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[Yukonwolfspirit & ZX-MetalMonster] (Private 18+)


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Darcy traveled the road from border to capital on foot. His presence unsettled the horses and that in turn unsettled the men and he feared drawing attention to himself more than the fatigue that came after days of marching. In truth, they all arrived to their new master with little else than fear in their hearts. Save for a handful of mercenaries who would serve any evil for the right price, the knights sent to the prince had no say in the matter. At night their dreams were filled with demons and witchcraft. Tall tales their elders had told to frighten them as children back home where only mortal men sat thrones. Darcy listened to the tumult of their nightmares while he rested and kept eyes shut, pretending he had dreams of his own and not only ones plucked from other minds.


Before departure he'd been gifted a suit of armor, to aid him in completing his task and ensure his safe return once the deed was done, or so his matron said. The plate armor was forged of pale silver, a metal with the property to ward off evil. It's effect was overblown but Darcy could attest that it was not a myth, the protective plate felt more like a pair of shackled on him and he could have no respite from it, too worried about thieves to take it off while on the road.

 

By the time the marching was done and knights stood shoulder to shoulder in the great hall waiting for inspection Darcy felt like how this realm looked, haggard and bleak. Love or hate the prince, the loss of a king who'd ensured safety and prosperity was a painful wound in the hearts of his people and not one that would heal easily or soon, not that long had passed since the king's premature demise. Darcy wondered if the young man he'd come for would appear to see with his own eyes the militia he'd no doubt paid a fortune for, or if they would swear oaths of loyalty despite his absence.

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(Yukie)

”sir…the mourning period isn’t over yet you can’t be seen in such attire.” A rough voice snapped out only to be silenced by a sharp slap echoing against the cold stone walls.

”you’ll do best to mine your tongue and remember I’m above you now.” A enchanting voice commanded as the prince stepped out of the other room and walked down the short hallway into the great hall. Following the demon was a handful of servants all wearing black the only one standing out being the prince who was wearing an outfit that oozed elegance and that he was royalty (outfit pictured). The rest of the castle was still in shock and still in deep mourning choosing to stay in their clothes of mourning for the next three months to a year depending on who was the closest serving the king. Sitting on his throne Yukie looked down at the men the demon angry yet hiding a deep exhaustion. Yukie scoffed as he sat above the soldiers his red eyes looking down at the men who looked exhausted from their travel hardly for to even be in fighting shape.

“You all look like shit. I paid for you all to be cared for on your journey and in fighting shape.” Yukie replied as he looked straight at the men with a deepening frown. “Who’s the captain of this group of men?” Yukie asked both his servants and the army of men before him.

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Darcy had hoped for this to be a trivial proceeding, to stand at attention equal with the other knights, repeat the words of his oath when it was his turn and then be dismissed to rest or urgently guard some empty corner of the palace. It mattered little if his new master would work him to exhaustion as long as he was done being paraded through his realm and free to blend into the background. However the prince refused him this mercy and demanded Darcy to be clever and speak his own words before he could join the ranks of stone statues that no doubt decorated the hallways.

He stepped forward, removed the silver helm from his head and sucked in a deep, inaudible breath, prompting his chest to heave uncomfortably under the untarnished breastplate of his new armor. He knelt for his liege, moving with fluid motion despite the days of marching because he knew he was being studied in earnest now. With his head bowed it was hard to get a good look at Darcy's features, not that there was much to see. His face was the kind easily lost in a crowd, plain and forgettable save for his eyes which were so dark they seemed to smother any light that touched them.

-"We were made to understand you are in urgent need of armed guards. We forewent comfort in favor of haste your highness." Darcy spoke in a moderate tone but his voice rang from the walls of the large, otherwise silent hall. He addressed his liege with words reserved for a king, not a prince, though only out of ignorance and not in an attempt to vie for his favor. He preferred arming himself with cold steel rather than clever words, hence why he arrived at the palace in the guise of a knight and not a courtier. What skill he had in rhetoric was unrefined and worse yet, he didn't know when to hold his tongue.

-"My condolences your highness." The knight started and spoke words of praise for the departed king as was only right when so many mourned him, though the prince hardly seemed grief stricken. Darcy himself also had little sentiment for the foreign king who he'd never as much as laid eyes on and never would but something in the princes' demeanor had him riled. Perhaps it was in the nature of demons to bear their teeth and snap at one another on first meeting, like all beasts do. Or, having been brought up by humans, Darcy was so removed from his own kind that he was acting on instincts more socialized demons had smoothed over with age and learned etiquette. Or maybe he was simply tired, uneasy in his silver armor and being forced to answer to a demanding highborn boy first thing on arrival.
-"I assure you we are in fighting condition though we will be better fit to serve you once we are rested. You've nothing to fear my prince." Darcy's gaze lifted from where it had been fixed on the stone floor and for a fleeting moment his pitch black eyes regarded the prince with cold curiosity before he looked away again.

