He looks at it knowing its Kureto Hiiragi. 

"Is he dead?" The Captain asks.

"We don't know." The recruit says.

"You didn't check? Why? Is your head filled with shit?" The Captain says incredulously hitting him in the back of the head before moving down, opening his mouth, and blowing air into it. He did that a few more times and pushed on his heart before giving up. 

The Captain got up, he was about to turn when he heard a large gasp of air. Kureto raised himself up to spit out the seawater and gasp air before he was taken by two strong guards. The beta resisted as well as he could but, he was unable to fight from his weakened state.

"Put him in chains and drag him to the King. He wants to see him." The Captain tells the men who nod.

The guards put him in chains and drag him off to see Seishirou.


By the time Seishirou gets to the steps he regains his senses enough to walk. The guards lead him to the throne room, where Seishirou stands waiting in a red and gold armor. 

"Kureto, lovely to see you trying a new style of clothing. It suits you." Seishirou says to him smugly. He enjoys seeing his brother in chains. It was the first time the man has been kicked off his high pedestal, and it's all the more satisfying he was the one to do it.

Kureto doesn't respond as he takes in his brother. He's grown taller, but everything else is the same with him. He looks at him unimpressed with pity. "What's with the armor, trying to prove you're a real Hiiragi?" 

"If a real Hiiragi means fucking your sister and putting your sadistic bastard on the throne, then my way is the better way." Seishirou responds smugly. "We can get you out of this easily. Come and join my side. Swear your fealty to me and denounce your king."

"Cowards like you aren't made for the throne. You're no king." Kureto tells him defiantly.

Seishirou looks like he expected this, "I thought so. I figured I might give it a try. Well, you're more valuable to me as a hostage anyway, and the offer was false either way."

"You're a fucking crazy bastard! You always have been, just a little pest that pissed off fath-" Kureto shouted angrily at him before a guard punched him in the stomach harshly. 

"Speak another word against me in such a manner, and you will lose a body part every day, until I can't take away anything else without killing you." Seishirou says.  

"And you say Takashi is the sadist." Kureto tells him with no fear, while still recovering from the wind being knocked out of him.

"Chain him to a post by the neck, instead of putting him in a regular cell. And only provide him with water for the rest of the week." Seishirou tells the guards before they move to take away Kureto. 

"You know this is going to end with you dead?" Kureto calls for him.

"Not before you." Seishirou responds.


That night on Sannomiya, two Hiiragi guards see a small rowboat slowly coming into the shore. As it comes closer she sees it's a paid one being rowed by one man and carrying a single woman. An omega woman. 

They study her and the boat carefully. There's no sigil on it or any ship around to drop it meaning it must be from Shinjuku. An ally for our King that came later. They study the beautiful woman. She has crimson-red hair that goes to her knees and her almond eyes slant in a seductive way. Both complement her pale-milky skin. She's wearing a red dress that shows an ample amount of her cleavage with red shoes and a red caged necklace with a ruby in the center. Definitely a "Red Woman." The Red Priestesses believe in the Lord of Light and worship him. But, what could the King want with her.

The woman finally turns her eyes to them. They feel intimidated by something in her eyes. "Valar Morghulis"

"Why have you come to Sannomiya?" The guard asks her.

"I am here to advise the King. I have been sent from Shinjuku to come here to help him." The Red Woman tells them.

"Who are you?" The guard asks her.

"I am Mito Jūjō of Asshain. Your King is the True King. The Prince that was Promised. The one that will unite us all. I am here to serve him. He will want to see me." Mito tells them before turning back.

"And why would he want to see some red omegan priestess?" The other guard asks her.

She looks at them, tired of the incessant questioning. The ruby in her necklace glows as she begins to mumble words. The guards go under her command, a type of fugue state. She smirks to herself, the chant only works on those men and women with weak minds and convictions. Her control can only work on the weak for a short amount of time, she can't waste this chance. "Let me in and show me to your King. He will want to meet me and hear what I have to say."

The men nod and let her dock on the shore. Mito pays the boatman before following the guards to the Dragonstone Castle to meet "The One who was Promised."


Nagoya

Yoichi walks over to grab another arrow from its quiver. He notches it, aiming at the brown circle in the center of the targets. The loud cawing of a raven catches his attention. He brings his bow to his side following the raven as it flies. He follows it almost without control or resistance. Until it leads him to the entrance of the crypts. This time Yoichi walks inside of the crypt. 


"It had three eyes and told me to follow him. So, I did. We went down to the crypts and saw the dead King Tenri Hiiragi with Guren by his side." Yoichi tells Chihiro as the omega sits on the beta's shoulders taking the place of an ill Estle. 

"The Southern King is not down there, little lord. Why would he be? He was not of the North. And as for Lord Ichinose, he will not be there yet. Not for many years." Chihiro tells him.  

"You're afraid, just like Estle." He tells her when she hesitates to go into the crypts.

"I'm not afraid of some hole in the ground." Chihiro responds.

"You've lived beyond the wall. What do you have to be frightened of? I'm a crippled boy and I'm willing to go." Yoichi tells her.

She raises her eyeballs upward before reluctantly going into the entrance.


Carrying Yoichi down the stairs proved to be difficult so Chihiro switched to the way a mother would carry a young boy. Yoichi held a lantern to light the way they were supposed to follow.

"That's Guren's father, Lord Gin Ichinose. He was burned alive by the Mad King. This was his brother Lord Genzo Ichinose. He was also burned alive by the Mad King." Yoichi narrates to the Wild One woman as they pass the statues. 

They reach an empty center, where Chihiro stops in front of after seeing Yoichi's unsettled expression. 

"What is it, little lord?" Chihiro asks him.

"This is where the dead King and Guren were at. Their statues were right here, in the middle of the crypt." Yoichi says.

"You see? He's not here." She tells him.

They hear a loud roar and turn to see a shadow moving in front of them. Chihiro gets terrified more than Yoichi does. The shadow is revealed to be Gekko who runs to them. 

Chihiro falls to the ground with Yoichi as the wolf ignores her to lick Yoichi's face.

"That beast should be chained up in the kennels!" She says feeling her heart still not settling down from the fear.

"Wolves don't do well in chains." Yoichi says before the wolf begins to gently grab his shirt between its teeth and drag him a little back to the entrance. "I think he wants us to go back up."

"Makes two of us." Chihiro says calmed down before picking up Yoichi and carrying him up the stairs.  


"You miss him. It's only natural he should be in your thoughts and dreams." Chihiro tells him.

When they reach up Yoichi sees a pink head of hair that he knows can only belong to one man. 

"KIMIZUKI!" He shouts as Chihiro carries him to Kimizuki.

Kimizuki turns around with tears in his eyes. Chihiro stops and Yoichi is taken aback.

"Yoichi..." Kimizuki gets out with a destroyed look Yoichi has never seen on the alpha before.

Yoichi still in shock sees the letter in his hands and feels his eyes begin to water. He knows for a fact what's in the letter is horrible news. He just hopes it's anything, but the unthinkable as the tears begin spilling.


In the dark night, Yuuichirou packs a dark colored horse, wearing his signature dark feathered crow cloak. Yuu has the back gates opened to go to the south. He hopes nobody heard him. 

When Maester Aererion called him in for a raven he could tell from the man's solemn and red-eyed look that it was something horrible. His father. Guren Ichinose. The man who raised him and taught him all he knows. The most honorable kingslayer in all of Westeria was dead. Executed by the little shit king and his bitch mother.

When Yuu was first told, he couldn't believe it. The man who had such a large impact in the North was gone. The man who was true last Ichinose was gone. His whole true bloodline wiped out. It has been a long time since he saw his father, but it felt like he was always here with him. Yuu couldn't help it as the tears spilled down his face uncontrollably. His alpha coming out in full force, roaring and angry. With such a vengeance in him. To finally do something. To not sit back and wait. Waiting is what killed Guren. Aererion advised him against it again, but this time Yuu was angry and enraged so much he went against the Maester's advice. 

He felt hollow, like a part of him was lost. Like a huge part of his identity was gone. Like he was changed from this. His sadness and rage fueled him to make this choice. With nobody to stop him he was going to avenge his father. Kimizuki and Yoichi were mourning together, Kimizuki was comforting the inconsolable boy when he left them. Shinoa was stuck in Shibuya, he needed to get her back here. Mitsu had escaped at least, maybe he would find her on the Kingsroad. If not he would find her. He would not truly heal until all of his siblings are back with him in Nagoya. He can't lose any more family. 

Yuu had red eyes from the tears shed since learning of the news. He was all dried out. 

He had a new goal born of a desire for blood and vengeance: To go to Shibuya and put a sword in Takashi's throat, making sure the queen watches before beheading her the same way she killed Guren. He would kill the brother too for what he did to Yoichi. The two siblings were the main perpetrators of this, which is why they needed to suffer the most for their crimes. The shit king was too foolish to accomplish anything on his own. This was all Mahiru and Kureto. They need to die.

Yuu packed up gets on his horse. 

"HYAH!" His horse rides with Asu following closely behind. Yuu doesn't notice the two shocked boys coming from the room to see him ride off into the night.


Yuu rides with his horse moving at a leisurely, but fast pace with Asu running alongside him. He hears the sound of thuds coming from behind him. 

"ASU!" Yuu tries to get the wolf's attention.

"YUU!" A familiar light voice calls from a bit behind him. 

Yuu turns around to see Kimizuki and Yoichi galloping rapidly towards his mare. Yoichi's arms around Kimizuki's neck. 

Yuu keeps on riding and ducks under a branch to move forward. Kimizuki follows him ducking, but Yoichi hanging onto him has his head collide with the branch. Yoichi gets knocked off the horse falling to the ground. Yuu looks back to see the scene and immediately turns back to see his brother's well-being. Kimizuki who stopped, hurriedly gets off his horse as Yuu rides back. Both to check on Yoichi still on the ground. 

Kimizuki gets Yoichi up to hold him piggyback style. Luckily he has no bruises. He gets Yoichi settled on his back when Yuu reaches them. 

"What are you doing here?" Yuu gets off his horse.

"Taking you back to where you belong." Yoichi tells him, still seeing stars. 

"I do belong in the North. I need to get my siblings back here." Yuu tells them, forgetting who they are in his daze of grief and irritation. 

"We're your siblings. We're your brothers. Shinoa is safe in the south, she's a Hiiragi, and Mitsu is tough, I know they'll both survive. They'll want you dead from North to South when they find out you deserted the North." Kimizuki tells him.

"They'll kill you if they know you came after me. Go back." Yuu tells them, his alpha anger slowly dissipating and his grief coming out.

"We're all pissed and depressed about Guren. He may have been your real father, but he was our father too. We may not have been related, but he raised us all the same. We're all suffering from this. We all want to take vengeance on the Queen Regent and King. But, we can't for the same reasons. Only this time what would we get back? Guren is gone. Shinoa is safe right now, you could risk her life by doing this. Yuu, you may be the top alpha and best fighter in the North, but there are more Hiiragi men than most commoners can count. Guren appointed you to remain alive in the North to fight in the war against the vampires. He wouldn't want you to get yourself killed for no good reason at all." Yoichi tells him and Yuu is taken aback at his quiet brother's honesty.

"You swore an oath, Yuu. You're the Warden of the North. You can't leave. You said the words. If you leave, you won't be able to come back." Kimizuki tells him.

Yuu looks at them considering all they said, but still thinking of his dead father and sister now stuck in Shibuya. He needed to get vengeance and all of his family back, but at what cost, when there would be no home to return to. No. No. Yuu couldn't doubt himself. He needed to do this. "So be it. I don't care about-"

"Hear my words and witness my vow: Night gathers and now my watch begins..." Yoichi begins.

"It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife." Kimizuki continues.

Yuu begins to calm down. "To hell with you all."

"Hold no lands. Father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post." Yoichi picks up where Kimizuki left off.

"I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night, and all the nights to come..." Both Kimizuki and Yoichi recite together.

"I am the Warden of the North." Yuu finally says.

Yuu realizes all of his siblings know what he's going through. If he does this he could start an unwinnable war, only this time it could be worse with less to win and more casualty risks. He was being hasty and foolish, he knew his father would not want that. Yuu calms his alpha down finally, enough to finally embrace his brothers. He wasn't alone in this. He had his brothers with him. They were smart and right when he was wrong. Shinoa would be safe under Shinya's protection and Mitsu would survive. As long as she got out she'll be safe with her needle. He knows Shinya can't have anything to do with this. He can trust the man to have done everything to prevent this in his power. He'll protect Shinoa. He can't imagine how Shinya must feel. He can't imagine how Mitsu must feel. Alone. He can't leave. Otherwise, he'd be killed and who would rule. Kimizuki reluctantly relaxes in the embrace. Yoichi does faster arms looping around Yuu's neck still hanging onto Kimizuki. 

Yuu will get through this and he'll help his siblings get through this as much as being Warden of the North will allow him to. They're grieving, but they'll all move forward. They have to. 


The next morning, Yuu brings food to Maester Aererion for his breakfast. He's actually taken a special comfort in the man's company. He was an interesting man. Yuu puts the plate in front of the man before taking a seat.

"Ham! How much days in a row must a man be expected to start his day with ham? At least you brought beer." Aererion tells him.

Yuu yawns a nod. 

"You sound exhausted. Was your moonlight ride that tiring?" Aererion asks him.

Yuu looks at the man in surprise, "How did you-"

"I'm blind, but I knew what you were going to do as soon as you stormed off after hearing the news." Aererion tells him, "Don't be worried. If we beheaded everyone that got away for the night, there would only be ghosts guarding the wall. At least you weren't whoring in Pole's Town. Honor made you leave and honor brought you back." 

"My brothers brought me back." Yuu tells him.

"I never said your honor." The Maester responds.

"They killed my father." Yuu said.

"And you thought you would bring him back to life, are you? No? Good. We've had enough of that from beyond the wall." Aererion tells him.

Yuu nods, "The rangers are reporting whole villages being abandoned. At night, fires blaze on the mountains from dusk until dawn. A captured Wild One swore their tribes are uniting in some secret stronghold. At Ikebukuro they discovered four blue-eyed corpses. Unlike us, they were wise enough to burn them."

"When dead men or worse come hunting for us in the night, do you think it matter who sits on the Seraphin Throne?" Aererion asks him seriously.

"No." Yuu says.

"Good because I think it would be good for you and your wolf to go with the men on a scouting mission beyond the wall, leaving tomorrow. Your Lord Father used to occasionally do that. I hope you remember." Aererion tells him.

"Beyond the Wall?" Yuu remembers the few times Guren went beyond the wall with the rangers. He always wanted to join them, but Guren told him he was too young to join him and now was not his time.

"I'll do it. Guren left me in charge of the North to fight this war. I am the Warden of Nagoya and my father was the best one. The North knew peace like no other under his rule, I'll follow his lead. As a Watchmen, Warden, and Northerner, I will not sit meekly by and wait for the snows. I mean to find out exactly what is happening. We will ride in force and fight any Wild Ones, Vampires, and whatever else is out there. I will command them myself." Yuu says with a new resolve and determination to throw himself into ruling the North and fighting the war against the bloodsuckers. He is going to take the torch his father left for him, and run with it.


Kimizuki and Yoichi with Estle gather at the front gates to watch Yuu head out with the rangers on a mission to gather information. They both worry for his well-being after all that's happened. But, they know it's not Yuu's choice and he doesn't have much say in the matter. They themselves remember the excursions Guren took beyond the wall. It comes with being Warden of the North. They just hope he'll be safe and careful beyond the wall. If anyone can survive, its Yuu. Kimizuki and Yoichi will rule Nagoya with the help of both Maester's while Yuu is gone. 

They see Yuu at the front on his horse in his signature crow cloak. Asu stands beside him, ready to go. Yuu gives them a small smile and wave which they return. Their goodbyes earlier were short hugs, Yuu would be back in no time. Guren always returned quickly from these excursions. Yuu would be the same. The gates of the wall raise up. Yuu gives his brothers one last glance and nod before riding out with his men following behind.


Shinjuku - The Wastelands of Parishiam

Mikaela slowly feels himself coming to. He opens his eyes and his vision is blurry for a moment before becoming clear. He feels sweaty and hot, he turns and sees Ser Lacus in his armor with sword, napping. His moistens his mouth as he opens it to speak.

"Ser Lacus?" Mika says. 

The man immediately jumps up from his stool and re-sheathes his sword going to him.

"Gently." He says helping Mika sit up. Ser Lacus looks at him. Mika looks exhausted. He has tired eyes, chapped pink lips, and slightly messy hair with some undone braids.

"My child? My son? Where is he, I want him?" Mika gets out.

Ser Lacus' face falls.

"Where is he?" Mika asks more desperately.

"The boy did not live." Ser Lacus tells him.

Mika's eyes downcast. He feels a painful sadness and distress greater than he's ever felt in a long time, "Tell me?"

"What is there to tell?" Ser Lacus stalls.

"HOW DID MY SON DIE?" Mika shouts at him.

"He never lived, my princess. The women say-" Ser Lacus says.

"What do the women say?" Mika asks broken.

"They say-" Ser Lacus begins.

"Monstrous, twisted. I pulled him out myself. He was scaled like a lizard, but he had gold and white fur growing. Leather wings too, like the wings of a bat. When I touched his the skin fell from his bones. Inside he was full of grave-worms. I warned you, only death can pay for life. You knew the price." Irri Ill Inez walks in and tells him.

"The price?" Mika tells her annoyed and furious, "You were not exactly clear on the price. I did not know any of this was the bargain. You never told me. Very well, where is Khal Makoto then? Show him to me. Show me what I bought with my son's life."

"As you command, blonde beauty. I will take you to him. Come." Irri says with a glare.

"Time enough for that later." Ser Lacus tells him.

"I want to see him now." Mika declares heatedly to the man.


Mika walks out of the tent in his dirty dragon scale leather dress and pants with a shawl on his arms. When he steps out of the tent, he's hit by the blinding sun. He shades his tired eyes before they get adjusted to it with his hand. Ser Lacus follows him out. 

Mika looks at the empty tents, most of the khalasar abandoned it. There's only a few women and children, and even fewer men. "The khalasar is gone."

"A Khal who cannot ride is no Khal. I'm sorry, princess. Dothraki only follow the strong." Ser Lacus tells him as they walk. Takoto and Jhaqiu join them, he gives them each a grateful look.

Irri leads them further down the grassy plains where Makoto lies against a rock. 

"My sun and stars!" Mika exclaims excited to see the man, he goes on his knees to him. He caresses Makoto's cheek, but he's unresponsive. "Why is he out here alone?"

"He seems to like the warmth, princess." Ser Lacus tells him.

Mika kisses the man to see if he responds. Nothing. He's breathing, but there's nothing else. He's just a body. An alive one, not yet a corpse, but he's not himself. He's not Makoto. His Makoto. His alpha. His sun and stars. 

"He lives. You asked for life. You paid for life." Irri tells him simply.

Mika looks at the woman annoyed before looking back at Makoto's catatonic expression before returning to her. "This is not life. When will he be as he was?"

"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry. When the mountains blow in the wind like leaves." Irri tells him, satisfied with herself. Mika stares at her as a realization hits him.

"Leave us." Mika tells them.

"I don't want to leave you alone with this sorceress." Ser Lacus tells him.

"I have nothing more to fear from this woman. Go." Mika says standing up and staring at the woman angrily.

Irri bends down and starts to examine plants. Mika stares at her before walking to her. 

"You knew what I was buying and you knew the price." Mika tells her.

"It was wrong of your people to burn my temple. It angered the Great Shepherd." Irri tells him.

"This was not the Shepherd's work. My child was innocent." Mika tells her incredulously.

"Innocent? He would have been the Stallion Who Mounts the World. Now he will burn no cities. Now his khalasar will trample no cities into dust." Irri tells him amused.

"I spoke for you. I saved you." Mika tells her.

"Saved me? Three of those riders had already raped me before you saved me, omega. I saw my temple burn where I healed many men and women. In streets I saw so many heads. The head of a baker. The head of a boy I cured of a fever six weeks before. So tell me again exactly what it was that you saved?" The woman tries to sneer at him.

"Your life." Mika growled. He was shocked and appalled at what this woman has done to him. She's caused him to lose all of his family. His husband. His son. It was only him now because of her.

"Why don't you take a look at your Khal? Then you'll see what exactly life is worth when all the rest is gone." Irri tells him.

Mika looks at the woman before looking at his Makoto in his fugue state. He looks back at her enraged as she makes her way back to the tents.


Mikaela tends to his husband, washing him as he lay in the bed. He keeps staring at his face, hoping to see something that would show his Makoto would be as he was before, or at least show he was even alive. But, every time he looked there was not even a blink of his eyes. But, Mika would not give up on him. 

As he soaks the wash cloth, he decides to try once again to talk to him. 

"Do you remember our first ride, my sun and stars?" Mika asks him as he wipes Makoto's toned chest.

"If you are in there. If you haven't gone away, show me. You've always been a fighter. I need you to fight now. I know you're very far away, but please come back to me, my sun and stars." Mika pleads with the man caressing his blank face. 

No response. Mika's eyes downcast.

Mika feels more of himself being taken away as he moves from Makoto to soak the cloth again.


Mika lies on the left part of Makoto's chest after washing him. He trails his fingers up and down to other side. He realizes nothing he will say or do will bring Makoto, the real Makoto back to him. His love is as good as dead. The tears begin to pour out. Mika knows what he has to do.

"When the sun...rises in the west. And sets in the east. Then you shall return to me, my sun and stars." Mika says before looking at the impassive man with teary eyes. He sits up moving to hold the man's face to give him one final kiss. A last try to bring his husband back before he does what he needs to do.

Mika pours all the passion and love he felt during all of his time with Makoto into one last, searing kiss before pulling away slowly. Seeing no change, he dreads what comes next.

He takes a pillow next to Makoto and moves it over his face before pushing down with enough force to hold it down. Mika cries and whimpers come from him as he holds down the pillow. Makoto barely moves as the air leaves his body. He makes no sound and doesn't thrash as Mika sobs and weeps.

When Makoto stops moving Mika stays in the same position frozen at what he's just done. What he's been forced to do. He breaks down, letting the pillow fall from its position. Mika cries alone in their tent as he looks at Makoto's dead face. The exact same as before, his husband was killed long before Mika had to finish the job to end his suffering. The witch was going to pay for this. But right now, Mika wanted this last night alone with his husband's body to mourn the man in private. Mika cried for the whole night until he couldn't, over his husband's corpse. 


Mikaela and his small retinue prepare a funeral pyre the next night for Makoto. Ser Lacus and Takoto put his body on top of the wooden stage. Mika stands there in his white wedding dress his hair in a single braid going down his back. His eyes were hollowed out, but his voice was soft during the whole ordeal. Mika will burn Makoto, the witch, and his dragon eggs tonight.

Ever since they came into his possession, he's always felt like they needed to be close to fire for some special reason. Every time he brought them closer to a lantern he could feel a tingling in himself from the egg. These eggs were forged in fire. Mika did not know what would happen when he lights the fire, but if the eggs are gone, the only just way to go is by fire. Mika could not give them away or sell them. As a Shindo, they belonged to him. 

Mika held all three walking to Makoto's pyre. He laid the white one with golden stars to the right of Makoto's head, then the blue one with pink markings to the left of Makoto's head, and he finally laid the black one with the red speckles above Makoto's head. Mika looked at Makoto one last time before dropping one last kiss on his lips. Mika walked back to Ser Lacus. 

"Makoto will have no use for dragon eggs in the Night Lands, Khaleesi. Sell them. You can return to the Free Cities and live as a wealthy man for the rest of your days." Ser Lacus tells him.

"They were not given to me to sell." Mika replies simply and softly.

Ser Lacus looks at the pyre with everything Mika loves about to burn on it. Ser Lacus looks back at him worried, before speaking, "Khaleesi, my queen, I vow to serve you, obey you, to die for you if need be. But, let him go, Khaleesi. I know what you intend. Do not."

"I must." Mika looks at him confused, before realizing what Ser Lacus thinks and giving him a soft smile, "You don't understand."

"Don't ask me to stand aside as you climb on that pyre. I won't watch you burn." Ser Lacus tells him. 

"Is that what you fear?" Mika asks him with a ghost of a smile on his lips. He holds the right side of the man's face, gently pulling him down to plant a kiss on his cheek. He pulls back, but doesn't notice Ser Lacus' conflicted look as he turns to address the remaining Dothraki and Aftyians who stayed with him. 

"You will be my khalasar. I see the faces of slave. I free you. Take off your collars. Go if you wish, no one will stop you. But if you stay, it will be as brothers and sisters. As husbands and wives." Mika watches as a small amount move to leave with a despondent, but stoic look. Irri Ill Inez bound and kneeling smirks at this. Mika looks at her.

"Ser Lacus, bind this woman to the pyre." Mika says before looking at a hesitating Ser Lacus and repeats his vow to him earlier, "You swore to obey me." 

Ser Lacus finally moves to tie the woman to the pyre before Mika readdresses his khalasar.

"I am Mikaela of House Shindo of the blood of Old Valyria. I am the dragon's son. And I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming." Mika declares to them.

"You will not hear me scream." Irri gets out.

"I will." Mika says loudly before taking a quieter tone to himself, "But it is not your screams I want. Only your life."

Mika takes the torch from Takoto and lights the wooden circle leading to the pyre. Mika steps back to Ser Lacus as the fire spreads. Irri begins to shout incantations as the fire reaches her. Ser Lacus looks at Mika with wariness and concern. Mika watches as the fire starts to burn the wood. He smells the burning flesh and sees the smoke rising.

Mika begins to hear the sound of something cracking, then a next one, then a final one. Mika knows it's something for him. It was something he needed to see. Mika looks at Ser Lacus to see if he heard. Ser Lacus looks only at him about to say something, but Mika knows it will be something that's not about the crackling he can hear. Mika takes a slow step towards the cracking in the center of the fire. The witch's screams of incantations grew louder and more pained.

Mika moves closer to the ring of fire, he hears Ser Lacus calling his name, but he is drawn to the fire. He walks through the first ring his dress catching on fire. He crosses the second one as Ser lacus watches and calls for him. The crackling only gets louder to him. He feels nothing as he crosses through the fire. He feels no burn. No pain. He is the blood of the dragon. Fire was inside of him. Mika could hear the shrieks of women and children in wonder as he walked further into the fire finally reaching the pyre of Makoto. The flames danced around him as he crawled onto the pyre. 

Ser Lacus could only stare as the flames engulfed Mika. The people who stood with him kneeling and Ser Lacus looked for any trace of the boy, but the fire was too big now to make out anything. The only way would be to wait until it died down to see the ashen remains of his Khaleesi at dawn. Ser Lacus looked at the fire, depressed at the loss of his Khaleesi.


At dawn, Ser Lacus walks with Takoto and a few other men past the khalasar who camped out the entire night. Some are in the middle of just getting up from the sound of the men walking. A large cloud of smoke and ash is in the air where the pyre used to be. Ser Lacus approaches it carefully, and slowly dreading what he knows he will see. He looks around as he walks towards it at the blackened burnt wood.

As he approaches slowly he recognizes the top of a familiar head of pale blonde hair now covered with ash. He walks slowly until he reaches with the men. He now knows what it is. 

Mika, naked, and covered with ash hunched over something with his arms covering part of his head. The men look at the omega in awe and shock. 

Mika's head slowly rises up to look at them, exposing his chest. Ser Lacus sees something white and blue bundled in his lap covering his crotch, something he's never seen before. Mika somehow looks at him like a naive child and a world-weary man.  

Mika feels something crawling along his naked back as the men see a little black and red wing come to his shoulder with a little black dragon head peeking over. The men look at both of them with even more astonishment. Mika doesn't turn, but looks to the dragon coming up on his shoulder before looking back up at Ser Lacus. They all watch the dragon screeching in a normal volume on Mika's shoulder. All of them the most awed they have ever been.

Ser Lacus with wide-blown out eyes in shock gets down on one knee with his eyes never leaving Mika, "Blood of my blood."  

Mika sits up straight with perfect posture as the smoke now cleared out. All eyes are on him in amazement. The white dragon with gold-starred wings opens his eyes separating from the blue one with the pink markings on his wings. Mika looks at his khalasar meeting their eyes. Before slowly moving to stand up. Mika stands up fully as the red and black dragon perches on his shoulder, the blue and pink one is held by his arm close to his lap and covering his crotch, and the white and gold one is hanging off of his right thigh. They each screech as Mika stands triumphant and proud with his children.

With Mikaela now standing, everybody sees him and the dragons. The khalasar is stricken by admiration of the amazing omega. Mika brought dragons back into this world and survived walking through fire. They follow Ser Lacus' lead and kneel, bowing their heads in reverence. Ser Lacus looks up at Mika's ash covered body in admiration. 

Mika watches all of his khalasar kneel before him, grateful for their belief in him. His lips part in awe as the black dragon's screeches grow louder and its wings flap. Mika watches proud, amazed, and triumphant as the screeches of his dragon echoes.  

Chapter Text

Beyond the Wall - Rast's Keep

Yuu and his men continue on horseback. He sees a tiny boy, a beta managing to keep pace with him, but looking like he's struggling. He reminds him of Yoichi and he remembers his brothers briefly. Yuu hopes they're doing okay at Snowstorm. At least they have each other to rely on. His men look up to and respect him as the top alpha, but he's not close to much of them. He looks at the boy again before deciding to strike up a conversation with him. 

"Having a rough time of it?" Yuu asks him.

"Nothing's killed me yet." He tells Yuu, shaking his head.

"Your name?"

"Seishi, my lord." The boy tells him.

"A beta?" Yuu asks and the boy nods. "You have any family in Nagoya?"

"No, my lord. I'm from Ebina, my family is there." Seishi tells him. 

"How did you come here?" Yuu asks.

"Stole some bread and the Lord in charge sent me here." Seishi tells him.

"Which Lord is that?" Yuu asks.

"A corrupt one." The boy says.

Yuu looks ahead as they clear the forest and reach a large wooden house. Rast's Keep, his father took him here a few times when he was young. This was the furthest he ever took him. Rast was a fucker. He always hated Yuu, most of the old men his father knew did. Yuu was a very angry and aggressive alpha child. Most of them usually cared for obedient children. Rast was a fucker anyway. He fucked his daughters and omegan sons until they gave him more bastards. Guren hated him, but he said he was a necessary evil. The man seemed to be frightened of Guren a lot of the time. Yuu despised the man, he was a worthless shit. Getting drunk off his ass and treating everyone around him like shit. Yuu dreaded having to be courteous to that asshole.

"I was born in a place like this." One of the men said, Yuu thinks his name was Tadayo. 

They move into the snow-covered yard of the house and see numerous women and omegas meekly walking around. 

"Are those omegas?" Seishi asks as they get off their horses.

"Rast's sons and daughters. Careful around them, he's very possessive of them." Yuu says.

"He doesn't like people messing with his children?" Another man, named Benjey asks.

"He doesn't like people messing with his with his wives." Yuu says smirking. "He marries his omegas and women. They give him more bastards and on it goes."

"That's foul." Seishi says.

"It's beyond foul." Yuu agrees. "But, all the Wild Ones this side have moved, so Rast must have done something right."

"What happens to the boys and the alphas?" Seishi asks.

Yuu doesn't say anything, not having much of an idea, but knowing it's something terrible as he moves to go inside.  


Yuu sits as Rast watches him. Posturing as an alpha would in confidence and cockiness, his men stand beside him. 

"Well, you've certainly grown, you fucking bastard. I heard your father died a traitor. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm not particularly sad, though. Your father always did treat me like shit. But, he was an honorable fucker." Rast told him. His round fat face red with ale. He had a grey beard and a bald spot surrounded by grey hair. His eyes were lethal and bloodshot. 

"He was an honorable man." Yuu got out through his teeth.

"Listen, bastard. If I catch you or any of your men talking to my daughters..." Rast starts.

"No one will talk to your daughters." Yuu tells him honestly.

"You bring any of that good wine with you?" Rast asks him.

Yuu nods. They raided six abandoned villages and stole the provisions. Yuu knew the old fuck was a drunk. Easier to deal with if he had something to offer him. "We do. We passed through six villages on the way here. All abandoned. Where have the Wild One's gone?" 

"I could tell you, but I'm still thirsty." Rast tells him.

Yuu rolls his eyes quickly, annoyed tone taking over. He turns to one of his men. "The barrel of Shibuyan Red. Bring it here."

When the man leaves, Rast begins talking on Yuu's serious look. "That face is the face of your father. It's like he never left the North."

Yuu gives him a deadpan look.

Rast continues, "You want to know where they've all gone? North! To join the Wild King. He broke his vows to the North and now he's the King Beyond-the-Wall."

"He's been calling himself that for years. What's he king of, some frozen lake?" Yuu asks.

Rast looks at Yuu before looking at his men and points to one, "That's a nice looking axe. Fresh-forged?" 

Yuu looks at the man holding the axe before back at Rast, realizing what he wants.

"Give it here." Yuu tells Mitsuyo who begrudgingly hands it to him. "You'll have another one made at Snowstorm."

Yuu gives it to Rast, even more annoyed now. 

Rast inspects it, "This is some lovely steel. He's gathering an army. Word says its more men than you or any of your southern kings have."

"And where does he plan to march?"

"When you're all the way north, barring the bloodsuckers, of course. There's only one direction to go." Rast tells him.

"These are bad times to be living alone in the wild. The cold winds are coming." Yuu says.

"You sound more like your father than ever, bastard. Let them come. My roots are sunk deep." Rast grabs one of his wives, "Wife, tell the crows how content we are."

"This is our place. Our husband keeps us safe. Better to live free than die a slave." The blonde woman tells Yuu almost like she's been told what to say. 

"Don't it make you jealous, boy? To see an old man like me with all these young wives and nobody to warm your bed?" Rast sneers at him. 

"Not jealous, more like sick or nauseous to see a doddering old cunt like you fucking your daughters and omegas to bring more bastards in this world." Yuu thinks, but barely keeps himself from saying.

"I bet you regret choosing the path with all boys now, bastard." Rast tells him before standing causing Yuu to stand. "I suppose you want lodging and to eat me out of pigs."

"A roof would be welcome. It's been a long ride. We've brought our own food and steel for you." Yuu tells him.

Rast nods before looking at all of them, "Any man lays a hand on one of my wives, loses a hand."

Rast looks to Yuu directly now, "Even you, you fucking bastard. Just cause you're some lord now, doesn't mean I won't gouge your eyes out for touching what's mine."

"Your roof. Your rules." Yuu tells him seething with rage inside and controlling himself to keep it from coming out. Yuu's looking forward to getting away from this place as soon as possible.


Shibuya

Shinoa watches unimpressed as Aoi Sanguu fights another alpha woman. The men and women watch from nearby. She's stuck at this tournament for the little shit King's name day, watching from the top of the walls of the Royal Keep. At least, she's covered by the tent. She begins wondering where Shinya's at. She saw him at dinner last night, but hasn't seen him all morning. Shinoa watches as Aoi Sanguu knocks the woman off the wall before removing her helmet and bowing before Takashi. Her eyes catch Shinoa's.

"Well struck...dog." Takashi tells her before turning back to Shinoa. She quickly plasters a fake smile onto her face.

"Did you like that, aunty?" Takashi asks her.

"It was well struck, Your Grace." Shinoa muses.

"I already said that." Takashi looks at her.

"Yes, Your Grace." Shinoa says.

"Who's next?" Takashi asks.

"Ser Nobuhito of the Red House!" The steward announces and a man walks over. "And Ser Kaito of the Red House!"

No one comes forward. The royal steward tries again, "Ser Kaito of the Red House!"

"Here I am." A short and round man hurries to the stage awkwardly clutching his sword and shield. "Sorry, Your Grace. My deepest and sincerest apologies."

"Are you drunk?" Takashi asks.

"No. Only two cups of wine, Your Grace." Ser Kaito says.

"Two cups, that's not much at all." Takashi says with a sadistic glean in his eye, "Here have another."

"Are you sure, Your Grace?" The man asks timidly.

"Yes to celebrate my name day. Have two. Have as much as you like." Takashi says.

"It would be my honor, Your Grace." Ser Kaito says before bowing.

Takashi looks to Ser Fuola, "See that he drinks his fill, Ser Fuola."

Ser Fuola and two other Hiiragi men grab Ser Kaito and bring him to a more open area. Shinoa watches as the man is forced to his knees. One of the men keep him down, while Ser Fuola and the other man grab the barrel of wine. He forces a funnel down Ser Kaito's throat as they begin to pour the wine down the struggling man's throat.

Shinoa worried and terrified shouts, "You can't!"

Takashi looks at her annoyed, "What did you say? Did you say I can't?" 

"I only meant...it would be bad luck to kill a man on your name day" Shinoa covers her tracks.

"What kind of an omega's superstition..." Takashi starts.

"She's right. What a man sows on his name day, he reaps all year." Aoi Sanguu tells him.

Takashi looks at them both and considers this before sighing angrily, "Take him away. I'll kill him tomorrow, the fool."

The barrel and funnel are removed from the gagging man's mouth. He pukes out a mixture of blood and wine.

Shinoa gets an idea from this and hopes Takashi is foolish enough to fall for this trap. She can save the man's life if this works, "He is a fool, you're so clever to see it. He'd make a better fool than a knight. He doesn't deserve the mercy of a quick death."

Aoi Sanguu watches her intrigued.

Takashi looks at the omega before an idea "comes" to his head and he stands, "Did you hear my aunty, Ser Kaito? From this day, you'll be my new fool."

"Thank you, Your Grace." Ser Kaito tells Takashi before looking at Shinoa, "And you, my Lady."

Ser Kaito is taken away. 

"Beloved nephew." Shinoa knows that smug voice and relief fills her.

Shinya, Aiko Aihara, Masaaki, and a number of Hiiragi men come in from the right and people begin to murmur.

"I trust your name day tourney is satisfying your desires." Shinya tells him as he pours a glass of wine.

"After all I do for this kingdom by ruling it. It's the least I deserve." Takashi says.

"What a fine job you've done ruling the kingdom." Shinya says hugging Tyuri and kissing Shinoa on the cheek as a greeting before sitting next to her.

"Well you're looking prettier than her." Shinya tells Shinoa, gesturing to Aoi Sanguu who glares at him. "She doesn't like me. But, she hates Mahiru more." 

"I can't imagine why anyone would hate you." Aiko tells him sarcastically.

"At least, you're not dead." Aoi says, slightly grateful the tempered and smart omega was here to control the bratty king.

"Me too, dear Aoi. Death is so boring, especially with so much excitement in the world." Shinya tells her before looking at Shinoa, "How are you feeling about Guren's loss? Any better?"

"Loss?!? Guren was a traitor! He confessed!" Takashi screeches.

"He was her father more than my one was to her. Surely having also lost your father, you can sympathize." Shinya tells him.

"I am loyal to Takashi now." Shinoa says. She was not ever saying her father was a traitor again.

"Of course you are, dear girl. We all are." Shinya smirks sympathetically and Shinoa looks away.

Shinya gulps down the last of his wine before standing, "Well enjoy your name day, Your Grace. Sorry, I can't stay, but there's work to be done. I also need to borrow Aoi. The small council requests her presence and has asked me to get her before coming."  

Shinya leaves with his party and Aoi Sanguu following behind. 

Takashi watches with rage as his uncle walks away. He seems to be making himself at home as his hand. Takashi scoffed at the idea, but his mother assured him it was the best course of action. His mother never stood up for Shinya, so to see her doing so was unusual. He knew to listen to her. He always listened to what she advised him and she would never steer him down the wrong path. Shinoa watches Takashi with a smirk at his dissatisfaction.


Mahiru, The Grand Maester, Kagiyama, and Yukimi sit at the council table. 

"A raven from all the Maester's in the realm came this morning, Your Grace. The conclave has met and declared this great summer done, at last. The longest one in living memory." The Old Maester says.

"The peasants say a longer summer means a longer winter." Yukimi says.

"A common superstition." The Grand Maester glowers at her.

"We have enough wheat for a five-year winter. If it goes longer, we'll have less peasants." Kagiyama shrugs.

They hear a whistling and see Shinya approaching with Aoi Sanguu. Everyone turns to see him approach.

"Don't get up." Shinya says moving to kiss Mahiru on the cheek who responds coldly before sitting down, "More ravishing than ever, big sister. War agrees with you. Carry on. Do forgive the interruption."

Mahiru ignores him and turns to Aoi, "Lady Sanguu, what is the refugee situation like in the streets?"

"The city's drowning in refugees, Your Grace. Fleeing from the North. We have nowhere to house them, and with winter coming it will only get worse." Aoi tells her.

"Are you not the current commander of the City Watch?" Mahiru says heatedly.

"Yes, Your Grace."

"Are you not a Lady at my command?"

"Yes, Your Grace." Aoi bristles at the lady part, not really seeing herself as one, but knowing her title.

"Do your job then. Shut the gates to the peasants. They belong in the field, not our capital." Mahiru tells her.

"Yes, Your Grace." Aoi nods.

"You can go now." Mahiru tells her before the woman moves to leave.

"It's been a remarkable journey. So many adventures to be thankful for." Shinya says to the council members he's seeing for the first time since his return. Well, except Mahiru and Yukimi. "Shall we get started?"

"This adjourns the meeting." Mahiru says before everyone gets up to leave. They all file out as Mahiru and Shinya stay back.

"You brought this on yourself." Mahiru tells him.

"You brought this on yourself too." Shinya says. 

"I've done nothing." Mahiru says.

"Nothing looks more like something. You're lucky you deadlocked the North from rising against us, at least they're stuck there. But, Seishirou has Kureto, killed an eighth of our army, and intends to take the throne." Shinya says.

"Well you're the one who tried to stop him. You're the reason our men is gone, our brother is gone!" Mahiru stands up.

"He was foolish and rash to get himself caught and our army murdered. The bit of theater you pulled with Guren will haunt our family for generations." Shinya says.

"Still mourning the loss of your lover?" Mahiru sneers.

"Not more than you are for your one." Shinya sneers back. "Seishirou's won the first battle."

"What do you know about warfare?" Mahiru asks.

"No more than the history books say." Shinya says. "But, I know people. Our enemies hate each other as much as they hate us. Seishirou is one of them now."

They look at each other in silence.

"Takashi is King." Mahiru says.

