Kazuichi loved Gundham the most. Of course he did, he was after all engaged with him. Well, actually he wasn't really sure what exactly engagement meant aside from him and Gundham marrying and mating when they were older and there was something with pups he believed. Gundham also said that it would mean that he would need to protect Kazuichi, which is why he tried to become as strong as possible. Their parents also mentioned something with an alliance, whatever that was. However in the end Kazuichi hardly cared, because one thing he knew was that he would always be together with Gundham and he loved him lots. He loved playing with him, he loved listening to his stories and he loved cuddling with him – though he wasn't sure why all their nannies and governesses always told them off for cuddling together, saying something about it being inappropriate, which he also didn't understand what it meant. Adults had way too many weird words.
Kazuichi was engaged with Gundham for as long as he could remember. His dad had even said that they had been engaged even before Kazuichi – who was a few months younger than the other which he found extremely unfair – was born. He wasn't even sure how they could become engaged before Kazuichi was even born, however he guessed that it was the same thing like how from the start Gundham was decided to become king when he was big like his father, the current king, and how Kazuichi was then going to become a queen. Right now he was a princess, while Gundham was a prince, and both had to learn how to become a queen and king, which was boring. The princess had to read one boring book without any pictures after the other and dance and sew, while the prince was allowed to go out and do all the fun stuff. However now that he thought about it he wasn't really sure what exactly Gundham did during his lessons, but it was often outside and Kazuichi was five, he just wanted to run around outside and play until the sun went down. But no, apparently this wasn't appropriate for a princess – which was still such a weird word if you asked him.
Sitting inside of a carriage, Kazuichi was equally giddy and feeling like he was going to puke. He hated travelling, since the way the carriage always rocked back and forth was making him sick. However he and his dad were travelling to Gundham's kingdom, which was right next to Kazuichi's own one, which made up for the days spend inside of a stupid carriage and him feeling miserable.
“Are we there yet?” Kazuichi asked, as he was lying on the small bench and the carriage hit another bump.
“Almost, but now please stop asking every few minutes.” his father, the king, replied with mild annoyance after the repeated question over the last few days. “I don't even understand why you always insist to come when I visit King and Queen Tanaka.”
“Because Gundham is also there and I wanna play with him.” Kazuichi gave the obvious answer. He and Gundham lived in different kingdoms and as such only really saw each other every few months when their parents decided to meet up for some boring adult stuff. Otherwise the two children only could talk to each other through letters, however they always took ages to get to the other and writing and reading was hard. But now they could meet again and play together for endless days, which was great! Kazuichi could hardly wait to arrive. If only the carriage would stop hitting bumps and making his stomach turn on itself.
“I'm still not so sure about letting you two spend so much time together all the time.” his father said with a dismissive voice, “However Queen Aya for some reason is so insistent that you two get to be together and claiming that it's not inappropriate. Nonsense if you ask me, but whatever. That woman was always a bit of an odd one anyway.”
Kazuichi himself liked Gundham's mum, since she was nice and always played with him a lot when he visited. However his dad found that odd, as he always claimed that there were nannies and governesses for such things and that Kazuichi should never be like that when he was one day queen. But that was stupid, because none of Kazuichi's nannies played much with him and his governesses always just said he had to learn and be a proper princess – wasn't he already a princess? Maybe it was because his own mum was dead since he was an infant and so he couldn't really compare how a queen was supposed to be, but he thought that Aunty Aya was a great queen. She was pretty and kind and knew the best games and stories! And the best thing was that she didn't mind it when Kazuichi got his dresses dirty or even when he went and wore trousers, since they were better to play in. He wanted to be just like her, no matter what his dad said.
Slowly the constant bumping of the carriage began to stop as they finally left the endless field and forest paths, and actually arrived at the capital where they had stone floors. It was always so weird when Kazuichi came to this kingdom, since they had way more forests than his and his dad's kingdom, which was mountains over mountains. It was like a whole different world full of green.
When Kazuichi realised that they finally arrived at the capital he became more giddy than during the travel and would have jumped in his seat if he didn't still feel awful like heck. Leaning his face as close as he could towards the small window he tried to see the huge castle in the centre of the capital where Gundham lived. He could hardly wait and wanted to arrive right now!
“Sit straight, before anyone sees you.” his father warned him, making his son pout as he slumped back into his seat. He just had to wait and it wasn't like he had been able to see much anyway.
More way too long minutes passed – way too long for a child like Kazuichi at least – before the swaying carriage finally arrived at the castle grounds and made its way towards the huge entrance where a bunch of servants and guards were already waiting for them. He always thought all of this get up was a bit much, but his dad said that it was necessary because they were royalty and as such needed all of this stuff.
The carriage finally came to a halt, much to the liking of Kazuichi's upset stomach, and one servant opened the carriage door before helping first the king out and then the princess like it was the rule, while another servant opened the huge wooden castle doors for them. “I present the royal family, King Isamu Souda and Princess Kazuichi Souda of Kikaiyama.” the servant bowed deeply as Kazuichi and his father entered the castle that was decorated with dark wooden ornaments. However the small princess hardly cared about all of them, because after way too many months he finally got to see Gundham again, who smiled just as happily at seeing him again like Kazuichi did.
If it wasn't for some stupid rules where the adults had to talk first before the children could move and chat, Kazuichi would have run up towards his best friend whom he didn't see for what felt like a lifetime. Gundham's parents, the king and queen of Moriseishin, walked up towards their royal guests while Gundham followed them as they all greeted each other. Kazuichi in the meantime had to do his best to not bounce on the spot and instead stay still while he waited for his turn.
“Kazuichi my dear child. It's wonderful to see you again.” Aunty Aya leaned down to the small child and kissed his forehead affectionately, “You have grown so much since I last saw you.”
“That is true.” her mate, Uncle Ryuusei, agreed to her, “He will one day grow up to be a real beauty.”
Giving a curtsey at the compliment of the king and queen, Kazuichi thanked them as properly as he was taught to do, “Thank you very much.”
Now that the adults have all greeted each other and the two allied royal families fell into a conversation, the children were finally able to actually speak to each other.
“I'm so happy to see you again, Gundham.” Kazuichi smiled brightly as he hugged the other, who as always began to blush. Gundham always blushed easily, which was amusing for the other. But he found it cute about the alpha.
“I am also glad to see you, Kazuichi.” Gundham hugged him back. “How was the trip? Are you feeling okay?” he then asked with concern in his voice.
The reminder of the travel made the easily sick omega's stomach again turn and he groaned silently, “Could be better. I'm just glad I'm finally out of that stupid carriage.”
Just like every time the smaller one of the two them felt unwell, Gundham was instantly at his side to help him. He held the omega's hand and looked up towards their parents, “May I please bring Kazuichi up to his room, so that he can sit down?”
As it was no secret among the two families and their staff that the young princess quickly got sick during travels, none of them were surprised at the request. Aunty Aya was the first to answer “Of course my dear.” and she held her hand out towards the free one from Kazuichi, “Come, I will bring you both up.”
With a weak, yet happy smile Kazuichi took the offered hand and he walked up the huge staircase that lead through many hallway until the three arrived at a set of rooms, one of them reserved for the visiting princess. A servant opened the door for them as it was custom and Aunty Aya led the two small children into the room. While Gundham helped Kazuichi onto the bed – even if he got onto it himself because he was already whole five years old and as such practically already an adult, however it was a nice gesture – Aunty Aya crouched down in front of her son and future son-in-law. “My dears, while I would love to stay a bit longer and play with you two, I have to start getting ready for a boring meeting.” she told them with a sweet voice as she put a playful undertone into the word 'boring', which made both children giggle. “So while both of your fathers and I am busy, you two can play as much as you like as long as you behave and don't fight. If you do that then I will join you tonight and read you both a bedtime story in return for leaving now. So do you promise?”
Both Kazuichi and Gundham loved hearing her bedtime stories, so both nodded enthusiastically as both simultaneously agreed to behave.
“Thank you very much my dears.” she gave an angelic smile as she gave both a soft kiss on their cheeks, before she stood up again. “If you need anything call one of the nannies. I love you both.” she gave them one last smile as both children replied with a “I love you too.” before she left the room.
The two children sat on top of the plush bed as they watched the door close and the moment the faint clicking sound came, indicating that it was now properly closed and that they had their privacy, the children fell into happy squeals, as Kazuichi jumped at Gundham with a big hug. “This is going to be so great!” Kazuichi grinned as he hugged his fiancé, “We will play all day and then stay up late to play some more!”
“That really sounds like a lot of fun.” Gundham giggled, however he then looked at the other with concern, “But are you not feeling unwell?” He always had the well-being of his future mate on his mind first, before anything else came. It probably was part of his nature as an alpha or just how Gundham generally was, which the other wasn't sure.
“I mean yeah.” He was still feeling quite bad, however it was slowly getting better again, “But who cares? Playing is way more important! Especially since we can't play together every day, so I have no time to feel ill.” the claimed with a toothy grin. His upset stomach would calm itself soon enough now that he wasn't in some stupid carriage any more anyway.
However Gundham didn't seemed that convinced, “I would prefer it if you would rest in bed first, before your condition gets worse.”
He looked really distressed that his future mate could get even sicker, which was totally unfounded. It only happened once that Kazuichi had to puke during playing right after a day long travel! However he didn't like seeing Gundham being so stressed, so he gave a sigh, “Fine. But ya have to come up with something that we can play in bed.” He was willing to stay in bed for a bit, as long as they would still do something fun.
“I can agree to that.” Gundham replied as he gave a quick thought. He then suddenly jumped from the bed, “I know! Wait here for a moment.” he then ran out of the room, leaving Kazuichi to wait for him.
While he waited for the other to return, Kazuichi decided to lie on top of the bed and look up towards the canopy above him, where some frilly looking fabrics were decorating it. It was a lot like his bed at home, full of plush and frills and many soft blankets and pillows. The room was after all reserved specifically for him and nobody else, just like Gundham had a room reserved for him back at Kazuichi's home. Though most of the nights the children did sleep in each other's rooms and shared a bed anyway, while the adults were none the wiser about it.
After few moments the door reopened and Gundham returned with something hidden in his hands.
“What ya got there?” Kazuichi asked as he sat himself up again, while Gundham awkwardly climbed back onto the bed without using his hands or arms. Whatever he was hiding must be something that needed two hands it seemed.
“A gift that I have received from the Angel.” Gundham replied when he sat down next to his fiancé, before he opened his hands, revealing a tiny hamster which was sitting on his hands and was sniffing the air. “I wanted to properly introduce you, so I have not mentioned her in my last letter. I called her Flaming Inferno Cat-E.” he proudly introduced his new pet to his future mate. “I even taught her a trick.” he then added, before he used one hand to give her a hand signal as she sat upon the other, which made the hamster lift her front paws into the air and almost wave them.