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“I sure hope I have nothing to fear. My fathers death was rather gruesome…anyone who betrays me will see the same fate.” Yukie replied as he looked away from the knights eyes a deep anger showing within his eyes along with a deeper sadness that the poor prince was hiding well. “Either way. Your barracks have been prepared with hot baths and your dinner by my staff. You’ll have your meals going forward in the great hall with the rest of my men. Captains going forward will stay in the main quarters in the main castle. I’ll have your room prepared by tomorrow.” Yukie added as he sighed in annoyance before looking at one of his staff who walked over to him. “Make sure they all arrive to their places. It’s going to be raining hard for the next week.” Yukie mumbled before mentioning to another staff who nodded and went to go inform the village to prepare for very stormy weather and possible flooding.

”yes sir.” One of the men replied as he left to do his work leaving the room sitting in silence as a sharp crack of thunder could be heard echoing across the sky. Getting up Yukie left without a goodby or further questions feeling he had made enough of an appearance. Leaving the men to the care of the staff Yukie went back to his room.

”well have to apologize on the young….kings part. Your his first actual audience so it’s all new to him. He just started learning some basics before the poor king died.” The main castle keeper explained as he mentioned for the men to follow out to their rooms. “He’s trying his best to fill into his new role but as you can see there’s gaps in what he knows.” The keeper replied as he looked at Darcy for a moment before opening the doors to their living area that was recently remodeled and quite lavish for soldiers quarters. “He had it updated the last few weeks. Each man gets his own small room and there’s a bathhouse to the back.” He explained with a small smile amused still that Yukie had made such a fuss about a soldiers quarters. “Everyone please rest up for tonight and join us for breakfast in the morning.” The keeper finished before turning and leaving the men to their devices so he could tend to the king inside.

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The prince's threat did a poor job of frightening Darcy, though he was not someone easily unsettled. He was well aware what would happen to him if he was caught and sentenced as a traitor but in his mind his fate was already written and there was no room to second guess his loyalties. His promise to the prince to keep him safe was empty and his devotion to his true masters absolute, the demon threatened in vain.

For the same reasons the unprecedented gift of private rooms and comfort equal to that afforded the other inhabitants of the castle did little to sway Darcy's opinion in favor of the prince. The other knights however were taken aback, they'd been envisioning their new liege as a cruel tyrant but what greeted them in stead was a generous young man. It helped that all of the prince's ire was focused on Darcy alone, spearing the others of a poor first impression.

Darcy followed in step with the keeper, nodding every now and then not in agreement but to assure the older man that he was listening. The touch of silver was a constant itch in the back of his mind and a distraction, however he pushed himself to comb over the tidbits of information given to him for any useful details. Unfortunately, the only things he could gleam were regarding the prince's ability to rule and that was of no interest to him.

Soon the keeper left the knights to recover from their travels and Darcy in turn left the other men for the solitude of one of the rooms granted to them. A weight lifted from his shoulders in more ways than one as he took off the plate armor and he didn't stop at that, peeling away most of his clothes to compensate for the days he'd spent feeling smothered. From there it was a matter of waiting for nightfall, his strength recovering as the sun left and the sky turned dark. It would have been easy to slip out unnoticed with the other men having all fallen asleep early but Darcy was eager to shed his human skin just like he'd liberated himself from the metal and fabric of his clothes. In a  heartbeat he dissipated like fog and bled into the shadows that at this late hour were plentiful in the corners of his chamber.

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Sitting up in his bed Yukie was deep in though the chessboard laid in a checkmate as he thought about his next movement. Sighing softly he got up as the lightning cracked across the morning sky the prince yet again not sleeping through the night. Looking out at the kingdom before him he frowned at the state it was in annoyed Yukie thought about how best to better his people knowing when winter hit in two months it would be harder for everyone to survive. “Good morning my lord. We have breakfast ready if you want to take it with your new men.” The keeper offered as he helped Yukie get dressed for the day the prince choosing a rather bright and cheery yellow.

”the prisoners are still alive?” Yukie asked thinking down to the prison room where his fathers army of men stayed the men all guilty in Yukies eyes of betraying his father and killing him brutally.

”yes. We’ve kept an eye on them to make sure they are alive. Would you like to deal with them?” The keeper asked as he carefully tied on his lords cape.

”No, I believe my new captain and men will be dealing with them today after breakfast. Then I will watch them train and visit those I rule over.” Yukie explained having planned out his day fully as he had sat for hours watching the rain instead of sleeping.

”very well. I’ll go let the men know their meals are ready.” The keeper replied as he left to go fetch the soldiers leaving Yukie and the maids to head to breakfast. Heading down to the banquet hall Yukie sat at the head of the table poking at his food the tables adorned with many meats and cheeses along with hot ale and fresh bread for his men.