"Takashi is King." Shinya repeats.

"You're here to advise him." Mahiru tells him.

"I am only here to advise him. If the King listens to what I say, he may get his Uncle back." Shinya says.

"How?"

"You love your children. It's your one redeeming quality. That and your cheekbones. Keep that love in your heart. Seishirou is unraveling. We need to wait for him to come to us and we will win the battle and destroy his army. Our defenses will be fortified and more men trained from the refugees." Shinya says. "What of Mitsuba Sanguu?"

"Mitsuba, the little animal. She disappeared." Mahiru says.

"You lost a child? You're lucky we still have Shinoa with us, otherwise there would be no way to keep the North in check. It must be strange to be the disappointing Hiiragi." Shinya muses, acting in a way to satisfy his family.

Shinya sips his wine as Mahiru looks away. 


Kagiyama walks down a hallway as Mahiru, donned in her family's red and gold dress, with some of the kingsguard approach from behind. 

"Lord Kagiyama." Mahiru says.

"Your Grace." Kagiyama says.

"I wonder if I might ask you a favor." Mahiru says.

"Of course, Your Grace." Kagiyama says.

"The Sanguu girl that came with Guren, Mitsuba. We can't seem to locate her." Mahiru says as they begin walking with the guards following.

"If she has escaped the capital. It seems Nagoya would be her most likely destination." Kagiyama says.

"But, my friends in the North report no sign of her." Mahiru says.

"Curious." Kagiyama muses.

"If we can retrieve her, then the girl gives us more value against the North to use. Whoever finds her, well, you know what they say about Hiiragi's and debts." Mahiru says.

"Well, you could try Yukimi. She'll have an answer for you. Whether you believe it...I myself have a hard time trusting her. Nobody ever seems to get a good grasp on what she wants." Kagiyama says to her.

"A mockingbird. You created your own sigil, did you not?" Mahiru points at the silver mockingbird pin on the man's tunic.

"Yes."

"Appropriate for a self-made man with so many songs to sing." Mahiru says.

"I'm glad you like it. Some people are fortunate enough to be born into the right family. Others have to find their own way." Kagiyama tells her.

"I heard a song once about a boy of modest means who found his way into the home of a prominent family. He loved the youngest omega son. Sadly, he had eyes for another." Mahiru smirks at the man condescendingly.

"When boys and girls; Omegas, betas, and alphas all live in the same home, awkward situations can arise. Sometimes I've heard even brothers and sisters develop certain affections. And when those affections become common knowledge, well, that is an awkward situation, indeed. Especially in a prominent family. But, prominent families seem to forget a simple truth, I've found." Kagiyama tells her vengefully.

"And which truth is that?" Mahiru asks musingly while annoyed.

"Knowledge is power." Kagiyama says.

Mahiru is taken aback for a second before smirking scornfully, "Seize him." The guards seize Kagiyama. "Cut his throat." A guard holds a knife to Kagiyama's throat. "Stop. Wait. I've changed my mind. Let him go." The guards let him go. "Step back three paces. Turn around. Close your eyes." The guards do as Mahiru says and Kagiyama watches in slight awe. Mahiru walks up to him.

"Power is power." Mahiru tells him seriously, "Do take some time away from your coins and whores to locate the Sanguu girl for me. I would very much appreciate it."

Mahiru walks away from Kagiyama, her guards follow her.


Mahiru and her guards enter the throne room to see Takashi dismissing servants all around. She walks to him. 

"What is all this?" She asks him.

"Returning this room to its proper appearance. Say what you will about the Shindo's, but they were conquerors. That is a seat for a conqueror. It needs a room to match it, not flowers and vines." Takashi says.

"We can't find Mitsuba Sanguu." Mahiru tells him.

"Good. Maybe she's dead in a ditch somewhere." Takashi says nonchalantly.

"Maybe, but if not, she could be a valuable asset to have if the North makes a move on us." Mahiru says.

"We need to set our armies on the task of finding her. Send out as many men as you can. I'm sure if you ask-" Mahiru says.

"A king does not ask. A king commands. The girl is worthless to us. My uncle was foolish enough to fall into my even stupider uncle's trap and now he holds him hostage. He looks to usurp my crown. My rightful crown." Takashi says.

"His life is in danger. He's your uncle." Mahiru says.

"We're at war. All of our lives are in danger. I heard a disgusting lie about Uncle Kureto. And you." Takashi says.

"Our enemies will say anything to weaken your claim to the throne." Mahiru assures him.

"It's not a claim. The Seraphin Throne is mine." Takashi says.

"Of course it is. Nobody believes this foul gossip." Mahiru says.

"Someone believes it. Father, he had other children besides me and Tyuri?" Takashi questions.

"What are you asking?" Mahiru says, not sure if she's ready to tell Takashi any of this.

"I'm asking if he fucked another woman when he grew tired of you. How many bastards does he have running around-" Takashi doesn't get to finish as Mahiru strikes him across the face in anger. She feels an instant pang of regret hit her after she's done it. Takashi looks back at her shocked with a noticeable red bruise. Workers stop to look at them, Takashi looks at them all before back at Mahiru. Mahiru looks and feels nervous. "What you did is punishable by death. You will never do it again. Never."

Takashi begins to walk back to the workers, "That will be all, mother." Takashi turns away from her still in shock and fury at what his mother's done for no good reason. She's lucky she's his mother. Mahiru looks at him one last time before leaving with her guards following.    


Fuola Honte walks through a room in one of Kagiyama's brothels on strict orders of what to do from the Queen-Regent and King. He sees various alpha, beta, and omega combinations in multiple states of undress and sexual positions. They told him to kill all of the late Lord Goshi's bastards, so there would be no one left to challenge Takashi's claim. 

He walks through the door to see a whore. One who fucked the late Norito Goshi and bore him a son. He grabs the baby from the whore and slits its throat, leaving the screaming and wailing omega behind. He's killed around eleven of the bastards today. There was only one more to deal with, the oldest one.


Fuola Honte has one of his men hold the head of the blacksmith against a fire.

"What's his name?" Honte asks the blacksmith.

"Shusaku! Shusaku is his name! He has the bastard name Iwasaki!" The blacksmith says rapidly in fear.

"Where is he?" Honte asks him.

"They took him. Heading to Nagoya on the Kingsroad." The blacksmith says more calmly.

"How will we know him?" Honte asks.

"He's got a bull-head's helmet. He made it himself." The blacksmith says.

"Find him." Honte nods, sending the group of men out to find the bastard of Norito Goshi named Shusaku Iwasaki. 


Torrhen's party is on a road surrounded by trees. The boy that saved Mitsu jumps onto a wagon putting down his bull-headed helmet to help Mitsuba onto the cart. She sits across from Shusaku as they stare out the cart at the long line of men headed to the North.


Sannomiya

"The Lord of Light comes to us. We offer up these false deities." Mito Jujo says in her red dress on the shore of Sannomiya. Seishirou and his men stand further away from the Red Woman. Mito stands in front burning statues of the Seven as offerings to the Lord of Light. "Take them and cast your light upon us. For the night is dark and full of terrors."

"FOR THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF TERRORS!" The group of men shout in unison. Further back, shackled in chains all the way to his neck and inside of a wooden cage is Kureto who stares in annoyance at the ceremony as a Maester moves to stand with him as they watch the ceremony with similar looks.

"After the long summer, darkness will fall heavily on this world. Stars will bleed as you see with your eyes." Mito says gesturing to the red comet in the sky. 

"I need to stop her." The Maester grumbles.

Kureto looks at the man before back at the Red Woman.

"The cold breath of winter will freeze the seas." Mito says.

Kureto looks at the old man, "And what do you plan on doing about it?"

"And the dead shall rise in the North." Mito says.

The man looks at Kureto before walking to the front of the men, "Is this how you treat the Seven? The ones you were all taught to worship when you were babes. Are you so eager to give up on your ancestors?" The Maester says looking at the Red Woman as he speaks.

Mito approaches him and caresses the side of his wrinkled face and calmly says. "You smell of fear. Fear and piss, and old bones. You want to stop me? Stop me." 

The old man looks at her and then at Seishirou. Seishirou looks at him unmoved before the Maester concedes and stands aside to let the Red Witch continue. Kureto chuckles at that. It was the most entertained he's been in a long time.

"In the ancient books, it's written a warrior will draw a burning sword from a fire. And that sword shall be Lightbringer." Mito announces before looking directly at Seishirou, "Seishirou Hiiragi, warrior of light. Your sword awaits you."

Seishirou looks at her before approaching one of the burning statues the one of The Mother. Everyone's attention is on him, even Kureto. Seishirou puts his gloved hand on the hilt of the sword inside of the statue before pulling it out. He stares in awe as the sword is inflamed. Fire coming from and surrounding its blade, but not melting it. All eyes stare at him in shock, wonder, and fear. Even Kureto has trouble maintaining his unimpressed composure. Mito looks at them all knowingly. Seishirou sticks the blade into the sand, stopping the fire as smoke comes from the sword in the sand. The crowd kneels. The Maester moves to where Kureto is at the back.

"Lord, cast your light upon us!" The crowd says together.

"For the night is dark and full of terrors." Mito calls.

"For the night is dark and full of terror." Seishirou says before looking at Kureto's unimpressed gaze. Feeling his anger boil, he walks away with Mito following him. Slowly the crowd disperses leaving only a caged Kureto and the old Maester.

"That omega will drive him to madness." Kureto says.

The Maester nods in agreement.

"If only there were some way to get rid of her." Kureto says to the old man.

The Maester looks at him, "Seishirou is our King. We serve him. We follow where he leads. Even if we don't like the path."

"Create a new path for him then. You and I both know the Red Woman will drive him insane. She will cause him to go down paths that will lead to your demise. His demise. You serve your king, so save him before she has him in her grasp. No matter what it takes." Kureto says to him before turning away. The Maester leaves in contemplation looking at the burning statues. 


"And I declare that I am to succeed my beloved father." The Maester says in the small council chambers. Seishirou, Mito, and all the other men listen to him reading the letter to be sent to Shibuya.

"He wasn't beloved. I didn't love him. He didn't love me." Seishirou interjects.

"A harmless courtesy, Your Grace." The Maester says.

"A lie. Remove it." Seishirou says. Mito watches them with fascination.

"Takashi Hiiragi is no true-born heir. Neither is Tyuri. Both were born of incest between my siblings Mahiru Hiiragi and Kureto Hiiragi. By right of-" The Maester continues.

"Call them what they are. Bastards." Seishirou tells the Maester who makes the change. "And Lord. Say what you will Kureto is a Hiiragi."

"Lord Kureto Hiiragi. By right of birth and blood, I do this day lay claim to the Seraphin Throne of Westeria. Let all true men declare their loyalty.” The Maester finishes as Seishirou nods.

"Send copies of that letter to every corner of the realm, from Shibuya to Nagoya. The time has come to choose. Let no man claim ignorance as an excuse." Seishirou says.

"Your Grace, your family is the true enemy. Why not ask these other lords for support, rather than force it?" The Maester asks.

"Seishirou does not need to beg this lord or that lord for any support. The Lord of Light stands behind him." Mito says.

"And how much ships does your lord have in his fleet?" The Maester asks.

"My lord needs no ships." Mito declares.

"I'm sure he doesn't. But we do, if we're going to war." The Maester says.

"They'll bend the knee or I'll destroy them. I'll force them to." Seishirou states with a finality. The Maester shrinks into himself staring at his wine. His King will be too far gone if he does nothing. He'll kill himself, but he'll also kill the witch. He covers his wine and slips in a tablet. He takes a breath and stands up. 

"You're right. I owe you an apology, my King. My duty is to serve. You have chosen a new god to follow in place of the old one. May the Lord of Light watch over us all." The Maester says standing up and walking over to Mito who gives him a coy smile before standing. "A cup of wine to honor the one true Lord."

Everyone at the table reaches for their glasses. The Maester takes a sip of the wine before offering it to Mito with a smile that she returns. Mito watches the man's behavior as he stumbles and his nose begins to bleed. She gives him a knowing and smug smile before drinking the wine down in one gulp. The Maester falls to the floor dead, all of the men in the room stand up. They all look at Mito who seems unaffected by the poison. She looks at the old man's corpse.

"The night is dark and full of terrors, old man. But, the fire burns them all away, Your Grace." Mito says.


Seishirou is led by torch to the cage where Kureto is located. Kureto looks up as his brother walks in. 

"King of...What are you King of anyway? Sannomiya? Can't be Shibuya because you aren't sitting on the Seraphin Throne. Have you grown fond of me? I always was the one who was popular with the omegas. The Red Woman must not be serving you well." Kureto taunts him.

"I'll unseat your bastard soon, brother. Mahiru and her little shit should receive a raven in a fortnight outlining my terms." Seishirou says.

"What terms are those?" Kureto asks.

"Unconditional surrender." Seishirou says.

Kureto can't help, but bark out a laugh at that. "That's not going to happen, you know. You overestimate how much I'm needed back there."

"On the contrary, I think you underestimate how much our sister needs your cock filling her. That is how Takashi came into this world." Seishirou says.

"You're still a foolish, impulsive, cocky boy." Kureto observes.

"You were defeated by this boy. Outwitted by giving into your impulses." Seishirou says. "You're held captive by this boy. Maybe you'll be killed by this boy. This boy is the rightful king."

"Since when?" Kureto says.

"Since I was born. I was made to be the Ruler of the Six Kingdoms. It's my destiny." Seishirou says.

"Why are you here?" Kureto asks, rolling his eyes.

"I had a few things only you could clarify. Guren. He was executed because he found out your little bastard secret? And you were the one who pushed the Saotome boy to cover it up because he found out too?" Seishirou says.

"Guren was executed? How do you know?" Kureto asks curiously.

"Ravens. I've been keeping myself updated. Just because I've left home, doesn't mean information hasn't gotten to me." Seishirou says.

"Huh? Guren actually dead. I never thought Mahiru would finally do it." Kureto chuckles.

"She always had an obsession with him. I was surprised she did it too." Seishirou says before looking at Kureto again. "So am I correct?"

Kureto meets his eyes, determined to not give his brother any satisfaction, "You have proof? Or do you want to trade gossip like a couple of wives?"

"As I thought you would say." Seishirou stands up. 

"Brother." Kureto calls, "Just remember a victory doesn't make you a conqueror."

"It's better than a defeat." Seishirou says as he leaves Kureto in his cage.


Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

A long line of people wait to speak to Kimizuki seated in the center with Yoichi seated to his right and the Maesters to his left at the long table on a platform in the Great Hall. 

"My lords, my fort will not stand the winter. The stones were last mortared in the time of the Mad King. The masons are not fit to hold up their fathers' hammers. When I was a boy, I remember seeing them put up a new tower at Boren's Square in a summer. Men worked back then. Today, my fort looks like it was built by drunk children. At night you can hear the wind whistling. And if it rains, I might as well be sleeping under a waterfall." The Lord told them. Yoichi could barely keep himself awake during his speech. He was exhausted from his dreams at night.

"Maintenance, generally falls to the Lord of a Fort." Maester Cessarian says.

"Generally, yes, but all the men have been taken for the lord's mission beyond the wall." The Lord says.

"The Warden's mission is ensure our safety against the bloodsuckers. It's not a war he chose." Yoichi says annoyed. Kimizuki gives him a concerned look.

"That may be, my lord. But, without those men there is no way for me to maintain my fort." The Lord says.

"We can spare four masons a week, my lord. Will that be sufficient?" Kimizuki says, ignoring the looks of the Maesters and Yoichi.

"It will, My Lord." The man says before leaving. 

They look at Kimizuki who simply says, "We didn't want him here all day, did we?"

"I didn't like the way he talked about Yuu." Yoichi said. 

"Nor did I." Maester Aererion says. "But, being a lord means listening to all of the concerns of your people, no matter how much you don't want to, my lord."

Yoichi considers this before calling over the next Lord, "Lord Marsten."

Kimizuki pulls his sleeve, leaning down close to him, "You okay? You seem a little on edge."

"I haven't been getting a lot of sleep." Yoichi said.

"Guren?" Kimizuki asks.

"That." Yoichi says, "And the three-eyed raven."

Kimizuki considers this, "I think you should take the rest of the day and tomorrow to rest. I'll send Estle for you."

"What? Kimizuki, No, I can manage." Yoichi says.

"I insist. I also insist you call me by my first name, considering I've been doing the same to you. I know I always preferred you didn't, but now I don't mind so much." Kimizuki says.

"Okay. Shihou." Yoichi with a pretty pink blush, smiled at the boy who gave him a small one back. Kimizuki liked the way the name rolled off Yoichi's tongue.

Kimizuki called Estle to take Yoichi away.


Yoichi runs through the night, panting. He reaches the godswood. He looks up and sees a red comet in the sky above the trees. He approaches the body of water by the heart tree. Yoichi looks down at the pond and is shocked to not see his reflection staring at him. It's the reflection of his wolf, Gekko. 


Yoichi's eyes suddenly open in shock, waking him from his slumber.


Estle walks with Yoichi on his back the next morning. Chihiro follows them bending down to observe a plant as Estle walks. 

Chihiro comes back to them with the plant, "Boil this down and drink the tea. It will make all your pain go away."

Chihiro pockets some of the plant. 

"I don't have any pain." Yoichi says.

"Lucky for you." Chihiro says.

"That way." Yoichi directs Estle to the location of his dream last night. Chihiro follows them. 

"You've been having those dreams again." Chihiro states.

"I don't dream." Yoichi lies.

"Everyone dreams." Chihiro says.

"I don't." Yoichi lies again. He looks up and sees the red comet. "I heard some of the men talking about the comet. They say it's an omen. We'll ultimately win the war against the dead."

"Did they?" Chihiro says as Estle kneels by the pond, she unstraps Yoichi. "I heard some of the other fools saying its Hiiragi red. Meaning they'll rule all Six Kingdoms in the end. I heard a stable boy say it's the color of blood to mark the death of your father." 

Chihiro places him on the ground. Yoichi begins to crawl to the edge of the pond.

"The stars don't fall for men, boy. The red comet means one thing, little lord. Dragons." Chihiro says.

Yoichi looks at his reflection in the pool, not knowing what he was expecting to be there. Yoichi looks back to Chihiro his belief in magic dimmed, "The dragons are all dead. They've been dead for centuries." 


Shinjuku - The Yellow Waste 

Mikaela stumbled a small bit before catching himself as he walked. He had led his khalasar past The Wastelands of Parishiam into the Yellow Waste. Ser Lacus told him this was the only way. They would be killed if anyone found them on their way back. His children and his people would be killed if they went back. The only way to go was further into the Waste to cross it. The black and red dragon perched excitedly on his shoulder covered by a metal armor as Mika walked. Ser Lacus helped men in the front of the line. Mika's pregnancy weight was slowly lessening as the heat of the sun, walking, and lack of much food took that effect on him. His hair was messy and stringy. Braids in a state of deconstruction. His leather dragon scale tank top and brown pants dirty, his leather skirt ripped at the ends, and his boots stained with sand. His lips chapped and skin tanned. He couldn't tell if it was from the fire that birthed his children or from the Sun.

The dragon flapped his wings and released little screeches causing Mika to crack a small smile. He had named the black and red one Makoton after Makoto. He had his spirit and excitement to fight. He reminded him so much of Makoto. He named the blue and pink one, Nikolarion after his late father. He may have been a cruel tyrant, but he was still Mika's father. He had named the white and gold one, Rhaelia in honor of his late mother. He learned all about his parents from Lucal. That was another thing the man had told him during his education.

Mika tries to offer Makoton a piece of meat. The dragon turns his head away and Mika concedes.

"What do you know about them, Khaleesi?" Dyara asked from behind him.

"Enough to know they eat meat." Mika says. "Dragons aren't particular about what they eat. It could be something with the baby ones or they could just not be hungry. But, they've only eaten when they needed to, since they were born."

Dyara looks dejected as Mika gets Makoton off his shoulder with an open hand. Mika puts him back into the carrier with his siblings.

At the front of the khalasar a horse collapses. Ser Lacus runs to the white mare. Mika rushes to the horse too, recognizing the horse that fell. Ser Lacus is already there when Mika goes down to check the horse's pulse. He feels nothing and looks at Ser Lacus who shakes his head.

Mika looks back at the white mare sadly. Her white color ruined by the sand of the Waste with a darker mane than before. He wants to conjure tears, but cannot. He finds himself too dried up. "She was Makoto's first gift to me."

"I remember." Ser Lacus tells him.

"I promised to protect them. Promised them their enemies would die screaming. How do I make starvation scream?" Mika says frustrated.

"A trick I never learned, I'm afraid." Ser Lacus says.

Mika looks at the waste. All he can see is sand for miles. "Does it ever end?"

"This is the furthest East I've ever been, Khaleesi. But, yes, everything ends, even the Yellow Waste." Ser Lacus tells him.

"And you're sure there's no other way?" Mika asks him.

"If we go south to the land of the village Makoto pillaged, the Sheep Men will kill us and take your dragons. If we go west, any Dothraki we encounter will kill us and take your dragons." Ser Lacus told him.

"No one is taking my dragons." Mika said.

"They are too weak to fight, as are your people. You must be their strength." Ser Lacus told him.

"As you are mine." Mika looks back at him with a grateful smile that gives Lacus a burning feeling. Mika knows he needs to do something. He calls his blood riders over.

"Takoto, Bakugou, Saisho. Take our remaining horses. You head northeast." Mika tells Takoto. 

"You head southeast." Mika tells Bakugou.

"You head east." Mika tells Saisho.

"What do we seek, Khaleesi?" Takoto asks him. 

"Cities, living or dead. Caravans and people. Rivers, lakes, or even the great salt sea. Find how far the Yellow Waste extends to us, and what's on the other side." Mika tells him.

Mika dismisses them as they go to the horses.

Mika walks to Takoto who strokes the head of his horse. 

"Takoto, you are my last hope. Blood of my blood." Mika tells him.

"I will not fail you, blood of my blood." Takoto tells him.

"You never have." Mika tells him sincerely.

Takoto blushes and looks down before looking back at Mika and up at something, "This is...bad time to start."

Mika's small smile disappears into concern as he steps back. Bakugou rides away from behind him. Saisho left before him. Mika watches as Takoto rides away.

As the khalasar watches the men ride away. Something in the sky catches Mika's eye, when he turns around. A troubled look crosses Mika's face as he realizes what Takoto meant. The red comet. The red star falling from the blue sky. A bad omen for the Dothraki. Mika stares at the fallen star with worry on his face. 


Shinjuku - The Docks of Kyrna

"WE'RE APPROACHING KYRNA!" One of the men on the boat shouts. That catches Guren's attention as he looks out the boat to see the ship approaching a dock. He feels deflated and anxious all at once. He misses everyone in the West and it's been a long, straight ride on the ship. He wonders what Yuu and Shinya are doing. How Mitsu and Shinoa are feeling. How Yoichi and Kimizuki are dealing with everything. He'd never admit it to them, but he misses them all. He looks at the rapidly approaching dock with anxiousness crossing over his face. At least he's in the Free Cities, he won't need to worry much about slavers.


Guren steps off the boat and walks off the bridge. The captain already assured him everything was taken care of in terms of payment. 

Guren walks through the alleys of Kyrna filled with whores trying to earn their keep. He reaches an empty alley and allows himself to fall onto his knees. His legs give in to the grief he feels at not being able to see anyone from his family or his lover for a long time. For the first time in a long time, Guren lets himself cry. He hasn't ever felt the need to, not in a while. Not even after Yoichi's accident. His fate cycles through his mind, the thoughts of being away from his loved ones, the thoughts of how they must feel thinking he's dead, the thoughts of the grief he's causing them finally cause the alpha to break. Tears pour down his face as he growls and curses loudly.

After he lets it all out, Guren collects himself. He wipes his eyes until there is no trace of his sadness. Guren realizes, he needs a drink.


Guren sits at the back of the crowded tavern sipping on his ale. He hasn't let the thoughts of his loved ones leave him, they probably never will. Guren orders another round. He keeps on ordering until he can't feel much. He lets the ale take away all of his sorrows. 

He realizes Shinya sent him here, he can't just sit on his ass and drown his dread with booze. Not like he could or would take a whore. He would never do that to Shinya, he doesn't even think he could if he tried. Guren starts thinking about what to do. Shinya said maybe something with a sword. He is still one of the best swordsman of Westeria. Maybe he could be a sell-sword or an assassin or a guard.  

That's when it hits him. A sword. He doesn't have his anymore. He'll need to have another one made. Good thing he had the gold Shinya gave him. That would give him a start, or at least a good sword.

"What!? Dragons!" Guren turns to see a man shouting excitedly to another one. 

"A Dothraki said the Shindo boy had them. I heard from someone in Asshain. They're calling him the Mother of Dragons. The omega's somewhere in the Waste now, though." The other man nodded. That certainly peeked an inebriated Guren's interest.

"No fucking way! Even if he did have them, they'll die in the desert. There's nothing there for miles." The man said.

"I know. But, if it is true. That means an omega brought back dragons. An omega, who would have thought?" The other one said. 

"That's not all, the omega, Mikaela, he grew up here. They say he's the most beautiful creature to grace the world. They say his beauty is almost inhuman." Another one piped in. 

"I bet his ass is nice. I'd like to pound into his beautiful, inhuman-" One man started before Guren decided to tune them out. 

Mikaela Shindo has dragons? Mikaela Shindo is the...Mother of Dragons? Guren tries to process this. The boy he tried to save. The boy who was supposed to be dead, lived against all odds. The boy whose father he killed. That boy now had dragons. An omega had brought dragons back into this world. Even if it was a rumor, they're usually steeped in truths. And a rumor as big as this one couldn't be a lie. Everyone knew dragons were gone. Mikaela was probably looking to cross the Blood Sea and return to his homeland. The land Guren was just forced to leave, where all of his loved ones were. His children were there, his love was there, and his home was there.

An idea comes to him in his drunken, but sober enough haze. He can go to this boy, face his judgment hoping he understands why he did what he did to his father, swear his sword to him, and join his service to get back to Westeria as a part of his party. It's better than waiting eleven years to return alone when there's always the chance he may be found and killed. At least, with Mikaela he will have the advantage of his protection, even if he doesn't have the dragons. It's a risk, but it will get him back to his family faster. Dragons take less time than eleven years to mature and Mikaela will want to take back Westeria when they're full grown.

The boy can kill him, he knows this. But, omegas are smarter and more rational than alphas. He hopes the boy is more reasonable than his father and will listen to his pleas. He's a child, but he's also been married, maybe he's matured enough to know reason. The boy will understand. He will have to plead his case as good as he can. He wonders how the omega got dragons in the first place. He'll have to ask him.  

Guren looks down at the mug of ale thinking about Kimizuki, Yoichi, Shinoa, Mitsu, Shinya, and Yuu. He can't let them suffer for him. He has to get back to them. Mikaela is the fastest and safest way to do so, even if going to Nikolai's son is risky. Guren knows he needs to do this for the sake of his honor as an Ichinose and he'd stand a chance of getting back to his family sooner.

Guren gulps down the ale. He leaves the tavern in determination to seek forgiveness for the dishonorable deeds of his past, in order to, get back to his family. First, he needs to find a blacksmith to make him a sword before he can begin his search for the Mother of Dragons.

Chapter Text

Kingsroad

Mitsuba squats near a bush to relieve herself. She takes in the silence of the forest as the water trickles onto the ground. She hears a rustling near the bushes and rapidly turns her head keeping her eyes wary. She hears nothing else as she finishes and pulls up her breeches. She makes her way back to camp. 

As she gets closer she sees a whole group of people collecting wood. She joins in to help, not noticing the three pairs of eyes on her.  

"Boy." One of the men in the wagon say to her. Mitsu looks up at him. His long brown hair, eyes filled with mystery and wisdom, and tanned face dirtied from the trouble of being held prisoner. "Lovely boy."

"What do you want?" Mitsu asks him.

"A man has a thirst. A man has not drunk for a very long time. A boy could make a friend." The mysterious man tells her.

"I have friends." Mitsu tells him about to walk away.

"Give us a fucking beer. Before I skin you." A fat, ugly, deranged man next to him tells her.

"A man does not choose his companions. These two have no courtesy. A man must ask for forgiveness." The mysterious man tells her. "You're called Mitch."

Mitsu nods.

"The man has the honor to be Nix Parthe. Once of the Free Cities of Harajuku." Nix tells her.

"Aye you little shit, get us some fucking beer!" The fat, ugly man shouts to her. 

Mitsu having enough of him throes all the wood in her arms at him angrily, "Maybe you should have asked nicely."

Mitsu begins to hit the cage with the stick aiming for the fat man as Nix laughs. 

"Come closer and I'll shove that stick up your bunghole bloody." The fat man tells her.

"No you won't because your tiny cunt won't let you." Mitsu tells him.

"The girl has more courage than sense." Nix appraises.

Mitsu sees Shusaku walk past with wood and joins him as the fat man curses her.

"Torrhen says not to go near 'em." Shusaku says.

"They don't scare me." Mitsu responds.

"Really? Then you're stupid. They scare me." Shusaku says.


Two gold cloaks ride in on horseback. Mitsu and Shusaku both get alarmed. Shusaku puts the wood down.

"What are gold cloaks doing this far from Shibuya?" Mitsu asks as she moves to hide under some wood. Shusaku looks at her in confusion and kneels to her level.

"What are you doing?" He asks her.

"They're looking for me." She responds lowly.

Mitsu and Shusaku watch as the two gold cloaks approach Torrhen.

"You're in charge here?" One asks.

"You're a long way from home." Torrhen says calmly.

"I asked you a question." The gold cloak said.

"Aye, you did. You asked without manners. And I chose not to answer." Torrhen says.

The other one pulls out a rolled up paper. "I have a royal warrant for one of these gutter rats you're transporting."

Mitsu and Shusaku share worried looks with each other. Mitsu purses her lips.

"Well the thing is, these gutter rats belong to the Night's Watch now. That puts them beyond the reach of kings and queens." Torrhen says simply.

The gold cloak tries to pull out his sword, but Torrhen moves quickly and already has a dagger to the man's leg. "It's a funny thing. People always worry about their throats, they forget about what's down low. I sharpened this blade before breakfast. I could shave an ass if I wanted to, or I could nick this artery in your leg. Once it's nicked, there's no one around here to un-nick it."

Torrhen takes the guard's sword, and the other one pulls his out. "We'll just keep that. Good steel is always needed on the Wall. Seems you have a choice. Die here at the crossroads far from home. Or go back to your city and tell your masters you didn't find what you were looking for."

The men address the crowd, "We're looking for a boy named Shusaku Iwasaki."

Mitsu and Shusaku both look shocked.

"He carries a bulls-head helmet. Anyone turning him over will earn the King's reward. We'll be back. With more men." They turn to Torrhen, "And I'll be taking your head home along with that bastard boy."

The gold cloaks ride off. Mitsu and Shusaku get up as everyone turns to look at Shusaku.


Shusaku gathers water in a bucket from a stream and walks back. The boys who were bullying Mitsu before watch him. Mitsu sits away from them doing the same, she learned the main bully's name was Hot Cake. Made sense for the boy, she saw him eat. He wasn't bad when she got to know him, but the other one was just stupid and selfish, his name being Poppy. Shusaku was an alpha, Hot Cake was a beta, and Poppy was an omega. 

"If they come back, I say we yield. Shusaku's the one they want. I don't want to get caught in the middle of a battle." Poppy said.

"I'm not afraid of any battle. I saw-" Hot Cake said.

"Liar." Mitsu says.

"I saw a man kill another man outside a tavern in Stinkbottom. Stabbed him right in the neck." Hot Cake said.

"Two men fighting isn't a battle." Poppy says and Mitsu had to agree with him.

"They had armor on." Hot Cake insists.

"So?" Mitsu questions.

"So, if they got armor on, it's a battle." Hot Cake says.

"No it isn't." Poppy said.

"What's an omega know about battles anyway?" Hot Cake glares at the boy.

Mitsu watches as Shusaku comes to fetch more water, "Shusaku's an armorer's apprentice. Hot Cake, tell Shusaku what makes it a battle."

Hot Cake hesitates, "When they got armor on."

"Who told you that?" Shusaku looks at him like an idiot as he asks.

"A knight."

"How'd you know he was a knight?" Shusaku asks.

"Well, because he's got armor on." Hot Cake says.

"You don't have to be a knight to buy armor. Any idiot can buy armor." Shusaku tells him. Mitsu smiles.

"How'd you know?" Hot Cake says defensively.

"'Cause I sold armor." Shusaku says simply.

Poppy nudges Hot Cake to leave and they do. Mitsu walks over to Shusaku. 

"What do the gold cloaks want with you?" Mitsu asks.

"No idea." Shusaku says. Mitsu catches the tiny quiver in his voice. 

"You're a horrible liar." Mitsu tells him.

Shusaku walks to the campfire, "You shouldn't insult people who are bigger than you."

"Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone." Mitsu says following him.

"No good can come from it." Shusaku says.

"What does that mean?" Mitsu asks.

"How can someone so small be such a pain in my ass?" Shusaku muses.

Mitsu has a suspicion and begins to think, "They said you were a bastard. One wanted by the Hiiragi's."

Shusaku tenses and Mitsu knows she's getting closer to the truth, and then it hits her. The reason Shinoa would also be safe despite being raised in the North. "You must be related to them, otherwise why would they want you so badly. Was your mother the queen?"

"My mother was no one. A tavern wench." Shusaku says.

"Your father then? Was it the King?" Mitsu asks, unrelenting.

Shusaku gives up, knowing she won't possibly let up, "No. He was Norito Goshi. The dead, whore-loving lord."

Mitsu stays silent and takes it all in. She forced Shusaku to tell her who he really was, it was only fair she shared something with him. "I have something to tell you."

"Is it that you're a girl?" Shusaku says. 

"What?!? I'm not a girl!" Mitsu says taking back everything. She doesn't want to give the man the satisfaction of being right, even though he very much was. 

"Yes, you are. You think I'm stupid like the rest of them?" Shusaku rolls his eyes and walks back to the campfire.

"Stupider. The Watch doesn't take girls. Everyone knows that." Mitsu growls at him.

"That's true. But, you're still a girl." Shusaku says more amused now at the girl's reactions. 

"I am not!" Mitsu squawks.

"Well pull out your cock and take a piss then." Shusaku demands smugly, knowing he's won.

"I don't need to take a piss." Mitsu grumbles before looking at him seriously, accepting her defeat. "Poppy and Hot Cake can't know. No one can know."

"They won't. Not from me." Shusaku reassures her.

Mitsu figures she might as well fill him in on the whole truth, "My name's not Mitch. It's Mitsuba. Of House Sanguu. Torrhen is taking me to my real home, Nagoya."

"He was your father. The kingsguard. The traitor." Shusaku says.

"He was never a traitor! Takashi is a fucking liar." Mitsu says heatedly.

"So you're a highborn then? You're a lady." Shusaku says.

"My mother was a lady. Shinoa's a lady-" Mitsu starts.

"You were a lord's daughter living in a castle. Look, all that about cocks. I never should have said that. I've been pissing in front of you and everything. I should be calling you, Milady." Shusaku thinks.

"Do not call me milady." Mitsu threatens.

"As milady commands." Shusaku says and Mitsu pushes him. 

"Well that was unladylike." Shusaku chuckles to her as Mitsu pushes him down onto the ground. Shusaku is laughing uncontrollably as Mitsu stomps away.


Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Kimizuki twists and turns in his bed, but cannot fall asleep. Ever since Guren left for Shibuya and Yuu took charge he's been having these thoughts after every interaction without Guren here. Kimizuki loves Yoichi and Yuu, they're his only family. But, ever since Guren left, he's been feeling more alone. That feeling has only amplified with Yuu being gone and Guren being dead. All he has in the North now is Yoichi. But, even with Yoichi, he can't help feel he's isolated. Even, Yoichi has begun spending more time with the Wild One girl than him. He feels so isolated from everything and everyone. He knows Yoichi is dealing with his own trauma and mysterious dreams, but he has no one to really talk to. Most of their men took to Yuu ruling, but saw him as an appendage to Yuu. A lesser man than him. Yuu is the top alpha, but he's always held his own against him and nobody's ever seen him losing to him. Yuu was beyond the wall right now, handing off Nagoya for him and Yoichi to care for. Yuu was a good ruler, but he was reluctant to do it. Always unsure of himself, but wanting to be powerful. Kimizuki realizes him and Yuu have that in common. A lot of people probably do. But, the thing is Yuu was there and he was here. Yoichi, Guren, Mitsu, Shinoa, and Yuu were more important to him than anyone in his life. But, he's never felt like he really belonged here. All of the lesser men in the Watch and guards told him as much. Asking him what his father would think of him as he was, when Kimizuki had never met his father. 

He tries to think about when this feeling first came about. He pinpoints it to when the men of the Watch first taunted him about his family causing him to lose himself in a fit of alpha rage. Yoichi and he always confided in each other about meeting the families they were forced to leave. The men respected them enough to not bother them physically. He was grateful of that for Yoichi's sake. The Castle was well-guarded. When they taunted him about his father and what Tenri Hiiragi did to his fleet, as well as, call him a squire to his captors Kimizuki couldn't help but get furious. Guren, Yoichi, and everyone else had always respected him and treated him like an equal. He was no "squire bitch." He was nobody's captive. After it all, he felt hollow and confused. Guren never told him much about his family. Just when his mother died. He had to learn the little he knew about them. When Yuu reiterated they were family all he could think of was, "But, not by blood." He was hesitant, but agreed in the end, thinking he was foolish. 

The next time the feeling appeared was when Yuu refused to move on Shibuya after Guren being attacked in the street. He realized he was being rash and impulsive, they couldn't possibly win against Shibuya with only Northern men. But, what Yuu said to him always remained with him. He told him this was not his house. He always felt loved by his siblings, but that was when it first hit him. He wasn't an Ichinose. They weren't his blood family, no matter how much he felt it. He loved all of his siblings and Guren, but they were just his found family. After they saved Yoichi, Yuu disregarded his advice to kill the woman. So, he had to deal with it and made sure she knew her place. After the attack he always felt like he didn't belong. But, he managed to push it down rationalizing if he didn't belong than how did any of them? Yuu was always right about Nagoya going to war being a terrible move. But the feeling of wanting vengeance and not belonging here only grew when Guren died, Yuu left, and Yoichi began to spend less time with him. 

He's been sleeping like this ever since Yuu left. How he's managed to stay calm and rational is beyond him. He can't live like this. He feels like he doesn't know a part of himself that he should. His thoughts drift toward what Yuu said to him, then what the men said to him, then what him and Yoichi used to dream about. He turned in his bed and saw the arrows Yoichi made for him. The grey and white of House Ichinose mixed with the black and gold colors of House Kimizuki. His house, where his blood family lived. He felt a longing inside of him. He wanted to know about them. He always had, but never asked Guren, not wanting to bring it up. Guren was always a busy man too. What was his father like? If he had siblings? What they were like? What were the people of Osaka Bay like? What did the Iron Islands there look like?

Kimizuki looked at the arrows. He realized he had to know about them. Know what they were like. He loved his family, but he never felt like he could ever be a Northerner. He knew he had to talk to Yoichi tomorrow. He needed to see them. He would definitely come back. He could never permanently leave them. Especially not Yoichi. Maybe when he returns, Yuu would come back and he could take Yoichi to meet Lord Saotome. Right now, he could go and return easily. He wouldn't be gone long. Just for a short time. Yoichi could handle being in charge for a week. He would be guarded and protected. He has all faith in the omega to watch over the North, and he knows the omega will let him go. He just needs to explain it to him, Yoichi was always the most understanding one out of all of them. Kimizuki turns over and tries to get some sleep, knowing the conversation in the morning will be exhausting.


Kimizuki walks over to Yoichi who's sitting by The Heart Tree reading. He sits down next to him and the boy startles. 

"Sorry Shihou. You scared me." Yoichi said, hand clutching his heart. 

Kimizuki's face immediately turns pink, "You're fine. Where's Estle?"

"Gone to bathe with Chihiro." Yoichi says.

Kimizuki raises a brow.

"I know. I was surprised, but if they're happy. I can't find a problem with it." Yoichi shrugs.

"I need to talk to you." Kimizuki says, deciding to get it over with.

"Okay." Yoichi says, giving him his full attention.

"Ever since, Guren left. I've been feeling different than how I usually felt." Kimizuki says.

Yoichi nods, curious as to where this is going. 

"When Guren died and Yuu left, I began to feel lonelier than I've ever felt. And we haven't been seeing much of each other with me handling a lot of the ruling matters and you dealing with your dreams." Kimizuki says.

"I am so sorry, Shihou! I never meant to make you feel that way. I've just been dealing with these dreams and everything too. I didn't want to bother you with my troubles. Chihiro and Estle have been good company, but nobody could ever beat you. Not Shinoa. Not Yuu. Not Mitsu. Not Guren. I always want to see you, no matter who I'm with." Yoichi says stressed and angry at himself for making Kimizuki feel this way.

Kimizuki chuckles at the omega's response. He really cares about him, he knows this time away from him is going to be hell. But he needs to do this. To find out more about himself and where he comes from. "That's fine. Like I said, we've both kind of been horrible when it comes to seeing each other recently. And I think Yuu being gone is also adding to the wreckage. But, I come to you with a request." 

"What is it?" Yoichi asks.

"Do you remember what we dreamt about when we were younger?" Kimizuki asks him.

Yoichi nods. "About meeting our families once we were grown?"

Kimizuki becomes determined, "I want to ask you to let me leave Nagoya in your care, so that I can go to Osaka Bay to meet my birth family. I've always felt this longing to know, and you know that same feeling. It's been coming more often now that Guren is gone and Yuu is beyond the wall. I want to meet them. I won't be gone long and-"

Kimizuki feels a hand over his, he looks up and sees Yoichi with tears in his eyes looking down, "I understand. I always wanted to do the same thing too. I want you to have that chance, now that I may never get to. I'll allow you to go. I'll watch over the North. I won't let anyone take it."

Kimizuki looks at him. He's grateful to have this omega in his life who's so selfless and caring. His face softens, but he's still determined. He grabs Yoichi's chin and holds it with his thumb and forefinger before lifting it. Brown-red eyes meet dark green eyes. "It's not over for you. You will get to meet your family. I will make sure of that when I come back. Yuu will take his title back, and I will personally carry you in my arms to meet your family. You will do it. Because you're my..."