“Whoa, that's so awesome!” Kazuichi has never seen something like this. He didn't know that hamsters could even learn tricks. “I also want one, but dad won't let me have any pets. He always says that I get myself dirty enough already as it is.” He had asked his father more than once if he might get a cool pet with whom he could play with, however his dad always refused. “I bet he's just jealous of my cool inventions.” he then added with a pout. Kazuichi was good a building toys for him to play with, which were the most awesome ever and he was really proud about them. Sadly most people found it more annoying than anything else, because he was an omega which was a really stupid reason if you asked him. Even his dad was always a bit tensed up when Kazuichi began tinkering with something that he found, however he never stopped his son as long as no guests were visiting. The king of the technologically inventive kingdom was equally impressed about the natural skills as an inventor his son had even at such a young age, as he was miffed about it since it wasn't expected of a dam, let alone a royal one, to get their hands and clothing dirty with oil and grease. It was expected of an omega princess like Kazuichi to instead be always clean and dainty, and that he spend his time with playing nest with dolls. However playing nest with dolls bored him to tears and he instead loved to tinker with everything his small hands could grab. Though he did sometimes enjoy to pretend to nest with Gundham, since he loved cuddling with his future mate even if his nests weren't that great yet.
“Well, when you are my mate and queen you can play with all my pets, because I want to have as many as possible. This castle is huge anyway, so I guess that I can also have many pets.” Gundham offered to him with a smile, which made his future mate's mood lighten up again.
“Really?” Kazuichi asked with a shine in his eyes and a smile on his face. When the other then nodded, he squealed happily and kissed his cheek. “Thank you!”
Again Gundham began to blush from getting kissed, however he gave a shy smile. “You are welcome.” He then carefully placed the hamster onto the soft mattress, “Do you want to pet her? You can be her co-owner while you are here, if you want.”
“Yes!” Kazuichi nodded enthusiastically, before both children turned their attention to the tiny hamster.
As the days passed, Kazuichi and Gundham spend all of their time playing together. And ever so often sneaking away from their nannies who were insisting that an unmated alpha and omega weren't allowed to be alone together – they were going to mate when they were big anyway, so they didn't see the fuss about it all. As often as her tight schedule allowed it, Aunty Aya joined the two children while they were playing together and every night she helped them sneak into each other's rooms to share a bed where she would read them a bedtime story while the children cuddled and slowly fell asleep. Being with Gundham always was so much fun and Kazuichi loved it so much. He loved being with Gundham and he loved him lots.
“Come one, this way.” Kazuichi laughed as he ran through some bushes within the royal garden. He was quite good at getting through trees and bushes by now, while having to wear a puffy dress.
“Are you sure that this is a good idea?” Gundham asked him as he followed the omega, “Won't Miss Kiku be angry when we sneak away again?”
“Is she even allowed to be angry at us? I mean we are her future king and queen.” Kazuichi wondered as he ducked beneath a branch. But even if the nanny was allowed to be angry at the children, the omega just couldn't sit on the blanket any longer to have a pretend tea party. He didn't even like tea that much.
This question made Gundham halt for a moment as he considered it, “I am not sure actually. She is always angry at me when I sneak into the barns to play with the horses, so I guess she is allowed.”
“That is unfair.” Kazuichi mumbled, “However my nannies are also always angry when I get my dressed dirty.” It was a good thing that his nannies didn't join them during their trips, because otherwise he would get an earful later today because he already managed to smudge some dirt onto the hem. Why did they even make dresses so puffy anyway? They only got in the way most of the time and Kazuichi stumbled over the many layers of skirts more than once.
Sneaking through a few more high grown bushes, the pair crouched on the ground while they heard their nanny call their names in the distance as she searched for them. While the children did both feel a bit bad about it, they still chuckled like it was a game of hide and seek. It was not like they wanted to annoy the nanny, who was simply doing her job and did what she believed was right, however the children simply wanted to play without having to listen to rules and etiquette, and constantly make sure that they moved and talked the correct way. It took all the fun out of being together and both children behaved like they were expected to most of the time when they were apart. At least they tried, even if it was boring and annoying most of the time.
When the voice of their nanny became more distant, the children stood up again now that they could finally do what they wanted and not what adults expected of them to do.
“So, what now?” Kazuichi asked the other between his giggles.
“Do you want to go to the lake further down?” Gundham suggested, “Last time I was there with the Angel, there were a family of ducks.”
“Only if we build boats from the sticks lying around.” Kazuichi grinned as he took Gundham's hand and they walked deeper into the castle gardens. During his last visit they almost managed to make their boat float and he was confident that they would succeed this time, since he practised his building skills at home. Although looking at cute ducks also sounded like a lot of fun, as long as he could do it with Gundham.
To the children's disappointment the ducks were nowhere to be seen, which confused the animal loving alpha as he said that there had been a few ducklings and as such the duck family rarely left their nest. Yet now it was empty and vacant. However the children then decided that they would instead build their boat and let it float on the water. Both split up and began to walk along the grass to collect branches, sticks, leaves and anything else they believed could be useful.
While Kazuichi was kneeling on the ground to collect a bunch of branches that were lying there after the heavy rain the prior day, he was humming to himself in anticipation to build the best boat that ever existed. He would show Gundham how skilled he was and impress his future mate! As he reached out to pick up a nutshell that was lying on the floor, unsure yet if it would have any use or not, a loud explosion suddenly sounded out and he jumped out of shock as his head turned as quickly as he could towards he other end of the huge gardens where the castle was standing, and like out of nowhere he could hear sudden screaming from the distance. He could not see what was going on since the many bushes and trees were obscuring his view. Another explosion shook the ground and Kazuichi screamed out of fright and indistinctively held his head in pure fear. What was going on? Why were explosions going off and why were suddenly so many people screaming? He was scared! He was suddenly aware how alone he now was.
“Now what do we have here?” suddenly an oily sounding voice rang out from behind Kazuichi, which made his blood freeze instantly. “Some rich, little runt, all alone in the garden to play.”
In pure horror Kazuichi slowly turned his head to the source of the voice and his whole body was shaking when he saw an unfamiliar, brawny man walking up towards him, brandishing a bloody dagger which was still dripping with some of the fresh, crimson liquid.
“Well, it's your unlucky day kid.” the man gave a sadistic grin as he approached, the dagger tightly in his blood soaked hand.
Kazuichi was petrified and his whole body was shaking violently, as hot tears ran down his face. He could not move, he could not even scream as his mind was racing. He was going to die.
Suddenly another figure appeared from between the bushes and screamed, “Stay away from him!” as he rammed into the scary man and made him stumble backwards.
“What the fuck?!” the man cursed as he stumbled, however he did not fall as the figure who had run into him was not powerful enough for that.
“Gundham!” Kazuichi screamed out in fear as the alpha stood between him and the dangerous stranger. What was going on? Why was this man attacking him and why was he full of blood? And why were so many people screaming?
The man looked with rage at Gundham. “Another fucking kid?!” he snarled, “I'll teach you brats a fucking lesson!” Suddenly the man charged at the children and brandished the bloody dagger before he swung it at Gundham, slicing his face directly along his left eye and making the child scream in pain.
“G-Gundham!” Kazuichi screamed in pure horror as the other fell to his knees in agony, as he held his bleeding eye. Kazuichi used all of his willpower to get his body to move and he quickly crawled to his injured friend and held him close in his arms, as blood dripped onto them and the priorly green grass, staining everything in a disturbing red colour.
“Guessed I missed.” the man laughed as he looked down on the terrified children, “But oh well, who cares as long as ya both die in the end.” he added with a sadistic grin as he again raised the dagger, letting the fresh blood glimmer in the light.
Never in his life had Kazuichi ever been so scared like in this moment. He wasn't sure what to do and Gundham was seriously hurt, while the scary man came closer again, this time planning to make sure that he would kill the defenceless children. The omega pulled the injured alpha closer as he gave a pathetic attempt at a hiss in the hopes that it would scare the man off. However the hissing was constantly interrupted by sobbing and hiccups, and was in no way frightening enough for this monster.
“Wow, that's almost cute.” the man mocked, “Sadly you're years to early to scare me, you fucking brat.”
The frightening man came closer and reached out to the cowering children, grabbing Kazuichi and yanking him into the air by his arm.
“Let go!” Kazuichi screamed and helplessly kicked out, while Gundham weakly tried to grab the scary man to get the omega back, despite his injury that was making him sway heavily.
“You fucking scream too much you little bitch!” the man spat in annoyance. “Do you want me to play this out with you?” he snarled as he held the blade right in front of the scared child to frighten him more out of some twisted, sadistic pleasure.
Out of pure desperation Kazuichi tried whatever it took to get away and as such grabbed the man's arm with the blade and before the man could react, he bit him as hard as he could, sinking his razor sharp teeth into the skin and drawing blood. The man gave a scream as he yanked his arm away and let the small child fall to the ground again. Kazuichi knew very well that being bitten by his sharp teeth, which was a family trait, hurt a lot since he sometimes accidentally bit his own tongue.
“You little fucker!” the man was beyond enraged now, as he unsheathed the sword he was carrying at his hip and had priorly ignored to torment the children with the dagger. However before he could strike the children down, screaming from behind the bushes could be heard and a bunch of armed guards from the castle ran towards them to fight the invader. One of them didn't stop his running and scooped the children up in a fluid motion as he ran away with them, carrying them to safety.
Kazuichi was still crying as he clung onto the guard in fright to not fall off, while he looked in horror how Gundham was mostly limp as more blood dripped onto the floor. In the distance the scared princess could see that parts of the castle were on fire and that people were fighting everywhere. He was scared. This had to be a bad dream. He just wanted to wake up from it all! He cried and begged that he would wake up right now and that he was simply in his bed, cuddling with Gundham and that everything was normal again.
War had been declared on the kingdom of Moriseishin and all of its allied kingdoms, as such also Kikaiyama, by the kingdom past the vast forests that surrounded the kingdom where Gundham and his family ruled. As Moriseishin was the closest to the enemy kingdom it was the main target for the enemy's attacks, leading to the capital being attacked as a declaration of war.
The casualties were small and there wasn't much destruction of the capital itself, however as the attacked kingdom and its allies suspected the attack wasn't specifically to destroy it but to simply show of the enemy's capability with sneak attacks.
However to everyone's horror the attack had almost cost the lives of the two royal heirs who had been out in the open as the enemy had first approached. The royal prince and heir to the throne had been injured on his eye, however to everyone's relieve the eyeball itself was still intact through a divine miracle even if he had lost a lot of blood that caused him loosing his consciousness for some time. The royal princess was immediately escorted back to his home lands with a huge succession of guards to ensure his safe trip, while the king of Kikaiyama remained within his ally's kingdom to discuss the steps that they would now take to win the war, ensure the safety of their subjects and also to ensure that their royal heirs would stay safe and not end in another life threatening situation.
Back in his kingdom Kazuichi had been in a constant state of distress. He was paranoid of his home also being attacked and that from every corner some enemy could come forth to attack him. However he was mostly worried for the well-being of Gundham, as the last time he saw him was within the hideout where the guard had carried them and Gundham seemed to be asleep without waking up when Kazuichi called out his name, before the prince was brought into another room by doctors and nurses while Kazuichi was send back home all within such a speed that the small child couldn't comprehend anything that was happening.