——

Knocking on the solders quarters the keeper waited under the awning a few seconds before knocking again to wake the men.

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The sound of rain and flashes of thunder accompanied Darcy throughout the night while he crept down hallways and slipped under doors, into rooms that no doubt would be locked and off limits to him in the daylight. The further he strayed from the quarters prepared for them the more he realized the castle was strange and likely older than he could have ever guessed judging just by the areas courtiers and servants visited daily. Scraps of dreams snuck into his head when he passed by them and in places where the castle was empty and quiet, he could faintly hear someone's night terrors. It was as if the stones themselves whispered about night of torment long forgotten and Darcy wondered if things other than him haunted the castle.

By dawn he was back in his chamber and again in the guise of a mortal knight, begrudgingly dressing himself in the silver plate. He would have been happiest in soft wool on a rainy day like this one but the armor was mandatory for a knight, even one who had little interest in his duty.

His eyes sought out the prince as soon as he arrived and was seated at one of the tables, though the young man was hard to miss in his bright attire. Despite being the only one wide awake, Darcy was one of the last knights to arrive, hoping the room would be crowded enough by then that no one would pay much attention to him. The others knew him well enough by now and expected him to be quiet and lost in his own head, though he would listen when they spoke, for however long they went on. Save for greetings and some small talk no one engaged him this morning though and he ate quietly, needing as much food as any man his size. He had no need or ability for sleep but in many other ways he wasn't dissimilar to the men who surrounded him, save for the prince of course. Darcy didn't know the first thing about what the other demon needed or what power he possessed.

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Finishing his meal in silence Yukie was quiet watching and studying the men who ate before him. As he looked over the group his eyes saw Darcy who only made his skin crawl a little for some unknown reason. Brushing off his uneasiness Yukie finished his food before standing to make an announcement. “Men. After you’ve eaten your fill you’ll all join me out in the courtyard.” Yukie ordered as he stood the man eyes full of anger and unease at the thought of what was before him and the task he would have at hand.

”I’ve already prepared everything for you my lord. We can proceed once your men are ready.” The keeper joined in as he had already had the prisoners lead out into the poring rain to await their execution.

”thank you. I will retire to my chambers to prepare.” Yukie replied his voice almost cold and unfeeling as he left the two maids following to help him dress and get ready Yukie only needing to wear his hooded cloak and his fathers sword that he often took with him to battle.

”now then as soon as your done men follow your captain outside and await the princes orders.” The keeper explained as he looked directly at Darcy almost wanting to speak against his princes orders but well it would cost him his tongue if he dared do so.

Edited by Yukonwolfspirit
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It didn't go unnoticed that the prince felt uneasy, Darcy used every opportunity to sneak a glance at the young man and study his face, if anything slipped by him it was very well hidden. However the knight couldn't make sense of the emotions he read in the prince's expression and wondered if something had happened during the night he wasn't aware of despite having watched the castle closely until dawn. There was something about the other demon that kept him high-strung and the castle keeper, the only other resident who interacted with the knights, seemed to always single Darcy out, as if he wanted something from him and was waiting for an opportunity to speak his mind. Though it could have just been his imagination, after all it wasn't unusual for a captain to receive more attention than other knights of lower rank. Darcy only hoped to uncover whatever secret plots were in motion before he arrived here, he didn't want to accidentally stumble into one of them and become involved.

He gave the men a few minutes to ready themselves before they all walked out together into the pouring rain, muttering complaints as the storm soaked their clothes and made their uniform heavier than it already was. For supposed guards, they were being given unusual favors and even more puzzling orders. Darcy considered the possibly that he's been found out, that an informant had arrived before him and warned the prince there was a traitor among his new recruits. His heart started to race but only for a moment before he assured himself the people he worked for would never allow an information leak. If he was ever caught, it would be his own fault.

Edited by ZX-MetalMonster
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Standing out in the rain was a group of men all looking rather haggard and frozen from standing outside in the icy rain during breakfast. As they stood chained it was clear to anyone that they where prisoners of the kingdom. Walking out Yukie stood fully drenched from the rain the male staring down the old captain that had been sworn to protect his father. “….You have failed your duties to protect the kingdom. Because if you the king was murdered.”

”On the night of his death you where no where to be found for either of our protections. Such a crime is betrayal to the crown and punishable by death.” Yukie explained as he looked at the men now who stood behind their captain not a word escaping their lips. “Not only have you betrayed your kingdom, your men followed you leaving the castle and the citizens you where sworn to protect alone to those that seek harm. For abandonment your just as guilty as your captain.” Yukie hissed as he looked at the men who strangely stood in silence refusing to even speak to a man they refused to acknowledge as king. Drawing out his sword Yukie held it at the captains throat the tip slightly pushing into the man’s skin causing a bit of blood.