Kimizuki still holding Yoichi's chin pulls him into a kiss. Their lips meet softly and sweetly. They pull away from each other.

"Because I'm your omega." Yoichi finishes when they pull away, both with small smiles. Kimizuki strokes his chin as Yoichi caresses his cheek. "Come back soon."

"I will. I have someone worth returning for." Kimizuki says.


Sannomiya

Seishirou walks along the beach with the Tyrishian pirate, Sandhu Salamand and discussing terms with him. Mito follows behind them. Kureto watches from his cage.

"You'll have your gold when we take the treasury at Shibuya." Seishirou says to the dark-skinned man.

"You have a small army compared to the size of the Shibuyan army. Why would I bet on the man with the lesser chance to win?" Sandhu says.

"Because you're a smart gambler. I've proven myself in warfare. I have a valuable hostage. My shit of a nephew has never set foot on the battlefield." Seishirou says.

"Yet you have the smaller army." Sandhu says.

"Seishirou has just begun his fight. The banners will rally for his cause. There's no man in the six kingdoms more honorable than Seishirou Hiiragi. Or more worthy of loyalty." Mito speaks up. The pirate appraises her body in interest.

"What is the world coming to when foreign omegas must vouch for kings?" Sandhu muses.

"Mind your words, pirate." Mito tells him.

"You think that insults me? I am a pirate. An excellent pirate. I don't sail for promises." Sandhu says.

"Of course you do. Every time you leave, you're leaving on a promise. A promise that somewhere on the sea, somebody's got gold and you can take it from them." Seishirou says.

"That's a promise that always comes through." Sandhu muses.

"As is mine. And correct me if I'm wrong: Most pirates do not grow old." Seishirou says. 

"Only the clever ones." Sandhu says.

"You want to spend your last years on the sea stealing from cheese and silk merchants, the go ahead. They're out there waiting for you. That's easy. What I'm offering you is hard. Come with me and plunder the greatest city in Westeria. You'll be the richest pirate and the most famous. They'll sing about you as long as men have voices to sing." Seishirou says.

"Sandhu Salamand is a good name for songs." Sandhu thinks.

"It is." Seishirou says as Mito rolls her eyes and walks away.

"One thing, I want the queen." Sandhu says as he watches the Red Woman walk away.

"The queen? My sister?" Seishirou asks and that catches Kureto's attention.

"Mahiru, I want her. I sail with all of my fleet with yours. If we don't drown in Blue Blood's Bay, I will fuck this queen. And I will fuck her good." Sandhu says.

The caged beta growls, catching Seishirou's attention. Seishirou looks back at the man in disgust. As much as he hated his family, he did not want his sister to suffer rape. He wanted to send her to a quick death. "This war is about me, not you. I'm not fighting this war so you can rape my sister."

"I'm not going to rape her, I'm going to fuck her." Sandhu reaffirms.

"Like she would just let you!" Kureto exclaims.

"You don't how persuasive I can be. I've never fucked you." Sandhu calls to him.

"I am the one true King, served by the Lord of Light." Seishirou reiterates.

"I've been all over the world. Everyone serves lords everywhere. am the one who has seen the true Lord. It lies between an omega's legs. A queen's legs, nonetheless." Sandhu says.

"I promise you the gold. I promise you the glory. I cannot promise you the queen." Seishirou says.

"You believe you can win?" Sandhu asks him.

"I am the one true King." Seishirou says confidently.

"You Westerians are funny people." Sandhu laughs before putting on an easy smile. "I'll sail with you, Seishirou Hiiragi. Make me rich. Make me famous."

"Get me to the gates of Shibuya and I will." Seishirou says.

They shake hands. Seishirou pats Sandhu on the back as he walks away. Sandhu and Kureto eye each other as Sandhu walks past with a smirk. Kureto sneers at him.


Seishirou moves ships around as Mito and his council watches. 

"Sandhu Salamand has agreed to join our fleet. He'll do his job. Have his share. His men fight strongly." Seishirou says. "This adjourns the council meeting. Mito, stay."

Seishirou watches as they all leave, until only he and Mito are alone in the war council room.

Mito looks at the man, "You are troubled, my King."

"Yeah." Seishirou says.

"These armies are but toys for the Lord of Light." Mito says.

"Tell your lord to burn them then." Seishirou says exhausted.

"I tell him nothing! I pray for his commands and I obey." Mito tells him.

"My nephew has a hundred thousand men now according to the scouts. Men whose allegiance belongs rightly to me." Seishirou says.

"You must have faith." Mito encourages.

"Faith? In a real war, the side with the greater number of men wins nine times out of ten." Seishirou says slightly depressed.

"Then we must be ten." Mito tells him.

"I cannot defeat them in the field. I can't take Shibuya without the men he stole." Seishirou says.

"I have seen the path to victory in the flames. First, you must give yourself to the Lord of Light." Mito says with a startling finality as she moves closer to him.

"I've said the word, damn you! I've burnt the idols." Seishirou says frustrated, thinking of the amusement his family would feel seeing him in this state.

"You must give...all of yourself." Mito says only a few inches from the man. Mito opens her red silk robe, exposing her naked omegan body for Seishirou to gaze upon.

"You have no wife, no lover, and no whore. It was only a matter of time until your loneliness got to you." Mito says walking seductively to the man and caressing the back of his head, "You've had no one to produce you an heir."

She turns his body to face her naked one. Mito leans up to whisper in his ear, "I will give you a son, my king."

Mito trails kisses back to his face.

"A son?" Seishirou gasps in excitement. He pulls Mito away to look at her before fully removing her robe as she wraps her arms around his neck, and his hands to her naked hips. Their lips meet in a passionate and desperate embrace. Mito rubs her hands all over his head before Seishirou picks up her naked body and puts her on the table. He pulls out his cock and begins to thrust into her tight wet heat as they both pant and gasp. All of the wooden figures on the map fall onto the ground with a loud knock as Seishirou thrusts harder into Mito. Seishirou comes with a loud scream as Mito pants. This was what her Lord commanded of her. She needed to produce an heir for her King. She sees this merely as her doing her Lord's bidding as she rubs Seishirou's head resting on her naked breast.


Shibuya

"Takashi Hiiragi is no true-born heir. Neither is Tyuri. Both were bastards born of incest between my siblings Mahiru Hiiragi and Lord Kureto Hiiragi. By right of birth and blood, I do this day lay claim to the Seraphin Throne of Westeria. Let all true men declare their loyalty." Mahiru reads in a monotone to the council members. She wears a blue and green dress with her purple hair down. Mahiru rips the letter up, "He has more spirit than father ever did in his conquest."

"You've perfected the art of tearing up papers." Shinya observes.

"You'll give them my reply, Grand Maester?" Mahiru says.

"I will, Your Grace. It is heartening to hear Lord Kureto's spirit has not been broken." The old man says.

"Yes, Takashi has already sent the reply." Mahiru said. "My brother will not be forgotten."

"You have such a way with diplomacy." Shinya muses.

"If that's everything?" Mahiru asks.

"A raven also came from Snowstorm in Nagoya." The Old Maester says.

He hands it to Shinya who begins to read it. 

"Trouble with the Wild Ones?" Yukimi asks.

"That's why they're called Wild Ones." Kagiyama responds.

"Somewhat less wild these days. It seems they've stopped killing each other and started following this King-Beyond-the-Wall." Yukimi says.

"Another king, how many is that now? Five? I've lost count." Mahiru says.

"The Warden asks that we send more men to man the Wall." Shinya says.

"Perhaps he's forgotten we're fighting a war. We have no men to spare." Mahiru says.

"Cold winds are rising. And the bloodsuckers rise with them." Shinya says.

"The Northerners are a superstitious people." The old man says.

Everyone, but Shinya stands to leave. 

"According to the Warden, one of these dead vampires attacked him in his chambers." Shinya says in shock, stopping everyone from leaving. "Yuuichirou doesn't lie."

"How do you kill a dead bloodsucker?" Yukimi muses.

"Apparently you burn them." Shinya says.

"One trip to The Wall and you come back believing in trumpkins and carks." Mahiru sneers at him and turns to leave.

"I don't know what I believe, but here's a fact for you. The Night's Watch is the only thing that separates us from what lies beyond that Wall." Shinya tells her.

"I have no doubt that the brave men of the Watch will protect us all." Mahiru says sarcastically, rolling her eyes. 

Shinya sits there contemplating the letter as everyone leaves.  


At evening time, Shinya invites Aoi Sanguu and Aiko Aihara for his supper. 

A boy pours wine into Aoi's cup. She thanks him before looking back at Shinya. 

"Why did you call me hear?" Aoi asks. 

Shinya dramatically puts down his utensils and looks her in the eye, "I invited you because I missed my dear friend in Ebina."

Aoi gives him a deadpan. 

"I also heard you were unhappy with your post." Shinya says.

Aoi looks shocked, "How did you-"

"Everyone has their little birds." Shinya says coyly. "Is it true?"

Aoi nods. 

"Why?" Shinya asks.

"The last orders that came from the King." Aoi says.

"I see. I had no knowledge of what he had done, until it was carried out. The City Watch was made to take peace, not kill babies." Shinya said.

"It was horrifying. I never did it, but when I heard it, I couldn't imagine-" Aoi starts.

"And this is why you want to return to your former post?" Shinya asks. 

"That and..." Aoi trails off.

"And what?" Aiko Aihara asks.

"I don't trust the queen. The king is a fucking shit. I was turned against Guren because Takashi already had his coronation and I was given the queen's orders before Guren got to me. I'm one of the reasons he died." Aoi says and looks up to Shinya with genuine sorrow. Shinya is taken aback, the woman rarely displayed any emotion. 

"I understand." Shinya says putting his hand onto hers.

"Why are you being so kind to me? I helped put your lover into the ground." Aoi says.

"I know. But I feel like he's still with me. Yes, you did what you did. But, you clearly feel regret over what you did. And you would have been killed if you didn't obey them. It does take some of your honor away, though." Shinya says. And Guren is still alive, hopefully. 

"Fuck honor. Never cared for it. Those were the fucking queen's orders. Both times." Aoi says.

"She's always been a jealous woman. She never liked how close you were with Kureto. She never liked Guren's preference for me over her." Shinya tells her. "I am Hand of the King and I do not know if I would feel safe with your presence here. Seeing as you betrayed the former Hand. I'm afraid I must relieve you of your post, Aoi of House Sanguu."

"Thank you, my Lord." Aoi says in a grateful tone. Shinya gives her a small smile before she leaves when she's done. Shinya and Aiko sit with full cups of wine. 

"Who're you planning to make the new Commander of the Watch?" Aiko asks him.

"I'm looking at her." Shinya says turning to her. "To the new Commander."

"Thank you." Aiko says. 

They toast and drink. 

"If I told you to would you kill, say, an infant omega still at their mother's breast, without question?" Shinya muses.

"Without question. No, I'd ask how much?" Aiko Aihara jokes. They both laugh at that.


Mahiru paces around Shinya's room the next night as Shinya pours two goblets of wine. Both in their nightdresses. 

"You had no right to remove Aoi Sanguu from her post." Mahiru says.

"I had every right. I am the Hand of the King." Shinya says. 

"At my discretion. I am the Queen Regent." Mahiru replies snidely.

"Listen to me, Queen Regent, you are losing the people. Do you hear me?" Shinya says.

"Ha. The people. You think I care?" Mahiru sneers.

"You might find it difficult to rule over millions who want you dead. Half the city will starve when winter comes. The other half will plot to overthrow you. And your gold-plated thugs just gave them the rallying cry, “The Queen slaughters babies."" Shinya tells Mahiru who says nothing, but looks guilty. "You don't even have the decency to deny it."

Mahiru looks down and walks to the window. Shinya looks her up and down before realizing, it is guilt, but not from an action she herself did. "It wasn't you who gave the order, was it? Takashi didn't even tell you. Or did he tell you? I imagine that would be worse."

"He did what had to be done." Mahiru says before getting louder. "You want to be Hand of the King? You want to rule? This is what ruling is! Lying on a bed of weeds, ripping them out by the root one-by-one before they strangle you in your sleep."

"I'm no King. But, I think there's more to ruling than that." Shinya tells her.

"I don't care what you think!" Mahiru shouts. "You've never taken it seriously. Seishirou never did. Kureto never did. It's all fallen on me."

Mahiru sits down. Shinya can't help himself, "As has Kureto, according to Seishirou." 

Mahiru takes that in with a blink before looking at him with a smile, huffing out a laugh. Knowing this will get to Shinya, "You're funny. Always have been. But, Shinoa's funnier. Really, it's no wonder why you like her so much. You both are two sides of the same coin."

Shinya looks at her puzzled.

"But, nothing you ever say will top her very first joke, will it? You remember...back when she ripped my mother open on her way out of her and she bled to death." Mahiru says seriously. 

"She was her mother too. She was my one too." Shinya gets out. 

"She was never yours. She was hers. Now, they're gone. Mother for the sake of her. Father for the sake of you. To keep you protected from what he saw as threats to the family legacy. There's never been a greater joke in the world than that." Mahiru says, getting up and storming out. Shinya stares at her retreating figure in a daze from what she's just said.


Shinjuku - The Yellow Waste

Mika sits in a haze of exhaustion. He feels like he might die. His clothes and hair have grown increasingly raggedy and dirty with rips and holes. He worries for his dragons. How long can his children survive? How long can his people survive? How long can he possibly survive? Their resources are dwindling more every day. They're water and food runs low. Mika watches Ser Lacus take a small sip of water from his pouch. He feels like he's not even in his body anymore. 

Ser Lacus sighs after taking a sip of water. He hears something approaching them. He looks up and sees a horse approaching them. Riderless.

"Khaleesi." Ser Lacus gets up and Mika's attention comes back to him. His thoughts leave him and a semblance of hope comes to him. As the horse comes back he sees red paint all over it. Ser Lacus walks closer to it, seeing a leaking sack. A sack leaking blood. Mika looks at it, as he feels his hope dying down. Some hair can be seen poking out from the top of the sack. Flies buzz around it. Ser Lacus feels the hair, the dark curly hair, and looks back at Mika. 

Mika finally finds the strength to get up and walk towards the horse. Ser Lacus pulls out the object, barely revealing anything. He sees the hint of skin and puts it back. It's enough to know it's a human head. He looks at Mika and he can tell he knows what it is. Ser Lacus pulls out a chopped ponytail as Mika finally stumbles to the horse. Ser Lacus realizes it's Takoto.

"You don't need to see this." Ser Lacus tells him. 

"He is blood of my blood." Mika insists. Mika looks in and sees the head of Takoto before looking back at Ser Lacus. His eyes would tear up if he wasn't so dehydrated. "Who did this?"

"Khal Tono, perhaps Khal Jhano. They don't like the idea of an omega leading a khalasar." Ser Lacus tells him.

"They will like it far less when I'm done with them." Mika says with a furious desperation for vengeance, but knowing he sounds ridiculous in his state.

Jhaqiu reaches them and sees the head. She begins to break into uncontrollable tears. She kneels down so her head is eye level with Takoto's head.

"No! They killed his soul!" Jhaqiu shouts.

Mika immediately goes to comfort the girl. Rubbing her back and holding her in an embrace as she cries. "Shh. They cannot kill his soul."

Jhaqiu looks up at Mika, "They did! They butchered him like an animal. They did not burn his body. He can never join his ancestors in The Night Lands.

Mika feels the guilt and sorrow hitting him as he tries to soothe the omega, rubbing her hair, "Shh. We will build him a funeral pyre."

Mika feels terrible. He's the one who caused Takoto's death by sending him there. The only thing he could do for him now was burn his head so he can return to his family in the Night Lands. Mika's guilt pains him so much, knowing he's the one who led his khalasar to their demise. The one who led them across the Yellow Waste.

Mika looks up at Ser Lacuswho's already looking at him before his hands frame the girl's face and forces it up to meet his eyes.

"And I promise you, Takoto will ride with his ancestors tonight." Mika tells her determined. Mika continues to comfort Jhaqiu as she cries into his chest, eyes meeting Ser Lacus once again.


Rast's Keep

Seishi grumbles as the other guys from the Watch sent the beta to get potatoes and turnips. He reluctantly went. In all honesty, it wasn't a long trip and it got him away from everyone. The men are okay and nobody bothers the beta much, besides the usual alpha ribbing. But, he misses his family from Ebina dearly. They never had much, but they loved him. He had to go and fuck it up. All because his father lost his job and his impulsiveness overtook him. He stole that bread so they could eat, but no lord understood that. Especially not the one in Ebina who called himself a King. And now he was exiled to never see his family again. His mother put her thimble into his hand as her parting gift to him and he kept it close to him ever since. It never left his body.

The Warden was good to be around. He was a real man, a top alpha who lived up to the title. But, he wasn't his family.

A scream caught his attention. He looked over to see one of Rast's wives being intimidated by Asu. The wolf has him backed up by the fence post. Asu eyes the meat in his arms. He begins to slowly walk to the omega.

"No. Asu, no. No. Asu, away. Shoo. Shoo!" Seishi tells the wolf who runs off after a rabbit it saw. He turns back to the wife. "Are you alright?"

Seishi reaches out to touch the man, but he flinches away. 

"You shouldn't touch me." He says voice laced with fear. 

"Oh, right. I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure you weren't hurt." He tells him.

"You're very brave." He tells Seishi with a small smile.


Yuu sharpens his sword and looks up to see Seishi and one of the sons of Rast approaching him. An omega. He knows this can't be any good.

"What're you doing?" He asks them.

"This is Haruki. He's one of Rast's omegas, My Lord." Seishi tells him.

"Hello, Haruki. What're you doing?" Yuu asks again.

"Seishi said you could help, My Lord." He tells him.

Yuu looks at Seishi before turning his attention back to the boy, "I'm sorry. Seishi should know we're not supposed to-"

"He's pregnant, My Lord." Seishi looks at the omega who encourages him to continue, "We take him with us, when we leave."

"What?" Yuu stands up.

"I know it sounds mad-" Seishi says.

"Not mad. Impossible." Yuu tells him. "We can't take him."

"Please, My Lord, I can still run. If I have to." Haruki pleads.

Yuu looks at him with as much sympathy as he can muster, "It's just not possible."

"I'm going to have a baby. If it's a boy..." Haruki says.

"If it's a boy, what?" Yuu asks him curiously. The boy stays silent and looks down. "You want us to risk all of our lives for you, and you won't even tell us why?"

Haruki looks taken aback and runs away.

"Did you have to be so cruel, My Lord?" Seishi asks him.

"I wasn't being cruel. Cruel would be using my alpha voice to yell at him. I just asked him a simple question. Are you in such a hurry to lose a hand?" Yuu said.

"I didn't touch him!" Seishi exclaims.

"No, you just want to steal him away. What do you think Rast would cut off for that?" Yuu asks seriously. Seishi needs to understand, as much as Yuu would like to help the boy, he can't. It would be too risky. He and his men would be out on their asses if they got caught, or worse Rast might want to kill every one of them until there was no more. Yuu hates having to leave him and the other omegas and women behind, but he can't help them.

"I can't steal him. He's a person, not a goat." Seishi grumbles.

"We're heading deeper and deeper into Wild One territory. We can't take an omega with us. What would we do with him? Who's gonna deliver his baby? You?" Yuu asks him.

"I could try." Seishi gets out and Yuu looks down in annoyance. "What? I've read about it. A bit."

"I am sorry, Seishi. We can't help him, no matter how much I want to." Yuu tells him before going back to sharpening his sword.

"My Lord." Seishi says before walking away. Yuu looks back at his retreating figure and sighs deeply.


Seishi sits by a fire late at night outside the Keep. He wants to get the Wild One boy out, but he could end up ruining everything his Lord is trying to do in this war against the bloodsuckers. He hears the breaking of a branch and looks behind to see Rast moving quietly in the distance, holding a bundle inside of a sheet. It can only be one thing. A baby. A son by the look of it. He was going to find out what Rast did to his sons, for the sake of Haruki. 

He got up and followed the man into the woods as he carried the bundle. He hears strange sounds as he moves through the wood. Sounds that sound mystical in a dangerous and terrifying way. He sees Rast coming back and turns to hide behind a tree hoping the man didn't see him. Rast had nothing in his arms anymore as the man walked past his tree. When he's sure he's gone, Seishi moves forward to where the man was.  He runs further hearing the sounds amplify around him and when he reaches the baby he hides behind a tree. He watches in awe and fear as something in the shadows picks up the boy and walks away slowly. He can't tell what it is, but he knows it's something sinister.

Before he can get up to follow it, a hand touches his shoulder. He turns around to see Rast's annoyed face before Rast hits him with the back of his sword, knocking him out cold.

Chapter Text

Beyond the Wall - Rast's Keep

Seishi is pushed through the doors of Rast's Keep, beaten and bloody. His wrists are bound as he's dropped to the wooden floor. 

Yuu leaps to his feet followed by his men. 

"Out, all of you. This bastard's been meddling where he shouldn't. I want you and your men gone. You'll make this right." Rast tells Yuu who looks at Seishi spitting out blood. 

"Wait outside. Someone will be there to tend to your injuries." Yuu tells him.

"My Lord-" Seishi says.

"Now!" Yuu alpha growls at him. Seishi gets on his feet and leaves, stumbling a bit. 


Yuu walks out of the Keep in his black crow cloak to see Benjey tending to Seishi's wounds in the corner. He wonders what the beta could have seen. Rast refused to tell him anything about it. Yuu walks over to them.

"Warden." They both say.

"Leave us." Yuu says to Benjey, who immediately gets up and leaves.

"What did you do?" Yuu asks Seishi, sitting where Benjey was across from him.

"I followed him. He took the baby into the woods. A newborn." Seishi says.

"What business is that of yours?" Yuu asked, not hearing a reason to follow the annoying man.

"No, you don't get it. He left the baby, a boy. An alpha or a beta in the woods. He's killing them." Seishi tells Yuu.

Yuu registers the vague shock at what this man has been doing all these years. He wonders if his father knew what Rast has done. "How'd you know it wasn't an omega?" 

"They present early. I read it in a book once. It always happens when they're born." Seishi tells him.

"Wild Ones serve a crueler lord than any of us. He must use them for offerings." Yuu says in disgust.

"Offerings? They're children. His children. He's murdering them. He's a monster." Seishi says.

"Aye, I agree. But we can do nothing about it. Many a time a monster has been the difference between life and death for us rangers. We have other wars to fight out here. Like it or not, the North needs Rast. He's been an invaluable resource to the Watch. We can't lose him." Yuu says reluctantly.

"I saw something take that child." Seishi says, voice tinging with a small amount of fear.

"Whatever it was, I say you'll see it again. We leave at dawn." Yuu tells him, getting up to make sure everything was ready for their departure. 


Seishi gets his horse ready early in the morning. His body still aches from the beating Rast gave him. He feels eyes on him and looks around to see Haruki watching him while picking crops to put in a basket. 

"Haruki." He calls out to him.

"You're leaving." The omega tells him.

"I-I wanted to give you something. It belonged to my mother." Seishi tells him.

Haruki looks at him with curiosity. Seishi pulls out the thimble his mother gave him.

Haruki looks at it with mild interest before deciding, "I can't take it." 

"Please. I want you to. My mother used it for sewing. She'd let me sit with her in her chamber while she would sow and I'd read to her. My father put a stop to it when he found out. It's the only thing I have of hers. She gave it to me before I left for Nagoya." Seishi tells the omega sincerely with a pink blush.

"You shouldn't give it away." Haruki insists, clutching his basket.

"I'm not giving it away. I'm giving it to you. Keep it safe for me. Until I come back." Seishi tells him. 

Haruki reluctantly takes it and nods to him before fleeing with his basket. Sporting a stronger blush on his tanned face. Seishi smiles at the omega walking away for him. Feeling better he made him blush. 


Shibuya

Shinoa sits in silence and eats her supper of roasted pig and various vegetables, breads, and fruits keeping mind of the Queen's watchful gaze on her. She sits next to Tyuri and looks across at the empty seat. Probably for Takashi, Shinoa couldn't say she missed his company. Shinoa also couldn't say she liked the Queen's company either. Mahiru observed the girl, her similar purple hair tied up, in a silken pink dress like a southern lady, something unreadable on her face under the smile. 

"Will Aunty and Takashi get married?" Tyuri asks dimly. Mahiru smiles at him, while Shinoa squints at the question.

"No, my sweet. They're family. Family cannot marry family." Mahiru says, knowing her hypocrisy is shining, "We will have to find a suitable match for Lady Shinoa when the time comes. When the war against uncle is over. I can just envision her in an ivory gown as she will be the bride. You'll even get new clothes."

"I don't want new clothes." Tyuri whines, more like a baby would before turning to Shinoa. "You should look beautiful, Aunty."

Shinoa stays silent, caught up in her thoughts. Mahiru leans over, "The Prince just spoke to you."

"Pardon, Your Grace. Thank You, Your Grace. I'm sure your new clothes will suit your status. I cannot wait to get married so I can pledge my love to my alpha in the sights of everyone." Shinoa says, internally rolling her eyes.

"Is Takashi going to kill Uncle?" Tyuri asks.

"He might. Would you like that?" Mahiru tells him, taking a sip from her goblet of wine. 

"No I don't think so. What about Shinoa's brother? The Warden?" Tyuri asks.

"The bastard? Probably not." Mahiru says. "Even if he does Shinoa will do her duty. Won't you, little dove?"

Shinoa nods with a smile before it slowly fades to a dejected look. Mahiru takes note of this.


Shinoa sits in her quarters undoing her tied up hair in front of a mirror sending her handmaiden off for the night. A knock sounds at the door.

"Come in." Shinoa calls, already knowing who it is.

Shinya enters his red cloak tied around his gold outfit. "How was dinner?"

"As you should expect." Shinoa tells him.

"I'm sorry to have missed it." Shinya says.

"You weren't invited." Shinoa says going back to her hair.

Shinya moves to help her, "I still could have made an appearance. Just to annoy Mahiru."

"She wouldn't appreciate that." Shinoa says letting his delicate hands undo her knots before starting to brush her long hair.

"No, she wouldn't." Shinya says silently brushing her hair in silence for a few peaceful minutes.

"She's a monster." Shinoa tells him.

"I know." Shinya tells her. "You spend your whole life with her, it's even worse."

Shinoa hums in agreement, "How did you manage to survive her? Outwit her as much as she does you? Become equals, or at least best her on occasion."

"I learned her game. I learned how she likes to play it and how to beat her at it. Something you might be able to do soon." Shinya tells her. "Having a good father helped too. It made her more impulsive and rash than usual. Not thinking before verbally sparring."

Shinoa nods in silence, meeting Shinya's eyes before he goes back to combing her hair. Shinoa stares in contemplation of how she could possibly win against Mahiru as she feels Shinya brush away her knots.


Shinya takes a vial Grand Maester Sycelle hands him in his chambers that morning. 

"Thank the Seven! I haven't had a proper shit in such a long time." Shinya tells him.

"I've encountered this problem before, My Lord. The stresses of power often have this insalubrious effect. Three drops with water, daily." Sycelle tells him. 

"Right. I am so grateful to have a man of your vast knowledge and wisdom on my side." Shinya smiles at him.

"Please. Thank you, My Lord." The old man nods at him.

"I can trust you, Sycelle. Can I not?" Shinya asks him.

"Of course, my lord." Sycelle tells him.

"These are perilous times and the crown must often forge new alliances. And these new alliances must often be sealed in matrimony." Shinya tells him.

"Matrimony? Yes." Sycelle tells him.

"I'm trusting the council with these plans, but the Queen must not know. We can't have her meddling in affairs that could determine the future of the realm. There's too much at stake." Shinya tells him. 

"Oh, yes. Indeed, yes. I shall be silent as the grave." The old man nods eagerly.

Shinya moves to pour a goblet of wine, "I'm brokering an alliance with House Saotome. Prince Tyuri will wed their eldest daughter when he comes of age, ensuring their loyalty and their army, should we need it."

"Tyuri sent away to the Grasslands?" Sycelle muses as Shinya hands him a cup.


Inside of Shinya's chambers in the afternoon, Shinya hands another goblet of wine to Yukimi. Shinya knows he needs to do this just to be sure, even though he trusts Yukimi with his life. No one must be left unchecked.

"But, remember The Queen mustn't know." Shinya tells her.

"Ooh. "The Queen mustn't know." I love conversations that begin this way." Yukimi smirks to him.

"I plan to marry Prince Tyuri off to Shihou Kimizuki." Shinya tells her.

"Shihou Kimizuki? Forgive me, My Lord, but how? He grew up a ward of Nagoya. He fought for Guren. Now he fights for his bastard." Yukimi asks him.

"Precisely. Lord Kimizuki loathes the Ichinoses and will convince the boy to come to our side. Shihou can destroy the Northern army from within and we can have his father's ships." Shinya tells her.

Yukimi nods with a smirk matching Shinya's.


Shinya hands another goblet of wine to Kagiyama in his chambers at night.

"But, remember you mustn't tell anyone." Shinya warns him.

"Tell no one what?" Kagiyama asks.

"I plan to wed Prince Tyuri to Yuuichirou Amane. He may not be fond of us right now. But, perhaps the promise of a royal match will convince him to let bygones be bygones." Shinya tells him.

"The traitor's bastard and you offer him a prince?" Kagiyama raises an eyebrow.

Shinya keeps the anger down inside of him, "For people in our position, holding grudges can be an encumbrance, don't you think? He'll see that."

"I suppose you want my help to broker the deal?" Kagiyama asks him.

"Maybe, I might ask for your assistance." Shinya muses.

"And what might I get out of this arrangement?" Kagiyama looks Shinya's body up and down when he turns around.

"The gratitude of the people of Westeria for helping to end this war, the adoration of the King for bringing the North back into the fold, and Hamura." Shinya tells him.

"Hamura is cursed." Kagiyama says.

"Never took you for a superstitious man, Kagiyama. By all means, tear it down and rebuild. You'll be able to afford it. I plan to make you Lord of the Riverlands." Shinya tells him.

"With a single stroke, you'd make me one of the greatest lords in the realm." Kagiyama says in awe.

"You served my family well in the matter of the succession." Shinya tells him.

"I served your family against Guren. You should hate me." Kagiyama says.

"I do. But, I am the Hand of the King. I need Yuuichirou Amane. This is your way to atone for your past actions." Shinya says, knowing fully there is no way Kagiyama could atone for betraying Guren.

"How did you find out?" Kagiyama asked him.

"A little bird." Shinya told him.

Kagiyama nods in understanding. 

"Do this for me. Oh, and remember-" Shinya tells him.

"The Queen mustn't know." Kagiyama finishes for him.

Shinya drinks deeply as Kagiyama ponders.


Shinya opens the angry knocking on his chamber door to see Mahiru storm in with a hateful glare. Shinya smirks pouring himself a drink in his nightgown about to see the fruition of his plans emerge. 

"You monster. Tyuri is my youngest child. Do you really think I'll let you sell her like some common whore?" Mahiru shouts at him in a furious huff with tears in her eyes.

"Tyuri is a prince. Some would say he was born for this." Shinya tells her.

"I will not let you ship her off to the Grasslands as I was to Goshi." Mahiru tells him. Shinya smirks, so Sycelle was the traitor? He would have to deal with that.

"It could be the safest place for him." Shinya tells her, deciding to continue with this ruse.

"Could? Are you mad? Everyone loathes us." Mahiru tells him. "I won't let him become a hostage."

"He would be a guest." Shinya tells her, getting vengeance right now for the joke comment earlier. He wasn't going to go through with this. He just needed to know who he could trust in the capital and Sycelle was apparently not one of them.

"It will not happen! I am the Queen Regent. You do as I command and you will not do this. Just because you are Hand, does not mean you will do this. I will not allow this to happen! Takashi says he will not either and you serve him." Mahiru says sweeping a table of glassware clean on the ground in tears.

"Very well." Shinya says. "You've bound my hands. But, if this city falls. He'll be butchered like the Shindo child was. Make no mistake, they'll mount his head on a spike next to yours."

"It will not happen. If the city falls so be it. I'd rather die with my children." Mahiru tells him leaving before breaking down.

Shinya smirks to himself. Now onto the matter of the Grand Maester. 


Shinya sits in his chambers alone now and watches as Kagiyama storms in enraged. 

"I don't appreciate being made a fool of. If Tyuri marries the girl from the Grasslands or the Kimizuki boy, how can he marry the Warden of the North?" Kagiyama asks him.

"I'm afraid they can't. Oh well, the prince never seemed to show much interest in love." Shinya says smugly.

"I suppose Hamura is off the table, as well." Kagiyama observes.

"Yes, I fear so. Sorry about that." Shinya says.

"Why?" Kagiyama asks.

"I think revenge for working against Guren is enough of an explanation." Shinya tells the man.

"Well, I see you got what you want. Please, leave me out of your next deception." Kagiyama tells him.

"I'll consider it. If you tell me what Mahiru has you doing?" Shinya asks.

"Only looking for the Sanguu girl for leverage against the North." Kagiyama tells him.

Shinya considers this before saying, "If you do find her. You come to me first. Where are you to look?"

"Hamura. You see the irony?" Kagiyama tells him, unable to stop himself from allowing this omega to bend him to his will.

"Go on your way now." Shinya says as Aiko Aihara enters, "And remember do not betray me."

Kagiyama nods and leaves.

"Find him?" Shinya asks her when they're alone.

"Aye, and he has company. Filthy old fool. Almost hate to interrupt." Aiko tells him.

"No, you don't." Shinya smirks.

"No, I don't." Aiko agrees.


In Sycelle's chambers, he entertains three omegan whores. Two men and one woman. He sits on the bed with their fully nude bodies, while he is completely robed. 

The door bursts open. Aiko Aihara and two guards walk in. 

"What is the meaning of this?" The old man stands up as the guards approach him and grab him, "No, please, please."

Shinya stands in the doorway, "You disappoint me, Grand Maester."

"I am your loyal servant." The old man tries defending.

"So loyal that you told the Queen about my plans to send Tyuri to the Grasslands." Shinya says.

"No! Never! It's a falsehood. I swear it. It wasn't me. Ah, Yukimi. It was Yukimi, the Spider." The old man insists desperately.

"See, I told Yukimi that I was giving the Prince to the Kimizuki's. I told Kagiyama that I planned to wed him to Yuuichirou Amane. I told no one that I was offering him to the Grasslands. No one but you." Shinya tells him smugly. 

"Yukimi has spies everywhere." The old man says.

"Cut off his manhood and feed it to the goats." Shinya says.

"There are no goats, omega." One of the guards tell him.

"Well, make do." Shinya says.

Sycelle recoils from that in the men's hold as Aiko smiles.

"How long have you been spying for my sister?" Shinya asks him.

"All I did, I did for House Hiiragi. Always. I've always been your servant since the days of the Mad King." The old man says.

Shinya considers this, looking at the man, "I don't like his beard."

"What? What?" The old man asks before Aiko Aihara grabs him by the beard and cuts it off with a large knife.

"No. No." The old man cries. 

"How many Hands have you betrayed, Sycelle? Guren Ichinose?" Shinya asks him.

"He knew the truth of Takashi and the Queen." Sycelle says.

"So you let him die?" Shinya asked.

"Hiiragi. I always served the Hiiragi's." Sycelle says.

"Get him out of my sight. Throw him in one of the black cells." Shinya says. 

Aiko Aihara and the men wrestle to old man out of the room.

"No! No! You can't do this to me!" The old man shouts.

Shinya watches as he's dragged away. He looks at the prostitutes and leaves three gold coins on the chair for them. They look at him, still in shock.

"For your trouble." Shinya says before looking back at Aiko and seeing the struggle to hold the old man down. Shinya decides to double their coinage and leaves it to the prostitutes who nod meekly in appreciation.


Shinya sits in his chambers with Yukimi pouring a goblet of wine for them both. 

"I am sorry about the test." Shinya tells her.

"No problem, old friend. You can never be too careful. I would have done the same thing in your position." Yukimi tells him taking a sip. "It seems the council grows smaller every day. First, Kureto, Aoi Sanguu, now the Grand Maester. Should I be worried?"

"Not anymore as I am not." Shinya says. "The council does have a reputation for serving Hands poorly. I plan to follow Guren eventually, but not now. And definitely not to the grave. Who would save me then?"

"Me, of course." Yukimi tells him. "Power is a curious thing, My Lord. Are you fond of riddles?"

"Why? Am I about to hear one?" Shinya asks.

"Three great men sit in a room. A king, a priest, and a rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword to kill the other two. Who lives? Who dies?" Yukimi poses to him.

"Depends on the sellsword." Shinya says.

"Does it? He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods." Yukimi tells him.

"He has a sword, the power of life and death." Shinya says.

"But, if it's swordsmen who rule, why do we pretend King's hold all the power. When Guren's man lost his head, who was truly responsible? Takashi? The executioner? Your sister? Or something else?" Yukimi asks him.

"I've decided I don't like riddles." Shinya tells Yukimi who looks at him amused and slightly smug.

"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. Even a small omega can cast a very large shadow." Yukimi tells him with a small smile.


Nagoya - Snowstorm Castle

Estle walks with Gekko past an arch at Snowstorm. Maester Cessarian sees them and moves to them. "Estle, rouse Yoichi, will you? It's time for his lesson."

"Estle." Estle nods. Gekko watches them interact as he moves to follow Estle.


When they reach Yoichi's room, they open the door to see him twisting and turning in his sleep. Before he jumps up to meet the eyes of his wolf. The yellow orbs stare at the dark green ones. Yoichi is wide-eyed in surprise at meeting the eyes he was just seeing through in his dreams. Estle looks at them with wonder.


"Every night it's the same. I'm walking and running, but I'm not me. Through the trees, sniffing dirt, tasting blood when I've made a fresh kill, and when I howl, even. It's been happening more realistically since Kimizuki left. Nanny Fanny used to tell me stories about magical people who live inside stags and wolves." Yoichi tells Maester Cessarian as he finishes his lessons. Estle and Gekko watch from the sides.

"That's all they are, Yoichi. Stories." Cessarian tells him.

"So, she was lying? They don't exist?" Yoichi asks with a raised eyebrow.

"Well, they may have once. But, now they're all gone from the world. Along with much else. These are dreams, Yoichi, nothing more. They've become more intense because Kimizuki is usually here to keep you grounded." The Maester tells him.

"No, my dreams are different. Mine are true." Yoichi insisted.

"What about all the dreams you had that didn't come true?" The Maester asks him, and smirks when Yoichi has no response, "Hmm? Right."

The Maester shows his chain to Yoichi, pointing at the various links, "This link is made of Valyrian steel. Only one Maester in 1000 wears it on his chain. It signifies that I have studied the higher mysteries. And all who study these mysteries try their hand at spells. I was no different. I was young. And what boy doesn't secretly wish for hidden powers to lift him out of his dull life into a special one? But in the end, for all my efforts, I got no more out of it than a thousand boys before me." The Maester tells him. "All right, maybe magic was once a driving force in the land. But, not anymore. The Children of Blood are forgotten. The giants are gone. The dragons are all dead."

Yoichi turns his head staring out the window. His thoughts go to Kimizuki and how much he misses his alpha. He never realized how much he relied on him until he left. Now, he was eagerly hoping he would return to him soon.

A raven lands on the windowsill. His thoughts immediately go back to his dreams and figuring out the meaning of them as he stares at the black bird.


Osaka Bay

Kimizuki stands on the boat overlooking the Iron Islands of Osaka Bay. He smiles at the stone castles mounted on the pillar of rocks. Four of them interconnected by a bridge. This is a big day for them. His people must be eagerly awaiting his return. They'll be waiting for him on the docks. They haven't had much to look forward to. It's always been a hard place, cold and wet. But, he's excited to finally be home. He barely thinks about Yoichi through his excitement. He would feel guilty, but nothing can contain his joy right now.


Kimizuki stands in a rowboat as it comes up against the side of a wall. The docks are busy. He gets out and walks up some stairs. An old man spots him.

"What are you carrying?" He asks Kimizuki. 

"Pears and oranges. Wine from Nagoya. And the Heir to Osaka Bay." Kimizuki tells him. The man makes no response. "The only son of Fujio Kimizuki." Still no response. "Me."

Kimizuki cannot stop the disappointment he feels when he sees no reaction from his people at his return.

"Don't like wine. It's an omega's drink." The old man tells him. 

"I need to get to Ryke." Kimizuki says.

The man looks up, but doesn't make a move or response. Kimizuki annoyed fishes out some coins and gives it to him. 

"I'll find you a horse." The man tells him before walking away. Kimizuki watches the rowboat that took him home leave. He looks down in disappointment and sadness. 

"I'm heading that way. I can take you there." A feminine and rough voice says. He looks up and sees a young woman. An omega. She has long reddish-brown hair and reddish-pink eyes. 

"Can you?" Kimizuki asks.

"You been at sea long? Or were there just no omegas where you came from?" She asks him.

"You offer free rides to any man who comes off this dock?" Kimizuki asks her.

"I don't, Lord Kimizuki. Just the ones with jewelry." She tells him with a smile. Kimizuki doesn't know what it is, but he likes this omega. He doesn't feel for her, like he does Yoichi, but he feels like he can trust her.

The old man passes them leading a horse, Kimizuki gives him more coins and points up to the castle, "Have my things sent up to the castle?" 


Kimizuki rides horseback with the woman commanding the reins. 

"You should give me the reins. I might get us there faster. I'm a better rider. I've been on horseback for my whole life." Kimizuki suggests.

"Nine years? Do you still know your way around a ship? Have your hands ever even touched a rope?" She asks him.

"The sea is in my blood, don't you worry." Kimizuki tells her. 

"You'll never be in the sea, if I don't get you to your castle." She tells him.

"I have a proposal for my father. One that will make him King again. And me after him." He tells her of what he has been thinking of since he left. A reason to make it seem like he needed to come home. When he actually thought of the perfect cover, he realized it would be the perfect proposal. Yuu would have allies besides Nagoya and could begin to march to Shibuya and kill all the Hiiragi's. They could fight a war that they could win if he got the Osaka Bay's support.

"A proposal from my future king?" She asks him.

"I already have someone to propose to in that manner, don't get your hopes up." Kimizuki smirks at her as they reach the castle. 