It has took days after Kazuichi had arrived at home after travelling day and night without a pause when a letter arrived which informed him that Gundham was well, which relieved the omega. However he wanted to see him and talk to him, ask him if it hurt and be close to him. Yet he was denied to leave the castle, let alone the country. He was told that he had to wait inside of the walls of the castle until his father, the king, would return.
Since Kazuichi was too terrified to go out alone anyway he stayed put and waited more days in fear until his father finally returned.
The first thing he asked his father was how Gundham was doing and if he could see him soon again. While he was glad to again hear that his fiancé was starting to feel better, the rest was devastating for the young child. It was decided that the young crown prince would go into hiding together with his mother until the war ended or he was old enough to take over the throne, meaning that Kazuichi couldn't see him at all for many years to come. This was one of the worst things the young and innocent child could have ever thought up could happen and suddenly it was real. It was like a nightmare become reality. He begged and pleaded with his father that he wanted to see Gundham, asking him if the other could just live in their castle since it was safe enough for Kazuichi to stay in. However he was denied by his father, who claimed that having both heirs at the same castle could again lead to them getting endangered and as such their castle was out of question, just as having them at the same place no matter where until they were adults.
Kazuichi wouldn't see Gundham again and there was nothing that could be done. As such the child cried.
Years passed and the only contact Kazuichi had to his fiancé was through the occasional letter, which were rare and took month to get a reply. The princess wasn't allowed to leave the castle grounds much and at the maximum could only go into the town square of the capital if he was accompanied by a set of guards as war was still raging through the lands. The life in the castle was a lonely one, however Kazuichi occupied himself with building and inventing stuff as his skills refined more and more. Over the years the omega also found friends through royal parties, which he usually found boring and borderline anxiety inducing. The first friend he made was a fellow omega who became the princess' lady-in-waiting, called Lady Hajime Hinata who was the oldest child of Baron Hinata. The second one, although there weren't that close on the long run, was Hajime's younger twin brother, Lord Izuru who was an alpha knight and the heir of the barony. The last friend he made a short while later was a beta called Fuyuhiko, who was the son of Lord Kuzuryu. However unlike with the twins who somehow came in a set, Kazuichi wasn't really close to Fuyuhiko's younger alpha sister Natsumi, even if Hajime and her were good friends which led to Kazuichi and Hajime meeting Fuyuhiko in the first place.
As one year after the other passed and Kazuichi grew up to become a full grown and successful adult, he spend many of his days wondering how Gundham was doing and if his childhood friend and fiancé could even still remember him at all. He wouldn't put it past him, since they had been five when they last saw each other, which was twenty years ago. At that time the two hadn't even known what being engaged even meant at all and simply shared a puppy love between innocent children. Today Kazuichi was very aware what it really meant to be engaged to be married and mated. It meant that one day he and Gundham, a man he didn't see or talk to for many years, would begin to share their whole lives together and have children. Truth to be told, the thought scared Kazuichi by now more than the threat of war. War was going on for so long that he can hardly keep count, however mateship and children with a person who might not even remember one was scary, even if he always wanted to have children and he spend almost every day thinking about Gundham.
However as years apart progressed even this fear became an afterthought that was hidden somewhere deep within Kazuichi's mind as he went after his daily life.
At least until his father one day called him into his study.
“Yes, father? You've called me?” Kazuichi asked when he entered the study filled with books, files and stacks of documents.
His father raised his slowly greying head as he looked as his son, “Are, you're here. That's good.” he stated before pointing at the seat across from the desk, “Take a seat, Kazuichi.”
With a nod the son did as he was told and sat down, while his father retrieved an envelope from one of the stacks of paperwork and held it out to his son, who took it. “I have received this letter this morning from King Tanaka. He and the royal council have decided that his son was now old enough to return to his home and as such your wedding to him will soon take place in his kingdom.”
Suddenly Kazuichi felt himself choke on seemingly nothing as he tried to catch the letter again which he accidentally almost dropped to the floor due to the news. “What?!”
“What 'What'?” his father crooked an eyebrow, “Don't tell me ya forgot that you are engaged to Prince Gundham? Are ya daft now or what?”
“Eh, no, I didn't forget.” Kazuichi quickly replied as he tried to calm his nerves again and somehow make his mind process what he had just heard, “It's just so suddenly. I mean I didn't even see Gundham for twenty years.”
“Suddenly?” his father asked, “You've been engaged with him ever since your mother had been pregnant with you as part of our alliance with Moriseishin where we decided to marry our first dam with their sire. And who cares if you two saw each other over the last few years? I've never met your mother until we both stood in front of the altar and it worked out until his death.”
Kazuichi wasn't even sure how to reply to this or if there even was a reply in the first place. He knew that it was this way within royalty, were children got engaged with each other by their parents to secure their status or in Kazuichi's and Gundham's case, secure an alliance between two neighbouring kingdoms. However there was a huge difference between knowing about something that would happen at some unspecified day in the far off future and it actually happening all of the sudden. It was like him absent-mindedly knowing that at some random place people were experiencing mild rain and him suddenly standing in the middle of a typhoon that would change his whole life in an unpredictable way that he couldn't control.
“Anyway, now that we got that out of the way you can go now, since I need to begin planning everything.” his father said as he gave his son the permission, or in this case order, to leave. “The servants will pack all of your belongings, so keep an eye on it that they don't miss anything and in a few days you will then travel to Moriseishin to get prepared and settle in.” he added, before he turned his attention back to his paperwork.
When Kazuichi walked out of the study he had to concentrate to keep his legs steady and when the door closed behind him, he slumped heavily against the wall. He was going to marry soon. He was going to be reunited with his childhood love and directly marry him after being apart for ages.
He needed to sit down.
Walking into his bedroom, the omega let himself fall into his nest as he stared into the emptiness for a few moments as his brain was still desperately trying to process what just had happened and was going to soon happen. He was going to get married. He was going to mate with someone. He was going to marry and mate with Gundham. These thoughts kept repeating themselves in his head over and over again, yet they just sounded so unreal. A few more moments passed as he sat silently within his room, while his mind was racing and he was close to loosing it. He couldn't stand this silence! He needed someone to talk about it right now, so he forced himself to stand up and called a servant, sending them out to call for Hajime and telling him that it was urgent.
While he waited for his friend to arrive, Kazuichi began to talk through the castle in a daze like manner just to keep himself occupied with something. Anything to just somehow calm his anxious mind while he waited for his friend to arrive. While yet again walking in an endless circle within the castle, where he noticed that the news of his upcoming marriage had already spread among the staff who excitedly congratulated him and gave him their best wishes where he thanked them all with the best attempt of a happy smile he could make, one servant announced the arrival of not only Hajime, but also his twin brother who escorted him and Fuyuhiko, who happened to be visiting the twins when the servant arrived to summon the princess' lady-in-waiting.
Kazuichi was led into a pallor where his friends were already sitting, who all raised themselves when he entered as it was protocol, even for the group of close friends.
After everyone greeted each other properly and sat down again, Hajime turned towards his best friend and looked him up and down. “What's wrong? Your servant made it sound like something urgent was going on and honestly, judging how sour your scent right now is and how you look like you saw a ghost, I guess something is going on.”
“I better hope that you idiot didn't call us again because someone told you some stupid ghost story.” Fuyuhiko commented in his usual snarky way, “I'm not going to sit here for hours again because you are pissing yourself like some baby.”
Only Izuru was as calm as can be, like he was almost all of the time anyway. He studied the anxious princess and then gave a look at the letter he was still holding in his sweating hand. “Is the reason you called my brother have anything to do with the letter you're holding?”
“Ah, yeah.” he replied when he also looked at the now slightly crumbled letter. He had almost forgotten that he was still holding it, after he had read it again and again.
Hajime raised an eyebrow and he looked at the letter as well. “What happened?” he asked with concern, due to his friend's odd behaviour.
Even Fuyuhiko seemed to become genuinely concerned. “Something wrong with that thing? I mean I saw ya pissing yourself from fright and being stupidly anxious over nothing, but this is weird even for you.”
“Well...” Kazuichi wasn't sure how to properly put it, so he decided to do it like his father and just get straight to the point. “I'm going to travel to Moriseishin in a few days and marry Prince Gundham.” Even saying it out loud sounded plainly weird and unrealistic.
Hajime's eyes widened and Fuyuhiko almost spat out the tea he had been given by the maid, as both quickly replied with a shocked, “What?!” The only one who stayed silent about it was Izuru, who simply raised his eyebrows in what seemed to be mild surprise.
“Why the fuck are you suddenly getting married?” Fuyuhiko asked in pure shock at the news, “When the hell did you even get engaged to that prince? I see your sorry arse almost ever day and I never saw some prince run around to court you or some shit.” His friend seemed almost appalled by the sudden news.
“Well, Gundham and I have been engaged since before I was born, so he never had to court me I guess?” Actually Kazuichi wasn't sure about this part. Since the prince had been in hiding their courtship and engagement was out of the ordinary anyway. Though he had to admit to himself that he would have liked it if his future mate would have at least pretend courted him, like most arranged couples did during their teens and young adulthood as part of the protocol.
“You are what?!” Fuyuhiko was almost lost it in disbelieve, “Why the hell are you engaged since before you even were alive? How the fuck does that even work?” It was evident that he couldn't wrap his head around it at all.
It was then Hajime who replied to his friend's questions. “Why are you so shocked that Kazuichi is engaged for so long? He's a princess and it's perfectly normal to be engaged at a young age. I mean I'm engaged with Baron Nagito for ages now, and I'm actually surprised that your parents didn't engage you with someone yet.”
“That's because my parents could kiss my arse if they tried that shit with me or my little sister.” Fuyuhiko furrowed his brows, which didn't surprise Kazuichi. His friend was very obviously in love with his personal guard Peko and was trying to find a way to marry her despite their drastic differences in ranks, since he was nobility and Peko was a commoner. So it was to be expected that he would fight tooth and nail to avoid being married off to someone else. “But anyway, why the hell didn't you tell us if you have been engaged for ages now?” he then asked Kazuichi, making Hajime also look back at him.
“That I also want to know.”
The answer was as simple as it was stupid if you asked Kazuichi. “The reason is because I wasn't allowed to talk about it.” Both, Hajime and Fuyuhiko looked confused at this while Izuru simply waited for the princess to continue. “You all probably know how the first attack of this war was on Moriseishin's capital?” All of them nodded. “Good, because as you should also know, that due to the attack the prince and the queen both went into hiding to ensure the prince's safety while the kingdom was constantly attacked.” Again a nod from them all. “So after that all happened my dad told me that I was supposed to not talk too much about everything and how we almost both killed, because he feared that people might get panicked or that someone else might overhear something that they weren't supposed to hear.” As a child, when he first had been told to not talk about it, he had found it stupid that he wasn't allowed to talk about Gundham to anyone he met, however today he understood it more since it was easy for a small child to slip up and it was easier to just forbid him from talking about it altogether. Over the years there was also the problem that Kazuichi didn't even know what to tell his friends about his engagement. It wasn't like he could remember much from the individual stuff he and Gundham did and any sire who tried to court the princess was send away by his father anyway and never got as far as to talk to the princess.