”For your crimes against the kingdom and your own brother and nephew the kingdom has sentenced you to death.” Yukie replied as a few older men came out to stand and watch the punishment. One was to relay the news to the townsfolk. The other three where men who where guiding the young prince on the throne helping him make decisions for the good of the kingdom. The captain letting out a laugh looked up at Yukie with a smile that was overly smug.

”We both know the murder was for you. Shame, it’s only a matter of time…until it happens again. We both know you can sense the evil in this kingdom and eventually it will destroy you like it did the precious king. I only did as the prophecy foretold should happen if it wasn’t for your father we would have succeeded in our orders and saved the kingdom.” The captain replied as he looked at the prince his eyes meeting Yukies showing there was truth to his words. “It makes sense you would bring in guards that don’t know what kind of monster you really are.”

”And honestly am I no better then you. I mean isn’t that why you have no competition for the throne? Such a powerful king had seven sons. Yet your the only one left.” The captain added with a small laugh. “Tell me prince where are the others? Did you kill them to secure your throne?” The captain asked his voice rising as he was suddenly silent Yukie resting his sword to his side the blade dripping in blood.

Walking past the captain Yukie with to much ease finished his execution sparing no one of the old guards. Looking back at Darcy Yukie covered in blood stabbed the bloody blade at Darcys feet into the muddy ground. “Clean and sharpen my sword…your all dismissed.” Yukie mumbled as he went back inside of the castle leaving the bloody mess to someone else to clean up and the bloodied weapon as a clear warning to his new men to never betray him or his kingdom.

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On first walking into the courtyard the guardsmen were confused, unsure why they were gathered or what was expected of them. However once the prince started to speak and one by one they realized what they were about to bear witness to, the men turned pale. Darcy couldn't see their faces under their helmets but he could sense their fear and anger. Many understood they were being given a warning but though the prince was overly cruel, others meanwhile took his threat as an insult. There was no way for the demon to know that, save for one man, his recruits had no ill intentions and were loyal to him. Not even the prisoner who stoked the young man's paranoia and alluded to another assassins who was sent to finish the job knew that said assassin was there, watching his execution.

Darcy fixed his predecessor a glare before the man turned too brazen and his head rolled on the muddy ground, divorced from his shoulders in one swift motion. Darcy had little sympathy for him and his coconspirators who not only seemed to have botched one assassination and made their involvement in the crime obvious but also now chipped away at his cover by telling the prince outright that he wasn't safe.

It was only common sense that a scene like this would leave Darcy shaken and he did find himself struggling to keep his breathing steady while his heart hammered away in his chest. However there was something not right about the thoughts that ran through his head and they disturbed him as much as the sentence he'd just seen carried out. He considered the price of failure, imagined himself in the previous captains place and the prince holding a blade to his throat. The image invoked equal parts terror and excitement and this sickening meld of emotions only grew more potent when the other demon, covered in gore and radiating malice, stormed past him leaving only the bloody blade in his wake.

-"My liege." Darcy muttered a beat too late for the prince to hear and watched the courtyard with a blank stare that signaled he was lost in though again. Fellow knights and dead, headless bodies equally forgotten, he collected the sword left for him and strode off, back into the castle and out of the pouring rain.

- - - - - -

Thanks to the prince choosing to slay his foes in the middle of a storm Darcy at least had an excuse to dress in the soft wool he'd been tempted by that morning. His uniform was thrown beside the hearth in the corner of the room, together with everyone else's rain drenched clothes. Even from a distance Darcy could feel the gentle warmth coming from the flame. His master's sword was across his lap and his hands moved in a mindless pattern he'd repeated hundreds of times. The traitor's blood was already stripped from the blade but Darcy continued to polish the steel, calmed by the simple task and using the opportunity to study the sword that was more expensive than anything he'd ever had a chance to wield. The other knights gave him displeased looks, wishing he'd chosen to retire to his own room and not sit among them with the executioner's sword on full display, letting the prince's warning loom over them. Though no one was eager to make demands of their captain, especially not when he was being stranger than usual.

It was equally wrong for Darcy to question his higher-ups but he was beginning to suspect this job was an unusual one and he couldn't help being curious. Was the person who'd killed the previous king send by the same people as himself? His pride protested the idea, he held his guild at high regard and couldn't imagine one of his fellows letting things go off the rails as they did. Darcy also wondered about the prophecy the doomed man had cited as his motive for treason and was prompted to lift his gaze from the steel in his hands and search the room for the caste keeper who unfortunately was the only person he could think of to ask for more information.

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“Yukie has sent me to inform you all that dinner is ready in the great hall and that he will not be joining you for the evening.” The keeper informed as he stood in the doorway slightly coated in rain. “At my advice I have ordered him to stay in bed for a few days.” The keeper replied not letting on that the prince had become rather easily sick from the cold. Looking at Darcy the keeper raised a brow that the man was actually doing as ordered. “I’m surprised your handling it with such care the last sword keeper always dulled his blade.” The keeper admitted as he walked over to warm himself by the fire. “I guess I should ask your name at this point…can’t keep referring to you as captain.” The keeper mumbled not use to really talking to the guard since the old one and him clashed a lot.