Kimizuki reaches the Throne Room to see an old man sitting by the fireplace. He stands up and looks at him. They both take in each other. Kimizuki sees his long stringy pink hair about to bald, his face is old with wrinkles and cranky, he has dull red eyes that assess and critique him, his mouth in a tight straight line. He's wearing a robe a grey one with light armor on it covered by an overcoat. He is the great and fallen Fujio Kimizuki.

"Father." Kimizuki asks.

"Sixteen years is it?" The man's voice booms.

"Seventeen." Kimizuki says.

"They took a shrieking baby. What have they given back?" Fujio looks at him, still assessing.

"A man. Your blood and your heir." Kimizuki tells him.

"We shall see. Ichinose had you longer than I ever did." Fujio turns away from him. Kimizuki can't help the overwhelming disappointment and anger in him. He could take his people not caring, but he couldn't take it from his father. 

"Guren is gone." Kimizuki tells him.

"Guren? What'd you do marry him?" His father sneers.

"Lord Ichinose is gone." Kimizuki tells him.

"And how do you feel about that?" Fujio asks him.

"What's done is done. I've come with a proposal." Kimizuki tells him heatedly.

"Who gave you those clothes? Was it Guren Ichinose's pleasure to make you his daughter?" His father smirks at him cruelly.

"If my clothes offend you, I can change them." Kimizuki tells him through gritted teeth.

"It will." He moves to Kimizuki and holds his necklace, "That bauble around your neck. Did you pay the iron price for it or the gold?"

Kimizuki looks down, his father grabs his jaw forcing him to look up at him, "I asked you a question. Did you pull it from the neck of a corpse you made or did you buy it to match your fine clothes? Iron or gold?"

"Gold." Kimizuki mutters. His father reaches out and rips the bauble off forcing Kimizuki's cloak to fall to the ground.

"I will not have my son dressed like a whore. My fears have come true. Guren has made you his." Fujio turned to look at the fireplace.

"My blood is salt and iron." Kimizuki insists.

"Yet, the new Warden boy sends you here, clutching his message." Fujio glances over his shoulder.

"He hasn't sent me. I've come home myself to see you. To see home. It's my proposal." Kimizuki tells him.

"He doesn't heed your council? Why would you be here without his permission, otherwise?" Fujio tells him.

"No! No. I've lived with him, hunted with him, fought at his side, he thinks of me as his brother." Kimizuki tells him honestly. Yuu does listen to him, doesn't he? He's not unheard? But Yuu shot down all of his advice. In his, defense it was terrible advice.

"No, not here." Fujio walks to his son, "Not in my hearing, you will not name him brother. The son of the man who forced us into the position we're in. Who helped slay your brothers? Or have you forgotten about the Iron Blood?"

"I forget nothing. I remember it all. I remember when my father was a King." Kimizuki defends honestly. "Ally with and help us remove the Hiiragi's from the Seraphin Throne. We can support each other and bring a better future for both our kingdoms if we fight together. They were the ones who unseated you father." 

"You try to convince me to destroy the Hiiragi's to make me the King of Osaka Bay again? I destroy all the North's enemies for them so they win the war and the Seraphin Throne? Who would lead this attack on the Hiiragi's on behalf of Osaka Bay?" Fujio asks him.

"I will." Kimizuki says confidently.

"Oh, you will?" Fujio chuckles at the thought.

"I'm your son. Your only living heir. Who else?" Kimizuki asks.

Someone enters and Fujio looks to them causing Kimizuki to turn around and see the girl with reddish-pink hair who escorted him here. She has a cocky smirk on her face.

"I told you to wait outside. How did you get past the guards?" Kimizuki asks her.

"Any alpha is easy to fool. Especially ones with a cock." The woman says as she walks past him.

His father puts his arm around her. "My dear. Shihou meet your sister, Mirai."

"Sister?!" Kimizuki shouts.

"So nice to meet you, brother. This is a homecoming I'll tell my children about." Mirai smirks at him.

"I have a sister, since when?" Kimizuki asks.

"Before your mother died and after you left." Fujio tells him.

"She can't lead an attack!" Kimizuki exclaims.

"And why not?" Fujio asks.

"She's an omega and a woman!" Kimizuki tells her.

"You're the one in skirts." She tells him, gesturing towards his fancy Northern getup.

"This isn't Nagoya, boy. Your sister took over command of my ship after your new father forced us out of the crown. All our men dead." Fujio tells him.

"What is dead may never die." Fujio and Mirai say in unison.

"What is dead may never die." Kimizuki says later.

"The only nights she's spent off this island has been spent on the sea. She's commanded men. She's killed men. She knows who she is. And she hasn't had her heat. Hopefully she never will." Fujio tells him as Mirai smirks at him.

"No man gives me the crown. I pay the iron price. I will take my crown myself. That is who I am. That is who we have always been." Fujio says to him before walking away with Mirai following after him. Kimizuki turns around to watch them leave.

"You won't stand a chance against the Hiiragi's on your own." Kimizuki shouts at them. His father turns back.

"Who said anything about the Hiiragi's?" Fujio challenged him before walking away. And that's when it hits Kimizuki what he means to take. His thoughts go back to worrying over Yoichi's safety in Nagoya. That's where his father has set his sights.


Kimizuki enters his father's throne room the next morning to see it completely empty before Mirai comes walking in behind him silently. He gazes around the room as Mirai watches him before he turns around and sees her.

"What are you doing here?" He asks her gruffly.

"I live here. Are you angry with me brother?" Mirai asks him with a surprising sincerity.

"You lied to me." Kimizuki tells her heatedly.

"It's not my fault you didn't know about me." Mirai tells him.

"Why didn't you tell me?" He asks her.

"I wanted to see who you were first. And I did." Mirai tells him simply.

They look at each other taking each other in for the first time. Fujio enters with a modest guard. 

"The plans are made. It's time you heard them." He tells his children.

"Father." They both bow their heads.

"The wolf pup is beyond the wall right now. Those missions usually take a fucking long time. While he's tangling out there, Nagoya is ripe for the taking with only the crippled, little wolf-archer boy to protect it. The Ironborn will rape and pillage all along the northern coast. We'll spread our dominion across the white lands, securing The Last Heart and everything above. Every stronghold will yield to us, one by one. Snowstorm may defy us for a year, but what of it? The rest shall be ours, forest, field, and hall. Mirai, my daughter, you'll take 30 long-ships to attack Lord Marsten's Fortress and Motte." Fujio says at the map table.

"I've always wanted a castle." Mirai says.

"What's my role in all of this?" Kimizuki asks him desperately.

"You'll take a ship to raid the fishing villages at the Rocky River." Fujio tells him.

"A ship!?! You give her 30 and I get one?" Kimizuki asks in hysterical anger.

"The Sea Bitch. We thought she'd be perfect for you." Mirai smirks at him.

"I'm to fight fisherman?!" Kimizuki says annoyed.

"Be careful of their nets." Mirai tells him.

"Father, I fought with Guren and his son. I know his men. He won't give up the North so easily." Kimizuki tells him.

"They won't even know we're there - until it's too late." Mirai tells them.

"What do you know of it? I'm a proven warrior." Kimizuki tells Mirai.

"The men who died in the Hiiragi Rebellion were warriors. All of them dead at the hands of those you seem so eager to protect." Fujio tells him.

"I'm not protecting anyone. I just wonder if it's not wiser to wait. Why risk going against the North if they would be our allies? Rise up against them and they could destroy us. But if we pledge fealty to them, they'll give us all of the Hiiragi territories, as well as, your crown." Kimizuki says with a subtle plea.

"What are our words?" Fujio asks him, at Kimizuki's silence he asks again, "Our words?"

"We do not sow." Kimizuki tells him.

"WE DO NOT SOW. We are Ironborn of Osaka Bay. We are warriors. Not subjects. Not slaves. We take what is ours. Your time with the wolves has made you weak." Fujio sneers at his son.

That's when Kimizuki's alpha rage breaks from his hold. He's tired of his family in the short time he has gotten to know them. His father acts as though all of this is his fault, as though he was the one who was sent to live with Guren. No matter how he feels about Yoichi or any of his siblings now, they cannot stop his rage at his father. In his fury he growls out, "You act as if I volunteered to go. You gave me away, if you remember. The day you bent the knee to Tenri Hiiragi. After he crushed you. After you failed. Did you take what was yours then?"

A resounding smack goes off in the room as Fujio Kimizuki slams the back of his hand into Shihou's face causing him to fall back onto the table in pain as the man walks away. Kimizuki recovers to see his father leaving with his guards.

"YOU GAVE ME AWAY! YOUR BOY! YOUR ONLY BOY! YOU GAVE ME AWAY TO THEM LIKE SOME DOG YOU DIDN'T WANT ANYMORE! AND NOW YOU CURSE ME BECAUSE I'VE COME HOME!" Kimizuki shouts at his father's retreating figure furious, alone, and desperate.

Mirai comes up to him with a questioning, curious glare. "You'd have our father bow down to your other family?"

"I HAVE NO OTHER FAMILY!" Kimizuki shouts out in a rash and infuriated choice, he doesn't even realize he's saying. 

Mirai unflinching, "Don't you? Make your choice, Shihou, and do it quickly. Our ships sail with or without you." 

Mirai walks out leaving an agitated and depressed Kimizuki. He feels powerless to help his family. Maybe, he can warn Yoichi. No, it would only cause trouble if the raven is caught. Nobody knows him here and they would surely tell his father about it. And if they are, he'll be powerless to protect Yoichi from his family. He might die. At the thought of the omega dying Kimizuki's eyes water. There was nothing he could do. He needs to find some way to protect his omega or die trying.

He remembers Mirai's last words to him. If he chooses his blood family and acts as though he's with them. He might have a chance of protecting Yoichi if he acts like he's with his father. He's doing this to protect Yoichi and Yuu. He needs to convince his blood family he is on their side and then insist on taking the North. Then, he could protect Yoichi. Nobody, but him can know about this either. Meaning in the end of all of this, if he's not dead, Yoichi could end up hating and never forgiving him. But, this was for the omega's own good. This was for his safety. Rather, than his sister taking over the North and executing him. He will do it and protect him. He has to. He will not see Yoichi die. He won't be the cause of it.

Would he be on his blood family's side if he betrays his real family for them? If he takes their home in the name of Osaka Bay, and the Ironborn begin to rape and pillage. No, he has to remember this is just to protect them. This is what he must do to save them. He needs to become an Ironborn. He needs to reaffirm his name and faith and become a true Kimizuki. A true heir to Osaka Bay. 

He looks up in determination, knowing what he needs to do to affirm his family that he is with them. 


Kimizuki and a Drowned Priest stand ankle deep in water while soldiers look on. 

"Shihou of House Kimizuki. Do you this day consecrate your faith to the Drowned God?" The Drowned Priest asks him.

"I would." Kimizuki tells him after his eyes meet his father's.

"Kneel." The Drowned Priest commands him.

Kimizuki kneels in the water. His knee hitting the water covered sand bottom. 

"Let Shihou, your servant, be born again from the sea as you were. Bless him with salt. Bless him with stone. Bless him with steel." The Drowned Priest shouts for everyone to hear as he pours water onto Kimizuki's face after each blessing. 

Kimizuki looks up to the Drowned Priest, eyes open and pink hair sticking to his face wet as the wind blows, "What is dead may never die."

The Drowned Priest looks at him, "What is dead may never die. But, rises again harder and stronger. Stand."

Kimizuki rises and makes eye contact with his unimpressed, frowning father's face. He then looks to his sister's uncertain, yet, open expression. He looks up to the sky as his hair blows in the wind. Making a silent vow to protect Yoichi and making sure he lives at all costs, even if it inspires the omega's hatred of him, and even if it ends with Kimizuki dead. 


The Yellow Waste

Mikaela lies in his spot next to Ser Lacus. The state of the khalasar is growing worse each day. They're on their last days of water and food rations. He laments his sorrow and regret for losing Takoto. The man protected him and stood by him when many of his brothers left Mika to die. Mika looked to him as a sibling would. He treated him with respect and cared for him. And he sent him out to die. 

His khalasar all laid, most having given up. Believing they were going to die. Mika was beginning to think they were right. He had led them through here and gotten them killed. Ser Lacus eyed him with concern. Mika was growing delirious, his body ached from the exhaustion he felt. He began to hear a sound growing at the back of his mind. 

"Mama." A high-pitched squeak said. And then it was growing louder with other distinctive high-pitched squeaks joining in. 

"Mama." "Mama!" "MAMA!" 

Whatever it was a thought, or a feeling would not leave him in peace. Mika couldn't ignore it anymore. He looked over and sees the carrier with his dragons rumbling. He knows he needs to go to it. To his children. He stumbles as he gets up. 

"MAMA!" "MAMA!"

"Khaleesi?" Ser Lacus asks him.

"Can you hear that?" Mika asks him.

"Hear what, Khaleesi? Nothing to hear, but the sound of breathing." Ser Lacus says. Mika looks back at the rumbling carrier, growing more excited. Ser Lacus sees where Mika's eyes lead as the omega heads to his children.

Mika reaches the carrier, and unlocks it. Makoton is the first to fly out before Nikolarion comes out followed finally by Rhaelia. They flew in a circle around Mika screeching. The voices in Mika's head grew louder and more excited. His people and Ser Lacus looked at him in wonder and question.

"MAMA!""MAMA!""MAMA!""MAMA!""MAMA!""MAMA!"

Mika realized it was them in his head. He could hear what they wanted. He could feel how they felt inside his body. Their excitement and happiness at seeing their mother, even when Mika had just checked on them earlier. Mika looked at them in awe. He could understand his children. Could they do the same? 

"Makoton let Rhaelia and Nikolarion catch up." Mika thought in his mind. 

Makoton let the two catch up as they circled Mika before Rhaelia and Nikolarion landed on his shoulders and Makoton in his palm. He could talk to them. He can communicate with them. He can talk to his children. Mika for the first time in a while allowed himself to smile with glee.

"Khaleesi?" Ser Lacus was behind him with a raised eyebrow in question.

"I can talk to them, Ser Lacus. I can hear them in my head and I can use my thoughts to talk to them. The screeches are them talking to me. They're calling for their mother." Mika said to him. 

Ser Lacus stared at him, not quite sure of what the omega meant, but getting the concept of what he was trying to say. "You can communicate with them, through your head?" 

Mika nodded. He's about to turn back when he sees something behind Ser Lacus and points. "Ser Lacus."

Ser Lacus looks and they both watch as the horse approaches them with Saisho on its back. Mika sighs in relief at not losing another one of his men. But, the horse is not the same one he left with. Mika feels a flicker of hope inside of him appear.

"This isn't your horse." Mika tells him. 

"It was given to me by the Sixteen. The Elders of Quaithe." Saisho tells him as he gets off the horse.

"Quaithe?" Mika asks.

"Two days to the East on the sea. I've also returned with more food and water." Saisho tells him.

"Will they let us in?" Mika asks.

"They said they would be honored to receive the Mother of Dragons." Saisho tells him with a smile. Mika lets the hope overtake him as he looks to Ser Lacus and Dyara.

"What do you know of Quaithe?" Mika asks him.

Dyara shakes her head, "Only what I told you."

"The desert around their walls is called the Garden of Bones." Ser Lacus says, "Every time the Quaithian shut their gate on a traveler, the garden grows."

Mika looks down at his feet, then back at Ser Lacus and his khalasar. The city is willing to receive him and his khalasar will die otherwise. This way he has a chance of getting them out of this situation. He may even be able to secure allies. They had enough food and water for the trip, even without Saisho's. They could do this. His khalasar is tired and decrepit, but now he has hope. Now they have hope after hearing Saisho.

"We're going." Mika tells Ser Lacus. "Gather everything of value and necessity. We may need it." 

Ser Lacus and his khalasar immediately move into action. Mika moves to put his children back in their carrier.

"Only a little while longer, my sweets." Mika tells them in his head. They go in after a bit of hesitation. Mika shuts it. He will go to Quaithe since they are willing to welcome him, he just has to get to the Garden of Bones. He is not going to let his people die, not when there was something he could do that allowed them to live. Mika and his khalasar moved with newfound determination and restored hope to follow Saisho to Quaithe. 


The Riverlands

Torrhen enters the room where the Watch men sleep to see a head of short blonde hair still awake and sharpening her sword behind a post. Mitsuba looks at him before her eyes go back to the sword. 

"You should be sleeping. Tomorrow's a long march. Thirty miles, if we don't get pissed on." Torrhen tells her.

"I can't sleep." Mitsu tells him.

Torrhen offers her his wine skin as he sits in front of her. 

"I don't like the taste." Mitsu tells him.

Torrhen smiles at this young alpha girl about to become a woman, who doesn't care for wine, "You don't drink for the taste."

Mitsu looks at him as he drinks before Torrhen finally asks, "What?"

"How do you sleep?" Mitsu asks him.

"Same as most men, I think." Torrhen tells her.

"But, you've seen things. Horrible things." She tells him.

"Aye. I've seen some pretty things too. But, not nearly so many." Torrhen says after taking a long sip.

"How do you sleep when you...when you have those things in your head?" Mitsu asks him softly.

"You didn't see that. I made damn sure." Torrhen tells her, knowing she's talking about Guren's execution.

"I close my eyes and see I see them up there. All of them. Takashi, the Queen, and Shinoa." Mitsu says.

Torrhen thinks for a moment before leaning in closer to the girl, "You know, we've got something in common. I must have been a couple of years younger than you. I saw my brother stabbed through the heart right on our doorstep. Williem, was the lad's name that did it. He ran off before anyone could spit. And I just stood there, watching my brother die. Here's the funny part. I can't picture my brother's face anymore. But Williem, oh, he was a nice-looking boy. He had good white teeth, blue eyes, one of those dimpled chins all the omegas like. I would think about him when I was working, drinking, even when I was having a shit. It got to the point where I would say his name every night before I went to bed. Williem. Williem. Williem. A prayer almost. Well, one day, Williem came riding back into town. I buried an ax so deep into Williem's skull they had to bury him with it. Williem's horse got me to the Wall and I've been wearing black ever since. That'll help you sleep?"

Mitsu takes it all in, she considers what the man says. An idea begins to form in her head as she thinks about it all. A horn sounds loudly from the outside. Torrhen rises quickly as Mitsu looks at him in alarm. 

"HO! GET UP YOU LAZY SONS OF WHORES! Arm yourselves!" Torrhen shouts. All of the men begin to rise. 

"Get up." Shusaku tells Poppy.

"Get up." Mitsu tells them all, trying to awake Hot Cake who stirs.

Shusaku moves to Mitsu as Torrhen reaches her. "Keep out of sight, both of you."

"No, I'm not afraid." Mitsu insists, her alpha rising.

"I can fight." Shusaku also says.

"Keep out of sight. If things go wrong, you run. Do you hear me? You run along north and don't look back." Torrhen tells them before addressing his men, "Hey, there's men out there who want to fuck your corpses. Outside, now!"

Poppy sees the bull-headed helmet and takes it with him as he runs. 


The Gold Cloaks return with more men as Torrhen heads outside with a modest number of men. Mitsu and Shusaku run with the group out of the side exit of the fort they've been staying at. They run forward now going towards the front, hiding behind a large amount of bushes at a distance from where Torrhen was. One of them must have dropped a lantern because there was a fire beginning on the ground headed toward the wooden cage in between them and Torrhen. 

Mitsu sees Torrhen at the front with the Gold Cloaks. 

"Where's the bastard, crow?" The man from the last time asks Torrhen.

"Got more than a few bastards here. Who's asking?" Torrhen asks gruffly.

"His Grace, King Takashi Hiiragi. These two men from the capital requested our assistance. Drop your weapons in the name of the King. This is your last chance. In the name of King Takashi, drop your weapons." Another one of the men tells him.

"No, I don't think I will." Torrhen says defiantly. 

"So be it." The other man from the last time says.

A gold cloak shoots Torrhen with a crossbow who falls before rising in anger, "I always hated crossbows. Take too long to load."

Torrhen takes on all of the Gold Cloaks. He manages to strike down a few with their blood pouring onto the dark grass before he's subdued due to the wounds the men inflict on him. Surrounded in a circle by the Hiiragi men holding spears. Mitsu and Shusaku in the bushes pause to watch in horror with a number of men as a Gold Cloak comes behind Torrhen, on his knees, unable to stand. And plunges a sword down his back. Torrhen's eyes meet Mitsu's as the blood pours from his mouth. They see the blood stain the sword as his body falls from it.

Shusaku runs out of the bushes in a fury with Mitsu following him. The men follow her as Hot Cake stares at them, still in shock at the scene. 

Mitsu's eyes pass the wooden cage starting to go on fire. 

"BOY! COME HERE, BOY! SWEET BOY, HELP US!" Mitsu sees Nix Parthe in the cage shouting at her. Mitsu pauses and looks ahead at the recruits engaging them in battle, unsure of what to do.

"COME BACK HERE BOY! HELP US! A MAN CAN FIGHT! FREE HIM!" Nix shouts at her desperately.

Mitsu spies a dropped axe and goes to receive it before coming back to the cage. 

"Quick, give it to me. Give me the ax. Give me that." Nix tells her. Mitsu hands it to him through the cage before running back. Nix watches the little girl in amazement.

The battle continues as Hot Cake watches as Shusaku is knocked out and taken. "Put them on the wagon!"

Mitsu tries to leave the encampment through the forest. A guard, a bald one emerged from the darkness and punches her. She lands on the ground and looks up at him. He looks at her before at her side. 

"What do we have here?" He looks at her needle before taking it.

"NO!" Mitsu shouts as he takes it from her and points it at her throat.

"That's a fine little blade. Maybe I'll pick my teeth with it." The guard sneers at her.

Hot Cake emerges from the bush followed by guards pushing him roughly forward, encountering Mitsu as he's pushed. "I yield. I yield."

"ROUND UP ANY SURVIVORS! WE'LL TAKE THEM BACK TO HAMURA." The Gold Cloak at the head says.

"You heard him. You're coming with us." The bald guard pulls Mitsu up and begins leading her back to the camp following Hot Cake.


Mitsu and Hot Cake reach the camp.

They see a wounded Poppy crying with an arrow in his leg. "Help me! Help me!"

"Can you walk?" The bald guard asks him. Mitsu takes notice of his rare pink eyes. Something she's never seen before.

"No. You got to carry me." Poppy tells him.

"All right." The guard smiles in a sinister way. He holds out a hand to Poppy who takes it. He puts Needle's blade at the boy's throat as he pulls him forward into it. The boy stares at him wide-eyed. The blood erupts in a cough once the sword is pulled out of his throat before it begins to pour out of his mouth and onto the ground. The man watches the boy convulsing with a smile before standing up and walking back to them. ""Carry him", He says."

"We're looking for a bastard named Shusaku Iwasaki." The man from last time shouts at them all. He moves past, knocking over Torrhen's dead body as he does. "Give him up, or I'll start taking eyeballs."

None of them say anything. Mitsu looks at Shusaku before looking around. Her eyes fall on Poppy's body and right next to him is the bulls-head helmet. An idea forms in her head.

"You want Shusaku?" Mitsu asks as Shusaku tenses, drawing all eyes to her before gesturing to Poppy and the bulls-headed helmet, "You already got him. He loved that helmet."

Chapter Text

Hamura

Mitsuba trudges through the dirt. Her blonde hair stained with dirt as the Hiiragi men lead them to Hamura. Mitsu looks up upon seeing a large shadow on the dirt she looks up to see the castle. The black stone of the castle looks like something ripped the top off the towers. The statue of a knight charging into a battle made of the same dark, hard stone is headless. Then it occurred to her what happened to the castle. Only one thing could have caused the towers to go down in such a way that it stuck like that. Fire. Shusaku beside her must have come to the same realization. 

"What king of fire melts stone?" He asks.

"Dragon fire." Mitsu tells him in awe. 

"There's dragons here?" Hot Cake asks beside her.

"No, all the dragons are dead." Shusaku says.

Hot Cake nods before a horrid smell reaches their noses, "What's that smell?"

"Dead people." Mitsu responds, knowing it all too well by now before moving ahead. 

"Move." The guards tell the two boys left as the roughly push them forward.


Mitsu looks at the guards as they chain her by her hands in a pen along with all the other prisoners. Some that were already there. Shusaku is next to her eyeing the guards as they chain up other men by their necks. They try to focus on them, but nothing can drown out the painful screaming of a man being tortured. Mitsu looks to see an old woman watching it in a stoic state. Hot Cake cringes at the screaming.

The old woman speaks in a monotone when the screams stop, "He's dead. He was my son. My sister was three days ago. My husband the day before that."

"They take someone every day?" Shusaku asks.

"Does anyone live?" Mitsu asks and stares at the old woman waiting for a response before realizing she was probably never going to speak again.


That night as the men sleep, Mitsu recites the names of her enemies. She began doing so after Torrhen died as a way to remember the man and the story he told her. But, she also did it as a way to remember her enemies until she could finally take vengeance on them after all the harm they caused her.

It helped her fall sleep at night easier than before. She chanted the names like a prayer, "Takashi. Mahiru. Kureto. Fuola Honte. Takashi. Mahiru. Kureto. Fuola Honte. Takashi. Mahiru. Kureto. Fuola Honte. "  


Mitsu wakes up at the sound of a loud commotion between the men. Shouts and calls being given as her tired eyes adjust to the daylight. She exchanged glances with Hot Cake and Shusaku as they stood up. 

"That's him. The one who picks." Hot Cake says. 

A large man in black armor with black-hair that is clean-cut into bangs walks towards them. Mitsu looks up and sees dull black eyes meet her wide ones. She looks away, shrinking in herself trying to hide, lowering her head. "The Mountain."

Ser Saito looks at all of them appraising them all from a distance. They all have their backs turned except for Hot Cake and another man. 

"What are you doing?" Mitsu whispers.

"He told me he stares at him every day. That's why he doesn't get picked." Hot Cake tells her staring at Saito along with another man.

Saito moves closer to them looking at all of them as Hot Cake and the man stare him down.

"You." Saito says pointing to the other man staring at him. Hot Cake watches in shock and fear as he and Mitsu are pushed aside so the man can be grabbed. 

They watch as he's taken away. Mitsu looks at Hot Cake who looks down at his pants to see a wet spot expanding in his crotch area. He looks up as relief hits him and his fear dissipates. 

The man is strapped onto a chair by another alpha called "The Snake". He looks at The Snake in fear as his neck is strapped to the chair. Another alpha called "The Wiggler" questions him while eating an apple. 

"Is there gold and silver in the village?" The Wiggler asks the man.

"I don't know." The man tries to tell them.

"Gems?"

"I didn't see any." The man desperately says. 

"Where is the Brotherhood?" The Wiggler asks now.

"I don't know." The man says.

"Where is the Brotherhood?" The Wiggler asks.

"I don't know!" The man pleads.

Mitsu and Shusaku watch as The Wiggler nods to The Snake. The Snake walks to a cage and pulls out a rat, grabbing a bucket on his way back. He puts the rat in the bucket and smirks menacingly. 

"Where is the Brotherhood?" The Wiggler asks now.

"I don't know!" The man says. "Please!"

"Which of the villagers aided them?" The Wiggler asks. 

"I don't know." The man says.

The Wiggler nods to The Snake who lifts up the captive's shirt and straps the bucket onto his naked chest. 

"Which villagers aided them?" The Wiggler asks before The Snake moves to grab a burning stick. He lights the end of the bucket on fire. Mitsu watches as the man screams in pain at the heat in the bucket causing the rat to start trying to burrow into his chest. He can feel it gnawing on his flesh. He begins screaming in pain.

"WHO HELPED HIM?" The Wiggler asks.

"I don't know. I didn't see anyone." The man says before he can't help blurting out to save himself, "The butcher! Sakamoto! And his son!"

"That's better. You've been very helpful." The Wiggler says nodding for The Snake to continue his torture.

"No! No! Please, stop! I've told you everything!" The man begs. 

Mitsu and Shusaku watch in horror as the alphas smile at their deeds. They're all helpless to stop them, forced to watch this suffering.


That night Mitsu repeats her list, trying to sleep, "Takashi. Mahiru. Kureto. Fuola Honte."

"Please Oliver! Some food. Just the crust of bread." Mitsu turns to see a woman begging the same bald, pink-eyed guard who took her sword.

He punches the woman in the gut and walks away. 

Mitsu looks back in disgust, "Takashi. Mahiru. Kureto. Fuola Honte. Oliver. The Mountain."


Mitsu, Shusaku, and Hot Cake watch as another prisoner's head is stuck onto a spike. 

"You." Saito says pointing to Shusaku. A pit drops in Mitsu's stomach. Terror etches onto her face, while worry finds its way onto his as he's dragged. Their eyes meet as he's dragged off. 

Mitsu watches as Shusaku is strapped in the same way as all the others. Her fear growing by the second. 

"Is there gold or silver in the village?" The Wiggler asks.

"I'm not from this village." Shusaku says trying to keep the worry out of his voice. 

"Where is the Brotherhood?"

"I don't know what that is." Shusaku says.

The Wiggler nods to the Snake who moves to grab a rat. He puts it into a bucket and is about to strap it to a horror-stricken Shusaku when they hear the sound of horses neighing. Mitsu looks in the direction to see an aged, but strong man riding in on a white horse. He's in full armor with a red and gold sash around him. He has a stern look on his face. His hair is a shade of indigo with amber eyes that pierce into a person like a dagger would. His hair is tied up with stubble on his jaw. The man is clearly an alpha. Everyone kneels, but Mitsu doesn't realize it in her state of alarm and intrigue.

"What's this?" The man asks, getting off his horse. 

Saito kneels. "We were not expecting you for another day, Lord Tetsuo."

"Evidently not." The man's deep baritone voice bares as he looks at them. "Why are these prisoners not in cells?"

"Cells are overflowing here, My Lord." Saito says before ordering a man. "Take Lord Hiiragi's things to his chambers."

Lord Hiiragi? Mitsu did not know the former King had a brother. That Shinoa had an uncle. Guren never did like to talk much about them, not even to Shinoa.

"This lot won't be here long." Oliver says, "Don't need no permanent place. After we interrogate 'em, we just kill 'em" 

"Are we so well-manned that we can afford to discard able young bodies and skilled laborers?" Lord Tetsuo asks before walking to the torture area. Shusaku looks up at him warily. "You, do you have a trade?"

"Smith, My Lord." Shusaku responds. 

Lord Tetsuo looks back at them with a look that causes them all to shrink before Oliver sees Mitsu standing. 

"What are you looking at? Kneel." Oliver tells her as he holds his sword to her. "Kneel or I'll carve your lungs out, boy."

"You will do no such thing." Tetsuo says looking at the scene with interest before giving his full attention to assessing Mitsu, "This one's a girl, you idiotic fucker, dressed as a boy. Why?"

Mitsu's head catches up to her to realize he's talking to her, "Safer to travel, My Lord."

"Smart. More than I can say for this lot." Tetsuo looks at her up-and-down. Not in a predatory way, but in a genuine interest. He moves to leave, "Get these prisoners to work. Bring the girl. I need a new cupbearer."

"My Lord." Saito nods.

Mitsu stares at the man's retreating figure in a daze at what just transpired. 


Shibuya

Shinya and Aiko Aihara sit in his chambers discussing matters of their day and trading stories, as well as, barbs. Their conversation soon takes a turn towards the King. 

"The maids have found animal corpses inside his room." Shinya says to her. 

"Have you brought it to the queen?" Aiko asks him.

"I did. He told her it was practice for the war. She saw that as valid enough to brush it off and get back at me for imprisoning the Grand Maester without making the situation too controversial." Shinya tells her. 

"A brilliant scheme with terrible repercussions. It's rather poetic." She says. "How do you know it wasn't practice?"

"The laughing that was rumored to be heard from his chambers at night." Shinya nods and takes a sip of his wine. "And everyone calls the Shindo's mad. Sooner or later, we'll gain that reputation. If we haven't already."

"The little King is backed up. Clogged from balls to brains." Aiko Aihara tells him.

Shinya looks at her curiously, "You think dipping his wick will cure what ails him?"

"There's no cure for being a cunt. And he's got nothing to do all day, but lower our meat supply. Couldn't hurt to get some of the poison out?" Aiko tells him.

Shinya considers this, "Perhaps it wouldn't." 


"What are you doing here?" Takashi asks Aoi Sanguu who stands outside of his chamber doors. He's wielding his crossbow with him, probably back from killing or at least, maiming something.

"Your uncle left your name day present and asked me to see that you got it." She leers at him, which he cowers a bit from. 

"And? What is it?" Takashi asks her.

"Look inside, Your Grace." Aoi tells him with a smirk.

Takashi moves to go inside.


Takashi walks in with his crossbow ready. He sees a naked omegan boy lounging on his bed with a fully dressed omegan woman walking towards him. 

"Your Grace!" The boy shouts excitedly upon seeing him.

"Happy Name Day, Your Grace." The woman tells him.

"My name day has passed." Takashi tells her.

"We won't tell if you won't." The woman says soothing her hands on his shoulders before moving lower. 

"No." Takashi says to her before gesturing to the boy. "Him. Touch him."

Takashi watches as the omega gets off the bed and he sees his naked body. He feels interest, but not aroused when the woman begins to touch the omega and they make eye contact. 

A small smile spreads across his face. This boy was pretty. He wanted to ruin him. To hurt him. To touch him. To abuse him. He wanted to brand him as his. He wanted to make him feel pain. He wanted to get pleasure from his pain. 

"Can you hit him?" Takashi asked.

The woman smiles at him before the boy turns around and bends over to give Takashi a nice view of his ass. She smiles at him as she smacks the boy's ass in the way a mother would with her child. The boy moans as she keeps on giving the same hits. 

"My uncle sent you?" Takashi inquired.

"Yes, Your Grace. He chose us himself." The woman tells him.

"What is your name?" Takashi asked her.

"Saiyara." The woman tells him as she spanks the boy. 

"Sounds foreign." Takashi muses.

"It is. Shinjuku." She tells him.

"Mmmmm." Takashi says as he pulls off his belt handing it to her, "Use this."

The woman hesitates before taking it. Takashi moves back to watch. The woman brings the belt down onto the omega as soft as she can, drawing out a smaller, heavier moan. 

"Harder." Takashi says moving closer. Saiyara does it causing the omega to cry out, filled more with pain than pleasure before he grabs her face. Leaning down to hiss, "I said harder. He'd want me to get my money's worth." 

Takashi moves away as the omega looks at them in fright. The woman looks at him apologetically before bringing down the belt harder and striking. She tries to drown out the omega's pained screams. Striking two more times before the boy scurries away. Takashi walks forward smirking when an object catches his eye. The stag scepter of his father's house. He picks it up and hands it to Saiyara who slowly takes it reluctantly. Takashi sits down and begins to reload the crossbow. Saiyara looks at the omega boy with a sorrowful look before one last plea. 

"Your Grace, Please. Too much pain will spoil the pleasure." Saiyara tells him.

"Please, Your Grace!" The boy begs.

"Your Grace, if your uncle finds out-" Saiyara says.

"Oh, I want him to find out. You will bring her to his chambers when you're finished and show him what you've done." Takashi tells her menacingly, "Or the same thing will happen to you."

The woman and omega look at him with hate and terror in their eyes over what this monstrous King is saying.

Takashi aims his crossbow at them, "Begin."

The omega turns around, accepting his fate in tears as the woman raises the scepter and bring sit down. The omega's pained wails and shouts echo. 

"HARDER!" Takashi shouts at them.


Shinya opens his door not expecting to see a man who looks exactly like Kureto. 

"Who are you?" Shinya asks him.

"I am Ser Kunio here on behalf of Her Grace, The Queen Regent." The man, or boy tells him.

"And what does The Queen Regent want?" Shinya says already understanding, letting the boy in, and closing the door.

"Her Grace, commands that you release Grand Maester Sycelle. Here is your warrant." Kunio tells him, handing him a piece of paper. 

"So it is." Shinya observes before an idea comes to him, "Will you take a cup with me? I find that mulled wine helps me sleep."

"I am here at Her Grace's benefit." Kunio responds.

"If my sister was so concerned about Sycelle, I would have thought she'd come herself. Instead, she sends you. What am I to make of that?" Shinya tells him.

"Whatever you want it to be. I don't care, so long as you release the prisoner immediately." Kunio tells him.

"And you received these instructions directly from Mahiru?" Shinya inquires.

"As I said before."

"And you've waited this long to deliver that information?" Shinya asks.

"When the Queen Regent gives me a command, I must carry it out without delay." Kunio says.

"Mahiru must have great trust in you, allowing you into her chamber, during the hour of the wolf." Shinya gives him a knowing look.

Kunio tenses, "The Queen Regent has a great many responsibilities. She often works from dusk till dawn."

"She must be very glad to have you helping her from dusk till dawn." Shinya says circling him, like a snake, "Ah, lavender oil. She always loved lavender oil, even as a girl. Purple was her favorite color. Now it's more of a red and gold, maybe even a black."

"I am a knight!" Kunio shouts.

"An anointed knight, yes. Tell me did Mahiru have you knighted before or after she took you into her bed?" Shinya says with a smile, "What? Nothing to say? No more warnings for me, Ser?"

"You will withdraw these filthy accusations!" The beta shouts at Shinya in an attempt to intimidate him, which his omega bristles a bit before maintaining his previous knowing composure. Even he's not immune to his biology, unfortunately.

"Have you given any thought to what King Takashi will have to say, when he finds out you've been fucking the Great Beauty of the West, his beloved mother?" Shinya asks him.

"It's not my fault!" Kunio shouts in desperation.

"Did she take you against your will? Can you not defend yourself, knight?" Shinya moves closer to him.

"I did as I was bid." Kunio says.

"You hated every moment of it? Is that what you would have me believe? A high place in court, a knighthood, my sister's legs spreading open for you at night. Oh yes, it must have been terrible." Shinya said with a roll of his eyes before moving to leave, "Wait here, His Grace will want to hear this."

Kunio's eyes blow wide-open and he immediately drops to his knees, "Mercy! Mercy, My Lord! I beg you!"

Shinya can barely contain his glee from seeping into his composure, "Save it for Takashi. He loves a good grovel."

"My Lord, it was your sister's bidding, The Queen. I'll leave the city at once, I swear." Kunio begs.

"No, I think not." Shinya turns to him.

"My Lord?"

"You heard me. You are to obey my sister. Stay close to her side. Keep her trust. Pleasure her whenever she requires. No one ever need know, so long as you keep faith with me. I want to know what Mahiru is doing, where she goes, who she sees, what they talk of, everything. And, you will tell me. Rise. Rise." Shinya lays out for him. 

Kunio gets up and nods, "Yes, I will, My Lord. I swear it as you command."

"Let us drink to our understanding then." Shinya says, showing him out. "Oh, you don't have a cup. Oh, well. Smile. My sister is a beautiful woman and it's all for the good of the realm. Go back and tell her I beg her forgiveness. That I want no more conflict between us, and henceforth I shall do nothing without her consent."

"But, her demands?" Kunio questions.

"Oh, I'll give her Sycelle." Shinya tells him.

"You will?" Kunio raises a brow.

"Yes, I'll release him in the morning." Shinya says, "Mahiru can keep him as a pet, if she wants, but I will not have him on the Council. I would like to swear that I had not harmed a single hair on his head. But, that would not, strictly speaking, be true." Shinya says as he locks his door on Kunio's shocked and dumbfounded look.


The next afternoon, Shinya walks into his chambers for his quiet time to himself. He immediately smells a familiar smell to him. It's the smell of a dead body. He turns around and sees the body of the omegan prostitute he hired yesterday to pleasure Takashi and offer him some stress relief. The poor boy was only sixteen at most. Shinya caused this to happen. 

Takashi had grown to become too monstrous and inhumane. His cruelty knew no bounds anymore. He had to find some way to forcefully control it himself. He'd killed this omega for his own sadistic pleasure. He wanted to cause pain. Takashi needed to be controlled, if Mahiru was not going to do it, he would need to. 

He took in the omega's body. His whole lower back half completely mangled and unrecognizable to anyone. His face covered with blood and his eyes rolling up. Shinya let out a sob at the thought of him being the one who sent this omega to his death. He let himself cry for a brief period before he grew determined. He should have known better. Now he will. He looks at the body and makes the vow that he will find some way to get Takashi's sadistic tendencies under his control, so that this never happens again. He swears this to each of the Seven as he leaves to get Yukimi or Kagiyama to help him bury the body. It's the least he could do, after all.


Shinjuku - Kyrna

Guren watches as the old man pours the hot metal into the mold for the blade with the hilt being put in under into the mold, as well. He had it custom made. It was silver with a brown handle. But, the thing that distinguished it from his former sword, Ice, was the pommel at the end. Ice had been a sword with only grey, black, and white to symbolize House Ichinose. But, this sword added in Yellow and Black for Kimizuki and Sanguu, Red for Saotome and Hiiragi, and had Grey and White combining for House Ichinose. All the colors of his children's houses and the house of his lover. The silver and white circled around the multiple-colored circle in the center. It showed his protection over all of them even across the Blood Sea and his continuance to do so until he's dead. 

The smith pulls the blade out handing it to Guren, who gives the man three of the gold Shinya gave him. 

Guren looks at it, new and shiny, a symbol to his family.

"Thank you. You know where I can find the Wesker house? I heard it was around this area." Guren says inspecting the sword.

"You some kinda foreigner?" The smith asks.

"What of it?" Guren asks.

"Makes sense. People who aren't from Kyrna have been comin' in from everywhere to see that house. They say it was where magic came back."

"What do you mean?" Guren asks him.

"Nothin', just that if you want to go uninterrupted, you better go when the sun falls. Its two streets over and a sharp left. If you go now there'll be a lot of people. And you seem like someone tryin' to get away from people." The smith tells him as he turns back to his work.   

"Thank you." Guren tells him as he leaves the man gives him a nod of his assent. He will get back to his family, he just has to find Mikaela Shindo. Guren rolls his eyes, he's beginning to sound like Yuu.