“Wait a fucking minute.” Fuyuhiko stopped the conversation to let his mind catch up and to address one matter at hand. “What do you mean with that you both almost got killed?”
Oh yeah, he also never told them about that incident, due to him not liking to talk about it much. There was also the fact that he never got around to telling his friends about it, since there was very rarely the chance to randomly bring up the topic; 'Hey, have I ever told you about the time where I was almost killed by an enemy warrior when I was still five? It still gives me awful nightmares from time to time. Anyway, how's the tea?' However today he told his friend's about everything. How he had as usually been visiting Gundham right at the time where the enemy kingdom was preparing for their first attack, and how he and Gundham had sneaked away from their nanny, where they then got attacked by one of the enemies who was going through the gardens and happened to run into the royal heirs, where he then injured the prince's face and how everything that happened that day has led to the current situation.
“And that was the last time I ever saw Gundham again.” Kazuichi finished his story, before he gave a nervous smile. “Until in a few days in front of the altar I guess?” he joked very awkwardly in an attempt to calm his nerves and loosen the tense atmosphere again.
“So that I get this shit straight.” Fuyuhiko began as he tried to summaries everything that he had learned. “You are leaving your home forever to get married to some alpha you didn't see for the last twenty years and even have children with him because your dad said so and you're fine with this?” he concluded in disbelieve, “I would beat my parents up for even thinking that bullshit.”
“Yeah, I don't think I can do the same.” Kazuichi replied with a tense expression. His dad was unpleasant at his best days ever since the war began, so he really didn't want to go and defy his father in a matter that could end with the alliance of the two kingdom's breaking apart. That wouldn't end painless for him. “But I have to admit that I'm nervous as hell.” Even that was an understatement. He was scared shitless. “I haven't seen Gundham for ages now and I have no clue what he even thinks about it or how his character might have changed over the years.” Or if he even still liked Kazuichi after what happened, which he didn't say out loud.
For a moment his friends were silent as they thought about what they could say to ease Kazuichi's mind. They knew that there was no easy way of getting out of it – though Kazuichi suspected that his friends would do anything they could to stop the marriage from happening if he really was against it. After a bit Hajime then asked, “What do you think about it all? Do you want to marry him and do you even like him?”
“I do.” Kazuichi answered like it was completely natural to him, however then his mind was filled with doubt, “I mean, I think I do like him. I know that I loved him in a childish kind of way when we were kids, but that was ages ago and I have no clue if I still feel the same way today. And I don't really want to marry someone I don't at least like.” He really has loved Gundham with all of his heart, however it had been an innocent puppy love that kids sometimes experienced. It was something completely different to love someone as a mate in a mature and adult kind of way.
“Well if you don't like him, don't marry him.” Fuyuhiko said like it was just that simple.
Izuru then however cut him off, “That won't work. The alliance between the kingdoms is based on their engagement and marriage. So breaking that off would break off the alliance, and that in the middle of a year long war.”
With this a discussion began between Kazuichi's three friends if it was just to force the two royal children into mateship all because of an alliance. The engaged princess in question however said nothing as he watched his friends debate while his mind began to swirl around again in anxiety until their words hardly registered. When he could not take it any more, he stopped them. “Come on, my problem isn't that my marriage is arranged. It's just that I'm scared as hell because I don't know that will happen now! Who the fuck cares who decided upon it and when? I didn't mind it as a child and I still don't mind it much today, I'm just scared that everything could turn to shit and that Gundham ends up hating me.” As a child he had been counting the days until he could marry the alpha since he genuinely had loved him and Gundham had told him many times that he loved him as well. But that was before twenty full years being apart, the war raging in the lands and, what was the worst, that Gundham got injured because he tried to protect him. The incident had traumatised Kazuichi, so he could only imagine what it might have done to Gundham. Kazuichi also knew very well how war could change a person completely, since the war and constant fighting had turned his dad from a bit of a strict but caring father, into a drunken brute who had hit his son out of rage more than once.
His friends all turned silent as they ended their debate and their turned their attention back to Kazuichi's mental well-being.
“I know one thing that will happen.” Fuyuhiko stated with a confident grin, “If that prince treats you badly he will have to have a word with me.”
At this Hajime gave a nod, “Exactly. I may have no idea how the prince is, but we will make sure that everything will turn out fine.” he turned towards his twin brother, “Right?” who nodded silently in agreement.
Hearing this did actually calm Kazuichi's anxious mind a bit. Even if Gundham didn't like him any more, which would probably devastate the omega, he at least still had his best friends holding his back. As long as he had them with him and he and Gundham at least could be content with each other, it could just work out. He also guessed that it probably couldn't be any worse to live with Gundham, who might even be just as sweet as before, than to continue to live with his father who had a tendency of drinking his foul head off.
After this the group continued to chat about the wedding and all that could come, where Fuyuhiko more than once reassured – or better threatened – that he would take care of the prince if he misbehaves and does anything his friend dislikes, making it seem that the rumours that his family had connections to the underground almost seem plausible.
They talked about more silly topics regarding the wedding itself.
“God, don't decide on your own wedding dress and let someone professional do that.” Fuyuhiko scrunched his nose, “Your taste in fashion is shitty as fuck.”
“Hey, my fashion taste is good.” Kazuichi retorted in amusement, “It's not my fault that you can't see how great comfortable clothing is and are so stuck on stuffy suits.” Not that it mattered much anyway, since he had to wear whatever his future in-laws gave to him anyway, which probably entailed way too wide and frilly petticoats, a tight corset and tons of lace that made moving more complicated than anything else.
Then they talked about more serious political topics.
“Who will take over the throne, if you are leaving the kingdom?” Izuru asked him, as usually omega heirs had a royal alpha marry into the kingdom and not leave their kingdom like Kazuichi had to do.
“My alpha cousin.” the princess answered, “Since I can't inherit the throne and my mum died straight after my birth before having a sire with my dad, she was prepared to inherit the throne.” Dams weren't allowed to inherit a throne, which was beyond stupid since sires could be just as good or bad at ruling as a dam. But then again he found the system of monarchy stupid as well, since there was no guarantee that one would have what it takes to rule just because they happened to be born into royalty.
And at the end they talked about Gundham and what a kind of person he had been in the past.
“He was seriously good with animals.” Kazuichi told his friends with fondness at the memory, “Wherever he went the animals would flock around him all the time.”
“That will be fun then, considering how awful you are with animals.” Hajime joked, “I mean, do you still remember the time when you had horse riding lessons?” The memory made all of them laugh, while Kazuichi cringed as the horse hadn't even let him get on and instead had chased him through the courtyard. That incident had been the talk of the town's people for weeks, but at least it was a change from the constant war talk.
When the sun had begun to set, Kazuichi's friends made their way back to their homes after a final time reassuring him that everything would be fine. With a smile on his face he then walked into his bedroom, where many of his belongings were already packed for his move into his unforeseeable future as Gundham's mate. Lying down into his nest, that was now mostly empty aside from one blanket and a pillow, he looked at the many decorated suitcases that were sitting in the corner with a neutral expression, before he turned away from them and pulled his blanket over his head.
The last few days within his home passed in such a swift way that Kazuichi felt like he couldn't catch up. The news had spread all along the kingdom that their princess was finally getting married to Prince Gundham and he already received tons over tons of wedding gifts and congratulations from all over his and his allied kingdoms. He couldn't walk anywhere without having someone bring the soon upcoming wedding up to him or pass people talking about it. The wedding was already the biggest event within all of the allied kingdoms and Kazuichi was thrust right into the middle of it all. All eyes were on him and probably on his future mate who had returned from hiding somewhere in the middle of this vast world to marry and soon take over the throne as king.
No day passed where Kazuichi wasn't dragged to some other important event, which was nothing more than one of the noble families in his home kingdom visiting to congratulate him or him having to go out into public as much as possible to be present for his subjects before he would leave them for his new home.
At least until Kazuichi, who was dressed up in his finest clothing, one morning was escorted to the royal carriage together with a huge number of royal guards, as he was send off to his new life with waves and flowers from all around, while Kazuichi waved back and slowly watched how the many houses and factories he passed began to turn into farm houses and huge landscapes, before his carriage began to decent the mountains he once called his home and entered the vast forests he hadn't seen for a lifetime.
Kazuichi sat alone in his carriage, as his father and his friends would join him in a few days for the wedding itself, while he watched the trees pass him one by one and ever so often a head of one of the guards escorting him coming into view of the small window as they scanned the area. While the war was believe to be at the edge of being won, as the enemy's kingdom was being pushed back more and more, it was still a measurement of safety. Not that the princess minded, since he didn't want to repeat the incident of his childhood. He quite liked being alive and didn't need a new trauma haunting him.
While watching the nature pass by him as hours and soon days passed, Kazuichi was mostly alone with his thoughts as he wondered how his life would now become. Would he be happy with mated life? Would he still be close to Queen Aya, who was quite feeble these days, like before? And most importantly, what did Gundham think of him? Would he still like him? Or would he disappointed when he was reunited with his fiancé? Or even worse, hate him for being forced into a marriage with someone who caused him getting seriously injured?
These thoughts tormented the anxious omega as he travelled. At least when he wasn't lying on the floor of his carriage because he was feeling sick beyond believe. He had almost forgot how bloody awful travelling was, since he hadn't done it since he was a kid. It seemed that his dad and former nannies had been incorrect with that it would get better when he was grown up.
The more he travelled, the more often he wondered if they were finally there yet and he had to stop himself from constantly asking his driver and escorts. He faintly wondered if he was anticipating his arrival so much because he simply was so sick of travelling and sitting in a carriage, if he was just that nervous about what was going to happen soon and simply wanted to have it all over with, or if he was actually excited to finally be reunited with Gundham. Or if it was all of them mixed together into a huge pile of mind numbing anxiety called his life.
Lying on the seats of his carriage with his feet up against the wall and no concern for being proper any more, Kazuichi was staring at the ceiling of the swaying carriage. He wasn't even sure how long he had been travelling by now, only that it had been days. One day he had to go and invent a way to travel that was faster than by carriage, since horses could only walk so fast and so long before they needed to rest.
Absent-mindedly playing with a little automatic toy he build during his travel, Kazuichi tried to distract himself from his upset stomach, when a knock sounded out from the carriage door before it opened slightly as one of his guards talked to him from his place on his horse next to the carriage. “My royal princess, we will soon arrive at the capital.”