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Darcy huffed quietly at hearing the castle keeper enter their quarters, amused by his excellent timing. His pitch black eyes followed the older man without blinking until he settled beside the hearth. "It's a beautiful blade, it's only right to keep it razor sharp." He studied the sword for another long moment, smiling openly as he turned it over in his hands, a reflection of the flames dancing across it's polished surface. "Captain is fine... but my name is Darcy, if you insist." Finally he put the weapon away, propped up against one side of the chair he was sitting on but even with his attention elsewhere he rested a hand on the blade. "I've killed people before but I've never seen someone sentenced to death. I assumed the men would swear they've done nothing wrong, even if they were guilty... but I think they were convinced they'd done the right thing. One of them mentioned a prophecy, do you know what he was referring to?"

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“It was made when Yukie was born as a gift from the king. It matches his fathers own sword he used for battle. The young prince adores the sword though he’s hopeless when it comes to maintaining such a work of art” The keeper explained with a small sigh ending in a smile glad to see the sword was being cared for with love by the captain. Mulling over Darcy’s name the keeper repeated it in his mind a few times so he could remember to relay his information to Yukie who had stubbornly asked him to find out what he could about his new group of men. Listening to Darcy speak the keeper frowned as he mentioned the execution his heart hurting for the poor prince who had to do such an act. 

“…They would swear that they weren’t guilty but…when the prince called for help the only one to show was the king and myself. The palace had been searching for the men after dinner all that evening. The king assumed they where doing their usual rounds and let it go knowing his brother (the captain) would be back to guard them after checking on his men. The captain never came back with his men. Instead when help arrived we found the king dead, the prince gravely wounded and the captains sword covered in blood and stabbed in the bed where Yukie had been sleeping. The two maids who have cared for the prince since birth had dragged him into closet trying to keep him safe from the attacker, the maids swore they heard the captains voice and the kings that where fighting.” The keeper explained knowing that everything had added up when they arrested the guilty men.

”None if the men couldn’t account for their absence and the captain couldn’t explain his blood soaked armor. Yukie refused to believe for six months that his uncle had lead the attack.” The keeper added as he let out a heavy sigh wishing things had turned out better for the entire royal family. “The kings brother (the captain) believed the witches prophecy to the point it drove him completely mad. Just before Yukie was born the king had six healthy human sons all like their father strong and fit, kings ready to rule the throne!”

”Then the queen suddenly was graced with a seventh son our dear prince Yukie. The king of course was thrilled but after seeing his wife’s pregnancy struggles he sent the captain off to fetch the forest witch who for all the princes born before Yukie had their future read right after being born. She had predicted such amazing futures for the other princes who where well on their way to having their own kingdoms except for the oldest who was told would inherit the throne.” The keeper explained his eyes remembering it so clearly since he was at the time in training to care for the newest prince. “I was learning how to care for the new prince so I could help guide him much like the other keepers had guided their own princes.” The keeper recalled a deep sadness in his voice as he looked towards the fire warming his hands again.

“Then the fateful day came that Yukie was born. The night was ice cold and it in the middle of a very harsh winter…the queen struggled so hard to have him her body using every bit of strength until she ended up passing soon after meeting him. The young prince was born small and weak and so much different from his strong and healthy brothers. When Yukie arrived he looked like neither the king nor queen and came out with small horns and a tail completely frightening the midwife who had delivered him. The castle in an uproar heard the rumors and was terrified at the monster that the queen had birthed.”

“The servants deeply believed him to be a great evil and that he had taken the queens life for his own so they sent him with me to get rid of him while they cared for the queen and cleaned her up so she was presentable for the king to mourn. The king…later on found his son in the nursery all alone with only two maids and myself who had disobeyed orders and kept him. When he arrived the king only saw Yukie as his son from the moment he laid eyes on him. Despite being a demon he claimed Yukie as his own and would punish anyone who talked ill of him.” The keeper explained smiling fondly at the king who was so kind and caring to all of his children. “The next morning the forest witch arrived to read Yukies fate the captain having brought her right after his birth.”

“The witch was visibly upset saying he was cursed and that starting at the age of twelve he would see the death of the entire royal family, he would be the only one standing in line for the throne if he stayed in the kingdom. She said that as Yukie grew even older and stronger he would become more demonic in powers and fulfill his true destiny, when the king asked what his destiny was she was unsure saying she couldn’t see anything only darkness surrounding him.” The keeper added his voice angry as he recited the old woman’s words. “The king refused to believe such horrible words as he loved Yukie and refused to hear such blasphemy that his son would bring such ruin. His brother (the captain) believed her words where true so much so he begged his brother to head her warning and get rid of him. In the end after much fighting the king refused to do such a thing. For twelve years the kingdom was in peace and flourished. The when Yukie turned twelve he started showing more power and more of his demonic side.”