Guren stakes out the house all day and notices the amount of people going to visit. Wesker was always a snake, Guren wouldn't have put it past him to offer tours of his house as soon as the dragons were born. He'd never liked the greedy man before he fled Westeria. However, this was a foolish move anyone could see it. To just carelessly allow people in your residence. No, it couldn't be that simple. The man was never courteous enough to even dance with an omega who was less than desirable. The most likely scenario was that he was killed and Mikaela lived among the Dothraki with his husband and dragons. He wondered if he had the child. He wondered about the poison and how he survived that, as well. But, then again the boy did survive fire and make dragons. Poison isn't hard to believe in his case. Wesker must be dead and Mikaela with his Dothraki. Word has spread of his dragons and seeing his former home abandoned decide to make it an attraction. 

Guren sneaks in through the back of the empty marble and stone house when the sun sets. It is a large place, Wesker did have foreign connections. He looks around the dark halls before stumbling upon a library. He decides to browse through it all. He sees various history books both of Westeria and Shinjuku, as well as, books on dragons. A title catches his eye, "The Dance of Dragons." Well, at least the princess was in touch with his family name and history. Maybe, he learned from their mistakes. The Dance of Dragons was a war fought between two Shindo's for the control of Westeria around 3000 years ago. It nearly destroyed the West and damaged the Shindo's irreparably. It was also the beginning of the end for the dragons dying with the last King, Aeleriov the Third being the last one to possess them around 2500 years before the time of Nikolai's rule. A brother and a sister nearly tore apart the realm for power with both dying in the end. He sees education books for mathematics and literature fiction, as well before he decided to leave. 

Guren reaches a room that smells vaguely of an omega, he enters knowing already he's found what he's looking for.

Guren immediately takes in the sweet and strong scent of Mikaela. His room is large, but comfortable. Lonely and luxurious. He sees a made bed with a silver ruby-embezzled dress on it. This must have been his wedding dress. No, he must have gotten married in it so it must be with him. It may have been the last thing he wore here before he left. He looks around. The room is not furnished with a lot, other than the basic necessities for an omega. A bed, a mirror, a few books scattered, various clothes around, beauty supplies, a cup with a bottle of wine next to it. Most are normal for not just an omega, but a regular person. Guren opens an adjacent door to see a room with his various clothes and dresses. He opens the other one to see a chamber pot and a large bucket for baths. He rustles around his room searching for anything that could help him gain any insight into the omega he looks to serve before he finds what he's looking for in between the wood of the bed. He pulls out a book. A diary. 

He opens it and begins to read. Mikaela Shindo has had quite an eventful life. That bastard Lucal raped him since he was eight until he could sell him off as a child bride for an army. He's educated well, he can write properly and coherently, like a Maester would know to, something mainly Shinoa, Yoichi, and surprisingly, Mitsu had a gift for. He reads through this boy's life and feelings. All the loneliness, desperation, anger, hatred, hope, anxiety, fear, terror, and the barest glimmers of happiness from things like giving a poor child some bread in the market and reading a book about dragons while learning something new. As Guren reads, he realizes this omega is smart and rational, like many other ones. He's like his father in some ways and like his mother in more ways. The good parts of their personality. He could make for a fine ruler if he has proper guidance and help. Hell, maybe even by himself. He reaches close to the end when he reaches something that catches his eye. 

"I've thought much about my mother and father over the years. But, I haven't in a long while. Lucal always told me my mother died giving birth to me. My father was stabbed by his kingsguard in the back. Lucal told me he went mad. Not many of our blood do. I suppose my father's luck was only so terrible. As my wedding to the Dothraki Lord approaches, I find myself thinking about what things...what I would be like if they were still here? Would I be waiting for my time to rule on the Seraphin Throne? Would I have a family? Would I have a home? Would I be happy? Probably, anywhere without Lucal could be better. I wonder what the man who killed my father thought about as he plunged the blade into his back. Why he dealt the killing blow to him? This Guren Ichinose, what drove him to decide my father was the Mad King and he needed to be gone? Father is called The Mad King for a reason, everyone knows him as such. Everyone cannot be wrong if my father did horrible things to others, while I still care for him the way most children do, if there was a good reason then it must be justice. Most assume I understand why he has that title. One day, if I ever meet the kingslayer, I must ask him the truth, listen, and decide for myself what to believe. How I should see my father will not be changed until I hear the truth from those people who were there the day he died."

Guren looks up at the realization that this omega princess will listen to him. He's reasonable and intelligent enough to listen and hear him out. This allows the fires of determination to grow within him. This omega will listen to him and his reasons before taking any action against him. The risk of meeting the Shindo boy is still there, but it's now significantly lesser. Guren stands up and leaves the house knowing where he needs to go next on his quest to meet the Mother of Dragons.    


Quaithe

Mikaela stands at the front of his khalasar with Ser Lacus by his side. His dragons are in their carrier. Mika did not want to have his children taken from him and killed. Ser Lacus advised him to keep them hidden, or risk losing them. He looks up at the glory of the desert city's wall. Built with sand-colored stones. The wall is surrounded by bones of dead men, some having decomposed. The Garden of Bones, Ser Lacus had told him. They'd promised to receive him. He waits as the teal-colored doors opens and out step a line of guardsmen followed by a group of robed men he can assume are The Sixteen from his count of them. The amount of guards there seems extremely unnecessary for someone who was to be welcomed.

"I thought we were welcome." Mika tells Ser Lacus. 

"If you heard a Dothraki horde was approaching your city, you might do the same, Khaleesi." Ser Lacus tells him.

"Horde?" Mika raises an eyebrow at his small amount of Dothraki that they think is a threat. 

The guards stop their marching allowing The Sixteen to come forward. They're led by a short, portly man with a high ponytail. A beta probably. He walks out of the formation past the guards towards them. Silence passes before Mika decides to start.

"My name is Mikaela Fire-" Mika starts to introduce himself.

"Mikaela Fireborn of House Shindo." The man finishes for him.

"You know me, My Lord?" Mika asks, a little hope shining.

"Only by reputation, Khaleesi. And I am no Lord. Merely a humble merchant." The man tells Mika, "They call you the Mother of Dragons."

"And what should I call you?" Mika asks politely.

"Oh, my name is quite long and quite impossible for foreigners to pronounce. I am simply a trader of silks. But, we are The Sixteen, charged with the governance of Quaithe, the greatest city that ever was and will be." The man tells him.

"The beauty of Quaithe is legendary." Mika tells him.

"Might we see the dragons?" The man asks him.

Mika tenses. He turns to look at his dragons. The words they speak to him in his mind has gone silent meaning they must be resting. He also fears what could become of them if they see his children and want to take them for themselves. He looks at Ser Lacus who gives him a look telling him to not show them. He turns to the man. 

"My friend, we have traveled very far. We have no food or water left. Once I see my people fed, I would be honored-" Mika says.

"Forgive me, Mother of Dragons. But, no man alive has seen a living dragon. Some of my more skeptical friends refuse to believe your children exist. All we ask is the chance to see for ourselves." The man tells him with a type of condescension.

"I am not a liar." Mika says.

"Oh, I don't think you are. But, as I've never met you before, my opinion on the matter is of limited value." The man tells him pompously.

Mika and Ser Lacus exchange looks.

"Where I come from, guests are treated with respect, not insulted at the gates." Mika says heatedly.

"Then perhaps you should return from where you come from. We wish you well." The man turns back with a pitying smirk. 

Mika walks forward, frustrated, "What are you doing? You promised to receive me."

"We have received you. Here we are and here you are." The man turns back to Mika.

"If you do not let us in. All of us will die." Mika tells him trying not to sound too desperate.

"Which we shall deeply regret. But, Quaithe did not become the greatest city that ever was or will be by letting Dothraki savages through its gates." The man gives him a smug smirk before turning back.

Mika's anger, frustration, and desperation all rise as he moves forward.

"Khaleesi, please be careful." Ser Lacus says.

When he's close the guards raise their spears upward and Mika stops.

"SIXTEEN. When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground. Turn us away now and we'll burn you first." Mika shouts to them, sounding more like an alpha than an omega.

"Ah, you are a true Shindo. Only as you said a moment ago, if we don't let you into this city you will all die. And so-" The man turns around.

"Retreating in fear from a little omega is unbecoming of the greatest city that ever was or will be." Another man steps forward with a beak-like nose covered with jewels. His bald head shines in the Sun. 

"The discussion is over Taxas Tyrell Diserion. The Sixteen have spoken." The man tells him.

"am one of The Sixteen, and I am still speaking." Taxas Tyrell Diserion tells him.

"This omega threatens to burn our city to the ground and you want to invite him in for a cup of wine?" The man questions.

"This omega is the Mother of Dragons. The cause of magic being brought back into this world. Do you expect him to watch his people starve without breathing fire?" Taxas Tyrell Diserion says. "I believe we can allow a few Dothraki through our gates without dooming our city. After all, here I am a savage from the Saathian Isles and Quaithe still stands."

"Our decision is final." The man says.

"Very well, I invoke Takatan. I will vouch for him, his people, and his dragons, in accordance with the law." Taxas Tyrell Diserion says taking his knife out and running his palm across the blade and showing it to the other members of The Sixteen. They nod.

"Be it on your head." The man tells him.

"Welcome to Quaithe, Khaleesi." Taxas Tyrell Diserion says gesturing forward as the members of The Sixteen part.

Mika gives him a grateful look as the doors open. He looks at Ser Lacus who nods to him before Mika turns back to them. He looks inside and sees the blue sky, the busy people engaged in commerce, the great stone, concrete, and marble towers. He sees the far view of the docks of Quaithe with a large body of water inside of the city, and the intricate art and engravings on every surface in the city. Mika walks forward with his dragons, Ser Lacus, and his khalasar following close behind through the door into the Great City of Quaithe.  


Sannomiya

"Kureto." Seishirou kicks the man in the leg waking him up as he sits down in his cage across from him. 

"Back for another visit I see." Kureto says.

"I felt like a walk." Seishirou says simply.

"Ah, with The Red Woman, I thought you wouldn't be able to walk straight anymore." Kureto smirks.

"You needn't worry about Mito, she's attending to personal business." Seishirou tells him.

"And what does that entail? Her heat maybe? Does she get those, I wonder? Red Witches might do something to keep it from happening. Or is she trading her cunt to get alliances for you?" Kureto says.

"She's handling personal business, like I said." Seishirou growls out.

"How did she even get into your little party of followers?" Kureto asks.

"She made me see the Lord of Light's true teachings, which leads to me on my Seraphin Throne. She was smart enough to fall in line accordingly." Seishirou says.

"She made you see something, but it was no Lord or Throne. No one wants you for a king. Everyone from Shibuya to Nagoya denies it. The whole realm will never acknowledge you." Kureto tells him.

"The Seraphin Throne is mine by right. All those that deny are my foes." Seishirou says heatedly.

"All deny it in Westeria. You've recruited foreign men and pirates for coin. You have no friends. A man without friends is a man with no power. Have you ever looked at the Hiiragi banners? You think a few foreigners and scum support will make you a King? It will never happen for you." Kureto says.

Seishirou stands and stomps on Kureto's crotch causing the man to yell in pain, "I will take the Seraphin Throne. It is mine. I will kill all those who stand in my way before ripping you apart, one piece at a time. The night is dark and full of terrors." 

Seishirou smirks down at him before leaving Kureto who glares up at him defiantly as he exits the cage.  


Mito sits in the rowboat as she's rowed into a cave wearing a heavy red cloak. She looks at the man rowing her who looks back. Seishirou seemed to trust him enough as he was there on his side since fleeing from Ebina. He wouldn't have given this task to any man who followed him. This one was special to him.

"Everything all right, My Lady." The man asks her.

"What is your name?" Mito asks him.

"Kota." The man tells her.

"Are you afraid, Kota?" Mito asks him.

"Someone once told me the night is dark and full of terrors. But, I've carried more unpleasant cargo before." Kota tells her.

"Are you a good man, Ser Kota?" Mito questions.

"I'd say my parts are mixed, My Lady. Good and bad." Kota tells her.

"You were a smuggler?" Mito asks.

"Aye, I was." Kota responds. 

"They call you the Beef Knight. The King must trust you a great deal to give you this task." Mito says.

"What is this task, if you don't mind me asking, My Lady?" Kota asks.

"It is something that will become a secret between the three of us, you will see soon." Mito tells him.

Kota nods and stays silent until Mito's voice begins talking. 

"You said you were both good and bad. If a slab of beef is out for too long in the heat it will rot and soon bugs and animals will attack it. It will be rotten by then. A man is good or he is evil." Mito states.

"Which are you?" Kota asks.

"Oh, good. I'm a knight of sorts myself. A champion of light and life." Mito says confidently.

"Well that must be very nice for you." Kota says.

"Do you have a wife?" Mito asks when they dock. 

"I do not." Kota says helping her off.

"Why not?" Mito asks getting off.

"Never fell in love. A poor man with no hope for wealth has nothing to marry for, but love." Kota says.

"Have you ever been with an omega? Or a woman?" Mito asks.

"I'd prefer not to say." Kota says a tad bit embarrassed. 

"Oh, come now, Ser Kota. I only talk about women and omegas like me." Mito tells him with a knowing smirk. "You want me. You want to see what's beneath this robe, and you will."

Kota moves to begin leading them through the cave with a lantern, ignoring the woman's flirtations. 

"Strange that this Lord of Light asks you to work in the shadows?" Kota tells her.

"Shadows cannot live in the dark, Ser Kota. They are servants of light. The children of fire. And the brighter the flame, the darker they are." Mito says from the shadows. 

Kota moves forward to see metal bars barring the passage of the cave, he internally curses. "These weren't here before. They've barred the passage."

Ser Kota blows out the lantern. 

"They cannot bar our passage." Mito says slowly turning around and removing her cloak revealing her naked back to Ser Kota. Mito turns to face him revealing her breasts and pubic area, all overshadowed by the large swell of her stomach. 

"Gods help us." Ser Kota says.

"There's only one God, Ser Kota and he only protects those who serve him." Mito says dropping the red cloak.

Kota looks back at the lantern where the fire is restored and brighter than before. He huddles behind a rock watching as Mito spreads her cloak to sit on. The only thing she's wearing are her red flats and red necklace.

Mito sits with her back upright and her legs spread wide open ready to give birth. Ser Kota stares at the pregnant woman in fear. 

Mito begins gasping and calling as though she's having an orgasm. Happy and elated. Moaning growing heavier as she feels the child growing inside of her poking to try to get out of her. It was a gift from her Lord. A blessing for her King. The one her Lord chose. Mito's moans grow more intense and louder. Her eyes roll back in her head as the red gem in the center of her necklace grows. 

Ser Kota watches in increasing fright as Mito's groans and moans sound pained and blissful at the same time. Her eyes roll completely back in her head as the child inside of her moves in her stomach, prodding it. Ser Kota bends down with wide-eyes to see it.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Mito gives one last painful shout as something black and smoky, like a shadow begins to emerge from her womb. The shadow opens her entrance with two hands and pads out giving a wheeze as he grabs onto her legs. She looks down at it with tears in her eyes. Tears from pain and awe. The shadow soon forms into a man as Mito breathes heavily, mouth curling into a relieved smile as she sees it taking form. Ser Kota looks at the scene with terror and fear. He's feeling lightheaded just looking at the black shadow man with so much panic going through his system as Mito looks at her shadow baby with an excited smile. The shadow soon passes between the bars of the passage leaving a stunned Ser Kota and a proud Mito staring at where it just stood.  

Chapter Text

Shibuya

Takashi strides into his room in the cool night with Ser Fuola and three other men with him inside and six others stationed as his guard. He needed to retrieve his crossbow because another peasant was captured spreading slander against his mother and father. His eyes perked up when he saw it. Takashi picked it up with an excited smile, his eyes giving it an appraising look. 

He looked up to see the doors to his window slamming against the stone, it grew more aggressive. Banging repeatedly against the stone, louder and harder. 

"Close the fucking windows." Takashi ordered. Ser Fuola nodded and sent one of the men to do it before a dark cloud of air busted through grabbing a knife off the table next to the window for cutting fruit and slashing the guard's throat. The men looked at each other in fear. Ser Fuola was in shock. The dark air soon took the shape of a man.

Takashi stared wide-eyed at the shadow before regaining his senses and shrieking, "MURDERER! DANGER! MEN! MEN!" 

The remaining men burst in at the King's command seeing the demon causing them all to draw their swords. Ser Fuola drew his, as well. Takashi stood behind them all. 

The shadow looks up at them with a plain face, resembling his Uncle Seishirou.

"WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? KILL IT!" Takashi shouted. 

The men moved into action trying to slice through it with the shadow stabbing and slashing them to death. 

Takashi's fear grew more watching the shadow demon in action as he was right by the exit to his room. He looked at the remaining men before he slid out the door.

The demon charged at the rest of them as the remaining four men tried to fight it by surrounding it. The shadow grabbed one of the swords and beheaded two of the men. Ser Fuola and another man stood there. Ser Fuola looked at him before charging at the demon and getting stabbed in his hip edge, falling to the ground. He looked up in fear. He had never seen this type of dark magic before. The shadow advanced towards the last men who pissed himself in fear. Ser Fuola looked around before his eyes landed on something right above his head. 

The Seraph Blade of Aeleriov the Conqueror mounted above him. It was said to have been made from magic, the steel coming from an unknown source that has never been traced back. Maybe it could defeat this demon.

Ser Fuola stood up as the shadow demon still advanced on the guard and silently took the blade before walking quietly to the shadow demon still distracted by the man who noticed nothing, but the demon in his fear. The demon plunged the sword in the man's throat causing him to release a choked gasp as he fell to the ground with blood pouring out of the hole. Ser Fuola was right behind the demon as he turned to him, Ser Fuola plunged the Seraph Blade into the shadow. The shadow froze with a pained expression before dissipating into the air. Leaving a trail of black specks flowing in the air before Ser Fuola sunk to the ground. He heaved breathes heavily before looking around and not seeing the wimp of a King. 

"Your Grace, it's gone." Ser Fuola called out before falling into a state of unconsciousness. 


Mahiru in a red and gold dress watches her son run with other court boys in an attempt to win a game. A small smile crosses her face, knowing he won't be taken from her. 

"Who sent it?" Mahiru asks her brother.

"By all accounts the men and Takashi says it had the face of our dear brother, Seishirou." Shinya states in his red and gold robes as he pours a goblet of wine.  

"What of his armies and our brother?" Mahiru asks.

"You know as well as I do, out brother rots in a cage covered in dirt and shit. As for his armies they grow. He's getting superiority on land and sea." Shinya says.

"Kagiyama says we can outspend him three-to-one." Mahiru smirks drunk on her third goblet of wine.

"And I say father raised you to have too much respect for money. Seishirou is coming for us sooner or later, and I'd rather sooner than later.

"Aren't there other things you should be doing?" Mahiru asks him and walks onto the balcony in a huff. "Why aren't you coming up with another scheme or plot? Like you did with your threats."

"Schemes and plots are the same thing." Shinya tells her moving to follow, "They are going to attack us. We need to be ready."

"No need to concern yourself over it." Mahiru tells him, "The King is taking personal charge of siege preparations."

"May I ask specifically what the King has in mind?" Shinya asks.

"You may specifically, or you may vaguely. The answer will still be the same." Mahiru turns to glare at him with disdain.

"It's important that we talk about this." Shinya moves closer to tell her with a silent plea. 

Mahiru looks away before coldly saying, "It is the King's prerogative to withhold sensitive information from his councilors." 

"Where is the King?" Shinya asks.

"He's taking out his anger from the assassination attempt." Mahiru says with a shrug as Shinya's blood runs cold. "Perhaps check the Throne Room. It is where Kings are."

"How is he taking out his anger?" Shinya asks. 

Mahiru shrugs and takes a sip of her wine as Shinya realizes he won't get an answer from her. Even, if she does know.


Takashi aims a crossbow on the Seraphin Throne at a kneeling Shinoa with fearful defiant eyes. 

"You're here to answer for your brother's latest crimes." Takashi tells her.

"Why? I only knew of him. I never even met him. He was your uncle." Shinoa tells him.

"Yes, he was. But, you are the lowest of the Hiiragi's now that he's a traitor that fled. Someone must answer from his family, even if it is my own." Takashi tells her.

"Your Grace, whatever he has done. I had no part. You know that. I beg you! Please!" Shinoa cries.

"Ser Kunio, tell her of this outrage." Takashi says.

"Using some vile sorcery, your brother attempted to assassinate the true King of Westeria. Some of the best kingsguards were butchered." Ser Kunio steps forward to say. 

"Killing you won't send a message. But, it would amuse me." Takashi sneers at her.

Shinoa lets out a panicked sob. 

"Mother insists on keeping you alive." Takashi says. "Stand."

Shinoa stands hopeful. 

"So you'll have to answer for the usurper in some other way." Takashi puts down his crossbow and takes a seat. "Ser Honte."

Ser Honte moves to her, staggering a small amount. Shinoa looks at the man in fear as he approaches her.

"Leave her face. I like her pretty." Takashi says.

Ser Fuola grabs the omega's shoulder and pushes her to the ground roughly causing her to land on her back. She moves to stand and he strikes her knee causing her to fall. 

"It seems my aunt's overdressed. Unburden her." Takashi says with a smirk. 

Ser Fuola walks to her and rips the back of her dress open, exposing her corset. Shinoa cries out in pain as tears streak down her face. 

"If we want Seishirou Hiiragi to hear us, we're going to have to be louder!" Takashi shouts.

Ser Fuola unsheathes his sword as Shinoa looks up in terror. 

"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!" A shout echoes throughout the hall. 

All eyes turn to Shinya as he walks in flanked by Masaaki and Aiko Aihara. The crowd parts as Takashi looks taken aback. Shinya's look gives away his complete disgust. 

"What kind of knight beats a helpless girl?" Shinya asks Fuola Honte.

"The kind of knight who serves his King, omega." Ser Honte responds.

"Careful now, we don't want to get blood all over your pretty gold cloak." Aiko Aihara tells him. Ser Fuola gives her a glare which she returns.

"Someone give her something to cover herself with." Shinya says to a lady-in-waiting before turning back to Takashi, "She's your aunt and an omega. Do you have no regard for her honor?"

"I'm punishing her." Takashi says.

"For what crimes?" Shinya yells.

"She didn't fight Seishirou's battle, you half-wit." Shinya sneers at him.

"You can't talk to me like that!" Takashi whines. "The King can do as he likes!"

"The Mad King did as he liked, have you ever heard what happened to him?" Shinya questions.

"No one threatens the King in the presence of his kingsguard!" Ser Honte says.

Shinya doesn't even spare him a glance, "I'm not threatening the King, Ser. I am educating my nephew. Aihara the next time Ser Honte speaks, kill him."

Aiko and Ser Honte share a glance.

"See the difference?" Shinya turns to him, "That was a threat."

Shinya moves off the steps back to Shinoa to help her up and lead her out. 

"I am sorry I was not able to come sooner. When Mahiru said something, I realized what was happening." Shinya tells her when they're out of earshot.

"I am loyal to King Takashi." Shinoa says with a smirk.

"You may survive us, yet." Shinya smirks at her impressed as she walks away with her handmaidens. Shinya was going to keep his vow to not see another innocent person harmed for Takashi's personal amusement, no matter the cost. He'd make sure of that. But, it seemed Shinoa was catching on with how to deal with the snakes in Shibuya. He felt a small tinge of pride inside of him. 

Shinoa walks away from the throne room knowing that she was not going to let anyone in Shibuya break her. That's how they killed Guren, and she was going to make sure she didn't end up where her father did. She would survive at all costs, no matter what. She would show defiance in whatever harmless ways she could. She'll play their games, but she will make sure to be the one that comes out on top by surviving. She would not let Takashi, Mahiru, or anyone else here shatter her. She has Shinya, but she also needs to rely on herself too. So, she will.  


Aiko Aihara paces around a caravan in an alleyway. 

"It's wildfire." Kunio tells Shinya inside of it.

"Wildfire? You wouldn't lie to me, would you?" Shinya muses. 

"No." Kunio tells him.

"That's a lie right there." Shinya smirks.

"It's not a lie. Why would I lie?" Kunio says.

"Tell me, if the vile allegations against my brother and sister are true, do you think it will make Kureto more or less likely to kill you?" Shinya says coyly. "When I tell him you're fucking her, I mean."

"I'm telling you the truth!"

"The smart money would be on more likely." Shinya muses.

"She's making wildfire!" Kunio hisses.

"But, then perhaps his own unnatural urges will give him sympathy for yours." Shinya shrugs.

"The Alchemist's Guild is being commissioned."

"I suppose there's only one way to find out." Shinya tells him. 

Kunio's face goes desperate, "They have thousands of pots stored in the vaults. They are planning to launch it from the city's walls onto Seishirou's ships and men. Please."

"When did she tell you this?" Shinya asks him.

"I heard her talking with the pyromancer. And the other night, after I left her, she went to meet him. I swear to you." Kunio tells him.

"Swear to me on what?" Shinya asks.

"My life."

"But, I don't care about your life." Shinya says nonchalantly.

"In the Light of the Seven, I Ser Kunio of House Taichi, do solemnly vow-" Kunio begins.

"Alright, alright. Enough. Even, torturing you is boring. Just get out." Shinya tells him before pushing him out. 

Kunio falls from behind the curtains onto the road. 

"Oh and Kunio, tell Lady Aiko to kill you if anything should happen to me." Shinya pokes his head out to tell him.

"Please kill me if anything happens to Lord Shinya." Kunio tells the raven-haired beta. 

"It will be my pleasure." Aiko Aihara says with a smirk.


Shinya and Aiko Aihara pass through multiple street vendors offering them things like fruit or their bodies for the night.

"Seishirou has more infantry, more men, and more horses." Shinya tells Aiko as they walk, "What do we have?"

"There's that mind of yours you like to go on about." Aiko says.

"Well I've never actually been able to kill people with it." Shinya says.

"Good thing. Might be out of a job." Aiko says, "What of your uncle?"

"He hasn't sent a raven in a month. He hasn't even traveled to Shibuya since father had his coronation and he was named Lord of Hamura." Shinya says, "We won't be able to hold the city against Seishirou, not the way Takashi's planning on holding it."

They come across a man preaching. A beggar in some old rags as people cheer around him. "CORRUPTION!"

Shinya and Aiko exchange a glance. 

"Yes! We are swollen, bloated, and foul. Sibling fornicate with siblings in the bed of kings, and we're surprised when the fruit of their incest is rotten." The man says to loud cheers, "Yes! A rotten King!"

"It's hard to argue with his assessment." Shinya says. 

"Not after what he did to your birthday present." Aiko agrees.

"The King is a lost cause. It's the rest of us I'm worried about now." Shinya says.

"A dancing King, prancing down his bloodstained halls to the tune of a twisted omegan slut!" The preacher says.

"You have to admire his imagination." Shinya says.

"He's talking about you." Aiko observes.

"What? Omegan slut? That describes Mahiru more than me!" Shinya defends.

"People think you're pulling the King's strings. They blame you for the city's ills." Aiko tells him.

"Blame me? I'm trying to save them." Shinya says. 

"You don't need to convince me." Aiko says moving forward with a shrug.

"Omegan slut? It has to be Mahiru." Shinya says to himself.


In the dark halls of the pyromancer's chambers. Shinya holds a glass of green liquid up to the light, looking at it with awe.

"Take care, My Lord." The Pyromancer tells him.

"I remember an old proverb, "Piss on wildfire and your cock burns off."" Shinya says.

"Oh? I have not conducted that experiment." The old man tells him with a laugh. "It could well be true. The substance burns so hotly, it melts wood, stone, steel, and of course, flesh. The substance burns so hot it melts flesh like tallow."

Shinya smiles at him before gently giving him the vial back. 

"After the dragons died, wildfire was the key to the Shindo's power." The old man says. 

"My companion takes issue." Shinya gestures to Aiko Aihara.

"If I could tell you how many old, crazy men I've seen pushing carts in army camps making claims about jars filled with pig shit. No offense meant." Aiko Aihara says tiredly.

"Our order does not deal in pig shit." The old man tells Aiko, whose face turns curt. "The substance is fire given form. And we have been perfecting it since the days of Balkerian."

"To do what?" Aiko inquires.

"The jars are put in catapults and flung at the enemy!" The old man tells him.

"How much do you have?" Shinya inquires.

The pyromancer moves around to grab a key and go to a door. 

"If you could get ten soldiers to man the catapults, then maybe you'd hit the target one time in ten, but a good amount of the soldiers are with your uncle in Hamura." Aiko tells Shinya.

"My Lord, this woman is insulting." The old man opens the door and they follow him inside. 

"I don't know if you've ever seen a battle, but things can get messy. When we're flinging things at Seishirou, he's flinging them right back at us. Men die, me shit themselves, men run, which mean pots falling, which means fire inside the walls, which means the poor cunts trying to defend the city end up burning it down." Aiko says to the pyromancer.

"My friend remains unconvinced." Shinya says simply as they reach another door.

"She would not dare insult my order whilst Nikolai Shindo ruled." The old man said.

"Well, he's not living anymore." Aihara shrugs. "And all these pots of wildfire didn't help him, did they? Men win wars, not magic tricks."

"We have been working tirelessly, day and night, ever since your royal sister commanded us." The pyromancer tells Shinya as he opens the door. He moves past so Shinya can step inside. Shinya stares in awe at the amount of wildfire barrels. "Our present count stands at 7,811. Enough to burn Seishirou Hiiragi's fleet and army both.

"This is a shit idea." Aiko says.

Shinya's awed expression turns into an uncertain one, "I'm afraid I have to concur with my adviser. The contents of this room could lay Shibuya low. You won't be making wildfire for my sister anymore."

Shinya turns to face them both with a solemn look, "You'll be making it for me." 


Osaka Bay

Kimizuki walks on the bridge with his sack of clothes. He's covered fully in a dark brown and black armor bearing the squid crest of House Kimizuki. He carries a sword and knives in his belt. His eyes catch onto the large ship making its way to the docks and he can't help the small, proud smile he feels at seeing his ship. His pink hair blows in the wind. Even, if it was the Sea Bitch, the ship was a marvel. 

He turns around at the sound of loud calls and jeers. A group of men exit a cavern on the dock, laughing and pushing each other around in a jest. They make their way to the rowboats to get to the ship.

"You're the crew of the Sea Bitch? I'm your commander." Kimizuki declares to them. "Welcome."

They don't give him more than a passive glance and his expression falls. He decides to get their attention again.

"Stop." Kimizuki says, they turn to him and begin laughing among each other at his expense before hollering, "STOP! Your captain commands you to stop!" 

They look at him before a round man in a jacket looks up to him. "Where are we headed, Captain?"

"The Rocky River to raid their villages. There'll be spoils for you and omegas, if you do your jobs well." Kimizuki says.

"And who decides if we do our jobs well?" The man asks.

"I do. Your captain." Kimizuki tells them walking down a step.

The men begin laughing and Kimizuki raises an eyebrow. 

The round man moves to him, "I have been killing and raping since before you left Fujio's balls, Captain." The man sneers at him, "Don't reckon I got much use for your ideas on how to do it. Don't reckon I got much use for a captain at all. I'm thinking I can do the job of captain real well, myself. All I need is a ship. You wouldn't know where I can find myself a ship, would you?"

Kimizuki bares his teeth as the man bears his dirty teeth before walking back down the steps.

"You could do that. Take the ship and head out on your own. And I will hunt you down, drag you back here in chains, and hang you for a traitor." Kimizuki tells him angrily.

They laugh at that before a rough feminine voice says, "Stop. We yield."

Mirai comes out with her hands raised in mock surrender. She pats the men on the back who welcome her approach. Kimizuki looks away as frustration is evident on his face.

"Congratulations on your first command." Mirai tells him.

"Thank you. Kind of you to come here to see me off." Kimizuki walks down to meet her halfway.

"Oh, I'm not here for you. I was just on my way to Green Harbor. I have 30 ships waiting for me there." Mirai moves above to where Shihou originally was and looks at the entrance, "There's nowhere to put them here. Too narrow."

Kimizuki's face tenses, "You'd better get out there. Wouldn't want her to set sail without you."

Mirai smirks at him, "That would never happen. My crew would wait on deck for a year if I asked them to. This lot, though. Enjoy the Rocky River."

Kimizuki looks back to see the rowboat starting to sail to the ship as Mirai walks back up the steps. They laugh at Kimizuki. He doesn't see the man coming as his rage is caught on them. 

"Come on, I'll take you out." The man in Kimizuki armor tells him.

"Who are you?" Kimizuki raises an eyebrow. 

"Daigo, your first mate." The man tells him before grabbing his bag and walking.

"Why aren't you with the rest of them?" Kimizuki asks as he follows him. "Or did they send you to row me out and dump me halfway in the sea? That would make a good laugh."

"They won't respect you until you prove yourself." Daigo says.

"And how am I supposed to prove myself by raiding piss-poor villages?"

"You're not." Daigo responds.

"And yet that's the task my father has given me. To prove that I'm a true Osaka Bayesian. An Iron Islander." Kimizuki says.

"They're all of Osaka Bay. They're all Iron Islanders. Do they do as they're told or do as they like?" Daigo looks at the men rowing to the ship.

"The Rocky River's not far from Wolfsbane Square." Kimizuki realizes.

"The Seat of the House of Amari. More impressive prize than a few fisherman's sluts." Daigo looks at him as he readies the rowboat. Kimizuki's face falls as Daigo notices this, "What you don't think we can take it?" 

"No, we can. We could never hold it for more than a few days. As soon as Snowstorm got word that we'd taken Wolfsbane Square, they'd send their men to take it back. And then-" Kimizuki's face freezes in realization before schooling it into a more appropriate smile, knowing what he would have to do. He hated it, but it needed to be done to get back to Snowstorm before his sister could, "And then take me to my ship."

Daigo smiles at him conspiratorially as Kimizuki's smile hides the dread and anticipation he's feeling at being reunited with his love under such horrible circumstances.


Nagoya - Snowstorm

Yoichi sits in the center chair of the Great Hall in Snowstorm. A pin with a wolf and a huntsman on it is fastened on his doublet. He listens intently to the complaints of his people. The Maester's flank his left and right sides with Chihiro and Estle close by. 

"And it's not just thieves, My Lord. There's wolves in those hills now. More than I've ever seen. They come in the night and kill my sheep. My three sons are with your brother, My Lord. They'll fight until he sends them away. I have no one to man my flock now. Only me. I can't keep watch all day and all night." The old shepherd tells him.

"We can send two orphan boys from Icetown home with you to help you watch over your flock if you can give them room and board." Yoichi tells him.

"My wife always did want children. We'll look after them. Thank you, My Lord." The man gratefully tells Yoichi who smiles at him.

"If that's everyone, I'm going to go for a ride before dark." Yoichi says to Maester Aererion, who nods. "Estle."

"Estle." The big man gets up excitedly. 

"Lord Saotome, Wolfsbane Square is under siege." Ser Tassell walks in followed by multiple men.

"That's no more than fifty leagues from here. How can the Hiiragi's strike so far North." Maester Cessarian says. 

Yoichi swallows heavily, his anxiety coming in. He wishes Shihou was here with him to protect him. He needs his alpha.

"Might be a raiding party led by The Mountain, might be sell-swords paid by Tetsuo Hiiragi." Ser Tassell tells him.

"We have to help them." Yoichi resolves.

"Most of the fighting men are with Yuu, but I can gather 200 decent men." Ser Tassell says.

"Do we really need so much?" Maester Cessarian asks.

"If we can't protect our own bannermen, why should they protect us? Go, Ser Tassell." Yoichi tells the man. "Take the men you need."

"Won't take long, My Lord. Southerners don't do well here." Ser Tassell smiles at him.

Yoichi nods his consent for them to leave and they exit the hall. Yoichi watches them with wide-eyes hoping he lives through this. Hoping Shihou is safe at Osaka Bay.    


Yoichi rides on Estle's back while talking with Chihiro about his dreams. They move through the stone arches of Snowstorm.

"So, what does it mean?" Yoichi asks Chihiro.

"Ask your Maester." Chihiro tells him. "He's the one studying books all the time."

"I did ask him. He never heard of a three-eyed raven." Yoichi says.

"Must not mean anything then." The Wild One woman tells him.

"You're lying." Yoichi tells her.

"You might be a little lord. But, don't you call me a liar." Chihiro scolds him.

"You know what it means." Yoichi pouts a bit.

"I never said I didn't." Chihiro tells him.

Yoichi's pout grows as they both help him onto the saddle, "You never gave me an honest answer."

"That's not the same as being a liar." Chihiro says.

"It's not exactly far off." Yoichi tells her.

"You dreaming of a three-eyed raven again? In the godswood you told me you didn't dream. Now who's the liar?" Chihiro tells him.

Yoichi's face becomes terse.

"What did you see in your dream?" Chihiro meets his gaze, which he quickly avoids, "Something bad? Tell me, boy."

"I saw waves crashing against the gates of Snowstorm and water came flowing over the walls. The castle became flooded. Drowned men were floating here, in the yard. Ser Tassell was one of them. "Yoichi tells her in a lower volume, almost sadly contemplative. He looks around the yard as he recounts his dream.

Something flickers on Chihiro's face, something unrecognizable. It's quickly, but it was there. "The sea is hundreds of miles away."

"I know. It was just a stupid dream." Yoichi tells her.

"I've got to get these potatoes to the kitchen, otherwise, they'll put me in chains again." Chihiro says grabbing a basket and moving to leave.

"Chihiro." Yoichi gets her attention and she turns back, "What do they say about the three-eyed raven, beyond the wall?" Yoichi asks.

Chihiro looks down for a long time before turning her eyes upward at Yoichi, "They say all sorts of crazy things beyond the wall."

Chihiro walks away as Yoichi watches her. He doesn't feel any better about his dreams. He actually feels worse. Something bad is coming for them all. He can feel it.


Beyond the Wall - The Fight of the First Men

Yuu leads his men and horses through the snowy, barely-rocky mountains and peaks. Everywhere around them is white. Their black clothes showing. His heavy pants and multiple layers of shirts and coats all covered by his feathered black cloak. Seishi walks alongside him in a similar wear. 

"Who are we meeting?" Seishi asks him.

"We have a ranger scout, he'll blow a horn, when he sees us." Yuu tells Seishi.

"It's beautiful out here." Seishi said admiring the landscapes, Yuu had to agree. It was a beautiful sight. It was a shame they couldn't do this normally, "Haruki would like it here."

"There's nothing more sickening than a man in love." Benjey says.

Yuu looks up at the Fight of the First Men, the rocky, flat top is where they'll make camp. The Watch has always used it as one of their stops to camp. 


Men watch at each edge for any sign of a Wild One or a bloodsucker. Asu sits perched on a snowy hill. 

"The Fight of the First Men. Think of how old this place is. Before the Shindo's conquered the world, the First Men were where we're at. All through the Long Night. What do you think they were like?" Seishi asks Yuu who stares into the distance, almost brooding. He's looking for their scout, Muneo Suzuki. 

"I think they were afraid." Yuu says seriously, not turning around, "I think they came here to get away from something. Might've been the bloodsuckers, I don't know how long they've been around. But, I don't think it worked." 

A horn sounds and Yuu's hand immediately goes to his sword. 

"Wild Ones?" Tadayo asks.

"One horn means a ranger. Wild Ones are two blasts. Bloodsuckers are three blasts." Yuu tells them. 

Yuu sees a bearded man come into the distance with inky black hair. Muneo Suzuki. 

"He's here." Yuu feels relief flood inside him. "We'll live another day."


"There." Muneo tells Yuu, who has the men lined up as a welcome party.

"Where?" Yuu asks him before his eyes see orange. "A fire."

"A fire, Little Guren." Muneo tells him, "The people around it have better eyes than you or I. When they see us coming that fire becomes a signal. Gives the Wild King plenty of time to throw a party in our honor."

"How many Wild Ones have joined him?" Yuu asks.

"All of them. He's gathered them all like deer against wolves. They're almost ready to make their move." Muneo tells him.

"Where?" Yuu asks.

"Somewhere safe. Somewhere south. Can't just march in their midst. And we can't wait for them here with nothing to protect us, but a pile of stones." Muneo says.

"We can't fall back to the Wall." Yuu says.

"I agree. He was one of us once. He'll teach them our way of doing things. They'll hit us in force and they won't run away when we hit back. They're gonna be more organized than before, more disciplined, more like us. So, we need to be more like them. Do things their way. Sneak in, kill The Wild King, and scatter them to the winds before they can march on the wall. And to do that, we need to get rid of the lookouts. It's not a job for 400 men. We need to move fast and silent. Harper, Snakeskin, and Bubber you'll accompany me." Muneo says.

"I'm going too." Yuu declares as Muneo opens his mouth he continues, "There's no argument. I'm going. Seishi and Benjey will watch over camp."

The boys look shocked while Muneo looks impressed. 

"You really are the spitting image of your father, both in personality and face. Alright, Little Guren. But, you follow my lead for this one." Muneo tells him.

Yuu nods and turns to the two boys, "If things get too bad head back to Rast's and tell him I commanded he allow you in, otherwise, he won't see any mercy when I return. He'll let you in, he always does when something like this happens."

They nod in fear, being intimidated by Yuu's alpha voice.

"Alright then, let's get a move on." Muneo tells Yuu who nods his consent. They both watch the fire in the distance.


Quaithe

Mikaela freshly bathed and wearing a long white robe with his clean blonde hair in one long braid, is in his room with Dyara at his side watching rapt with interest as Makoton walks around the windowsill. Mika brings a piece of fresh meat and places it on the windowsill in front of him. Nikolarion and Rhaelia rest next to him. Taxas Tyrell Diserion was kind enough to put them up at his home.

"Dracarys." Mika says to him. Makoton looks at the meat before cocking his head and staring at Mika. Mika smiles at him.

"Mama?" Makoton asks.

"When I say "Dracarys," you will breathe your fire, my sweet child." Mika thinks in his head. He's been working on this with them since they've entered Quaithe. Thinking it has allowed them to cook the food, now saying it will be the new way to command the dragons to breathe fire. He wanted to know if they could also understand his words if he said it. He usually said it as he thought it, but now he would test this.

"Dracarys." Mika says, keeping his mind link clear.

Makoton looks at the meat before retching a puff of smoke. He tries again, getting out enough fire to cook the food the way he likes it. He grabs it with his teeth and holds it up proudly to Mika whose bright smile grows bigger at the sight. 

"He'll be able to feed himself from now on. At least, he can understand my voice now. I'll use it to command the fire, but I will talk to them through my head." Mika moves away from the window, smile still in place.