One part of Kazuichi wanted to shout 'Finally' and throw his fists into the air in celebration, while the other and main part of him suddenly felt sick to the pit of his stomach as if he had eaten molten led. “T-Thank you.” he stammered as he very awkwardly sat himself up. He carefully looked out of the window of his carriage and while he couldn't really see much that was in front of him, he saw how the trees became fewer in between and how the bumpy road turned into smooth stone flooring, as he passed a set of grand gates leading into the capital of Moriseishin, Gundham's home kingdom and now also Kazuichi's home. The royal princess saw how the many town's people had gathered along the streets to greet their new princess and soon to be queen, as they all waved enthusiastically and tried to catch a glimpse of the princess who hadn't set foot onto these lands for many years. While the carriage was slowly driving through the capital all the way towards the grand castle standing proudly in the centre, Kazuichi scrambled to make himself look as presentable as possible. He didn't wanted to fuck up the more or less first impression he made to his future in-laws after many years and he also hoped that he could maybe impress Gundham at least a bit and not look like some wild animal. At least less like some wild animal than he usually did with his naturally dishevelled hair, sharp teeth and most of the time with oil stained clothing.
Slowly the carriage passed another set of gates, which he remembered well as they stood proudly at the outskirts of the caste grounds and protected the area from intruders. Only that unlike in the past the gates were immediately closed the moment the royal carriage has passed it and not left open in a welcoming manner to the kingdom's people.
Kazuichi's heart was racing in his chest as he ran his fingers through his hair out of a nervous habit, where his noticed that he almost forgot something important. “Shit, where is it?” he quickly checked the whole carriage while it came closer and closer to the castle's entrance where he would be welcomed and had to look as perfect as possible and not have his head under a carriage seat like some weirdo. Within the last moment his fingers then brushed the familiar cool metal and he cheered triumphally as he quickly sat the forgotten tiara into his head. His dad would have killed him when he later on arrived at the castle for the wedding and found out that his son had lost the very expensive tiara that was in his family for generations. Scrambling back into his seat, he was just in time to straighten his dress again before the carriage came to a halt and a servant opened the carriage door and helped him out.
Looking up at the huge castle that was now to become his home, Kazuichi gulped as he tried to get his wobbling knees to work as he was led up the stairs leading towards the grand entrance where servants from all fields were bowing deeply to greet their new princess and future queen. Kazuichi's mind wasn't even sure what it should think first. It was going from his nervousness about his future, to wondering what his future in-laws would think of him after all these years, if he looked good or like a total idiot like he feared, and then if the wedding and mateship would actually work out, and that all within the span of mere seconds as he approached the entrance which was opened for him. However when he stepped past the threshold his mind decided to think about Gundham, as his mind usually did. He wondered how Gundham looked as an adult, if he had been thinking about Kazuichi as much as he himself had been thinking about him and what he thought about him today.
When Kazuichi stepped foot inside of his new home his senses were instantly filled with an overwhelming scent which caught his full attention and he had to force himself to just go straight on to the many figures before him. The scent was mesmerizing, yet he could not place it onto anything or anyone and he could not look around to find the source even if his instincts wanted nothing more than to find whoever emitted this wonderful scent. Instead he forced his eyes forwards as he arrived before a group of people and he curtsied.
“I present the royal princess, Princess Kazuichi Souda of Kikaiyama.” the servant who led him inside announced him at the same time as he also bowed deeply.
At this Kazuichi raised himself again and he forced his eyes to look at the people in front of him. Many of them looked to be from nobility and were wearing the royal symbol on their clothing that identified them as the royal council. In the middle however stood an imposing man whom Kazuichi hasn't seen for years. It was however not whom he was hoping to see. It was the current king of this country, who smiled at him in a welcoming manner.
“Kazuichi it has been ages.” he greeted the omega with a smile, “You have grown up to be a real beauty, just like I always said that you would. I would say that you come a lot after your father, only that he isn't that nice to look at I'm afraid.”
Kazuichi got that a lot that he looked a lot like his father, only more omega like whatever that meant. “Thank you very much for the compliment.” It did calm him slightly to hear that he at least didn't like like a total fool, “It is a pleasure to meet you again after all these years.” As all royal war conferences had been held in the third of their allied kingdoms Novoselic, which was the kingdom that was the most military advanced of the three, none of the royal families had visited Kazuichi's home over the years as they tried to keep travelling and holidays at a minimum.
King Ryuusei then moved his hand in a gesture to lead Kazuichi to follow him, “Come, I will show you everything, since you had been still young the last time you have been here. Would be no good if you got lost.” With this the royal council bowed, before they left back to their work as Kazuichi and his soon to be father-in-law began their tour of the castle. “I have to excuse that my mate, Aya, hasn't joined me today to greet you, however her health these days isn't as good as it once was and she is resting. The royal doctor and I had to almost force her to rest, since she was quite adamant about greeting you today.” he then added as they walked through the grand halls.
“I don't mind. It's more important to me that she rests.” When Kazuichi had learned about her declining health he had been shocked. She always was such a sweet and caring lady, and then her body's immune system began to slowly fail her, making even a simple cold dangerous for her. “When she is feeling up to it, I will visit her later on or I will see her at the meals.”
“That is what I have also told her.” King Ryuusei said, “You are going to be here long enough, so you two can talk as much as you like.”
Kazuichi gave a nod at this, as all the letters he and his father received had never mentioned anything about her condition being lethal as long as she took her medications, only that she was more feeble and needed more rest, which Kazuichi wanted to give her. There was no need to take risks and overexert her. However there was something else on his mind, so he carefully changed the subject and asked, “If I may ask. Where is Prince Gundham?” The letter had said that he had already returned to the castle when the letter had been originally sent, yet the princess had yet to see him.
“Eager, are we not?” King Ryuusei was amused, “I have to disappoint then, but Gundham is currently with his mother and will remain at another part of the castle until your wedding will commence. As it is tradition you two aren't allowed to see each other for a while before the wedding.” That was right, Kazuichi had almost forgotten it despite the fact that his kingdom had the same tradition, that was mainly just a way to avoid the soon to be mated couple getting ahead of themselves and having sex with each other. The king then continued, “However I can understand where you come from, since you didn't see your fiancé for many years now. But you have to wait a few more days I am afraid.”
Truth to be told, Kazuichi wasn't sure if he was supposed to be disappointed or relieved that he couldn't see Gundham yet, so his mind settled for both at the same time.
As Kazuichi was lead through the castle, which looked just like he remembered aside from a few renovations after it had been originally attacked, he listened to the king talk. To Kazuichi's slight nervousness he noticed that the servants were already beginning to prepare the castle for the upcoming wedding. It was the most evident inside of the grand ballroom which was being decorated in the most lavish way with the national colours of the two allied kingdoms, purple and pink. Kazuichi was actually glad when they continued their way and walked away from the ballroom.
That was at least until they reached the last area of the castle, the wings containing the many sleeping quarters.
The king only pointed into the wing where his and his mate's, and also Gundham's quarters were, since Kazuichi wasn't permitted to go in there as for now. He then led his future son-in-law into another wing and showed Kazuichi were his current bedroom was, which was the same one like he had used as a child he believed and it also seemed to still look the same as before only that all of his belongings had been brought inside.
The very last place they visited was yet another wing, where he was led into a lavish room that made Kazuichi blush awkwardly, as the king said, “And this will be your and Gundham's bedroom after you got mated to each other. Have a look around if your like and if you want something changed about it, do not hesitate to tell either me or one of the servants.”
Kazuichi was trying not to stare at the king size bed that was standing in the middle of the room and instead looked at the expensive furniture made out of rich, dark wood. It looked quite nice he guessed in his anxious mind, however he realised that something seemed to be missing. There was only a normal bed an no- He then noticed the two doors, one in the corner of the room that led to the private en suite, and the other one leading to a complete other room that had an extra door leading to the hallway. It was a nesting room and this time Kazuichi couldn't help but stare at the nest standing in the centre of the room, as this room had two functions for him; Nursing pups and mating. He was expected to have sex with Gundham in this nest in only a few days, which made him blush up to both ears as realisation hit him full force.
“The servants have brought all of your nesting materials into this room, so you are free to make it just to your liking.” King Ryuusei said suddenly, making the omega almost jump as he had forgotten everything around him. “If you wish for it, I can instruct my son to scent something and have it added to the nest.”
“Ah, yeah.” was all that Kazuichi was able to reply to this, as his brain struggled to function and instead was still stuck at the fact that he was actually supposed to sleep, no to have sex and mate with Gundham in only a few days.
“I will leave you to it then.” King Ryuusei smiled at the other, “You can either get comfortable here or rest in your guest bedroom after your long trip. I will send a private maid to tend to you, so if you need anything don't hesitate to ask.” When Kazuichi nodded to this, still in a mild daze, the king then went along his way. He was then soon later replaced by an elderly beta woman who was to be his personal maid and chaperone and Kazuichi absent-mindedly wondered if this woman was Gundham's former nanny who always looked after the pair when they were still children. Given they didn't sneak away to play and at one occasion end up almost getting killed, that was.
After Kazuichi and the maid introduced themselves to each other, where he learned that the maid was indeed the former nanny, he then returned to his guest room for the time being to relax for a while to calm his nerves. He got comfortable on the plush bed and began to tinker with a small wind up toy he decided to now build to get his mind off things, since he realised he had nothing else to do. Reading wasn't really that good to keep himself distracted from his anxiety and there was no one for him to really talk to as all of Kazuichi's friends were still back in Kikaiyama, the king was busy preparing the wedding, the queen was resting, and he and Gundham were not allowed to see each other yet. They didn't even eat at the same time or in the same dining room, as Kazuichi learned in the evening when dinner was served. While he was chatting with King Ryuusei, who was the only other person accompanying him that night aside from the many servants who were standing at the side, he was informed by him that Gundham was going to mainly stay in the wing were his current bedroom was and thus also ate there together with his mother. Since the royal family wanted the newly arrived omega to get comfortable in his new home and get familiar with it again, they had instructed the alpha to stay put and let Kazuichi roam around freely. At least as freely one can move around while being constantly accompanied by a chaperone.
Though as it turned out, Kazuichi wasn't that free to walk around like he believed or hoped. The next morning, after he was woken up by his personal maid – way too early for his liking – he was immediately dragged out of bed to be greeted by a bunch of dams, one of them being the royal tailor who was tasked with the honour of designing the princess' wedding dress. Before Kazuichi even had the chance to wake up properly he was suddenly swarmed by a bunch of people he had never met before and forced into one dress after the other and was asked way to many questions, while everyone was pushing and adjusting everything until he was close to scream already early in the morning. They didn't even leave him be when it was time for breakfast and he was forced to eat standing up while the tailor and her many assistants where adjusting tons of fabric and pinning it in place, while asking even more questions about what stuff he, who had no clue or interest in fashion, wanted to be added to his wedding dress and even worse to his underwear he was going to wear underneath. The maids who had the task to prepare the nesting room for the wedding night had even worse questions for him, that caused him to almost spit his tea out onto the pearly white fabric.
When Kazuichi was at the point where he wanted to rip his hair out, he was finally granted a tiny pause as the tailor wanted to discuss her draft with the other royal tailor who was tasked to design Gundham's suit so that they would match during the wedding. The assistants followed the royal tailor with all fabric examples, while the maids went after their own work, leaving Kazuichi alone in his room who wanted nothing more than to leave right that moment.