“By the princes 13th birthday the king was worried so much so about the witches words that he sent the first prince with Yukie to a neighboring kingdom to seek a wise sage to look into his destiny before they made it the first prince was killed in battle with a monster, Yukie and two guards being the only survivors to the monster attack. The king then refused to let him out of the castle after that keeping him in his eyesight out of fear his other sons or Yukie would get hurt. The next year the second son while riding with Yukie fell off a cliff deep into a river. The year after the third was hunted down by wolves while Yukie and the king where out hunting with him.” The keeper whispered his voice shaking in sorrow. “Like the witch said each prince slowly got picked off one each year.”

”By the time the prince was 18 he was the only heir left to the king…the whole kingdom before was whispering and calling him a monster, but by this point with so many princes killed they started pointing fingers at the prince cursing his presence in the kingdom and wishing for his death. Three years passed without any incident the king with all of his work had finally found a way to save his last son from what he deemed was his fate. But after Yukies 21st birthday the king was murdered, Yukie believes that they where trying to kill him but his father was a tragic accident and wasn’t intended to be killed that night.” The keeper finished as he looked back at Darcy finally able to meet his eyes. “I’m not sure if the witches prophecy is true, I don’t see Yukie as being cursed…and no other prophecies that where read on his other birthdays since matched what the forest witch predicted, they all where positive about his future. The way I see it Yukie never killed or hurt anyone, despite what you saw him do today he can’t stand violence and gets ill at the sight of blood. Yukie may be a demon but from what I’ve seen he’s not one to cause bloodshed. I feel he had no choice in the matter of the punishment today. The elders that have been advising him must have felt the punishment was justified and that it would have been unwise to show such weakness in front of your men. Personally I don’t think he should listen to them since they are also voiced to the king their advice on getting rid of Yukie more then once when he was younger.” The keeper replied a touch bitter at the thought of Yukie being thrown out when he was nothing but a gentle soul in his eyes.

Edited by Yukonwolfspirit
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The castle keeper proved to be the right choice to push for information, Darcy needed only touch on the topic of prophecy and the keeper told him everything he could wish to know, even things he would have never thought to ask. His eyes studied the older man when he heard anger or sadness in his voice but for the most part they lingered on the fire, though the flame couldn't light even the smallest spark in their murky depth. For a long time after the keeper finished the retelling of their master's life, or rather the darkest moments of it, Darcy staid silent and lost in though again. He'd known as little about the royal family as he did the realm they ruled over and it saddened him to know the prince was wrapped in ill omens since the day of his birth. It wasn't a common thing for Darcy to feel empathy for someone he was sent to kill but he couldn't help seeing how in some ways they were of a kind. His elders had made a mistake in sending him on this job, or they were testing him to gauge his loyalty and resolve. Either way Darcy reminded himself he couldn't falter.

-"Maybe spilling blood was difficult for the prince but executing the prisoners was the right choice." Darcy admitted even though it was in his best interest to encourage his liege towards a more merciful path in case one day he was sentenced for the same crime. The previous captain had been close to the throne, even exiled or imprisoned he could amass an army of subjects who preferred to see him, or anyone other than a demon prince, inherit the kingdom. Taking him out of the game was a sound decision, one a man like Darcy would have made much sooner than the prince did.

-"I should return this to his highness." Darcy glanced at the sword and stood with it in hand, ready to flee from the conversation. He was afraid he'd give something away about his true nature if he spoke in defense of the other demon. "I still can't make sense of the castle so I'd be thankful if you point me to the prince's room. I'd also like to know where it is in case something unpleasant happens again." 

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“Of course I can take you there now.” The keeper replied as he sighed not liking the idea of the cold rain touching his skin again. Leading Darcy inside of the castle the keeper walked past the kitchen and the servants quarters to a small room that was placed against the wall where the fire burned 24/7. “Yukie has always stayed downstairs for the winter in this room his father updated the castle to make him comfortable. Due to his health his body is weak to the cold so he stays where it’s warmer during the rainy weeks and the cold winters…he says it’s where the servants can easily help him if he needs it but I think he’s just to embarrassed to admit he likes the company.” The keeper replied as he knocked on the door before opening it to peek inside to see if Yukie was fine with an audience. Inside curled up tight was a giant white snake taking up most of the room Yukie of course resting on top of his body the demon only wearing a blanket over his naked half.

”I told you I don’t feel like eating Luca.” Yukie mumbled as he rubbed his eye the demon rather groggy while looking at the keeper who walked in leading the way for Darcy to follow.