He gives a glance to Dyara before moving back in. The girl tries to sneak another piece of meat before Mika's amused voice sounds. "Let him sleep, Dyara."

"Yes, Khaleesi." Dyara shrinks a little bit. She holds out her palm and the dragon crawls onto it to be put back into the carrier with his siblings. 

"He loves you." Mika says with a smile, turning back to Jhaqiu who looks at Dyara with suspicion as she carries the carrier back to the side of the bed. 

"I hemmed the waistline and mended the tear." Jhaqiu describes the repairs made to Mika's clothes.

"Thank you, my friend." Mika tells the girl with a smile causing her to blush. 

Dyara turns around with a smirk, "Did you see the dress Taxas had made for you?"

Dyara holds up a light-blue dress with golden embellishments to Mika, "They say he's the wealthiest man in Quaithe."

"It is known." Jhaqiu says tensely.

"And if Quaithe is the wealthiest city in the east..." Dyara trails off, ignoring Jhaqiu.

"The last time a rich man gave me a dress, he was selling me to Khal Makoto." Mika contemplates, remembering when Lucal sold him as a child bride. He still misses Makoto more than anything. He wishes the man were here with him, or he at least, had a proper chance to say goodbye to his love. 

Jhaqiu says a Dothraki prayer for Makoto's peace in the Night Lands. Mika nods his appreciation to her before turning back to Dyara. 

"Taxas is our host, yet, we know nothing about him. Men like to talk about other men, when they're happy." Mika tells her knowingly, referencing their conversation from when she taught him to pleasure Makoto.

Dyara nods, catching the subtext under his words. Mika watches as Dyara lays the dress on his bed. "You would look like a real princess wearing this dress."

"He's not a princess, he's a Khaleesi." Jhaqiu objects, irritated.

Mika fixes them with sharp looks before going back to his folding. They return to their work. 

"You should wear it, Khaleesi. You are their guest." Jhaqiu tells him. "It would be rude not to." 

 She leaves the room as Mika smirks to himself while looking at the beautiful dress.


Mika engages in a conversation with a few consorts of Taxas wearing the light-blue gown. The blue dress is embellished with little gold patches in strips all along the dress. The waistline being held with a gold metal cage-style belt, as are the straps locking the front to the back, which flows in the back giving the impression of a cape. Mika looks ethereal at the gathering Taxas has held for them. Mika has his hair down, it cascades over his chest on both sides over the fabric of his dress. It goes past his shoulders and halfway down his back.

Mika has a beautiful smile on his face as he talks to another omega man.

"And you must visit the Night Market." He tells him. Mika's eyes meet Dyara's who is in a gold dress, charming a few consorts of Taxas for information about their host. He smiles at her with a subtle nod. "You've never seen anything like it."

"It sounds wonderful." Mika focuses his attention back on the omega in a red gown. 

"The Asshain have Night Markets too, I simply must take you." The omega tells Mika who nods before something catches his eye. 

"Please excuse me for a moment." He tells the omega who nods at him. 

Mika moves to the commotion his khalasar are making with Ser Lacus. They are poking a statue of a golden peacock with their arakhs.

Mika walks up to them tense smile in place, "What are they doing?"

"Saisho says the statue is too heavy to carry. Taicho says Saisho is an idiot. They can pry out the gems, the rest is pure gold. Very soft he can chop off as much as we can carry." Ser Lacus tells him. Mika glances between the two men with an incredulous look on his face. 

"Very simple." Taicho tells him.

"We are his guests! You can’t pry it, chop it, or melt it." Mika tells him. 

"Of course not, Khaleesi! We will wait until we leave." Taicho tells him.

Mika rolls his eyes, "Not even when we leave."

"Why not?" Taicho asks.

"Our host saved us from the Yellow Waste and you want to steal from him? I will hear no more." Mika declares with a finality. 

The men nod and walk away stealing a gold cup of wine. 

"Lucal used to say the only thing the Dothraki knew how to do was steal things better men have built." Mika walks with Ser Lacus by his side.

"It's not the only thing. They're quite good at killing the better men." Ser Lacus grins.

Mika looks at him with a teasing smile, "That's not the kind of queen I'm going to be."

"Mother of Dragons." A male voice calls.

Mika and Ser Lacus turn to see a bald, tall, and orange dressed man approach them. His orange lip catches his eye for its peculiarity.

"On behalf of the Warlocks of Quaithe, I welcome you." The orange man tells him before holding out his hand, "A demonstration, perhaps?"

Mika smiles and hesitantly gives his hand which the man cups the bottom of. He puts a necklace in his hand with a green gem. 

"This gem. Look at it. Into its depths. So many facets." The orange man tells him, Mika looks at the gem, "Look closely enough and you can see yourself in them."

"Often more than once." A further voice says and Mika looks up to see the same Warlock standing further back and the Warlock still holding the gem in front of him. The crowd gaps at the two identical men. Mika looks back at the one in front of him, "Should you grow tired of Taxas' baubles and trinkets, it would be an honor to host you at the House of the Everlasting. You are always welcome, Mother of Dragons."

Both Orange Men walk away leaving Mika feeling disturbed at the trick he just saw. 

"Apologies. Trian Tee is one of the Sixteen." Mika turns to see Taxas Tyrell Diserion coming from behind him, "It was customary for me to extend him an invitation. Customs die slow deaths in Quaithe."

"What is the House of the Everlasting?" Mika asks.

"It is where the warlocks go to squint at dusty books and drink shade of the dawn. It turns their lips orange and their minds soft. So soft, they actually believe their parlor tricks are magic." Taxas tells him. Mika laughs allowing Taxas to guide him on a walk through the gardens.

Ser Lacus watches Mika walk away. He takes in his figure in that dress, watching his gorgeous ass sway as he moves farther from him. His chest fitting the dress perfectly as he moves elegantly around with Taxas. The gown flows as does its cape making him look magical as he charms Taxas' citizens. 

"You watch over him." A feminine voice says behind him. He turns to see a woman wearing a burgundy, hexagon-covered dress with her face covered in a golden hexagon mask, only revealing her orange eyes. Her hair is in a tight brown bun. 

"Do I know you?" Ser Lacus asks her.

"I know you, Ser Lacus Welt of Bear Island." She tells him.

"Who are you?" He asks her. 

"I’m no one. But he is the Mother of Dragons. He needs true protectors, now more than ever. They shall come day and night to see the wonder born into the world again.
And when they see, they shall lust, for dragons are fire made flesh. And fire is power." The woman tells him before walking away. 

Ser Lacus watches her before turning back to see Mika has disappeared from his line of sight. 


Mika walks with Taxas in the night as the amount of people at the celebration lessens. Servants light lanterns with fire to brighten the garden causing it to illuminate.

"So tell me, how long has you manservant been in love with you?" Taxas asks him.

"He’s not my manservant and he’s not in love with me. He’s my adviser, my friend." Mika says trying to brush him off confidently.

"Unlikely. I can almost always tell what a beta or an alpha wants." Taxas tells him.

"And what about what an omega wants?" Mika asks him.

"Much more complicated." Taxas tells him. "You, for example. What do you want?"

"To cross the Blood Sea, go back home, and take the Seraphin Throne." Mika says after thinking about it for a short time.

"Why?" He asks him.

"Because I promised my khalasar I’d protect them and find them a safe home." Mika says.

"You want to take the Six Kingdoms for the Dothraki?" Taxas asks him.

"I want them because I want to make a peaceful world, a better world for everyone to live in. I want them to make a better life for omegas who are tossed around like meat for alphas and betas to play with. I want to make the world an equal place among alphas, betas, and omegas. I want them because I want everyone to have the freedom, I never did before I had my children. I want them because I want to return to my home. I want them because they’re mine by right. The Seraphin Throne is mine and I will take it." Mika says.

"Ah, an omega of various shades. But, a conqueror seems to shine." Taxas turns to him.

"And how did you get all of this?" Mika gestures to everywhere, "Did someone give it to you?"

"No, I come from nothing. I hit the docks like a piece of cargo, except someone normally cares what happens to cargo." Taxas says to him.

"So you wanted more than you had and you took it. You’re a conqueror, too." Mika tells him, "You’re just...less ambitious."

Taxas lets out a laugh before humming in agreement.

Mika looks at him, softening his face, "What do you want Taxas Tyrell Diserion? At the gates of the city, you bled for me. Why?"

"I will show you why." He holds out his hand and Mika takes it as he leads him inside.


Taxas takes Mika to a door shaped like a large stone circle with a key opening. 

He slashes it with a metal whip. As Mika steps forward to examine the door.

"The door and the vault is made of Valyrian stone. The hardest steel does not make a mark. I offered the greatest locksmiths in Quaithe their weight in gold if they could break into it. I made the same offer to the greatest thieves. They all went home empty-handed. The only thing that can open this door is this key." Taxas tells him as Mika turns to see the key.

"And behind the door?" Mika inquires.

Taxas smirks at him. 

"And it can all be mine?" Mika asks him, unsure. 

"All? Let us say half." Taxas tells him, Mika looks back at him with a raised brow, "More than enough to buy horses, ships, and armies. Enough to go home."

"All I have to do?" Mika turns to fully face him knowing there must be a cost.

"Is marry me." Taxas says.

"That was a romantic proposal." Mika huffs a laugh.

"I already married for love before. But, the gods saw fit to take him from me." Taxas says. "I come from nothing. My mother and father never owned a pair of shoes.
But marry me, and I will give you the Six Kingdoms and our children will be princes and princesses."

Mika glances back at the stone door before turning back.

"See? I have more ambition than you thought." Taxas tells him, "The time is right, Mikaela Shindo, First of Your Name. Tenri Hiiragi is dead, and his grandchild sits on the Seraphin Throne."

Mika looks up at this new information as he realizes what this means.


Mika called Ser Lacus into his chambers to discuss the events of the celebration. Mika sits on his bed as Ser Lacus paces.

"If you cross the sea with an army you bought-" Ser Lacus starts.

"The Six Kingdoms are at war with one another. False kings destroy the country." Mika insists.

"To win Westeria, you need support from Westeria." Ser Lacus tells him.

"The usurper is dead. The Ichinose fight the Hiiragi's. The Hiiragi's fight each other." Mika tells him as he stands to check on his dragons. 

"According to your new friend who earned your trust by cutting his hand?" Ser Lacus tries to keep the jealousy out of his voice.

"The time to strike is now." Mika insists as he closes the carriers. "We need to find ships and an army or we’ll spend the rest of our lives rotting away at the edge of the world."

"Rich men do not become rich by giving more than they get. They’ll give you ships and soldiers and they’ll own you forever. Moving carefully is the hard way, but it’s the right way." Ser Lacus tells him with his hands making gestures with every other word. 

"And if I’d listened to that advice outside the gates of Qarth, we’d all be dead by now." Mika tells him calmly.

Ser Lacus shakes his head before his hand gestures start as he says every word, "I know the opportunity before you seems like the last you’ll ever have, but you must…" 

"Do not speak to me as though I'm a child." Mika tells him heatedly as he walks past him.

"I only want-" Ser Lacus tells him.

"What do you want?" Mika asks him, raising his voice a bit.

"To see you on the Seraphin Throne." Ser Lacus tells him. Mika's face softens and his eyes downcast.

"You have a good claim, a title, and a birthright. But you have something more than that. You may cover it up and deny it, but you do have a gentle heart. You would not only be respected and feared, you would be loved. Someone who can rule and should rule. Centuries come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times when I look at you and, I still can’t believe you’re real." Ser Lacus' face is soft, filled with admiration and a feeling Mika recognizes because the last person who looked at him like that was Makoto. He can't return the feeling in the way he wants, not after losing Makoto. He's not ready for it with anyone. He doesn't think he will be for quite some time. His eyes water a bit in remembrance.   

"Please forgive the loss of my patience, Ser Lacus." Mika tells him after the atmosphere of the room has become uncomfortable.

"You have nothing to apologize for, Khaleesi." Ser Lacus says in understanding.

"What would you have me do then? As my adviser." Mika asks him with a little water still in his eyes.

They avoid meeting each other's eyes. 

"Make your own way. Find your own ship. You only need one. The allies we need are in Westeria, not Quaithe. And how do I get the ship? I’ll find it for you. A sound ship with a good captain." Ser Lacus looks at him fully.  

Mika finally returns his gaze as soft as he can without giving him the wrong message. He can't return the love Ser Lacus has for him, but he can return a different kind of love. One that can have more power than the one Ser Lacus has for him. He doesn't know if he could ever see him as more than his dearest friend or family member, but he has that from him. He hopes that can be enough. 

"I look forward to meeting them." Mika says.

Ser Lacus bows his head to him, "Khaleesi."

Mika nods to him, "Thank you."

Ser Lacus leaves his room as Mika releases a breath he hadn't realized he was holding before moving to stand by his dragons.


Hamura

Mitsuba slices a piece of cake and places it on a plate as Tetsuo Hiiragi holds a war council in his chambers. She listens intently with interest as they discuss the wars and sides. 

"Seishirou has overextended his hand, but it has paid off because his alliances have grown." A man says.

"He'll have a hard time keeping the horses and men fed. Winter is fast approaching." Another man says. Mitsu brings his cake to him.

"Winter is coming, The Ichinoses knew that better than any of us, and now they're all gone. The cold could never beat them." Lord Tetsuo says.

"Our spies have report growing discontent in the North under the rule of Guren's bastard. There seem to be tensions among the children of noble houses who were held hostage by him. The Kimizuki boy has returned home, who knows what he has planned." Another man says.

"The boy is just a boy. The advisers of my grand-nephew were competent enough to deadlock the North. They will fight whatever petty squabbles there is. We will focus on Seishirou." Lord Tetsuo says. "I'm also sure if those spies sneaked into our camps they would report discontent against the South. This is war. No one's content. We've underestimated Seishirou for too long. He is the immediate threat. As long as he keeps taking my brother's other foolish children, he will keep winning battles against our family. We've all been waiting his failure. But, he won't fail, not without our help. So, how do we stop him? "

Mitsu moves back to the table with the food. 

"We've worked through the night, My Lord. We'd profit from some sleep." One man says.

"Yes, I think you would, Junto. I might even let you wake from the sleep. Go, your wife probably misses you." Lord Tetsuo says coldly, "GO! Before I change my mind and send her your head instead."

The man gets up and leaves as Mitsu brings a pitcher of wine and begins filling Tetsuo's cup. 

"Not wine. Water." Lord Tetsuo tells her. "We'll be here for some time."

"My Lord, I still think we shouldn't forget about Guren's bastard. He can still become a threat to us. It's better to kill him now." A man says as Mitsu's blood runs cold.

Mitsu silently walks back to the table. Lord Tetsuo rolls his eyes. 

"Girl." Lord Tetsuo calls. Mitsu turns around to face him again. "Where are you from?"

"Maidensblood." Mitsu responds with the first place she can think of.  

"And who were the lords of Maidensblood? Remind me." He tells her with a hint of a smirk on his face. 

"House Akiyama." Mitsu says.

"And what is their sigil?" He asks her. Mitsu stays silent. 

"A red drop of blood. I'd think a maidenblood girl would know that." Lord Tetsuo says. "You're from the North, aren't you?" 

Mitsu freezes and tenses in nervousness. She nods. 

"Good." Lord Hiiragi says. "One more time, where are you from?"

"Winterstown, My Lord." Mitsu says. "House Fujiwara. Two crossed long axes within a black crown."

"And what do they say of the Northern bastard?" Lord Hiiragi asks her.

"They call him the young wolf. He rides on the back of a giant wolf in battle. They say he can turn into a wolf himself when he wants. He's trying to kill the bloodsuckers now. He believes they are the true enemy. They say he can't be killed." Mitsu says slightly monotone.

"And do you believe them?" Lord Tetsuo's jaw sets.

"No, My Lord. Anyone can be killed." Mitsu tells him plainly. 

Lord Tetsuo eyes her with something akin to interest on his face, "Fetch that water."

Mitsu turns away from him to go fetch the water, realizing she was close to getting caught. Wondering how the man could tell. Her accent, maybe? She leaves the room with the pitcher in tow. 


Mitsu walks across a bridge and turns a corner. She sees a familiar face walking out of the stone archways. Nix Parthe in Hiiragi armor walking with two other Hiiragi men. Mitsu hides behind the stone wall, looking down as they pass her before moving forward. She climbs down the steps and sees an empty Hiiragi helmet. She looks at it and realizes Nix Parthe left it behind as he wasn't carrying one. The man appears from behind the stone wall. 

"A girl says nothing. A girl keeps her mouth closed. No one hears and friends may talk in secret, yes?" Nix Parthe tells her in a calm, smooth voice as Mitsu looks up before nodding her consent. "A boy becomes a girl."

"I was always a girl." Mitsu tells him.

"And I was always aware. But, the girl keeps secrets. It is not for a man to spoil them." Nix tells her.

"You're one of them now." Mitsu nods to his armor before handing him his helmet. "I should have let you burn."

"And you fetch water for one of them now. Why is this right for you and wrong for me?" Nix asks her. 

"I didn't have a choice." Mitsu responds simply.

"You did. I did. And here we are. A man pays his debts. And a man has three." Nix tells her.

"Three what?" Mitsu inquires.

"The Red God takes what is his, lovely girl. And only death may pay for life. You saved me and the two I was with. You stole three deaths from the Red God. We have to give them back. Speak three names and the man will do the rest." Nix tells her smoothly.

Mitsu's eyes widen with shock and intrigue.

"Three lives. I will give you no more, no less, and we're done." Nix tells her.

"I can name anyone, and you'll kill them?" Mitsu asks, interested at the possibility of choosing who gets to die.

"A man has said." Nix says simply. 

"The one who tortures everyone." Mitsu says.

"A man needs a name." He tells her.

"They call him The Wiggler." Mitsu says.

"That is enough." Nix tells her. "Go now girl. Your master is thirsty."

Mitsu nods, eyeing the man warily as she leaves to fill the pitcher as Nix watches her walk away.


Mitsu sits on the ledge as she watches Shusaku heat a blade before dunking it in water. He's shirtless, exposing his chest which Mitsu appraises as she eats a piece of meat. He begins to swing the sword around as Mitsu watches him absorbed and amused. 

"You should stand sideways." Mitsu tells him.

"Huh? Sideface?" Shusaku asks.

"Sideways." Mitsu tells him.

"Why?" He asks her, confused.

"Smaller target." Mitsu shrugs.

Shusaku looks around before turning back to her, "Am I fighting someone?"

"You're practicing for a fight. You should practice right." Mitsu tells him simply.

They hear the scream of the woman and share a glance. Moving towards the commotion she sees a man on the floor with a few guards and a woman surrounding him. She pushes past the woman to see the man. Her eyes go wide when she sees the dead face of The Wiggler staring back at her. Hot Cake and Shusaku end up next to her looking at the body in shock.

Mitsu looks up and around, her eyes searching for one specific face. She finds Nix Parthe looking down from the rail at the dead man while eating an apple before he meets her eyes. He brings a finger to his face, under his eye. Mitsu looks back at the dead body of The Wiggler before allowing a small, barely noticeable smile to cross her face as she looks at it.  

Chapter Text

Nagoya

Screams go off as men, women, and children run for their lives from the men invading the castle. Snowstorm was under siege from the same men who took Wolfsbane Square. Maester Cessarian runs into the raven room and slams the door shut, locking it. He scrawls a message, one meant for Yuu and looks up at the fat bird. Ravens have never been sent beyond the wall, there was no certainty Yuu would ever get the message, but he had to try. He attached the message to the raven and braced it before throwing it out the window as the doors slammed open. Guards drew their swords bearing the squid crest on their armor as the Maester raised his hands in surrender. He looked out the window to see the raven flying away before an arrow shot it down. He whispered a silent prayer, looking down as his hope dwindled away.


Yoichi is awakened by his door bursting open. 

"I'm taking your castle." The familiar voice said. 

Yoichi opened his eyes to see his pink-haired alpha enter with another two men. He looked at Shihou confused, but was met with a cold glare. The men weren't Northerners, he had seen all of them and this wasn't one. 

"Shihou." Yoichi tries to get out. 

"It's Prince Shihou Kimizuki." Daigo told him. 

"Get up. You have to get dressed. I've taken Snowstorm, in the honor of House Kimizuki." Kimizuki told him coldly. Yoichi looked at him wide-eyed and betrayed.

"What?" Yoichi asked. 

"I took it. I'm occupying it. I sent men over the walls with grappling claws and hooks." Kimizuki said to him. 

"Why?" Yoichi asked distressed.

"To take the castle." Kimizuki stated simply as Daigo looked around the room.

"I sent you to see your family. To meet them." Yoichi tells him. 

"I went back home and I made a choice. I'm a Kimizuki. I can't fight for a house that is not my own." Kimizuki says, "Where's Estle?"

"I don't know." Yoichi says with a glare. 

"Find the half-wit." Kimizuki tells the other man before turning back to him, "My men are bringing your people together in the courtyard, so you and I can go down and tell them that you've yielded Snowstorm and control of Nagoya to me."

"Have you lost your fucking mind? I won't." Yoichi huffs angrily. Daigo eyes him warily.

"Yes, you will. And mind your tongue." Kimizuki tells him.

"I won't." Yoichi declares sitting up higher with fury burning in his glare. "I'll never yield. We'll fight you and throw you out. Nobody will want you to rule them, not after this. And I wouldn't want you as an alpha either. You've betrayed Yuu. You've betrayed Guren. You've betrayed me." 

Kimizuki huffs a frustrated sigh before leveling Yoichi with a stare and sitting on his bed. He tries to ignore the pain coming from Yoichi's words knowing this is for the best. He can protect him if he's in charge here. He can't say anything of it with Daigo still in the room. "Neither of them are here and the castle is mine. But, these people are still yours. You'll yield to keep them safe. To keep them alive. That's what a good lord would do. Think carefully of what you want to say." 

Kimizuki gets up to leave and Yoichi sees a glimmer of softness in his cold stare as he leaves with the man following after him. The words come out before they can leave. 

"Shihou, did you hate us the whole time? Hate me?" Yoichi asks.

Kimizuki looks at him eyes softening and a conflicted look appearing on his face before turning away and leaving the room with Daigo trailing after him. 


Yoichi sits on a barrel drowning in depression and sorrow with Kimizuki standing by his side as he looks up at the people with sorrow. He sees Maester Cessarian standing with Maester Aererion and the man who was in his room. He sees Eita Kusunoki and a few other members of the Watch. He sees Estle and Chihiro. He sees all of the Ironborn men surrounding them as rain pours from the grey sky. He curses himself for being too weak to protect his people. He's crippled and an omega, powerless to do anything to save them.

"I've yielded Snowstorm and Nagoya to Prince Shihou of House Kimizuki." Yoichi announces sadly. 

"You all know me-" Kimizuki starts.

"Aye, we all know you for a steaming sack of shit." Garland, a baker says.

"Garland, be silent." Yoichi says.

"Listen to your little lord." Kimizuki says, "He has more sense than you do."

"All of you should do as he commands." Yoichi says weakly. It kills Kimizuki to see him like this, to be the one who made him like this. But, this is all for his good. To protect him by being the one in charge. If anyone else from his family was in charge, he'd be dead by now. Kimizuki was going to make sure he was protected.

"My father has donned the ancient crown of salt and rock, and declared himself King of Osaka Bay. He claims Nagoya, as well by right of conquest. You are all his subjects-" Kimizuki continues.

"Fuck that. I serve the Ichinoses and the little lord. He's earned his place among us, unlike you. He's taken care of all of us and stayed loyal to his family. If you think you can hold Nagoya with this lot-" Garland starts before he is knocked down by an Osaka Bay guard.

Daigo laughs as Yoichi winces.

"If you serve me as loyally as you served Guren Ichinose and his bastard, I will be as good to you as he ever was. Betray me and you wished you hadn't." Kimizuki announces. "Maester Cessarian, send a raven to Osaka Bay to inform my father of my victory here and one to Lord Marsten's Fortress and Mott to my sister to inform her to bring 500 men to Snowstorm."

The Maester stays silent.

"You are a Maester of the Citadel, sworn to serve the Lord of Snowstorm, are you not?" Kimizuki turns to the man.

"I am."

"I am the Lord of Snowstorm as Yoichi just informed you. Send the ravens." Kimizuki says.

"Aye, My Lord." The Maester responds coldly and moves to leave. 

"Lord Kimizuki." Chihiro says.

"See you've learned how to address your betters. What do you want?" Kimizuki tells the woman.

"I was brought here, a captive. You were here the day I was taken." Chihiro says.

"I'm the one who took you. What of it?" Kimizuki says. 

"Let me serve you." Chihiro kneels and bows her head. 

"Serve how? I need fighters not kitchen sluts." Kimizuki sneers at her.

"It was Yuuichirou Amane who put me in the kitchens. Put a spear in my hand again." Chihiro looks up at him.

"So you can bury it in my neck? Do you take me for a fool? Get up." He tells her and pushes her aside when she stands, "Step aside."

She moves to where Yoichi is. 

"Why?" Yoichi asks her.

Chihiro moves closer to him, "It's your dream, little lord. The ocean has come to swallow this place and I won't let it drown us."

"And in a few day's time-" Kimizuki shouts as the doors are opened to reveal a bloody Ser Tassell being dragged in by Kimizuki men. Yoichi and Chihiro exchange fearful glances. 

"I caught this one on the way back from Wolfsbane Square. Took out two of ours before I got his sword." The guard says.

"Ser Tassell, it grieves me we meet as foes." Kimizuki says.

"It grieves me that you have less honor than a back-alley slut. You were raised here. Under this roof. These people are your people." Ser Tassell tells him defiantly.

"These are not my people." Kimizuki says.

"Yoichi thought of you as his family. Yuuichirou, Shinoa and Mitsuba the same. Guren raised you like a son." Ser Tassell says to him.

"Like one, but not as one. I was his hostage, taken from my home!" Kimizuki says hostilely.

Yoichi looks up in shock at that. He never knew Kimizuki felt that way all this time. He would never confide in him. But, he should have seen it. He is his omega, no was.

"You and I both know that's not true. You were treated every bit as good as Yuu. All of you were. If he were alive to see this-" Ser Tassell says.

"He's not. He's dead. The Six Kingdoms are at war and Nagoya is mine." Kimizuki tells him.

"I should have put a sword in your belly when I had the chance." Ser Tassell says. 

"You've served the North faithfully, old man. But, keep talking and I'll-" Kimizuki starts before being stopped by the man spitting in his face. Ser Tassell is kicked to his knees.

"Take him to the cell. Lock him-" Kimizuki begins.

"My Prince, you cannot let that stand. He must pay." Daigo says.

"I'll lock him in a cell until he rots-" Kimizuki says.

"No, he has to pay The Iron Price. They'll never respect you while he lives." Daigo says. Kimizuki looks at him. He's killed men before, but never one of his own. His eyes widen as he looks at Ser Tassell. He looks back at Yoichi. Yoichi's eyes are watery with his face desperate and pleading. Kimizuki looks back at Daigo before nodding his head knowing what he has to do. 

"Ser Tassell, I sentence you to death." Kimizuki says. The man growls.

"NO! You said no harm would come to them if I yielded it to you. Prince Shihou, please!" Yoichi begs.

"The old man couldn't keep his mouth shut." Kimizuki tells him as Maester Cessarian comes back and seeing the commotion goes to Kimizuki. 

"I urge you not to make a hasty decision." The man tries to reason with the alpha.

"He made the decision to disrespect me in front of my men! That was his decision, not mine!" Kimizuki growls at the man.

"He is worth more to you alive than dead." The Maester says. "The Ichinoses will pay. Please. Kimizuki. Think what you do."

Kimizuki looks slightly conflicted before looking at Daigo who shakes his head. He can't throw any of his men off. They have to respect and follow his command. He has to do this.

"You'll address me as Prince Kimizuki or you'll be next." Kimizuki tells the Maester and Yoichi looks at him shocked. He doesn't know this Kimizuki. This aggressive, violent one. He's terrified to be around him. 

"Go." Daigo says. They haul Ser Tassell up before dragging him as Yoichi screams protests at them. 

"Shihou! Please!" Yoichi says as Ser Tassell is dragged to kneel over a bench. He looks up at Kimizuki, unwilling to compromise. 

"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword, coward." Ser Tassell tells him.

"STOP!" Yoichi screams.

Kimizuki draws his sword while glaring at the man. 

"Hush now, child." Ser Tassell tells him, "I'm going to see your father."

Yoichi's face drops at the man's bloodied smile as he turns away from him. 

"Any last words, old man?" Kimizuki says with the barest hint of tears in his eyes.

"Gods help you Shihou Kimizuki, now you are truly gone." Ser Tassell tells him before lowering his head. The crowd screams and shouts as the Kimizuki men cheer him on.

"I'll do anything, please!" Yoichi says.

Kimizuki looks at Yoichi before bringing his sword down onto the man once. Ser Tassell coughs out blood. Kimizuki brings it down again as omegas turn away. He brings it down once more before bringing his boot down onto it to knock the head off. The head rolls to the ground as Kimizuki looks around dazed at what he's just done. Blood on his face as he hears Yoichi's cries in the back of his head. The rain pours down on them as Kimizuki realizes he may be too far gone indeed. He's done something terrible all to protect his omega.

Yoichi looks at him with disgust and shame realizing what he now needs to do.


Kimizuki sits in Guren's chambers, drinking before he hears a knock and opens the door to see Yoichi carried by Estle.

"Can I come in, My Prince?" Yoichi asks shyly.

"Yes." Kimizuki says.

Yoichi is carried in by Estle and put down on the bed. Kimizuki stands by the fire. The atmosphere in the room is tense and awkward.

"Why are you here?" Kimizuki asks him, trying to remove his cold tone from when they're around others.

"Am I not allowed to see my alpha?" Yoichi asks him.

"I assume you wouldn't have wanted to after today." Kimizuki says.

"I was being rash. I love you and I want you. The real you." Yoichi says.

"And what does that mean?" Kimizuki asks.

"Why didn't you ever tell me you felt that way? Like you weren't Guren's son or you never thought of him like a father?" Yoichi says.

"I don't know. I didn't know I was feeling it until the old man said what he did. I'm sorry about that." Kimizuki says.

"It's fine. I understand." Yoichi says in a way that was both conniving and forgiving. "But the question I asked you this morning still stands: Did you always hate us? Hate me?"

"I don't. Not really with any of them. I kind of resent them a bit, but never hate. I could never hate you, even if I tried." Kimizuki sits on the bed next to him getting closer. His cheeks are pink from the ale he drank. Tension between them slowly disappearing.

"I'm glad to hear that, my alpha." Yoichi scoots closer before moving to kiss him before Kimizuki could continue.

Kimizuki could try to justify what he's done in any way, but he couldn't. Not to him. He betrayed all of them and killed a man he's known since childhood. The Kimizuki who left here would never have done that. He did this for himself and his house. By doing this Kimizuki revealed who he thinks his real family is. Yoichi had to enact his plan now. He had to get away from here. He wasn't safe here with these men in charge, and Kimizuki had betrayed his trust when he brought men from Osaka Bay to take over the North after he allowed him to go meet his family. He wishes he never let him leave. Things wouldn't be in the state they're in now. This is what he has to do.    

Kimizuki kisses back as his tongue slides past Yoichi's lips meeting in a passionate embrace. Yoichi immediately submits to him. They stay like that trading kisses before Kimizuki tries to unfasten Yoichi's pants.

"Wait. Stop." Yoichi pulls away, "I won't feel anything down there. Not anymore. But, you can. Let me take care of you."

Kimizuki looks at him confused before he realizes what he means and nods letting the omega have some control, even if his alpha doesn't want to. Yoichi moves to kiss him before kissing his neck, sucking love marks onto it as Kimizuki takes off his shirt and Yoichi begins moving down peppering his chest with kisses. Yoichi moves to take each of his nipples into his mouth causing Kimizuki to let out an impatient and excited groan. Yoichi smirks at that before moving lower. 

"Here let me. It'll be easier." Kimizuki said standing up. Yoichi mumbled a thanks before unbuttoning his pants and taking out his impressive, flushed, cock and stroking it. He licked his lips and looked up at Kimizuki's lust-filled gaze before pressing a kiss to the crown of his cock causing Kimizuki's breath to hitch. He meets his eyes seeing each other's pink faces as Yoichi begins to suck on the head of his cock slowly. 

"Fuck, Yoi..." Kimizuki gets out in between moans as Yoichi sinks lower onto the cock while moving to massage his balls. Kimizuki's hands find its way to Yoichi's hair, not pulling it, but holding it. Yoichi pulls off when his hips thrust forward and begins to lick the sides of his cock before getting the area right under his head causing Kimizuki to bite his fist so he doesn't scream out. 

Yoichi smirks as he looks up at Kimizuki with a mischievous glint in his eye before bringing his mouth down onto the cock in one go causing Kimizuki to scream in pleasure. Yoichi begins to moan around his cock as he feels the head hit the back of his throat. Yoichi begins to bob his head and take him as deep as he can once his pants and moans grow much rapid. Yoichi's eyes water at how deep he takes it.

"Yoichi-I'm about to-" Kimizuki whines out, while pulling on his hair and screams his release as his hips buck forward. Yoichi surprised at the hot, sticky mess looks up at Kimizuki as he swallows it down his throat. He pulls back to catch any leftover on the cock before he comes back to the head and kisses the tip, tongue dipping in the slit to taste the little that remains of Kimizuki.

Kimizuki collapses onto the bed rolling over onto it before Yoichi moves to him with his arms making sure he is on the side facing the door. Yoichi rests his head on his naked chest, still fully-clothed. 

"I'm sorry." Kimizuki says.

"You already said that." Yoichi says kissing his heart.

"I mean that I can't do for you what you just did for me." Kimizuki says.

"It's fine. It wasn't your fault and I made my peace with it." Yoichi says.

"I know, but it's still shitty those Hiiragi fuckers are ruling over the West after what they've done." Kimizuki says.

"There's nothing to do. We've been locked here. They still have Shinoa as leverage." Yoichi says.

"We didn't do anything because Yuu didn't want to. Now that I'm in charge I can do as I wish. We can go to war with them for what they've done." Kimizuki says as he begins to nod off.

"Right." Yoichi says his voice laced with uncertainty.

"We'll talk about it in the morning." Kimizuki says before succumbing to exhaustion. Yoichi slowly moved away from the man towards the bed's edge after he was in deep sleep waiting for someone to come through the door. He was happy most alphas were deep sleepers and Kimizuki may have been the biggest example of that. 


Chihiro came with Estle and Gekko to the back doors of the castle. The Ironborn were in their own territory closer to the sea, so there was only one guard patrolling this area tonight. 

Chihiro threw a rock in the distance to distract him and when the guard went to check she sent Estle inside to grab Yoichi.

Soon after Estle emerged carrying Yoichi on his back before he was stopped by the guard walking back to where Chihiro was. 

"HALT!" The guard shouts at them his back turned to Chihiro as he talks to them, "And where are you going?"

"I have something for you from Prince Kimizuki." Yoichi told him meeting Chihiro's eyes and giving a small nod. She slowly emerged from the bushes silently holding a knife. 

"And what is that?" He asked him.

"This." Chihiro said and as the guard turned to her, she slit his throat causing the blood to pour out as he fell to the ground. Yoichi looked at her before he whistled to draw out Gekko who moved towards them. 

In the dark of night, all four of them went into the Winterwoods, leaving behind the dead body of a guard for the new Prince to find when he wakes up. 


Hamura

Mitsuba brings the flagon of wine around the war council table where the men sit around their lord.

"Can you read?" Lord Tetsuo asks Ser Assern as he throws a letter at him.

"My Lord?" Ser Assern asks confused. 

"Can you read?" Lord Tetsuo asks him again. The man shrinks in his seat before the Lord continues. "This letter detailing the movements of our infantry was meant for Lord Akihiko of House Haiji, it was sent to Lord Haiko of House Aiji."

"My Lord, I-" Ser Assern tries to explain.

"Girl, fetch me the History of the Greater and Lesser Houses." Lord Hiiragi commands Mitsu. "It's the one on the s-"

Mitsu already having found the book picks it up and hands it to the Lord, who looks at her impressed. 

Lord Tetsuo stands and looks down at the man, "My cupbearer can read better than you."

Mitsu and Ser Assern share a glance as she walks away. 

Lord Tetsuo searches the book for a page and points to a sentence on it. He looks back at Ser Assern, "To who does House Aiji owe its allegiance?"

"My Lord, I-."

"To the Ichinoses of Nagoya! Not like there are any left. But, now they could use these plans to gain an upper hand on us for vengeance against the death of Guren." Lord Tetsuo shouts at the man, now that catches Mitsu's attention. "I judged that you might be good for something more than brutalizing peasants. I see I overestimated you. If you ever do something like this again, I'll...Leave us."

Ser Assern gets up and leaves the room following Lord Hiiragi's orders. 

"Put the book away, girl." Lord Hiiragi tells a stunned Mitsu, never seeing the usually calm and stern man in that state of anger. 

Mitsu moves to grab the book. 

"Maybe you should devise our next battle plan, while you're about it." Lord Hiiragi tells her and Mitsu huffs a little laugh at that as she plops the book back down on the stand. 

A Hiiragi guard enters, "Lord Tarō Kagiyama."

Mitsu's smile falls and face drops. She feels her stomach sink lower and dread fill her. Lord Tetsuo hums and dismisses everyone. Everyone gets up and leaves in a hurried fashion leaving a stunned Mitsu looking at Lord Tetsuo's expectant gaze. 

"Clear all this." He says gesturing to the table. Mitsu turns back to return the pitcher her face showing her anxiety. 

Kagiyama walks into the room wearing a rose-colored sash held with his mockingbird pin. "Lord Tetsuo."

"Lord Kagiyama."

Mitsu moves to grab the plates, eyes trying to stare at the man while also trying to avoid catching his eye. Lord Tetsuo moves to sit with Kagiyama next to him as Mitsu moves from the large table. 

"Wine?" Lord Tetsuo asks. Mitsu dreads what she knows is coming. 

"Thank you." Kagiyama agrees. Mitsu's pit drops even further into depths of self-pity. She grabs a glass and the pitcher, takes a deep breath, and turns to face the lions head on. She tries to stay in the shadows circling around the table to fill Kagiyama's cup. 

"What news from the Capital?" Lord Tetsuo asks him.

"I came here from the Inoue capital." Kagiyama says grabbing the cup Mitsu poured.

"Ah, the flowers, I hear they grow stronger." Lord Tetsuo muses.

"They do. The eldest daughter has just gone through her heat. She's called the pride of the house for her beauty." Kagiyama says.

"Yes, she was an omega. What was her name? Mei?" Lord Tetsuo asks.

"Here." Lord Tetsuo tells Mitsu and hands her his cup. She keeps her back turned the entire time as she pours.

"Rika. A beautiful girl." Kagiyama says. "After the Hiiragi's and Ichinoses the Inoue's command the largest host. Their lands are the most fertile in the Six Kingdoms, feeding horses and soldiers."

"Yes. Yes." Lord Tetsuo rolls his eyes.

"The Inoue's have not yet declared for any of the sides in this war. And Rika..." Kagiyama starts.

"Wants to be queen." Lord Tetsuo finishes. 

"Yes, she does." Kagiyama says with a smirk.

"House Inoue rebelled against the Seraphin Throne when my brother took it. They have their lands and power because they negotiated him into keeping it." Lord Tetsuo says.

"Perhaps you should rectify that lapse of Hiiragi power one day. After Seishirou is dead, after the North is in your control, after the Hiiragi's rule all of Westeria uncontested. The True Hiiragi's." Kagiyama says.

Lord Tetsuo looks at him before he says the words Mitsu dreads, "More wine for Lord Kagiyama."

Mitsu moves past them as Kagiyama watches her walk away seemingly catching something before turning his attention back to Lord Tetsuo. "If you allow me to represent the interests of your family, I believe an advantageous agreement-"

"The Inoue's back no one?" Lord Tetsuo affirms as Mitsu with shaky hands holding the pitcher moves back to the table. 

"They have not." Lord Kagiyama says as Mitsu begins pouring and to her horror realizes she missed the cup. She quickly puts down the pitcher as Lord Tetsuo gives her a curt look.

Mitsu gasps out a, "Pardon, My Lord."

"It's only wine." Kagiyama tells Mitsu as she wipes. She looks back at him in a quick glance under her blonde hair before turning back to the mess as his eyes try to meet hers. He's clearly seen something. 

"You would ride there yourself?" Lord Tetsuo asks, drawing Kagiyama out of his inquiries back to the Lord. Mitsu lets out a soft breath.

"Tonight with your leave." Kagiyama says.

"I will announce it by nightfall." Lord Tetsuo says before raising his voice at Mitsu, "THAT WILL BE ALL, GIRL."

Mitsu takes away the pitcher, eyes downcast as Kagiyama gives her one last glance. Mitsu walks as fast and calmly as she can out of the room. 

"What else? You have not told me why you were at the Inoue's in the first place?" He asked him.

"I was searching for the lost Sanguu girl." Kagiyama says, "Something your niece and nephew tasked me with." 


In the evening, Mitsu clears the table in Lord Tetsuo's war chambers before something catches her eye. A letter. Something on it catches her eye. Something with Kimizuki and the North. 

"Who taught you to read?" Lord Tetsuo asks from behind her.

"My father, My Lord." Mitsu says.

"I never had any children, but I taught my nephew, Kureto to read." Lord Tetsuo says, "A Maester came to me one day saying he wasn't learning. The King never cared much for actually educating his children. That usually fell to his wife before she died, now it fell on them and the Maesters. Shinya and Mahiru were talented academics, omegas usually are. They took to it fast. But, Kureto, a plain beta took longer to pick it up. At least, he did better than Seishirou, a disadvantage to being an alpha. But, Kureto couldn't make sense of the letters. He reversed them in his head. The Maester said he heard tell of this affliction, and that we must simply accept it. Ha! After that I sat Kureto down for three hours every day until he learned. He hated me for it, for a time. For a long time. But, he learned. Where is your father? Is he alive?"

Mitsu immediately thinks of Guren as she shakes her head no. She was interested in the man's story until it turned onto her. 

"Who was he?"

"A stonemason." Mitsu said silently.

"A stonemason who could read?" Tetsuo said impressed.

"He taught himself." Mitsu said.