Taking off his current dress, while cursing whatever idiot decided that it was a good idea to have the laces at the back, Kazuichi then quickly put on a simple pair of trousers and shirt, before sneaking out of his room to have a walk and get away from everyone. If just one more person poked or probed him – or like the maids ask him way too many personal questions about his heats – he was going to lose it and scream.
While trying to not be seen, he went outside into the gardens in the hope that not as many servants would be there like inside. He also wanted some fresh air as the air inside of the castle became more hot and hard to breathe in the longer he was inside of it. Finally outside and away from all the servants, he took a deep breath which calmed his anxious mind slightly. He knew that he should stay put and do as he was told, however he needed this right now.
However in that moment he heard some servants approach to decorate the gardens for the wedding and as such Kazuichi quickly ducked through the closes door he found, which led him straight into the royal stables. Peeking out of the slightly ajar door he saw that the servants were decorating the gardens for the upcoming wedding and as such making it hard for the princess to get past them without being seen. Though it was then that his nose again picked up the mesmerising scent that was lingering within the whole castle, but was very dominant within the stables. Forgetting about getting out, the omega instinctively began to roam the stables and was trying to find where this scent came from that seemed to call to him. At least until he passed a pitch black mare that he had missed due to the not so good lighting, which scared the living crap out of the easily frightened princess and made him scream in a high pitched voice, “Holy fucking shit!” as he stumbled backwards over his own two feet.
Instead of falling onto the hard stone floor beneath him, Kazuichi instead was caught by a set of strong arms and the mesmerising scent completely surrounded him. “Are you alright?” a dark and sultry voice asked with concern.
“Ah yeah, thank ya.” Kazuichi replied awkwardly as the set of strong arms helped him straighten up properly again. Always a good impression a princess could make to people when they saw him shriek because of a horse, almost fall over and scream curses at the air. Turning around with a bashful smile towards the alpha who caught him, Kazuichi felt all possible words he could have said leave his mind completely when he was faced with the most gorgeous hunk of a sire he has ever seen in his entire life, who had a strong physic, slicked back black hair, pale skin, mismatched coloured eyes and- Wait a minuted. “Gundham?”
The alpha's eyes widened at this, as realisation who was before him hit him. “Kazuichi, is that you?”
Said omega only nodded as he stared up at the slightly taller alpha in disbelieve. He wasn't sure what to even say.
Gundham seemed just as speechless as his face began to turn a reddish colour just as it had always done in the past. “Y-You do look lovely.” he mumbled shyly as he hid behind the purple scarf he was wearing, which Kazuichi absent-mindedly recognised as the one he already had as a child.
Again Kazuichi nodded as he replied to the compliment, “Thank ya. You also look good.” Good looking was the understatement of the century. Kazuichi had very often wondered how the pale and lean kid he once knew would look today. However he would have never guessed that Gundham would turn out to look like this; absolutely mouthwatering. He made the omega's insides twist and turn in anticipation that he was actually soon to be mated to this stunning man before him – although his mind itself was still nervous about it, but it was dulled by his instincts.
Trying to get his brain away from thinking how dreamy looking Gundham has become, Kazuichi tried to get himself to talk again. “H-How have you been? And where were ya all these years?” Even after twenty years the princess was never told where his fiancé had went to hide.
“I have been well, thank you.” he replied after he removed the scarf from his mouth again, “And the Angel and I have been residing in the kingdom of Novoselic under the care of the Nevermind family.” So Gundham and his mother had been in the third allied kingdom in the far west all this time. It made sense now that Kazuichi thought about it. “After all that had happened that fateful day where our realms had been challenged at war, the one who sired me wished that the Angel and I were as far away as possible, even if I had wished to return to you many times.” Gundham then continued and out of reflex gently touched his left eye where one of the enemy's warriors had wounded him that day.
Which was when Kazuichi's eyes widened as he saw something he hadn't even registered until that moment. A big scar was running along Gundham's left eye. A big scar which he had caused because he hadn't run when he should have. A big scar that was now forever on Gundham's face because he had protected Kazuichi, who had been too stupid to get onto his feet on his own and run away when he had the chance before.
When Gundham noticed that the other was staring at him, mostly at the long scar along his eyelid, he slightly turned his face away, making Kazuichi's throat burn. However before any of them could say anything, another voice called out.
“Princess Kazuichi, here you a- Prince Gundham?” the personal maid looked at the pair in horror, “You two are not allowed to see each other, let alone!” she warned them in a voice like what she was seeing was a huge scandal, and going by how proper the maid was it was easy to conclude that this was indeed a huge scandal in her eyes.
“I'm sorry.” Kazuichi quickly replied to the appalled maid, “I needed some fresh air and ended up bumping into him by accident.” He really didn't want to get onto anyone's bad side or accidentally cause Gundham's and his reputation to drop due to some misunderstandings.
The always proper maid opened her mouth to reply, but was immediately turned silent as another angelic voice began talking instead. “Such things can happen, so do not worry.” Queen Aya gracefully walked into the stables as well with the same sweet smile that Kazuichi knew so well from all these years back.
“Aunt- I mean, Queen Aya.” Kazuichi quickly corrected himself as he curtsied before her. The queen was still as beautiful as he remembered and she has aged gracefully, where her black hair was now beginning to become more grey and faint wrinkles were running along her creamy skin. She looked like the gentle old mother, who was always described in children's books.
“Mother, why are you here?” Gundham asked her as he walked up towards her in worry. “Should you not rest like the healers instructed you to?”
Queen Aya gave a gentle smile as she patted her son's cheek with a soft hand. “Just like Kazuichi, I needed some fresh air and as fate wished for it, I happened to bump into my sweet son and soon to be son-in-law, whom I wished to see for years now.” she then gave a caring smile towards Kazuichi. But then her voice turned ever so slightly more stern like that of a loving parent. “However Miss Kiku is correct. You two aren't really allowed to see each other yet and both of you still need to finish preparing, so I would ask of you both to go on your way now.”
Everyone bowed to the queen's words in agreement. However before the princess could be lead away by his personal maid, the queen stopped them for a moment longer to talk directly to Kazuichi after all these years apart. “It is lovely to finally see you again my love and I'm so happy to soon have you in the family.” her voice was soft and filled with loving emotions, as her eyes misted slightly. She then kissed Kazuichi's forehead like she had always done when he had been small, only that she now had to lean up towards him unlike in the past. “Also you are still free to call me Aunty Aya if you want. There is no need for formalities around family.”
Kazuichi couldn't help but smile like all in the world was right now. “Thank you Aunty Aya. I'm also so happy to see you again.” As he never met his own mother, due to him dying shortly after giving birth to his son, Aunty Aya had always been a mother like figure for Kazuichi.
Aunty Aya gave a final smile at the two young adults, “I will see you later then my dears.” before she left again to continue her walk.
Kazuichi and Gundham both also shared a final look and before any of them could speak, the omega was lead away by the maid to continue the torture of playing dress up doll.
The next few days were even more mentally straining for Kazuichi as the wedding came closer. He had to have the dress adjusted almost every day, had hair dressers constantly try out different hairstyles to maybe find a style that could tame his wild hair, prepare the nest for the wedding night in a way that he found comfortable, go to dancing lessons every day to learn the choreographed waltz he and Gundham had to dance at the celebration, and rehearse the wedding ceremony where a hardly adult stable-boy had to play the role of the groom and the poor teen was so awkward with this pretend play that they stumbled more than they walked.
As the royal wedding, which was the event of the year, came closer more and more guests arrived at the castle and the many estates in and around the capital. Including the royal family from Novoselic, Kazuichi's father the king of Kikaiyama, all kinds of nobility from all three allied kingdoms, and most importantly Kazuichi's friends, Fuyuhiko, his sister Natsumi and his persona guard Peko, the twins Hajime and Izuru, and Hajime's own fiancé Nagito.
When Kazuichi's friends from home arrived, the princess was given a break from the preparing he had to do to catch up with them and give him time to relax a bit before the wedding would take place the following day. One of the first things his friends asked him was how he was feeling and if his soon-to-be mate was treating him correctly, before Izuru reminded them that the pair weren't allowed to see each other, which Kazuichi confirmed. He did however tell them about the small incident where he happened to walk into Gundham and that he seemed to be just as sweet like in the past, which calmed his friends. If only it calmed Kazuichi who was ready to jump out of the nearest window due to his nerves being fried by the fact that he was going to marry in only one day. Oh god, he felt like puking again.
While Kazuichi was sitting in a small sitting room with his friends, and a few chaperones as four of his five friends were all sires and only he and Hajime were the only dams in the group, they were talking about all kinds of topics to catch up. To his relieve most of the talk wasn't about the wedding, as his friends all knew how quickly he tended to get anxious. This however had the negative effect that time seemed to fly past and before Kazuichi could register it the sun was beginning to set and his friends had to all return to the noble estates were they were staying during the wedding, leaving Kazuichi to go back into his room for the night, all alone with his thoughts.
Kazuichi was running in circles inside of his room, which he would only use this night before moving to his new bedroom that he would share with Gundham for the rest of his life. It was already dark outside and most people inside of the castle were already sleeping or at the very least inside of their rooms. The princess however couldn't calm his nerves at all, even if he knew that he should sleep as tomorrow all eyes would be on him and he had to get through the whole wedding without getting sick. Another shudder went through his whole body and he grabbed his arms to hold them still and keep himself grounded. He couldn't do this. It was going to be a complete disaster, he knew it. His mind was going through everything that could go wrong, no matter how improbable it may have been, as in his current anxious state everything seemed to not only be probable of happening but was going to definitely happen because of him fucking up. He was so going to stumble over his dress, forget his vows, flunk the dancing, puke during the grand meal and make Gundham hate him and break of the mateship before it even begun!
Kazuichi wanted nothing more than to hide under his bed and not come out again until it all was over.
Just as he was about to cower on the floor and cry, a knock sounded out from his door and the familiar soft voice of Aunty Aya called out to him. “Kazuichi, are you still awake my dear?”
Gathering himself again, he straightened his nightshirt and went to the door to open it and let the lady inside. “Hello Aunty Aya. Was I too loud? If yes, I will be quiet, it's just, well I..” he stumbled awkwardly, before Aya shushed him gently.
“No, you weren't too loud. Do not worry.” she smiled at him and held his trembling hands, “I simply wanted to talk to you for a bit, since I know how easily you tend to get nervous.”
Relieve washed over him, as he held her warming hands, “Thank you Aunty Aya. I really was kinda loosing it just a moment ago.”
“That is normal my dear.” she said as he gently patted his cheek and Kazuichi relaxed as the calming and motherly scent she emitted surrounded him. “When I had married my mate I also had been very nervous. I had been wondering if something might go wrong or if I would be unhappy with my new life. At some point I was even considering hiding in my closet.” she chuckled at the memory and Kazuichi had to do the same at the thought of her as a young adult hiding in a closet like a child.
“I can relate, believe me.”
“I thought so.” Aunty Aya chuckled again, before she looked lovingly and reassuring up towards her anxious, soon-to-be son-in-law. “But you do not need to worry, my love. I know that Gundham adores you more than anything else and will treat you right, and I know that you love him just as much. So everything will be alright, do not fear.”