”while I can overlook the occasional meal you should at least wear a shirt even if only your chest is showing.” Luca scolded with a sigh as he looked through the princes shirts pulling a light Cotten shirt of soft blue. “Your captian Darcy has come to visit you.” Luca added with a huff noticing that the staff had been giving Yukie warm wine to help with his cold. “Behave. Im going to tear into the maids for spoiling you.” Luca mumbled as he finished forcing a shirt onto the drunk demon who only giggled and snuggled down even more into his long body.

Edited by Yukonwolfspirit
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Darcy committed the route to the prince's quarters to memory and casually browsed his surroundings while he waited to be give permission to come inside and see his liege. Once he caught a glimpse of what seemed like a gargantuan white snake however he couldn't curb his curiosity and step by step he slowly entered the room. His fascination with the beast was evident in his expression and before he fully understood that it was his prince curled up before him, he reached out and lightly brushed his fingers over the demon's white scales. Upon hearing the young man's voice however he pulled his hand away and took a step back, looking almost sheepish and having to clear his voice before he spoke.

-"I've cleaned and sharpened your sword as you commanded your grace." Darcy informed matter-of-factly but then faltered, unsure if the half awake, wine addled prince was even following. "Should I leave it with you?"

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“Yeah just over there on the dresser there’s a bed for it (sheath).” Yukie replied with a drunken yawn as he sat up a little more at having felt such a gentle touch from Darcy to his body. Blushing a deep red he stayed still watching Darcy with curious eyes. “You cleaned and sharpened it rather fast. I’m surprised with how easy it must have been for you it looks really beautiful now~.” Yukie exclaimed as he focused more on the sword then the visitor in his room. Uncurling his body a little more the demon stretching out his snake like body filling the room even more.

Swaying slightly Yukie laid back down his body very warm to the touch as he reached out and poked at Darcy’s cheek Yukie being able to do so with ease in the small room. “So, why did you come here? I mean I know the pay is nothing to sneeze at but if you haven’t noticed the castle isn’t fully staffed. Only the maids and servants that don’t mind seeing me stayed~.” Yukie mumbled his voice a little sing song at the last line as if he was happy that there where those that enjoyed working under him. “I hope you liked your room. I plan on making you all some thing bigger in the summer. Also going to get you all horses.” Yukie added with a small chuckle the poor wobbly demon clearly having had way to much to drink.

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Left with close to no space to move Darcy suddenly remembered that some snakes crush and suffocate their prey. Thankfully the prince seemed to be in a good mood despite the events of the day and Darcy wasn't bound in silver, meaning he could easily shed his own humanity and slip out of his master's hold if necessary. He tolerated the prodding, both verbal and physical but put what distance he could between himself and the other demon and walked to the dresser where he'd been instructed to leave the sword, careful not to brush up against the white scales again.

-"I don't mind seeing you." Darcy hoped the prince was loopy enough not to notice he'd dodged the question and wouldn't press him for a proper answer. The generous gifts he and the other knights were planed to received puzzled Darcy, he couldn't tell if the young man wanted to inspire fear or adoration or if he simply couldn't make up his mind. Many of the knight had dreaded the demon before they arrived at the castle and after the execution those fears were stoked again. However Darcy knew better than to breach that topic, if his liege was keen on speaking about shedding blood he would have to be the first to mention it. "I've never seen anything like this though." He admitted in stead and nodded lightly at the prince's serpentine body.

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“Mmh really? I’ve heard most demons can change forms though I haven’t met any others.” Yukie admitted as he looked at Darcy before shifting around the room to curl up again the demon feeling a touch cold. “I have lots of different forms. It’s strange, being able to change so much but not enough to make others not fear me.” Yukie admitted his body moving around Darcy till he was easily in the middle of his coils the demon enjoying the extra warmth. “I know my show earlier was rather gruesome. I didn’t feel you should have the burden on carrying out that order, you didn’t betray me nor was it fair to have something weigh so heavy on your mind.” Yukie mumbled already getting sleepy again as he rested back against his body the prince going in and out of consciousness a few times before refocusing.

“Can…you stay for a little bit?” Yukie asked knowing all well that it was foolish to trust Darcy so early on, but deep down he was so lonely and he couldn’t always keep Luca captive to watch over him while he slept. “My uncle the old captain use to sleep in a room across from father and I.” Yukie explained his face red in embarrassment at asking such a thing.

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Darcy sidestepped to avoid the prince when he slithered closer but after it became evident he intended to encircle him, Darcy didn't resist and stood still. He'd been reluctant to touch the young man again after he'd been caught feeling the texture of his scales, a hint embarrassed even though nothing bad had come of it. However with the prince so close and eager to soak in his body heat there was no way and no need to avoid contact.