"Quite a man." Tetsuo smirked before his face took a solemn look. "What killed him?"

Mitsu looks up at the man whose family was cause of Guren being dead and her being here, "Honor."

Tetsuo levels her with a glare, "You're a sharp little thing, aren't you?"

Mitsu looks at the man before he turns away. "Did..."

The man turns back. 

"Forgive me, My Lord. I shouldn't ask questions." Mitsu said, remembering where she was.

"No. But, you've already begun." He tells her.

"Did you know your father, My Lord?"

"I did. I grew up with him. I watched him grow old. He loved us. He was a good man. But, he was a weak man. A weak man who nearly destroyed our house and our name. So, my brother and I took it upon ourselves to reclaim it all. For our house's fame and glory." Lord Tetsuo says sitting down in a chair by the fire and speaking increasingly colder.

Mitsu looks at the man turned away from her before grabbing the letter and hiding it behind her back to read. 

"I'm cold." Lord Tetsuo says.

"I'll fetch more wood for the fire, My Lord." Mitsu says and leaves at his nod with the letter in her hands.  


Mitsu hides in a stone corner of Hamura to read the letter. Her face takes a hit at the realization as she reads the words over again in her head on repeat after opening it. 

"Shihou of House Kimizuki has taken Nagoya for the honor of Osaka Bay."

Kimizuki betrayed them. How could he? How could he do this to them? To Yuu? To Guren? To Yoichi? She worried for the boy. She knew how he felt, how they looked at each other. How could he possibly be taking this? Is he even still alive? No, Kimizuki could never go so far as to kill him. What of Yuu? Was he dead? If he was Mitsu would have to add another name to her list. This betrayal goes against everything Guren taught them. Everything they know. Mitsu hated that she was stuck here alone, unable to help her family as they are all separated from each other. Mitsu wipes the water from her eyes before getting up to return the letter. 

She runs down the steps, not looking where she's going before she runs into the armor of Ser Assern who looks down at her. 

"Where are you going, girl?" He asks her.

"The armory, My Lord." Mitsu gets out.

"Why?"

"Lord Tetsuo sent me." Mitsu says, innocently. The man looks down before grabbing the rolled-up letter out of her hand. 

"What might this be?" He asks her.

"Lord Tetsuo gave it to me." She responds. 

"What for?" Ser Assern opens it to read it. 

"To take to the armory." Mitsu says, eyes barely meeting his before looking down.

"Why would he do that?" He asks Mitsu who can't respond. "Let's go ask."

Ser Assern moves to grab her before she ducks out and runs from him. Easily moving faster than him in his clunky armor. Mitsu runs through an arch, hiding behind it before she sees the man run in the other direction, towards Lord Tetsuo's chambers. 

Mitsu knows who she needs to find as she runs through the camp until she spots the familiar head of long, dark brown hair, soon after starting. She turns him around to see a man who is definitely not Nix Parthe.

She mumbles a sorry before running around faster and finding another head of long, dark brown hair reminiscent of horns. She turns him around to see Nix Parthe. 

"Ser Assern Loche." Mitsu gasps out at the man. 

"A girl has named a second name. A man will do what must be done." He tells her before moving to turn back. 

"NOW!" Mitsu growls at the man. 

The man looks shocked before chuckling, amused, "A girl cannot tell a man when exactly he must do a thing. A man cannot make a thing happen before its time."

"BUT, HE'S GOING TO TELL TETSUO! HE'S GETTING AWAY! IT HAS TO BE NOW!" Mitsu commands.

Nix Parthe huffs and rolls his eyes before nodding his agreement.  


Lord Tetsuo turns at the sound of the door opening to reveal Ser Assern, who promptly falls flat onto the ground. He goes to the body, slightly shook before seeing a feathered dart sticking out of his neck. 

"GUARD!" Lord Tetsuo shouts.  


Sannomiya

Ser Kōta walks along the shore. He could never forget what he's seen. What the Red Woman has done. 

"Ser Kota." He hears a familiar deep voice call his name and turns to see Seishirou Hiiragi walking towards him.

"Your Grace." Ser Kota bows his head.

Seishirou nods and gestures for him to walk with him.

"Everything with Mito went well, I hope." Seishirou told him.

"It did. She gave birth to something in that cave." Ser Kota tells him.

"We received word from Shibuya, Takashi Hiiragi has survived. It looks as though we'll need to do battle after all." Seishirou tells him. 

"Your Grace, what I saw in there was unmentionable." Ser Kota tries to explain.

"Then don't mention it. Never mention it, or there will be consequences." Seishirou says.

"But, Your Grace-"

"I never known you to need to be told anything twice, Kota. You've been with me since I left my family to go to Ebina. Soon I will be sitting on the Seraphin Throne. Even, with this minor setback, I still have a large fleet and men to match my family. I will hear no more about that cave." Seishirou tells him. 

Ser Kota looks at him hesitantly before nodding as Seishirou turns to look at the battle map. 

"When do we sail for Shibuya?" Ser Kota asks, trying to change the subject. 

"Since I've consolidated my troops. We'll make short work of the False Hiiragi fleet. Once, Bluewater Bay is clear, we'll deliver our troops to their doorstep and take the city." Seishirou says.

"And will you bring Lady Mito with you?" Ser Kota asks.

"That is none of your concern." Seishirou tells him.

"If you take Shibuya with her by your side, it'll be her victory." Ser Kota tells him.

"I never thought I'd have reason to doubt your loyalty. Was I wrong?" Seishirou glares at him. 

"Loyal service means telling the hard truths." Ser Kota says.

"Oh truth? Alright, what's the truth?" Seishirou asks. "The hard truth."

"She's a foreigner. Preaching a foreign religion. Some believes she whispers orders in your ear and you obey." Ser Kota says.

"What do you believe?" Seishirou asks curiously.

"You won those alliances and men, don't lose them to her. She's already failed you once." Ser Kota says.

Seishirou considers this before responding despondently, "We set out for Shibuya without Lady Mito. And you lead the fleet into Bluewater Bay."

Ser Kota stumbles at that, "Your Grace, I'm honored. But, my time on the sea was spent evading ships, not attacking them. The other lords won't be happy."

"Most of those lords should consider themselves lucky I don't hang them for treason. Hard truths cut both ways, Ser Kota." Seishirou says in a monotone voice. Ser Kota doesn't miss the implied threat in the voice and looks at the man in surprise before nodding and leaving.


Shibuya

Shinya stands next to Mahiru with Shinoa, Tyuri, and Takashi in front of them. All of them are wearing their best clothes for the parade to honor Takashi's late father, Lord Norito Goshi. Mahiru wearing a blue silken gown with her hair down and Shinoa wearing a pink gown with her hair in a similar style. Shinya has on dark slacks covered by a long doublet going down to his knees in a green color with a navy blue vest over it. Takashi in his king's clothes and red sash looks as angry as he usually does. Aoi Sanguu and Ser Fuola Honte supervise his guard with Gold Cloaks surrounding them. They stand at the front of the doors to exit the Royal Keep and go into the city to visit the peasants. 

Takashi looks at his crying brother in disgust. "You sound like an ill cat mewling for its mother. Princes don't cry."

"I saw you cry." Shinoa grumbles out.

"Did you say something, aunty?" Takashi turns to her, annoyed.

"My "little brother" cried when I left Snowstorm." Shinoa tells him trying to deflect.

"So?"

"It seems a normal thing." Shinoa responds.

"Is your "little brother" a prince?" He asks her, annoyed look still on his face.

"No."

"Not really relevant than, is it?" Takashi asks, squinting his eyes before walking ahead. "Open the doors."

The doors open and the party walks out of the Royal Keep. Mahiru bored with the whole event, never caring about her husband much anyway, decides to try to get a rise from her brother.

"How do you feel, brother? Knowing your lover lies dead in the ground?" Mahiru asks him.

"I suppose much worse than you felt when your husband, your supposed alpha, starting to fuck whores like a free man." Shinya retorts.

"I never loved mine." Mahiru says.

"No, but, you did love another beta, who is not here either. Both, were foolish enough to be ruined by things they loved. Kureto, besting our brother and Goshi, hunting. I believe you have a reputation for attracting fools, or at least mating with them." Shinya says, not noticing Shinoa falling behind them.

"You act as though Guren was never one. He was foolish because of his honor. His love for those hostages. Love makes fools of alphas and betas." Mahiru tells him.

"I assume that's why we still live freely and protected. But, what of an omega? What does love do to us?" Shinya asks.

"It makes us stronger. More intelligent too. But, it also makes us more desperate." Mahiru says, simply.

"More willing to compromise our morals and take a risk." Shinya nods in agreement, surprised at the turn the conversation was taking.

"Love can ruin us all. But, we are usually cautious against making it control our actions to the point of recklessness." Mahiru continues.

"Like, I said, that's why we're still here." Shinya says.

Mahiru hums in agreement before they realize they've reached the end and are ready to turn back to the Royal Keep.

The subtle jeers thrown Takashi's way from the peasants begin to turn into full-blown insults as they reach the street near the Royal Keep, now surrounded by furious common folk.

"Hail Takashi! Hail to the King!" One man jeers.

"Seven blessings on you, Your Grace." Another sneers at him, sarcastically.

"Oh, Hail the King!" One shouts.

"He's a bastard!" One shouts, catching Takashi's attention as people applaud. 

"Please, Your Grace, we're hungry!" Another man pleads.

Takashi looks up to see the glares directed at him. 

Shinya, attention now caught to the insults turns to the guards and tells them to take the Prince Tyuri back to the Royal Keep through the back. They move quickly with the Prince to get him away. The pleas and begs grow louder for food as Mahiru catches on to it to. She looks at Shinya who gives her a worried glance.

"AH!" Takashi says as the cow shit thrown from one of the peasants hits him in the side of the head. The Gold Cloaks and Aoi Sanguu immediately draw their swords. "WHO THREW THAT?!?!"

The shouts grow louder as Shinoa is held by her handmaidens out of protection and fear. A man falls in front of her and she steps back as a Gold Cloak stomps on them. 

"I want the man who threw that! Find who did that and bring him to me!" Takashi shouts, being held by Aoi Sanguu. The peasants begin to grow angrier and push forward in anger as the guards try to keep them back. They shout and scream. Shinoa watches as the men begin to punch the peasants that surround her with a dazed and fearful expression. She looks for Shinya, Mahiru, or anyone who could help her. But, she can't see them, over all the fighting.

One peasant kills a Gold Cloak with a rock to the head. The fighting between the men increases. As more Gold Cloaks and peasants fall with their blood staining the concrete. Mahiru looks back at the violence with two Hiiragi guards flanking her, as Shinya commands the men to move ahead. Aoi Sanguu grabs Takashi in a headlock and leads him out with Shinya and Mahiru following him surrounded by Hiiragi men. Shinoa is led forward by her handmaiden as food and rocks begin to fly. They duck their heads.

"What are you doing?!?" Takashi gets out, while being held by Aoi's death grip, "I want these people executed!"

"They want the same for you!" She growls at him.

The men stab the peasants with spears and swords, but the peasants retaliate even more violently. Some of them biting body parts off the Gold Cloaks, stabbing them with small daggers, and just tackling them until they are crushed.

Shinya watches in shock as the High Septon is grabbed by the crowd and overwhelmed with their number as his screams of pain echo. He soon sees one of the men raise up an arm they ripped off from the High Septon in victory as alarm bells go off in his head as he realizes someone's missing from their party. "Where's Shinoa?!" 

Shinya's arms are grabbed as he's led forward. 

Shinoa's hair is in disarray as her handmaidens move forward, leading her to follow them.

Aoi Sanguu growls and cuts men left and right while Takashi is still in her head lock. Ser Fuola moves ahead of her and cuts a clear path for her to follow. Aoi hands off Takashi to him before turning back to kill another man. Takashi is dragged into the clearing of the open gates of the Royal Keep. Mahiru is escorted in soon after with her head down, relatively unscathed.   


Shinoa in a messy state runs forward desperately afraid as a man stops in front of her. She moves to turn back before another man crowds her field of vision. The omega looks behind her to see a dark alley and runs desperately into it as the men follow her in a chase. 


Shinya is dragged in by the guards, eyes still searching for Shinoa. His eyes fall onto Takashi who's shouting, "Traitors! I'll have all their heads!"

"You blind, fucking fool!" Shinya seethes at him angrily. 

"You can't insult me." Takashi growls with the shit still on the side of his head.

"We've had viscous Kings and we've had idiot Kings. But, I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a viscous idiot for a King!" Shinya walks up and shouts at him. 

"You can't-" Takashi starts angrily.

"I can and I am!" Shinya tells him. 

"They attacked me!" Takashi shouts. 

"They threw a cow pie at you, so you decide to kill them all?!? They're starving, you fool! All because of a war you started!" Shinya tells him, infuriated.

"YOU ARE TALKING TO A KING!" Takashi screeches at him.

Shinya having enough of this and full of wrath does the most satisfying thing he can do. He strikes Takashi across his face causing the boy to flinch, "And now I've struck a King! Did my hand fall from my wrist?"

Shinya turns away from him before shouting, "Where is Shinoa?!?"

"Let them have her!" Takashi growls.

"If she dies, you'll have no leverage against the North and could make another war appear on top of this one you've caught us in." Shinya tells him incredulously. 


Shinoa runs through the alley with the men on her tail afraid for her life. She enters a secluded stone room while trying to get away. One man grabs her to turn her around to face him. She slaps him with the back of her hand before she's slapped and falls onto a pile of hay. Another man comes from behind him with a sneer. Shinoa tries to crawl away, but one of the men fall on top of her. 

"You ever been fucked, little girl?" He sneers into her ear.

"No! No!" Shinoa says as the man turns her around as she screams. 


"Take some men and go find Shinoa!" Shinya tells Fuola Honte.

"I take my orders from the King!" The man shouts back at him.

Shinya looks back at Takashi pissed and pleading before Takashi walks away angrily. 


Shinoa thrashes and manages to kick away one of the men as she pleads. They hold her down and she readies herself for the worst possible situation when she sees the man pull out his cock. 

A gloved hand grabs the man by the throat, pulls him off of her, and hold him up. She looks up to see the blonde ponytail of Aoi Sanguu, choking the man. Aoi looks at him with a hateful glare before slicing off his cock and moving up to slash his stomach, opening his intestines. Shinoa looks up at her as she tries to get the men to let her go. Aoi Sanguu stabs the other man in the back as blood pours down his throat. The other tries to run before she grabs him and slits his throat. 

She turns to Shinoa and tries to soothe the omega, "It's all right now, little bird. You're all right."

She picks up Shinoa and throws her over her shoulder to carry her. Shinoa still caught in her shocked daze with her face emotionless let's her.  


The doors open and Shinya releases his held breath when he sees Aoi Sanguu carrying a ragged and distressed looking Shinoa. She sets her down gently against the wall as Shinya moves to dote on her. 

"Are you okay?" Shinya asks her, seeing the cut on the side of her right eyebrow.

"The little bird is bleeding, someone take her back to her cage and see to the cut." Aoi tells Shinya who sends her with her handmaidens. 

"Thank you, Aoi." Shinya says.

"It wasn't just for you." Aoi responds to him before walking away.


Shinya lifts Shinoa's chin to face him so he can get a better look at the cut. He brings a wet wash cloth to wipe away the blood as Shinoa hisses. He soothes her. 

"I'm sorry. I've been doing such a shitty job of keeping you safe." Shinya says to her.

"You haven't been. Everyone has just been much worse." Shinoa tells him trying to comfort him from the truth.

Shinya gives her a look saying he doesn't buy it. 

"I forgive you, if you feel you need it." Shinoa tells him. 

"I don't deserve it." Shinya says.

They stay silent for a moment before Shinoa breaks the silence. 

"I thought they were going to kill me." Shinoa says.

"They thought so too." Shinya responds.

"He hated me. The man who hit me." Shinoa says. "I saw it in his eyes. He never met me before. But, he wanted to hurt me."

"Of course, he did." Shinya says, "It's happened to me, as well."

"Why?" Shinoa asks.

"Because you are everything he will never have. Your horse is better than his children. It doesn't matter now, he's dead." Shinya tells her.

"I would have given them food or whatever they wanted, if I had it. I hate Takashi more than any of them." Shinoa says heatedly. 

"Don't say that out loud! If the wrong people hear you-" Shinya tells her with worry in his voice.

"But, you're not the wrong people." Shinoa says, holding his hand. 

"Don't be careless with your trust. Life will be easier if you can control that." Shinya tells her. Shinoa nods.


Beyond the Wall

Yuu trek through a snowy path around the mountains with Muneo and his men. His eyes catch Asu's form moving lithely through the mountains.

"Asu, stay with us! Asu!" Yuu calls.

"There goes your pet, Little Guren." Muneo tells him. 

"He's not a pet." Yuu says.

"You're right, he's not. Can't tame a wild thing. Can't trust a wild thing." Muneo says.

"Asu is different." Yuu insists. 

"So you think." Muneo says. "Wild creatures have their own rules. Their own reasons. You'll never know them. The Wild Ones we're looking for sleep during the day, hunt during the night."

"I thought you said you couldn't know Wild Things." Yuu smirks.

"Said you can't." Muneo tells him, "They find a nice cave to hide in while the Sun's up and do their killing in the dark."

"We could do the same." Yuu tells him.

"No, we couldn't. This is their country. They know where to walk, where not to walk. I've lost good men that fell into a crevasse they didn't see clearly." Muneo tells him.

"Father always said I'm of the North." Yuu says.

Muneo chuckles and Yuu looks back at him with a testy look. 

"I wasn't joking." Yuu retorts.

"Look around, Little Guren. This look like home to you? You start thinking you know this place it'll kill you. You understand?" Muneo says.

Yuu nods.

"No, you don't. We're at war. We've always been at war. It's never going to end because we're not fighting an enemy. We're fighting the North and it's not going anywhere. Your father gave you a great gift, you only have one thing to give in return. Your life." Muneo says.

"I'd gladly give my life-" Yuu starts. 

Muneo turns him so they're face-to-face, "I don't want you to be glad about it! I want you to curse and fight until your heart's done pumping. You know this boy, your death will be a gift for them south of the Wall. They'll never know what we've done. How we've died. They'll be alive because a nameless bastard given power gave his life for their ones. Now do you understand?"

Yuu looks at him and considers this, "I do."

"You're even dumber than you look." Muneo tells him, "It's just words, Little Guren. Keep us a little warmer in the night. Make us feel like we got a purpose. Come on. We got to find these fuckers before they find us."

Muneo walks away as Yuu looks back to see Asu walking along a rock before he moves forward.    


Yuu hides behind a rock and peeks over as he makes eye contact with Muneo across from him. He sees a Wild One sharpening an arrow, covered in their grey-brown fur hood as the fire gets weaker. Another one ties a string to a stick. Muneo nods to Yuu who nods back. Muneo gives the signal to the archer who shoots an arrow at one, landing it in his heart. Muneo charges out followed by Yuu who grabs a smaller one trying to run. Muneo strikes his one down. Yuu flips the small Wild One over his shoulder. He gets up to run away. Yuu grabs the back of his hood and turns him to face him. His eyes widen in shock when he doesn't see a man's face staring at him in fear. 

It's a girl. He catches the scent of an omega. She has short red hair with bangs covering her forehead. He pulls off the hood to get a better look at her. She has purple eyes with a pointed chin. Her face stares at him fiercely, slightly defiantly. She was attractive. Maybe, even pretty. Yuu looks at her shocked that the Wild One's had omegas as scouts, that can fight actively in battle. He sees Muneo come up next to him with the other men. 

"A girl. An omega." Yuu says.

"A Wild One." Muneo tells him.

The girl looks at him with a rage, huffing breaths. 

"We could question her." Yuu says. 

"You could. She won't answer. I've known a Wild One to bite off their tongue instead of talking." Muneo says.

Yuu grabs her collar, his alpha taking over. "What's your name?"

"Yayoi. Yayoi Endou." She says.

"She was reaching for this axe before you got to her." Muneo says picking up an axe, "Give her half a chance, she'll bury it in your face."

"I gave you my name." She tells him. 

"I'm Yuuichirou Amane, Warden of the North." Yuu tells her before pulling back and holding the point of his sword to her.

The girl heaves breaths as she looks between them, her people, and the weapons. "You ought to burn the ones you've killed."

"You need a big fire for that. Tell me, Yayoi, Why do you want us to build a big fire? Have some more friends in the area?" Muneo asks.

"Burn them." Yayoi implores. "Or maybe you'll need those swords again."

"Our boy here has already killed a dead man. He'll do it again if he has to. What lies beyond the pass?" Muneo asks.

"The Free Ones."

"How many?" Muneo asks.

"Hundreds and Thousands." Yayoi smiles, "More than you crows have ever seen."

"Why come to the mountains?" Muneo asks. "What's in the Frosty Fuck that your King could want?"

Yayoi meets Yuu's eyes.

"Do you mean to march on the Wall?" Muneo says before kneeling down next to her and caresses her face, "Do you know who I am, girl?"

"Muneo Halfland." Yayoi responds. 

"Tell me true, if your people captured me, would they take me prisoner?"

"They'd take your head off your shoulders if they were feeling kind." Yayoi says coldly. "If not, they'd kill you slow"

"Don't have enough food for her. Can't spare a man to watch you. Can't let you go, or you'll bring your King's army down on us. It has to be done. I'll do it." Muneo says drawing his sword.

"No." Yuu says quickly, "No, I'll do it."

Yuu and her stare at each other. 

"Come brothers, let's leave him to it." Muneo says after a moment of consideration, "We'll meet you at the top. Don't take too long. We're deep in their country now."

Yuu glances quickly as Muneo and the men walk away before turning back to her. Yuu holds the point of his sword to her. Not sure of what he's about to do. Could he kill this omega? This woman? No he has to. For the North. 

"You've never killed a woman before, or is it an omega?" Yayoi says with an amused ghost of a smile. "You don't need to do it. My King would take you. I know he would. There's secret ways. The crows would never catch-"

Yuu holds the blade closer to her neck. "I'm more of a crow than they are. Didn't you hear me before, I'm the Warden of the North."

Yayoi looks at him before turning herself around so her front is on the rock as she kneels. She accepts her fate and is ready to die as Yuu hold the sword right above her neck. 

"Will you burn me, after?" Yayoi asks.

"Can't. Someone might see the smoke." Yuu readies and takes aim. Is he ready to do this?

Yayoi frustrated pulls her hood to show her neck and hardens her stare, "Strike hard and true, Yuuichirou Amane, or I'll come back and haunt you." 

Yuu takes aim by holding the blade to her neck. 

"That's cold." Yayoi says. 

Yuu looks up to sky. Is he really going to do this? What if this was Yoichi or Shinoa? What if it was Mitsu?

"Go on. Be quick about it." Yayoi urges. "Do it, bastard. Do it."

Yuu's face grows angry and he growls as he raises his sword. If his father was alive, what would he say about killing an omega? 

At that thought, Yuu closes his eyes and brings his sword down to hear it clank. He opens his eyes to see he's hit the rock in front of Yayoi. She opens her eyes, shocked at still being alive. Turning to each other with wide eyes. She needs to escape and punches him in the knee to knock him off balance before running. Yuu gains his bearings and immediately moves to run after her. 

Yuu watches as she runs down the rocks and follows alongside her. Yuu slides down levels to chase after her. He sees her running toward an ice hill and sees a way to gain the advantage. He runs the other side on the higher level and slides down onto her level just as she runs past, tackling her. He holds his dagger to her throat, both pant. 

"You can't do it. We both know it." He turns her over to face him when he sees her smile, "The sun's going down, Yuuichirou Amane and your friends are nowhere close."

"I'll find them." Yuu tells her.

"Call for them. Go on, call loudly." Yayoi urges smugly. Yuu looks up at where they are before turning back to her smirk with the knife still at her throat.  


Yuu binds Yayoi's hands with a rope tying the rest around her to lead her like a dog on a leash. He reaches the top of the mountain, where they were supposed to meet before he realizes they've left him. He can't blame them. 

"Your brothers desert you? I can tell you which way to go." Yayoi says from behind him. He can already tell she's satisfied by this outcome. 

"We'll stop here. Too dark to go any further today." Yuu barely keeps the growl from his voice. 

"Here? There's no shelter here." Yayoi points out.

"There's no shelter anywhere." Yuu tells her.

"Oh, there is. If you know where to look." Yayoi says, rolling her eyes. "The cold could kill us both. If we light a fire-"

"No fire."

"But, a fire is the only-"

"No fire." Yuu says in his alpha voice, which causes the omega to stay silent while biting her tongue. 

"Have it your way." Yayoi concedes before Yuu turns her to lie on the ground while bound before moving away from her. 

"We'll stay warmer, if we stay close." Yayoi says, and Yuu rolls his eyes while cringing, "Bet you freeze to death before I do. Bet your life."

Yayoi turns away from him. She tries to sleep for a good five minutes before she hears the clank of the sword and feels a thick hand on her arm. She smirks, knowing she's won. 

"Think they're out looking for you?" She asks as Yuu spoons her. 

"Yes." Yuu says, gruffly.

"Think they'll find you?"

"Yes."

"You're brave. Stupid, but brave." Yayoi says.

"We start again at first light, get some sleep." Yuu commands before closing his eyes and trying to sleep. He won't lie, the fur does feel good when it comes to sleeping. He feels a certain type of comfort, he can't explain. Then the ass of the Wild One woman grinds into his cock. Maybe it was just an accident. But, then it happens again. And again. He opens his eyes, "Stop moving." 

"I'm just trying to get comfortable." Yayoi says, coyly as she continues to grind. 

"Stop it!" Yuu growls and the woman does before continuing again. "You're still moving."

"Was I? I didn't notice that time." Yayoi smirks to herself.

Yuu closes his eyes and tries to fall asleep again, not knowing about the smirking woman in his arms.


Quaithe

"I've been waiting here for an hour and a half." Mikaela says pacing around the sun-kissed stone room as Taxas eyes him. Mika has changed to brown leather slacks and riding boots with a leather skirt similar to the one he wore in the Dothraki. There is a light blue, short-sleeved dress top that covers him from the shoulders down with the blue overlapping the leather skirt. He has a golden chain collar and chest decoration, similar to the belt and shoulders on his blue dress from the celebration. He has one thin braid connecting to the back of his hair with one long one falling along with the rest of his loose hair.

"The Silk King is the second wealthiest man in Quaithe." Taxas says trying to calm him. "He makes everyone wait. Of course, you could have avoided this embarrassment if you married the wealthiest man in Quaithe."

"I already had a husband." Mika tries to deflect staring at the fountain, vases, and plants.

"Exactly, Had. Khal Makoto is gone, Khaleesi. You are far too young to be widow forever. And far too beautiful." Taxas smirks at his figure.

"And you are far too smart to think that I would succumb to flattery." Mika tells him. 

"I've traveled very far in my life. And met many omegas. None that are immune to flattery." Taxas tells him. 

"THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS!" The Silk King says coming down the stairs. He was the same man who was about to turn them away at the gates of Quaithe.

"Ah, here he comes." Taxas says.

Mika has a polite smile on his face as the man approaches them. 

"Forgive me, I had terrible dreams last night. Terrible dreams. I could not sleep until the Sun was shining and the birds are singing." The Silk King turns to him and moves down the steps, "Look what a beauty you are once the Yellow Waste has been washed off you. I am sorry about all that unpleasantness. The pale blonde-silver hair of a True Shindo. Taxas Tyrell Diserion, he is far too lovely for a glorified dock worker like yourself."

"Very true." Taxas says. "And they say your grandfather who created Silk and sold it off the back of a wagon married an omega far lovelier and higher born than himself."

Mika rolls his eyes subtly, smile still in place. 

"Every omega alive was lovelier and higher-born than my grandfather." The Silk King says and his party behind him laughs politely, as does Mika and Taxas. "Did my servants not offer you something to eat? To drink? I'll have them flogged in the square."

"There is no need for that, My Lord. I do thank you for being a gracious host. But, there are no servants alive who could bring me what I want." Mika says calmly.

The Silk King looks at Taxas, "Ah, he has a talent for drama, this one." Taxas raises his eyebrows in agreement. "So, my little princess, what is it you want?"

"My birthright. The Six Kingdoms of Westeria." Mika tells him.

"I fear I am no better than a servant in this regard, I cannot give you what I do not have." The Silk King says with shrug. 

"I am no asking you for the kingdoms, My Lord. I'm asking you for your help." Mika says.

"In what capacity?"

"Ships. I need to cross the Blood Sea." Mika says.

"I need my ships, as well. I use them, you see, to bring silk from one point to another." The Silk King gestures with every word as though Mika's a child.

"Whatever you grant me now, will be repaid three time over when I retake The Seraphin Throne." Mika tells him.

"Retake? Did you once sit on the Seraphin Throne?" The Silk King asks him, confused.

"My father sat there before he was murdered." Mika explains to him.

"But, if you did not sit in it yourself would it not be correct to say take instead of retake?" The Silk King asks him.

Mika looks at the man with a faint glimmer of agitation and incredulity, "I did not come here to argue grammar."  

"Of course not, you came to take my ships. So let me explain my position, little princess. Unlike, you I do not have exalted ancestors. I make my living by trade and I judge every trade on its merits. You ask for ships and you say I shall be repaid triple, I do not doubt your honesty or your intentions. But, before you repay your debts you must take the Six Kingdoms." The Silk King explains to him still on his steps. "Do you have an army?"

Mika blinks, "Not yet."

"You do not have an army. Well, do you have powerful allies in Westeria?" The Silk King asks him.

"There are many there that support my claim." Mika says.

"When were you there last?"

"I left when I was a baby." Mika says.

"So, in truth, you have no allies." The Silk King tells him.

"The common people will rise to fight for their rightful queen, when I return." Mika trying to keep his fury reigned in as he uses Lucal's words out of desperation to keep control of the situation. 

"Ah. Forgive me, little princess. But, I cannot make an investment based on wishes and dreams." The Silk King tells him before turning away. "Now if you'll pardon me."

"Did you know Lucal Wesker?" Mika asks.

"Yes, we've met. An unpleasant man." The Silk King says with a smile.

"He was. He sold me off as a child bride to an army. At my wedding, I was given three petrified dragon eggs from an admirer of my family. He believed-The world believed that the ages had turn them to stone. How many centuries had it been since dragons roamed the skies? I dreamed that if I carried those eggs into a great fire they would hatch. When I stepped into the fire, my own people believed I was mad with grief. But when the fire burnt out I was unharmed with three dragons clinging to my body. The Mother of Dragons." Mika tells him hopeful, desperate, and wide-eyed.

The Silk King smirks at him. 

Mika moves up the steps until he's right under him, "Do you understand? I'm no ordinary omega, my dreams come true."

The Silk King nods to him, "I admire your passion. But, in business I trust in logic, not passion. I am sorry, little princess."

Mika having enough of "the little princess" shouts at the man retreating up the stairs, "I am not your little princess! I am Mikaela Fireborn of House Shindo, of the Blood of Old Valyria! I will take what is mine! With Fire and Blood!"

"Yes, but not with my ships." The Silk King retorts.

Mika looks up at the retreating man in anger, shame, and disappointment. He can't expect to take the Seraphin Throne with no armies and allies, and definitely with no ships. The man was right about the practicality of his "dream." He would need to actually work for it and take it into his own hands like he did with his children. He would need to get them. He could not expect to rule with just his name and birthright, he should not. He needs to be a ruler who is worthy of ruling Westeria by his own merits as a ruler. 


"The Silk King refuses me because I am a bad investment. The Spice King won't support me because of his business with the Hiiragi's, why would he offend his best customer? And the Silver King offers me one single ship on the condition I lie with him for the night. Does he think I would whore myself for a boat?" Mika says sarcastically to Taxas as they walk back to his residence.

"When I came to this city, I had nothing. Truly nothing. I slept by the docks and when I could find work loading the ships, I would eat, if not I would dream of food. Today, I am the richest man in Quaithe. Do you think the path from poverty to wealth is always pure and honorable?" Taxas says as Mika considers this, "I have done many things, Khaleesi, that a righteous man would condemn and here I am with no regrets."

He opens the door for Mika who walks in to see a litter of dead servants crowding the floors of the yard. Their throats having been slit or stabbed in the heart. Mika's eyes immediately lead up. His children. 

He runs through the yard into the other gate hearing Taxas shout to bar the gates and ring the bells as Saisho follows him. Mika rushes through the gardens and sidewalks. 

"Slowly, Khaleesi!" Taxas shouts. 

Mika reaches the stone steps, quickly climbing them and seeing the dead bodies of some of his khalasar. 

"Makoton. Nikolarion. Rhaelia." Mika thinks in an attempt to hear them, but nothing comes through. 

He enters his room to see the open carrier and his heart drops. 

"Where are they?" Mika asks Taxas and Saisho. 

He looks down to see Jhaqiu on the ground next to the carrier. He runs to her trying to wake her and stir her. She doesn't respond. He tries to hear her heart or feel her breaths, but there's nothing there. She's dead. Saisho runs up as the grief overtakes him. His children are gone, and his friend and people have been killed. 

He looks at the empty carriers, "WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!? WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN?!?" Mika shouts out as Taxas comes in to see the distressed and enraged omega. 

"Mama! Mama! Mama!" He hears in his head. 

"Where are you, my dears?" Mika asks in his head, hoping to hear something. An answer. A clue.

"MAMA! HELP!" Mika hears as the pit in his stomach fills further with dread. His children have been taken from him, they're frightened, they need help, and he can't do anything. He turns to Taxas with a furious look on his face before the calls for him in his head stops.   

"Makoton. Rhaelia. Nikolarion." Mika tries to call them in his head, but it goes silent again. He feels even more helpless and hollow than ever.


A lone, hooded and white-cloaked figure slowly climbs up stone steps as high-pitched screeches are heard from the carrier on his back. He climbs up the steps to the House of the Everlasting. A large, tan, stone tower with spikes on each of the three levels and going around the tower with no doors and windows on the building.  

Chapter Text

Hamura

Mitsuba watches from the view of the Castle of Hamura as a man is hanged. His screams echo throughout the whole structure to where she can hear them. 

"Spider's Back." Lord Tetsuo says to Ser Saito while examining the dart, drawing Mitsu's attention back to their conversation. "A rare substance. This is no common assassin."

"We hanged thirty men last night." The Mountain tells him in a deep voice.

"I don't care if you hanged a hundred. A man tried to kill me. I want his name and I want his head." Lord Tetsuo says to Saito with a tone of strict finality.

Mitsu moves to set the table and listens in. 

"We think it was an infiltrator from the Brotherhood with No Banners." Ser Saito says. 

"A pretentious name for a band of outlaws. We can't allow rebels behind our lines to harass us with impunity. We look like fools and they look like heroes. That's how kings fall. I want them dead, every one." Lord Tetsuo says moving to stand in front of the man. 

"Killing them isn't the problem. It's finding them." The Mountain responds. 

"Have you gone soft Saito? I always thought you had a talent for violence." Lord Tetsuo tells him as Mitsu moves to collect the knives and Ser Saito's expression tenses. "Burn the villages and the farms. Let them know what it means to choose the wrong side." 

Ser Saito nods and exits the room as Lord Tetsuo turns to see Mitsu serving a familiar meat. 

"Is that mutton?" He asks her. 

"Yes, My Lord." Mitsu responds.

"Don't like mutton." Lord Tetsuo says.

"I'll bring something else." Mitsu moves to clear the table.

"Leave it." Lord Tetsuo says, "Are you hungry?"

"No." She says, a little too quickly.

"Of course you are. Eat." Lord Tetsuo moves toward her.

"I'll eat in the kitchen later." Mitsu says, concealing her nervousness.

"It's bad manners to refuse a Lord's offer." Lord Tetsuo says. "Sit. Eat."

Mitsu sits as he hands her a fork and begins to eat hurriedly.

"You're small for your age. I suppose you've been underfed your whole life." Lord Tetsuo observes.

"I eat a lot. I just don't grow." Mitsu tells him with her mouth stuffed before taking a sip of wine. 

Lord Tetsuo turns to look out the window. 

"This will be my last war. Win or lose."

Mitsu stops eating, "Have you ever lost before?" 

The man turns to look at her. She's surprised at herself too. When did she start to find comfort and ease in someone who is a part of the family who killed hers? This isn't what she should be feeling, but the man is a good conversationalist. She knows she shouldn't and it's terrible of her to do so, but she can't help to say this is the least stressed she's been since her last fight with Sakura, ending with her escaping. 

"Do you think I'd be in my position if I had lost a war?" Lord Tetsuo says.

Mitsu shakes her head. 

"But, this is the one we'll be remembered for. The War of the Hiiragi's. My legacy will be determined in the coming months." Lord Tetsuo says. 

Mitsu looks at the man, realizing he won't let his guard down and neither should she. 

"Do you know what legacy means? It's what you pass down to your future children. It's what remains of you when you're gone. Hamuran the Black thought this castle would be his legacy. The greatest fortress ever built." Lord Tetsuo moves to the fireplace, "The tallest towers and the strongest walls. The Great Hall had thirty-five hearths. Thirty-five. Can you imagine? Look at it now. A blasted ruin. Do you know what happened?"

Mitsu perks up, "Dragons."

"Yes. Dragons happened." Lord Tetsuo says, moving to sit across from her. His face is stony, cold, and calculating as always. He moves to pour himself a cup of wine. "Hamura was built to withstand an attack from the sea. A million men could have sailed to these walls, and a million men would have drowned. But an attack from the air with dragon fire, there was nothing that could stop that. Hamuran and all his sons roasted alive within these walls. Aeleriov the Conqueror changed the rules. That's why every child alive still knows his name. He's the alpha to beat all alphas."

"Aeleriov and his omegan sisters and brother." Mitsu corrects.

"Mmm?" Lord Tetsuo asks as he takes a sip. 

"Aeleriov wasn't the only one riding his dragon. Tatania, Alaena, and Danerion were too." Mitsu corrects.

"Correct. A student of history, are you?" Lord Tetsuo muses. 

"Tatania rode Alarion. Alaena rode Tatarion. And Danerion rode Phaexes." Mitsu tells him, her interest in the conversation growing while still trying to keep her guard up. 

"They're heroines and heroes of yours, I take?" Lord Tetsuo smirks at her. 

Mitsu nods. 

"Aren't most girls more interested in the pretty omegas from the songs?" Lord Tetsuo asks. 

"Most girls are idiots." Mitsu says. Except Shinoa, she may have been more of a lady, but she was always smart to know how to act and conduct herself. Not like Mitsu, who was always brash and aggressive. Most alphas are.  

Lord Tetsuo barks out a laugh at that, "You remind me of my niece. Where did you learn all of this stuff about the Shindo Trifecta of Omegas?"

"My father." Mitsu says remembering all of their history lessons with the Maester. Yuu always remaining as stupid coming out as he did coming in. Her and Shinoa talking with each other. One-upping Yoichi. Kimizuki, left a sour taste inside of her mouth now, but she remembered how he would always antagonize Yuu and talk with Yoichi the same way she did with Shinoa.

"He was a well-read stonemason. Can't say I've ever met a literate stonemason." Lord Tetsuo asks her as he moves to take another sip. 

"Have you met many stonemasons, My Lord?" Mitsu says without control.

Lord Tetsuo stops and puts his cup down, "Careful now, girl. I enjoy you, but be careful. Take that back to the kitchen. Eat what you want." 

Mitsu relieved, rises and begins to clear the table, turning away from the man.

"And girl." Lord Tetsuo says, halting Mitsu in her tracks, "M'lord."

Mitsu gives him a confused look. 

"Lowborn girls say "m'lord," not "my lord." If you're going to pose as a commoner, you should do it properly." Lord Tetsuo says. 

Mitsu's eyes widen slightly before turning back to the man with the sliver of a defiant smirk, "My mother served Lady Harajun for many years, my lord. She taught me how to speak proper...Properly."

Lord Tetsuo looks at her with an assessing and amused glare, "You're too smart for your own good. Has anyone told you that?"

"Yes." Mitsu says.

The Lord looks at her one more time, "Go on."

Mitsu releases her held breath and walks away. Lord Tetsuo watches before beginning to ponder while sipping his wine.  


Sannomiya

Seishirou walks through the gates of the cage with ten guards in tow as Kureto covered in mud and ripped clothes looks up with a glare. 

"What do you want?" Kureto asks, curious and hostile. 

"You." Seishirou says. 

"Brother, I am flattered. However, my tastes are more inclined to omegas rather than alphas." Kureto tells him. 

"I know. My bedroom was close to yours. I'll be returning to bigger chambers this time." Seishirou says. 

Kureto looks up in realization, "So you're finally making a move on the Capital? What are you here for? To finally put me down like a bitch?"

"How could I possibly do that? You are my hostage. The only person our sister would do anything to have back by her side. You are my most powerful play in this game." Seishirou says. 

"Get to the fucking point." Kureto growls. 

"You are coming with us. We need our leverage. If Mahiru tries to give us a surprise, that's when you'll die as our bitch. We're here to get you." Seishirou tells him and gives the order to the guards as all surround a chained Kureto. One moves to unchain him and bring him up. Kureto butts his head as the rest grab him and he's punched twice. He spits out blood before looking up to Seishirou.

"Had to try." Kureto said. 

"I know you did. Why do you think I have this many with me? We sail in six days. Shibuya is a week's journey from here. Enjoy your new post. At least, it's not covered in shit. For now." Seishirou says as the men drag his brother out to be chained onto a ship post. 

Kureto smirks to himself as he's dragged away. He realizes he's going back to Shibuya. This is his chance to finally escape, he just has to wait for the right opportunity to strike. His brother thinks he has him contained. But, Kureto's beta will trump Seishirou's alpha.  


Shibuya

Shinoa moves through the castle with a purpose, determined to find what she's looking for. Donning a lilac and pink dress, she roams the halls until she sees a familiar head of blonde hair, tied-up in a ponytail. She moves toward the armor-clad, Aoi Sanguu and stops right behind her. 

"Pardon, My Lady." Shinoa says. 

Aoi looks behind her at the familiar voice, she raises an eyebrow. Telling Shinoa to get on with it. 

"I should have come to you after to thank you for saving me. You were so brave. Forgive me for that." Shinoa gets out with a pink blush. 

"Brave? A dog doesn't need courage to chase off rats." Aoi tells her, gruffly. 