“How do ya know that?” Kazuichi wanted to desperately believe her that Gundham did adore him, however they hardly talked at all yet. So how could she be so sure about it? Especially since Kazuichi himself wasn't sure if what he feels now was love and not simply a fleeting nostalgia from his childhood crush on his fiancé he had all of his life.
“Because I am a mother.” she smiled and tenderly pushed a strain of hair out his Kazuichi's face, “All these years Gundham has never stopped to talk about you and it is clear as day to me how the two of you feel for each other.”
The gentle ministrations from Aya felt like they carefully brushed away all of his worries. However a tiny shadow of doubt remained at the very back of his mind. Aya seemed to notice this and as such she again took Kazuichi's hands into her own. “Come with me, I want to show you something, my dear.”
“What, now?” Kazuichi asked her. He was only in his nightshirt and it was in the middle of the night. Though she also was dressed in nothing than her sleeping clothing and a robe over it to keep herself warm.
“Yes. Do not worry, no one will mind.” she handed Kazuichi his own night robe to put on, “It is like when you were little and I helped you sneak out for bedtime stories together with Gundham.” she giggled, which filled Kazuichi with nostalgia. He and Gundham have often secretly shared a bed as children even if they weren't allowed to, while Aunty Aya, who always helped the children sneak past the night guards, sat next to them and read a picture book to them until they fell asleep.
Hand in hand the two omegas left the room in silent giggles, as they sneaked around the castle. At first Kazuichi wasn't sure where he was led to until they walked up a set of stairs and went into the wing where his and Gundham's future private quarters were. After passing the many still empty nurseries, they then arrived at the last room, the master bedroom, where Aya led Kazuichi into. Inside Kazuichi's eyes widened at what, or better, whom he saw.
“Mother, there you ar-” Gundham stood at the window and his eyes widened, “Kazuichi? What are you doing here?”
“I am sorry for leaving you here waiting, my sweetheart.” Aya said to her son, as if nothing was amiss. She then looked at the the perplexed pair as she explained the question both had yet to ask her. “I thought that it would do the both of you good to get the chance to talk with each other in private before tomorrow.” She then gave both of them a soft kiss on their cheeks, before she made her way back towards the door, “Take as much time as you need. I will make sure that no one disturbs you meanwhile, so do not worry my dears.” With that being said she then left the room, with no concern that the engaged couple might misbehave while being alone in a bedroom, which is connected to a nesting room, in the middle of the night.
The pair stood in silence within the room for a few moments and Kazuichi noticed that Gundham was looking everywhere than towards the omega, which made his heart twinge ever so slightly in his chest. This and the silence were making Kazuichi nervous again and as such he said the first thing that came to his mind to stop the silence. “Wanna maybe sit down?”
“Ah, yes.” Gundham replied like he had been pulled out of his thoughts by the other. “After you.” he offered to his fiancé.
Kazuichi went to the small ottoman at the foot of the bed, since it seemed a bit too intimate for him to sit on the bed itself right now. Gundham then joined him and Kazuichi slightly regretted that he chose the ottoman over the king-size bed, since the little bench like seat was way narrower and as such the pair were sitting close enough to each other for their shoulders to touch.
“So...” Kazuichi started in another attempt to end the silence, “Your mum also brought you here?”
“Indeed, she did.” Gundham nodded in replied with a mildly tense and mostly awkward voice, “I had been talking to her in my private realm about to upcoming holy ceremony and then she asked me to follow her to this realm, before she said that she would leave for a moment and soon return. Which is when she then seemed to have went to you to bring you to this realm as well for us to talk.”
“Yeah, same here.” Kazuichi said to him and looked at a random corner of the room, “She came to me and after we talked about tomorrow she brought me here.”
While he wasn't really sure, he felt Gundham's eyes peeking at him from the side. “If I may ask. What were you talking about?” He then quickly added in a stammer, “You are of course free to keep this information to yourself.”
“Don't worry.” Kazuichi didn't mind telling Gundham about it, especially since Aunty Aya had specifically brought them here to talk in the first place. “I had been kinda nervous about tomorrow and- No, scratch that, I was pissing myself.” he laughed awkwardly. “Anyway, then your mum came and she told me that she also had been nervous about her own wedding, before saying that I shouldn't need to worry because ya adored me, and that everything would be fine.” While talking he noticed how Gundham's body tensed up slightly, making Kazuichi look at him. “Are ya alright?” Looking at the man next to himself, he could see even within the room that was only dimly lit by a lit candlestick standing at the side, that Gundham was suddenly blushing heavily. Kazuichi quickly went through what he had said that could cause the other to react in such a way, when he realised that he has mentioned the 'he adores you more than anything' part. “Ah, I'm sorry! I shouldn't have said that.” He hated his habit of talking before thinking.
“I-it is fine.” Gundham stammered in an unsteady voice, before falling silent again due to his still present shyness.
To change the topic again from what he had just said, Kazuichi tried to bring up another topic. “Are you also nervous about tomorrow?” While he wasn't sure about it, he guessed that it would calm him at least a bit to know that he wasn't the only one nervous about the following day.
“I have to admit that I am.” Gundham replied as he looked at the flickering flame at the end of the candlestick. “Even if I have been in the knowledge that this day would one day come, I can not help the nervousness that it brings now that it has arrived.”
“Same.” Kazuichi said in a quiet voice and this time it was him who turned silent, as one worry was still haunting his mind and was making the shadow of doubt grow more and more until he couldn't take it any more. After a few moments he then blurred out, “I'm sorry if you're disappointed about having to marry me.” The truth was that Kazuichi could quite easily live his life if Gundham didn't care much either way and simply saw their mateship as something that was a thing, even if it would make him sad, however it would be devastating for Kazuichi if the other disliked him in any way.
“What do you mean?” Gundham asked in bewilderment at the other's sudden apology. “Why do you believe that I feel disappointment about having you as my future mate?”
“Well, ya can hardly look at me.” Kazuichi replied to the man who was still avoiding direct eye contact even while they were having a private conversation, “I mean none of us really had any say in the matter and I'm not exactly what one would hope of an omega.” He himself didn't care either way if he was typically more like a dam or more like a sire or neither, he simply loved building and inventing things, however he had been called names more than once for his non-omega like behaviour. There was also the possibility that Gundham did fall in love with someone else over the years and wanted to actually be with them but couldn't due to his engagement, however Kazuichi didn't even wanted to think about this as it made his chest ache.
Gundham turned almost panicked at this, due to probably hoping that his soon-to-be mate wouldn't have caught on. However he then replied, making it Kazuichi's turn to be surprised. “I am truly sorry that I made you feel like if I would dislike our shared engagement. I had only tried to avoid making you feel uncomfortable from looking at me.”
Kazuichi had absolutely no clue what the other was even meaning. “What? Why should I feel uncomfortable from looking at ya?” The alpha was by far the most attractive person he ever has ever seen in his life. The only thing 'uncomfortable' about looking at him was that the omega's mind went straight down the gutter during it.
The question made Gundham fall quiet and his eyes were downcast onto his arms or hands, Kazuichi couldn't tell that well in the dimly lit room. His scent also turned more murky, as if something was deeply bothering him.
Carefully Kazuichi leaned slightly more towards the other, hoping that it wouldn't upset him. He then took the other's hand into his own, a thing he had missed to do and for a moment he noticed how the soft hands he knew from the past now were more calloused. Yet they still radiated the same warmth and comfort like before. “Come on, please tell me. We are going to marry tomorrow, so we should at least be able to talk honestly.” Usually he never liked talking about his true feeling that much, however he wanted to if it was with Gundham.
While the other mildly tensed up from having his hand hold, he relaxed again and closed his hand in a gentle squeeze. For a moment longer he remained silent, as he never had been the best with talking. “While my looks and how other mortals perceive me is not something that does bother a powerful being like myself, I have to admit that the thought that you do find me, as you call it, unattractive due to the scars I carry on my mortal form did make me feel unwell.”
Now Kazuichi blinked for a moment. “Me, finding you unattractive because of some scars?” Where the heck did the other even get this idea from? “Have ya ever even looked into a mirror over the last decade? Because you look so ridiculously handsome, I can hardly think when looking at ya.” While it could made him ever so slightly jealous, it wouldn't surprise him in the slightest if every second or so person turned after the attractive alpha to have a good look at how dreamy he looked.
“I have to excuse myself when I doubt your words, however they are hard to believe, after you have shown such distaste the moment you have seen the scar along my very face. I do not even wish to imagine how it would be for the rest of our shared lives, as many parts of my mortal form carry scars from years of battle and some encounters with hellish beasts.” He raised his unoccupied hand to look at it, as the slightly slipping dress shirt sleeve revealed many scars along his skin, from faint and pale as his skin, to big and in a dark red colour despite being healed for years now. So this was the reason Gundham had been so unsure and couldn't look at Kazuichi's face. He was just as insecure about himself and how his future mate would see him, as Kazuichi was.
“Oh, ya noticed that...” Now he really felt bad, because he caused someone who was usually so proud to become insecure about himself. He had to come clean about it, before it could escalate even further and he would miss his chance. It was his fault anyway, so he should shoulder the blame and not Gundham. “Listen, the reason why I reacted like that wasn't because I was revolted or anything that you have a scar on your face, or a bunch along the rest of your body. It was because I felt bad about it, since that scar on your face is all my fault. Maybe I was just being ignorant or something, however it somehow never occurred to me that the wound would leave a scar behind and so it took me off guard and made me remember what I did back then.” Or better, didn't do.
Finally turning towards the distressed omega, Gundham looked at him with bewilderment. “Your fault? I do not remember you causing my wound all these years back and that instead it had been some despicable fiend.”
“I did cause it.” Kazuichi retorted, “Because I was just too stupid to just run away like a normal person you've gotten hurt on my behalf.” He has hated himself for it ever since and he still did. Just how stupid and useless had a person to be to not run away when a stranger is threatening one with a dagger? If he had just done something else than just piss himself and stay frozen on the floor, then Gundham wouldn't have needed to go in-between and put his own life on the line.
Gundham opened his mouth to say something and then seemingly decided against what he had originally wanted to say, before trying again. “Kazuichi, you have nothing to do with me being wounded that day aside from being there. It had been this fiend alone who harboured a twisted and sadistic pleasure of tormenting and wanting to kill defenceless, young mortals.” he told him with a hidden growl in his voice at the memory of that person, if one could even call him one. His voice then became more soft again, “And there is nothing shameful about being in such a state of fright that moving one's mortal form becomes impossible. You have only been at the age of five and not capable of properly reacting to such a situation that no mortal should ever have to experience in the first place, let alone during their youngest age. Even I had been unable to move my mortal form when I have witnessed how this fiend had stabbed one of the servants, while I had been behind a tree and out of view of that fiend. The only thing that has given me the ability to move my mortal form was that I have witnessed how he had approached you with the intend to also end your existence, which I wanted to prevent from happening with all of my being.” The hand that was holding Kazuichi's own gave another reassuring squeeze. “I do not regret that have went in-between you and that fiend, and I especially do not resent you for it, as I am indeed feeling immense relieve at having done something to rescue you, as I could not live if you have been harmed that day.”