-"It would have weighed less on my mind than yours." Darcy argued, it wouldn't have been the first time he killed men in cold blood, though he admired the prince for dealing with his enemies himself. His hand rested on the demon's body again and moved gently, pleased by how the shape shifted skin felt under his palm.

-"I'm your knight, if you want me to stay then I will." That was the only valid answer if Darcy wanted to pass for a loyal guardsman. Though he lamented the opportunity to retire to his room and return as a faceless shadow under the cover of night to end the other demon while he slept. If not for the servants who knew he'd gone to see the prince he would feel safe turning on the young man at the very moment but as is he couldn't risk the whole castle hunting him down afterwards. He weighed the opportunity as a proper assassin but with the prince so close and clinging to him for safety and warmth thoughts of murder sickened him.

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“Thank you” Yukie whispered his face blushing as he moved his body more making a nice comfy spot for Darcy to sit or lay down while he slept. Tucking himself away back into the coils for warmth Yukie snuggled deep down to where most of his upper body was hidden. This was the first time in six months that the prince had felt at peace sleeping. Breathing deeply the young prince could only be heard mumbling then moving around until he was laying on himself like a soft bed near where he had given Darcy a place to stay. Eventually a few hours later one of the older maids came in bringing pillows and blankets and a warm cup of ale and some food for Darcy the maids wanting to keep the two well cared for.

”I’m to warn you that he’s quite the snuggler.” The maid teased as she set everything down on top of Yukie who only let out a small sigh and with the added blanket making him cutely snuggle down all the more.

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Darcy never liked being made to sit still through the night, counting away the hours while the humans slept. The prince seemed to drift off as soon as he found a comfortable position, leaving the room quiet save for hushed voices and the sound of servants going on about their evening in rooms close by. A cover of clouds obscured the moon and stars but the small chamber they were sharing for the night was well illuminated and pleasantly warm. With food and drink provided for him as well, Darcy had little to complain about other than having nothing to do to pass the time. He settled in the space the prince left for him and studied the demon's face up close, mulling things over until his mind started to linger on grim things again. He only hoped that at dawn the prince would wake up with a clear head, be furious to find him by his side and toss him out. It was easier to conspire against the cruel tyrant he'd glimpsed in he courtyard than a vulnerable young man who looked happy and peaceful under his watch.

Darcy looked for a dream to trespass but the castle was silent even to his magic, his master was calm beside him and the servants rested undisturbed or were still awake despite the late hour. Even the nameless thing inside the walls that had tossed and turned with nightmares the previous night was quiet now. After only a moment of reluctance Darcy shifted closer to the prince with eyes shut closed, intent on weaving a place for them to converse inside the young man's mind while he slept. He put it together from memory, a path through the woods with branches thickly tangled overhead and pools of water so chocked with vegetation they looked black in the evening light. However the crumbling walls of a ruin invaded the scene and Darcy wondered if the anomaly was a product of his own mind or someone else's. He was a shadow in dreams and approached the prince as such, blending in effortlessly with the woods. 

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Yukie walking along seemed happy and relaxed in the dream the prince enjoying the beautiful forest. Back in the room though Yukie mumbled and stirred a little unable to find complete comfort as the dream marched on. As the princes dream continued there was an older man, his older brother asking him to relax and join in on the fun the two out for a swim. Yukie frowning refused like he had on that fateful day and sat near the ruins of an old house. Relaxing and watching his older brother swim Yukie sat with a sketchbook drawing the scene before him the prince more quiet then his current self as he was much younger. 
 

Yukie back where he was sleeping was turning and moving more his mind upset as he slept.  As his body moved it tightened a little shaking from the nightmare that was yet to come. Back in his dreams the scene seemed to move slowly as the wind rustled through the trees unknowingly to Yukie causing the ruins to shake above him. The older prince from his view could see the stones moving and getting out ran towards Yukie only for the stones to like always fall upon them crushing both. In the dream the sun seemed to move to late evening as Yukie would be see. Moving from the rubble not a scratch on the prince but the older prince had not met the same fate.

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After the dream materialized the prince began to shape the scene by himself, diminishing Darcy's sway on the fantasy. He'd been the one to will it into being but there was a limit to how much power he could hold inside someone else's mind. Furthermore, of all of Darcy's demonic tricks this one was the least practiced and developed one.

He watched the young prince from the sidelines and thanks to the story the castle keeper had shared with him earlier that day he knew enough to guess that the man who accompanied the boy was one of his brothers. However in the here and now the prince was becoming restless and Darcy sluggishly moved an arm and placed it over him, hoping the touch would reassure the young man. Keeping the dream from falling apart took focus so the small gesture was the best he could afford.  

Events played out the same way Darcy assumed they had in Yukie's memory and in reality many years ago. Once the dust settled, he swept over the ruins and the ruble that by all reason should had killed the prince. In the guise of animated darkness, clawing and pulling himself swiftly across the ground, he followed him and at every moment was only a few steps away.

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