Shinoa's face contorts into something akin to wonder, "Does it give you joy to scare people?"

"No, it gives me joy to kill people." Aoi smirks. 

Shinoa lets out a chuckle at that. 

"You can't tell me Guren never killed a man." Aoi says. 

"It was his duty. He never liked it." Shinoa responds. 

"Is that what he told you? He lied. Killing is the sweetest thing there is." Aoi informs her. 

"You're very hateful." Shinoa observes. 

"You'll be glad of the hateful things I do someday. When you're a lady and I'm all that stands between you and your beloved husband." Aoi tells her. 

Shinoa's face tenses and turns into a glare before walking away. Aoi's eyes following the retreating girl. 


Shinoa twists and turns in her bed feeling a heat coming onto her body. A burning and passionate sensation overwhelms her whole body as she sweats in her bed. Her bones felt like glass, something that could shatter in the slightest instant. Her eyes stay shut as the heat rises around her and her lavender scent grows stronger. She whimpers and cries in her sleep. 


Shinoa sees the man on top of her from the riot. The one who tried to take her without her consent. She tried to fight him off as she did before, but the man rips her dress and holds her down. She's stuck in this position, she never wanted to ever be stuck in. Her legs get exposed as more of her dress is ripped before the man pulls out his knife and brings it down. She closes her eyes. Everything goes black. 

Shinoa prepares herself for the pain, blood, and yelling, but it never comes. She opens her eyes to find herself back in her chambers at Nagoya. She springs up to look around and sees everything is just as it was. Her hopes have been restored. Her prayers have been answered. It was all a dream, they were all still together. Mitsu, Guren, Yuu, Yoichi, and Kimizuki. 

She hears a knock at her door. 

"Come in!" She shouts. 

Mitsuba walks in with her ragged dress and tied-up long blonde hair. 

"Mitsu." Shinoa says. 

"Shinoa." Mitsu says back, moving slyly towards her. Almost seductive. Mitsu crawls onto her bed, onto her. She moves over Shinoa letting her lay on the bed as she moves between her legs. 

"Mitsu?" Shinoa smiles nervously. 

Mitsu doesn't respond, instead choosing to nose Shinoa's neck. Before meeting her eyes and connecting her lips to Shinoa's timidly. Mitsu looks at her for assurance before Shinoa moves up to meet her lips in a passionate embrace. She feels herself let go and grow hotter as she did before. But, this felt better. Warmer with more love. Shinoa could feel her heat coming on as she could feel Mitsu's length rutting against her. 

Mitsu bit Shinoa's lip causing her to open it, allowing her tongue to enter. Shinoa's hand moved to the back of her head as Mitsu's moved to the side of her cheek.  

Shinoa's met Mitsuba's tongue as they continued to kiss each other. Mitsu pulled away before slowly moving down Shinoa's body wearing a nightgown now. She laid little kisses on her and nipped other areas. She moved lower and pulled up Shinoa's nightgown before shooting her a smirk. Mitsuba dived right into her wet, slick-covered warmth.  


Shinoa's eyes open widely as she looks around in fear and feels a burning on her skin. She can't move much, but she can smell her lavender scent stronger than ever. It's definitely gone past the parameters of her room. It's a wonder no guards have lost control. But, they've always positioned betas, in case her heat started. She knew it had to be only that. Shinya had gone through his a week before her, and she had spent it with him. 

It was her heat, it had finally come for her. The dread she should be feeling at what will happen because of this can't outweigh her insatiable need to be filled and satisfied. She can't think at all about anything else, but being satisfied. Her head fills with thoughts about Mitsu. Confusion, lust, longing, maybe even love coming in her mind for the alpha girl. She needs Shinya with her. He can help her as she helped in. 

"G-Guard! Guard!" Shinoa shrieks as loud as she can, "HEAT! I'M...I'M IN MY HEAT! GET L-LORD S-SH-SHINYA!"

She can barely hear the sounds of running footsteps as she lies in her bed as the fire inside her takes over. Shinya will be here, but for now, she has to do something. 

She looks down at her wet, slicking pussy. She trails her fingers around her nipples, pinching them and feeling the sensitive nubs. She trails them down lower until she reaches her vulva. She feels the seam of the lips before slipping the finger past it. She moves it around in circles, moaning as she does it. She pushed in all the way to her first knuckle. She began to feel hazy, seeing familiar blonde hair in front of her. Thinking of her doing this, moving inside of her. 

"M-Mitsu..." Shinoa says, pumping her finger in and out. She moves to her clit, running her hand around it. Her groans grow more intense and louder as she feels around it, "Mitsu..."   


Shinya walks around the grounds before he stops at an amplified scent. A familiar lavender scent, he could recognize anywhere. But, he was far from Shinoa, how could he possibly smell her? Unless...

"My Lord!" A guard called.

Shinya turned to see a pink-cheeked guard running to him, "Its Lady Shinoa! She's gone into her heat!"

Shinya's eyes widen moving past the guard to rush to Shinoa's room. He has to help her through her first. She has never done this before. Besides, she was his sister and he loved her. She spent her whole time with him during his heat, he has to do the same. 

Shinya reaches the room and smells her scent at its strongest. He releases a soothing scent throughout the castle, calming down the agitated alphas around and removing the scent before going in. 

Shinya opened the door and walked in to see Shinoa fingering herself as he did. She looks up and her eyes desperately meet his. 

"Good. You're doing great." Shinya kneels by her bedside, releasing his calming vanilla and cream scent. "Continue, don't mind me."

Shinoa continues to rub her clit moaning Mitsuba's name. Shinya takes note of that with a hidden smirk. Shinoa gasps out loud and arches her back as she climaxes.

"Good omega. You're so beautiful, perfect, and intelligent." Shinya coos at her. Shinoa preens at the praise and hates it. She calms down, enough to know her heat will last for around three days, so that feeling will come back. But, she's satisfied enough, for now. 

"Does this mean-" Shinoa starts, heaving breaths. 

"Yes. But, you have a week to cope with it, and I'll help you. Mahiru will know, your scent was all over the Royal Keep and she knows it. I don't know what she wants. But, I won't let them hurt you again." Shinya tells her.

Shinoa nods before Shinya moves to order the guard to get them some water before placing himself on his bed next to her and holding her sweaty, warm hand. He shoots her a reassuring smile. Shinoa smiles back weakly before they both get ready for the next two days and four day recovery to commence. At least, it will give her a chance to relax and not think about Takashi or Mahiru.  


Shinoa walks in a silken, light-blue gown with her hair tied-up to the chambers of Mahiru. She's led by a beta guard to the Queen's chambers. Mahiru opens the door with a fake smile on her face. 

"Little dove, come in." Mahiru says in her golden cloaked sleeves and red gown. 

Shinoa walks in, slightly unsteady after spending a week in her room. 

Mahiru and Shinoa walk side-by side. Shinya had done his best to prepare her for anything before she was taken to her, so she was ready and anxious at the same time. 

"There was no mother to prepare you, my dear. However, you've only flowered. No more." Mahiru tells her.

"My Septa taught me as much as she could and the Maester at Nagoya." Shinoa responds.

"Wait until you birth a child." Mahiru says, gesturing for the girl to sit. "You're a full omega now. Do you know what that means?"  

"I'm fit to bear children and marry?" Shinoa says, sounding more like a question than an answer.

"A prospect that should delight you, bringing little princes and princesses into the world, the greatest honor for a queen." Mahiru says, applying the situation to what her father told her about her purpose.

Shinoa nods, momentarily confused before realizing what Mahiru is really saying.

"Takashi has always been difficult. Even his birth, I labored a day and a half to bring him into this world. You cannot imagine the pain. I screamed so loudly, I was sure Goshi would hear me in the Kings Forest." Mahiru tells her. 

"Lord Goshi was not with you?"

"Goshi was hunting. That was his custom. Whenever my time was near, my lord husband would flee to the trees with his huntsmen and his hounds. And when he returned, he would present me with some pelts or a stag's head, and I would present him with a baby. Not that I wanted him there, mind you. I had Grand Maester Sycelle, an army of midwives, and I had my brother. When they told Kureto he wasn't allowed in the birthing room, he smiled and asked which one of them proposed to keep him out. Your husband may never show you such devotion." Mahiru says, wrapping herself in her shawl at the thought of her lost brother. 

Shinoa looks down at her hands in her lap.

"You may never love him, but you will love his children." Mahiru tells her.

"I will love my husband with all my heart." Shinoa vows. 

"That's so very touching to hear. Permit me to share some omegan wisdom with you on this very special day." Mahiru says sitting down across from Shinoa who nods, "The more people you love, the weaker you are. You'll do things for them that you know you shouldn't do. You'll act the fool to make them happy, to keep them safe. Love no one but your children. On that front, a mother has no choice." 

"But, shouldn't I love my husband, Your Grace?" Shinoa questions. 

"You can try, little dove." Mahiru tells her before Shinoa's gaze returns to her clasped hands in her lap.  


Mahiru lights some candles as Shinya sits in her chair reading a scroll. He knows what Mahiru told Shinoa from what she told him, eyeing her warily as he finishes. 

"Since when do you light your own candles?" Shinya asks. 

"Since I decided that I can't stand to look at any of my handmaidens for another instant." Mahiru spits back, blowing out the fire on the stick and turning back to him. "How many times can you read one raven scroll?" 

"Seishirou's fleet has been spotted sailing north past Osaka Bay with two hundred ships." Shinya tells her.

"More than we have." Mahiru states. 

"Yes. That's more than we have." Shinya says, curtly. "He'll be at our gates within six days, five if he has the wind."

"We have strong, high walls. We'll rain fire down on them from above." Mahiru says.

""Rain fire on them from above." You're quoting Father, aren't you?" Shinya asks. 

"Why not? He had a good mind for strategy, doesn't he?" Mahiru asks, moving to get a goblet of wine. 

"Call it tactics, not strategy. But, yes, he does have a good mind for it. The best mind, some would say. The only one who could rival him was his brother. Sadly, neither are here. It's just you, me and Takashi, the Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm." Shinya says his titles with malice. 

"I'm sure you'll make a point eventually." Mahiru says turns back to him with an eye-roll. 

"He needs to start acting like a King. This war is coming to our doorstep. And if the entire city wants Takashi dead-" Shinya starts. 

"I'm not the one giving the boy whores to abuse." Mahiru seethes.  

"I thought it would help him."

"Did you?" Mahiru raises an eyebrow. 

"I was wrong. If we can't control him-"

"Do you think I haven't tried? He doesn't listen to me." Mahiru tells him with a slight note of sadness. 

"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on its head." Shinya tells her. 

"I always hoped he'd be like Kureto. He looks like him. In a certain light." Mahiru says deflated, in a way Shinya hasn't seen her. 

"The boy is more Goshi than Kureto. I can't tell which would be worse." Shinya says. 

"Goshi was a drunken fool, but he didn't enjoy cruelty." Mahiru huffs before growing more serious, "Sometimes I wonder. What? If this is the price for what we've done, for our sins."

"Sins? The Shindo's-" Shinya starts. 

"Wed brother and sister for hundreds of years, I know. That's what Kureto and I would say to each other in our moments of doubt. It's what I told Guren Ichinose when he was stupid enough to confront me." Mahiru said, eyes starting to water, "Not even, all of them were mad, only once in every five generations. Our odds seem far worse than that."

"You haven't lost yet. Tyuri is a good, decent child." Shinya says, moving to approach her before stopping halfway to her. 

Mahiru looks at Shinya as he finally notices the tears in her eyes before she begins to cry. Tears begin to roll down her face. In sadness, pain, loneliness, and fear all coursing through her. Shinya moves closer as she looks up at him with a glare. Their eyes meet before they each turn away from each other. Shinya from the awkwardness and Mahiru from her embarrassment. 


Beyond the Wall

Yayoi wakes up to the feeling of a large, familiar appendage pressing into her ass and strong arms tightening around her from Yuu. She smirks as she rouses. Yuu wakes up shortly after and realizes his state. 

"Did you pull a knife on me in the night?" Yayoi teases. 

Yuu growls and rolls away from her embarrassed. She turns to see his dazed face. Yuu gets up, and straightens his clothes and armor. 

"What's the matter? Can't be the first time you pressed your bone against an omega's ass." Yayoi mocks him.

"Let's move." Yuu says before pulling her up and checking her bindings to make sure the knot is tight. Yayoi's face lights up in realization when he won't meet her eyes. She sees the faint pink staining his cheeks. 

"It is your first time. How old are you, boy?" Yayoi asks. 

"I'm a man of the North." Yuu tells her. 

"You're a boy, who's never been with an omega. A boy who hasn't had his cherry popped. A cherry-boy. Don't your stones start to hurt if your bone never gets-" Yayoi muses. 

"Don't call them that." Yuu tells her, agitated. 

"What, stones? Or bone?" Yayoi asks. 

"Neither. Both." Yuu says picking up the sword and rope. "Move!"

Yayoi begins to follow after Yuu who leads her out of their dark, rocky shelter into the snowy mountains. 

"I heard they get all swollen and bruised if you don't use them. Of course, maybe that's just what the betas say when they want me feeling sorry for them. As if I'd feel sorry for them. Are there no crows to fuck?" Yayoi questions. 

"There are no omegas. There are no women." Yuu says. 

"So you lot just fuck each other?" Yayoi asks. 

"No."

"Never?" Yayoi asks. "What about your father? If he was Warden, how did you get here?"

"He had me before he became Warden." Yuu explains hostilely. 

"What about after?"

"After?" Yuu asks.

"You're Warden now. Did he do it while he was?" Yayoi asked.

"I don't know. Maybe. I never saw him." Yuu says, hiding Shinya from her. She was a Wild One, he didn't trust her. "We swore an oath."

"You have sheep at the Wall?" She asks and by Yuu's look takes it as a no, "With your hands, then? No wonder you're all so miserable."

Yuu pulls at her bound hands, turning her to face him and his annoyed expression. "Would you please shut up?"

"Would you please shut up? You think you're better than me, crow. I'm a free woman." Yayoi tells him.

"You're a free woman?" Yuu holds up the rope. 

"I might be your prisoner, but I'm a free woman." Yayoi says heatedly. 

"If you're my prisoner, you're not a free woman. That's what "prisoner" means." Yuu tells her, just as strongly. 

"And you think you're free? You swore some stupid oath and now you can never touch a person." Yayoi tells him, getting in his face.  

"It was my choice to say the words." Yuu tells her. 

"So you don't like omegas?" Yayoi questions. 

"Of course I like omegas."

"But, you chose to never touch them." Yayoi says. 

"That's the price to pay if you want to be the Warden of the North." Yuu says. 

"So instead of getting naked with an omega, you'd prefer to invade our lands-"

"Invade your lands? Wild Ones raid our lands all the time. Some of them tried to kill my little brother, a crippled boy!" Yuu snarls at her. 

"They're not your lands! We've been here the whole time. You lot came along and just put up a big wall and said it was yours." Yayoi insists. 

"My father was Guren Ichinose. I have the blood of the First Men. My ancestors lived here, same as yours." Yuu tells her, furiously.

"So why are you fighting us?" Yayoi asks him before turning away to continue down the slope of the mountain. Yuu watches her before following. 


Yayoi and Yuu continue their trek on the mountaintops, their boots sloshing though the snow as they walk. Yuu glances back at Yayoi from time-to-time to make sure she's still there. They walk in silence before Yayoi still annoyed by their previous conversation breaks it. 

"You think we're savages because we don't live in stone castles. We can't make steel as good as yours, it's true, but we're free. If someone tried to tell us we couldn't fuck each other, we'd shove a spear up his ass. We don't go serving some shit King who's only King because his father was." Yayoi says. 

"No, you only serve the King Beyond the Wall." Yuu tells her.

"We chose our King to lead us. He was a crow, same as you, but he wanted to be free. You could be free, too. You don't need to live your whole life confined to the Wall and their rules. Wake up when you want to wake up. I could show you the streams to fish, the woods to hunt. Build yourself a cabin and find an omega to lie with in the night." Yayoi stops to tell him. She says it with such pride and conviction Yuu gets taken in by it, until she moves closer to him, "You're a handsome man. A top alpha. The omegas would claw each other's eyes out to get naked with you."

Yuu's face hardens, "Walk."

"I could teach you how to do it." She tells him, smirking.

"I know how to do it." Yuu huffs angrily. 

Yayoi chuckles before moving closer, "You know nothing, Yuuichirou Amane."

Yayoi walks past him and Yuu follows after her. 


Yayoi and Yuu walk through a pass in the desolate, snowy, land. 

"How long till we get back to your crows?" Yayoi asks to Yuu behind her. 

"We're close." Yuu responds. 

"What, a day? A half-day? You don't know, do you? Do you even know where they are?" Yayoi inquires.

"We're close." Yuu insists. He's lost and he knows it, but there's no way he was letting her know that.  

"What do you think they'll say when they hear about you and me?" 

"Nothing happened between you and me." Yuu says. 

Yayoi turns back to face him and puts on her mocking voice, "I swear it, Old Master King Crow, we were only close together for warmth. And then I felt it, right up against my ass like a club. I can show you the bruise on my tailbone. And before I knew what was where, his-his, well, it was all out in the open, all angry as you like. And I didn't want to want it, but OH, I did! And he spread my legs and ruined me. The shame of it. Now, I can never marry a perfumed lord. What will my poor savage father say?"

Yuu can't hide the small smile he gives in amusement at her tirade as she keeps on going before schooling it into a more neutral expression. Noticing where they are now, and now realizing Yayoi's the one who's been leading. Yuu turns back to her, "Turn around."

"And I thought that we were done, but he said, ''Turn back around.'" I'll tell you what, Yuuichirou Amane. Since, it's going to be your word against mine, and since you can't talk about it without blushing, we may as well just..." Yayoi teases with a smirk, stopping when Yuu does.

"What, right here in the muck?" Yuu raises an eyebrow. 

"Aw, I'll keep you warm enough." Yayoi says, tugging on the rope, jokingly. Yuu tugs it back roughly. Yayoi's face turns to shock before one of boredom. "Are you that afraid of it?"

"That's enough." Yuu warns her. 

"It's nice and wet and warm." Yayoi's voice drops a few notches to sound more seductive as she moves closer to Yuu. 

"Enough!" Yuu tells her, weakly.

"It doesn't have teeth." Yayoi says body pressed almost against his. Yuu stares into violet eyes, hypnotized with her cinnamon scent before regaining his composure. His hand goes to his sword's wolf hilt.

"Alright." Yayoi says, stepping back from Yuu with her hands up. "You're so dull."

Yuu keeps her eyes, not noticing Yayoi snaring the rope around her leg. She pulls the rope and Yuu falls to the ground as she runs away. Yuu grunts as the rope trails behind her running body. Yuu gets up and chases after her. 

Yayoi jumps over a slope and disappears over it as Yuu catches up to where he last saw her and finds her bindings cut. He hears a whistle from above. He looks up to see Yayoi and two other Wild Ones on the ridge above him. Yayoi smiles smugly down at him. Yuu looks up and around to see that Wild One's surround the pass that he is in. More than he could fight. Yuu looks back to Yayoi. 

"Should have took me when you had the chance." Yayoi simpers down at Yuu's alarmed face. Yuu turns back to see that more have risen from hiding, all of their eyes trained on him. 


Shinjuku - Khales Dothrak

Guren dismounts his newly bought horse before he heads to the gates of Khales Dothrak. He walks up a mountain, until he reaches the middle of the height. He takes off his sword from around his body. Guren is not an expert of the Dothraki customs by any means. He knows the basic amount of their culture and language, so he knows their sacred city is a place where no weapons are allowed on anyone except the guards. He looks at the sword one last time before hiding it in a bush. 

He makes his way down the mountains and mounts his horse before riding up to the gates. The guards eye him. 

"Why have you come?" The guard asks him. 

"I am part of a khalasar." Guren tells them.

"Who's?" The other guard asks.

Guren hesitates. He would have use Makoto's name, but he did not know if he was still alive as Mika is wandering the Yellow Waste. Makoto would have taken him back here, he would never leave his pregnant omega, even if he hated Mika. Let alone one with dragons. He remembered hearing the name of one in a tavern on the way here and decides to go with that, "Khal Eito."

The guards look at each other as Guren maintains his lie as truth, ready to kill these alphas with his bare hands if necessary. They look back to him before nodding. Guren releases his breath as he moves past the guards, through the gates, and into the city.


Guren rides through the city, noticing a large amount of people surrounding an area and shouting. He dismounts and ties his horse to a post as he moves towards the commotion. He doesn't notice the small pair of brown eyes watching his movements. 

He pushes his way to the front of the crowd to see them cheering at a man bound to a horse at each of his limbs with a fearful expression on his face. He knows where this is going. This is the Dothraki form of a public execution. A bloodrider stands above the man and the crowd grows louder. That's when his ears catch something interesting from the women conversing in front of him. 

"Bakugou should have known better." A woman says to the other. 

The other hums in agreement, "He wanted our husbands to follow an omega. He should have brought him back to be with the widows when Makoto died. He knew what would happen."

"They would never enter The Yellow Waste for an omega. It's probably better the boy perish out there than being brought back to face the same fate. They would have killed him either way." Another woman pipes up. 

Guren listens attentively as they talk about Mika. 

"Now the boy's corpse is in the Yellow Waste. His followers have to be dead too." The woman says. 

"They said he had dragons." The woman laughs, "There are no more dragons and there never will be. Even if it was true, by now, the boy is dead with them."

Guren slumps a bit in defeat. If nobody had gone to save Mika, he would surely be dead by now in the Yellow Waste. He thought the Dothraki would at least go back to make him a Dothraki widow. Especially, one from their Great Khal. He hoped Mika would be the exception. Guren moves to exit the crowd. He doesn't notice the brown eyes that stared behind him as he eavesdropped on the women's conversations. 

The rider gives the order and begins to pull Bakugou's limbs from his body. They rip off as his screams are heard throughout the city. Blood splatters as each leg and arm is ripped out. The bloody limbs drop to the ground pouring the fluid from the body, as well. Bakugou breathes heavily as he looks up to see the bloodrider's face before he is beheaded. The head is held up to the cheering crowd as Guren gets out from it and back to his horse.

"Lord Guren."

Guren turns to see a little brown-eyed boy. "What do you want?"

"I am one of Lady Yukimi's little birds." He tells him. Guren's eyes widen. How the fuck did this woman always know what was going on with any person in any place at any time possible? "Follow me."

The boy moves as Guren looks at his horse before moving to follow the boy. 


Guren watches as the boy looks him up and down as they stand in a dark, empty alley. 

"You're the one that accosted me. You should fucking know who I am." Guren growls.

The boy glares at him before starting to speak, "Lady Yukimi wanted you to know the Mother of Dragons lives. He's in Quaithe as we speak."

"How the fuck did she know I was searching for the Mother of Dragons?" Guren raised an annoyed eyebrow. 

"Lady Yukimi has birds everywhere. One in the tavern where you first heard of him and a beggar in the streets who saw you enter Lucal Wesker's residence. She also realized it was the most obvious course of action for you, knowing you would not stay inactive for long." The boy told him. 

Guren's eye twitched. Was he that fucking obvious? Clearly he was, otherwise, he'd be in Westeria still. 

The boy smirked smugly before nodding to him and walking away. Guren watches the little boy move away, reminding him of Yuu. 


Guren unties his horse and mounts it. He rides out of the gates of the city. The guards more than eager to let him out. 

Mikaela had survived against all odds and was now in Quaithe. The omega continues to impress him and he hasn't even met him, yet. The flicker of hope inside of him reignites. The omega had done the impossible and survived The Yellow Waste. He'd never heard of anyone who entered it, get out of it. Mikaela was full of surprises. It made him anticipate meeting him even more. He let the possibility of the omega killing him on the spot escape him as he rode to the mountain and retrieved his sword from the bush.

After mounting it back, he begins the ride to Qohorian, the nearest trading post with a dock to pay for passage to Quaithe. 


Quaithe

Mikaela rushes up the stairs, anxious and in the same outfit from his conversations with the Kings of Quaithe. He hadn't slept well the whole night. He twisted and turned until he fell asleep, and got up after an hour he did. His children were taken from him and he was getting frustrated at the loss of his dragons. Taxas follows after him to try to calm him down. 

"I've demanded a meeting of the Sixteen. One of them did this or knows who did." Taxas says to him. 

"You are one of the Sixteen." Mika responds. 

"If I wanted your dragons, I would have taken them. They mean nothing to me on their own." Taxas tells him causing Mika to stop. 

"Nothing?" Mika turns back to him, with a disbelieving look on his face, "They're more valuable than anything in the world."

"Shall we look inside my vault and see what selling your dragons would buy me I cannot buy already? We will get them back." Taxas tells him. 

"There is no we, so why would you help me get them back?" Mika asks him. 

"I took you under my protection in front of the rulers of my city. A man is what others say he is and no more. If they say that Taxas Tyrell Diserion is a liar, my word is worth nothing. I cannot let this thing happen to you under my roof." Taxas tells him. 

Mika raises an eyebrow, "But, it did happen under your roof."

"Khaleesi, many times in my life, I have been-" Taxas starts. 

"Forgive me, Taxas. But, I cannot hear about where you've been right now." Mika says turning back to go back up the stairs as Saisho blocks Taxas from following after him. 


Mika paces around his room, trying to formulate a plan on what to do. He finds his eyes continuously drawn back to the empty dragon carriers. Ser Lacus enters his room and Mika turns to him. 

"You came back." Mika says, relieved to see the beta return. 

"As soon as I heard. Do you know anything?" Ser Lacus asks him. 

Mika says, "Jhaqiu is dead."

"I know." Ser Lacus' eyes downcast. 

"She's dead. She died alone. She died for me and I couldn't protect her." Mika tells him, the guilt coming out as his eyes water a bit. 

"Dyara?" Ser Lacus asks. 

"We can't find her. She must be dead, too. I led my people out of the Yellow Waste and into the slaughterhouse." Mika says walking to the window to look out. He rubs his eyes. 

"I should have been here." Ser Lacus says, feeling guilty at leaving Mika alone. 

"You went to find a ship at my command." Mika defends, trying to comfort the beta.

"My place is by your side. I shouldn't have left you alone with these people." Ser Lacus says. 

""These people"?" Mika looks at him confused. 

"They are not to be trusted." Ser Lacus says. 

"And who is to be trusted?" The omega turns to look at the man, "Who are my people? The Shindo's? I knew none. Lucal? He would have let a thousand men rape me if it had got him the crown. The Dothraki? Most of them turned on me the day that Makoto fell from his horse."

"Your people are in Westeria." Ser Lacus insists. 

"The people in Westeria don't know I'm alive." Mika argues.

"They will soon enough." Ser Lacus says. 

"And then what? They'll pray for my return? They'll wave dragon banners and shout my name? That's what Lucal believed and he was a fool." Mika tells him before beginning to pace again. 

Ser Lacus' look turns knowing, "You are not Lucal. Trust me, Khaleesi."

Mika moves to cross his arms, rubbing his forearms in frustration, "There it is. "Trust me." And it's you I should trust, Ser Lacus? Only you? I don't need trust any longer. I don't want it and I don't have room for it. It's caused me too much pain."

"You are too young to be cynical, Khaleesi. No one can survive in this world without help. No one. Let me help you, please. Tell me how." Ser Lacus implores him. 

Mika turns back to him and looks up into his eyes with desperation, "Find my dragons, Ser Lacus. Please."

Ser Lacus looks down into the boy's baggy eyes and nods. Mika looks at him gratefully as he leaves.  


Ser Lacus walks up to a familiar woman painting tattoos on a man with blood from a boar's head. 

"Ser Lacus." The masked woman from the party says. 

"You never told me who you are." Ser Lacus tells her. 

The woman in the golden-hexagon mask turns to face him, "I did. I am no one."

"What do people call you?" Ser Lacus says with an eye roll. 

"Quarth." The woman says before turning back to her task, "This man must sail past old Valyria. All who travel too close to the doom must have protection."

"I didn't come here for lessons." Ser Lacus' armor clinks as he moves closer.

"No, you came for the dragons." Quarth says knowingly. 

"You have them? Where are they?" Ser Lacus' hand goes to his sword. 

"Draw your sword. See what your steel is worth. You want to please the Mother of Dragons." Quarth tells him as she turns to face him. 

Ser Lacus remains silent staring at her orange eyes. 

"You love him." The woman observes. 

"Where are the dragons?" Ser Lacus asks her.  

"Will you betray him again, Ser Lacus?" Quarth says. 

Ser Lacus' eyes go wide in shock as his words catch in his throat. 

"Will you betray him again?" Quarth asks him again. 

"Never." Ser Lacus gets out. 

"The Sixteen control the people here. They act as they will. Working with the Warlocks of Quaithe, they control everyone in the city. The Mother of Dragons being here has caused a disturbance with their powers causing some to break free at the magic he has brought into this world. They were dealt with before reaching him. But, the thief you seek is with him now." Quarth says turning back to her painting. 

Ser Lacus backs away before rushing to find Mika. 


"I did not leave the comfort of my home to come to yours and be called a thief." The Silk King says as he sits with the members of the Sixteen around a table. Taxas sits in front of them as the table curves around him and Mika, with Saisho next to him.

"No one is calling you a thief." Taxas says. 

"Who is he to accuse us?" The Silk King glares at Mika. 

"Please. They're my children. I'm imploring you." Mika says to them. 

"Imploring us? It wasn't long ago, you were threatening us." The Silk King retorts. 

"Without me, the dragons will die." Mika says with the hint of a plea. 

"It will be for the best. Your dragons will bring the world nothing but death and misery, my dear. If I knew where they were, I would not tell you." The Silk King says. Mika glares at the man hatefully, gritting his teeth. 

"You are cruel, my friend. The Mother of Dragons is in the right. He must be reunited with his babies. I will help you, Khaleesi." Trian Tee says to Mika, his orange lip glistening.  

"How?" Mika asks. 

"I will take you to the House of the Everlasting where I have put them." Trian Tee tells him. 

Mika looks at the man incredulously, "You have my dragons?"

"When I learned you were coming to our city, I made an arrangement with the King of Quaithe. He procured them for me." Trian Tee says. 

"There is no King of Quaithe." Mika says, confused. 

"There is now. That was the other half of the arrangement." Taxas says, standing up. 

Mika looks at him in disbelief as the man steps forward past Mika. 

"You would keep your gates and your minds closed to everything outside your walls, but Quaithe cannot remain the greatest city that ever was if it refuses to change. I will open Quaithe to the world as I have forced it to open itself to me." Taxas tells them as Trian Tee moves to stand up next to the man. 

"Your ambition is an inspiration. But like all upstarts, you overreach. Three dragons the size of cats and an alliance with a charlatan do not make you King." The Silk King says. 

"An upstart and a charlatan? Empires have been built by less. Those on the margins often come to control the center, and those in the center make room for them, willingly or otherwise." Taxas defends calmly. 

Trian Tee moves past Taxas, "The Mother of Dragons will be with his babies." Taxas turns to look at a wide-eyed Mika, "He will give them his love and they will thrive by his side."

Trian Tee turns back to the Silk King, Sixteen shadows of Trian Tee take a step behind all members of the seated Sixteen, "Forever."

The doppelgangers slit the throats of all the members at the word, pouring the blood of the Sixteen onto the table. Mika looks on in horror and fear. They all turn to look at him. Saisho grabs his arm as Mika moves to flee from the chambers with Saisho on his heels. 

Mika runs up a set of stairs before being faced with another smiling, orange-lipped doppelganger. "A mother should be with his children."

A sword goes through the back of the warlock as Mika sees Ser Lacus emerge from behind the doppelganger. The doppelganger disappears leaving a robe. Another one pops up. "Where will you run to, Mikaela Fireborn? You're dragons wait for you in the House of the Everlasting. Come see them."

Ser Lacus has had enough and drags Mika by his hand with Saisho following them out of the doors of the chambers. Trian Tee watches them leave with a smile.    


Nagoya

Kimizuki's eyes open as the bright sunlight hits the room. He looks around after feeling the emptiness next to him. Yoichi is not here. His omega is gone. Perhaps he's left to go get ready for his alpha. No, how would he have left? He had to have been taken. But, he never heard any shouts meaning he had to go willingly. He planned this from the prior night to seduce him and escape from Snowstorm. 

He feels frustration and sadness. But, mostly an empty hollowness where he kept his omega's love for him. He knew this was how it could have ended up, but he was foolish enough to believe Yoichi would embrace his betrayal. He would join him against Yuu. That Yoichi would still love him, but he lost it because of himself. He drove him away. 

He looks around as Snowstorm now feels like less of a home without Yoichi here. 

He looks up when Daigo walks in, "You need to come. A guard is dead. The omega's gone."

Kimizuki stares at him before nodding.

Daigo leaves him as he looks at the part of the bed where Yoichi's body curled up on his chest before moving to get ready.   


Kimizuki looks down at the dead body of the guard before turning his attention back to Black Dagmon, the same man who insulted him when he went to retrieve his ship. He was supposed to be in charge of the guard, but was off drinking his ass off. They surround the man in the center of Snowstorm's grounds. 

"You let an omega escape? One that can't walk, and you let him slip past you?" Kimizuki glares at the man.

"The giant must have taken him." The man defends. 

"The giant? Estle? Oh, that's all right, then. You let a halfwit escape with an omega. And the Wild Woman, too?" Kimizuki asks him, agitated. 

"Gone. Must have left after you fucked the omega. My apologies, I forgot, you can't fuck a cripple." Black Dagmon said. 

Kimizuki's alpha rage rises and brings his fist across the fat man's face, knocking him to the ground. The man looks up at him before Kimizuki brings his boot down onto his face. Kimizuki begins to kick the screaming man repeatedly. He takes out his frustration and depression on this man. Kimizuki gives him one final stomp and looks up at a smirking Daigo. 

"Right. Get the horses and the hounds." Kimizuki tells him as he walks past Daigo.  


The hounds run past their horses in the forest, following the scent of a crippled omega, halfwit alpha, and Wild beta. All of them dogs as Kiseki refused to participate, choosing to stay in the kennels and lie in the ground. The wolf hadn't even gotten up when Kimizuki returned from Osaka Bay. He should be more worried about him, but he had more things to worry about. 

Kimizuki rides with Maester Cessarian riding behind him. He hadn't seen Aererion since he killed Ser Tassell. To think of it, he hasn't seen Kusunoki since that day. All that was left was this Maester. 

"Halt!" A man calls finding something. 

Kimizuki turns to the Maester. "Enjoying your first hunt?"

"So far, hunting seems very similar to riding, My Lord." Cessarian tells him. 

"With hunting, there's blood at the end." Kimizuki tells him. 

Cessarian looks at him in shock, "He's an omega. One you grew up with."

Kimizuki looks ahead at the hounds, "I've noticed some absences. Kusunoki. Aererion. A few Watchmen."

"Kusunoki never took to Yuu, he despised you even more. They must have escaped, as well. Probably headed to Ikebukoro." Cessarian says.

Kimizuki goes tense, "And Aererion?"

"Kusunoki always had a soft spot for the Maester. Had even more respect for the man. Must have taken him with them." Cessarian remembered his own escape ploy in the dead of night, he brought Aererion to the man who gladly took him. Aererion revealed his lineage as a Shindo to the man who was a staunch supporter of them. Kusunoki took the man without hesitation and left in the night. Cessarian stayed here, knowing Kimizuki needed to have someone with him from his childhood or risk completely losing himself. The boy had gone far, but he was not too far gone. Not in his eyes. He was acting as any ruler would. 

Kimizuki tenses even further, "Maybe I should send some hounds with their scents?"

"I do not think that would be advisable, My Lord. You never liked each other and barely knew the Maester. Yoichi is your family, you love him. Focus your resources on this for this is the far more embarrassing situation. None of your men know about Kusunoki's escape. Just let this fade. You cannot let an omega fool you." Cessarian tried to ward him off that path. 

"I can't." Kimizuki agrees. 

"Would you hurt them?" The Maester asks, trying to remove Kimizuki's mind from Kusunoki and the Maester. 

"I could never hurt Yoichi. The others, well I won't kill them." Kimizuki responds. 

"What happens when Yuu returns? They have more value to you alive than dead." 

"They're no value to me missing. Yuu is beyond the wall, who knows if he's even alive. My sister will be here before him at this rate." Kimizuki glares at the man now. 

"We have a scent!" A man in front shouts. 

"The hounds have the scent. Come, Maester, don't look so grim. It's all just a game." Kimizuki tells the man with a leering smile at his dull expression. The man watches as Kimizuki turns his horse and rides ahead as he grabs his reins to follow. His hope slowly fading.  


Gekko walks along a rocky stream as Yoichi, Estle, and Chihiro follow across a field. 

"We should have took more food." Chihiro says. 

"We couldn't risk going to the kitchens." Yoichi replies. 

"Those people all love you. They would have given you whatever you needed." Chihiro responds. 

"And if Kimizuki found out, who knows what he would have done?" Yoichi says.

"You can't survive off walnuts." Chihiro nags as she breaks one open, holding it out to Yoichi.

"I'm fine." Yoichi says, still grabbing the walnut.

"We've been walking since before sunrise. Estle will tire." Chihiro says. 

"Estle." Estle says with a smile of reassurance. 

"Even you, sweet giant." Chihiro flirts.

"Estle." Estle says with a smile and a blush. 

The party crests on a small rise. They hear the sounds of shouting in the distance. High-pitched voice of laughter and joy. Children. They look past the distance to see two familiar boys running in play. Yoichi's eyes widen in familiarity. Those were the two orphan children he sent with the shepherd on a farm. They see wagon carts beside the farm house. 

"Wait, I know that farm." Yoichi says, "I sent those two Snowstorm orphans there. Akihiko and Daisu."

"They'll give us some food." Chihiro says. 

"We can't risk it. If The Ironborn tracks us here, they'll torture them until they find out where we are." Yoichi says. 

"They'll be after us with hounds. We got a good start on them, but we can't outrun hounds forever." Chihiro says to Yoichi.

Yoichi looks at the farm in contemplation and uncertainty. 


"Children come inside. Quick!" A woman shouts to the boys at the farm as the Maester moves to approach Kimizuki.

"We've lost the scent." A man walks past them with a hound. 

"Try again." Kimizuki orders. 

"We've circled this farmhouse twice. There's no sign of them." The man responds. 

"We could start the search fresh in the morning, my lord." Maester Cessarian tells him before gasping when his robes are grabbed by Kimizuki. 

"I know he was here. I can smell his earthy scent. I'm looking at spending the rest of my life being treated like a fool and a eunuch by my own people. Ask yourself, is there anything I wouldn't do to stop that from happening? The hounds will find the scent again. I'll beat them until they do. I'll whip every man here until I have my omega again. And once I've got him, I'm not letting him go." Kimizuki growls at the man, looking feral. 

"Prince Kimizuki." Two Ironborn men lead the shepherd out of an arch. 

"Where are they?" Kimizuki asks him. 

"Who, m'lord?" The shepherd asks. 

"The Saotome boy, where is he?" Kimizuki asks. 

"Don't know. I seen no one." The man says simply. 

Kimizuki looks at him before punching him in the gut, harshly, causing the Maester to cringe. 

"Think harder." Kimizuki commands. 

"I swear, m'lord. I don't know." The shepherd says. 

Kimizuki moves to punch him again. 

"My Lord." Daigo says, kneeling by a bush and drawing Kimizuki's attention to him. "Over here. I think I've found what we're looking for."

Kimizuki walks to him as he holds his gloved hand out, revealing broken walnut shells. He looks back to Daigo who gives him a look, like he wants to talk privately. Kimizuki looks around before his eyes fall on the stables where the children ran through. Daigo follows him inside it. Kimizuki turns to face the man.

 "The way I see it, My Lord. You have to find that omega, your pride and respect of your men rides on finding him." Daigo says. 

"Yoichi is not here, though." Kimizuki says. 

"There is an omega boy here." Daigo says. 

"But, he's not Yoichi. The people know what he looks like." Kimizuki says. 

"They do. But, if we make the omega so unrecognizable that they can't identify him. He's around the same size of your omega." Daigo says.

Kimizuki's face turns shocked, trying to grasp for any defense, "What about the shepherd and his family?"

"We kill them too." Daigo shrugs. 

Kimizuki considers this. He may never find Yoichi, and it's probably for the best at this point. No matter how much he wants the omega back, he probably won't find him. But, he has to come back with something. Kimizuki looks up still desperate in denial. He can't cross this line. He can't kill an omega, a child. How is he better than the Hiiragi's? He's not, though, he's the exact same now. 

"We won't find him. After what you've done, how won't want you. Why else would he escape? We've circled too much times we can't do this forever, and you won't find your omega. I'll kill the boys, if you want." Daigo says. 

Kimizuki looks back at the door before turning back to Daigo. He loves Yoichi, but he left him. Now, all he has left is his people. He can't fail them. He can't lose everything. He lost Yoichi, he can't lose his family. It's all he has left. Kimizuki nods his head in determination and confirmation. 

"Send the old man home." Daigo says.

Kimizuki and Daigo walk back to Cessarian. 

"Go back to Snowstorm." Kimizuki tells the Maester before turning to the guard next to him. "Take him back."

"Kimizuki. Don't do this. Shihou, Please!" The Maester says as the man grabs him and leads him back to the horse. Kimizuki looks at the man coldly before drawing his sword and turning back to the farmer. 


Kimizuki stands on a platform at Snowstorm. The people in the crowd look up at him. Mostly, seething glares and hateful stares.  

"I told you what would happen. All of you. I told you what would happen if you served me loyally. And what would happen if you did not." Kimizuki starts. 

The Maester is dragged out by Daigo to watch.

"What are you doing? What have you done?" Cessarian asks the man, distressed. Kimizuki's eyes find his as he continues his speech. 

"If there are any who still question whether your new lord means what he says, here is the answer to your question." Kimizuki tells them all, gesturing behind him as the hanging body of a burnt omega, the farm boy is displayed for the crowd to watch. They gasp and scream in terror and despair. Kimizuki looks behind him at the boy. He never saw the corpse, but his eyes-widen at the sight. A pang of guilt hits his whole body as he looks at the boy's charred corpse. 

"No! Yoichi!" Cessarian shouts in anguish.

Kimizuki looks down as the guilt sinks deeper within his system. Both he and the Maester know one thing: There's no coming back from this.