Kazuichi wasn't sure what he was supposed to say to this. He wasn't even sure if he could even say anything in reply as his throat began to feel tight and his eyes misty. So instead he abandoned talking altogether and gently placed his hands onto Gundham's face, as he leaned up towards him and tenderly kissed the scar just above the eyelid.
When he slowly leaned away again, he saw that Gundham was staring at him with wide eyes and a bright red face. Only now did he then realise just how bloody weird that had been. He somehow had been still so used to kissing Gundham all the time when they had been still children, that kissing his scar came so natural to him that he didn't even question it at all. “Oh shit, I'm sorry! I really shouldn't have done that without asking. That was weird and inappropriate.” What a way to ruin a moment.
It took the shy alpha more than one try to get his voice going again, until he managed to mumble, “I do not mind you kissing my mortal form.” his voice became more quiet until it was nothing more than a whisper, “I do have to admit that I did enjoy it.”
As Kazuichi was so close to the other, he was able to hear him clearly despite the whisper and it quite surprised him considering how shy the other was and that they had been apart for so long. However one thing also made him curious. “Do you mean the kissing in general or being kissed by me?” It may be a bit of an odd and personal question, however he guessed that if they were going to be mated tomorrow anyway he was allowed to ask.
“I do only like being kissed by you. And maybe by the Angel, however due to completely other reasons.” Gundham said with still a more quiet voice, however it was no full whisper any more. “I do not ever let other mortal's touch my cursed body, as I do not enjoy it at all.”
Kazuichi's heart began to beat slightly faster than before as he wanted to know more. “Why do you not mind it if it's me who is kissing or touching you? Is it because we kissed as children or because we are engaged anyway?” For a tiny moment he stopped. “Or is it another reason, why you like it when I kiss ya?” Maybe it was just simple curiosity that made him ask so many personal questions, or he was just that tired and stressed out that his brain didn't properly register what exactly he was asking, or it was maybe even hope that there was something more to it. Something more special between them aside from their duty to be together because of some alliance their parents decided upon years ago.
“Please do not believe that I only let you close to my mortal form due to duty, as I would never bend myself and mate with someone I did not love, only because my sire had told me to. No duty or title could ever make me sell away my heart.” Gundham told him with complete honesty.
However Kazuichi's eyes widened at what he had heard. “Love?” he repeated the one special word the other had said, which made his heart race and flutter at the same time. “You love me?”
Gundham's eyes widened as he felt abashed at having his slip up being heard. His mouth moved slightly, yet no words came out from the shy man, so Kazuichi pushed him on, “Gundham, do ya really love me or are you just saying that because we are engaged?” He needed to know the answer. It was like his whole life depended on it if Gundham loved him, just like Kazuichi loved him. Aya had been correct with the part of him loving Gundham. Even after all these years apart his feelings for him haven't changed much aside from getting more mature in nature. He knew it now that he loved Gundham with all of his heart and wanted to be with him forever. He however needed to know if Gundham also loved him, even if he feared a possible rejection that would devastate him.
Realising the omega's need to know the answer to the alpha's feelings, he then shyly gave a nod in response. “Yes, I do indeed feel l-love for you.” he confessed in an intimate whisper that only Kazuichi could ever hear. “Ever since I have known you I have harboured these feeling for you and I have been awaiting the day were I would be reunited with you, as being forced apart had been nothing short of being the most cruel of tortures.”
Kazuichi wasn't sure what to say to this. All these years apart from his fiancé he had always wondered how the other was feeling about it all and especially how he was feeling about the omega he was supposed to mate. He had feared jt so much that he alpha would not like him or even resent him for being forced into a mateship, that he stopped himself from thinking about anything or feeling anything regarding this topic, as he never could have imagined that Gundham could ever love a person he was expected to be together with. However he had to say something now, so he said the only thing that mattered. “I love you too.” he said in complete honesty, even if his voice was mildly unsteady.
The pair looked directly into each other's eyes within the gently lid room and none of them said a single word, as there were no words that needed to be said within this moment. Instead they slowly leaned towards each other until their lips met in a soft and tender kiss, which was faint and only lasted for a moment, yet it was filled with a warmth that filled the couple's whole bodies and made all the worries they had suffered from melt away until only they remained within their private little world. No duties, expectations or insecurities were left.
As the couple still looked at each other, Kazuichi had to then give a slightly awkward chuckle and he leaned again his future mate's chest, “God, what are the odds that we actually ended up falling in love with each other?”
While Gundham had first looked surprised and mildly concerned that the omega suddenly had to chuckle, he then also had to give a small laugh as he embraced him. “You do have a point that the chances have been on the more slim side.” His voice then became more tender again, “However I do believe that it was the goddess of fate who has brought you into my life and has made our sires decide to form our original bond with each other.”
Maybe it really was fate or luck, or maybe something completely else out of Kazuichi's comprehension. However he didn't care as long as he knew that Gundham loved him back and wanted to be with him, arranged marriage or not.
The couple stayed within the room for a while longer within their embrace. While they should take heed to not accidentally scent each other while they cuddled, as it would be a dead give away that they had been together the night before their wedding, neither of them cared much and the omega guessed he could simply push it on having a scented pillow from the alpha. It wasn't like they were doing anything indecent and forcing them to be apart just because they were to be married soon was cruel in their eyes.
Kazuichi leaned against his soon-to-be mate and listened to his heartbeat in relaxation, while Gundham gently petted his hair and made him purr quietly. They spend their time talking with each other, to finally catch up with each other and generally just chat. Kazuichi had learned more about Gundham's life within Novoselic, where he became good friends with Princess Sonia and had spend most of his days either training or breeding animals – some of which were actually descendants from his original hamster he had owned. Gundham in return had learned about how the relationship between Kazuichi and his father had went down hill ever since the war began until the alpha king formed a habit of beating his child, which caused rage from Gundham who cursed the tormentor of his future mate.
After the alpha had a moment to calm himself down again – and not drag the omega's father out his bed his bed to beat him to a pulp – their conversation turned more relaxed until they ended up talking about the wedding that would take place in the morning and their shared life that would soon begin.
Due to the comfort, the hour it now was and that the room was still dark aside from one single candlestick being lit, Kazuichi was slowly beginning to feel tired. To keep his eyes open, he absent-mindedly looked along the room he would begin to share with Gundham starting tomorrow, to take everything in. Which was when his eyes ended up at the decorated wooden door that was at one end of their bedroom, which led directly into the nesting room and made the omega remember one intricate detail that was also to come the next day – or better night.
“Ya know, I'm still kinda nervous about everything with the wedding.” It was not as bad as earlier that night, however the feeling was still there. However he then continued, “Especially the... ehm part at the end.” he gestured towards the door leading to the nesting room, where they would spend the next night inside of to properly mate with each other.
Kazuichi didn't even need to move his head from the other's chest and look up at him to know that Gundham was now blushing heavily all the way up to his ears. The way his breath hitched and his body tensed was enough to tell.
“I do admit that I also do feel nervousness about this... more intimate prospect of our courtship.” The more Gundham talked, the more high pitched and nervous his voice became.
It came to no surprise to Kazuichi, considering that the other was awfully shy and was suddenly expected to have sex with the omega and leave behind a mating mark. It wasn't exactly what one would call romantic. “If ya want we can try to pretend to have mated properly.” he then offered. While some part of him did want to finally have sex with his future mate ever since his puberty and thus his first heat began – and especially after he was actually reunited with the mouthwatering alpha – he really didn't want to pressure Gundham into doing anything he wasn't ready to do yet. “I mean the only thing everyone wants to see is a mating mark on the back of my neck and no one will know if ya made it while we actually had.. ya know, sex with each other, or if ya did it while we were sitting and simply chatting like now.” It wasn't exactly the most traditional way to receive a mating mark, however their whole courtship wasn't exactly traditional either. In fact there had been no courting at all.
However to his bewilderment, the usually shy alpha replied with the last thing the omega had expected to hear from him. “W-Well... I think I could manage...what is being expected...” he mumbled, before clearing his throat. “However if you would prefer it through this method, I will of course honour your wish as I do not want to force you to do anything that you could dislike.” His eyes were focused onto an empty corner as it was the most fascinating thing ever, while his face was in a deep red colour.
Kazuichi's own face burned when he realised that Gundham did in fact want to have sex with him. “Ehm... We could... ya know...” he also looked into a random corner as his heart raced. “I mean we are in the end expected to have pups, so at some point we have to... well... anyway...” They did need an heir eventually and children did not come out of thin air. So if they wanted they might as well enjoy it directly, he guessed. Gundham seemed to share the same thought, as he nodded with a still blushing face, making Kazuichi suggest, “How about we see tomorrow how we feel about it?” which again earned a nod. There was always the possibility that they realised in the last moment that they did need a bit more time or they could simply end up being way too tired to do much of anything after having to go through a whole wedding that last from dawn till dusk. But if they decided that they wanted to do it, they could. Though Kazuichi had to admit that he could do without three whole kingdoms being completely aware and even expecting that the wedded couple would be having sex with each other for the first time that night. But that was a whole other topic altogether and he didn't bother to mention it, as they slowly moved to another thing to talk about.
Another hour had passed and when yet another tired yawn escaped the couple – they couldn't even tell any more who it was that time around – they decided to return to their separated rooms for the remainder of the night before they ended up falling asleep within their future bedroom and got caught. The shared a last shy kiss before they sneaked out of the room at different times, through different doors. Kazuichi was first to leave through the nesting room and later on Gundham left through the main bedroom door to avoid being seen together.
Inside of his own quarters Kazuichi laid down onto the plush bed and he finally felt himself be relaxed unlike before he had left it. Tomorrow was going to be his and Gundham wedding and now that he knew about their shared feelings, the whole celebration didn't seem so scary any more as he slowly fell asleep.
The sun was shining down onto the kingdom and the sounds of bells ringing filled the air all around. Royals, nobles and commoners alike had all gathered at the castle who had welcomed them all to witness the holy ceremony that they celebrated that day.
All eyes were upon the omega princess, who was dressed in the most finest silks the world had to offer and was adorned with a golden crown upon his head, as he was slowly led towards the altar where he was already awaited. Everything around him had been decorated with the most luxurious of items which all elegantly glistened within the light. He passed his many best friends who were watching him as he moved along the path laid out to him.
Yet Kazuichi could not move his eyes to anything around him, as all that he saw and wanted to see was what awaited him. Gundham, who was dressed in the most elegant of clothing and wore a matching crown, was standing at the altar and when his future mate reached him he gently took his hands into his own.
While the ceremony was taking place, the couple could not move their eyes from each other, as for them they were within their own little world. Both smiled adoringly at each other as they vowed their loyalty and love for each other and their kingdom, before Gundham tenderly caressed Kazuichi's cheek and kissed him softly, as everyone cheered for their future king and queen who have finally found their happy ending with each other.